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Something of a ruckus exploded last night over a string of Tweets from guitarist Mike Reynolds of Iowan metalcore act For Today, which you can see above.

As you can see, Mr. Reynolds is firmly against homosexuality, with his religion a clear motivating factor behind his comments. For Today are expressly a Christian band, with their Facebook page stating “For Today will stop at nothing until the name of Christ is proclaimed to the entire world.” It’s clearly a big thing for them, so this doesn’t exactly come as a surprise.

Neither, however, was the backlash.

As word of Reynolds’ proclamation spread, streams of abuse started to appear in on various social networking sites. Dozens have left messages of both anger and support – including the members of several bands including Touché Amoré, This Is Hell and Stick To Your Guns denouncing the band and the message – but it’s clear that this is a controversial issue, and many are upset and disappointed, and many have lost respect for them, which leads me to my question:

When expressed in the public sphere, do an artist’s views put you off their music?

Obviously this goes beyond the present story and whether or not you agree with Reynolds’ views, as there are many over recent years who have publicly expressed objectionable opinions: Dave Mustaine and Varg Vikernes being two consistent examples.

Regarding For Today, a gay friend of mine who enjoys their music put the issue thusly:

[quote-symbol symbol1]“They are in a position of quite significant power being in a relatively popular band. They will have a lot of impressionable young fans, some of whom may be gay themselves and will find this whole episode deeply confusing and troubling. For others, it could potentially be their first exposure to such views and they may go on to hold these as acceptable and use them to speak out against others.”

When I asked him the above question, he said this

[quote-symbol symbol1]They’re one of those bands that I’ve listened to and found my enjoyment of the music has derived largely from the fact that I find it so hilarious, on so many levels.

Let’s put it this way, the enjoyment I’ve derived from this band has always been nothing but superficial. It’s a quick fix, but there’s no substance there. They’re the musical equivalent of fast food.

So, will this episode affect my future enjoyment of the band? Well. Given the “level” at which I’ve enjoyed them in the past, I don’t think it will particularly. I’ll still find them hilarious but moshable.

That’s him, but what about you guys? If your favourite band started flinging around intolerant views on issues of race, gender or sexuality, would it spoil their music for you? Let us know.

[I've intentionally kept this as neutral as possible, but I may sound off myself in the comments. Come get me started]

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