Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why being a heavy metal fan sucks

I have an unhealthy amount of heavy metal music in my collection, and sometimes that can be problematic. Here's why, in an easy-to-digest enumerated format:

A picture of lead, a "heavy metal." This is a visual pun. Enjoy.

1. Listening to metal in your car with passengers.
Sometimes when I'm cruising the streets of Iowa City I just feel like blaring some intense, aggressive music. Metal is meant to be listened to at high volumes, and to avoid property damage at the hands of my irritated roommates I may toss a few brutal CD's in my car instead of filling my house with the sweet sounds of ridiculously down-tuned guitars. This works until someone goes for a ride with me and is assaulted by some good old-fashioned death metal growls. For some reason they feel obligated to judge me with questions like "How can you listen to this?" and "Is something wrong with your CD player?" They often feel obligated to make some kind of mock-growling noise in imitation of the vocals, perhaps to take the edge off their unease. All I'm saying is, if you make fun of the vocals, don't be puzzled when you glance over to find a look of intense concentration on my face. That's just me trying to think of a way to dropkick you out the passenger door without having to pull over.

2. Metal bands, you aren't helping.

Not only am I familiar with this band, I actually own a couple of their gentle.

Is it possible to take a musical genre seriously after knowing the above picture exists? As much as I love the music, I think you can make a pretty compelling case in the negative. There are a lot of words to describe heavy metal, but words like "tasteful" and "unpretentious" are rarely among them. On an unrelated note, why are the t-shirts that heavy metal bands sell so incredibly baggy? It's like metal fans are allergic to form-fitting clothing. Which leads me nicely to my final point:

3. Other metalheads.

"Hark, m'lady, what is this "shower" thou speakest of?"

Seriously, we're not a clean people. Have you ever been in a conversation about music that was somehow parlayed into an invitation to a rousing game of Halo? (I'd say Dungeons and Dragons, but I think even the nerds have moved on from that one). If you said no, you probably aren't a fan of heavy metal. But despite our embarrassing social graces, I always remain hopeful for the future:

It's your one-way ticket to midnight.
Call it Heavy Metal.


Nick X said...

What a funny account of metal. I have the same issues when someone rides in my car. My collection of cd's are mostly heavy metal. My friends will imitate the lead singer and it drives me nuts. I think for people that understand metal can appreciate it more than any John Mayer fan. Metal is something personal almost a secret that only you know, but the world should know. Keep up the battle and keep cranking the volume knob. Nothing like scaring other people on the road with some crunchy, bad ass, gutteral screaming.

Matte said...

I agree with you in everything. Specially with the passengers. I hate to take people with me in the car, I have very few friends who actually like Metal so most of the time i have the cd player turned off. It is like taking Viagra you know you like it, people know you take it, but no one talks about it.