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April 29, 2010

How Did You Discover Metal?

Brutal Tunes, Steff

Metallica
steampunk-ipod

Steampunk iPod mod

I read a post over at Gala Darling today, and she talked about your palate band – the group or songwriter who made you realize music was more than just the top 20.

I can’t define just one song, or one band, but I can name about ten pivotal songs, bands or musical “epiphanies” that have not just impacted my taste in music, but affected my life and personality profoundly.

Ever since I can remember, we always had music on in the house – whether it was the local classic hits station, my “Snoopy’s Christmas” tape, or my parents’ vinyl collection, my sister and I spent many a happy hour sitting in front of the huge speakers, drawing and playing and arguing and absorbing all that wonderful music. Queen, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper and T-Rex stand out during this period – bands I still love today.

As a child I listened to more music than I watched cartoons – and for a kid, that’s saying a lot. Even the TV I did watched tended to be taped replays of my favorite snoopy cartoons, the rugby with my dad and Walt Disney’s Monster Hits (one of the first major musical influences of my life). If you’ve never seen this, it’s a collection of all the darkest, spookiest clips and songs from disney films. Songs like “Bad Moon Rising”, “The Monster Mash” and “Evil Women” should ave given the world the first clue I was born to be a darkling. It gave me delicious shivers – a sense of the kind of art I eventually wanted to create.

snoopy

snoopy: my childhood hero

At primary school, I was bullied. Horribly, brutally bullied. And I found solace in the music. I developed my first ever “obsession” over a song – “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum. I still get teary every time I hear that song. I wanted so badly to just up and run away, go somewhere where no one knew me, and I could start over – a couple of times I even did, but I never got very far. I’m always drawn to songs about freedom, like Iron Maiden’s “Running Free” and Metallica’s “Wherever I May Roam”.

At around age 10, I caught the Spice Girls bug. Yep, I did. The local radio station I listened to played mostly classic rock, but would sometimes play a few “chart” hits, and they stated playing Wannabe and I just LOVED it. So catchy. My parents brought me the album for my birthday and I got caught up in the whole Girl Power thing. I was quite insufferable. I dressed up to look like Sporty Spice (she was my favorite, and the first girl I ever saw with a tattoo), and I wanted to be just like them. The Spice Girls appealed to me because they were the first solely female band I’d ever heard, and the first female singer that made me feel like being a girl made me special and powerful, rather than weak, like I felt at school. This started my lifelong love affair with women in rock and metal.

At around age 12, I met Alanis Morrissette. From the first note, I was in love. That voice, that rage, those lyrics like poetry. This was around the time I started going off the Spice Girls.

At age 14 I was listening to a local chart show, that “Phat Forty” and they were taking requests for a “Back Phat” – a hit from somewhere back in time. Someone rang up and requested Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”

Changed my life.

Metallica

Metallica

This was what I had been waiting for. This was the music I was born to listen to. All I wanted was more, more, MORE. I went to the Warehouse and brought my first Metallica Album – S&M (Yeah, a weird pick, but I didn’t know what any of the albums were, and that one had the most songs on it. I didn’t even know it was a live album). I took that baby home and it was like a religious conversion, I loved it so much. Over the next couple of months, I brought every metallica album. Someone told me about a radio station “The Rock” which played lots of Metallica and other metal, so I swapped over and started listening to that instead. I brought my first ever metal shirt – an original, official Metal Up Your Ass one, which I still own. I became a little Metallica-obsessed. I heard Iron Maiden for the first time and brought a couple of their albums.

I became annoyed at The Rock, because apart from Metallica and Iron Maiden, they didn’t really play any “metal”, and I knew there had to be more. When I was … around 16, I think, my parents got the internet! Eeeeee! Napster had already gone under (we were late to the game) but my enterprising sister downloaded Kazaa (remember Kazaa?) I started by downloading the back catelogue of every artist Metallica covered on “Garage Inc” and obsessively reading Metallica forums and checking out the bands they listened to.

I discovered Slayer, I discovered Meshuggah and Testament and Saxon. My CD collection started to grow. I was hooked for life.

I also discovered Nick Cave.

young-nick-cave

A young Nick Cave

Who I will marry one day, even if I have to gag and kidnap him. Nick Cave is … heaven. His songs sound like my books – at least, they sound the way I want my books to read: darkly funny, incredibly clever, full of puns and mythic reimaginings and literary figures. I was lucky enough to see him live and meet him in person and I tell you he is hands down the best performer on earth, metal or nay.

And his voice … ergggggg *drools on keyboard* Nick Cave’s voice haunts my dreams. I am a sucker for men with dark, interesting voices. My BFF’s ex once rang our flat and CDH answered and ever since, she’s wanted to meet him because his voice gives her orgasms.

At uni I met a wonderful friend, Johnowar, and he introduced me to Manowar and Blind Guardian. My love of metal from Europe was born. I, in turn, introduced European metal to CDH, who used to be a no. 1 Cradle of Filth fan, but now bounces around like a happy baby at a Blind Guardian concert.

So these are my palete bands. If you haven’t guessed, these songs will feature in this week’s Metal Mixtape. But now I want to hear from you – what were the turning points in your music appreciation? How did you discover these bands – did you hear them by chance, did you have a metal “mentor” who thrust CD after CD upon you until you heard something that made your knees weak? Don’t worry if you’re not actually into metal – just tell me about how you found the music that shaped your life.

