In the mist, dark figures move and twist
Was all this for real or just some kind of Hell?
The following is a lengthy reflection on identity and difference in the metal, rock, indie and avant-garde world(s) and how we can learn to grow stronger. It happens to be formated around the lyrics of Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast”, which is as apt a metaphor for the music industry and scene as any.
Shit, it’s better than most.
Read more BELOW.
pt 1. – I needed time to think
To get the memories from my mind.
I’m ok at 37 with being on my own and “take me or leave me”. Being in the underdog genre of metal, you get to a point
of being ok with outsider status but also part of you craves company or validation…but it has to come from yourself first.
haha. so of course leave it to metal scribe Grim Kim to summarize part of something i’ve
been mulling over all night in one tweet. I’ve been up all night writing this
piece as insomnia tends to kick in more when I’m single. Saw Kim’s tweet and
laughed, so shout out to her for nailing it.
“It can be so hard to be a metal fan when you’re not a straight white cis
dude, but there are scores of us. We’re here. Metal is ours, too.” – Kim Kelly
It can be. Anything can be yours, people. It’s really true. Even outlandish
shit like being president. Kanye is already locked in for 2020 and who ever
saw that coming?
Worried about embracing a creative path? Remember when rock n roll was denied
as “nigger music”? When “i wanna watch the news/this is the news” etc. skits
were a necessity in 80’s metal music videos?
It’s ok to claim your place. The right to “be” should not be a debate (except
in issues of the death penalty where I think, based on the crime, there should
be deep soul searching of correct punitive action).
This is why I rarely delete friends even when some of the dudes post egregious butt photos or some of you actually support Trump or use The Bible to justify a closed mind, soul and spirit (which makes me just wish you’d arrive at the truth and experience real self love and the ability to love and not outright condemn others).
Punk and metal fans have always demanded their rights or done their thing anyway.
But it’s 2015. To be (fringe) or not to be. What does that mean anymore in an
age where one of the biggest pop stars, Miley Cyrus, collabs with The Flaming
Lips and jams with Against Me! for LGBTQ awareness (that was awesome).
If your bands goal is to tape trade with few crusty pals and that’s meaningful to you, sure! Small and sustainable scenes can be some of the most powerful from the art to the concerts. Would you rather see a huge arena band going through motions or several hudred kids flipping shit at a Trash Talk, ETID or Immortal Bird show?
That said, there seems to be a lot of overconfidence, lack of education, cocskure swagger, sexist trolling and just idiot shit in the social media world these days, DUH.
Do you motherfuckers even know how hard it is for some people to even know IF they belong? And you’ll just stampede all over that for some comment likes?
In the name of those who died trying to normalize the right to be freaky, from Wendy O. Williams to Klaus Nomi to Kurt, I will quote the scribe Jonathan Davis of Korn and just say “fuck all that bullshit!”
I was semi closeted for about 30+ years. Seriously. I’m so embarrassed about that as an activist! Despite being brought up in Woodstock, NY! In a very accepting environment. But also because I can remember a specific incident. I remember a sleep over at some friends house when I was a kid and all of the boys being silly and playing with flashlights and like shining through pajamas and making stupid dick shadow puppets or something really actually funny and at that age pretty pre-sexual, but then like no one talked about it ever again and was awkward.
I grew up in a liberal family of artists but also there was a strong religious
background from a few angles of the family tree.
Fear of the devil and public shaming or wondering “if you belong” or not is a real challenge. But you gotta figure yourself out and risk the wrath or rejection or Hellfire.
As I thought Joy Division once sang “Something must break”…”2 ways to choose a razor’s edge/pain behind or straight ahead.”
And the crucible that makes or breaks most people is how much they repress the voices inside.
The ones that want things…
and I dont even mean sticky dirty things, though thats ok too
and healthier than repression (unless you are some boy toucher priest or GOP
reality/family values show star). I mean fear and hate and all that other ugly
stuff. Sometimes you have to purge to get to love and stop finger pointing.
