Sound of Music

Metal – A Culture For, By & Of the Outsiders

Pranav Rajiv

‘Standing in the rain, with his head hung low,
Couldn’t get a ticket, it was a sold out show.
Heard the roar of the crowd, he could picture the scene,
Put his ear to the wall, and like a distant scream,
He heard one guitar,
*cue a massive sounding guitar riff that defined generations to come*
Just blew him away…’
[Foreigner – Juke Box Hero]

That one song was one of the few that changed my life from mainstream radio pop to the brutal, skull smashing, bone crushing, chaotic adrenaline and rage fuelled frenzy it is today. (It isn’t really, but that’s the stereotypical preconception almost everyone seems to have about metalheads. Metal is most certainly not about a group of guys screaming their lungs out, with nonsensical lyrics and profanities and Satan worship. In fact, not all metal is about growling and screaming. And metal also has extremely deep and meaningful lyrics. That being said, metal is also more aggressive and intense than other forms of music and the lyrics are more than often based on controversial topics such as violence, war, philosophy, urban decadence, fantasy, history, addiction, gore, torture, religion, politics, literature, death or even hedonism.)

How it all began

It had all started 7 years ago for me. My dad, lucky enough to be in his youth in the 80s, was everything a mother didn’t want her son to be. Rules are meant to be broken, right? Right. Being the archetypal poster boy for heavy metal music, he used to do everything considered wrong by society. Lucky enough to live through the 80s, well because, come on! It was the 80s, for heaven’s sake! Who didn’t want to live during the so called ”golden age of rock ‘n’ roll and heavy metal”? But anyway, without further ado, let me get to the part where it started for me. Now, since my father was a huge fan of this beautiful, yet crude and violently themed genre of music, it’s safe to say that I was brought up on classic rock and metal, albeit I didn’t really understand it until I was 12 or so. But when I did finally understand it, I went nuts. I mean, it’s difficult to explain that connection you feel. That was the first time I heard classic bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. My father, being the egotistic connoisseur that he was, had well over 500 original cassettes and tapes of many such bands and a pretty darn good sound system to go with that. The way the distorted guitars belted out solo after solo, the rhythmic beating away of the drums, the blues and psychedelic inspired bass lines and keyboard notes were what got to me first. It was different, it was bold, and it was everything I ever wanted out of music. (Which I’ve come to realise in later years after giving a fair amount of listening time to most of the genres music has to offer us.) Read More

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