Did Stray From the Path Rip Off Rage Against the Machine?


Back in July, the Long Island nerdcore outfit, Stray From the Path, turnt shit up with an edgy little marketing campaign and a new video that launched a torpedo out the dickhole of my jockey shorts. Hey, I dig hunkering down Indian-legged on the floor of a dark, wet basement to ascend my physical self through the new Deafheaven vinyl and some thoughtful reflection just as much as the next metal hipster, but it’s not what gets my blood flowin’ south. Maybe things will shift when my sack hair comes in and testosterone levels balance out, but my deal is raw, visceral emotion. I’ll take a two and a half minute blast of riffs and desperation with a catchy hook in favor of some over-intellectualized 10 minute opus. I guess I seek validation of my intelligence through other means, and it has nothing to do with superficially aligning myself with the creations of others. ZING.

Another classic metal-nerd pastime I can’t get with? The comparison game. Maybe it’s just a necessary deviation from describing every band as “heavy as fuck”, or “brutal as fuck” or “aggressive as fuck”… but in the endless cock-measuring contest that is metal fandom, this is just another opportunity for the guy who first saw vagina in line for the port-o-potties at last summer’s state fair to take you on, head-to-head, in a quest to rattle off as many obscure, but vaguely related, bands as possible (“Related”, of course, is open to interpretation). ONLY THEN can true metal fandom be bestowed. There are no winners of this age-old war, and everyone involved is a loser.


Let’s bring it back around to the topic. If you follow scene news at all, you know the comparisons of SFTP to Rage Against the Machine have been bandied about since “Badge and a Bullet” first debuted, and haven’t really backed down since, resulting in an extreme case of butthurt for the band. They chose to express themselves in the following tweets…



Personally, I wouldn’t sweat it. Let the nerds on the sidelines say what they want. They’re on the sidelines for a reason… they don’t matter. I realize as musicians your lifeblood is fans supporting what you do, but let’s not start allowing the drunks in the stands to call the plays. Your gig as a self-respecting artist is to create music authentic to you, not fill requests or target demographics.

Isn’t everyone tired of posing as a fuggin’ influential taste-maker already? Ego run amok. In music, and just about everything else, time washes away the bullshit, and the cream has a way of rising to the top. Seems like metal fans these days preoccupy themselves with publicly approving or rejecting the work of actual artists and building up their image as “most metal” rather than engaging in their own lives. In other words: a bunch of nerds taking themselves far too seriously, presenting themselves as rigorous students of the scene rather than just letting go and embracing whatever it is that happens to move them as listeners. I mean, the experience as a listener is completely unique to you. Your criteria of what is “good” is completely unique to you. So why is everyone treating their opinions as holy fuggin’ scripture?

Is the style embraced in SFTP’s new one reminiscent of the patented sound of Rage? Sure. But… uhhh… since when is it a war crime to take influence from predecessors? As Oliver Sykes, of all people, once tweeted in regards to some recent accusations of ripping off an idea for a t-shirt…


Doesn’t every story of a band’s rise to prominence start with some ambitious sole shredding to old Metallica and Slayer tapes in their childhood bedroom? Innovation isn’t miraculously born overnight in the mind of some chosen vessel, it is the sum of a series of events, or steps taken towards a goal. It comes through dedication, effort, and even failure. Personally, I celebrate bands that throw a monkey wrench into the formula and implement new ideas, for good or ill.

Regardless, I don’t see why a band needs to be innovative in order to be appreciated. I personally love RATM, but for all intents and purposes, they’ve been dead for more than a decade. When I heard SFTP were operating in a similar vein, I was stoked, and eagerly anticipated a re-imagining of the style through the lens of the new breed. Unlike most metal nerds, I don’t hold musicians as some glorious deities, nor do I find covers as acts of blasphemy. Nothing is sacred. Nothing is untouchable. You start putting up walls, and creativity dies… which is what I think most of you want sometimes.

By no means do I think SFTP ripped off Rage, but let’s say they did… WHO GIVES A FUCK? Quit listening to idiots who fancy themselves critics because they can spot a blatant influence. Enjoy what moves you, passionately. Don’t make excuses for yourself, don’t adhere to some strict criteria, and definitely don’t religiously subscribe to the opinions of some geek behind a keyboard (EYYYY!). Wave your freak flag high, and quit giving fucks. Music is to be played and enjoyed, not to be made into some badge validating you as an individual.

Three months removed from the release of “Anonymous“, I still find myself firing this record up and partying my floppy dick off. Shizz just BOUNCES. I don’t give a flying fuck if you find it beneath you, or derivative, or just plain cheesy… that’s your call. I’m just here to attempt to facilitate your own good times. I want to share the love and aspire to inspire you to find your own voice. Just remember, it’s a lot easier to criticize than to put your dick on the line and support something, and those taking the easy route never have anything worth a damn to contribute.

Now enjoy some rad footage of the boys performing an in-studio session for “The Waiting Room“. Pretty legit shit. I love the dead stare opening.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Juice View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.