Look, I don’t really know where to even begin. My friend told me this afternoon that Epitaph wanted him to interview Survive This!. He was in the process of organising an email interview when he stumbled upon this post. He told me about it and expressed that he didn’t feel like he could support them. I then took it upon myself to get really angry about this, find the lyrics, read them, puke a little and then write an equally hate-fueled ‘review’ of the song in question.
The song opens with a warning: “Some people call me crazy, I say I’m insane” before launching into an almost-four minute long song about an ‘insane’ guys response to his girlfriend cheating on him. There are songs about this situation literally EVERYWHERE, calling women sluts and expressing their distaste. But it is so hard to even put this in the same category as those songs… this is a whole new level of fucked up.
It’s got the lot; it’s got breakdowns and angry vocals, which isn’t the problem here at all. A lot of bands that spread positive messages also have breakdowns and angry vocals. It’s cool. But when the lyrical content goes to the extent of “Just wait ‘till I get my hands on you. Bleed, bitch, bleed. Wait ‘till you see what’s in store for you. Bleed, bitch, bleed” it’s hard to express anything positive because message trumps sound. The sound might sell; maybe that is why Epitaph have looked past it. But it’s not a message that should be sold. To anyone. Ever. It’s not a message that should have been written. By anyone. Ever.
In a world where domestic violence is super fucking prevalent, it must be totally naïve of me (or anyone) to hope that maybe there are people at Epitaph who would hear those lyrics and say “maybe we won’t promote this”? Apparently not. Apparently this is excusable, because “people can find their own meaning in the lyrics”. Bull fucking shit. We live in a world where 34% of Australian women say that they have experienced at least one form of violence from a current and/or former partner. We live in a world where 1 in 4 American women have been the victims of physical assault at the hand of their partner. When people are listening to lines such as, “Wait ‘till I go to your fucking house, I’ll grab you by your hair […] I’ve never beat a woman, but you’re wearing me thin!” how can we expect them to know that it is not a nice thing to think, or do? How can we teach people about the issues of domestic violence when songs like this are being promoted and shared?
Arguing that people need to take things like this with a grain of salt and recognise that it is a ‘form of art’ is not okay. This is not art in my mind. This is a problematic shit stain. This is a message to every domestic abuser that says ‘hey, you’re not the only one! It’s okay if she deserves it.’ This is a message to every victim of domestic abuse saying that what they experienced was justified. This is a massive let down for a community that used to pride itself on its fight for equality, for it’s fight for respect. There is a massive issue regarding sexism and sexist violence worldwide, this just perpetuates it.
I am so vehemently pissed off about this. I flicked through the rest of the lyrics, they don’t seem nearly as violent and puke-inducing as these ones but that doesn’t make this okay. I never, ever bother posting my opinion online but…
These lyrics are being brushed off by keyboard warriors on absolute punk, by Epitaph promoters, and by Shawn Zyvoloski (the creator behind these lyrics). Both Epitaph and Zyvoloski are suggesting that people ‘look at it from another perspective’ and ‘find their own meaning in the lyrics’. That is not okay. These are not deep and meaningful lyrics that could mean something different for each person. These are lyrics that are normalising and proudly expressing domestic violence. These lyrics are not words that people should find a personal meaning in; these are not lyrics that should hold ANYTHING personal in them. This is not a message that anyone should be promoting, defending or excusing. This is absolute bullshit and I am indefinitely grossed out by Survive This!, by Epitaph and by Shawn Zyvoloski. I know it’s no skin off their back; people are going to buy this record anyway. But fuck, how could something as problematic as this actually get let through?Here are the full lyrics, typed out by yours truly.