One thing that’s great about writing for Something Awful is that when I ask for response, I get it. When I wrote the article about the most obnoxious rock stars in the world, many brilliant readers contributed their own hilarious reasons to hate their personal nemeses. So impressed was I with their contributions that I devoted an entire column to their replies, and it stands as one of my favorite Your Band Sucks episodes (probably because I didn’t write it). Earlier this month, I wrote a short article about how to pretend to be an asshole music snob, and I invited my readers to respond with their own methods. Dozens of geniuses responded, and I’ve collected the best of their advice in order to enrich your understanding of how normal people turn into fake bastards.

Here’s a letter from someone or something calling itself Antal. This one is a bit of a cautionary tale. The moral? Don’t fuck with the record store guy. He might actually be a real music dork, and you don’t want to front on that.:

I found your article to be hilariously relevant to my line of work. I work at a record shop and am constantly assailed by people with nothing better to do than hang out at record shops and play their own little game of "stump the record store guy". I guess I don't have anything better to do than hang out at the record shop either but at least it is my shop and I'm getting paid to be there. Anyway, I digress. Another way of How To Fake It is eBay. A prime source for "vintage" band t-shirts, where anyone with a few bucks can get that Nirvana shirt from the Bleach tour. So they can boast about how they liked them before everyone else did. Earlier this year I had a customer who was going on and on about how much he loved the Misfits and about how he saw the original lineup and how the shirt he was wearing was bought at the show. I casually asked how old he was. He replied 24, just 2 years younger than myself he was. Since I am somewhat of a math genius I figured out that he was either born in either 1979 or 1980. Also being a music geek I knew 1982 was the year that the original Misfits disbanded. I pointed this out and said he must've had some pretty cool parents to take him to a Misfits show at the tender age of 2, unless of course he had made that whole story up about seeing the original Misfits and just bought the shirt on eBay. He remained silent for the rest of the time he was there and I haven't seen him since that day. If you're going to fake it you simply must have the facts. An eBay and paypal account alone will not avail you.

I seem to have forced poor Fred from Montreal into accepting what he truly is: a fake music snob. Luckily, he’s kind enough to send in this advice:

I'm apparently guilty of being a huge snob, so here's my contribution.

Cross-medium synaesthesia: I recently got a confused look from a goth friend when I argued that listening to Skinny Puppy feels like reading William Burroughs. Thus broadening the scope of the discussion to literature can greatly help intimidating your opponent. Chances are slim that he might have heard of *both* the cult group and the cult author that you name-drop in the same sentence.

Thank you for helping me acknowledge what a monster I am.

Paul from Ohio has a similar method, but he adds an extra layer of bullshit intellectual elitism. Mix in some obscure films and phony theoretical terms!

If your antagonist is truly a threat to your facade, you have to know he/she has absolutely no time pursue any other interests -- because you don't either. So I've found that backing up bullshit rock cred with preposterous allusions to obscure, or preferably fabricated, works and artists in media and disciplines OTHER THAN POP MUSIC is a great technique.

Example:

THRUST: "Have you checked out Flop yet?"

RIPOSTE: "Didn't they have a cut on the soundtrack to the latest Gorvaggjson film? The Boiled Swan? That was the one. Kind of reconstructionalist, you know, in a semiotic sense, aren't they? Talk about your Algonquin Roundtable."

QED

Wow, he even worked in “QED,” which is useful because nobody actually knows what it means. This next guy didn’t give his name, but he suggests turning to unlistenable bands and French theorists to form a stark and impenetrable musical glacier around oneself:

I've found that simply wearing a Merzbow, Wolf Eyes, Xiu Xiu – and sometimes even a Sonic Youth-- T-shirt is enough to keep almost anyone from ever wanting to talk music with you. And the people who would try to talk music with you are generally the type that easily confuses "art for art's sake" with "art for artiness's sake" and you can swiftly evade any impending discussion by name-checking Derrida, Foucault, Ernst and Acker. Just string together some gibberish and be careful to prefix all nouns with "post", quote Nietzsche or Freud at least once, and they won't know what hit them. You don't have to own even one album, and this method works remarkably well on everyone except hip philosophy professors and the 0.01 % of the population that genuinely loves unlistenable music.

Some guy whose first name begins with J (I think) shows us another “Double Dare” method to stump your victims and work in your own phony taste while you’re at it:

Hello. I enjoyed your article about how to fake it. I never really realized how much of an asshole I was. But now I see that I've been faking it my whole life. Awesome.

