Destroying Haters

One of the things I struggled with when Berzerker started getting big was haters.

I didn’t get it. People would rain hate on you basically for being known. You’d get emails telling you to die, guestbook entries instructing you to fuck off, and just all sorts of horrible bitchy chat. Even people who hadn’t heard us would stomp us in forums, basically because they saw a picture of us in a magazine somewhere wearing masks. We’d get called fags a hundred times a day. Local bands would bitch about how we weren’t deserving of an overseas tour, not realising that these things work on effort not merit. Hell, I even remember someone putting it out there that they knew who we were (we were anonymous at the time), and that we had rich parents who paid for us to go on tour. I read that after working two jobs and living in a squeezy share household and saving a year for tour. Mold grew on the ceiling in the loungeroom.

It drove me nuts at first. It really got to me. I was new to the world of online posting as well, where communication is a hundred times more raw than the real world. Reading some of the stuff made me feel sick, or got me so angry I’d nearly gnaw my own tongue off. I had trouble dealing with it.

I fortunately received some advice which changed how I felt pretty quick. I think I mentioned it to someone from a more experienced band, and he said words to the following effect:

“Treasure the haters. They’re the first sign that you’re becoming successful. If you don’t have a bunch of strangers who have never heard you spending their time defaming you online, then you’re nothing.”

So I learned a new equation: the more hate you attracted, the more successful you were. That made sense, and even if it didn’t made sense it made me feel better getting all these missives speculating on my sexuality or heritage. Once I started feeling better about it, then I could deal with it, and after a year or two I relished getting hate. It was like someone giving you carte blanche to kick them in the nuts.

The best hate to receive was via email. You’ve sent me an email? From your personal account? Oh goody good good good. Now I can drag out your name, find every site you’ve joined, and mock you in a spectacularly public way. Out of all the idiots to email us – from their personal email address! THEIR PERSONAL ADDRESS! – one stood out above the rest. A young moron called Jonathon Coonrod, budding artist on deviantart, decided to email Luke Berzerker one day to share his opinion on our music. The exchange went like this:

******

LUKE TO SAM :
Hahahahahahah check this
hahahahaha

“Forwarded mail:
From: removed
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 23:00:08 -0600
To: info@theberzerker.com
Subject: Techno Horror

To whom it may concern (hopefully all death metal fans),

You should be ashamed of yourselves and anybody that helps publish your music.
Please don’t bind death metal with techno, it’s embarrassing, especially if your remixing songs from Morbid Angel. For shame.

Best Regards,
Jonathan Coonrod”

SAM TO LUKE:
hah
is it a mate of yours?
Let me know if I can fuck with him some

LUKE:
Not a mate of mine. Feel free!

SAM TO HATER:
G’day Coonrod,

Thank you for your encouragement.
Based on your mail, we have decided to release our version of Morbid Angel’s ‘chapel of ghouls’ on the next CD.
 
By the way, I put your email on the morbid angel board (link out of date)
You don’t mind, do you?
  -sam, berzerker bass.vox

HATER TO SAM:
Aw, your mean

******

Now I wasn’t kidding. I did actually post his email up on the Morbid Angel bulletin board. It seemed like a good way to promote our cover song on the next CD as well as messing with the dude. The post quickly became a popular object of scorn, especially once all his personal details were uncovered by the board, and his last name was widely remarked upon. Someone found his deviantart account and we spent a merry few days critiquing his art. It was kinda fun. I came to understand why people rip on other people’s work.  Two days later, he came back with this:

******

HATER TO SAM:
After reading the posts in the morbid website thats really not cool what you
decided to do. Why do you have to get all personal? Of course everybody’s going
to back you up because not all death metal fans will agree with my opinions. And
I can’t even register to the webpage to defend myself whats with that. Well if
you want to get personal let’s do that. Come to Phoenix, we can meet up at a
park in Ocotillo. You got a band, you got money, come aussie.

SAM TO HATER:
Thank god! For a horrible moment there I thought I hadn’t pissed you off at all.
 
