Everyone has their favorite genre of music, some its rap, some its pop, others prefer Country, EDM, Electronica, Rock, etc. For some its a casual love, they listen, they experience and move on. However others, such as myself its a bit more than just a casual listen, its much much more than that. Its our lives.
My music of choice has been and always will be Heavy Metal, its the only genre of music I can truly identify with and one that has always been with me. Whenever I was down on myself and felt like a loser, which happens more frequently than i’d like, I can always rely on bands like Death, Motorhead, Suicidal Tendencies, Exodus, Overkill, Metallica, Megadeth, Charred Walls of the Dammed and so many more to pull me from the grips of depression and smack some sense into me. I’ll never forget when I was a teenager spending hours upon hours on YouTube searching up new bands and blasting them on my parents terrible computer speakers. Good times. I explain this to people who ask me why I like this genre that they see as violent, disgusting, and unintelligent. I try to convey it, but I still get weird looks and the “well whatever i guess”, no one gets it, which is fine by me, but let me try one more time and explain to everyone and plead my case.
When I was a kid I was the runt of the litter essentially, my birthday is in May so developmentally I was well behind other students who’s birthdays were usually in September, and December. I was shorter, slower, and weaker than everyone else, and no one ever let me forget it, especially when I was never picked for kickball. Over the years it took its toll, I tried to change these aspects of me, but I could never really get the confidence behind me. I had accepted i’ll always be the weak, scrawny, slow kid who is never picked, not picked last. Then things changed.
When I was 12 I bought my first CD, WWE Wreckless Intent. I was a Pro Wrestling fan back in the day, still am to be honest. They kept promoting this new CD with all the Wrestlers themes and like a good little consumer I went to the local F.Y.E and bought it. The songs were a mix of pop, rap, hip-hop, and rock. They were all done by noteworthy artists and bands and for the most part it was a good CD. However there was one song that stood above the rest and became the catalyst for all things to come. Tack 13 Killswitch Engage “This Fire Burns”. Unlike the other songs this one didn’t belong to a wrestler, at least not yet it would eventually become CM Punk’s theme when he debuted a few months later. The song started out with a guitar slide and rips right into the opening riff with vocalist Howard Jones screaming over it. The song memorized me and made me feel something I never really felt as a kid, confidence. Whenever I listened to it I felt strong, I felt like I could out run any kid in class, and that i could crush the planet if I so chose so. Hell it still makes me feel that way.
After being exposed to This Fire Burns i became obsessed, I went looking for any music that emulated that style, which led me to bands like Disturbed, Korn, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica and more. By the time I was 14 I was listening to some of the most extreme metal bands I could find, there wasen’t a moment I wasen’t listening to metal it was my everything essentially. Over the years my interest waned and waxed. There would be times where I would obsess over everything metal, and times I couldn’t be bothered to listen to my favorite band, but the love was always there. Every day I wear my favorite band shirt, even when i’m wearing professional attire, you better believe I have a Death shirt underneath it. Metal relaxes me, it pulls me back down to Earth while shooting me up into the stars, its the one genre I can count on to be there for me and understand any pain that I go through. Metal is an outsider genre for outsider people, it’s for those who never fit in and felt like they belonged to anything. So whenever I try to explain this to people they always give me that “whatever” response and I always crack up a bit, of course you wouldnt understand, your not an outsider. Metal is not for you. But that’s okay, its not for everyone, which is a okay, because there are millions of metalheads all across the world who understand and feel the same way I do about it.