As 2016 draws to a close, regardless of anything else, it can’t be said that it wasn’t an eventful year. When we asked artists to give us their top ten of the year, we also asked them to weigh in on the past year. Not surprisingly, a particularly nasty election year and the loss of so many musicians in the past twelve month weighed on the minds of many we spoke to.
Doc Coyle, Vagus Nerve/Meytal
2016 started out great, and devolved into a cake layered with feces. On the music front, I found myself fatigued by extreme metal, and bored by bands that I have been fans of for years, who put out solid releases, but listening sometimes felt more like homework than passion. It’s impossible to not rate the election as the most consequential event of maybe this decade. It was a never-ending dark cloud spewing Forrest Gumpian little stinging rain, big ol’ fat rain, and rain that seemed to come from up under. And by rain, I mean metaphorical acid urine. The cross pollination of politics and social media has made being caught up in Trump World impossible to avoid. That sinking feeling in my gut still shows up now and then, but one thing we can’t say about our future prospects is that it won’t be interesting.
Doug Sherman, Gozu
2016 wasn’t kind to music fans. From the loss of Sharon Jones, Lemmy to Prince. just to name a few. The one that hit me hardest was David Bowie. Bowie was the king of style and substance and transcended every genre and will influence many generations to come. From collaborations with Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Brian Eno and Trent Reznor to Bing Crosby, Bowie was a musician’s musician and is terribly missed.
Reyka Osburn, Death Valley High
2016 in a nutshell, was pure NUTS. With Brexit and a complete buffoon elected as the American president, you’d have thought the world was spinning clean off its axis. On the other hand, we all believe that all of this was due to an imbalance in the universe by the loss of David Bowie. So, depending on how you look at it, maybe the most significant event of 2016 is really the Thin White Duke’s return to the star, man.
Brandon White, Oni
There have been so many significant things to happen in 2016. It’s really difficult to choose one. From Brexit to the US election, or the Tragically Hip playing their final shows. This year has been a massive one.
Fernando Ribeiro, Moonspell
The death of politics and the utter failure of all the agents implied in the political games. Thus the election of Trump, a non-political person, a madman, against Hillary a product of the system and of course the death of Europe as we knew it, with the uprising of extremist movements, right wing ministers, violence and racism in Eastern countries and the return of borders and suspicion.
AA Namtheaga, Primordial
How could it not be the American election? Saying it was anything else would really be like ignoring a massive elephant sitting next to me here typing this. Fascinating, frustrating, worrying – we ended up with a play for power between a reality TV show wrestling announcer on one side and a warmongering multinational Cruella de Ville on the other. A true sign that the system is broken, people want change and all faith in the political establishment is over. We watch from the sidelines here in Europe, it’s been like watching a car crash in slow-mo. However I’m not one of those people who believe the world is about to end, Twitter opinions are not news and the shrill voice of millennials and SJW’s who have only known fair-trade Obama in charge have just realized they don’t set the worlds agenda. The campus is a far far place from the street, and this is one of the greatest disconnects in modern society as the new left and alt right chop and change positions with their political heritage. We are in the endgame of the social network society. The biggest challenge to them will be the ability to listen in the future, put down the tools of narcissistic activism and talk to the people they have been talking down to for the last couple of years. It’s a drug, the most powerful and brand shiny new drug there is…a 140 word shot to the system, the heroin of confirmation bias. The era of justice junkies. Trump is a warning. Time to put down the needle and get clean and talk to each other…I however am not hopeful for the future. Just means I’ll have more to write about. 🙂 Some men want to watch the world burn! Hasta la vista.
Richie Cavalera, Incite
The biggest thing for us in 2016 was playing 115 shows. It was grueling and killer and to end the year in South America for the first time ever. This has been a year to remember!
Emir Erkal, Voodoo Terror Tribe
In my opinion, the most notable thing that happened in 2016 (even though most people might think that I’m crazy, aside from the show’s fans) was the abrupt ending of the best TV show on cable, ‘Penny Dreadful’ featuring my favorite actress Eva Green, which I still can’t get over. I’m definitely going to have that Penny Dreadful-shaped hole in my heart for a while…