Chris Howorth: You Are My Favorite Band and I Hate You

Christ howorth on stage

Below is an All Axess exclusive opinion piece from Chris Howorth of In This Moment, presented without editorial comment.


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Chris Howorth

Hello Readers,
I felt compelled to jot down some of my feelings on the response to my new album Black Widow that just recently came out. I’m really proud of it – it broke all the sales records of our previous albums, it’s our highest charting album in our career so far and it was released on one of the biggest record labels. Our live shows are selling out, our videos have millions of views…it’s really remarkable that we’ve grown so much so quickly and it’s all due to our fans. Our FANS! You guys have always been so amazing.

I have noticed as I browse around online a rash of negative posts and hatred from people calling themselves fans and also from people who legitimately hate us. It’s interesting how a band and music can evoke such strong emotion in people, but I totally get it because I was that kid who felt betrayed, too.

I’m pretty much a normal guy, I think. I grew up loving music and I bought every album or magazine I could that featured my favorite bands. I was obsessed – music was everything to me. Growing up, I had my favorite bands and followed them through all their ups and downs and different albums. I didn’t always like everything they did and sometimes I even felt upset or slightly betrayed because a band did something I didn’t like or agree with. If a band I liked changed the music, image, or a band member left, sometimes I even went as far as saying they “sucked” or “sold out” to my friends. Now that I am a man and on the other side of this, I realize how ignorant I was about the whole thing. I mean, who was I to think I should have any say or input in what a band creates? Why did I feel the need to trash talk someone’s life’s work just cause I didn’t get it? In my mind, I was the center of the universe and how dare my favorite band change a member or try a new sound or direction…aren’t they making music just for me? Me, me, me, me, me…

Reading the comments and rhetoric on news sites and even our own social media pages, I can’t believe some of the things people say. People act like they are inside our heads and write three paragraphs detailing how we changed, why we changed and all this shit that they have absolutely no knowledge about. It’s so freakishly personal to them, but to us we are just making our music, OUR art; and it’s extremely personal to us….because it is us. Our record label didn’t have anything to do with what we created for Blood or Black Widow, they let us do what we wanted. We made these albums ourselves, we grew and evolved ourselves. There was no pressure or guidelines from anyone other than ourselves.

inthismomentblackwidowNow we have all these “old fans” that are complaining how we changed and we need to go back to our old sound and I just want to ask every one of them, where were you when we could only draw 300 people to a show? Where were all of your friends? If we were so great, why were we playing to half empty clubs for 500 bucks? I am proud of our old music and our past but why would we want to go back to barely existing? Back to being on the road away from my family for ten months out of the year with nothing to show for it in the end? Back to when breaking even was considered a success because the money didn’t have to come out of our own pocket? It was either grow and succeed, or break up.

Maria and I wrote Blood at a time when our original band fell apart and the end was in front of us – it saved our career. It changed everything for us. We didn’t say “Hey, let’s sell out for success.” We wrote what we felt and developed a show to go along with it. People liked it, came to see us and bought our album. How dare we betray our old fans? Really?

I remember everyone being all up in arms when Metallica put out The Black Album…or when they cut their hair. Man, people actually got upset that Metallica cut their hair! How dare they?! Ha ha…. Personally, I didn’t like “Let’s Put the X in Sex” by KISS (if you know me at all you know KISS is one of my favorite bands) or a bunch of other stuff they did over the years, but at that time I would never have written them a letter or gone out of my way to let them know how I felt. The Internet makes it way too easy for people to get negativity to the artists who bear their souls on their sleeves.

In the end I really do appreciate everyone’s passion, even the haters. (FYI ,your hatred makes us more popular, so thanks!) Passion is part of what drives all humans to learn, grow, create and dream. The lovers’ and the haters’ passion both drive me. I couldn’t do what I do without ALL of you.

(And hey, this is just my personal observation and doesn’t reflect the views of my band members.)

Chris Howarth

Related: All Axess review on bass guitars that rock.

About Ken Barnes 120 Articles
Ken has been a gamer since 1986, and is a fan of all things retro. He's also a big fan of metal, and has clown hair.

