Sound Off: Worst “Official” Band Websites
Let’s b real here: social media has all but eliminated the need for official band websites. If you’re interested in a band these days, chances are pretty good you’re getting all your news about them via Facebook or Twitter, or through fine journalistic sources like this one. Still, many bands continue to embrace the hottest idea of 1995 with their own Personal World Wide Inter-Net™ Web-Site®©, and by “continue to embrace,” I mean just kinda forget about or not bother redesigning and/or updating.
That’s not to say that official websites are entirely obsolete, merely that it’s a lot easier to see band news pop up in your news feed of choice that you’re already wasting your day with, instead of seeking out tour dates, album details and live photos somewhere else.
“Satanic Necroboner is touring!!!”
A functional, up-to-date and user-friendly website can be a wonderful thing. Not only can it keep fans informed about your band, but in an age of great web design, it can also be a creative outlet to establish a unique presence for your music on the web, attracting new fans and keeping old ones interested. The sites below do not fall into that category. Prepare your delicate iBalls.
Silly goth, you can’t tune a snake.
If you had a band page in the ancient MySpace days of yore, you may have encountered Texan gothic rock band Opulent at some point thanks to their thousands of fans, friends or whatever the hell they were called back then and the many, many images of their star-boob’d bassist in Hot Topic outfits. What you probably didn’t see is their eye-meltingly bad official website, complete with scrolling banners, missing images and link font choices & colors seemingly chosen at random. Don’t miss the mile-long photos page with this little gem at the bottom.
What’s that? You say it’s possible that the site might have looked slightly less shitty several years ago? While the band was still active? And before the site owner’s photobucket account lapsed? No… no. No.
“You!” “No, me!”
I know what you’re thinking, and no, sadly, that’s not Tommy Wiseau. But much like the am-auteur (get it? amateur auteur? lolz!) of The Room and his crapsterpiece that only vaguely resembles a film, Chastain have produced a crapsterpiece that only vaguely resembles a website that doesn’t suck. If female-fronted power metal is your jam, you could do a lot worse than Chastain, however you’d be hard-pressed to find a less organized site.
Check out the roughly seventeen thousand interviews linked from their site, helpfully located two-thirds of the way down the massive homepage, right beneath the eighty or so links to Amazon Japan, CDbaby, FYE, Tower Records and “Newbury Comics” for some reason. Also, like Opulent, their photo page is also a goldmine of bad decisions.
*views own website* “BBLLLEAAAGHH”
Based on Thou’s vocalist’s choice of stage attire, I’m inclined to think their website is some kind of overall mission statement on how appearance doesn’t matter, how their art should speak for itself, DIY 4 LYFE man, don’t judge a book by its cover and all the other piddly crap that fits so nicely on an embroidered pillow. That said, the site landing page still looks like something you’d create in an entry-level web design course, y’know, the kind where they show you how to format a website in Microsoft Word or something. This certainly makes it really, really easy to find shit.
Nice effort, guys.
Tool are a band who delight in fucking around with their fans, avoiding making music, and making documentaries about the shit they do when they’re avoiding making music. Given their singer’s brain-searingly awful taste in home decor, along with their countless hey guys we’re making a new album lol j/k u fans r dumb press releases, it’s no surprise then that Tool’s website is a giant middle finger to everyone unfortunate enough to stumble across it. And like Thou, it’s probably an intentional statement about how blah blah who fucking cares.
All the hallmarks of a shitty page from 1999 are here: Flash animations, super-long pages, laughably outdated graphics, a chat forum that doesn’t work and tiny little image previews that were once cutting edge.
Chiller font: indicator of official death metal content
Alright I’m cheating a bit here since this is obviously an archived version of Obituary’s site circa the sun-dappled halcyon days of 2004 (check out that congrats to Lance Armstrong toward the bottom of the main page!). Notice how nicely it fits in with the overall theme of “this looks like ass.” I particularly like the reverse-pacman skull leaving a trail of dots away from the Tour Schedule header, and… what’s this?! YES! A WAVING AMERICAN FLAG AT THE BOTTOM! USA! USA!
Obituary have since redeemed themselves with a slick modern website, but most importantly they have pioneered the use of a new phrase which we here at Toilet Ov Hell Industries will begin using effective immediately:
STAB HERE. Do not click. STAB. Fucking brilliant. Obituary for President in 2016.