Who gets to have the most sex in a rock-band? Is it based on musical skill or is it simply so shallow that it only depends on how good you look? Do people care that you’re the lyricist, or do they just want to lay their eyes on a man with a guitar, regardless of his musical talent? I’ve asked Pontus Klas Wiberg from the rock band “Bohemian Lifestyle” to help me figure out the myths, confusions and misconceptions of the rock world.
Historically it’s always been about the lead singer/front man, even though he’s not the most talented person in the band, the title “singer” that has a certain allure. A singer has the right (in his mind) to point fingers, control the band, and spend the most time in the spotlight. Of course it’s a good thing if he’s pretty, but not every musician is on the hunt to get laid. Some bands, like the political and ideological band, Rage Against the Machine, might just be more into the music making part of the band concept, than let’s say, The Sex Pistols. The latter band has more than simply a political message, and instead choose an agenda of sex, drugs and rock n roll to an extent beyond comparison. I think that bands that have a social critical standpoint tend to quiet down the myth of the “almighty” rock star, and all the glamor that is thought to come with that concept. It’s the opposite of the loyal message the band wants to provide. In this case the rock star feels like the knight in shining armor for the new literalistic party.
As for my band we’ve been playing together since ‘05. We were all just friends from the beginning, and our interest in music wasn’t really something that drove us during our childhood. When we were 13,14 maybe 15, it all really started to become something special and we’ve been trying to nurture that ever since.
I’m guessing the personal stories refer to our sexual and/or decadent behavior? Well, I guess I could dig up some stories there. We’re often considered decent guys, not fighting or making trouble wherever we go. 50% of us are in relationships, and there is nothing fishy going on there. As I said, we’re kind of decent and nice to most people, and I would for a fact never try to cheat on my girlfriend. That’s not rock n roll, that’s just being an ass. In my mind, keeping true to your beliefs and your friends is keeping your music true as well. Everything should be reflected in the music itself, so why would I try to make something that’s made to be considered fake or false? People who are just in it for the money or fame can keep on doing such shit, but I’ll have none of it.
I prefer to leave out his name, but there is one of us who prefers spending nights in other peoples beds. I can’t really say that it always ends up well, but he usually manages. This one time he brought a girl home and texted me the morning after saying: “Dude, I brought this chick home and all I want is for her to leave.” Sadly, the girl caught a glimpse of the text and all hell broke loose. As I understood she screamed at him, calling him god knows what, and just ran out the door. I really couldn’t be bothered, I just laughed my ass off. Comes with the game you know, he probably should have thought twice about texting. Those of us who don’t wander off and on sexual adventures at 4 o’clock in the morning usually prefer the “drunken memories” thing. We’ve done all sorts of stupid shit while drunk, and I actually don’t know why we keep on doing them. Probably because it’s fucking hilarious.
We’ve smashed things (there was a window one time that tasted the wrath of my fists, although it wasn’t meant to), stole stuff (usually posters or signs, but you do wonder what went down last night when you find a bus seat parked in the rehearsal room) and the occasional graffiti (we hold no pride in that whatsoever, we actually cleaned it up the day after).
Now, why do we do that? Apart from it being “fun,” I guess it all comes with the job. Rock n roll was born in the rebellious thinking of the left-wing sixties and seventies, and apart from being highly classy and fancy to be a rock star, I think youngsters feel that they can identify themselves with rock music and that they really want to give the finger to everybody else; to be different or to be unique. The term of unique does however need an explanation in my opinion. As we all go around believing we are unique, which we have been told by politics and other authorities within the societal/mainstream philosophical/religious spheres, the biggest success of liberalism is to make us forget about the collective good. I myself prefer the collective good inspired by punk musicians and metal fans. The feeling of unity when standing at a Iron Maiden concert with 50, 000 fans is like no other feeling. So I do believe that the “being part of something” factor of rock music is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Kids who feel odd or who don’t fit in will always have a spot ready for them in the rock-community, and I think people know that.