It’s why when a band is using lots of words that offend others I usually try
and talk to them and assess where their hearts are really at and how and if
they are poisoned/if there might be a road back for them. If it is just a cash
grab for shock value or real personal character stuff.
Never judge a book, they say. My friend Muhammad is a somewhat possibly
spectrum guy and yet functions helping run a small but high stress business
and yet he is almost always cheery (unless he is trying to bum a cigarette).
Dude always says, “Hey Morgan! I love you, man. God bless you!”
He often stands outside of a prohibition era cocktail bar The Stockade Tavern (Kingston, NY)
where I help out with security at times. We were one of Esquire’s top bars in
the USA last year, it was rad.
Anyway, Muhammed often sings “People Are People” to hoity toity types or stuck
up girls. I love that. Even though sometimes he does try and mack it a bit too
My friend Amy sent me this Hedgehog animation video awhile back and I like to
watch it sometimes to remember that creativity is awesome and whole worlds and
moods can be created.
So…People act like they know everything. What I don’t know I revere as a chance to learn.
That can be more data on the history of death metal or a chance to learn about cultures.
The coolest thing in Metal: A Headbangers Journey was metal heritage that flow chart.
All of those sub genres are not only different types of people with some
common ground, but they represent a shared scene. A shared fucking world!
We should feel anger at gay reprogramming church camp and at the other forces
holding us back from learning who we are and how we can all be.
Swamp Thing resisted his changes and then became Avatar of the Green.
Embrace your mutations. BE happy that We Meditate Under The Pussy In The Sky
by Opium Warlord exists.
If I gave up I never would’ve been a marginally successful music journalist and
get to have Amy Sciaretto text with me about dog rescue and bands while I’m
grocery shopping (she also convinced me not to be self deprecating for liking
Orange Vanilla Seltzer as a creamsicle with bubbles! Thanks, Amy!).
I might not have jammed with the very funny and fun Daveigh Chase the other night. Yeah, ha. So fuck
you, haters. Haha.
I might not have the entertainment value/awesomeness of Timo from Stratovarius
calling me for an interview today in the middle of the coffee I shouldn’t be
drinking in my stress ulcered state. And Timo singing” Who let the dogs out”
when my dog started barking throughout the interview. Stratovarius vox. sings
Baha Men. It happened. To me. Today!
2. Just what i saw in my old dreams were they reflections of my warped mind
staring back at me.
A second! amazing Kim Kelly tweet today (I really do other things than lurk
her Twitter but I get iPhone notices from accounts I like more like @GrimKim,
@metalrenee , @scrapyardzine @_Jucifer- or @MannyOWar) was also, incidentally,
on Iron Maiden.
Kim tweeted: ~*~Every time someone discovers Iron Maiden for the first time, a
fallen angel gets its wings ~*~
So yeah,more on my ulcer stress. I binge drank much of the last decade plus.
Sometimes it rises up and bites me. My dad’s family memorial (he died in
January) is finally happening as people fly from all over and I’m letting a
But today my stomach is killing me, I ran out of my Paxil and I’m missing Cult
of Luna/Kylesa/Inaeona in NYC with this tummy bug. Grrrr.
The new inAeona record is called Force Rise The Sun. You do have to make that fucker rise!
The last decade or so I was pretty bitter at times. I had done a record with
my guitar hero Dr. Know from Bad Brains co-producing it and no one heard or cared about
it. Some former friends got famous and were very shady for years and mocked me.
I also had lots of well earned depression issues. I’ve written about this stuff before but
it was often hard to rise above it and not treat myself with less respect than
my temple/body deserved as it seemed my city was interested in ass kissing
and/or doing lots of pills and forgetting the roots for a stretch there.
