Thursday, March 6, 2014

Confessions of a Metal God

Yeah, so that "Metal Gods" thing... +Doug Kovacs asked us a reasonable question, recently:

I saw The Sword last night at the double door. Do you metal gods ever actually go to see live music anymore? or is all just talk.

My inner professor will attempt to ignore the punctuation of that sentence, because I have some restraint. But he raises a valid point. How fucking "metal" can you be if you don't at least go see a show every once in a while? The answer... well, the answer may disturb you a bit. You see, I have a confession to make. I'm not very metal at all. Sure I like (some) metal music, but my home is old school punk rock. I love the metal aesthetic, but I find people who take metal really seriously, well, kind of tedious, just like punks who are TOTALLY STRAIGHT EDGE. Part of my idiom involves not taking myself too damned seriously. Life is short. I don't need to become a fucking caricature.

Here's the thing though: I really love metal that goes that extra mile, that makes itself a caricature, but in fun ways. Like Sleep doing an hour-plus long song:

This is a master class in HEAVY

Like Rob Halford wearing a leather cape:

This guy would make a way better king than Charles.

Like this trailer for the Brutal Legend video game (which wasn't that great, but had a great concept):

You don't have to like Jack Black to like this.

Like fucking GWAR!


Silly fucking shit. I love it.

NOT like those dickheads who are so fucking metal they burn down churches or beat people up. When you become a bully, it's not metal. When you punch down instead of punching up, it's not metal. Like punk, metal is about making do with what you have and having fun doing it, having a group of friends to do that with, and having fun despite The Man's attempts to control you, and to keep you from having that fun. That's my version at least. That, I can support. That, I like. 

Me, though, I'm a peculiar creature. Metal is never enough. For, at the heart of my crusty exterior, there is a  heart of bubblegum. There is a joy to be expressed. There is the blessed release of singing along with something silly and Charlie Brown dancing my ass off (if only in my mind): 

Schroeder, killing it. Again.

It's a weird combination of things that makes up the soundtrack of my life, and helps me get through the day with a smile on my face. It keeps me from nuttin' up and losing my shit on some jackass who really, really needs it. No, really, I have songs constantly in my head. You may be talking to me, and I look happy. But I'm not just listening to you. I'm listening to the soundtrack.

This one's in there, right now, and it's sustaining me:

The McDonald brothers have been doing it since 1979. They still put on a dynamite show.

That's another thing about the Metal Gods aesthetic that I'm going for when I write and run game sessions: All of this is in there, and every part of it contributes to the greater whole. And that shit is dark, and it's pretentious, and it's heavy, and it's also fun and silly as hell. It's about pushing all of the buttons at once, just to see what happens.

I started with the bubblegum of the Monkees:

And I don't care if they did their own songs.

I have journeyed to High on Fire:

Thor is not the god of thunder. Matt Pike is.

And when I die, I want Dax Riggs to be there, to send me on my way:

Seriously, this dude is The Shit.

And I am fucking free, man. I am free. That that's heavy. What do I mean by "heavy," Matt Pike?

Check out "Such Hawks, Such Hounds" for context

Damn straight, Matt. I am a fucking warlord, man, a silly warlord, and I will beat you to death with an hammer made black metal while adorning myself with monkey testicles. 

Oh, wait. That's Vane Barbute's job. Well, anyway, I'll figure out something.