There is a common belief that rock n roll has become “hip” and cool for the mainstream audience. I’d say “Whatever.” Being pissed because something is now popular to everyone doesn’t make you a better fan, it makes you bitter and boring. To transcend the fact that other people listen to “your” music, try finding new music or why not welcome people within your midst? Although, speculative realism (as proposed by philosopher Martin Heidegger) tells us that a “thing” that always stands in front of you, always being at hand, will ultimately lose its value. How many times have you heard a song, then listened to it for about 400 times, to subsequently realize that you’ve become tired of it? That’s what this philosophical viewpoint is all about. To keep things charged and interesting, you shouldn’t always meddle with them. I think this goes for everything. As for sex, why sleep with twenty girls in a drunken haze when you can sleep with one and actually enjoy yourself? But I guess these are just things that one has to make up their mind about. I’m just telling my version of the story.
Anyways… I think the singer gets to fuck the most. His talent matters to some extent, but the title “singer” has a bigger meaning. Putting all the subgenres of metal aside, talent matters and will always matter. Guitarists are (generally speaking) the ones providing the most musical input in a band. They come up with riffs, lyrics, beats, et cetera. They also get to fuck a lot, and they gladly split the groupies with each others in a lead singer/guitarist way, like Mick Jagger/Keith Richards, Robert Plant/Jimmy Page, Steven Tyler/Joe Perry, et cetera. A combination of a charming and talented singer and an equally charming and talented guitarist is the best combination. I’m thinking of Hendrix or Prince. Speaking of Prince…there isn’t any sexier musician than him!
I certainly wish that the lyrics and poetry sum up to the bad boy image that the lyricists want to have, but I doubt it. A really “good guy” that writes extremely good lyrics has to be one like Bruce Springsteen, but hasn’t he been married and monogamous since the early 70’s? Then it’s more relevant with “newer” artists like John Mayer (or the older Lenny Kravitz) that have “the whole package”, so to speak. With that I mean that they are great guitarists, singers, lyricists, and they’ve fucked plenty.
Of course we have the sex gods, if they can be called that. The bands that have made themselves famous by being decadent. First and foremost I think of Motley Crue. The bass player has fucked the most (or so people say), and that is against the standard view of a rock band, (referring to that the singer/guitarist gets the most ladies). Mick Mars as a guitarist was the musical talent, but he never bothered staying in the spotlight, and well, he didn’t chase girls obviously. Guns n Roses is one of those decadent bands. There we’ll also find a lot of sleeping around, and the front man (Axl) has stolen the spotlight when it comes to that. These characters are a bit “larger than life”, and they are keeping alive all the myths we know about the sexual part of the rock genre.
The classical hierarchy is (unfortunately?) alive and well. You pick up the guitar because you idolize those who play that instrument and get all the women in bed, and you sing for the same reason. They are the coolest people in the band. The drummer are looked at as the one doing the dirty and idiotic work, no one (non musician) sees the drummer as something else than an extension of a boyish athletic wild one that loves to hit stuff and be loud. The bassist gets the least women (in the overall rock word). Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue has with no good reason (a clear lack of talent) fucked the most women in all the world of rock. So it cannot be for his talent, but only because of a bigger concept that he stands for. The decadence, it might be… and being the “wild boy.”
Overall in my band we let everyone speak and be heard. We don’t have a democracy (me and the keyboardist Daniel are the brainchildren of every song), but we want to satisfy everyone in the band. Maybe it takes the effort and decision making of a few to keep it all going? Everyone can’t decide equally much, because then it would be counter productive. The Romans knew this very well, and they had an empire for quite a while. Me and the lead guitarist Filip take the most spotlight on stage, because we have the most important parts in the band (me being the singer and rhythm guitarist) and he’s the lead guitarist. I sound like a douche…I’m not saying that the rest of the band isn’t important, because they really, really are, but this is how it looks like. So we’re not making the myths on this one, go away.
I think everything is about a strong character, and that can not be find in great knowledge of a instrument or such, because the lyrics have to contain good values and the music has to speak to people.
If you can manage the above, I think you can get to fuck until your dick drops.