Kyle Bobby Dunn (when good artists go bad)

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Dayvan Cowboy
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I still reserve my place to defend him if it comes to light that this is somewhat of a framing, but it is looking increasingly likely that those statements are true. What a shame, really.

They could have kept it quiet and gone to the label, the label(s) could have announced that they were dropping him due to a conflict of interest and left it at that, though. I dislike social media drama.

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I understand the urge Val. Took me a day or two to come to terms with it. Still some internal debate going on inside Mexi-brainHQ too ;-)
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I dunno, it's interesting...I mean personally, if I hadn't read about it on here, I would be none the wiser. I was listening to KBD the other day, would probably have found out sometime soon that he had a new album out, bought it and enjoyed it.
There's very few artists where I connect the music and artist's personality - Talk Talk, for example, or BOC, or maybe SOTL, but only because they're interesting or intelligent characters, or with a story that enhances the music.
KBD would fit into the other category, where I enjoy the music and have read the odd interview, but the artist tends to remain pretty faceless - literally in his case, I wouldn't recognise a photo of him. I guess this is pretty easy to do with instrumental music in particular.
I haven't read much of the stuff he's said, but he's always come across as pretty self deprecating to the point of self-pity in interviews and I'd assumed it was just part of his humour, his schtick, but it seems he has deeper issues.
I'm still not inclined to pay much attention to it all though, for a number of reasons - as I said, I don't have much interest/investment in him as a personality, even though I like his music. Also, a lot of social media, especially Twitter, is a cesspool and very, very few people who get involved in personal disputes on it come out well. How much of a reflection this is of their real personalities is up for debate.
In my own life, I've heard a lot of people - friends, family, acquaintances, work colleagues say some really nasty and suspect stuff, some in jest, some in the heat of the moment, some as a result of deeper issues. All of it had to be heard in person and in context to be judged correctly. I have been guilty myself and these days tend to give most people the benefit of the doubt.
Obviously this only applies up to a point - I can't imagine too many folk still claiming to be Lostprophets fans these days, for example.
None of this is of course to make light of or diminish any of what he might have said (I've read very little of it) - the caveat to the above, of course, is that some people are just arseholes. From a little personal experience, there's plenty in the music industry. Maybe everyone's an arsehole and we only recognise the ones that verbalise the nastier of their internal thoughts.
Anyway, not trying to come across as superior or anything here, just sharing a few rambling thoughts. I'll continue to listen and either he sorts out his personal demons, or not. I'll probably not know much about it.

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Dayvan Cowboy
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I've read through some of the exchanges on twitter and I'm still no clearer as to exactly what he's accused of, although he's certainly coming across as someone with serious problems and not handling any of it well.
There's obvious and time-honoured ways and means to address issues and grievances between people, though, that doesn't involve social media - something sad and suspect about the whole thing being played out on twitter that doesn't reflect well on anyone involved. Something about it erodes any empathy with the real people who have felt real suffering behind it all.
Don't want to seem dismissive, but I can't help but feel it's very distant to me personally, and to my relationship with his music.

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jcnporter wrote:There's obvious and time-honoured ways and means to address issues and grievances between people, though, that doesn't involve social media - something sad and suspect about the whole thing being played out on twitter that doesn't reflect well on anyone involved.

Absolutely agree. This new culture of "exposing" your friends and coworkers publicly on social media is at best a misplaced desire for justice being facilitated by the new attitudes to how these things should be undertaken and, at worst, it is a desire to inflict suffering on others and a form of revenge in and of its self. A lot of these people enjoy their "justice mobs" and enjoy watching their victim's lives fall apart as a result.

I can't help but feel that in other instances that have resulted in someone taking their own life, the online mob knew exactly what they were doing and many that spearheaded it secretly relished the idea of having driven someone to their death by way of social media. I think there have been instances where they have even publicly stated words to the effect of "Good, people like (x) don't deserve to breathe" It is an extreme form of bullying really.

I want to add that outright hostility to people who have made certain extreme/ hateful or at the very least discriminatory expressions like Kyle (allegedly) has drives them further into their beliefs and isolates them. Severing their ties with the world can create a monster because a dangerous person is a person with nothing left to lose. Being a hateful person or a bully should be viewed in a similar light to drug addiction, having an intervention with friends and family and helping them continue having ties to their work and relationships is important. There are no biases at play on my part here and I feel the same way about people who express their desire to kill all whites. Isolating them might actually cause them to act on this as certain events in the US have shown recently in regards to some having such a profuse hatred of whites that they kill and on the other side, very notably, the hatred that Brenton Tarrant had to the Islamic community in New Zealand. Their actions have a common denominator and that is hatred in combination with isolation. A downwards spiral.

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In other news, he's announced the new album will be re-released later this year. Not sure if that's fact or a wish, on another label or self-funded, but it gives me time to work out how I feel about all this I guess?
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Valotonin wrote:They could have kept it quiet and gone to the label, the label(s) could have announced that they were dropping him due to a conflict of interest and left it at that, though. I dislike social media drama.

