Someone Wanted To Kill Michael Azerrad Because They Liked The Sound Of His Name

Big-time rock critic Michael Azerrad’s life took an unusual turn recently, when a proggy British emo band called Tubelord* wrote a song about killing him. The murderous ode to him, called “I Am Azerrad,” is their next single, and it features these lyrics:

“I see today, I see you, Azerrad / I’ve read the clues, they lead me to your head / I’ll kill today, I’ll kill you, Azerrad.”

That seems pretty conclusive to me! At least Azerrad got in some good lines about it when he wrote the incident up for Spin–he even tracked down the lead singer of the band, Joe Prendergrast, who acted all quiet and British-y about the whole thing, saying he picked Azerrad’s name because it had a “swing to it.” As Idolator pal Eric Harvey notes, Prendergrast’s defense is pretty flimsy.

“I’m really sorry about that, man. I didn’t want to freak you out. You were kind of an abstract concept — all I knew of you was your name, not as a flesh-and-blood being…[y]ou’re like an MP3 online…Anyone can do whatever they want with you. They can cut you up and make a little remix.”

Huh. Okay. That sounds all nice and Internet-y and stuff, but you are talking about murdering a guy who you don’t know and have no reason to dislike, let alone hate Eh, the guy seems fairly harmless, if a bit of a twit. Maybe it is because he’s in a proggy British emo band.

Elsewhere in the piece, Azerrad relates this story about Ira Robbins encountering guff from an unlikely source:

In 2000, twee poppers Tokidoki lashed out with “Ira Robbins,” possibly as revenge for a bad review Robbins gave their friends. Imagine getting hated on by a twee-pop band — is there anything more humiliating? “Oh, no, I felt immortalized,” Robbins says. “It was my song. Someone had picked me out of all the pile of journalists to point the finger at.” But, he adds, “It would have been different if it was some hardcore band screaming, ‘I’m going to fucking kill you!’ ”

It got me thinking: What kind of bands could threaten my life and actually scare me? Proggy British emo? Do you see that picture up there? What a bunch of losers! I would take down Banana Boy first and move along to Chin Hair there, saving Maybe A Girl for last, but not certainly not least. I have this all mapped out in my head, wherein I execute a series of moves that are a combination of Hulk Hogan and Yoda from Episode II. And if a twee pop band threatened me? Pshaw. If Bunnygrunt wrote a song called “Lucas Jensen’s Head On A Plate”, I’d probably just laugh in their barre chord-strumming faces.

Now, for example, if my foes were a beefy hardcore band from Cleveland or a Romanian black metal group or some tattooed Texas bar rockers with Harleys, yeah, I might worry. Someone affiliated with Suge Knight? Given past history, yes. But Tubelord? Heck, no.

What kind of musical artists would scare you if they started a beef?

Lyrical Assassin [SPIN; HT: Marathonpacks]

*Tubelord?! Is that what passes for a band name these days? Eesh.

  • MayhemintheHood

    I think you should kill this band anyway…and others like it. Oh, and can we also kill the word “twee” while we’re at it? Maybe you should write a song about that, Lucas.

    Some guys I can think of that could possibly take me would be Josh Homme and maybe Peter Steele(Type O Negative/Carnivore). Other than that, musicians are small, scrawny people that would get a mudhole stomped in their ass by me.

  • futurehorse

    And this is how Tullycraft’s “Music Journalists Your New Boyfriend’s Band is Too Sissy To Knock Out” was written.

  • Maura Johnston

    Tokidoki are friends of mine from college!

  • Chris N.

    The only ones that worry me are Norwegian black metal bands. Those dudes are not kidding around.

  • MayhemintheHood

    @Chris N.: Those are obvious, good choices, but most of them are about 5’2. They are still dangerous though because they’ll probably have a bunch of swords and shit.

  • AL

    I saw Deerhunter in Providence about a year ago, and while the rest of the band was setting up, Bradford Cox took the opportunity to call out some local critic named Jeffrey Brown, who’d apparently referred to the band as “pill-popping Pitchfork darlings.” Brown wasn’t there (or was too afraid to show himself??) so eventually Bradford’s jeers devolved into some sort of free improv in which he repeated the name “Jeffrey Brown” and looped it over and over, layer upon layer. I wasn’t too into Deerhunter before, but with that Bradford won me over.

