I recently saw a teens react on linkin park (the video being 3 years old at least) where a bunch of people reacted to the band’s music and how it progressed over the couple of decades, starting from their latest release.
Now if you have been living under a literal rock and don’t know what linkin park is, they are a 2000’s rock/alternative band though later branching onto other styles of music, which has led to many people ( a lot of them disguised as old school fans of the band) labeling them as “sellouts”
Now by definition, selling out means ‘a betrayal of one’s principles for reasons of expedience’ In this case, translating to the artist in question abandoning the sound which got them into the eye of the now “fans” and hopping on to the sounds/music that is the trend of the time to stay relevant.
However, it is idiotic to use this term with respect to artists for it severely hinders their growth musically. Anyone who calls an artist or a band sellout while justifying the use of the term by calling themselves a fan is not the fan of the artist but the fan of the sound/genre that has been left behind. This culture has put the artists in a dilemma where if they do the same things they have been doing from the start, they are boring, and if they start changing their sound, they are sellouts.
This trend of shaming artists is followed throughout different genres to some extent, but nowhere is it as intense as in the rock/metal scene music. The song “Watch What Happens Next” By Waterparks describes it perfectly about how bands and artists are shamed out of money by the same culture that has given them the platform to make music and how they are envious of the hip hop scene where the artist has creative freedom on his work without the intense backlash that is followed in band culture
This phenomenon of calling artists out has been happening since the 1960’s where the artists joining a major label would mean the artists becoming mere puppets of the label and creating music that would sell rather than the music they want to actually make. To some extent, these claims can be considered true. But soon after, every change in the musical direction taken by the artists while being with a major label was considered selling out and “fans” would start to boycott them, as happened with Metallica’s Black album (1991) and Green Day’s Dookie (1994). Both of which are considered as the most iconic rock/metal albums ever made.
As for the complete change of genre, as done by Linkin Park and Bring Me The Horizon in the past should be seen as the bands evolving and experimenting with new sounds rather than seeing them as sellouts, even if the sounds have been around for a while. One may not like them but this is what gives us new genres every decade, and if the sellout culture continues, we cannot expect anything new from the Rock / Metal and it will sooner or later run its course.