Doc Coyle from God Forbid posted a really interesting blog over at Metal Sucks which I recommend everyone go and read right now. Now sure, Doc isn’t a modern day philosopher, but what he is is about one year older than I am. And he’s also someone that this Angry Metal Guy can really agree with on several points. I, too, have recently gone through this “I’m getting old,” thing, when I realize that I’m meeting people who were born in years I remember, Oh, 1988, huh? Yeah, well, shit Seventh Son of a Seventh Son came out that year! My brother got it for Christmas!” I get added on MySpace by people who were born the year that I was an angsty teenager who listening to Life of Agony and Type O Negative and pretending I was miserable. Or really being miserable I guess.
One of the points that Doc makes, however, that I would like to rebutt is basically saying that old guys get sorta stuck. I don’t think that’s entirely true. What I think happens is that the novelty starts to wear off after a while. And so every time you hear a new band you can say something like “Well, shit, that’s just an _insert band here_ riff, why not go listen to the original?” I find myself doing that all the time. I think the other thing that happens is that our tastes start to mature in the sense that we start to understand things better. We all know that metal is music for musicians, but when you’re 18 and knockin’ out riffs to whatever it is that you’re knockin’ out, you’re not thinking about the trends or what’s going on before you, etc. More importantly, you know nothing about record production, the trends you’re being subjected to and so forth. You probably haven’t realized that metal is just commercial music, so you’re not thinking about things critically. But as you get older you get more cynical. You see excellent bands who don’t pass in the current trend passed over by labels consistently, while shitty trend bands get picked up. You hear every band replace the fuck out of their drums and you notice that everything sounds fake and lifeless.
But not only that, you’ve seen what’s cool in the underground before.. sometimes in reality! For example: sure, I was a kid, but I got Metallica‘s Kill ‘Em All as a bribe when I was 7 or 8 years old to not tell my parents that my brother had ditched me at home with his weird, antisocial buddy. I listened to Testament and Slayer and non-stop Iron Maiden while kids in my age group wet themselves over flannel-clad suicidal douchebags with bad habits and now that all the kids are in neo-thrash and neo-NWoBHM bands, I have trouble thinking “Hey, this is exciting!” ‘Cause I heard it when I was younger. I loved it then. It influenced my taste in music and my guitar playing, writing, etc. Why would I as the old guy (28) I am get excited about people reliving a scene that’s been super done already once?
One final thought: while lots of metalheads are really metalheads for life, there are a large number of kids who get into metal during those topsy turvey years of 13-19 and then when the hormones die down, they go back to listening to Weezer (or I guess Muse now? I dunno, what’s hip people?). These people have no context when they’re being young, energetic and super into it. They weren’t listening to metal as kids and they’re not going to be listening to metal when they’re older. It’s just not gonna happen. As an old guy you have every right to get cynical and shake your cane at shit that sucks, especially when it’s driven by kids with no critical thinking skills, no context and not a lick of sense. Just like we were when we were moshing crazy at shows, screaming at the top of our lungs and trying our hardest to get the hormones to just calm the fuck down.
Want some shit to shake your new found Old Metal Cane at? How about God Forbid getting grouped in with metalcore when you guys are obviously a fucking thrash metal band. Get at it! And welcome to adulthood.