I’m sure that I’m stepping into sacred territory here, but there are still things that just suck about the metal world or just being a metal fan in general. From being lepers to society, to the scene kids with plaid shirts and lip tattoos, there are a lot of things to shake your head about. Not to mention the bands that can’t play their instruments any better than Justin Bieber can guide you around the female clitoris is disheartening to say the least. We even have to deal with bands like H.I.M. calling themselves metal. I guess that in order to appreciate the greatness of metal we must also endure a lot of shit to maintain some sort of balance.
The first and most obvious thing that sucks about metal is the general metalhead classification in everyday society. This isn’t the first and won’t be the last time that I bitch about this problem unfortunately. The obvious discrimination in all walks of life sucks mostly when you need those people (landlords, employers, and your probation officer) to be accepting of you. Of course the stereotypes always ruin it for everybody else just like in every other race of people. With the exception of the closet metalhead who secretly thinks that one Van Halen song about the teacher and the Metallica song with the kid praying are badass, it’s safe to say that we can be classified as a race of people. From the trend whore boys in girl’s jeans with their AFI shirts and makeup, to the overweight, undershowered, alcoholics with shitty jailhouse Ozzy tattoos, we stick out like a sore thumb almost everywhere. We’re like the modern day land of misfit toys as a whole. A handful of us were properly built and just chose metal, and a bunch of us weren’t wanted anywhere else because of some obvious or weird flaw (I’m talking to you Mister creepy metal guy who was stalking me at Walmart wanting a gay fling). It sometimes makes dating within the metal circle feel a lot like wading through a septic tank for a shiny penny, but I’ll save that rant for later. We stick together through adversity, have less violent and in turn less fun race wars, and we become traitors for leaving our crowd. When we are discriminated over stupid shit like long hair or tasteful piercings or ink, it reminds me exactly why I still support genocide. I must clarify however, when people of any walk of life feel the need to express their ‘individuality’ to the point of looking like Jim Henson’s trashcan, I don’t feel any kind of empathy for their choices no matter how metal they are. Good common sense usually prevails, and it’s not because you’re a metalhead that only Hot Topic or phone sex lines will hire you with that purple dick eating half monkey half monster tattooed on your neck.
Ridicule we face for listening to or playing our music becomes one of the most disheartening parts of being a metalhead. The rebellious asshole in all of us just says “Fuck ‘em, turn that shit louder!”, which is the best solution in many cases. To any ‘normal’ person our music is just screaming, yelling, worshipping Satan while killing babies or white noise. To any metalhead with opposing taste, your current selection in music blows and you should check out these five bands that would have totally gotten a spot on Maryland Deathfest last year if they weren’t banned from borrowing their mom’s minivan. If you like country, you like either modern country or old country and everybody gets along. If you like rap, you’re just an idiot and your usage of random syllables and grunts instead of words makes your taste irrelevant to me. If you like pop and Top 40, you just like whatever is on the radio and have no actual taste in music but you still function in day to day society and don’t have the slightest idea of why metal is appealing. You also hopefully read The Catcher In The Rye and it is telling you to kill Ryan Seacrest. When you like metal, you have too many subgenres to choose from. No matter which you choose it sucks to A LOT of other people including most fellow metalheads. The grindcore kids hate everything with distinguishable lyrics, the black metal kids hate everything from America, and everybody pretty much hates nu-metal.
While still kind of on the same idea, a lot of metal is actually absolutely fucking terrible. I am very diverse and I like everything from grunge to nu-metal to death metal and I am up for anything interesting, however there is a lot of shit out there that is little more than noise to me as well. A bad country song is still storytelling about incest, divorce and riding horses to the tune of an acoustic guitar. A bad rap song is still somebody with a Dr. Suess education finding out how many words rhyme with money and shawty to a constant beat. Metal is a totally different animal. Plenty of rock bands intentionally make shitty music in hopes of finding a mainstream audience in the Top 40 crowd. Even more metal bands duplicate a sound that has already been raped and diluted by hundreds of prior bands in hopes for the same success as their predecessors. In rap, country, top 40, wannabe alternative rock and the bands who think blast beats are the meat and potatoes of every song, it still at least requires a certain amount of talent. This is where my biggest gripe with metal lies. Metal is the genre where kids who want to be ‘musicians’ but don’t have any actual talent and don’t care to improve resort to. The internet and the local metal scenes are polluted with pure garbage. From kids who can’t speak clearly much less hold a tune thinking they’re the next Chris Barnes, to guitarists that make Green Day riffs sound like Hendrix, to bassists who only need the E string, to drummers who just wail on their kick pedals as fast as they can, everybody thinks they’re a metal musician. If you’re awful enough and can revolutionize out of tune guitars and pig squealing at the breakneck speed of your autistic drummer having a seizure on the drum kit then you can be hailed as pioneers in a –core scene and can finally tell your boss at the vegan specialty store to shove it.
All of the shit we have to endure to be a metalhead only makes the rewards of great music and the few great people we meet in our endeavors even more worthwhile. It’s just a shame how much of the said shit is out there that we have to wade through in the meantime. I know that while humanity gets more accustomed to the freak shows we encounter daily, they’ll still never fully accept metal. I also know that nobody will kill Ryan Seacrest for me and I’ll have to do the dirty work myself apparently. I also fully expect there to be shitty metal out there for as long as the clitoris is foreign territory to Justin Bieber. With that I predict his puberty will be short lived and uneventful before his coming out tweet meaning there will be at least another 70 years of metalheads merely playing charades with instruments in their hands.