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As I Lay Dying Blog From the Road: Nick Hipa On Haters and ‘MIDS’

Metal Blade

In the final of four tour blogs courtesy of As I Lay Dying‘s expert axe-man Nick Hipa, the guitarist tackles the subject of haters. Haters are kids or scenesters who spew hate about bands, actors, songs, sports teams, or other things that have achieved and enjoyed a measure of success. As a result of all that negativity, Hipa has chosen to accentuate the positive things in life, like musically-induced dancing styles, or MIDS.

On a side note, it was a real treat to post these informed and well-written blogs from Hipa. Hey Nick, if you ever decide to retire from band dude-dom, you could easily pick up a career as a blogger. Nice work, bro!

Nick Hipa writes:

“A wise man/friend/our manager once said, ‘Don’t hate, congratulate.’

I believe he strategically delivered this profound wisdom upon us when he overheard someone else criticizing a band that was doing well contrary to peer acceptance. This morsel of knowledge so effortlessly dropped upon me was substantial and still to this day I find myself repeating this quasi-mantra repeatedly.

I can understand why people like or dislike certain things, but I never appreciate hearing a disparaging negative rant about ‘Why Something Sucks.’ It’s one thing to voice your opinion, but to cloud the thought space of others with negativity and hyper-criticism is a straight up bummer. The result then, is I’ve become one of those dudes who opts to seek out the redeeming qualities in everything.

Currently, I can’t think of anything I contemplate the artistic merit of more than Musically Induced Dance Styles (or MIDS as I’ll call them).

My perspective has always been that music is a powerful vessel to express oneself. The musician’s plight, however, is to do so in a manner that speaks to an audience without “selling out.” If you’re going to make a living in music, you have to pump out jams that people will like. What I am starting to marvel upon with the MIDS genre, is that I genuinely believe these artists are being true to themselves, all the while getting over-fragranced-club-goers JUICED!

The rabbit that led me down this tunnel is ISA and his masterpiece ‘Movin’ Like Berney.’ Josh (bass player) introduced me to this song at the beginning of the tour, and in the short span of only three weeks, it has become a staple of my daily physical activity. I know I’m way late to the party, but in the event that you are as well, please YouTube ‘Movin’ Like Berney’ and marvel at an urban masterpiece! Basically, the genius known as Infinity SoAwesome (ISA) took the absolute carelessness of the corpse Bernie from 1989′s ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ and made a dance move out of it. He courageously and ingeniously bundled up cultural nostalgia, wrapped it up in a sick beat, sprinkled a catchy chorus on top of it, and served it up in an extremely low budget video format to showcase how the dance is suppose to be done! There’s no doubt in my mind that ISA is being true to himself, but as icing on the cake, millions of people are fans of it too.

I am one of those fans. It is a fun, harmless, and catchy song that gets a laugh out of anyone I show it to. Though I have spent the majority of my life primarily listening to and playing various forms of metal or rock, I am realizing more than ever that my love for catchiness transcends my love for any specific genre. Being catchy doesn’t pertain to pop or mainstream either, as any Maiden, Priest, or Metallica fan can hum and air guitar you a countless number of tasty riffs from each bands respective catalog. There is a certain skill that all of my favorite musical artists possess, and that is of crafting memorable music. Ozzy and Pantera did it. So did Pink Floyd and the earlier incarnations of The Mars Volta. The list goes on for days.

Now I’m not trying to put ISA in the realm of my musical champions; I’m just saying that he snuck one in this month. And also that if I saw him on the streets, I would immediately move it like Berney and we would probably feed off of each other’s stokedness. That’s pretty much the extent of his significance to me. Well that and he inadvertently let me to thoroughly reflect upon my tastes.

Digging deeper, I’ve noticed a lot of other MIDS have some merit to them as well. The last thing I want to do is champion artists or songs like the GS Boy’s ‘Stanky Legg’ or Cali Swag District’s ‘Teach Me How to Dougie.’ I’d just like to suggest that instead of knocking something that seems stupid or terrible, try considering why you’re giving your attention to it anyway: because tons of people like or are at least talking about it. You might still end up hating it, but by attempting to look at things from other peoples perspectives you may learn a few things about yourself.

As a bonus, there’s a good chance you’ll pick up some fresh dance moves along the way.”

Watch the video for ‘The Sound of Truth’

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