22 Comments

  1. I guess I’m one of those that thought your old stuff was pretty cool and then was absolutely thrilled with Blood, to the point I bought it three times (once Google Play, once on CD, and then the Limited Edition one). To be honest, I was only worried that the style might change with the new album, since a lot of stuff I genuinely like by favorite artists can change rather rapidly (like Clutch) or kind of erode (like NIN) into a different direction and then I’m bummed. But I listened to the full album (the only reason I keep All Access Play Music Google thing now) and was super excited, and got this CD.

    But according to the Internet, I’m one of a few that loves what you’re doing now. That’s cool. I also like Industrial, Bass Metal, Witch House, some Gothic-ish stuff, and all kinds of other things that have really grown and blown up this year. So for me as a fan, it’s been a great year in music.

    As a musician, I think the thing that threw me off the most with your last two albums is the production tone and quality. It’s simply phenomenal, and is hugely inspirational for me. My favorite track is probably still “Blazin'” from before, but now it’s just easier to have all your tracks that are “5 stars” to me and loop them while at work. It feels like a playlist from different artists, and is rather “wide” for any simplified genre assignment and is really nice to just let go and loop for a few hours.

    I’m glad to hear that it’s financially working for you guys, because I have other favorites I adore that no longer exist (Flesh Field, Bitstream Dream, etc) for a few reasons, but I know one of those two just couldn’t make it work out and had to stick with his full time job. I’m still hoping he’ll come back… 🙂

    Anyway, I really love what you’ve done, and it’s had an impact on me (albeit as much technical as much as the art’s contents itself) and I hope it continues. I don’t know, maybe I’m secretly hoping for a more technical article on what you guys did to realize this vision in the studio. Hint…hint… 😉

  2. Chris, i loved your article here. it really hit the nail on the head. i love In This Moment and all of you in the band and love your music. i heard of you in 2009 with the song “call Me” because i always loved that song. But it was not til 2012 when Blood came out that i really noticed your band, What an amazing cd and i fell in love with your band. Had to go see you. drove 3 hours north to orlando in dec 2012 to see you and halestorm. damn what a great concert. i have been following you ever since,. got all your cd;s (and funny i do not like Beautiful Tragedy, but love all 3 of the other cd’s and absoutely love Black Widow. iliked every song the first time i heard them. Alot of times it takes 4-5 times to listen to get to know a song and like it, But black widow was love at first listen,. Keep up the good work and your show is amazing. saw you in January in ft lauderdale too. saw your detroit concert on line. cannot wait to see youlive again. good luck and love to all of you!!!!!!! (i have ot taken out the 3 cd’s of your band in my car cd player since i put them in in 2012! now i just added in black widow.

    • there point just proven, whether new or old fan, ITM honestly finally became a headlining band with blood and many will say how that song got them so hooked they could never look back!

  3. Chris, dude im new to in this moment but i have love every track you guys have made. Maria’s vocals gives me chills down my spine. your new album is different but still an amazing album. i thank you and the other members of the band for giving me real joy hearing good music and Maria’s amazing voice.

  4. I saw you guys in Rockford, IL and I was blown away at the energy of you guys! Maria is a beautiful stunning woman WHY can’t she flaunt it? I noticed the negative comments about her singing and performances, lets see You get on stage and change outfits every set and dance and sing at the same time. I admire ITM’s push to succes, and I am right behind you! You guys deserve your success and Whoever says otherwise wouldn’t even know how to play a chord from your songs. lol. So keep on rockin’ and I will be the first to buy a ticket if you guys come back! You guys rock! I had absolutely no voice after that show, I sang my heart out and Maria did too. <3 Much love! I wish you all the success in the world! and I am infected. I play your CD on repeat in my car daily! xoxox! Please come back to the Coronado Theater! Many of us still love you guys!

  5. I have been with you as a fan since the beginning. Unfortunately I never got the opportunity to go to some of your earlier concerts. I LOVE what you did then, and I LOVE your new album as well. I not only like the sound, but most importantly the passion and real-life issues that you all bring to life in your art. I love what you said in your post, and as I am sure you know, there are many die hard fans who love you, and have always loved you for exactly what you are: amazing artists! m/

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  7. fantastic show last night in San Antonio. I’ve been a fan since the first time I saw you guys back in ’09 I think it was. frankly the people who think your sound is more commercial don’t understand music that well. Blood and Black Widow are some of the heaviest things you guys have ever done, and the riffs are one of the major reasons. Keep doing what you are doing, its working and I am glad you are reaping the success you have earned.

