Our latest entry of On a Safer Scene is with Taylor of Beartooth. We’d like to thank Taylor for contributing to this series.
As someone involved in the industry, have you ever noticed any behaviors that you consider harmful in the scene, particularly in regards to harassment and/or discrimination?
Not anything in person, we try to steer clear of bands with shitty reputations for that reason. There are definitely some bands out there, that I will leave unnamed, that I disagree with on pretty much a complete fundamental level. I personally just feel there’s no reason to use derogatory slang terms, whether your intention matters or not, in your music.
You’re not the person suffering from what you’re saying, and you’re just using a pejorative term that degrades another person in the same exact way that people find it harmful. For example, calling someone a Faggot in response to them calling you by that, is in no way turning the word on it’s head. You’re still equating someone to a lower position than yourself by using a hateful word used toward the LGBT community.
What do you think needs to change specifically in order to help create a safer music scene for everyone?
People just need to get their shit together and act like actual adults. Stop doing things to be “edgy” and all that bullshit. If you wanna push the limits, do it musically. That’s why we’re all here right?
If the only way you can garner attention for yourself is by putting fuck on a t-shirt, then what does that say about the music your making? Just aspire to be a good person, be better and whether you like it or not be a good example. We can sit around all day and tell people that we aren’t role models or whatever, but we’re put in a position of responsibility whether we like it or not. If you can’t handle that, then maybe it’s time to find the door.
What role do you believe the following people should have in promoting a safer and more inclusive music scene?
Be more accepting of each other, just because someone doesn’t like a band that you like, or hasn’t been around the “scene” for as long as you have, doesn’t mean they’re a waste of space. Make friends, be kind to people that are different than you, and just have some respect for differences in taste. No one is forcing you to like anything, so don’t be that guy.
Ultimately, be responsible with the platform you are given. You’re an adult and need to act responsibly. That doesn’t mean you can’t party or whatever. It just means that you need to act in a mature manner at all times, and be self aware of the impact you have on people, because we all do.
Hire good security, not just a bunch of idiots that showed up to get paid to stand around. There’s no reason to choke a 13-year-old kid for crowdsurfing. There’s no reason to beat up and pull kids out for moshing. You’re there to keep people safe, not stop them from having fun. Understand the type of show you’re there for and know what to expect.
Are there any places, scenes and/or venues that you’ve noticed to be a safe space? If so, what are they doing that should be emulated by others?
There are plenty, but one I would like to mention in particular would be The Vera Project in Seattle, WA. It’s a non-profit venue that’s funded by the city and charitable donations from organizations it works with. They put on free all-ages shows for kids, and it’s such a sick place for a show.
Are there any particular bands, musicians, and/or organizations you believe are making an effort to help this cause?
Tons, honestly. but I specifically want to shout out the band Stray From The Path, for being incredibly outspoken about their honest views on who they are and how people should responsibly act. Those guys are amazing, and have no problem doing what’s right.
Thanks again for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Take care of each other, and don’t ever let someone act like they’re better than you are! We’re all in this together!