Now, my city of Kingston, NY (former first capitol of NY State and presently with maybe the most softball teams)
is in a real renaissance of acceptance, more health minded values and support
for creatives, which has made it an easier place to be for any level of
The O+ Festival this year in Kingston features bands like Clover, Prince Rama,
Widowspeak, my band GET OUT. and even C. Glover of Living Colour fame. They
are implementing a pay what you think it’s worth model, kind of like Amanda
Palmer’s The Art Of Asking in festival form, to ensure people can go to O+
Fest but also to push the cause. The Festival offers health care and wellness
services to artists as a thank you for their service. Renaissance Artists used
to have patrons. Now we have one another and our community. Ian Mackaye has
always been correct that if you don’t have a net of community/grassroots real
fans or punk foundations in place, it will be a bumpy ride on the way back
I was talking to Yasmine Kittles of Tearist recently and bitching about Coheed and how people are clueless about how shitty they have been to me, close friends and my family (which is not the point of every article I write but I really am in fuck it mode with those dudes again), and me lamenting that I wish I had made better choices also. I worked hard but faced lot of blacklisting in my scene or obstacles and have never made a ton of money.
I remember one show in particular that I wanted to be happy for Coheed and Three. I was at the show at Roseland and they had, at the time, George W. Bush (“4 more years!” barf) supporting band Underoath opening to a huge crowd and all their parents in the audience proud of them.
Their band named after my sister Cambria and weird , complex personal history with all of those cats both great and really, really ugly.
I was happy for Underoath but I felt like I deserved that opening slot,
like all 3 of our bands (mine was DIVEST) who had really grown and started to
break bigger together showing a united force. But there were already some
really big cracks in our friendships that I’ll get into another time or never.
Sick of talking about it since this scene is too fucking stupid to get the
details down anyway. Haha.
But really, those dudes have been giant, swollen assholes on and off for a long time.
But anyway, so Yasmine said to me something funny like ,”Who cares if they
made a lot of money. So did Criss Angel” or something typically Yasmine-like
and short and painfully funny. I am not sure if she said Criss Angel now and
erased the text, haha.
But anyway, yeah…It wasn’t that I wanted Coheed’s own earned money or
anything but my own place in the scene that I felt I’d also earned. When you
are closeted or have been poor and fought hard to rise out of it, you don’t
want to be a stepping stone or shit on by people. And I just wanted my parents
to kind of be proud of me too.
I was a hot mess teenage junkie/drunk, etc. It took a long time to rewire
myself, work through trauma/ptsd ad fucking accept my full scope. You have to
leave room in the black hole that grows inside of self-loathing and the
pitfalls of wearing a mask for love to be able to grow anew and heal you.
Today, I’m once again at the point where I’m ready to devote self to music
and ME first.
I think back on various ex girlfriends and think things like ,”She left me for various reasons involving both our karma. So did the next few, haha.”
One said she was tired of processing and just wanted to go with it. We did, until we didn’t. Is that how the future has to be written? No. Music as well is a tabula rasa. It’s hard not to be cynical but not impossible. And processing feelings and identity and relationship boundaries IS crucial.
In business or on personal levels.
Another example. My friend Lionel used to front a rad hardcore band called Slugworth.
Incidental (to my story) but crucial to Lionel’s identity, is that he is African American. Anyway, Lionel got into death metal bands late and was once dealing with line up struggles.
I’ve never heard Lionel ever talk much about how race has been for him in the scene. He just got shit done.
I think he was the first person to say to me ,”Everyone’s replaceable.” But not disposable. There’s a big difference there. I’ve always held on to some fucked up band dynamics because I believed in us all being able to rise together and that everyone cares mutually about end goals or the journey to fame being sacred, a self discovery. Ha!
Now I’m like, um…I want to do this.
It’s my career. I’m covering my ass from sycophants and users.
“I’ve learned enough lessons from bad shit,” Yasmine told me awhile ago.
So yeah, settle for a co-dependant or low hanging easy fruit grabbing band or
people who don’t work hard with shared vision. Go to Bible gay reprogramming
camp or accept the patriarchal boot on your throat or pretend black lives
don’t matter and Walmart is all American, it’s your funeral.
Let me rephrase…the full scope of metal needs to be realized. Let’s shed the old , dried snake (fore) skin of cock rock and closed mindedness and embrace the cool wide spectrum we have!
