In 1988’s The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, one of the most enduring scenes from the documentary is when W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes is interviewed in a swimming pool while chugging from a bottle of vodka and pouring it over his head, his mother sitting nearby. That scene showed the flip side of the nonstop party, hedonistic lifestyle of ’80s hair metal and portrayed Holmes as a sad and somewhat pathetic figure. Time hasn’t been good to Holmes – he somewhat famously sold his barely-functioning ’87 Firebird earlier this year – or had his friend do it because he’s moved to Europe. Now it turns out that he’s gotten even more pathetic and is blaming black people for ruining metal.
In an interview with Riff-mag.com, Holmes, now living in Cannes, said that only hip-hop sells because the “black culture” has taken over:
“Well, unless you’re the opposite of me — a hip-hop artist or a rapper — you won’t sell in America anymore. There’s no rock magazines anymore. The black culture has really… The black culture has taken hip hop to white… The white culture and all the kids act like that; they wear their pants down. I think it’s… I’m not 100 percent sure, but I when they go to school and they listen to hard rock, it’s called ‘pussy music.’ [They are told] ‘You need to listen to gangster rap.’ I think that’s what it is.”
In your opinion, can you reach big success with your new band like you had in the 80s with W.A.S.P.?
No. Music’s changed. I don’t know about here, but in the States it’s all black rap, all white kids are listening to black stuff. Gangsta rap – white kids are into that, too.
Yes, I know, but I don’t like this music.
Yeah, it sucks! It’s so called nigger music. I’ll say that word, I don’t care if niggers are in the room or not to get my opinion, that’s the way it is. Rap is just starting to hit Europe, and it kind of makes me sick, because I don’t like it when kids act like niggers. Is the word “nigger” bad to say here? When you say it in the States, everybody is pissed off.
There are so many things wrong with this, it’s hard to even know where to start. First of all, what’s extremely thinly-veiled racism in the first interview isn’t even veiled in the second one. Heavy metal, particularly shock rock/hair metal like W.A.S.P.’s, fell out of favor in the early ’90s, and was done in not by hip-hop, but Nirvana. Aside from that, no music is selling like it did in the ’80s. And the biggest selling rap and hip-hop in the past few years has been by Eminem and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, all white. Gangster rap hasn’t been a term since the days of N.W.A. – it’s like calling psychedelic music “acid rock.” No one is calling hard rock “pussy music,” either. Metal is an underground genre, and will continue to be. And there aren’t that many rock magazines anymore, but there aren’t many more hip-hop magazines either. There are, however, plenty of metal websites, all of which are writing about what a racist piece of shit Chris Holmes is. In short, stay in France, Chris – we don’t want you back.