I grew up with a single father. This impacted my life significantly in many ways, none more evident than in my love of music. My dad thought television was a waste of time and a brain polluter. As a result of this, we spent the majority of our time listening to music and reading books. This is why I love books so much and became a writer, but it's also why, to this day, I prefer music over television and devote a large portion of my life to it. Where some people watch lots of television, I listen to music almost constantly. I listen at home, on my way to work, in my car, at work, when I'm hanging out with friends, when I'm cleaning, and so on. In fact, I'm listening to music right now.
I like a few genres of music but my favorite will always be metal. You would never guess that by looking at me though. I don't fit the stereotypical mold of a metalhead. I mean, I'm a middle-aged mom working a professional job. I have a normal looking house and a normal existence, for the most part. But hang out with me at home, look at my music collection, see my online presence, or catch me out at some local shows, and you'll see that other side of me. I got into metal at age 14 when a kid in my class lent me cassette tapes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. I fell in love with those cassettes and the genre, and my life has been defined greatly by metal music ever since.
While I've always listened to metal throughout the years, never wavering, it wasn't until the past year or so that I've really dived back into it in a more active way. Between not making much money and raising my kids, going to live shows wasn't something I had done much of in several years. With my youngest being a teenager now, and with a higher income, I'm able to buy more music, go to metal shows, and generally be the metalhead that I am. I've even made the patch vest I've wanted since high school (a separate post is in the works for that).
So, why do I love metal so much? Well, it's the same kind of answer you're going to hear from anyone regarding their favorite genre of music. Music speaks to all of us on some level, and we connect with it in a very personal way. It's no different with me and metal music. While you might like pop, classical, or rap music, finding in it something that speaks to your very soul, that is exactly how metal music is for me.
Metal music speaks to me personally. I love the way it sounds: it's technicality, brutality, ripping guitars and pounding drums, and various vocal stylings. When I'm down, it brings me up. When I'm mad, it helps me calm down. When I'm happy, it brings me more joy. And on top of all that, the metal community is one of the best. Being a metalhead is like being part of a big, happy family. If you're out in public and see that one person with a heavy metal t-shirt on, you'll either smile and nod, or you'll strike up a conversation with them about their band shirt.
A good example of this happened to me recently. I was at work, looking out into the atrium through the windows in my office. Out in the atrium are tables and chairs for students to sit on, and I saw a guy out there with a metal shirt on. I went to check it out and noticed it was the logo of one of my favorite brutal death metal bands. So, we struck up a conversation. A few weeks later, we ran into each other at a local show and we became friends. Turns out he and his friend run a local, online metal magazine doing reviews and interviews, among other things. A few weeks after that, and they asked me to write a specific article/review for them, which they loved.
They've now asked me to be a part of their team, and I've said yes. I mean, what could be better? This is a chance to combine two of my favorite things: metal music and writing. I'll keep you posted and updated here on my website to when my first article gets posted so you can read it. I'm excited about this new opportunity. It's going to be a lot of fun and with going to live shows as part of my research, I can't think of a much better way to spend my time.
What kinds of music do you like? What is it about your favorite genre(s) that speaks to you? Let me know in the comments.