Torches blazed and sacred chants were praised
As they start to cry, hands held to the sky
(This is the “You cant please everybody part”).
That’s a dirty sensitive, feelings-y word to read on a metal site but we love
doing quirky stuff like that here at metal riot. Like I often say, I think
we’re one of the only active Metal blogs to have the two main content creators
be either bi or trans and we also have a fair amount of women who contribute
(though more are welcome! Facebook me).
The riot that is metal needs to evolve, like the Arab Spring, baby.
Frankly,it’s been a theme on many BETTER blogs and sites the past few years.
It’s a few days after full moon, less howling in the air and a bit more freedom from lunacy vibes and gravity tides to think straight. I like to find focus late at night when no one is awake but me and the bullfrogs outside my window…less psychic baggage from the awake world polluting the empath train of thought/feels highway to hell.
Early on as a musician you strive, dream big (often naively), chart your
course. Then get worried about doing it right (or not).Then you decide to cut
corners or what is acceptable way of “selling out” to you. Where can you get
away with it? Then the whole industry changes. Then you get a sex change or a
wife or husband change or a change of city or change musical styles. It all
gets very complicated.
Find your voice. But it doesn’t have to be only ONE voice. There are MANY
voices in my head, hahaha.
A lot of bands are not losing sleep about being as authentic as Motorhead,but they should be.
It’s an embarrassment to half ass it , an insult to the greats who came before as well as an insult to your own life. It’s a waste
time being the carbon copy of someone else’s dream/jumping someone else’s train
(aka copying their style or dream or whatever…)
Here‘s queen of cool Jennifer Herrema with a great LA Weekly recent chat on the subject of copying and lack of imagination (around the time Royal Trux just did a one off reunion I want to shoot myself for missing). JJ! Love you! Ahhh! -cue Pistol fire aimed at heavens and whooping/dust clouds/shouting.
Is it rude I often point out my rock n roll crushes in articles?
I dunno. For me, saying I think Jill Janus or Herrema are rad and also attractive isn’t like an oversexualizing thing but more like pointing out, as if I need to, how awesome they are for being themselves. Why I also like Gaga rocking a Maiden shirt. It might piss some people off but fuck it. Welcome! Rad.
I don’t chop the person into slices of meat.
Sure…Metal is not “supposed to be” for nice people. BUT We are in need of fighting the
stereotypes or trolls who gross me out on Lambgoat and think we need only tear
one another down.
N. Jameson from mighty Krieg wrote his already infamous “Maybe Not Treating
Women Like Sperm Receptacles” article which you should all read.
Noisey had a thing recently on how metal fans are supposedly more devoted partners also.
It’s becoming the indie scene fringe versus the old guard boys club, these
days. Indie rock doesn’t need to “save metal” but they might need one another
to complete their karmic journeys to full lotus blossoming.
Tell me you didn’t need this Marissa Nadler “Solitude” cover in your life! I
dare you! I am not violent but I might slap you! It’s soooo good.
OR Check out my Weirds Kids table piece for this site on some bands like Orbweaver or Fad Nauseam who say fuck it to convention and just do whatever they want.
Metalcore is working class boredom and aimless, often causeless lack of
direction that befits the current ADD age and thus lyrics are often less
about social change than out right victim blaming, you hurt me stuff.
We have to keep conversation going. Help each other learn. It’s all we can do.
Here are some nice people who reflect a better vibage.
It wasn’t until I came out as bi a few years ago that I started becoming more hyper aware, at least consciously (my guilt ridden, blacked out brain was painfully aware) of spacial dynamics and energy again as much.
Example. I often read as straight as I prefer women, But talk to me for any amount of time and you learn that shit is not all that is going on, haha. But you can’t tell that when someone is just Instagram liking you.
If I am people browsing and happen to click a lot of pretty ladies in a row, you could draw
the wrong conclusion. Though I follow a lot of fashion blogs for an “average
cis” guy, just a hint.
Most people agree I am actually kind of a male lesbian, for the most part. I
like some acts with men and not others, which is no ones business really but
it feels so weird feeling like I have to quantify that. Aren’t we all just
I’m OBSESSED with miscommunication. To the point I’ve at times inadvertently
caused it trying to fix things.
