Pick Your Rock and Metal

Monday, November 09, 2009

What makes a rocker/metalhead?

We are legion, spread across the globe, dedicated to loud, proud and at times obnoxious music. But what makes a rocker? What is the essential attribute that sets a metal head apart from the clones that walk through their lives obsessed by X-Factor and mundanity?

Is it the CD collection filled with obscure tracks from long passed acts? Is it the ability to list the tracks, and their order of every Sabbath/Maiden/Metllica album ever released? Is it an encyclopaedic knowledge of Norwegian Black Metal? Is it the ability to attend every gig? Is it the most tour t-shirts secreted in the cupboard? Is it a cultural choice? We might need the money to pay the mortgage, but that doesn't mean we've sold our soul to X-Factor?

Or...is it the statutory long hair? If that is the case then like Samson I shall be denuded of metal strength on 17th November....

On that date I will be having beard and head shaved off. Will I suddenly have the urge to watch the X-Factor? Will I suddenly listen to Slow Patrol songs and muse on their deeper meanings...

Not likely!

What makes a rocker/metalhead is that tingle when a track by Slayer makes you shiver with cathartic pleasure; it is when the intro of Fade to Black makes you feel stronger, but with empathy towards the emotions; it is when despite common sense you not only want to, but need to play air guitar; it is is when at a gig you just gotta raise your hands, mouth the lyrics and hope that the singer catches your eye for a fleeting moment.

In other words it is the sheer pleasure of the music.

But does long hair mark the hard rock fan or metalhead?

I hope it does not, because on 17th November I am having these lovingly grown locks shorn to total Scott Ian and Baal baldiness.

All in aid of Children in Need.

Yep, the shoulder length, chewing on, burning when lighing a ciggie hair is to be gone: shaved to the bone.

It is happening at 3pm at the NICCY offices in Gt Victoria St, Belfast. Come along and laugh yer wee metal asses off (and maybe part with some sponsorship money too!).

One thing is sure..afterwards I'll still be metal to the core, rocking til I die etc...
Not a totally random event...though truth be told after years of comment about needing 'a wee trim' the nuclear option means the likelihood of moving to the mainstream has been negated again \m/


Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter how you wear your own hair ,its what's inside your head

"United Forces" - S.O.D.

\,,/ Redskull \,,/

Wayne Donaldson said...

I don't even know if I'd call myself a metaller. I mean I LOVE metal. I listen to the music, I go to the gigs, I sometimes even divulge in some moshing, but mostly just headbang. I even have a collection of Maiden and Machine Head t-shirts.

But I've short short hair, I listen to techno and drum n bass and even some hip hop. I spent a lot of my youth going "raving" and clubbing.

And most importantly, I have always hated tribal attitudes. I think growing up in Belfast made me never ever want to be part of some sort of group. "Yeah, I'm on this side!". Fuck that! I'm not a metaller, or a spide, or an emo, or a punk, or a raver or a styler. I'm an individual!

Jonny said...

Hi Wayne - you've made the most important point as far as I am concerned - the individuality resides within all of us; and metal, hard rock and punk helped many of us divert away from the clich├ęd nonsense of the so-called 'Troubles'.

I've posted several times about people labelling music/band/person as 'not metal' and that the mainstream music mags want to 'label' genres. As Toby of Gun said in my interview with them there's good music and there's bad music. I would qualify that by saying that it is an entirely subjective judgement as to what rocks your proverbial metal/rock boat.

Good comment Wayne...but hip hop? Even I draw the line somewhere :)

Anonymous said...


Hip Hop can rock when it wants to