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Know Your Metal(head)

By Azeem Banatwalla | September 3, 2008

Split Magazine: MetalheadsIt’s become something of a fad for the jobless, Justin-Timberlake-worshipping retards (who say things like “pink is the new black”) to stereotype those who are simply more sophisticated than themselves as “metalheads”. (And just so we’re clear — nothing will ever replace black.) The aforementioned seem to be under the grave misconception that metal is no more than sound effects created by men with painted faces raping an army of goats, and that their “worshippers”, aptly titled “metalheads”, are people who aspire to rape said goats upon a stage, wielding long hair and slit wrists, under the influence of chemical drugs.

Allow me to allay some of the more common misconceptions. I refer, in these points, to the general metal fraternity: composers and listeners alike.

1. Listening to metal is NOT a goat raping ritual.

2. Metal is NOT “just pointless screaming”. You really need to appreciate the fact that there’s far more to music than just the vocals. Metal is divided into innumerable sub-genres with varying vocal tones. Not all metal has harsh vocals.

3. Any retard with a microphone CANNOT pull off metal vocals. I’d like to see you try to sustain a Death Growl, or if you dare, the Filth Whistle, for over a minute. It is an art.

4. Metal is NOT about Satanic cults hell-bent on burning every Christian soul that roams the earth and cannibalising them.

5. Listening to metal does NOT classify you as the dreaded Emo (in my honest opinion, fittingly stereotyped). *

6. We do NOT listen to metal to percieve ourselves as “cool”. *

7. Listening to/composing metal does NOT automatically make you a stoner.

8. We are NOT just making up the stuff about searching the depths of the Scandinavian Underground to find our music. *

9. We do NOT slit our wrists for the heck of it, or at all. #

10. We do NOT listen to metal, and only metal, all day and all night. We also appreciate other forms of music that have actual substance.

Metal is an art, a thing of brilliance, with its own beauty, that a large number of people cannot, or just will not, accept.

11. Pop, hip hop, rap (excluding Eminem), R&B, Bollywood music, etc. lack substance. For us, to even contemplate listening to that crap means taking several steps back from where we are. Forgive us for not taking your musical recommendations seriously.

12. Metal is NOT the end-all and be-all of our lives. We have other interests and passions as well.

13. Metal is NOT a product of a “long-forgotten era”. Metal bands that are still in the game for the music, more than the money, are still aplenty, and still produce mind-blowing, brilliant, epic, music. It’s the bands of that “long-forgotten era” that now put metal to shame by catering to what you want, hence making more dough. *cough cough* Children of Bodom, Cradle of Filth *cough*

14. We do NOT say that we “listen to the tr00 KvLt BlaCk MetcHuL”, or anything of the sort. *

15. We do NOT wear black metal tees twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

16. We aren’t your run-of-the-mill junkies with no aims or ambitions in life. People who listen to metal do have regular jobs, and went to (or are still in) school or college just like you.

17. Metal is NOT all about anger, hatred, and killing. That’s just the way you choose to perceive it. The “death” in death metal plays a large part in that.

18. And lastly, we most definitely do NOT secretly headbang to Linkin Park when nobody’s looking. If we do, for some bizarre reason, perform some such travestuous acts, we make no secret of it. *

* Not applicable to posers
# Not applicable to retards

So why stereotype metal then? We just listen to music that is different, and appreciate it in a manner that isn’t superficial. Unfortunately, we’re rather proud of that fact, and choose to be — justifiably — arrogant about it.

Metal is an art, a thing of brilliance, with its own beauty, that a large number of people cannot — or just will not — accept. Hence the stereotype. There is no such thing as a “metalhead”, as the world, unfortunately, perceives it today, and never will be.


24 Comments. Post Yours Here.
  1. September 3, 2008, 2:30 pm Azm

    Additions to the list are welcome :)

  2. September 6, 2008, 1:21 pm Naveen Roy

    Nice writeup man! “”We do NOT say that we “listen to the tr00 KvLt BlaCk MetcHuL”, or anything of the sort. *”" – ???

  3. September 6, 2008, 10:22 pm Azm

    Well, its simply because haven’t actually come across anybody who’s ever used the term in anything more than jest.

  4. September 12, 2008, 1:50 am karthik natarajan

    what about metalheads do NOT necesarily have long hair. or long hair does NOT make you a metal fan. it only makes u an imitation.

    A beard is NOT a prerequisite.