One of my moves that's always worked is sort of a combination of Double Dare and No Straight Compliments; It's The Suggestion. It's basically based on having heard of a lot of bands and vaguely knowing what sort of music they make. When someone talks about what band they like, your move is to suggest something else that's BETTER. The trick is to mention a band and gauge they're facial reaction to either compliment that band or bash it. Here's three possible situations:

1) - the optimal outcome, make them feel stupid.
pigeon - "I love Marilyn Manson."
you - "Yeah, they're alright. Have you heard of Deicide?"
pigeon - "No."
you - "Oh, you'd love them. Way better than Manson."

2) - abort mission, don't get caught off guard.
pigeon - "Metallica rocks!"
you - "Yeah, they're pretty cool. Have you heard of Rammstein?"
pigeon - "Yeah" (making dismissive face)
you - "Yeah, they're total rip-offs. Nazis."

3) - the second chance, if you're quick with it.
pigeon - "John Mayer is so talented."
you - "I guess. Have you heard Badly Drawn Boy?"
pigeon - "Yeah! Love him."
you - "Oh. How 'bout The Divine Comedy?"
pigeon - "uh, nope."
you - "Oh you'd love it. Way better that either of those two."

It works to steer the conversation back into your control, but don't attempt it unless you actually know a bit more than the victim OR if you think you have the balls to fake them out with a fake suggestion (a good deal sealer for a fake suggestion is "I'll burn you a disc, you'll love it."). These are things I do with out thinking about it. I'm just a real asshole, I guess.

This guy’s e-mail header said Hart Deer, so we’ll just assume his name is Hart Deer. Anyway, he tells us that while being a fake music expert is loads of fun, being a fake musician is truly a magnificent feather in one’s cap:

Dear Dr. Sir:

I think you overlooked the obvious solution to hitching your own wagon. Pretend to be a musician and hitch to your own wagon!

It's not hard. For your genre, pick any two terms that don't really go together, at least one of which is vaguely related to music. "Chromatic Fusion". "Alternative Bluegrass". "Razor Funk". "Baroque Trance". "Nu Metal". The possibilities are endless!

What if someone asks what you play? The answer is simple: "Lead Guitar." What if someone hands you an electric guitar and asks you to show them something, but you don't really know how to play at all? That's perfect, in an Emperor’s New Clothes sort of way. Just twaddle around on the fretboard and pick-slash chaotically at the strings while making faces and dancing around like a lunatic. More likely than not, your listener will say, "Damn. I've never heard sounds like that before. That is so cool." There is an off chance they might call you on it and say, "Dude, that sounds like bird crap. Is this the first time you've ever picked up a guitar in your life?" In that case, respond, "Yeah, okay. You know what? You don't know jack about Chromatic Fusion, and you don't jack about music, white boy." "What? But I'm a black girl!" "You wish."

You can use similar evasion tactics for where you play out, or where people can get your album. "Filipo's downtown." "Where downtown?" "Forning and South Street." "Where the hell are they?" "I just remember how to get there by instinct. Look it up online. It's probably not your kind of place, but you can check it out if you want."

This is much easier and safer, I think, then latching onto a pre-existing artist of whatever cult status, and if you do it to a girl with sufficient convincingocity, you should have a little birdie friend by the end of the evening!

Alex reminds us that there’s no point in being superior if we can’t properly deride the inferior:

Your article was excellent, but you neglected to mention the physical characteristics that are necessary to develop in order to complete the image. One of the most important being the "half-snort". Whenever talking to someone about music they listen to, you need to be able to do the half-snort on reflex. Here's how you do it: as soon as someone names a band that is beneath your taste, smirk slightly and expel a small amount of air through your nose, just enough so it's audible. It's subtle, but noticeable enough to make the person feel insecure about their choice of music. Practice it often so you can do it involuntarily whenever you hear certain band names.

Adam, forgetting that no fake music geek would ever be caught dead attending a concert, gives us this handy advice in case we should end up at one accidentally:

If you ever actually make it to a gig and want to impress those around you with your historical and detailed knowledge of and interest in the band, it can help to should out requests for made up songs. Rather than the very obvious last single, or the even more obvious b-side of the deleted demo when the band had a different name, you can establish your hard core credentials by asking for 'The Ocean Song' or 'Titanic Motives', and enjoy yourself enormously as those around you stroke their chins and say 'Yeah, I like that one'.

