Attention Starved Death Grips Never Planned To Perform At Shows

Death Grips have the “Attention Starved Whores Who Will Do Anything In The Realm Of The Bizarre Of The Year” award clinched. They were supposed to perform at a Lollapalooza aftershow last week, but bailed and had a suicide note put on screen as their music played lightly in the background instead. Yesterday, other promoters began finding out that the suicide note with background music was, in fact, the planned show. To keep this in perspective, this is a band with a major label distribution deal.

The manager of Chicago’s Bottom Lounge, the first venue to have a Death Grips no show, said the band’s tour manager claimed they were “on their way, only to be told by the same tour manager that the stage set up and the Death Grips album being played ‘was the show. It appears to us that despite having a signed contract, they never intended on performing last night and instead wanted to leave a room of disappointed fans.” A promoter in Boston yesterday was informed of the same things, as were other promoters, and all of the promoters have cancelled the band on their short August tour.

While I “get it” (Death Grips are punk rock, y’all! Defend the punk! DEFEND POP PUNK GAH), I think that Death Grips have crossed a line in public reception. This is a turning from face to heel for me; whereas before, it was about doing things with an edge and an urgency and not caring about what the rest of their peers in the music industry did, this comes off as a deliberate ploy to shock their audiences that has literally nothing to do with music. Is that fan’s suicide note even real? If it is, then why turn it into a joke? If it isn’t, then on what level isn’t this a worthless publicity stunt?

We’re not alone in this disgust with the stunt. The Math Rock Blog‘s Zarif Miah wrote on his personal blog “Death Grips really need to sort their fucking shit out because this isn’t cool at all. Yeah, I get they’re trying to be all edgy and do the whole “we’re not into lateral movement XD” bullshit, but stop fucking around with your fanbase. Go record your album but don’t spend time booking fucking tours and hyping shit up just because you aren’t in the spotlight.” All of their shows have been cancelled by the promoters except for an August 24 appearance at the FYF Fest. It seems Kanye West’s latest record was a cheap knock off of Death Grips, and now Death Grips’ non-recorded plans are a cheap knock off of Kanye West’s demand for attention. What happened to just focusing on your art?

We wish Death Grips luck with their next record, but hope that in the future they don’t manage to screw their fans out of a concert they paid for in the process or do dumb things just to stay in the spotlight. Knowing Death Grips, their next record will be a cover of John Cage’s “Four Minutes, Thirty Three Seconds,” because they’re just so rebellious.

Dan Bogosian
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