Because I want to crack the nut. Conquer the Tower of Babel. Is that ultimate
hubris? A maximum contol freak out on my part? No, it’s my Quest For Fire.
someone who has beefed over a decade with a successful band on and off who used
to be close friends, I know a lot about miscommunication and the harm it can
cause. It’s also why I aim to be in control of myself more and not harm
others, though you also have to be able to live in the very real “theater of
cruelty” Yasmine from Tearist also talked to me about in a
recent New Noise interview we did. Be real. Be raw when it is time. To
everything turn, turn, etc.
I click a lot of random shit fast on Instagram when stoned and bored. Fuck, I even liked something on Crazy Towns page the other day (see main photo of this article, ha).
Anyway, yeah…I was looking at the Instagram of stoner band Electric Citizen
yesterday and thinking how if you only click on the “hot chick” photos of a
girl in a band it can be misread. Sometimes I really just like the photo of
the babely singer in an amazing outfit who is rocking out! Other times you are
more cerebral about it all.
It’s been really interesting to follow people who hate The Butcher Babies and
are threatened by them being hyper sexual to some at times but the same people
love Steel Panther or classic hedonist bands like Motley Crue (I sure fuckin’
For me, I follow a high volume of metal/rock bands with amazing female vocals
less for the eye candy than because I think often women project better vocally
these days in addition to looking fucking cooler and trying a bit harder.
(unleash the archers)
And another thing…I’ve definitely held back at making stud muffin comments
on male performers because, and so hypocritically on my part, having only
recently come to terms with my full range of sexual preference , I felt weird
thinking how a comment could open an artist to trolling or being called a fag
cuz bi people like them. Just stupid, micro/macro shit.
Like, people already call Black Veil Brides fags, hahaha.
4.This can’t go on, I must inform the law
Can this still be real, or just some crazy dream?
Let’s all try radical acceptance, some ego death and to just be ourselves.
Filter or no filter, we gotta work it out. I’ve had Coheed trolls call me pre-suicide
“Justin Lowe” as an insult for things like THIS ,but whatever. I’m gonna do me.
People are allowed to react however they want. And that also means its cool when shirts
like this happen. Equal rights, equal fights, right? Wait, I can’t keep track
of who wants equal rights/free speech anymore.
Respect. That’s another key concept. One of my best friends is Sorora Mystica.
A true ride or die person in my life who I value above almost all others for her strength and kindness.
I’ve had a long and winding love life and we’ve dated a lot of each others
mutual friends. She’s not into me that way but I love her to death. Even
though sometimes I feel like I met her in a past life, it doesn’t invalidate
my bonds with other people. And hearing her for who she is, or being happy for
her that she is with a dude she really likes, for example…that is awesome.
Knowing I have friends I can trust that I’m having and receiving open and real
communication with and biofeedback is a lifesaver.
Those kind of friendships or my true bond with music saved my life and many other performers you love also.
That kind of honesty is NOT common in metal, but a lot of cooler people would like it to be. Don’t be discouraged when you see tons of troll message board comments.
That’s not the whole scene.
Many of us want this to be a place that can save your life.
Or like, random, critics of Korn usually like early stuff when that
band was hungrier before they got a lot of money, though I’d argue they’ve
always stayed experimental with their core sound… the essential down tuned
nu metal rubix cube. Like, “Y’all Want A Single” is inherently a weird song!
you just hate Nu metal! Admit it, be real. Hahaha. Just be honest!
Anyway…What makes a writer or musician put pen to paper or pick up an instrument?
Trauma? Location ala Sabbath or The Sex Pistols or Pussy Riot rising to defy
an economy or boors or Putin? I’m from Woodstock, Ny so I love
sincere “statement of purpose” songs that define a mission ala Bob Dylan early
protest music or message punk.
