You know what we need to normalize? Choosing to not collect every single piece of merchandise a band has released.
Whenever I join a Facebook group for a band that I like, I like to share some of the merchandise I have such as if I have all of the band’s current studio albums in physical form or a collage of myself wearing the T-shirts I own.
A lot of times in those groups, and outside I see most of the fans are avid collectors. The only time I think I’ve ever done something collector-wise was when I decided to get all four statues of the Four Horsemen from Darksiders.
I chose to get all four of them because I love them all as characters, not for the sake of having a complete set.
There is also a statue of Vulgrim the demon merchant, but I chose not to get him. Don’t get me wrong, I like him, he’s my best friend in the game no matter how much of a trickster he is. But there is no more room on my shelf. With limited space, I choose carefully.
So where does the problem arise? Well, almost every time I share in groups or pages what merchandise I have, people start commenting what I’m missing and “need” to get next. For example, I shared in a Lordi Facebook group a picture of all the studio albums on my bed, including the rare Scarchives compilation album.
I don’t spend my money on compilations normally because most of them just have the same songs that are on the studio albums and live versions. But this one had rare unreleased tracks that were originally supposed to be Lordi’s first album: Bend Over And Pray the Lord, so I caved in.
Then, some people commented that Zombilation was missing. When I googled that album, I saw the tracklist was mainly songs I already had and a few rare tracks that I could probably just download individually. That is why I have never bothered to obtain compilation or live albums, because I don’t need three different versions of a song or album to be happy.
I eventually stopped joining Facebook groups of bands I loved because of this, I was just tired of people nagging me. Then, recently this year I decided to join the Orden Ogan official Facebook group once I heard that it was managed by admins who actually take their jobs seriously and to just give it another chance.
Once again cue the comments that I need Testament and The Book of Ogan, but this time I managed to just say “no thank you” to those fans. I reached out to one of the admins about my problems. She told me that it was best to just ignore those people and that despite her being an administrator of the group, she wasn’t a fan with a large collection either but that did not matter.
Since then, I have tried to ignore such comments, but at the same time, we need to normalize different ways of expressing love for a band. It could be through a large collection OR it could be something like the fan draws a lot of pictures of the band and owns the albums digitally instead.
Why should it matter? Isn’t it our love for that said band that matters the most? Lack of material things shouldn’t make someone less of a fan. If they choose not to collect everything because they either can’t afford it or value quality instead of quantity it’s their call. I think that the fans who do collect everything have no business telling fans like me what we need to have/are missing.
So do me a favor and leave me alone, I don’t need compilations or live albums. I can find bonus tracks to download or just listen to them on YouTube. My photo with Lordi is more precious than having Zombilation. If I get the same with Orden Ogan, that is more important to me than one missing EP.