Last weekend, the the UK’s Download Festival had a bit of a mystery, as an unknown band called Iceman Thesis took to the stage wearing masks and played what was billed as their first and last show. Actually, that’s incorrect. At the same time, on different stages, two separate bands, each called Iceman Thesis, played one song, threw VHS tapes of a video of the song, apparently called “Return to Harmony,” into the crowd.
Even before they played, festival attendees and the media began trying to figure out who the mysterious band was. Theories pointed to This Is Menace, a defunct UK supergroup. Kerrang pointed out the many members that had played in the band, including Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke, B’Hellmouth of Send More Paramedics, Charlie Simpson of Fightstar, J.S. Clayden of Pitchshifter, Ben Woosnam of Hondo Maclean, Colin Doran of Hundred Reasons, Matt Davies of Funeral for a Friend, Justin Hill of SikTh, Mikee Goodman of SikTh, Casey Chaos of, Amen, Paul McCallion of Hiding Place, Jeffrey Walker of Carcass, Andy Cairns of Therapy?, Tom Lacey of The Ghost of a Thousand, Karl Middleton of earthtone9, Paul Catten of Murder One, Mark Greenway of Napalm Death, Justin Sullivan of New Model Army, Anthony Giles of Here There Be Monsters. A handful of those bands, including Sikth, played the Download Festival as well, and then there’s the fact that their name is an anagram of Iceman Thesis. Other theories included members of Cancer Bats, Five Finger Death Punch, and even Linkin Park.
Several days ago, Metal Hammer posted a video called “Iceman Thesis Is Dead.” It’s begins with a masked figure with their voice distorted saying that no one will ever figure out who the band is. Then, a handful of musicians, including members of Sikth and Heaven’s Basement, claim that they’re Iceman Thesis. Then another person in a mask displays the following message, via a series of pieces of paper:
From the desk of Iceman Thesis:
This is our first and only public communication. Anyone claiming otherwise on any so called “social” media is a fraud.
Music has become a stagnant, meaningless, expendable and disposable commodity. Iceman Thesis is both the antithesis and the epitome of this vacuous, bland, dead-end, pointless shit. The artists are nearly all gone. We are left with glorified fashion brands obsessed with social media numbers; so-called bands with more items of merchandised products than songs. True music journalism is dead; the media rely on worn-out gimmicks, generic haircuts and pretty faces to fill the pages of their magazines, instead of championing great music. They have forgotten to put the music first.
Iceman Thesis have watched with great interest, te speculation surrounding our creation. It is beautiful but also ugly. Beautiful; because with one song and no history, we were given the opportunity to share our song with two packed stages at one of the world’s biggest rock festivals. Ugly; because the motivation for many people to come and witness Iceman Thesis had nothing to do with music… Many people left those stages disappointed and angry because they did not get the big revelation of famous musicians they desired.
To those who cam to hear our song on its own merit, we thank you from the bottom of our cynical, disillusioned hearts. To those people antry and feeling short changed; Iceman Thesis promised nothing but a song. We gave you that, but this was not enough. Some of you needed us to be Slipknot, or Linkin Park, or Cancer Bats, or This is Menace, or whoever the fuck, in order for us to be interesting enough for you to enjoy. Try to understand: it does not matter who was under those masks, whether we have played some of the biggest staged in the world, or are struggling to get noticed in unsigned bands, under the masks we are all equal. YOU can put on masks and make music for its own sake. You can LISTEN to music for its own sake.
We are Iceman Thesis. You are Iceman Thesis. Iceman Thesis is dead. Long live Iceman Thesis.
The masked figure then takes off his mask to reveal… another mask, and then the video plays. It’s all a bit pretentious, given that the members of the band(s), whoever they are, have certainly thrived on the coverage they’ve gotten from the media before creating a band to bitch about it. Likewise, playing in masks as anonymous members is very much the gimmickry that they’re decrying in their message. That being said, its impressive that they were able to pull something this big, which obviously required a lot of planning, off.
[h/t Richard W.]