This post is an open invitation to anyone who wants to contribute to a future post, or number of posts on the subject of heavy metal. If this interests you, whoever you are, whether we know you or you live in Romania, the country with our second highest number of visitors (go figure), then hit us up. We'd love to hear from you, and you can be immortalized within these here ranks. How exciting!
1. Before we go anywhere with this, I need you to profess your undying love for metal. So, let’s hear it. I want the person reading this to know without any question that you have a passion for the heavy stuff. I want the sort of person who might be totally uncomfortable, or maybe even pretty ignorant with metal to understand almost intuitively why someone else would feel so compelled to listen to this sort of music over any other. Don’t think of this as a sales pitch, think of it more as a testimonial to the sheer joy of heavy music.
2. When did you become a metal fan, and what were the circumstances surrounding this time in your musical life. Has it been a near-lifelong obsession? Were you a late bloomer? Was it a gradual process or were you hit over the head with it, suddenly?
3. Do you have a genre preference? How would you define that style of metal? What makes, let’s say, sludge so much better than power metal, shred better that goregrind, etc . . .
4. Do you feel a sense of community with the metal world at large, or is this more of a personal sort of thing, almost something you keep hidden?
5. How does metal fit into your musical makeup, and by extension, into your overall life? Does it overlap into other areas (work, your relationships, church service, workouts, etc . . .)?
6. In what way, if any, does metal cause you problems (work, your relationships, church service, workouts, etc . . .)? In other words, if you’re, say married, does your spouse think you are a stunted child for being a metal fan? Does your boss give you shit for listening to “acid rain music,” and so on . . . Be honest.
7. What do you think about the role of gender as it relates to metal? Apply this concept to the presence of women in metal both in bands and as fans, and also the ways that masculinity, as well as femininity is expressed both by the bands and by the fans. In what ways has the historical “sausage-fest” of metal become more appealing to women (or has it?), and why? Do you see any sort of changes in metal in order to accommodate women (again, both as fans as well as band members)?
8. What about the politics of the metal world? Do you see metal as a rebellious form of music, or is it hyper-reactionary, coming across as almost ultra-conservative? Or, like most else, is it more of a grey area? If so, explain. How well do you feel metal is able to express genuine emotions at the risk of being camp or overly theatrical, or worse, at the risk of possibly presenting a veneer of empty-minded hatred and downright stupidity and intolerance? What takes place to counteract some of the mindless shock tactics and outright violence and ultimately shows metal to be a voice for whoever is expressing it, good or bad? Who represents the ugly side of metal? Who makes the fans of metal look like complicit (or, at least tacit) drones, utterly beyond sense and reason? And, beyond that, who uses metal as a true voice of transgression, leaving the listener with a broader sense of the world in which they live?
9. What is your hands-down favorite metal song? Band? Artist? Lyric? Why?
10. What’s next? Where does metal go from here?