If you were taken in by the “Hitching Your Wagon” section but couldn’t think of a stupid enough artist to pretend to love, Matt is here to tell us about a perfect man for the job: rock and roll’s biggest shithead. Take it away, Matt:

Possibly the best candidate for “Hitching Your Wagon” is Frank Zappa:

A) Just the right level of obscurity – If your audience doesn’t know about him, they’re ignorant of “one of the most prolific and talented composers of the 20th century.” If they have, it serves as a great opportunity to talk about one of the genres he influenced (all of them, so take your pick) and name drop some even more obscure artists before moving back to Zappa. The large range of Zappa’s work also allows you to steer pretty much any conversation about music into your domain.

B) Massive and oddly named body of work – Zappa cranked out albums on a regular basis for about 30 years; add to this the live performances, covers, and bootlegs and you’ve got quite a catalog to work with. Owning and/or listening to all of them is a task that normal people have neither the money nor time for. Combine this with Zappa’s penchant for giving his albums and songs bizarre names (Uncle Meat, Theme From The 3rd Movement of Sinister Footwear, Who Are the Brain Police?, etc) and it becomes possible to create a plausible Zappa song or album title simply by stringing together seemingly unrelated words. Throw in a musical term if you want to imply it’s an instrumental piece; references to food are frequent and can be used to add that unique Zappa touch. For example, “The Industrial Cheese Variations” or “Gumbo for Jumbo” would serve nicely.

C) Reams of useless trivia – Zappa had a habit of including in-jokes and references to previous works in his material. Memorize a few of these and it’s simple to portray oneself as having an encyclopedic knowledge of his work. For example, did you know that the title of the album “Weasels Ripped My Flesh” was taken from the cover of a ‘50s Men’s/Adventure pulp magazine? Neither will whoever you are trying to impress with your superior musical tastes.

D) He’s dead – Tragic, yes, but useful. This indemnifies you against a new album coming out that is horrible enough to subtract from his cachet, something that might happen to even the best living artist.

E) One-upping other Zappa fans – If they prefer Zappa’s satirical pieces, they’re slightly shallow and you prefer his more experimental instrumental work. If they prefer his instrumental work, they can’t appreciate the solid song craft and scathing humor of his satirical pieces. If they prefer his work with the Mothers, the Mothers prevented the crispness and variety of his later work. If they prefer his independent work, then he was never again as experimental and conceptually coherent as with the Mothers. There are endless possible variations on this. Remember, if it’s Zappa vs. Zappa, Zappa always wins!

The only place you might run into trouble is if you are trying to impress a female audience – Zappa’s lyrics contain very graphic sexual innuendo (those who assume “graphic innuendo” is oxymoron haven’t listened to enough Zappa) and are at times slightly misogynistic. The best way to soften this is to frame the innuendo in terms of sexual liberation and the misogyny as a reaction to heartbreak from the bitter divorce that ended his first marriage; but then again, if you’re doing your best to come across as a pretentious asshole, you’re not that likely to get laid anyway.

Susanña, who is both a college radio DJ and presumably the operator of a LiveJournal, is by all available evidence an entirely repellant human being. Since we love rooting for the villain, let’s listen to what she has to say:

Hello Doctor- I am actually employed at a college radio station and you seemed to have created the foremost source of information for someone sailing out on their maiden voyage of music geek fakery.

However, you forgot to mention that having a LiveJournal in which the author records not only what he or she is listening to at the time of their journal entry, but every awesome album he or she purchased off the internet from some store in San Francisco in the past two weeks, what all of his or her infinitely less cutting edge friends are listening to (and how much it "blows" to have to listen to that outdated shit), and what shows he or she has been to recently (typically it is important to mention that the show "sucked"- a good review is rare and reserved only for very special musicians.) Updating a LiveJournal seems to be an integral part of my musically obsessed coworkers lives. While it may not be exceptionally hilarious, it is undoubtedly an important way for the Music Geek Faker to convey how goddamned serious he is about his (pretend) love for obscure crap.

Okay, I’m absolutely in love with Michael for pointing this out, because I should have put this in my original article. I put in a section about pretending to be obsessed with some obscure artist, but I forgot to mention Mark E. Smith. In fact, Mark E. Smith is a fake music nerd institution unto himself. He goes far beyond a mere candidate for “hitching your wagon.” Pretending to be a Fall fan is basically synonymous with pretending to be a music snob, and Michael will tell you why:

In your article "How to Fake It" I believe you missed a key method to bamboozle other music geeks- name-checking Mark E. Smith and The Fall.

