Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rageahol: Why Scion Doesn't Really Matter

So, I have been reading up on the whole Scion/metal controversy and have come to the conclusion that neither side of the whole thing makes any sense. At all.

Here are some of the typical responses I have seen when the topic comes up.

“All the bands that work with scion are sellout!!!!"

Did Magrudergrind add a keyboard player? Were the vocals on the last Gridlink album autotuned? Did Wormrot throw in a techno breakdown on the “Noise” EP that I haven’t heard about yet? No? Nothing like that happened? THEN SHUT THE FUCK UP! Sellout to me means changing your style in an attempt to "broaden your fanbase" AKA GIT THAT MONEY SON!!! None of the bands that have worked with Scion have done that. They're still making the same ugly ass music as before, thankfully. So, that argument is out the window.

"Now the scene is gonna get flooded with a bunch of trendy hipsters!!!"

Ummm...look around you. Too late, dipshit. Besides, that shit was gonna happen with or without Scion. It is just how it goes.

"I don't want some giant evil corporation nosing around in my scene!!!!"

Fair enough. I actually don't have a snarky comeback to that one. All I can say is, i never got my underwear in a bunch about that sort of thing. They make cars, not sure what is so awful about that. I have not really heard any stories about Toyota or Scion treating their employees like shit. You can make the argument that ANY 9-5 job is treating you like shit because it robs yer soul of whatever the fuck but, really? Grow up. As far as I know the cars are not made out of infant corpses *tho maybe that would be a plus for you goregrind guys yes?* so other than just a knee jerk reaction to corporate interaction, I don’t really think this point holds a whole lot of water, but I get it on some level.

The one thing that I have not really seen anyone talk about is why Scion would want to get involved in a very small subculture that has a tendency to reject dealing with people like them on general principle. Well, a quick Google search brings up this article. It looks like they have been doing this sort of thing from the start but just recently branched out into metal. I guess for them, its more along the lines of changing their image from a faceless multinational corporation to something with a bit more character. Scion's VP is quoted as saying that he does not really care if they get anything out of this. I am not necessarily buying that. They can only toss money at something for so long without seeing a return on it before it will come to an end, but lets give this guy the benefit of the doubt and take him at his word. So, a large corporation is offering to let underground bands do whatever the hell they want and keep 100% creative control of what they are doing. Shit. That's better than most record contracts I have read about. If these bands are giving up anything *other than cred amongst the internet nerds* I have yet to hear about it. Everyone involved has had nothing but positive things to say about working with the car company, so I have to ask. What's the problem? Go to the shows, get the free albums. No one is saying you have to ever give money to Toyota or Scion. In fact, it sounds like they are already counting on that. At the end of the day tho, I am not sure why everyone is upset about a group of people helping out bands we like and actually giving them respect for what they do. I think it’s a nice change of pace seeing people embrace creativity and rewarding them for it.

~Marc Sabo


  1. if it really bothers people that much

    they shouldn't worry

    they'll be gone in a couple years


    heres the article i mentioned. I forgot to pass the link along. i am noob.

  3. Scions recent grind promotion is part of their bailout clause although it doesnt strictly say grind, some of the money they were handed must go into what was known as social investment, so personally I think they chose grind as its an obscure nobody really cares genre, bound to make minimal media impact. But Im not complaining for the grind scene its a win win scenario.

  4. if scion makes those annoying dancing hamsters in their commercials start dancing to "so fierce for fuck" then it's time to worry. or laugh. one of the two.

  5. I'm still undecided. I can't say anything negative about Scion until they fuck up.

  6. The problem with scion is that people in the scene think they have the motives of a giant corporation figured out. Also, does anyone else think that a car company endorsement is just as big of a means of selling out as changing your style? I don't think it proves anything that bands haven't changed what they sound like.

    What people don't get is that they are letting a brand become psychologically associated with their art. Somewhere subconsciously, magrudergrind now gets you thinking about their cars, and whether you like it or not, through discussion or whatever means you come around to the idea, you've become a vector in their advertising campaign.

    This whole thing reeks of people being completely out of their league. I don't understand why the scene has decided to trust on their word what everyone knows is part of a system that we all know operates under ulterior motives. Just because we may not be smart enough to figure them out now doesn't mean we should accept a proposition as stupid as "We care about underground music".

