THE INTERNET KILLED MAX CREEPS–GET CONFUSED ABOUT IT
Sublation is a precarious term in philosophy, but is most often used to describe a situation in which something is taken away or “lifted up,” yet becomes something else (usually something greater) during that removal. It’s backwards and ironic, but also sort of makes sense when you think about it; and it’s happening right now in the world of punk rock.
The internet era has proven itself an era of contradiction––a time when non-knowledge (fake news) and online personas (not real folks!) have somehow become the foundations upon which we build our connection to reality. We do this so often that the lines blur, and many an at-home-scroller might pick up their head one day and ponder on the ultimate existential question: “What is real? What do I know? And how do I know it?”
Seminal, genre-defying, revolutionary punk rock duo Max Creeps have recently made themselves masters of Internet irony.
Back up, who? Seminal? Genre-defying? Revolutionary? Who are these guys? If you consider yourself among the top one percent of punk rock fans everywhere and have never heard of Max Creeps until the last couple of weeks, you’re probably not alone. But in the spirit of non-knowledge and reality-melding, Max Creeps sent out this press release a couple of weeks ago:
“Highly-influential Seattle band who formed following a chance encounter at David Bowie’s 1973 Hammersmith Odeon show and went on to revolutionize music, inspiring a legion of bands including the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Wire, and Devo, while simultaneously creating what we now call ‘punk rock’ and abstaining from cementing their songs to vinyl or any format du jour.”
Among the duos’ proclaimed “millions of fans” were some of the most famous living names in punk rock history. After Max Creeps’ breakup announcement, social media was brimming with all-star tributes from members of Guns N’ Roses, Black Flag, Motörhead, Green Day, Ramones, DOA, Killing Joke, and more. Here are some of their mourning cries:
Distraught to hear that the @maxcreeps have broken up. Can’t even explain the influence they had on me as a kid. I started wearing a lock & chain around my neck when I was in the 3rd grade cause I saw the bass player wearing one, didn’t even know who Sid Vicious was.
Laura Jane Grace, Against Me!
Another band that can’t stay together. One of my favorites of all time. Sad day for irreverent punk legends…
Seismically heavy underground off the grid Pacific Northwest punk rock antiheros call it a day?! Must’ve been a heck of a band fight.
Matt Sweeney, Iggy Pop
Is it possible that a band so influential in contemporary music history could go this incognito? As it turns out, yes. From the looks of it, any digital evidence of Max Creeps’ existence pre- “break-up” has been scrubbed from the internet, and you’ll have to take their word for it about never cementing their work in any re-playable form. However, the bemoaned outcries from punk rock all-stars have made the Max Creeps mythology palpable.
Suddenly, stories about the legendary Max Creeps have begun to surface. Tales of 1975 Hollywood, where lines formed twice around the block to get into their shows at the Masque. Shows where some huge names were in attendance: Cheryl Tiegs, Paul Lynde, Charo, Efram Zimbalist Jr, to name a few, were all there taking notes. Oh, and ever heard of the Sex Pistols? Yeah, those guys whose first gig inspired a movement? Apparently their songs were “borrowed” from Max Creeps.
If you’re having a hard time believing all of this, that’s entirely fair. But check out this picture taken in 1976–that gangly teen is 19 year-old Sid Vicious, sporting a Max Creeps tee.
So maybe you’ve known about Max Creeps all along, or at this point have wholeheartedly bought into their epic mythos. Or, maybe you remain unconvinced––in which case you’ve got to admit these guys are master pranksters of the internet age. But no matter where your sentiments lie, Max Creeps does exist in some form or another to everyone who’s heard their name by now. To some, like Billie Joe Armstrong and Slash, they’re a memory, to others they’re a totally new development, and to non-believers, well, check them out of Spotify….
That’s right folks, after a short-fought skirmish over a utility bill that instigated the break-up announcement and a flurry of social media grievances, Max Creeps have officially announced their reunion. You can listen to their newest singles “The Internet Killed Me” and “Burn It Down” on Spotify. They’ve also got a 9-track studio album slated to release May 13, Nien.
So let’s get back to where we started: sublation and punk rock. In quite the philosophical outfit, Max Creeps––how should I say this?––became a thing by not being a thing. Basically, the majority of us only know who the band is because they decided, for a couple of weeks, not to be a band anymore; so, to most of us, Max Creeps only exists because they stopped being Max Creeps. Ironic, right?
But maybe their new, first-ever-recorded work, can offer some better insight. Maybe “The Internet Killed Me” and Nien are little double-entendres. Maybe the 1973 Max Creeps couldn’t exist, couldn’t survive, in the era of the Internet. Maybe they were forced to re-invent, forced to re-create their existence for a new online audience. Maybe. Who can tell with these guys?