“Know No Shame” by quirky, Superchunk influenced rockers Kitty Little can sit
on a playlist of mine next to At The Gates or Anthrax. I’m the kind of person
who will sit around trying to make Ghost/Linkin Park Meliora/Meteora gay
“Breaking The Habit” jokes, in a progressive way! That might put me in a
We need to examine themes of unifying. See difference as asset. I’m even
including the cookie cutter bands here. We’re all important. If some youngin’
doesn’t listen to way too many breakdowns they might never move on to Slayer.
And again, maybe they don’t have to find Slayer at all and can just be really
eventually weird as hell and do their own thing. The “next” Ghengis Tron or Isis.
We’re still kind of looking for the next Nirvana but the mainstream tent pole
band that most “average people” in hard rock and metal rally under is
Disturbed. Which is fine if that’s your cup of tea but the great thing about
Nirvana was that they were one of the first bands in ages to be a prototype
social network unto themselves. Mastodon has this to a lesser quality in that
they aren’t as big as Nirvana but have strong connections to the DIY punk
scene, the hearts of joe schmoe hardrock who like their tamer songs or
connections to the weird kids and Neurosis or Cursive fans (both of whom
they’ve played with).
pt. 5 But I feel drawn towards the chanting hordes
Seem to mesmerize, can’t avoid their eyes
Am I just a whore? Haha. Like, is it opportunism to write about all styles of
music? Do I really like all these different things or am I craving attention
through multiple outlets?
I have been asked this, haha.
We all have good whore and bad whore days. I still generally try and write
about bands I like before agreeing to cover anything that is kind of wack. I
mean, I’m really open minded but I have a fucking radar and metaphorical
police scanner , y’now?
And even I drew the line at Wifebeater’s “Beat Her To The Shelter” which
sounds fucking awesome but is really grody for obvious reasons.
I’m a stubborn Aries w gemini moon and sun bullshit pulling me around, if you
go into that sort of thing. Does this mean I’m bi polar? No. Very
exhausting at times to follow my mental processes, yes? But I’m happy to be
here. And there is always a thread.
No one cares if you are mr. super Venom fan more than mr. super Slipknot fan. What’s the NEXT step?
There are cracks in the facade of “you can’t do that”. It has been destroyed
and we didn’t even have to make a deal with the devil. We can just be
ourselves. Read this great Atlantic piece on Kanye calling himself a Millennial.
The grail myth of “how to make it” or what you have to do is dead. You can go
your own wayyyyyyy….
6: I have the fire, I have the force
I have the power to make my evil take its course
I’m finishing a debut album with my hard rock/metal/alt/punk band GET OUT.
from Kingston, NY. Got PR and an acoustic solo Walking Bombs EP and a side project full length as well.
Get out of the closet, get our of your house, get out and be yourself or make
a difference, etc. Get Out!
We’re on a Metal Riot comp I’m putting together for Halloween along with bands
like Septa, Night Viper, Geezer and more.
On a door next to the room we were mixing in the other night was a judas
priest name tag from when they did Eddie Trunk’s show (my drummer Greg does
sound for That Metal Show). Greg was a dude from Texas who followed his dream
of being a sound guy and just did the Weezy F Katrina Ten Year show in NOLA
that Master P and a lot of olds chool No Limit dudes performed at a few days
ago. He said it was amazing to be part of.
What’s success to you? Is it the “White Whale/ holy grail” of Mastodon’s famed lyrics? The VMAs?
“I think that someone is trying to kill me”…
If someone is keeping you down, don’t let them.
Starting this column last night alone after rubbing one out and crying (it’s been an emo week) I couldn’t tell if this was a late night or light of day idea that should be scrapped. We all have reputations to protect but need there be separation/cowardice of principles?
Do I just have no fucking filter? Believe me, I actually do. It can get way worse! haha…
…but like, how could I respect myself as a writer if I hold back at a time when Mish Way of White Lung is writing such in depth and deep sexual psychology and sociology pieces like THIS.
You can be metal or alternative or a club kid and be a well rounded person.
You can fuck whoever you want or be asexual or have whatever weird scenario
works for you without setting off harm alarms, just don’t bullshit yourself or you could actually be hurt really badly.
