The above title is not quite fair, but maybe it also wouldn't be fair to write a more honest appraisal, like “Hunter Hunt-Hendrix would like to see you take art more seriously,” because then the “haters” (you know who you are!) wouldn't be one step closer to reading his recent open letter, posted here. It's not directed at any one in particular, but nonetheless explains a purity of purpose to all those who think of Liturgy's frontman as haughty, effete, over-intellectualized, retrogade to the health and survival of metal, and yes, pretentious.
Those who feel gleefully validated in knowing that Hunt-Hendrix thinks that “music culture could use a whole lot more pretension” can attempt a nuanced reading of the full thing, here.
A choice, out of context slab:
A lot of people don’t take metal seriously as art, and a lot of people don’t take art seriously as ethics. That’s fine, I guess — but as for myself, I do both. These days, when people detect ambition in someone they leap on that person like hyenas. The label “pretentious” is unquestioned as categorically damning. But I think musical culture could use a whole lot more pretension, if anything. It suffers from false, dishonest humility, and from a lack of ambition to be more than either entertainment or a badge of identification with a group. I think the haters have blinders on, and that they are misdirecting their aggressive energy. Somehow, they are hiding.
*Disclosure: Hunter and I were buddies in pretentious at college, and to this day.