Demon Utopia? Training for Hunters? Hunter Utopia? Training for Demons?

22 07 2008

I had a sort of revelation recently concerning the band Demon Hunter.  For those of you who don’t know, Demon Hunter is one of the current most famous Christian metal/hardcore band around right now.  Also, for those of you don’t know, band members Don and Ryan Clark, rhythm guitarist and vocalist of Demon Hunter, respectively, were in a band called Training for Utopia before forming Demon Hunter.  They released two full-length albums, an EP, and a split EP with the band Zao.

Now, for those of you who are Demon Hunter fans, please don’t take this blog entry the wrong way.  I think Demon Hunter is a band full of talented musicians who consistently churn out slightly-above-average melodic metal music with occasionally awesome songs.  These are merely observations.

The band Training for Utopia released a song on their final album Throwing a Wrench Into the American Music Machine from 1999 called “50000 Screaming TFU Fans Can’t Be Wrong”.  It was the first song on the album and featured lyrics where the writer complains about not getting the recognition he deserves.  Here are the lyrics to the song:

Training for Utopia- “50000 Screaming TFU Fans Can’t Be Wrong”

Tired of playing
Tired of not being played
Tear this city down
Dance among the flames

Rock is alive and well
Give me all your fame
Some things are not for free
I’m for sale

I’m gonna tear this movement down
Im gonna remain deleted

Been played
Been under payed
You still threw me away

And I want it back

    

Training for Utopia 

Training for Utopia

 

Basically, if I’m reading this song right, Ryan Clark dislikes the fact that his band is not as big and famous as he would like (I say “if I’m reading this song right” because there are probably sarcastic overtones in the song that I’m missing).  Note that this band is not a Christian band, however Don and Ryan Clark are themselves Christians.  Also note that this album has nearly no discernible spiritual content, unlike previous albums which had hints of it.  Thirdly, note that Training for Utopia is an extremely innovative noisecore band whose albums each have a distinct feel to them, Throwing being the most innovative since it basically consisted of the album being recorded by the band and then electronically mashed and remixed some guy/thing called Appliance (said to perform “electronic interventions” in the liner notes).

After this album is released, Training for Utopia breaks up… and what comes up out of the ashes?  Demon Hunter, a Christian melodic metal band that wears its influences on its sleeve (Slipknot being a big one, so I’ve heard, I haven’t heard much of them) and is “shrouded in mystery”, as the band members aren’t revealed to the public and the press photos feature some of the band members wearing masks.  Good way to get attention, right?

Fast forward to 2008.  Demon Hunter has released four albums and is one of the biggest Christian heavy bands around.  They do one huge tour per album and usually take three or four other heavy Christian acts with them.  When Don and Ryan Clark aren’t busy with Demon Hunter, they work with their art company Invisible Creature, where they make album art for some of the most famous rock bands around, Christian and non-Christian. 

It seems to me that all of the complaints from that nearly ten-year-old song have been put to rest and its prophecies have been fulfilled.  Let me explain pertinent lines with my comments in italics.

Tired of playing
Tired of not being played
Pretty self-explanatory.  Demon Hunter is definitely getting played.  If that’s not true, then Don and Ryan are getting payed in Invisible Creature.

Rock is alive and well
Give me all your fame
Dude wants fame.  Can’t blame him.  He’s being honest.
Some things are not for free
I’m for sale
Um, I can’t really judge people’s motives, so I’m not going to comment on this one.

I’m gonna tear this movement down
Im gonna remain deleted
Seems the innovative style started by TFU was the beginning of a movement. 
It got torn down when Demon Hunter was formed.

Been played
Been under payed
You still threw me away

And I want it back

Played, under-payed, and thrown away.  This problem will be solved with a new band.

Just some observations :)

(after-note: Remember, I’m not bad-mouthing Don or Ryan Clark.  The parallels between their successes and that song are just interesting to me, is all)

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One response

22 06 2009
switchcade

“I think Demon Hunter is a band full of talented musicians who consistently churn out slightly-above-average melodic metal music with occasionally awesome songs.”

I think that’s perhaps one of the most concise definitions of the band I’ve come across so far :-)

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