I almost went back to college once and would’ve gotten into major student debt because a girl I was dating thought I should try and get a journalism degree.
Then I got good advice from my friend Dava She Wolf (Ex-Cycle Sluts From Hell/Star & Dagger).
Dava said, “You know how to survive. People like us know people or are in the NY Times. You don’t have to write for anybody if they don’t already want you.”
Fucking hails! \m/
Sometimes, finding your way as a loner or in the metal scene or as an artist looking for fans can seem like throwing different pots of spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks. Just try and be genuine.
Like I said, I sometimes work at a bar. I only smoke pot as it helps me not fall asleep on Paxil I take to even me out post vasectomy (I lost twins and made a personal choice but had some side effects).
Anyway, coming down the street each week or late at night you see people who are a hot mess and full of insecurity, soon to be “i can’t believe I fucked them” exclamations or personal dramas.
I don’t want to be that guy. Not blaming that on drinking. But It’s easier to not have problems of hot messery if you are honest with people about your personal, sexual and/or long term life goals.
I quit drinking after this crazy as fuck Orange Goblin show below, by the way. I kind of bled on people and was wasted, as I have done frequently over the years. That was a great show to go out on after 666 bottles of beer or more over the years. I wasn’t always drowning my sorrows but sometimes I was shielding myself in a false sanctuary.
Critics sometimes say metal is the “temper tantrums” of grown men who need
therapists. For some , surely. There’s a lot of room for insert name here tyoe
jokes here or Metal Sucks even has a biggest douche in Metal poll going again.
But sometimes, ala the best days of marilyn manson or Gorgoroth, you can see an artist
really working through their ID and insecurity, blowing away years of doubt
and taking contol of their art, voices, literal body images.
I can be Ray Donovan one minute and be very quiet, observing my surroundings
then erupt with data when I hit a keyboard or feelings gush out. We all have
our ways of absorbing. Some coping mechanisms are better than others. We all
can look back on early Superjoint Phil rants as funny in one lght for what an
asshle he could be but also be proud and happy for the successful survivors
story post-Dimebag death and depression battling Anselmo has become as the
Housecore and Down fronting Illegal we know and love today.
Trolls think they are always the expert. Jumping down throats.
How about we bring people together?
People also quit the scene cuz they “dont make enough money” or lose sleep over every choice. No. just pay the fuck attention to each step.
Can we also QUIT being cocky without backing it up?
It ruins metal and rap. Except for early Nugent. That’s good cocky, lol. But
Nugent is baaaaaaaaad cocky now.
Some people say “just write about metal and no world or gender stuff” as a real
criticism of this site. Or they hear Locrian and say “how is this metal”?
Yo, it’s 2015.
And what’s the END GAME?
Talking once to White Zombie’s Sean Yseult as one of the first people who got a first look at her I’m In The Band book, I was thrilled to hear Yseult stress that the journey of discovery is as important as the hits.
So what are you here to prove? Is it to assert self and shove your leather cock rock pants in the face of the front row? Awesome, haha!
Is it to say “im here”? Create a time capsule? Well that will all fade. Castles made of sand, etc.
Is being a rock star or being worshipped your only goal? What about a
meaningful and sustainable social movement? Can we still really have not
recovered from the disillusionment of Altamont and can’t get a peace movement
or Festival Culture back on track. Reclaim the heart and soul of this country
and sick world?
As a fan, do you only want to support the early years of metal and fear all change?
I like life sacrifices. And not just sacrificing virgins. There’s a romance to
that level of commitment. It’s called knowing your path. And it fucking scares
OR…Maybe we’re here to experience certain things. To have certain conversations in
times and places that make you grow or be transmuted like a REAL alchemy
through art. Or that are the butterfly wing that starts the tidal wave and all that jazz.
But you have to risk to gestate and BLOOM, and to be willing to share your environment and the stage and
let there be room for ugliness, shadows, variety.