  • Christopher R. Weingarten

    Bunny Brains – Sin Gulls (Goring St. Eddy)
    Sonic Youth – “I Killed Christgau With My Big Fucking Dick”

  • Christopher R. Weingarten

    Also, try to make your tags a little more arcane. Some Mystery Maura Theater 3000 shit up there.

  • Anonymous

    Our band could be your death?

  • MayhemintheHood

    “Maybe A Girl” made me laugh out loud, by the way.

  • RaptorAvatar

    Broken Social Scene infected with the Rage Virus from “28 Days Later” would be kind of amazing. Hell, any band with a lot of people would probably be intimidating. (mob mentality etc.)

  • Lucas Jensen

    @MayhemintheHood: Thanks. I was proud of that.

  • Anonymous

    I gave a (major label) Dutch rapper a bad review a couple of years ago (I am from Holland as well) and he went on and made a song about me and posted it online. I couldn’t listen to it, I was so embarrased by it.

  • westartedthis

    Pantera. hell – any individual member of Pantera.

    motherfucking Oxbow.

  • mike a

    @Maura Johnston: The thought of Peter and Nora from meek, drumless Tokidoki exacting revenge on Ira Robbins is enough to make me giggle (Ira too, I guess). Though it does sound like a concept Peter and Knapik would have dreamed up at the time.

    Does the Angry Samoans’ anti-Bingenheimer “Get Off The Air” count in this category? It’s pretty vicious.

  • mike a

    @futurehorse: He’s reading Pitchfork, he thinks Spin is pretty swell/What about Idolator and…uh, I can’t think of a rhyme for “swell” here.

  • Anonymous


  • bcapirigi

    @AL: I was just going to say ‘Deerhunter played in Providence?!’ but after some googling I realized I saw a Deerhunter show in Providence before. Sadly, that was in my (very brief) druggy phase so I don’t actually remember it. Weird.

    @RaptorAvatar: The Choir Practice? I’d hate to feel their wrath. Or I’m from Barcelona. Or, for different reasons, Leona Lewis. She seems so vindictive and happy when she sings that blood song.

  • Anonymous

    @Chris N.: And some of them have actually burned churches and been in Prison. Yet they still end up looking even less scary than Alice Cooper in photos: []

    Except Mayhem. They do kind of frighten me.

  • Maura Johnston

    i’m scared of anyone who wears lee press-on nails, because those mofos STING.

  • James

    Firstly Tubelord arn’t emo, and its just a song you’re pretty stupid if you take every line of a song seriously. They used it because he’s an icon in the music industry and has a cool name, the song is directly about him because quite frankly they don’t actually care they just wrote lyrics that were catchy; and it is a catchy song if you listen to it.

  • Azerrad

    Agreement with James. It is a song, there is no harm to it, it is an expression of feelings. Tubelord aren't emo, more towards Alternative and Mathrock which is an amazingly hard genre to play requiring so much skill and knowledge about music. This is an extremely ignorant article with no depth of knowledge about the band.

    @MayhenintheHood Musicians are small scrawny people eh? I'd like to see you ass get kicked by their musical talent.

  • 555hmmm

    tubelord are AWESOME. why dont you actually listen to i am azzerad and just appreciate its actually just a reallly good song? Lucas Jensen you are an very very ignorant hahah

  • name

    you come across as very arrogant to think that someone justifying why they wrote their own song, describing them as a twit. why concentrate on killing him when they also say they want to be him, look a bit deeper into the meaning.

  • newnumberorder

    It’s called math rock, dude.

  • angry math rock lover

    its math rock, not emo. they made a song about a guy they don’t know, great, it obviously means they want to destroy him! what is wrong with some people?
    tubelord are respectable, clever guys, and for you to stereotype them because they are in a band which make music which you evidently don’t like is completely out of order. Have you ever listened to their music? only a genius could come up with those pieces of incredibly harmonised riffs and mood-swinging phrases. Their time signatures are so irregular it is insane. Talent like them out smart any of this mainstream bullshit on the radio today, they scrape a living off making masterpieces whilst idiotic selfish popstars pay people to write and compose songs for them to sing and make millions of pounds. They do not need this hassle about making a song which includes a man’s name. That man should be proud his name is included in such an inspirational song!

  • name

    While reading I caught a whiff of poor research and general pettiness.

  • taylorc

    tubelord is badass…azerrad should be flattered