The Course of Reason

Music Monday: Skrillex - “The Devil’s Den”

January 23, 2012

I have a confession. I like Skrillex. I know this might be considered blasphemy to dubstep aficionados or people who appreciate intact eardrums and variance in music’s amplitude, as the Skrillex style is often referred to as “bro-step”. Which is a clever way of suggesting that the only people that can appreciate Skrillex are people who are “bros” or those not conscious of how removed his style is from the history of “real dubstep” (NSFW language). I understand dubstep to be a lot different, appreciate it accordingly and in a different way. Perhaps I am a “bro”? Maybe I don’t care? I am, however, a person who interprets music through with a personal bias. Which leads to “The Devil’s Den”.


The track’s few lyrics feature my favorite fictional biblical educator, Good Guy Lucifer. But that alone doesn’t necessarily qualify the track as worthy of a Music Monday post so I have to somehow justify this questionable move to include Skrillex as the artist of the week. Well, I just so happened to be listening to the new album, Bangarang, right after I had been reading one of Robert G. Ingersoll’s essays. Particularly, I was reading his well-known lecture on “The Gods”–you know the one that start with the smart-ass line “An honest god is the noblest work of man,” which is a play on a quote attributed to Alexander Pope–when I came across the following passage:

“If the account given in Genesis is really true, ought we not, after all, to thank this serpent? He was the first schoolmaster, the first advocate of learning, the first enemy of ignorance, the first to whisper in human ears the sacred word liberty, the creator of ambition, the author of modesty, of inquiry, of doubt, of investigation, of progress and of civilization.”

So in a way perhaps, partaking in the process of liberty, reason, enlightenment, and all of those things that Ingersoll outlined we are in a way living in a den of the devil, the worldly manifestation of that serpent’s liberating gestures from so long ago in a fictional garden of Eden. This goes without saying that I do not think that the devil is real, however I think that Ingersoll makes a great rhetorical point that happened to color the way I enjoyed this song. I should also note that I have no idea what Sonny Moore’s religious inclinations are but I think that is beside the point.   

So sit back, turn it up, and enjoy today’s track “The Devil’s Den” for Music Monday—the only place on the internet where you can get commentary on Skrillex and Robert G. Ingersoll in the same post.

As always, if you get a chance, send your suggestions for future Music Mondays to me at, leave a comment below, or @tweet us at @CFIOnCampus. Your suggestions, along with future and past songs, may end up in the official Course of Reason Music Monday Grooveshark playlist or Spofity playlist that anyone can listen to.   




About the Author: Cody Hashman

Cody Hashman's photo
Cody Hashman is a Campus and Community Organizer at the Center for Inquiry. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, with a degree in Psychology, where he was the co-founder and president of the UNI Freethinkers and Inquirers.


#1 Chris-pee on Monday January 23, 2012 at 3:49pm

Good stuff. I try and not to fall into the "It not real this or that" crap. If you like it, you like it.

My recommendation is Frank Turner. Has some good stuff and some great songs. <--My fave.

#2 Matthew Licata on Monday January 23, 2012 at 4:09pm

I don't even know why Skrillex is popularly considered to be any kind of dubstep at all. I mean, the part around 3 minutes definitely is, but the rest (like a lot of his well-liked songs!) has more in common with electro house than dubstep. It's really weird!

Plenty of good songs, though. I think a lot of the hate comes from the fact that he's kind of an ungreat DJ, because a lot of his actual music is really pretty solid when you're inclined to enjoy that kind of fairly simple, loud, banging kind of tune.

(I guess a lot of the hate also comes from being, for many people, the only recognizable personality in a (somewhat misattributed!) genre.)




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