I don’t need a trophy wife or a corvette or whatever. I don’t even need a
partner. I can feel good about people liking me or whatever but also feel
inspired that I have eked out a life for myself and can regularly get advice
from heroes and musical compatriots who make it work for them.
Here’s something that recently really moved me.
Back when I interviewed Yasmine I happened to be in a wild week, off my Paxil and
moody and in all this transit of a break up where I’d felt bailed on and know
I’d given a lot.
So, suddenly in midst of that I’m talking to a noise/indie rock and fashion
comedy person I really admire and dare say have always found frighteningly
gorgeous (like…the most gorgeous of all,haha). Someone both vulnerable and
so fuckin in charge and not fuckable with. It’s like, even when Yasmine is
wound all the way out on the spool of her kite live, she owns her space more
than the wind does.
She has new collaborators in Tearist and elsewhere who are not abusive. Has survived health scares. Can out vibe many of the most “intense” or “extreme” people AND make you laugh.
That is so inspiring to me. And clearly was an important motivational step in my recent journey or even to know someone could really stir feelings around in my guarded cauldron and I could let them and be ok with it.
Though it’s also kind of frustrating to know she lives in L.A. and is like massively unattainable and I’m fucking soooo crazy, hahaha.But it’s nice to be really inspired by someone. Plus now I can try and get rich and build her a hideous, gaudy palace , not that she isn’t way more capable of doing hat herself, haha.
It’s awesome to tell someone you think they are perfect flaws and all and feel accepted by them also. I love all the people in my life who have given me that so much.
Music gives me that also, that core male bonding Kim Gordon talks about in her new book was almost a palpable, physical and perhaps at times sexual need to belong for me as a punk rocker and still to this day.
I try and approach interviews from a place of curiosity and also hope I can
make the person feel good as well. It’s sociology. This is not just a devil’s
highway of broken people.
Music, art, love is a battlefield.
Sometimes I get worried by empathy or ability to listen can even call up too
much in people. Yasmine was talking to me recently again and we had this like super deep
conversation and she got short of breath and I literally thought she was dying
on the phone that day. She has had lung collapses before and so it was super scary… so I’m kind of including this all to send her a lot of love and say that she is brave and I’m so stoked Tearist is touring Europe imminently.
Yas, you’re a powerhouse.
I’ve been worried about staying in touch with her even though she is like
literally one of my favorite people on Earth now, but because I don’t want to
trigger anyone. And I’m frankly even a little afraid of how intensely she makes
me feel things and puts me in touch with values I really consider core for
me.I can get there myself but some people just bring it out of you, and that’s
so special to me.
I’m worried I accidentally pushed her a bit too hard without meaning it,
because I believed in her story and really wanted her to be a part of this
Amanda Daniels support piece I did… but you have to trust someone is an
adult who can have their own experiences and draw their own lines. Especially
if I care bout them and know I am not like being mr. superficial journalist
So I hope we’re cool. That’d suck so bad.
And it’s also nice to “meet” someone like Yasmine or talk to a super hard
working class band like Hatebreed and know that it is absolutely vital to have
standards for myself and to believe in the real world threads and magic that
the brave and bold have carved out of the wilderness for us.
Or to have Paul from Blackguard agree to sing a tune with me before even hearing it. Thank you.
Up the fucking Irons, indeed. I have no kids, etc. but have ties to amazing
people. I can “get in the booth” and own my life or converse but also a lot
comes up. Artists. Real empaths. People in music for the right reasons can be
sensitive. Some people want music as just entertainment or escape and I think
that’s where a lot of the division is happening more and more these days.
Heck, some days I’m super compassionate and scene oriented and on others want
to rip down bands i think have been assholes or who pollute the water/kill the
The ego of performer vs realities of life vs adrenaline spars onstage or page
with vulnerability and mystique versus confession or “that’s no one’s
My friend McCoy who played bass in my old band DIVEST said ,”Dude, you beat heroin.”
He’s right. And I can use that to help other people in the scene struggling. So even there I’m not a failure.
So how hard do you go? What lines do you draw in the sand? When is shit
realistic? Or just a craaaazy dream?