Embracing Change and The Oddity of Fandom Part 2

sum41-pledgeI debated staying up last night to write about what was bouncing around my head but I was too tired so opted for sleep instead. Now I am stuck composing this on my phone which I really didn’t want to have to do, but what are you going to do when the only computer is being occupied? There is nothing left to do but adapt and push forward. I need to get this out of me. It needs to be said. It doesn’t matter if anyone ever reads it. I will feel better for having said it.

A band I follow recently posted an announcement for a pre-order for the new album they are recording. It isn’t as if the new album was news to the people who are following them closely but everyone was excited for the opportunity to pre-order the long awaited new album. So many comments flooded in. There were lots of positive comments but then there are always those that like to tell the band what sound it should have and that it should sound like blah blah blah previous album. They don’t want any ballads. They don’t want another Screaming Bloody Murder album. They don’t want this and they don’t want that. They are pissed off because Dave and Stevo are no longer in the band. They want Deryck to stop wearing hats. They want Deryck to always wear his hair spiked the way he used to. They always want them to have campy silly photo shoots. Never let us see you have matured and grown. Better not age either because that might piss off some. People feel so entitled to say some of the most horrendous things to celebrities as if they aren’t human and have no feelings. I’m sure this isn’t an exclusive phenomenon experienced only by Sum 41. I’m pretty sure this fear of change is felt by every band who has any kind of following. I sat there reading the comments and I got really annoyed and was thinking “Fuck off!” I am still not sure why I got so annoyed and took the comments so personally. I am not a musician but I do consider myself an artist of sorts…a writer/poet. 

This isn’t a new topic. I have discussed it in comments on the Sum 41 Instagram page. More than once I have discussed how I feel about it all. From a spiritual stand point, I understand that the people who want the music and the band to stay exactly the same have a fear of change and this is being reflected in their desire to keep the things in their life exactly the same. Their desire to keep things exactly the same is so strong that they try to control those around them…including the bands they love. They threaten to not be a fan anymore or they say mean and hateful things. It would be very easy to get upset and lash out at some of these people but each person has a story. Each person has feelings and their reactions are based in a fear of change. I had to step away, pause and think about it instead of reacting out of anger.

Perhaps the best I can do is write this blog and try to show them that their desire to keep their favorite band exactly the same is based in a fear of change and reflects their own fear of moving forward and change in their own lives. The majority of the Sum 41 fans are angsty teens whose whole lives feel volatile and unstable because they are nearing that point where big changes are getting ready to take place be it leaving high school, starting college, etc. Kids are highly hormonal at that point as well therefore emotions are all over the place. They desire something constant and stable in their lives if they have a sense that their life is out of control…which is why they seek to try to control what matters to them most like a band whose music speaks to their angst.

My hope is that some of these people will recognize their fear of change and then choose to face it. I challenge them to embrace change. Embrace change in yourselves and in others…even if it means your paths part because of it.

Here is the thing, we all have free will to choose. If a band no longer makes music you dig, move on and discover something new that speaks to your soul. There are SO many bands out there to choose from. It is okay to hold a special place in your heart for the albums you loved that are basically like a soundtrack for a specific time period in your life, but don’t expect anyone to stay exactly the same because of your fear of change.

Below is an exchange that took place after the below photo was posted on Instagram:

sum41-2015oktobre17: sum41 Long live Sum 41!! May tomorrow always bring about changes for all of you that help you be the very best versions of yourselves. May “right now” always be the moment you cherish most and be filled with all the music of your soul.

sum41:Thank u. This is the sum 41. That is excited and wants to be here and play music for the world! oktobre17

oktobre17: sum41 I know this is the version that wants to be here and make music and you have my love and support. it frustrates me seeing how difficult it is for some to accept change in others be it your hair, the sound of the music, the shoes you wear. My marriage ended because my husband couldn’t accept the changes I had made with my beliefs. What I have come to accept and learn is that those who no longer serve our highest good naturally fall away from our lives the moment we let go and let the Universe work its magic. When that which doesn’t serve us anymore falls away, it makes room for that which IS for our highest good to reach us. I embrace change in myself and others. Staying stagnate and the same would mean you aren’t learning and growing. You, my friend, have done a beautiful job of changing. You are the Phoenix rising from the ashes and being reborn into something new and better than your last incarnation. I have mad respect for you, Deryck.

user1: Oh what happened to the days where you guys use to look happy

oktobre17: user1 is that what you see? Unhappy? I see three men who have matured and grown. I see warriors who have come back with new resolve and determination. I see a new dad who likely is thinking about what kind of world and legacy he wants to create for his child. I see a newly married man who is juggling being a member of two bands and his personal life. I see a man who has been to hell and back who hasn’t given up….a man whose big motivation is to create something new for all of you and be able to perform it for you later. Must they always stay the same and have the same goofy silly shots to be deemed happy? sum41

user1: Not saying that at all tho I do not follow there personal life’s to much.

oktobre17: If you look at the posts on this sum41 account, you are following their personal lives. Deryck has shared all of those tidbits along the way.

user1: oktobre17 or your just don’t understand the meaning of “to much”

oktobre17: Do you mean “too* much”? Sure I do…but I am on a roll today and I figure “what the fuck” and threw caution to the wind and spoke my mind and my heart regardless of it still being a Mercury retrograde. Hahaha oh well. I have always maintained that it would be far better to actually have real dialogue than one-liner quips.

user1: oktobre17 so what your say is you take pleasure in coming on here and trying to put people down good to know.

oktobre17: Are you saying that is how you feel? I have not intended to put you down. My intention is always to be a friend to sum41 and show him my support. I get frustrated when I see comment after comment about people whinging about his hair not being the same or wanting the music to be exactly the same, or want them to always maintain the same playful campiness in photos they are known for. There are shitloads of people who complain that Dave and Steve aren’t in the band as if Deryck has a hand in their no longer being in the band. Dave and Steve made free will choices to move on and do something else. This was not something Deryck wanted but he has no control over their choices. Deryck’s main focus right now is to move forward with his life and part of that is creating the best fucking Sum 41 album of his life…until the next one. My point is, I wish people would stop lamenting and pining away for what was and embrace and support what is now with the band. My apologies if you felt put down. It is not my intention, user1

user2: oktobre17 people have different tastes and opinions and miss things. It doesn’t mean they dislike a thing. I miss the old sum 41 because of the crazy photos and punk side to it and it’s good for a band to know what their fans like. They could try and satisfy most ppl with different styles.

oktobre17: user2 musicians are ARTISTS…not some factory churning shit out just to please the consumer. They take everything that is twisted inside of them and create something and simply hope that some people resonate with their creations. But they create primarily because it is a spark in their soul that drives them. Their creations are expressions of who they are in this now moment. If an artist tries to churn out shit to please others, then they are not being authentically themselves. Wouldn’t you rather they were true to themselves rather than caring so much what others want them to be? I am a writer and if someone tried to tell me what to write and how to write it, it wouldn’t be my creation. It wouldn’t have the same flavor of who I am because I would care too much about what others want and not what I feel compelled to say/write. We should all strive to authentically be ourselves and not bend to conformity of what others wish us to be. sum41

user2: oktobre17 im not saying they can’t change. Im open minded and appreciate all they do but as a fan I am allowed to say that I liked AKNF or Chuck UH whatever more and I wish they play around with different sounds more and take more photos without it looking all the same these days with just a different background.

user3: I don’t want a change I like how they are song like motivation, into deep , fat lip , walking disaster , and underclass hero songs like that please listen to the fans and stay that way

SMH

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