They could have, but that wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. Nazis and bigots should be exposed and face the consequences for their toxic actions.

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SamuraiDrifter wrote:
Valotonin wrote:They could have kept it quiet and gone to the label, the label(s) could have announced that they were dropping him due to a conflict of interest and left it at that, though. I dislike social media drama.

They could have, but that wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. Nazis and bigots should be exposed and face the consequences for their toxic actions.


I don't want to seem like I'm defending the guy (or in this case giving him the benefit of the doubt) as I don't know what he said or did, but that's kind of the point - reading the twitter exchanges I've seen feels like overhearing an argument between a group of friends or acquaintances - my first reaction is that it's none of my business - I don't know the people involved or the background, history or context between them. My second reaction is that a public place isn't maybe the venue to handle it all - for anyone concerned.
I guess I would also wonder - for someone's past behaviour that they may regret (or be in the process of dealing with as part of a mental illness) to be broadcast out of context on a public forum - what would that feel like for both the guilty party and the victim of the behaviour? What purpose would it serve in the resolution of the situation for all concerned?
But, this is maybe getting away from the point of the topic.

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^ I agree, Jcnporter

SamuraiDrifter wrote:Nazis and bigots should be exposed and face the consequences for their toxic actions.

You have a right to that opinion, but I will say that this constant labeling in an effort to dehumanize your perceived opponents is actually the foundation of a lot of racism and discrimination. These are buzzword terms to detract from the reality that people are just people and to create distance from one's ability to empathise. This is a similar fashion to how the N word was used to dehumanize the black community or how any of a plethora of sexist terms was used to detract credibility from a woman who just wanted the right to express her opinion.

It goes back to the hind brain fight/flight enemy/friend response. The more fearful they make people, the less they can consider the grey areas and the more they revert to unhealthy levels of tribalism.

Unless they have a secret admiration of Hitler and a copy of Mein Kampf, they aren't a Nazi. That term carries a lot of historical weight and it could be seen as disrespectful to the actual victims of the Nazi party to throw it around so readily.

If the reports are true, Kyle Dunn is someone who has bullied others, potentially on both racial and sexism grounds. He also has quite a few dangerous flaws in character. This requires empathy and intervention, as clearly a certain level of hate has worked its way into his mind.

The only people who can't respond to empathy and intervention are those that would seek to hurt or kill you if you tried. Pushing people to isolation like that risks drawing them further into that mindset and they may become violent.

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Problem is, does he want the help? I hope so, but his comments suggest otherwise. My understanding is he's had help and support in the past from many of those calling him out. The whole thing is very sad, with no winners. I genuinely hope he gets the help he needs, atones for his mistakes and leads a happy and healthy life.
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Thing is, we can all think of plenty of artists, no doubt artists we all happy to listen to, that embody either the 'tortured artist' or 'living the rock 'n' roll lifestyle' cliches that we all love.
Behind the myths, though, is always a more prosaic reality of either mental illness or addiction or both and plenty of people they treated like absolute sh*t as a result. We even hear about these things in confessional interviews or read about them in biographies and still it makes no real difference to how we think of the artists concerned or whether we listen to their music.
You could probably name any big singer or band or DJ from the 60s to now and this would be true for them.
Is it just a difference of presentation, or level of fame?

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I contacted KBD a while back (couple of years maybe) simply to tell him that I loved his music and that it really resonated with me and had helped me through some tough times, very much in the same way BOC has. I make music myself so whenever I really connect with someones stuff I always feel like its almost a duty to tell them how much their music has affected me as I'd love to hear that as an artist.

His reply was bizarre, it was as if he didn't really give a fuck that I was taking the time to communicate with him, or care that his music affected me in any way, instead he started asking if I could send him money as he had fallen on hard times etc anything I could afford.

It was such a bizarre transaction and left me feeling really quite confused, his tone was so abrupt and rude and I instantly lost so much respect for him, the biggest shame is that I haven't listened to his music in quite the same way since. How can such a total arsehole make such incredibly beautiful and poignant music.

I guess it's true what they say - don't meet your heroes.

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Just to be clear, I myself have suffered from mental health problems for many years so I am in no way ignorant to how this can affect your life, but in all that time I didn't start treating people like dicks and constantly broadcast how miserable I was and how unfair the world is on social media. The guy is a self absorbed prick in my opinion and reading his Twitter feed confirms this.

https://twitter.com/kylebobbydunn

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That is certainly saddening to hear, Wildfire. I take it that this, in combination with Mexi's recollection, effectively proves that his personality is always in that state of perceived victimhood et cetera and that he seldom displays any form of gratitude.

At the moment he is claiming that people are refusing to talk to him and that he is "all alone" in this without anyone, including fans, offering their support whilst people simultaneously mention that they have inboxed him with words of reassurance and are waiting for a reply.

