So… Watain was supposed to perform in Singapore last night for the first time ever (and I conveniently forgot all about it until the night before), and this happens:
And it all started with a petition, courtesy of a certain Rachel Chan, which garnered more than 15,000 signatures overnight. Yet in this whole shitstorm of negative bad press, came along some unexpected benefits to the local scene, and black metal in general.
1. Black metal has never seen more press coverage in Singapore
Seriously, every major English media outlet has at least 1 coverage of the event:
So rather than shutting down the band and the scene, this issue has instead raised the status and awareness of Watain and the Singapore metal scene higher than before. And while we’re at it, for the curious, here is what Watain sounds like:
2. It exposes the insecurity and the weak faith of Christians
The vocal minority of Christian extremists claim to have strong faith in their religion, their God. Yet something as minor as a concert that has the potential for a crowd of *gasp* 150 strong is powerful enough to shake your faith. This says more about your beliefs, and your faith in your religion, than black metal and its fans.
3. A private event goes public
Should the event gone ahead undisrupted, what would likely have happened would have been a toned-down version of a Watain show. The multiple conditions that the IMDA originally imposed on the show in order for it to go on, would have likely ensured that there is no blood, and no fire, whatsoever.
In a private, ticketed space, with an M-18 rating. And with limited personal interaction between the band and the attendees.
Instead, with the cancellation, Watain and the event organisers held a meet-and-greet session outside of the venue, bringing what was meant to be a private event into an open space. As an added benefit, fans got to interact with the band personally, and more intimately. So, joke’s on you.
4. The metal scene is more tight-knit than before
For what it’s worth, rather than causing the scene to crumble and disintegrate as intended, the whole saga has brought the scene closer than before. Even people who have been dormant (like yours truly), or people who have been listening to metal but not active in the scene, are coming out to respond to the ridiculousness of the whole saga.
5. The goal of maintaining an intact “social fabric” has resulted in more animosity
Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam justified the ban by saying such acts will result in more divide between racial and religious groups, and the intention is to maintain an intact social fabric. 2 days later, Shanmugam then talks about how most of the people in the following photo are Malays, and how it affects sentiments in the Christian community:
One has to be pretty daft to think that the middle-finger were to the Christian community. Rather, the middle-finger serves as a “fuck you” to the fickle-minded authorities who first approved the license, before changing their minds at the last minute, as well as the small-minded people who caused the ban.
Yet, our dear minister has decided to weaponise the photo to stir racial and religious sentiments, all in the name of scoring political points with the Christian community. And through this ban, rather than helping to bring the different communities closer together, metalheads have been demonised to look like Satan-worshippers, while Christians have become a target-board for despise and hatred.
So, pray tell, who is the one causing harm in the social fabric here?
6. In the midst of it all the negativity, it warms our cold hearts that there are still logical people out there
Coming from a non-metal musician, no less.
The whole hoo-ha reminds me of the case of Nergal being sued for tearing up a bible in his concert. The multiple times the case got thrown out teaches the intolerant a simple lesson: if you can’t deal with it, then don’t watch it. It’s a ticketed event, so if you are there, you chose to be offended.
Metalheads do not force metal down your throat like you force your religion down everyone else’s throats. Not everyone deep throats like you, so learn a bit from your God whom you claim to be so merciful, and grow some humanity and intelligence.