  8. < REAL FAN HERE….. TY Chris for all…ALL of your hard work. It really has shown to the REAL FANS. Music is about growing and changing. NOTHIGN WRONG WITH THAT. I was the guy at them low paying shows that showed up to hear the music. EVERY TOUR YOU CAME TO DETROIT. I WAS THERE. I have a smile on my face when i see how far you guys are. Yet im sad cause now … like most bands in past. Im afraid youll forget the fans. THE FANS SUPPORT THE MUSIC… YOU MAKE THE MUSIC. Cant have one with out the other. MOST BIG bands forget this. (not EU bands though) SO ROCK ON Chris. I was at the Det. Thanksgiving show. THIS WAS BEST SHOW I SEEN.. IN FUCKIGN YEARS!!!!!!….. THANK YOU.

  9. I’m a faithful fan and I love all of your albums, especially black widow. It’s all I listen to in my truck everyday, and for some reason it really speaks to me. I love the dark themes in it, and Maria’s voice contains such true emotion in many of the tracks that it astounds me. Great article and I agree 100% keep doing what you do and I’ll continue to buy albums. For the record your albums are the only ones I have bought in its entirety. Other artists I just buy songs I like. That speaks volumes of the quality of them. Can’t wait for you to come back to reno! You brought me in with the track Whore, and you kept me ever since. Love the new vids, stay true to yourself!

  10. Totally missed all the fuzz in this matter. But I can kind of understand the haters and I can understand a band wanting to do their own thing, totally. Glad to see bands like that still exist, there’s enough so-called top 40 garbage being force-fed to us.
    Lots of times bands changing direction/style fall flat on their hinies. And others succeed, artistically and sales-wise. Sometimes bands need to change to get something out of their creative system, to ‘come back’ stronger than ever, but it can be the ultimate downfall too.
    A new direction/style may need time to grow on you and eventually it could be you decide it’s just not for you.
    A good example is a band like Lacuna coil. They made great albums in their early days, growing in popularity with every album and eventually they scored in the USA and kind of started catering to that audience, resulting in alienating part of their own crowd. I stuck with them for a few albums but eventually lost interest. That’s personal, my choice. Just like a band’s choice to head in another direction….if they have a choice in a creative process where feelings play a big part in the case of music. I’m not a creative person so I don’t know how that works mentally, in a flow or something….I can only try to imagine how that works/happens.

    With In this moment I’m sticking with it for now, it’s interesting to see where they’ll go. But I honestly must say that yes, for now I really do like the first 3 albums better. Could be I lose interest along the way, but hey, it’s a free world. I don’t have to buy new albums…..yeah I know I’m a dinosaur, I buy albums, but hey I buy cd’s, not vinyl, I made progress too….mp3…what’s that 🙂 (hate it). And you as a band create whatever you want, of course.

    This whole thing is two-folded. Of course you as a band want to play bigger crowds and earn a decent living. But I can also understand those first 500 fans. They are the ones who paved your way, laid the foundation for your growth.
    It’s fun discovering a new band ‘nobody’ else knows. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it’s fun, special….can’t exactly put it to words.
    Then they break out and something feels lost a lot of times, it seems less special. Maybe a stupid way of thinking, but I can relate to that. Something that just happens, unconciously. If you’re deliberately doing that and just liking unpopular or unknown bands for just that reason of hey look at me being special blabla is kind of moronic, snobbish…..elitist…..humbug.

    Personally I like smaller shows in smaller theaters. For several reasons. Smaller crowd/better view, way more affordable shows, better sound lots of times, lots of times ‘hungrier’ bands (maybe literally in the band’s case so hey I get that too).
    Why would I pay a ridiculous amount of money for a concert of a ‘big’ band (of which I usually like their old stuff better) where I can attend 5 concerts of ‘smaller’ bands for the same amount of money. And my view is better too with those 5 bands, resulting in more personal shows, a closer feel with a band….that’s how it feels to me.
    So I kind of choose the smaller venues more these days, giving starting bands or smaller bands their shot and I like this mindset, seeing/hearing more bands that way. So maybe I’m one of that 500. But it’s those people who gave you your shot, were your springboard to a bigger audience. It works that way. But like I said, it’s two-folded, I can understand both sides….if you want to call it that.