  5. September 12, 2008, 8:24 am pravsemilo

    Great write up, dude. Sure it’s gonna kick some shit in the face of posers and people who are against rock/metal music. Anyways not all pop, hip hop and rap is crap. There are some artists in these genres with some real substance like Akon, Snoop Dogg, Chamillionaire etc etc…. Actually it is the boy bands, girl groups and artists like Timbaland, Justin Timberlake etc who lack substance…..

    At the end of the day it is just music which matters

    Still no matter what \m/Rock Rules… Long live heavy metal……….\m/

  6. September 12, 2008, 8:29 am pravsemilo

    Also to add to the list:

    We do not appreciate movies like Rock On in any form be it the movie or the music or what ever. Such movies are produced for so called posers and retards by a bunch of people who know nothing about rock music or even music to be precise.

  7. September 15, 2008, 6:37 pm Optimus Maximus

    Thats great! Really awesome and from the head of a true metalhead. We my friend are the polymaths of a world goin in circles. Like always…. we shall be protested and detested against and as usual it shall have little or no effect on our psychologically improvised brains.

    As for the taste in music, we probably have a richer understanding of music than the one’s who detest the noise they perceive…

    Sire, you have truly written down our jist (something even we thought was impossible, uptill now)

    I salute you mate… and in the great words of Led Zep: Make an ode to your all encompassing thesis:

    To seek the man whose pointing hand, The giant step unfolds
    With guidance from the curving path, That churns up into stone

  8. September 16, 2008, 7:14 pm abc

    @pravsemilo i’m a metalhead and i totally loved rock on and some of the songs. i do listen to hindi music also.. stuff like lucky ali, strings, ali haider. so not all metalheads do not like rock on…. :D

    nice article by the way

  9. September 17, 2008, 12:52 pm pravsemilo

    Check out this link…..

    Article on The Hindu

  10. September 17, 2008, 7:15 pm Azm

    Rock On is really dependent upon your point of view.
    For instance, if you look at Bollywood with the air of cynicism that I do, you’ll probably end up writing something on the lines of this : dimmublogir.blogspot.com
    It’s my honest opinion that Rock On puts to shame all that Rock actually stands for, by giving in to pop culture that is so rampant in today’s society. But that’s just me.

  11. September 18, 2008, 11:29 am pravsemilo

    Just to add to what I had posted earlier:

    Luke Kenny had recently quoted in an article in Rolling Stone, that he felt that pretty soon all the rock bands in India would start playing the songs of Rock On….. Can anyone tell me that which rock musician would really like and play these songs??? S, E & L should refrain from trying to compose rock music and rather stick to their traditional bollywood recipes.

    In fact this is the sad state of movie industry in our country and perhaps our producers should learn something from the west and produce good films rather than the usual bollywood masala. Same applies to our music directors.

  12. September 21, 2008, 7:36 pm melody

    good music is a subjective perception. one can croon himesh and appreciate motorhead at the same time.

  13. September 21, 2008, 7:42 pm melody

    why does the appreciation of rock music depend so much upon bollywood,pop,etc etc being bad?
    if most of india loves bollywood and doesnt headbang to sabbath they arent wrong in any way!!
    rockers find it thrilling to criticize other forms of music…its like u are in pizza hut and the guy/gal on the next table punches you for ordering a pizza he /she doesnt like…
    lemmy never said “go to hell pop or pop music is guy” in Am.

  14. September 21, 2008, 7:47 pm melody

    At the Beijing games closing ceremony jimmy page performed alongside leona lewis(english POP, R&B artist) and he sure didn’t have any problem with her being a “pop artist lacking substance”…
    Live and Let Live…open the mind.

  15. September 21, 2008, 9:35 pm Alok Meshram

    The article is well written and I find myself agreeing to what you’re saying.

    But if you ask me, it’s useless to expect people to look beyond stereotypes and preconceived notions. If they could, they would already have seen how rich the world of Metal actually is. It takes a person with brains and an inherent musical vein to be able to appreciate Metal and the complexity in the music.

    People simply cannot look past the Heaviness and the Themes of the music and understand the real creativity in the riffs, melodies, vocals and solos. All they can see is Satanism and Devil worship, and all they can hear is “noise”. Because they simply cannot look past all that.

