Back in November, Sophia Urista, vocalist for metal cover band Brass Against, peed in the face of a fan onstage, and the dude loved it. The stunt was met with mixed reactions — the band apologized publicly as some fans claimed it was an act of assault, Urista herself apologized, NASCAR banned the band from their venues, the local police were asked to investigate, and The Pit’s own Chris Krovatin told readers that if a little pee offends you, you should get the fuck out of metal. But none of this was as obnoxious and pathetic as this pearl-clutching reaction article which claims that Urista’s stunt was “everything wrong about ‘rock’n’roll’ behaviour.”
The article in question comes from Roisin O’Connor at The Independent, whose piece, published shortly after the event, is titled, ‘The Brass Against urinating incident was everything wrong about ‘rock’n’roll’ behaviour.’ In it, O’Connor does very little to explain what exactly was wrong with Urista peeing onstage, other than that it takes part in a long tradition of similar stunts by shock rock artists, and that it’s the kind of thing at which your average prude turns up their nose.
Where it gets fucked up is when O’Connor brings Marilyn Manson and Travis Scott’s Astroworld tragedy into the mix. O’Connor makes no effort to explain how the countless abuse allegations against Manson or the unthinkable deaths of 10 concertgoers are in any way comparable to Urista peeing onstage, or how they should serve as a warning for Brass Against. Instead, the references to Manson and Scott seems to be included solely to cast guilt by association on Urista. These irresponsible artists shocked fans, this was a shocking stunt, ipso facto Urista’s stunt makes her as guilty as they are.
It’s not only lazy writing, but also the kind of bullshit that was pulled constantly by evangelists during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, who condemned bands as satanic murderers solely because they played the same music as, say, Slayer or King Diamond. Roisin wants people to discuss Sophia Urista in the same sentence as they discuss serial abusers and trampling deaths. But anyone who’s watched the footage of Brass Against’s show can agree that the dude Urista peed on felt anything but violated. And no one got hurt, much less killed.
In her conclusion, O’Connor claims that Sophia Urista “was not thinking about the victims created by her on-stage actions.” Victims?! Oh, please! The worst thing Urista did was gross out some fans who don’t like pee and make her bandmates blush. Turning a transgressive act by a rock band into an aggressive one because it assaulted your precious sensitivities is some grade-A bullshit. If it’s really that horrifying, the video has a ‘Pause’ button. And honestly, if Urista’s act offended someone like Roisin O’Connor, then she did something right.
Look, we’re metalheads. What’s disgusting and outrageous to most people is no big deal for us. At the end of the day, that video of Urista giving a guy a golden show rolled off our backs like water (or, you know, pee). But if there’s one thing we don’t care for, it’s people talking shit, making unfair comparisons, and condemning our favorite music as a whole because something made them gasp. If rock and metal’s inherent insanity leaves a grimace on your face, then keep it outta your goddamn mouth.
We leave you with the immortal words of Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister: “Don’t you listen to a single word against rock and roll.”
Words by Chris Krovatin