The Fall has released something like 179 records since 1978, which makes coming up with some phony nonsense song or album titles relatively easy. If questioned further about a bogus title, the proper retort is "Oh, it's a boot" or "It's a B-sides compilation". In addition, pretending to "get" MES's lyrics could go a long way to securing rock knowledge clout as you purport to understand the deep hidden meaning in songs like "Mike's Love Hexagon". "To Nkroachment:Yarbles", and "Eat Yr Self Fitter". As an added bonus, you can always deploy the tried-and-true "Pavement ripped off The Fall" argument, which hits 'em on both sides with supposed knowledge about one of indie rock's biggest names as well as a post-punk staple. This simple statement gives you some 20 years of assumed music knowledge (both English and American, no less), and it also creates the illusion that you are the arbiter of what is truly original and what isn't. Actually, saying the phrase "post-punk" in any music conversation clues the fellow conversant in on your big musical brain as well.

179 Fall records? That’s actually a pretty conservative estimate. Some scientists here at NASA have been working on devising a new branch of mathematics to deal with Mark E. Smith’s prolific release schedule; while the scientists are still in the early stages of computation, estimates so far have placed the total possible number of Fall albums between 1978 and Smith’s eventual death (July 9th, 2021) at approximately eight million. That’s not counting singles.

Kevin advises that we put out a bullshit indie zine to house all of our pretentious opinions. I totally agree with everything he says, except I would contend that it’s not actually necessary to write or release a zine at all, as long as you convincingly pretend that you have:

Put out one issue of a one-page 'zine with one-line reviews of several albums in your collection and basic facts about your music celebrity obsession. Name it after something educational sounding like "The journal of Pop Culture Critique". Then make about 30 copies and cram a few into the bin where all the hip music stores in town collect shitty music and popculture zines. Wait a week to a month until they get thrown out. Then constantly reference your writings in a local underground music magazine that is distributed in all the major hip music stores in town. Whenever someone says they never heard of it or asks when it comes out, say "whenever anything musically relevant comes out" and sneer. When they as if they can get a copy, say you have only one left and it was your most recent cover story so, no, they can't have it.

Once you are "published" all your ringing indictments of the staid, boring music industry will have that added zest of "In the last issue of 'The Journal of Popculture Critique' I wrote..." and serve to crush your enemies, who write for "Eat Shit And Die".

Don't forget to tell women that you are a published rock critic and let them know about your cover stories.

Chris Walker (perhaps the same Chris Walker behind the Chris Walker Experience, reviewed in an earlier Demo Roundup? Who knows!) writes in to offer some excellent advice about pretending to know people:

Dearest Thorpe, You forgot, what I consider, to be an important part of Faking It: Knowing real musicians.

Enemy music snobs will be shamefully intimidated when you tell them that you once jammed with a band close enough to mainstream that they will have heard of them, but not know much about them, like the Toadies or some shit. You could say you bought an amp from them, or sold the guitarist weed, it doesn't matter, nobody can call you on shit like that.

Stories that are about doing something mean and/or illegal to a band that you're sure you're for dislikes are even better. For instance, stealing one of Godsmack's amps, or pissing in the cracked window of Good Charlotte's tour van.

Then, nearly as good, and just as impossible to be called on, is stories about your relatives. The best part about that is, you might have some true ones if you ask a bit. For instance, my friend's mother had sex with the drummer from Blue Oyster. Does this make my friend a better music critic? Certainly not. But it does make his musical belt buckle a little bit bigger and shinier.

Kudos to Mr. Walker on introducing the concept of the musical belt buckle. In case you were unaware, music snobs do actually have musical belt buckles. Literal ones. You push a button on it and it plays a tune. The more you know about music, the bigger and shinier it gets. PayPal me a hundred bucks and I’ll mail you one (Notice from legal department: no, he won’t, but that shouldn’t stop you from sending him money. –L.J. Crabs).

Now we move on to Clark, who elaborates this concept further with an amusing factual anecdote:

Hi Dr. Thorpe, long-time listener, first time caller here.

The Assistant to the Office of the CEO (aka the deputy CEO, or The Crazy One Who Doesn't Understand How Business Works But Is Supposedly a Visionary) at my company has played the ultimate fake-it card in the past. He claims to have jammed with some of the members of Aerosmith back before they became Aerosmith. His story requires a minimum of factual information or actual research, but also is thoroughly unverifiable, much like your recommendation of claiming that one's favorite obscure band is from the early 80's: just old enough to fly below the radar.