  16. September 23, 2008, 10:20 am pravsemilo

    “if most of india loves bollywood and doesnt headbang to sabbath they arent wrong in any way!!
    rockers find it thrilling to criticize other forms of music…”

    Well at least in India, it is not rockers who criticize other forms of music, rather it is rockers who are subject to criticism. Have you ever seen a rock concert going beyong 11 P.M.? Does anyone in India object to a concert of Himesh going beyond 1 A.M. (Rather some fools do dandiya all night)??? Rockers are the ones who DEDICATEDLY listen to their music and genuinely appreciate the musical intircacies of it. Bollywood music fans are not that into their music, rather they just think of it as a dance track or some kind of item song. That is what makes a bollywood song hit. There is a minority of people in India who listen to music (no matter what kind of music) with dedication and this includes rockers, classical music fans and electronica fans (And they are subject to criticism by the general public). Bollywood music is plain crap and it is meant for the casual listener who looks to music as some sort of time pass. If the whole India listens to Britney or Himesh, it doesnt make them right or we should follow their tastes. They definitely are wrong in their musical choices and dont give a damn to music as rockers do. Rather one should follow the voice of their heart and do what is right instead of going along with the mainstream.

    “At the Beijing games closing ceremony jimmy page performed alongside leona lewis(english POP, R&B artist) and he sure didn’t have any problem with her being a “pop artist lacking substance”…”

    It is not pop music which lacks substance, in fact it is some artists in the genre who are bringing a bad name to music…Even The Doors and The Beatles were dismissed as pop by the critics but still they gained acceptance. In the end what matters is music, and that is why we see artists across various genres collabrating with each other to bring in new music.(Heard about the collabration between Robert Plant and Allison Krauss or Metallica with San Francicso Symphony Orchestra? In fact there was one more collabration in the 1980s involving a hiphop artist and a thrash metal band. I don’t remeber the name though) So it is not about “this is pop” and “that is rock” rather it is about sensible music.

    “good music is a subjective perception. one can croon himesh and appreciate motorhead at the same time.”

    A person liking both Himesh and Motorhead needs some mental help and in my words he is musically illiterate. He/she doesn’t have a musical taste and is a disgrace being called a motorhead fan.

    “lemmy never said “go to hell pop or pop music is guy” in Am.” ————Because who cares??

  17. September 23, 2008, 7:18 pm melody

    couldn’t agree more bro…your point not only applies to rock music but also to other worldly tensions like riots, terrorism, manipulation and hunger…once our egos afre out of the way we begin to appreciate the beauty..

  18. September 24, 2008, 3:19 pm rich

    Dude…that was one hell of a writeup…made my fucking day….i agree with you completely..(except for the eminem part)…lol…awesome stuff…

  19. September 24, 2008, 9:09 pm melody

    hmmm…himesh may sing from his heart…he appreciates his music but is then misinterpreted by his ‘fans’….like u have rocker ‘posers’ roaming about evrywhr headbanging and shitting about….

    agreed some bolly songs suck big time but its a folly to generalize….not all apples are bad….its basic im sure evry1 knows….

    and yehh we rocker fans are criticized etc etc etc but why should we care? if others cant appreciate the music then y do we feel the need to forc them to appreciate rock or criticize them for going bolly…

    banana or banana split doesnt matter to the monkey…it wont hear nething

  20. October 1, 2008, 12:43 pm Megha

    This should be issued in public interest, globally, big time. Will also help remove some ignorance.

  21. November 6, 2008, 8:31 pm knowles

    True dude. i do listen to metal and i think its a tyt genre. although im also into hiphop, i appreciate metal. it needs an intellect kinda mind to listen 2 it. thumbs up to metal

  22. August 19, 2009, 4:54 am Metal Maiden

    To each his own, but I disagree that you can’t like metal and himesh at the same time. Why do we have to conform to some rigid rule? That goes against what metal is. Listen to what you want and screw anyone who doesn’t like it.

    If you feel that metalheads should only listen to metal, that’s fine…but that belief doesn’t work with me.

  23. December 11, 2009, 10:27 pm \m/

    Metal is great and this is a decent list of random things to say, although I didn’t appreciate the insult to CoB and CoF. They having busted into the mainstream with britney spear or any of those other posers.. They’re evolving like any artist who cares about their art would. If you’re mad that they didn’t keep playing the exact same thing for years and years then go listen to someone like AcDc who’s played the same thing for the past 20 years. Don’t be pissy when a band changes direction.

  24. January 9, 2010, 1:59 am K

    when I looked at the article, I thought to myself, What kind of attention deficit faggot would write something like this. What is this, a f***in chicken? This is so unprofessional for any magazine write up, go to grammar school you retard.

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