Breaking news this week is that the heavy-metal band Metallica has requested the US army to stop using their music during interrogation sessions. In a recent interview with Esquire magazine, the US Navy SEAL who claims to have killed Osama Bin Laden (“In that second, I shot him, two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap!”) revealed that the band didn’t like the idea of their music being used as a torture technique. Which is kind of fair enough, although if someone made me sit in a room and listen to Damage Inc. I’d probably sell my own mother out to make it stop.
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The anonymous shooter continued to say that Demon Hunter, another American rock band (and Christian no less), had stepped in to offer their services. Apparently they were more than happy for their music to be used in the pursuit of fighting big, bad terrorists, saying “We’re all about promoting what you do”. The SEAL said he was actually wearing a Demon Hunter patch on his uniform when he “blasted bin Laden”. What an honour! Since the interview was published the band has released a statement saying that “we have no specific knowledge of our music being used for [interrogation techniques]” but that they are “blessed that Demon Hunter was of any support or comfort to the Seal Team 6 or anyone in the US military at any time.” Hmmm.
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Whilst everyone knows the US army have a certain penchant for water boarding and sleep deprivation as torture techniques, I for one, feel less educated about the musical side of their interrogation. It must be difficult choosing what mix tape you put on before staging a mock execution. After all, everyone likes something different, so whilst playing Calvin Harris’ album at max volume, on repeat, might be one persons idea of hell, for another it could just be a reminder of a good night out at Oceana.
The US seem to have thought about this though (they are clever aren’t they) and so on the ‘Torture Top 10’ list, released by The Guardian a couple of years ago, there is an eclectic mix of genres, each song guaranteed to cause maximum annoyance/panic to at least one suspected criminal. You have ‘Die MF Die’ by nu metal band Dope, and not one, but two, Eminem songs: ‘Kim’ and ‘White America’. But what if they like old school Eminem, when he was funny and on tons of prescription drugs I hear you cry? Well, never fear, because also featured on the list were the Barney the Dinosaur theme tune, the credit music from Sesame Street andddddd ‘Meow Meow Meow’ from the Meox Mix TV commercial, which is basically synthetic singing cats whose musical prowess was originally employed to sell cat food. The video’s below. See how many times you can listen to it before you feel like tearing out your eardrums and pleading for someone to rip out your fingernails instead.