Yours with Nick Cave’s Bastard Children \m/
Steff Metal

48 Comments on “How Did You Discover Metal?

Von
March 22, 2015 at 10:48 pm

I struggled a lot in my early teenage years to get into any music. In my high school everyone pretty much listened to rap so that’s what I ended up listening to as well. One day, a new friend of mine left some CD’s at my house, namely Linkin Park, System of a Down and Disturbed (yeah I know, hard rock, but everyone starts somewhere).
I started listening to them more and more and then the same friend introduced me to Ill Nino. I pretty much threw all my other CD’s away at that point and just got more and more into that kind of hard-rock/nu-metal style. My tastes then evolved to Killswitch Engage and Chimaira, and then further evolved to Lamb of God, Arch Enemy, Children of Bodom, and so on. That first step was about 15 years ago and was the best thing that ever happened to me

Tyr Fan
February 6, 2015 at 3:36 pm

My story starts when I went to a conference in Washington, D.C. This one chick introduced me to Three Days Grace and similar artists. I liked that, so I kept listening to it. Then I found Alestorm’s song “The Sunk’n Norwegian”, completely by accident. I heard it about six months ago or so. Then I heard Tyr’s “Hold the Heathen Hammer High”. At that point, I realized I liked metal music. So I googled “heavy metal bands” to find more. Now I listen to Iron Maiden, Pantera, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Dio, Edguy, Avantasia, Tyr, Heljareyga, Alestorm, Hammerfall, Cans, Amon Amarth, Insomnium, Powerwolf, and any others I happen to come across and like (I mostly like power metal for some reason). I came into the genre a lot later than many did (I’m a chick in my late teens), but I hope to enjoy metal for many years to come. I own four band shirts and hope to buy more in the future, as well as more music (my heavy metal CD collection still fits in one hand, it’s not big enough!!! :P). I have received much opposition to my change in style/music taste, but I’ll not despair and show no fear! I’ll live my life without regrets!!! (if you listen to Amon Amarth, you’ll get it) \m/

steff
February 9, 2015 at 3:13 pm

@Tyr Fan – love your story \m/ I’ve only recently become a Tyr fan myself. Trust me, that music collection will be enormous before you know it, and then you’ll be like me and need special dedicated bookshelves just to hold them all. I’m sad to hear people are against your newfound love of metal, but they will probably get used to it when they see it’s not just some kind of phase. Metal forever \m/

Tyr Fan
April 21, 2015 at 11:45 am

Hey, thanks :) Tyr are awesome, I’ve even written to Heri, their vocalist, and he wrote back to me :D. Hehe I buy new albums every time I run across one that I might find interesting, so it’s up to… I think something like 8 or 10 albums. I look forward to the day when I’ll need special bookshelves for ’em! Oh well, I’m almost 18 (I came into the scene pretty late, I know). I’m old enough to deal with it and not be a sissy about it. \m/ Maybe when I get to college I’ll meet some awesome metalheads!!! :)

Snorri
October 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm

I’m a boy and i also got the Spice girls flue at the time. When i was around 7 i got my first cd player and basicly i just listened to what i was given. So it was Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and i liked Will Smith when he was rapping and asked for his cd for birthday and my mom actually bought a cd by soem other black rappist.
I first got into metal at the age of 14 or a little earlier. It was at the time when Rammstein gave out Mutter, i just adored that cd. Rammstein also came to Iceland (where im from) that same year, everyone i knew went but i somehow wasn’t ready, i had never gone to a concert before and not such a big one and was nervous for some reason and ever since i wish i had gone. I got my first computer at the age of 14 as well so my cds back then was just something i bought at the cd store. So I liked rammstein and one day i browsed the cd store and saw a band called Fear Factory, i knew the tv episode Fear Factor and found it funny and bought it. It was the cd Digimortal which many metalheads hate but i actually liked and still do. Then one of my other friends had a Cradle of Filth poster in his house, i bought next Midian and loved that. That time i read the genre of this music and sought out other bands with Black Metal and metal in general. I know the dispute if Cradle of Filth is black metal and Rammstein metal and so forth but didn’t at that time – then i started to know Darktrhone, Burzum, Cannibal Corpse.

It’s funny if i think about i started with something like Rammstein and teh bands i started to know after them was always a little harder, then a litle harder and in the end i had gotten to now Extreme Metal. Just like a drvg, always wanting harder and harder.
Silencer is one band that was pretty weird to me. At first i didn’t reall ylike it but it gave me the chills or goosebumps so i listened to it just because of that, in the end that went away and i liked their music.

I had myself a little problem at first with getting bullied. What i did was fighting violence with violence. As a kid when someone tried bullshit like that i kicked their ass and they left me alone. Another school i went to all the guys in my class started to bullying me but the girls helped me and told them they were assholes, it’s nice when people have the guts to stand up.

Anyway, nice to read your blog. We also have some metal scene in Iceland and the best bands at themoment are Sólstafir and Skálmöld who are touring europe as we are speaking.

