The Mystery of MySpace Success

Posted June 26, 2008 in Feature Story

You know we live in a mixed up, muddled up, shook-up time when it becomes increasingly easier to hide from failure than it does to limit your success (with success loosely defined by whether or not you have a Wikipedia page devoted to you). These days people learn history through Google searches; concepts like “social networking” have become the new “Jaycees”; and most of the world can be contained in tidy little URLs. Whether these changes are any good or not remains to be invented, but you can at least forgive us this one small chance (fetish?) to gauge a band’s popularity by how many plays it gets on its MySpace page. 


Did you know that we have a band right here in the Inland Empire that has a MySpace page where three-and-a-half million people took the time to “visit” (such a warm Bed & Breakfast-type word)? That band is Suicide Silence, the deathcore act out of Riverside. What this says about the IE is that we make really good deathcore bands from Riverside, ones that are particularly appealing to those who enjoy the occasional Deus deceptor traumatizing the history of metal music, with a vocal so indistinguishable as to sound like equal parts bong burble and painful stomach indigestion. That’s 7.4 million plays; we like our evil served up cyberly, where the devil can’t reach us. 


In this new-fashioned way of looking at popularity, it seems shameful that Alien Ant Farm, also of Riverside, clocks in with a mere 3.7 million plays, given that coked-up Michael Jackson cover they did that KROQ has never gotten over. What this says about the IE is that Riverside makes really good bands that want to embrace Riverside as much as leave it behind.


Three other IE acts are in the millions in overall plays, total exposure to faceless masses who click through their turnstiles. A Thorn For Every Heart, nearing 2.4 million plays on its MySpace, is screamo that defines Chino Hills—or, at very least, clings to it. Riverside’s Impending Doom has a million and a half plays, despite a vox that’s like Jabba the Hutt being perpetually garroted to the rhythm of a Gatling gun and screeching Huffy brakes. There’s something to that.


And then there’s David Sides, whose 1.4 million plays, when saddled next to the others, lends a wild diversity to Riverside (his description of his own music is “Mozart gone hip”). His piano prowess on “Usher Love in this Club” is the antipodes of his MySpace counterparts in this geographical area. 


What all of this says about the IE is that there are some local bands really taking over the fucking world right now, even if the thumbprint they’ve left behind on this region is not enough to make a positive ID. Why Genghis Con Job only has 35,500 plays is a mystery for another day, but in times like these, everything sort of is.


Suicide Silence:


Alien Ant Farm


A Thorn For Every Heart


Impending Doom


David Sides





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