This is a topic that was difficult to dive into because it is SO much more than music, but as we try and figure out why at least 30 people were massacred in cold blood over the weekend (white domestic terrorism for one of them), we need to figure out their motives. There is still much to learn and scapegoating music is not the right response, but one detail from Vice News about the Dayton, Ohio shooter was that he was in a band that had songs about rape and killing of women.
In this awful, diseased sounding genre “Pornogrind,” there is a small scene of bands like the one Connor Betts was in named Menstrual Munchies. Much of the music is being taken down by a bandmate Jesse Creekbaum.
In the most sickening case of irony, Creekbaum couldn’t believe their bandmate would take all of this music to heart.
“I feel shitty having let him be in the band, doing those lyrics,” Creekbaum said to Vice. “Because I know, like, whereas I saw it as a joke — like, ‘Let's play this and we’ll shock some people,’ and then the people that we know laugh — he didn't see it as a joke. He was like, ‘Fuck, yeah. We're gonna do this.’”
“It's like, Jesus Christ, how much of this was like real life for him?” he said.
Some of it is still online and can be purchased on Discogs. One song “First Fucking A Prostitute Mid Siesta” samples the song “Bass Down Low” by DEV and The Cataracs. Another “Stop Rape, Say Yes” samples a Louis CK rape joke. Other song titled include "Preteen Daughter Pu$$y Slaughter" and "Non Consensual Incest Prior 2 Vaginal Evisceration."
This scene that is around in the Midwest, is seen by those in it as a way to shock the system. Menstrual Munchies would perform with bands named Necro Cannibal Ass Grinder, Bill Nye da Nazi Spy, and Cunt Torch. They drew inspiration from shock-rock bands Mentors and GG Allin and often performed naked.
Now this is no excuse to use music, no matter how fucking terrible it is, to scapegoat larger issues. Marilyn Manson was often blamed for shooting at Columbine and well that wasn't right. Music has been used in trials against rappers and those who love to clutch their pearls at societal change often rail against the violence and misogyny in some rap and not systemic issues in America. There is no proof that this scene drove Betts to kill nine people, including his sister and boyfriend, but it is worth considering what drives people to write and perform music like this. Often this is said to be the case when it is a fan, but when it is a performer it becomes different.
Guns are the issue here and how easy it is to get high-powered weapons that make killing lots of people rather easily. That is a primary issue. Not video games – full stop.