I think Mexi may be right in saying that he just isn't willing to accept the help or support. If he wants to deliberately isolate himself and get himself tied into evermore extreme viewpoints, that is his decision, but in future he can't claim that the support wasn't there.

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I always try and give people the benefit of the doubt Valotonin, I know from personal experience that when you're at a low ebb you can behave irrationally and often out character, we're all human. However with KBD he seems to actively WANT to be miserable and push people away, in order to make it look like he's a victim and that it's the cruel world that's at fault. I've met characters like him a few times and they are generally toxic, self centred narcissists. I still struggle to reconcile all this with his music as it's so damn beautiful.

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Valotonin, I always appreciate your input, but the claim that calling people who espouse racist views “bigots/Nazis” is somehow on par with using a racial slur is an absolutely terrible, WAY far off the mark take. No one chooses to be black, Jewish, whatever they’re being discriminated against for, whereas racists have CHOSEN their despicable views.

I will not back down from calling out racist assholes when I see them. Looking at the terror they’ve wreaked on my friends and family whose skin happens to be a different color leaves me with zero sympathy for them.

Fascism has resulted in the murder of millions and its making a resurgence. It needs to be snuffed our wherever it appears.

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SamuraiDrifter wrote:Valotonin, I always appreciate your input, but the claim that calling people who espouse racist views “bigots/Nazis” is somehow on par with using a racial slur is an absolutely terrible, WAY far off the mark take. No one chooses to be black, Jewish, whatever they’re being discriminated against for, whereas racists have CHOSEN their despicable views.

I will not back down from calling out racist assholes when I see them. Looking at the terror they’ve wreaked on my friends and family whose skin happens to be a different color leaves me with zero sympathy for them.

Fascism has resulted in the murder of millions and its making a resurgence. It needs to be snuffed our wherever it appears.


That's perfectly okay. I would like to ask a little more detail on what your definition of "snuffed out" is, though.

What I am really talking about here is another and more permanent way of snuffing out the issue. Lowering oneself to the level of hatred/lack of empathy or even violence towards these people only causes them to become more radicalized. They genuinely feel that the more their views are suppressed, the more credence they hold. That the more they are punished for expressing an opinion, the truer it is. When one loses their livelihood etc based on words they have uttered rather than actions, it martyrs them to a certain extent and helps to create more division and radicalization. Unless, and I am guessing not, you are talking about permanent imprisonment or death for anyone that expresses those views, but that in itself would be fascism.

The person who loses their job, their relationships and the life that they have built for themselves for expressing certain potentially hateful opinions, they don't disappear. They tend to become evermore radicalized and dangerous. It could transform someone from a relatively harmless, but obviously offensive, internet racist into a mass shooter who feels they have nothing left to loose.

I heard a lot of the same kind of thing about fundamentalist Muslims in the years following 9/11. That their ideology had caused so much death etc so why should "we" have any empathy for them? Taking advantage of that mindset, the current chapter of wars in the middle east began. They were all "Jihadis just like the ones who blew up the world trade center" - The government could point their fingers and claim that who they were pointing at was loosely associated with Al Qaeda and boom, loss of human rights at the least, but most of the time death. What was the result? More radicalization. It was a hopeless war from the american perspective because with each individual that was slain, a small group of people were radicalized by that death through witnessing the demise of their fellow countryman at the hands of the US.

Each individual should be judged on the merits of their own actions, judging them as a group based on people with potentially similar views always leads to tribalism and extremely negative outcomes. Convert these people into potential allies through empathy rather than solidifying their position as your enemy.

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Keep it on topic please.
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Might want to delete my last post to ensure that it does, if you feel that it would be a good call.
Loosely based on what the best course of action is in Kyle's case, but it was straying off course and will just attract off topic replies and the thread will find its self somewhere unrelated.

Plus I see a potential politics storm brewing and I don't want to be the cause of or involved in that.

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Damn, this is beautiful material. The tweets in question appear to be gone as I don't see much of anything on his account save the aforementioned self-loathing n depression. I would imagine misanthropy is not a particularly remarkable trait across the drone community :p
Being a fan of an artist with a problematic PR record or, worse, one who's carried out irredeemable actions is difficult for many reasons. We've been through it on 2ism before with one artist in particular who long-time posters will likely recollect. Very talented individual who I still listen to when he comes up on shuffle, though knowing what he did tarnishes the work to a degree.

I do not condemn anyone who is able and willing to separate the creative output from the person behind it. If they're great artists I can usually surmount notion that they've made grievous errors or are just terrible people (Michael Jackson, for one).
There are a few artists who are such gigantic douches that even I'm unwilling to overlook their personality and/or actions in order to enjoy their work. Thus far this fellow doesn't appear to be one of them, though. Perhaps when more info comes to light my stance will augment.
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