Skál!
Snorri

Caroline
May 19, 2014 at 2:51 am

My Dad has always loved AC/DC and I remember once when I was a 7 year old Catholic schoolgirl he took me with him to the local music store and he bought himself some metal compilation albums – AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Deep Purple and so on.
It was probably not the first time I’d been to that store because hung high on the wall there was a huge poster of a white bunny rabbit. It wasn’t cute or fluffy. It was sinister. It had an evil, grinning, human face and it was wearing a black top hat. There was Dad, happily loading his arms full of vinyl records depicting grinning human skulls but nothing was creepier than that bunny rabbit… It’s got nothing to do with why I like metal – I just wanted to get it off my chest. Brrrrr….demonic rabbit…
Eventually I found myself listening to Dad’s albums when I was alone with the record player. I felt distinctly strange listening to the song ‘Highway to Hell’. Being religious, it felt a little dangerous. But there was no denying something else: the song was flippin’ awesome.
So my Dad’s albums marked my first impressions of metal. Thanks Dad.
I went on to love Tool and Marilyn Manson, Lamb of God and many others. I love death metal. The adrenaline and energy really fire me up. Anytime I hear some, I relax. I am filled with joyful hope. I am put into a better mood, instantly.
I don’t think my Dad’s tastes ever developed as far as death metal but I’ve seen his foot tapping to a bit of hard rock like Slipknot and one time he came rushing into the room to demand “Who’s that?!” when I played Mastodon’s ‘Sleeping Giant’.

Mecca
March 9, 2013 at 1:59 am

Cool post Steff – loving this site so far. I made a similar post about how I got into metal at my blog http://metalmusicblog.com/2013/02/25/how-did-you-get-into-metal/ :)

Rahmat Mulyadi
March 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm

i remember my very first rock music that i ever buy was Appetite For Destruction by Guns N Roses, and then Sepultura Arise album. that was so cool at the time.
nice post, i like this article.

Sara
February 4, 2013 at 7:46 am

I discovered rock and metal music around 1st grade, loved it ever since. My sister was into mostly gothic music and alternative rock. I started listening to Rob Zombie and KoRn, then towards 5th grade got into 80s metal music and now I listen to black metal, death metal, 70s and 80s metal bands, stoner metal, etc. \m/

Clara
January 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm

A bit late to the party like the last guy that posted, but here goes:

My story is a long journey that begins with Japanese music. I know, weird right?

When I was a little girl, I only listened to Visual Kei, which is a subgenre of Japanese rock music. When I hit the teenage years, I expanded a bit to include some American rock music, like Three Days Grace and Motley Crue, and through my parents discovered Hair Metal. I’m a little embarrassed to talk about that phase… But anyhow! After that, I got into goth.

I was about 14-15 when this change occurred, and the goth phase only lasted for a short while as I never really could get into the music, I just liked the fashion. Instead of goth music, I listened to a variety of bands like: Theatre of Tragedy, Megadeth, and Rammstein. Mind you, some of those bands are metal, but I didn’t actually begin exploring the subject much back then.

Almost a year ago by now.. I dated a fellow nerd who told me about many great things, like role-playing, purple hair dye, and computer rpg’s and, lastly, he introduced me to Blind Guardian and Sonata Arctica :) I dumped the goth and began my true discovery of metal!

Clara
January 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm

* dumped the goth meaning the music hahah at the time I was forcing myself to listen to Bauhaus and some other goth music because I didn’t want to be considered a poser ;)

sealgaire
December 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Late to the party but this article really made me try and remember how I started listening to metal. I started out with Rage against the Machine at the age of 14 (Not that metal I know) because as a bass player their style appealed to me. Then the anger and emotion and all those lovely things led me to bands like disturbed. Eventually I started listening to the classics like Priest and Maiden, which sort of led me through all the way up metal’s history in vague chronological order to now, at 19, where I have a pathological addiction to Eluveitie, TYR and other such folk bands as well as Tech death like Obscura, Gorod and Periphery. I still remember how to play ‘Know your enemy’ Though.

Caitlin
November 22, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I got into metal after my 2 year long goth phase where I listened to a bunch of The Cure and Bauhaus ha. Then I found out about this power metal band called Bloodbound. I ended up liking that, still in my goth phase, and then I found out about Blind Guardian. A few months ago I bought a Blind Guardian album (Memories from a Time to Come, it was the only album of theirs within 100 miles from my house, ha) with money I had saved up. Now I’m getting into Bathory, Slayer, Meshuggah, and Rhapsody of Fire. I’m still only thirteen, but I’m really liking metal. My parents are used to me wearing black and even let me wear a Thor’s Hammer necklace. I don’t have any band shirts yet, but I’m saving for some (which will probably be too big- thanks for the post about metal shirts for girls, Steff!). Soooo that’s my story. \m/

Bloodaxe
November 19, 2012 at 8:15 am

Well when I was about 13 (I was an emo crossed with a gothic nerd or some shit) I was talking to this metalhead guy in school, telling him how brutal papa roach was (I know right?, kill me haha) he told me to go home get on my computer and listen to raining blood by slayer
the rest is legend

Raven Valentine
November 9, 2012 at 5:04 am

i disovered metal after my biological passed away the man was a true metalhead and utter legend anyway i had the offer to go over to his house and take what i wanted from his stuff so i went over there and took and number of items inculding the CD of Sabbath’s Paranoid.. and as they say the rest is history…

steff
November 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

@Raven – that’s a sad and also awesome way to get into metal. I love the idea that’s you’re keeping his legacy alive through the music. Welcome to the site!