    Scion may be giving the scene a financial blanket for now, but don't think for a minute that its not covered in small pox.

  7. Also, I don't mean this to insult the author personally, but its a pretty huge logical leap from "I haven't hear anything bad about toyota" to "Toyota as a corporation hasn't done anything wrong". That seems to me to be a case of willful blindness.

    Granted, Toyota, from my very slight research is certainly not on the level of coke in its exploitation of workers (see murder labor leaders in columbia by Coca Cola financed paramilitaries), but it is more than slightly problematic to assume that the only evil thing corporations do is provide us with shitty jobs.

    Within 5 seconds and a google search I came up with this:

  8. Everyone has their price, it's just that mine is significantly higher (and more long term) than a few grand for a show, a hotel froom for the night and possibly a record i can't make any money from anyway.

    And i'd like the ever present language of advertising to be absent from the music i listen to as well.

    "BOO! ELISTIST!" etc

  9. Ryan,

    Andrew forwarded me that link. While im not excusing what happened *and for fucks sake i hope im not coming off as a scion cheerleader* the story is three years old. Ad there was nothing else on the story other than the initial release date of the story. The closest thing I did find was it looked like toyota backed out of working with Burma. It looks like the crimes were perpetuated by people in the supply chain and not part of direct company policy. Also, my comment was more in reference to treatment of american workers than anything. limited in scope? yes. but for fucks sake when i first started writing this thing it was supposed to be WAY less serious than it turned out. Its strictly an opinion and not in any way meant to be the final word on the situation.

  10. Marc, my point was that without much effort, it is quite easy to find gross misconduct within a corporation. I'm not going to make arguments about whether companies have a moral responsibility to their supply chain, other than that companies which are large and amorphous (not to mention full of bureaucrats) tend to place blaim on what they regard as a separate entity. Hence Coke's lack of response to the hiring of paramilitaries to kill labor leaders.

    I don't really want to debate the merits of capitalism either, but I don't think we can walk blindly into a situation because there's free stuff involved.

  11. I think it's a mute scene for reasons that are pretty self evident to anyone thats attended one of these fests. No one in the grind scene there to see Magrudergrind is going to buy a scion cuz they are out of the price range of your general fan anyways... all new cars are probably out of 98% your typical grind fans budget. This probably applies to black metal fans there to see Wolves in the Throne Room. Or doom fans there to see Zoroaster (both bands that played several years ago at a Scion Atlanta fest).
    The only one group of people that might buy one of their cars (which are really ugly and weird looking as well) is dumb ass hip-hop kids, who I can tell you from experience tend to be far more secretly suburban, trust fund having (yet no tipping at my club), ass little bitches of any group. I say this as a fan of hip hop but someone who does NOT like these scene or group of kids around it (though the girls are cuter.... sorry). They WILL BUY their shitty cars. And all I can figure is someone at the top told the marketing directors to target the youth and here's a grip of cash to do so. So at the end of a few hip-hop showcases at SXSW they had a certain amount of duckets left over for their annual budget and said "lets put one over on our bosses and throw a bone to hardcore/grind (whatever) kids and put on a fest for them. Well tell our bosses that surrreee.... those kids toootalllly have money to buy our cars shaped like a left over liquor boxes!" And if that is the case as I suspect then more power to them for getting together some frankly cool ass showcases for great bands. Every one of the lists of these FREE shows has been awesome. And with a shit ass money grubbing fest like SXSW coming up to ruin my city any group that gets a fest together to let kids see a ton of brutal shit FOR FREE instead of 300 hundred dollar wrist bands can't be all shit bag any way you slice it my book.
    on the 17th Scion/ Prosthetic records show will be at Long Branch (im pretty sure anyways)which is like 11th (maybe 12th) street about two blocks east of I-35 Austin TX
    All Pigs must Die/ Kill the Client/ Ancient VVisdom/ Early Graves/ Primitive Weapons/ Mvtialtion Rites/ Everything Went Black/ maybe more... if you cant get with that than your just a dumb fuck with shit taste in music anyways.

  12. Mute point I meant to say.... not mute scene. Allthough it's that as well in this day and age. Cuz back in my day...blah blah blah blah.....