You’re right, everyone has a right to their opinions. For example, I am of the opinion that emailing a band to tell them to stop making music is possibly the most  homolicious thing a person can do. But that’s just my opinion.
 
Come to Phoenix? To a park? To meet you? Pffft.

Should I spend my rockstar megabucks flying across the world to take on some sappy child who cannot draw, or stay here in the UK, soak up some more adoration from metal fans, and buy cocaine by the bucketful?

Wow, hard choice.
Happy scrawling, picasso
-sam bass.vox

HATER TO SAM:
Alright let’s say I’m a sappy homolicious child. So your just going to talk shit
to a little kid and not come to face him when he’s giving you a challenge? Your
a pussy by my book, I’d say by a lot of other people’s too

SAM TO HATER:
Whatever you say, Monet.
 
Because when I’m not working, travelling, hanging with my friends and girlfriend, touring, recording – and making AWESOME morbid angel crossover tracks – I like to spend $1000 on a plane and two days of travelling to kick the ass of children. Just like everyone else in the world.

Best for you if we don’t fight. If you punch like you draw, you’ll only hurt yourself. Has anyone told you that you have the aesthetic sensibilities of Helen Keller?

Can I tell you how wonderful it is to insult someone with a dumber last name than me? I can?
Thank you.
 
-sam bass.vox

******

All these email exchanges in the meantime were going straight up onto the bulletin board, onto the Berzerker forum, and getting broadcast from Myspace to an appreciative audience of thousands.

******

HATER TO SAM:
Go ahead and keep talking shit, your not gonna back it up. You don’t even know
how I look. Hey, what if I came to you? Will you tour in US soon? Will you still
try and talk your way out if I confronted you there?

SAM TO HATER:
Of course I know what you look like.
You’re the doughboy with “own3d by beandork” all over his ass.

As for touring the US, how about never? Is never good for you? Sure as fuck works for me.
God it must frustrate the fuck out of you that I can piss you off, and there’s nothing you can do about it except amuse me with your crippling illiteracy.
 
Now go fingerpaint a bowl of fruit while I do a gabba mix of ‘Domination’.

HATER TO SAM:
But your not taking action, maybe it’s because your foreign? You see, the stance
your taking is kind of like saying your going to jump in the boxing ring and win
the fight, but you never jump in. If your not going to meet then quit talking fool.

SAM TO HATER:
My god, you’re still there?
Haven’t I stripped you of your dignity enough?
 
Can a foreigner help you with the english language? The abbreviation of “you are” is “you’re”. So your sentence “maybe it’s because your foreign” is an ungrammatical example of what passes for the squalid uneducated miasma that you call your brain. You seem to have got the hang of “it’s”, maybe there is hope for you yet.
 
Perhaps this will help?
(extinct link to a gif showing an apostrophe landing in the word ‘your’)

Pardon me if I don’t drop everything to fly to the other side of the planet to fight some random wanker. Us foreigners are kind of funny like that.

I’m not going to quit talking shit to you, and it looks like you can’t stop me. What do you think of that, oh stony broke phoenix boy with bitch tits?
-sam
 
ps: the morbid angel board is LOVING your correspondence, and encourage you to sign up.
 pps: and why not fly to the UK to meet me? You seem to have the big hard on to fight. You go book that plane. I’ll wait here.

******

And there you have it. That pretty much did it for the bulk of our correspondence.  The funny thing is, Berzerker did another tour of the US after this…but I wasn’t on it. I was replaced by Damo, a hardcore surfer and even more hardcore kickboxer. Although I relished the idea that Jonathon Coonrod would mistake Damo for me and turn up and start something, he never appeared.
Most disappointing.

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One thought on “Destroying Haters

  1. […] this manifesto is because they run a popular website, and once you’re popular and online you get swamped by the utter dregs of fuckwittery. Online trolls are anonymous, they’re just a bunch of words on a screen, but goddamn they can […]

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