Let's Talk Music
Y'all knew this post was coming sooner or later. You know you knew. It's here; I hope you're happy, you sick bastards.
But this probably isn't the post about music you would expect coming from me.
Yeah, I'm going to go on a little bit about my love of heavy metal music, but I want to talk about something even more important than fucking killer riffs in this blog post -
But First: Heavy Metal, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Growl
I will fully admit that part of the reason I started listening to heavy metal in the first place was because I had an aversion to being that "mainstream kid" back in middle and high school.
Would middle or high school Drew ever have admitted to listening to it out of sheer contrariness? No, he wouldn't have. But college graduate Drew has spent enough time with himself to feel secure in his tastes and also not feeling as though being brutally honest will compromise them in any way.
I started listening to heavy music out of a desire to be a nonconformist. There, I said it.
But - the key word in that phrase is "started." While I was still annoyingly narrow in my music tastes for a very long time, the fact is I truly came to love this genre of music that is known for being way too goddamn loud and making people wonder if it's really music at all.
It is music, by the way. Even the stuff that sounds like it was wrung through a trash compacter, eaten by a goat, then shat out into a garbage disposal. It is music. There is method to the madness; and the fact that I can see the method and the madness makes me love it all the more.
But I blame absolutely no one for not liking it when I throw on, say, a record by Pig Destroyer. It has taken some embarrassing high school time for me to learn that not everyone can learn to appreciate that sort of thing, but I love it anyway regardless of what my moaning car passengers say.
I am not trying to convert you with this post. If I were, I'd go on about how one listens to metal, especially the heavier kinds because you really can't listen to metal in the same way that you would listen to pop, rock, rap or pretty much any other genre when the instruments all create this massive wall of sound and if you can't pick apart the instruments with your mind through close listening or understand the the vocals are another instrument, not the focus, you are going to have a bad time. But I'm not going to talk about that. And I will stop using run-on sentences. I promise.
I love heavy metal in so many of its forms. I love the classics, I love thrash and death, melodeth and prog, even metalcore, deathcore and Disturbed (who I am apparently supposed to dislike). To most of you, that is going to sound like utter gibberish, but believe me when I say - Metalheads can be very accepting, but also very elitist. Go onto r/metal and mention anything about how you think All Shall Perish is a really good deathcore band; you will be crucified because anything that has more than two breakdowns is "not metal" for some reason and therefore "not good".
You know exactly what I'm talking about, I'm sure.
Sometimes all one needs is a bunch of sick breakdowns.
This drives me straight on to the next point -
I've Learned to Like What I Like, Even if it's Embarrassing
There's a lot you're "not supposed to like" when you become a part of the metal community.
And I realized I don't care. I like Disturbed - yeah, that's an embarrassing band to like according to most people, not just the metal community, but I don't give a shit - I will listen to "Asylum" and have the time of my life.
Tastes change as we're willing to become more honest with ourselves. My Spotify is now accumulating a wide variety of modern rock hits that I wouldn't have even bothered paying attention to before ("Take Me Out" is my mothafuckin' JAM).
And then there's the synth music. And the hip hop.
Commence the fucking with your heads.
When I say "Future Islands is a band that makes the most kickass modern synthpop I've ever heard," I tend to get a few "Uh, okay's" as my response. I've made converts of many people by playing their sweet, soulful, synthy blues. About half of their album Singles I would considers songs I would listen to over and over again. Synthpop is definitely not metal - and I don't care.
Actually, there is an odd subset of the metal community that also really digs synth music. Most of the metal community thinks they're nuts, but I will admit to having jumped on the bandwagon gleefully. Synthwave is a hella fun genre, and what I like about it is that it gives electronic music "riffs" of the same sort that draws me to metal. I find most other electronic music lacks that. I don't go in for sick beats, really. I like instrumental riffs, baby. Check out Gost, Dan Terminus, Perturbator or Megadrive if you want to see what I mean.
Another artist I would have laughed off the thought of liking years ago is Kendrick Lamar. I can entirely thank Hamilton for that one - I've never liked hip-hop before, but I would have been absolutely lying to myself if I said I didn't love the shit out of Hamilton and that has led me down yet another branching musical door.
My point is this - tastes change as time goes on. Be honest with yourself - you will find a lot more for you to like. This has been by no means a comprehensive list of the music I enjoy, but that's not exactly what this post is really about, now is it?
I am a metalhead, tall and proud. And I will also rap along to Kendrick Lamar songs I am way too white enjoy in that way.
This is perhaps one of the best things becoming more honest with myself has given me. Well, there's probably more important things than that, but at least this one has good music.