anthony
October 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm

i discovered metal when i heard DISTURBED the first song was INDESTRUCTIBLE and many many many of you are saying DISTURBEDS A NU METAL BAND etc… false THERE METAL JUST PLAIN METAL.. HARD ROCK MIXED WITH HEAVY METAL.. and since then disturbed has been my favorite band .. then came along metallica \m/ …. first i heard the song ONE and then i looked up all there albums and now .. METALLICA IS MY 2ND FAV BAND … AND THERE BEST ALBUM’S IMO .. ARE LOAD AND RELOAD .. dont get me wrong i love each album but those albums were more meaning full to me .. but anyways … DISTURBED AND METALLICA KINGS OF METAL .. \M/

ionaaaah
August 5, 2012 at 4:28 am

as a kid i was one of those girly girls, i did ballet and figure skating (i still do- having knives drilled to your boots is fucking metal, even if you are basically doing ballet on ice), my first concert was s-club seven and i drew pictures of pricesses in my textbooks and i think mika was my favorite singer. then i heard slipknot when i was 11 and it was like… fucking terrifying, but real and human at the same time. from that point on i diddnt look back, by the next week i was obsessively collecting korn, slayer and black sabbath records and googling what this ‘metal’ thing was anyway, then i got into testament and megadeth and anthrax and nile and bolt thrower and for some reason burzum. by the time i was 13 i was turning up to school with my metal shirts under my uniform and dragging my mates to gigs (hell none of them even like metal, to this day i have no idea why they still hang out with me :P) anyway, im still only 17, but there’s no way im going to stop listening to metal, ever.
anyway reading back mine’s a pretty dull story compared to everyone elses:P arrrvel:)

steff
August 9, 2012 at 12:01 am

@lonaaah – “utterly terrifying, and yet real and human at the same time.” I love this description of metal. It’s perfect. And yours is a great story, so don’t worry. Do you figure skate to metal songs? That would be badass.

Backhouse
July 29, 2012 at 5:09 am

When I was 3 years old, I found a few of my dad’s old LPs. Mostly Sabbath. But only one stuck out and that was Judas Priest’s Sad Wings of Destiny (mostly because of the angel in the flames). So I decided to play it on my granddad’s record player and I was blown away. I used to listen to listen to it almost everyday. Being 3 however, I quickly got bored after a couple of weeks and started listening to some of my dad’s Zeppelin and Sabbath LPs and albums.
When I was four, me and my parents moved out of my grandparents’ house and I forgot about heavy metal (at that time I didn’t know the name of the genre, let alone what a genre was). It wasn’t until I was about 11 that I found heavy metal once again and I’ve been hooked since. I went to my first metal concert this year (I’m 16 now) which happened to be part of Judas Priest’s Epitath tour which blew my mind and severely bruised me. Most people I know say that I’m not really metalhead because most non-metalheads view of metalheads are overtly stereotyped. But I haven’t payed to much attention to them and have kept on headbanging.

steff
August 9, 2012 at 12:18 am

@Backhouse – wasn’t that Judas Priest show something seriously epic? I saw them on the Epitaph tour at Wacken, and it was incredible. I wish I’d been able to see them back in the day, but I’ll settle for watching Rob change clothing after every song and belt out Painkiller and Turbo Lover with 75 000 happy Germans. What an EPIC first concert for you.

I agree that you should pay no attention to what other people say – keep on headbanging, because that’s the metal way \m/

Lauren
July 10, 2012 at 7:38 am

I saw this post last year, don’t know why I didn’t comment earlier….Anyways, my musical tastes were initially shaped by my dad. At 10 or 11 I heard Fleetwood Mac for the first time, and I was hooked. A few years later I heard the song ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Dire Straits in the movie ‘Empire Records’, and from there I devoured every Dire Straits album my dad owned. I also got into Carlos Santana sometime during this period – he’s still one of my biggest inspirations to keep playing guitar.

My love for metal started with Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’. I first heard the song when I was in sixth grade, but it wasn’t until tenth grade that I started to take an interest in metal. I had a metalhead friend who would always play metal in the background when a bunch of us were at his house. I decided that if he thought metal was so wonderful, I may as well give it a try. Eleventh grade was when I got seriously into metal; I created two metal stations on Jango.com, an internet radio site, and then more and more stations. I found some bands I liked, and my love for metal grew from there. Funnily enough, my sister got into heavy music before I did (bands like AC/DC, Alice In Chains, Guns n Roses Judas Priest), but she’s not nearly as into metal as I am.

Joshua Russell
July 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm

AC/DC tape

Diana
July 3, 2012 at 8:24 am

Well, it’s a long story. I was pretty much a Metalhead from birth, when we went somewhere by car, my father made me listen to Iron Maiden, Metallica, Nightwish and stuff like that. I also listened to classical music every night (more specifically Vivaldi, the 4 seasons) before sleep until I was six years old. At Elementary school, I started listening to Pop and rap, which I didn’t really like, and as a result, I was doomed to six years of Top 40 playlists. Two years ago, right before I went to Middle school, I was listening to the radio and stumbled across a rock channel. They decided to play Iced Earth’s Melancholy and that’s when it struck me. When I got home I googled the lyrics and I started listening to all their albums on YouTube, as I didn’t have any money to buy CDs or shirts. Soon I got into other bands like Dragonforce, Children of Bodom and Dimmu Borgir. My father didn’t want me to listen to heavier stuff than Metallica, so he banned me from listening to such bands, but I could still listen to them on YouTube (with headphones on, of course). My mother doesn’t like the most bands I listen to, but she lets me play songs loudly and she even woke me up in the morning once to go buy band shirts and wrist cuffs! I’m not kidding! Of course I have to hide them from Dad because he gets suspicious about everything and everyone. When I went to Middle school, it was hard for me to find someone who likes Metal, because I didn’t even have any friends there to support me and I was really shy. Some while ago two girls approached me and we found many common interests apart from music and we became best friends. Then everything went fine and I continued my life normally. I am turning 14 in December and I am planning to buy a guitar for my birthday or Christmas and I am happy as hell about everything and everyone.

