Joyce Manor Ignite Punk Scene Controversy With Anti-Stagediving Stance

Tom Breihan | September 26, 2014 - 1:18 pm

Stagediving sucks. Can we, as a society, just agree on this already? It was cool in, say, 1993, when people generally took turns and attempted to jump on parts of the audience where they weren’t going to straight-up crush people. (And maybe I’m romanticizing even that.) Since then, though, it’s been gorilla fuckfaces who don’t even look before cannonballing into the most sparsely populated parts of the crowd — or, worse, finding ways to jump into the back of the audience, where nobody’s expecting them. I’ve also seen way, way too many people straight-up splat onto the floor, missing people entirely, which is about as dumb as it gets. If you don’t go to punk or metal shows, you might not realize that this shit is still common practice, but it is, and people are (still) getting hurt. It’s a fossilized leftover of a past generation’s rebellion, and it needs to go the fuck away. But now that they’ve taken a public stand against reckless stagediving, the California pop-punk band Joyce Manor are finding themselves at the center of a minor punk rock controversy.

As Brooklyn Vegan points out, the band has lately made a point out of singling out stagedivers mid-show, even pausing things to “shame” one way-too-big guy who’d jumped on a group of teenagers in Jacksonville, Florida. Themusic.com.au has a description of the event:

The “grown man” in question — got up on stage during one of Joyce Manor’s songs and proceeded to stage-dive onto a group of young fans, overwhelmingly described since as being no older than high-school-age. Johnson, noticing the commotion, abruptly stopped the song and pulled the diver up on stage.

“Hey man, how tall are you?” Johnson asked the stage-diver. “How much do you weigh, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Upon being told he weighs about 190 pounds (86 kilograms), Johnson turns to a girl in the audience: “How much do you weigh? Sorry, that’s really rude. You’re much smaller than him, right? It’s completely unacceptable for him to impose himself on top of you. Completely unacceptable, right? Under no circumstances is that acceptable? OK.”

It happens around the one-minute mark of this video. Note that he shakes the guy’s hand afterward.

Predictably, various punk-underground scene-guardian types have taken to calling Joyce Manor frontman Barry Johnson a “pussy” online. Johnson has taken to Twitter to address the debate, and here’s what he says:

Just a reminder: Fugazi used to get hate mail for calling out moshpit assholes at shows. Those “keep each other safe” arguments tend to age well.

Tags: Joyce Manor