Music is an emotional experience and can make us feel amazing. Hearing a band can lift our spirits, provide energy or even leave a positive message. Some bands do not, instead inflicting anger, hate and lots of cringing whenever you hear their songs playing. This is about those bands.
To make this list you need to be big enough to have supporters and feel the love from others (Note: If you hate the band you probably hate this group of fans as well.) The Dave Matthews Band has a lot of followers, but does anyone care enough to hate Dave Matthews? It’s easiest just to ignore him. Also, solo acts don’t make the “band” list so you get a pass Bruce Springsteen and Justin Bieber. Kid Rock should probably get a mention here as well as Ted Nugent. By the way, Nugent probably belongs more on the 10 Rock Stars Who Need a Hunting Show list anyway.
This list is post-seventies. I’m sure there are a lot of Doors haters and even Elvis wasn’t loved by everyone, but those were different times. Glorious drug experimenting times! Honorable mentions include Guns N’ Roses for the shenanigans of front man Axl Rose as well as the childish antics of Blink 182, a band that rode the coattails of the Green Day and Offspring “pop-punk” heyday. Neither made the list, but that’s only because there are ten bands that deserve our wrath even more.
We are looking at bands that have a tendency to push their music, way of life or style on us. It’s not enough to passively dislike them. Have you ever not dated someone because they liked Nickelback? What if someone listed Bono as one of their biggest influences? Would you consider slapping this person? These may not be rational responses, but hating bands is tradition. These bands bring out the rage in many of us!
10 Maroon 5
The classic “sellout” band. Metallica basically rewrote thrash-music history with their first four albums. After Kill’em All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets and …And Justice For All the band was already mainstream; however, they resisted as much as possible. Then it happened: Metallica decided to make a video. Hardcore fans turned quickly, piling on the next album that although heavy, featured more hard rock than the thrash-anger of their first four albums. Then the hate grew when they decided to wear make-up and start getting lots of tattoos. Then the unthinkable – they cut their hair. (Note: The band members were losing their hair - you either go full Axl Rose or you cut your hair!) I don’t know if video actually killed the radio star, but for many that first video killed Metallica.
8 Smash Mouth
Their first album, Fush Yu Mong, was great, it really was. Featuring songs like “Flo”, “Padrino”, “Beer Goggles” and “The Fonz”, Smash Mouth showed an ability to write catchy songs with a slight edge and have a sense of humor while doing it. At some point the band decided they no longer needed an edge or sense of humor, creating pop hits “All-Star” and “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby” - radio-friendly songs. It wasn’t clear who they wanted to be and after the initial popularity of their teen-age bopper hits their 15 minutes were up, followed by Reality TV appearances and presumably state fairs.
7 Stone Temple Pilots
Timing is everything and despite massive success, Stone Temple Pilots have always had a large group of critics reminding them of their shortcomings. Looking back now, the first album was more classic hard rock than grunge, and the next two (Purple and Tiny Music…Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop) were flat out brilliant. Still, it goes back to David Spade on Saturday Night Live’s Hollywood Minute joking he liked the band the first time “when they were called Pearl Jam.” If timing isn’t everything, well then perception may be.
6 One Direction
Fill in Boy Band X here. There are no winners here: The Wanted, One Direction, or Jonas Brothers – really any of these. So contrived, these bands are usually made up of the nerdy guy (glasses or bow tie), muscle or jock guy (sleeves always rolled up), bad-ass guy (facial hair and tattoos) and cute guy. So out of all the possible bands why did I pick One Direction? They have a song titled “Best Song Ever.”
Obviously this band wanted to be U2, but honestly old-school U2 would have drunk Coldplay under the table and then kicked their ass. New U2 would torture the band with a monologue (more to come on this later). Regardless, Coldplay is popular to some and very lame to others. Somehow their initial slow, indie sound morphed into slow, corporate rock and that is awful. This band is too reliant on one hit (“Clocks”) to be as big as they are. Also, not sure if this is intended, but every time I now hear a Coldplay song it sounds like someone is trying to sell me a Buick. Long Live Corporate Rock!
4 Limp Bizkit
So, all of their songs are the same, right? We can all agree on this? How did this band become so big and huge at the turn of the new century? So many questions, but it was a strange time when the nineties stars had either overdosed or went into hiding and no one was ready for the eighties to come back. There was literally no one – except Creed. I know there was a spiritual angle and that each video showed Scott Stapp posing as Jesus, but mostly I remember everyone being pissed because they were so popular. Everyone knew “My Sacrifice”, “Higher”, and “One Last Breath” were the same song, but there was nothing else. Many of us wondered if maybe we had died and this was hell.
One of the biggest bands in the world has been a sham for the past 15 or so years. Their last big hit was “Beautiful Day” in 2000. Their music hasn’t change at all and we sit through Bono monologues as if he was the President. (Note to Bono, you are not the President.) Their latest move, pushing their music onto each and every iTunes user is too perfect, too Bono. At some point I fully expect Bono to force all of us to wake up to his voice “It is Tuesday morning and today you will all be beautiful to each other…” Snooze. Everything about this band is too important, from Bono’s glasses to Edge’s hat to the stage. Spoiler alert: It’s a spaceship; it’s always an f'ing spaceship. Stop the arrogance, U2, and stop pushing your agenda on me!
There is such a thing as understanding the formula for creating rock music. The Beatles knew it, Nirvana understood it and Weezer gets it. Unfortunately sometimes valuable information gets into the wrong hands. In the case of Nickelback, the band has found a way to ensure every single song they record is played around the clock on every radio station at the same time throughout the world. Obviously this is a huge band and Chad Kroeger is the famous front man of this band. However, there is no excuse for creating the concepts of “Rock Star” and “Photograph” and not having any vision and not seeing them through versus creating sappy radio hits. No excuses.
Back in 2001 I went back home to visit family and friends. At a bar the song “How You Remind Me” was playing and there was a very drunk sorority girl (or wishing she was a sorority girl) grinding on some frat guy. It was an awful image to a terrible song I will never get out of my head. My guess is that girl to this day feels the same way.