Allow me to point out some of the fuzzy details:

-This guy grew up in roughly the same area as some of the Aerosmith band members. That's not hard to fake. Enough famous bands have come out of every corner of the planet to cover that. Also, nobody publishes their home address, so the only clue someone could find was maybe where you got your college degree, or knowing generally where you're from.

-Bands go through innumerable incarnations before (and after) they become famous. Most of them, especially ones who have put as much gunk through their kidneys as Aerosmith, would never be able to remember every last damn bass player that jammed with them in high school. So they couldn't be expected to mention it in an interview or biography, could they?

-Just because someone once jammed with a band doesn't mean that years later they will still show any prowess on a musical instrument, and it doesn't even really mean that they ever actually had any musical prowess at all.

See? So many things just beyond the realm of proof/counterproof make it a perfect smokescreen, name-dropping, subject-changing, self-aggrandizing trick that every arrogant music snob should have prepared in their bag of tricks.

Of course, it would help not to pick a crappy band like Aerosmith, because you would presumably want to GAIN fake credibility instead of losing it...

Dan gives us this fairly obvious but fundamentally essential bit of information. I should have put this in my original column, so I’m glad he pointed it out:

Great advice, I already use most of these techniques myself. But there is one thing that you left off. The live performance. A good double dare is "Have you seen them live?” And when faking seeing a band live make sure it was in a small club in another town. And either the club was so packed and the sound quality so poor that you couldn't really make a judgment on it, or the club was almost empty so the band didn't play a usual set. And of course you saw them "a while ago" when they were good.

Justin gives us some extra tips on musical one-upsmanship with some excellent wagon-hitching advice:

I find that these work:

1.) An alternative to "Hitching Your Wagon": pick an artist or band almost universally critically panned and praise them. For example, Grand Funk Railroad. Not only will the other person be totally blindsided by what seems like such an obviously bad band, but then you can counter with how nobody understands what Grand Funk Railroad were trying to do but you. Ringo Starr is also a good choice for this, or Rooney if you want to use a contemporary band.

2.) You can elevate the simple game of inventing a fake obscure band into a championship chess match by giving your imaginary band a name that makes it unclear whether or not it's a group or a single person. For example, "Artemis Flag." The person you're talking to is really screwed now. He can either admit "I've never heard of Artemis Flag" or try to fake it. But if he fakes it, he'll have to use some dodgy pronouns or else you can expose him. Even if he does say "Yeah, I think I've got one of their songs on a compilation," you can counter with "Artemis Flag isn't a band, he's a solo artist, jackass." Or vice versa. My example is also somewhat gender neutral, so that adds another layer of ambiguity to it. Check and mate. It cannot possibly fail.

Liz takes this one step further with yet more awesome advice: pick a shitty band to feel guilty about loving! It makes you seem more human and less susceptible to criticism. My personal choice is Boston, but Liz has plenty of other good ones:

You forgot the "guilt"/"kitsch" band. Most genuine music nerds have one band that they like but feel guilty about--anyone pretending to be a music nerd needs to have one popular / overprocessed artist that is "so bad it's good" in order to draw fire. Those who fake knowledge well do the following:

Pick one band that is totally and incontestably bad (Popular at my college among music snobs and those pretending to be music snobs as the "Yes I Know It's Crap, But I Love It So Much" band: Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Def Leppard, Pat Benetar, and the Electric Light Orchestra). Make sure that it has consistent pop hooks. Sing along loudly whenever you hear any of their songs. Say things like "I know this totally ruins my cred, but I just love 'Livin' on a Prayer!'"

The benefits of this band are twofold: (1) You look like you don't give a shit about anyone's opinion, and this is indispensable when dealing with anyone you're looking to impress (note to emo kids: NO ONE IS IMPRESSED BY DESPERATION). And (2) you've admitted it's a bad band up front, and, more importantly IT IS THE ONLY BAD BAND YOU LIKE. By acknowledging the level of suck involved, you've excused yourself, and no one will be suspicious that you're faking it, since you do like some bad music.

Note: The earlier in music history the band you pick is, the better. This gambit won't work if you pick Evanescence. As a general rule, anything released in the past five years is out of the running; stick with 80's kitsch if you get confused.

