deadmau5 said something on his Ustream last night that struck an annoying little chord in me, annoying because it was true. While begrudgingly forging on the topic of the now more than infamous Al Walser, Zimmerman asked:
Is it really that far-fetched that some guy can come out of nowhere and get nominated for a Grammy, and then in the same breath some dude four years ago can throw on a foamy mouse head and play a nightclub in Halifax? I mean, which sounds weirder?
Now, I know that more than most peoples' opinion of Al Walser, including my own is not high in the least, mostly due to his sudden appearance out of left field in a pretty huge playing arena, aka the Grammys. Deadmau5 however, made a very good point; let’s put aside the fact that Al Walser’s nominated song is really just not that good. He was nominated, how in the world that happened I really don’t know, but it did happen. So did, as it were, deadmau5’s fame and popularity. Albeit deadmau5 is a skilled producer who has on more than one occasion proven his worth musically and otherwise, but still, he slapped that mouse head on four years ago and he happened. All I’m saying is when you put aside the actual skill levels of the two, I agree with what Zimmerman is saying. Bring skill level back into the equation however, that is when I do not. There are countless producers/singers/DJs out there whom I have never heard of; I wont begin to pretend I know everything that’s going in the music world, but I do know that everyone brings something different to the table. Everyone has to, or else the music being celebrated today would never have been possible. This is my point: I don’t want to celebrate Al Walser’s music, or at least not what I’ve heard so far. As fans, music makers, listeners, enthusiasts, etc. we want to celebrate the songs and artists we love, and we want to see them do well and get rewarded for those pieces of awesomeness they hand us. So I’m not about to jump in line to high five Walser and tell him that he deserves it. Plain and simply, he doesn’t. Not in my opinion anyway, but obviously there are those who disagree or else someone elses name would be in his place right now.
In a live interview with dubstep.net, Walser spoke for almost an hour answering questions, talking about his work, his life, his values, etc. In response to if he sees himself filling a distinct musical role in EDM, if he sees himself as a unique musical style that is in high demand, and if he views himself as doing what's already being done better, Walser answered that “music is not about worse or better, it’s really about connecting emotionally.” That’s a fine answer, only it doesn’t make sense in relation to the song he’s put out there, and it doesn’t make sense in relation to him in general. Again, there are many artists out there that we don’t know about, and LA is hardly the number one place where EDM is most popular. All of that being said, the fact of the matter is that the guy dropped out of nowhere with his gun loaded with his song, shot it at the Grammys and happened to hit the center this time. Now I’m not exactly a raging fan of the Grammys either but come on. Toward the end of the interview, Walser was asked what he says to the nay-sayers of the world, and he replied:
Nothing. They don’t know me, they have no clue what I went through, and still am going through.
That is very true, we don’t know him, I don’t know him. But neither do I know Avicii, Skrillex, Calvin Harris, the members of Swedish House Mafia, the list goes on. And I’m sure they’ve all been through something too; we’re human, going through difficult times is what happens to us. Every person's story is very different, but what remains the same is that we all go through something. Now look at some of the most accomplished artists out there, and then look at Al Walser; I personally see no connection at this point in time. I know of nothing that links his name and theirs together other than the fact that they all appear on a specific list. If Al Walser comes up with some music that rocks my world and therefore gains my respect, then I’ll change my opinion if that time ever comes. For now, he’s just a person I didn't expect to pop up when and where he did, with an interesting sense of entitlement and a song I'd rather not waste time on again. This is all just my opinion of course, yours may be different, and I’d love it if you feel like sharing. Whether or not you do is up to you, but watch the full interview here if you haven’t seen it already, check out deadmau5's Ustream from last night here, and as always, carry on…