The other day a photo surfaced on the internets of Black Veil Brides performing with some dummy speaker cabs – empty cabinets placed on stage for visual effect. And I guess BVB are a band who attract a lot of haters for some reason, so a lot of people pounced on them for it. Like they were looking for some excuse to accuse the band of being fakes. But y’know what? I really don’t get what all the fuss is about here. Bands have been using fake cabs to fill in stage space for decades. You think Van Halen or Slayer are really going through all of those cabinets? A wall of speakers is part of the rock vernacular. It’s just something we expect to see. And if you choose to do without it, you have to get creative in order to do something with that empty space, otherwise it’s just going to look bare and boring.
Rush’s Geddy Lee often makes fun of this expectation for there to be some big roughly rectangular shape behind him on stage even when he’s running direct instead of through amps. So over the years he’s used rotisserie chicken ovens (complete with a chef to come out and tend to them periodically during the show), clothes dryers stocked with limited edition Rush T-shirts to throw out to fans at the end of the night, and even a steampunk-inspired combination time machine and sausage maker.
Megadeth commonly use huge printed screens as backdrops. Metallica’s stage is basically one giant video screen. And Black Veil Brides, like many other bands, choose to fill that space with speaker cabinets. So what? These guys are working their asses off, they really believe in what they’re doing, and they’re helping to give disenchanted kids a sense of belonging – even if it’s a sense of belonging that they can buy at Hot Topic. So what? Metal has always been about image, and if you listen to BVB you’ll hear plenty of musicianship, melody and attitude to back it up. So they kinda look like Tim Burton’s vision for early Motley Crue. Who honestly cares?
Ultimately, BVB are having the last word on this one. Frontman Andy Biersack just posted this comeback (along with a pic of the band performing with the dummy cabs turned around so you can see their empty innards):
“Through some magic of technology even though our dummy cabs are turned around and empty WE STILL PLAYED A LIVE SHOW. Dear clueless cred police meatheads, the cabs are staging meant to enhance the stage show, but since you couldn’t get that we figured its time we show you what’s behind them. Now sadly it’s time for you to find a new thing to hate BVB about. We play live through DI profiling amps and you’re idiots. By the way amplifiers and speakers are two different things..unless your super cool “core” band has found a way to plug directly into cabs.”
There are plenty of things to dislike BVB for if you don’t personally connect with them, but as Andy says, “Now sadly it’s time for you to find a new thing to hate BVB about.” Your other options are to ignore them or give them a chance.
By the way, how can you possibly hate on a band who covers Unholy by KISS?