Thanks a million to all the readers who took time out of their busy routines of pretending to work but actually reading Something Awful to send me their insightful comments. I couldn’t fit everybody’s letters in, since this article is already getting pretty bloated and gigantic, but thanks all the same to those people who sent in excellent advice that didn’t make the cut; although internet fame has eluded you this time, you will always have a special place in my heart. As usual, any questions, comments, criticisms, praises, shitty demos your band made, advice, pornographic spam and long winded rants can be sent to [email protected]. I don’t reply to all my mail, since I don’t have time, but I read almost all of it, except letters that begin with “as a Tool fan, I was offended by…”

Just don’t end up like “Bukuho,” who wins this month’s Ronnie Retard Award for Long-Winded Hate Mail. I didn’t read this whole thing, but if anyone wants to summarize it or pare it down to novella length for me, please do:

On my daily visit to SA, I came across this:

"If you mess this up somehow, your cover is blown, you're back to being Ronnie Retard, and you might as well just admit to everyone that you listen to Evanescence."

I just want to know one simple thing:

How many Evanescence songs have you actually heard?

See, I've seen you bitch at Ev twice now. If you don't like Ev, that's fine. I couldn't care less if you don't like 'em. What I DO care about though is when people talk about something, specifically insulting something, when they evidently know nothing about whatever subject it is, regardless of what it is. Hell, I hate RnB but if I saw someone talking shit about a RnB artist it'd piss me off. Now, I understand the entire point of the article is about making yourself look like you know what you're on about - however you fail your own advice. See, if you'd actually heard more then one or two Ev songs, you'd know that they are by no means a 'rock' band - and as such, they have no real place in your article, as you talk about them as if they're some failed rock band, when they're no such thing - they're not a rock band of any form anyway. In fact in both occasions you've mentioned them, you've either spoken what is frankly a lot of bollocks. They're not a rock band (only about 15 of their 90 or so songs that they've done in the last 8 years or so can be classed as 'rock', most of their stuff is acoustic and piano-based, far from 'rock'), yet you talk about them like they are. In your previous article you said something about them not being 'goth', which is a moot point since they themselves say they're not 'goth'. You also named them as a new band - they've been around for just over eight years now. They've been putting out record-label-CDs for the last six years. That's hardly 'new'.

And I've noticed, you don't just do this with Evanescence. You do this with practically every single artist you slag off. I've read all of your 'Your Band Sucks' articles and you come across merely as someone who listens to five seconds of a song on the radio while driving in the car and judges a band or artist solely on that five seconds of random song, without doing any further research. You come across as the sort of person that'd think Bon Jovi's version of Knocking On Heaven's Door is better then Bob Dylan's original. Scratch that, you come across as the sort of person that'd like Avril Lavigne's version more. Hell, from what I've read in your articles you probably think that Eric Clapton's 'Tears In Heaven' is the least soulful song in the world.

If you don't like a band or singer, fair enough. But there's no need to make stuff up and talk bollocks about someone. Yes, I understand the whole point of your articles is to be 'funny', but to be 'funny' you have to do much more then just make up rubbish. If you're going to slag someone off, at least make sure what you're saying actually has some factual basis, otherwise it's simply not funny. If someone wrote a ton of made-up rubbish about SA to slag 'em off for a magazine, you wouldn't be too happy probably. You certainly wouldn't find it 'funny' I presume.

So in short... just in future, try and actually do a little bit of research. Actually listen to more then two songs from someone before you pass judgement on 'em. E.g. don't just slag off say, The Calling, because a two of their songs sound vaguely the same and they're not proper 'hard rock', slag 'em off because they're jumped-up, up-their-own-arse nonce's. Or in the previous case, don't slag off Evanescence because you've heard Bring Me To Life and hated Paul McCoy's crappy rap (hell, NOBODY likes that rap - even Ev themselves hate it), slag 'em off because you find their backing bland or something like that. Get the idea? It's not hard. Just spend five minutes on Google doing some basic research, listen to more then just a couple of songs, then you actually WILL know what you're talking about.

Every other SA writer is funny - you're letting 'em down.

P.S. Some friendly advice: Ev have got roughly 16 million fans - most of which are very scary, very obese females who are hyper-protective of Ev and Ev's past members Ben Moody and David Hodges. If I were you, I wouldn't talk too much rubbish about Ev. Being sat on by some new-age radicals bulging out of badly-fitting corsets isn't a nice way to die ;)

– Dr. David Thorpe (@Arr)

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