Hello all MastoDudes and MastoDudettes, Dora here. Normally, I don’t like to write anything personal and I try to create a fun, neutral environment here at FYM. However, there is something that I feel like I need to speak about, because it’s been bothering me for the past few days. Blog readers, band members, fans, and otherwise, I advise you to read this.
Last Friday, I received a very unpleasant phone call from a former friend, accusing me of having “attitude problems” and being “delusional”, among other things. The personal attacks didn’t bother me as much as some of the things he said about the role I play here at Fuck Yeah Mastodon. In his own words, he claimed that Brann Dailor, the drummer we hold in high regard here, is a “money-grubbing motherfucker”, and that Brann “doesn’t care about [me] at all. [I] will never be his friend. He likes [me] because [I] do shit for him for free and he doesn’t have to pay. [I am] a commodity to him”
Sadly, this is not the first time I have heard this sort of schtick from folks I know here in my hometown of Chattanooga. My own mother has suggested that Brann and his wife Susanne both only give a damn about who I am as a person because “they’d have to pay normal people to do what you do for them. You do it for free, so of course they like you”. You know, it’s kind of emotionally draining when all of the people that know you best all say the same thing - that “rock star” and his wife are using me, and I’m a fool to actually think that they give a damn. That’s how jaded and fucked up the mindset is here in Chattanooga. That’s why I want to get out.
Look, I’ll say it straight right here - as the webmaster of this site, I am no better nor worse than any other Mastodon fan. I’ve never tried to bill myself as being all that or as being buddy-buddy with anyone in the band. I have a cordial relationship with the band and a few of their roadies, and that’s it. Troy, Troy’s wife Jeza, Brent, and Bill have all been nice to me the times I have talked to them at shows or at parties, but in the long run, I am just another fan. If this is so, then why the hell do I set Brann and Susanne apart for any reason? The rational side of me says that I shouldn’t, but I still do anyway. Here’s the honest-to-God reason why.
The past three years of my life have been extremely difficult. I don’t want to go into too many details here, but I’ve been battling depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time. It just happened that during this shitty time, I got attached to Mastodon more than before. I have been a fan since Leviathan, but at this place in my life, I found solace in their music when the world around me seemed harsh and unrelenting. The first time I met Brann in May 2010, I didn’t expect him to talk to me that long or even care who I was, but the scary thing is thathe did care. He knew about FYM, already knew my name, and told me that he was proud of the work I was doing. At a time in my life where almost everyone was constantly reminding me of what a fuck-up I was, a “dude in a band” whose lyrics saved me from suicide told me he was proud of me.
As a music blogger and someone with aspirations to be a professional journalist, I might not have found the inspiration to continue on doing what I do if it hadn’t been for Brann and Susanne’s continuous kindness. I met Brann’s wife for the first time almost a year ago, and without even knowing me, she invited me and my friend into her van after a show and played the rough, un-mixed version ofThe Hunterfor us. I was the first person outside of their immediate circle to hear Blasteroid, All The Heavy Lifting, Thickening, and Creature Lives, even if they were only rough drafts. I had to stay quiet about that for so long because I couldn’t give album secrets away, but it was an amazing night that I’m blessed to have had.
Even the times that I’ve acted nervous or weird around them, the Dailors have still been nothing besides kind and generous. Even Brent, as crazy as he can be, asked a friend to tell me that he loved me when I went in for treatment last October. Little things like that mean a lot to a kid like me. I know I’m not friends with them - we’re not in each other lives enough to be friends, and Brann’s got a LOT of urchins coming at him trying to be his “friend” now that he’s famous. He has to be weary of the wrong people, and I get that. Having a high profile can even make the nicest of guys a little world-weary and somewhat paranoid. There are so many kids that think just because they’ve cried to Crack the Skye a few times, that gives them the right to pry into Brann’s life and assume all kinds of stupid things about him, when really he just wants to sign a few autographs and be done.
Still, at the end of the day, I refuse to believe that Brann only cares about me because of FYM and that I promote them, expecting no money in return, because I love doing what I do. I have to tell myself and keep that hope alive inside me during times of doubt that someone in Atlanta really fucking cares about Dora as a person, not Dora, the FYM admin, just like I care about Brann as just Brann, not Brann the Mastodon drummer. I’m not all there, I’ve got my problems and emotional issues to work through, but you know what? Brann’s been where I’ve been. He’s been in mental institutions before. He’s been flat broke and scared like I am. He’s had a history of abuse like I have and has tried to find peace like I have. If he found love and inner peace later in life and found a career that keeps him going, then I know I will, too.
Sorry if this was a long-winded rant, but I needed to get this out of my system. FYM readers, don’t be envious of me. What has happened to me could have happened to any of you. You could be the one that the band has recognized as being the admin for their most popular fan site. What I do isn’t all that special. At the end of the day thought, it’s still ME that’s doing it, so I ask for your respect at all times. Also, if Brann or anyone else in the band is reading this, I might be weird and kooky somewhat, but my intentions are good. I do everything I can to make things with this site work. I don’t expect money. I’m not a gold-digger or a wallet-chaser. What motivates me is a need to give back to the guys who have made the music that’s given me happiness even in the ugliest times of my life.
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