Adi
June 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

In my childhood I listened to a lot of classic rock. When a friend introduced me to slayer, I made up my mind that the heavy stuff is not for me as the sudden change of pace freaked me out. Then I happened to listen to Metallica’s The day that never comes and soon I started listening to quite a lot of bands. And now Slayer doesn’t freaks me out anymore \m/

Margrét
September 20, 2011 at 3:18 am

My father introduced me to metal/rock music when I was around five years old. Being 17 now I still remember the moment when he put Powerslave LP on and I fell in love. Later he introduced me to Motörhead, Deep Purplel, Frank Zappa and Mr. Big…

This was probably the only thing I would listen to for around seven years (sadly, along with spice girls as well…) until I was 13, I discovered Black Metal.

And since then I’ve been a die hard BM fan and still listen to the ones that got me into metal :)

Wes
November 30, 2010 at 12:51 am

I was 14 years old.. At that time the ‘hardest’ song was Bitch by the band Sevendust.. (Little did I know that wasn’t even considered hard!)

My mother had opened an aromatherapy shop in town and was looking for some advertising.. The only radio station in town as a hard rock / metal station.. So she advertised on that.. I had preferred listening to techno/pop (ick).. She would always have it on the metal station.. After a while.. I’d call and request songs.. and little by little. It infected my life.. 10 years later.. I discovered the ‘hair metal’ (Dokken, etc).. and have been searching for harder, and more obscure bands ever sense.. All I have to say is, I wish I hadn’t been so blind and narrow minded.. I would have discovered my inner peace at a much earlier age!

Jenny
October 6, 2010 at 9:13 am

About the Metallica story, I had/have the same:
I’m now 14 years old and I’ve always liked Metallica a bit, but not much. I listened to Enter Sandman, Master of Puppets. Until I saw someone that had the Guitar Hero Metallica. I’ve always considered buying Guitar Hero, but I never did. I just didn’t want to. Too much money, didn’t have the time for it, and it would maybe get boring for me, thinking that I wouldn’t get better even if I tried to. But Because I liked Metallica more than I thought, I bought it. I just had to have it and I bought it as soon as possible, hoping that I have it 2 days later. Too bad for me, 2 days were already long for me to wait, but I got it after 3 days, late in the afternoon. Once I played it I became better, but I also became Metallica-fan. My parents were metal-fans too, when they were young, so I asked my dad if he had anything from Metallica. He had the CD “Kill ’em all. But that wasn’t enough for me, so I started to look for more things. The first things I bought was off course Guitar Hero, but after that I bought the Metallica S&M concert. I became Metallica-obsessed. Bought more things from the and I also became a more metal fan. I’ve always liked metal, but now I listen to metal almost everyday.
I went on pianolessons like a year ago, but when I started to love Metallica and Metal I had to learn something else. I really liked the guitar and drum because of Lars and Kirk. But because my pianoteacher said that the fingertecniques of paino and guitar don’t match I choose for drum. I was most inspired by Lars, so I’ve always liked drum a little bit more than guitar, but when I listened to Metallica I started to doubt. I listened a lot to songs with drum and guitar, but still I couldn’t really choose. But piano is quit peaceful so I had to do something with music were I can really rock with and drum is with more movement than guitar. So after my teacher’s “advice” I chose for drum. Now I have pianolessons and drumlessons. Metal, especially Metallica, has a big influcence to my life and has become a very important thing for me. It changed my life a bit.

steff
October 6, 2010 at 9:55 pm

@Jenny – Yar! Thanks for sharing your story! I think Metallica are awesome for having brought so many people to metal – I think they have a gift for melody (especially the earlier, Cliff and Mustaine-influenced stuff) that makes their music accessible without loosing the heavy aspect. Keep up those music lessons – you will be so glad you know how to play instruments! I wish I had learnt an instrument in high school – I had guitar lessons for a year at uni but I was HOPELESS. Now I play the Irish whistle but it’s just for fun :)

