Whooohooo. It appears that JOYCE MANOR vocalist Barry Johnson just thought that nobody would ever notice his crusade against stage divers. Following his ridiculous reaction at one of the band’s shows in Florida, another excess in Houston (see the video below, oh how awful!), and a flood of negative comments on his actions, he decided to speak out.
The band’s vocalist commented:
Catch the band live and get entertained by Barry at the following stops. Damn, I wish I was in the States this December to jump on Barry’s back and dive back into the crowd so he could cry about it afterwards. Please come to Europe guys! :)
Sat 13-Dec Sacramento, CA Midtown Barfly
Mon 15-Dec Seattle, WA Vera Project
Tue 16-Dec Vancouver, BC Korean Hall
Wed 17-Dec Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
Fri 19-Dec San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
Sat 20-Dec San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
Oh, and just so you know, there is a huge front of American kids (probably represented by the guy with the beard), that actually defend Barry and his original ideas for pop punk and punk rock. Thee times are so damn hard…
Ok, but coming to the point, here are some of the reasons why you should stage dive at punk and rock shows, no matter what Mr Johnson says. Head over here to read the extension of these points.
- You Paid To Get In (Probably)
- People Secretly Want To Get Stagedived Upon
- Better You Hurt People Than Some Other Asshole
- It’s Part Of Your Heritage
- You Deserve To Have A Good Time At The Expense Of Others
- Emo Pop-Punk Was Meant To Be Dangerous
Look, they are such a nice rock band. Why not stage dive? I’d be literally compelled to jump on omeone’s back and crowd? dive! (there was no stage in Tampa, sorry).
Joyce Manor have been under fire lately for calling out stage divers. On one hand, high-energy punk shows at venues as intimate as Yucca Tap Room will inevitably have a stage diver or two, but getting kicked in the head by one of these folks is not pleasant. The band has received plenty of backlash from last weeks incidents, however, Joyce Manor’s fanbase is predominantly young, and the stage was mostly surrounded by women, so frontman Barry Johnson’s rants were justified after seeing the young crowd. / Read more at PhoenixNewTimes.
While we ask our audiences not to stagedive, I don’t think it should be flat-out banned. In the right environment, stagediving can be awesome (e.g., Pantera). I do, however, feel that if a band asks the audience to not stagedive, that request should be honored. My general opinion is that it’s barbaric, dangerous, and selfish, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when dealing with rock ’n’ roll (e.g., Pantera).
—Sean Bonnette, Andrew Jackson Jihad
When my wife and I went to see the Pixies a few years ago, I didn’t slam-skank to “Debaser” in a very unwelcoming crowd of people, I held my woman close and we gently swayed in the breeze. Had the Cro-Mags gone on afterwards, I would not have thought twice about haphazardly launching myself off the highest point into the same group of people. It’s conditional. People should really be able to police themselves and use common sense, but lots of people are dumb. Personally, I’m all for stagediving, unless you’re bad at them, in which case I will be giving low scores from the side like a referee at a swim meet. Practice is encouraged, like those weird kids in Another State of Mind.
—Brian Gorsegner, Night Birds
I generally think that stagediving is not OK because it eliminates the space at shows for people who are not physically able to hold up a stagediver or who would generally like to avoid being kicked in the face. I am one of those people for both of those reasons. I enjoy watching (as opposed to just listening to) bands who want to make space for as many people as possible. Those are usually the kind of bands that speak up when it looks like people might be getting hurt, or when people start stagediving. I don’t think it’s policing anyone, but rather allowing everyone to just physically be at a show. Not everyone prioritizes that though, and there are plenty of bands who don’t want people to get hurt but who are fine with stagediving when the crowd seems into it. When bands encourage that, however, they’re also encouraging a space that less people, including those who are already fans, can be a part of. The bottom line, for me, is that I think it says a lot about a person who doesn’t want to stop stagediving or moshing at the request of an audience or band member in order to put their good time ahead of someone else’s health and physical safety.
—Lauren Denitzio, Worriers, The Measure [sa]
A few things I believe:
a) Stagediving and moshing have never been my “thing” as a music fan but I believe they’re healthy expressions of having fun at a show.
b) I don’t think it’s in any way “up” to the bands to police their audience—chaos is beautiful. However, if it looks like someone is actually getting hurt, it’s totally cool and justified to speak up about it.
c) In the case of Joyce Manor, I’m sure even those dudes would admit it crossed the line between a personal confrontation and making sure everything was going groovy at the show, but it initially came from a good place. Emotions fly high when you’re full of adrenaline onstage at a punk show.
—Max Bemis, Say Anything