Oli Sykes – BMTH Were Once Portrayed as Motley Crue-Esque ‘D–kheads’
Over the last decade and a half, Bring Me the Horizon have cemented themselves as a household name within the heavy music community, but they weren’t always so well-respected. Oli Sykes recalled that when the band was first gaining popularity, they were portrayed “as a Motley Crue-esque bunch of fucking dickheads.”
The discussion came up in a reflective interview with Kerrang!, where Sykes explained that BMTH were depicted negatively by the media — even though he felt they didn’t deserve such a regard.
“Our band was kind of branded as a Mötley Crüe-esque bunch of fucking dickheads,” the frontman declared. “One of the first interviews I did, the guy twisted every single word. Things that were said as a joke were put like I was saying it angrily, and it was just a massive shock to me that we were portrayed as these people. I thought I was a nice guy, and there were all these magazines that said I wasn’t. It was amazing just how your words could be twisted into something you didn’t mean, and I struggled with that.”
Sykes added that he became a polarizing figure as a result of the reputation.
“People either painted me as an idol or I was fucking hated. You’re the guy on the cover and it’s Photoshopped and put in the best light, but you can never look like that. And you’re also not this horrible, evil person, you’re just a regular person that makes mistakes like everyone else – but no one thinks you’re a regular person. You’re either a c–t or a god. It’s quite a headfuck.”
Despite the criticism the band endured in its early years, the vocalist admitted he actually feels bad for new artists that are trying to establish themselves now, especially because of the role that social media plays in someone’s success.
“Most labels want you to do skits for TikTok, or be thinking about your social media presence, and that alone is a full-time gig. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a new artist and have that responsibility,” Sykes said. “It’s not just making music, you’ve also got to be an actor, almost. I’m watching it with my wife [Alissic] now, and it’s mad.”
Bring Me the Horizon will spend the summer touring throughout Europe, then they’ll head over to North American for a fall tour, which kicks off with a performance at the Louder Than Life festival in September. Knocked Loose, grandson and Siiickbrain will join them as openers throughout the run. See the dates here.