Stay metal \m/ Steff

Jeremy
September 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Well, my story is interesting. As interesting as my musical tastes, which run the gamut from Classical to death metal. The first band I got hooked on was the Beatles, but I realized after a while that I didn’t really like them, my family just did. After that epiphany I realized I actually hated the Beatles, and still do. It was around this time that I discovered the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This was around 1999 and they quickly became my favorite band, and still are. Soon after that I became addicted to the Who and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Around 2001 I got into Disturbed. This is the low point of my metal existence. I would glaze over it except Disturbed and Godsmack are what eased me into the next stage of metal (I refuse to listen to either anymore). My senior year in highschool I got heavy into Black Sabbath and Motorhead. My musical tastes probably would not have ever got heavier than that except I needed workout music. I started lifting heavily my senior year of high school for wrestling. I needed something heavier. I believe my first workout music was Rammstein, a band that I still enjoy on occasion. When I got to college however I needed something heavier. Rugby required me to put on a lot of weight. After 2 years of scouring youtube I finally found a metal band that I fell deeply in love with. Mastodon, my favorite metal band. From there I found thrash i liked (not a metallica or slayer fan and megadeth has since become a favorite but it had to grow on me) with sodom, and then I found my death metal giants, dying fetus and Necrophagist. In the past 2 or 3 years my metal library has expanded to include everything from Heidevolk to Sabaton, to Dying Fetus and Suffocation. I will say one thing though. I hate 99% of Black Metal. I can’t do it. The vocals piss me off and often times the lyrics do as well. Give me the death growls! \m/

P.S. sorry for the rambling hopefully you can decipher that, I have had a really long exhausting day teaching uncooperative 9th graders history.

Altáriel
May 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I think I owe most of my music taste to my dad. He struggled to buy each Beatles LP back in the 60s as soon as they became available here in Argentina. He also discovered some less known bands like The Byrds. By the time I was born he was into Queen, who played in Buenos Aires when I was a baby. Legend says I watched the concert with him on TV. So I grew up listening to his music. During my teenage years the Beatles were my favourite band. I was an outcast in high school and there was no internet back then so my exposure to music was limited to the radio. And yes, there are 2 Spice Girls cds lying around somewhere in the house still. But I wasn’t happy with that. I needed music I could relate to.
Then I ran across a Bon Jovi cd and got into it and when I read that one of their influences was Kiss I gave them a try. I got really blown away with their music. I was finishing high school by that time and the following year in university I met a guy who had a Kiss picture on his folder. We became friends and started sharing cds. None of us had internet at home so there was no way we could download anything. Then one day he brought me 2 cds: Visions from Stratovarius and Angels Fall First from Nightwish. In Argentina we use the expression “me voló la peluca” (literally: it blew my wig away) for situations like that. I started to search for more bands like those in the university internet lab and got to download a few songs and samples. I found Rhapsody like that. Then when I finally got internet at home I could widen my horizons a bit more. I ran across Blind Guardian and fell immediately in love with them. The rest is history.

TheWitchGhetto
May 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I wrote a blog about it today, inspired by this entry.

http://thewitchghetto.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-i-got-into-metal.html

Phoenixbird27
May 1, 2010 at 12:53 am

Indeed you should! I’d love to see it again! :-)

steff
April 30, 2010 at 11:33 pm

“We are stronger and more colourful individuals for the strength the music brings us.”

Never has a truer word been spoken.

Love ya too, and I LOVED your story! It would be awesome if we can see them together, but even if not, you are going to experience that grin for yourself \m/

7 hours I waited in that sodden mosh pit, and it was worth every. single. agonising. second. I will try and find that photo to put up.

steff
April 30, 2010 at 11:28 pm

@Euphoria – it was like that in NZ too. If you lived in a city, you could find other gothy people, but everyone knew everyone, and the goth / metal / punk / fetish scenes basically consist of the same core 30 people. If you lived in a small town, like me, you were the ONLY one, so you made up what you thought a goth or a punk or a metalhead was. Folks from the sticks have a hard time inserting themselves into the local scene because they didn’t go to high school with all the “cool” goth kids. It’s weird.

Which was why is was so AMAZING to see what it’s like in Europe. Blew me away. You have to go!

Phoenixbird27
April 30, 2010 at 9:29 pm

It’s surprising just how many people have Spice Girl to Metallica stories (I being one of them!)

I too, had horrible primary and high school experiences, and my existence consisted of coming home every day, locking myself in my room and playing loud music. For the most part it was terrible boyband and girlband pop, but I also discovered my dad’s music collection early on.

He gave me for each birthday, an album, and my first at age four was Stevie Ray Vaughn Couldn’t Stand the Weather. In 1988 I remember putting on the record , and him teaching me to use the diamond head on a record player. Non surprisingly, a year later I had both destroyed the record and the player! In December of 1988 I still remember the day he came home to tell me Stevie Ray had been killed in a helicopter crash. I still listen to Stevie and Double Trouble to this day.

I’m not sure of the exact years of the following albums, but next in the series was Jethro Tull Thick as a Brick (to which I memorised all the words from both 20 minute tracks!), Joe Satriani’s EPIC Flying in a Blue Dream and Surfing with the Alien, Hewey Lewis and the News Back to the Future Soundtrack, Deep Purple MachineHead, Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here and the Rolling Stones Black and Blue and Tattoo You. By that time, I was about 9 and desperately into Michael Jackson, and I clearly recall begging him for both the Bad Cassette, which I got for my following birthday.

Having grown up with more than electic tastes, when I visited my dad in the weekends I went through his record collection of Blue Oyster Cult, Led Zeppelin, The Yardbirds, Yes, Elton John, The Who, The Alman Brothers, Jeff Beck, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Van Halen and the rest of the Pink Floyd back catalogue. It became the soundtrack to rest of my teenage years and the beginning of my university years. Although, I never found heavy metal through him, I found the rock and blues roots that founded them all.

