The following opinion is not reflective of that of North Carolina State University or WKNC 88.1. (Though it should be)
Independent Weekly’s music blog, Scan, did an article on local band Airiel Down who recently just recorded a new rock n’ roll version of N.C. State’s fight song combined with the Red & White song.
Listen: Airiel Down’s N.C. State Fight Song Airiel Down’s NC State Fight Song
As a student at N.C. State and longtime fan of the football team, not to mention an avid follower of all things local music related, Airiel Down’s relationship with our football program does not come as a surprise. The fact that N.C. State endorses such an obtrusively meretricious band seemingly coincides with the recent state of our football squad: less than mediocre and still unabashedly brazen. And also much like N.C. State football in more recent years, Airiel Down is arrogant, flashy, and has all the makings of a solid generic-sounding rock band, yet lacks talent and foresight. I am not surprised in the least that we play their song, “Gunslinger,” during every halftime (much to the dismay of my bleeding ears). But to have the ear-splitting and deprecating cover of the fight song displayed prominently for N.C. State fans to see and hear is almost too much. (It sucks)
As those who follow all of the amazing bands in the Triangle know, we have some truly unbelievably talented bands and musicians in our area and while I hate to disparage any local band, Airiel Down is not among them. As someone who spends a great deal of time promoting the good local bands that play in our area and the amount of fantastic music that our local artists create, to have the university I attend choose one that is as strepitous as Airiel Down is not only a slap in the face to myself, the football team, and the entire student body but most importantly the local music scene here in the area that we all cherish and try to support. Here I am: a student at NCSU, local music director on the student-run radio station, and a knowledgeable local music supporter. I could have suggested 25 other bands that would have fit the same genre mold but accomplished significantly more in any realm the marketing department was trying to reach before Airiel Down. All those in charge had to do was reach out to me and ask. To have a band like this represent anything that I genuinely care about is a mockery and a shame for what I stand for and support.
The fact that those in charge of marketing and media attention in our athletic program keep on committing the same judgment errors in not only the athletic aspect of things but also in regards to our student body – Cougar Magnum was recently invited to play on campus – says a great deal about the state of things happening within our university. I question every decision made and ponder at the future that beholds us all here. What scares me most about the decision to have Airiel Down represent our state’s music scene and our football squad to 57,583 screaming fans is that 1. people will stereotype every band in the area from this one exposure as pathetic and amateur or 2. someone might actually like it.
You decide which is worse.
On a side note, you gotta love the El Che shirt Michel Barbachan is wearing during the National Anthem rehearsal. Nothing could be less American than that. Stay Classy N.C. State Football.