    End of the day, just enjoy whatever music you want and play whatever you want…..always a choice.

    And coming february I’ll definitely be attending your show over here in Utrecht in the Netherlands…..small venue ;)…..and In this moment is way high on my wish list to see live and now finally it happens. You have become a bigger band and can now play these parts too……in another way two-folded and positive for me :).
    And you have this incredible trump card…..one damn fine hell of a woman lead singer. She’s got the looks….side thing, but hey I’m a healthy man :)…..and I absolutely love her voice, screaming and/or singing. And yeah yeah you guys can play your instruments to boot :D.

    Until february…..I will bring my 16 year old son too, he’s really into lots of music these days and really liked your new video….so he steps in with the ‘new’ style.

  11. Finally someone with good sense!! People can like( or not) whatever they want, but they oughta know that the band is not theirs. Respect is something undisposable, and I’m glad to see someone who has that!

  12. I love Black Widow but there are so many of the older songs I want to hear when I see you live. Have No Fear is one of my favorites. I’ve seen you guys three times and have never heard this live. Why?

  13. I love ITM. I was there when they had 100 people at shows, when Maria would get down from the stage and get on a table and sing. I just saw them on their Black Widow tour and it was just f-ing amazing, I would say it’s the best show of 2014.
    I’m happy that I was able to see them in small venues, I’m happy that they are doing better venues and I’ll be happy when they do arenas. As a fan why
    wouldn’t I be happy that they are becoming successful?
    Like Chris I’ve never understood fans that become haters, I have friends that loved Metallica and then suddenly hated them. I don’t know how many friends I have that simply became haters.

  14. i saw ITM open for KiTTiE like so f’n long ago and i bought the cd at the show. glad i did, beautiful Tragedy was a good cd. and so is Blood. and i havent checked out Black Widow yet but i have high hopes. i just am reluctant to ingest new music, i know ALOT of music, my brain can only consume it so fast. i play guitar really well but i cant always keep inside a format like you do or hold back from wanking like you do. i respect what you do and i hope you keep it up.

  15. Good Article. I never understand why people post bile and hate towards bands just because they change direction. I am much more of a fan of the pre-blood material. The newer material has much more of an electronic and sexualised edge – and I don’t think it showcases your real talent with the guitar to be honest. That said, if sales and popularity are rocketing then I must clearly be in the minority.

  16. Bands nowadays are successful based solely on their live shows. I mean, let’s be honest, most people don’t pay for music they listen too. You guys are AMAZING in concert- as entertaining as KISS, NIN, Tool, and Marilyn Manson. I love the circus!!! You are totally right about Blood- I can’t wait to see your shows for this tour with all my friends, buy the VIP packages, buy all the T-shirts, and I’ll buy fucking socks if you sell those too. Not much in life makes me feel alive, but going to a really awesome ROCK AND FUCKING ROLL concert does. Fuck the haters.

  17. Found this band just trolling iTunes, and bought a couple of songs just because it was different, then I bought several albums because I became more interested. I then was really surprised to read all the hate on various sites.
    Ironic all these self-proclaimed non-conformist are ranting and raving that this band does not CONFORM.
    That shows the immaturity of many “metal fans” honestly, why not just be happy there are bands out there daring to sail into uncharted waters?
    Real rock, from it’s roots, was founded on people who did that very thing, from punk, classic rock, grunge, death metal, etc.

    I will speak the language that matters, I will buy their music and tickets to their shows.
    To each his/her own.
    Love the guitars by the way, and Maria is the perfect front person for this band.
    Keep rocking ITM.

  18. Chris I agree totally. I am a 49 year old male and just found ITM last year and totally fell in love with the band and Maria went to the top of my list of females that kick ass. Then when I heard Black Widow for the first time, I was amazed. You will never please everyone, but as long as you stay true to yourselves and you love your creations, who cares what the haters thinks. It’s to easy for them to lash out. There will always be enough people who respect and love your work. Like your example of KISS and then the best example is the Hair Band Genre still has numerous bands still making a living and the haters come out in droves to bitch about them.

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