Similar to you, I was in the midst of the Black Album era as a teenager, and vividly remember the Metallica Enter Sandman/Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit years, where they stayed solidly on heavy radio play. In 1999, possibly due to several heavy years of Spice Girl infatuation, I resurfaced via my love for Led Zeppelin and listened more and more to the rock, who had by then, picked up on the S&M Symphony with Metallica. No Leaf Clover really got me, and I don’t even think at the time I really even knew that it was the same band that had penned Enter Sandman and One, which I had heard plenty by then.

And then, I suppose my taste of Metallica lay dormant until I needed them again. Two years ago, taking on the biggest intellectual challenge of my life, I needed the heavy music to accompany it, and it was then that I retrospectively discovered their 80’s back catalogue.

Like you, and many readers I’m sure, we are stronger and more colourful individuals for the strength the music brings us.

Thanks Steff, for rubbing Metallica off onto me, subtly I suppose. But I do remember in 2004, seeing you take off with the biggest grin I can remember to see them live. And even then, my pride seeing you on the rail (that aweseome photo that made it to the newspaper) of you TOTALLY FEARLESS banging heads with the rest of them made me realise how much they helped you when you needed them too.

So I look forward, will all my heart to the tour/assault they’re about to amass on us here in October/November.

Love ya Steffy! x

Euphoria
April 30, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Campervan?! I’ll have to look it up. Everything that guy does is genius.

I’ll be honest with you though. Being a goth is really nice when it’s just you and your three friends in a small town. We would sit around and read Lovecraft and Poe and listen to chamber music and Bauhaus with our black eyeliner and platform boots. Then when you get involved in a big scene (like Tampa, FL) you realize that your Gothic Utopia is a pipe dream. Most US goths are horrible people with no understanding of macabre culture and they don’t really read. Hence why I would also like to move to Europe at some point. ;)

steff
April 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm

@Eurphoria: I wanted to be a goth so, so bad, but I just couldn’t pull it off. I think I needed to wear makeup. I just didn’t feel “authentic”.

It was funny, probably because I didn’t really have any friends, I never formed my own “Spice Girls” although if someone had invited me, I would have been there! However, I had an enterprising spirit even back then. I made my sister and three of her friends into an all-girl four-piece, called “Zest”. I wrote them some songs (keep in mind I can’t play an instrument or sing – but they weren’t actually half bad. I can probably still remember some of the lyrics). And I was to be their manager. I choreographed them routines, made up CD covers, and drew up a contract for them to sign. I had dreams, big dreams. :)

I love steampunk mods too – have you see Jake Von Slatts steampunk campervan? CDH and I want to make one too, for adventures across Europe.

steff
April 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm

@nessbow: I’m glad you agree! More people should agree!

Every time I hear Jagged Little Pill I remember what it was like to realise I could be strong :)

steff
April 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm

@v – The Birthday Party. Eeee – they are TERRIBLE, but somehow, they’re terrible with such STYLE.

I know what you mean about the two different worlds of music – black metal and punk and bands like Venom (who I LOVE) all fit into that category of shite that is good for completely different reasons.

I saw the Misfits a couple of years ago and it was one of the most fun shows I remember. My first ever stage dive, woo! (And people caught me).

Apparently, Jazz and metal fusion is the next big thing coming out of the US at the moment. I think one of the main bands is called “The Shining”, or that might be the album …?

steff
April 30, 2010 at 2:49 pm

@Emaline What an awesome comment, miss! I am always in awe of people who play instruments, especially strings – I think they’re the most beautiful of all instruments.

Pink Floyd. Sigh. They were my dad’s favorite band. He has every LP they ever released. I never understood a word they said but I FELT that music right in my heart, you know?

Your next step is to get ye to a metal festival :)

I love how so many of us have the internet to thank for broadening our musical tastes.

steff
April 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm

@Nellie. Ah, but one thing I didn’t mention above – mostly because my post was long enough already – was the huge impact The Rasmus (yes, “In the Shadows”) had on my discovering Scandinavian music. I have all their albums and their live DVD (which isn’t that good, actually) and I think Lauri is up there with my husband and Nick Cave as one of the most beautiful men on earth.

Euphoria
April 30, 2010 at 11:48 am

I also meant to mention: I love steampunk mods of all kinds of stuff. This one is AMAZING. Wish I had the time and equipment to make such awesome things myself.

Euphoria
April 30, 2010 at 5:16 am

So, as with you, it all started with the Spice Girls. Spice was the very first album I ever owned and it made me think being a girl was the best thing ever. I went crazy. I had t-shirts, posters, all the albums, the movie, pencils, everything you can think of. My friends and I used to dress up and record video of us being Spice Girls and I was always Posh (you know, in all black).

Then when I was 13 I saw my first Goth and started looking into that. At that time bands like Nine Inch Nails, Orgy, and Rob Zombie were being played on MTV and when I saw them I wanted to be all about that. I remember Orgy’s “Blue Monday” cover really making me want to dig deeper. Then one night, I heard Rob Zombie’s “Living Dead Girl” on the radio during a show called “Static Noise.” Then I would stay up all night listening to everything they played. I know I heard some metal at that time but wasn’t as into it as things like Garbage and Bush.

Then in high school I found real Goth music and “This Corrosion” by Sister’s of Mercy changed my perspective again. At this time I was also casually listening to some Cradle, but still wasn’t into metal. I got super involved in the Deathrock genre and still love it.

