I can’t recall how many times I have been in a conversation about music and then when I am asked what styles of music I am into, I reply back with “hard rock and metal”. Then I get a smug look and an “Oh”.
In most cases, the people respond back with, “I didn’t picture you as a metal fan” or “You don’t suit the stereotype of a metal fan.” You see to those outsiders, us metal heads are still seen as misfits, criminals, drug takers, mentally unstable, satanic and people who in general do not conform to any standards that society wants them to conform to.
However, if you look into it, the metal heads are the ones that assist society the most. We are the tax payers. We are consumers. We spend the money we earn, in the areas we live and we keep people employed. We spend the money we earn on the bands we like, showing them a devotion like no other, which in turn keeps those bands employed and making music.
Look at the history of metal and rock bands. They don’t seem to disappear like all of the manufactured pop crap that comes and goes. The only metal and rock bands that disappear are the ones that got into the business for the wrong reasons (which for them was pure cash).
And then I started thinking about the quote “metal as a lifestyle”. It is a lifestyle with a million unwritten laws that somehow all of us metal heads abide by.
So without further delay, here is The Metal Manifesto;
Metal music is a way to belong. We wear the patches/colours of our favourite bands on black t-shirts.
Metal heads are rebels. We are the ones that question everything put in front of us, as we strive to find our own place in society and our own road to walk on. It’s okay to be “weird” in the eyes of society. What people see on the outside is just skin. What is on the inside is what matters.
Metal heads are knowledgeable.
A study from 2007, showed that a large number of members in the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth list heavy metal – or “metal”, as their favourite kind of music. Look at other famous people in other industries like Jack Black, Javier Bardem, Jim Carrey, the South Park guys (Matt Stone and Trey Parker) and the current Russian PM who is a Deep Purple fan.
Metal music allows us to make sense of the chaotic and corrupt society that we live in. It is for the outsiders. The underdog. It isn’t about getting rich quick. It is a lifestyle. We live it and we breathe it.
Metal music is empowerment. It is freedom. It is release. The live show is the rally. While generations of children are turned into generations of links and cogs on the factory floors, metal fans are the ones that stand out. The unique ones. While others were brainwashed to fit in, metal music lives on the fringes, as an outlier ready to change the world.
Metal music has its own heavy metal salute, a call to arms, in which the pinkie and forefinger are raised over a clenched fist. Credit Ronnie James Dio for the salute.
Metal music has its own code of conduct when it comes to circular mosh pits. Those who fall, will be helped back up. Those who are violent will be forced to leave. The aim is to vent our aggression and have a good time doing it.
Metal music is confrontational. Deal with it. From listening to our heroes suffering, it provides us with redemption. From listening to our heroes views on the world and their views on governments, it provides us with purpose. We embrace change, while others litigate. From confrontation, innovation is born.
Metal music is diversity. It doesn’t matter what colour, religion or country you are from. We are all one.
Metal will never fade into obscurity. It is always there, a survivor of the times and the mega corporations that tried to kill it after they raped it and abused it and made billions from it.
Metal is derivative. We wear our influences on our hearts.
Metal music is more than just the term of “Heavy Metal”. It is Hard Rock, Heavy Rock, Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal, Technical Metal, Math Rock, Math Metal, Djent, Death Metal, Metalcore, Emo, Melodic Death Metal, Symphonic Metal, Punk Rock, Pop Metal, Industrial, Nu-Metal, Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal and many others. There is no room for elitists.
As Robb Flynn screams out “This Is Who We Are”. Instead of saying the word divided, I will say UNITED WE WILL STAND.