Then I heard Cradle of Filth’s Cruelty and the Beast album and my love of metal was cemented. It was about Elizabeth Bathory (I was already a long time fan at this point) and vampires and blood… my little Gothy heart couldn’t resist. Then, my boyfriend started introducing me to bands like Blind Guardian and Iced Earth and Arch Enemy. At this point, metal started making up about 30% of the music I listened to.

In the past couple years, I’ve really stepped whole heartedly into the dark side and listen to a much larger variety of metal. It all kind of started when I heard newer Moonspell who were previously more gothic than metal. Then I found bands like Funeral and Draconian who appealed to my gothic sensibilities. Now, I listen to a lot more death metal with Arch Enemy probably being my favorite of that genre.

I have to agree with you that the Spice Girls made me have a love of female musicians so I think that is what drew me to Arch Enemy in the first place. Astarte is also a favorite of mine. Can’t help it. I’m a sucker for chick death metal. :)

nessbow
April 30, 2010 at 2:16 am

Nick Cave’s voice is amazing. I doubt that there is a sexier sound on the planet.

Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill was the first CD I ever bought, and it remains one of my favorite albums of all time.

Emiline
April 30, 2010 at 1:33 am

I remember doing your survey a while back, saying that I didn’t comment unless I had something to say. Well, finally there’s something I want to share.

I was never really into popular music – I play double bass and I used to play to myself, but apart from the radio and the stuff I played in orchestra, my music world wasn’t very wide. When I was 13, I joined a forum, and a few people there were really into with Pink Floyd. After a bit of convincing, I went on to listen to every Pink Floyd album in existence, and got caught up on Nick Mason’s one liner in One of These Days. I’d idolise Roger Waters (the bassist) and attempt to emulate his work. Didn’t work out very well, since I’m not Peter Steele. But the ‘death growling’ that Nick Mason did in that song (his drum stick also flew out of his hand when he performed it at Pompeii and he managed to keep the beat while getting another; I was mesmerised) grew on me, and finally I asked the very same forum what I should listen to next. They suggested bands like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zep.

That was sort of the transition between rock and metal that I was looking for. After listening to those bands to death, I discovered Metallica after my friend sent me ‘Sad But True,’ a song which I am still obsessed with to this day. Another friend of mine saw me listening to it on MSN, and said that he had three ‘Ms’ of metal; Maiden, Megadeth and Metallica. He later annotated that and added ‘Manowar’ after he saw me listening to Pleasure Slave. (That was because of you, Steff.)

We had a talk about how they’d broken their own records for really fucking loud music, and I realised that I really needed to actually go to a metal show. I was terrified at first, but I did go to see some local acts and it just blew my mind. And my ear drums. At that stage I also tried out some symphonic metal bands with beautiful female vocalists; Nightwish and Within Temptation come to mind. I bought some of the popular albums by more ‘classic’ metal bands, and that year was the first birthday where people gave me music. My favourite is a bunch of Slayer tapes. Not that they’re convenient to play.

But yeah, basically the internet got me into metal. Now, I try to listen to more local bands, my favourite right now being Be’lakor – named after a Warhammer Chaos daemon, which is awesome since I love Warhammer, and they’re from Melbourne too. I’m getting into more ‘Viking metal’ even though I never used to understand how people listened to such ridiculous bullshit. Back to the whole life shaping thing, I’ve still got to go back to Pink Floyd. Never have I seen such beautiful pictures. Just can’t explain it. Nothing can compare. Can’t wait for this week’s Mixtape! A lot of the bands and artists you mentioned influenced my taste in music too.

v
April 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I got into punk at an early age, which (while artful) is almost the antithesis of music from a theoretical viewpoint. At the same time, I was receiving rigorous training in classical music, so I had these two ideas clashing – the youthful need to follow a trend, a cultural movement, and an attitude – and the understanding that truly good *music* must have depth, variation, and a measure of unpredictability.
Artists like King Crimson, Opeth, Dark Suns, Mahavishnu, Miles Davis even…they all opened my eyes to how drastically separated the two realities are – msuical talent, and cultural appeal. I still love stuff like Type O, Skinny Puppy, The Cure, and Birthday Party (which would be considered horrible by some standards) but truly pivotal music for me in the last decade comes most often in the form of jazz, although I will add Virgin Black, Katatonia, Meshuggah, and Chthonic to credit for their amazing talent and conceptual vision.
But I forgot the core question you asked which is how I really got into metal – I have my dad to thank for it, and his amazing LP collection. My earliest days were filled with Led Zeppelin, Aqualung, and King Crimson.

Nellie
April 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm

My childhood was dominated by pop music and I didn’t have a clue that metal existed. The heaviest music either of my parents listened to was Neil Diamond. It wasn’t until I was 17 that I heard the band that eventually lead me into the world of metal. That band was The Rasmus (I still vividly remember the day that In The Shadows was number one here!).

I started checking out other Finnish rock/metal bands and through that I became obsessed with HIM.

It was around that time that Dad started telling me about how he used to listen to Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep and Led Zeppelin when he was a teenager. He stopped listening to it because Mum didn’t like it. It was also then I decided to never date someone who didn’t like my music.

Through other HIM fans, I discovered a ton of (not so great) “melodic death metal” bands… In Flames being pretty much the only one I still listen to without cringing. From there I started finding new bands on my own… including decent melodeath bands :P

Your story is much cooler than mine. :(

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