Metalheads’ lives may surprise you


Pig Destroyer’s Scott Hull (far right) isn’t a boneheaded metal Neanderthal; he’s a computer specialist for the government.

As Baltimore gets ready for the annual Maryland Deathfest this weekend, metal writer Kim Kelly cautions outsiders not to misjudge metalheads.

She explains:

The stereotype of the Cro-Magnon underachiever with long greasy hair and pentagram tattoos is pervasive (thanks, Airheads and Brenden Fraser) but skewed. Throwing a thriving, global subculture under the bus because some jerk in a Megadeth shirt once called you a sissy isn’t only unfair, it’s a damn shame. We are legion, and we love our black band shirts, but we are definitely not all the same.

In her brilliant manifesto for NPR, Kelly shares the day jobs of musicians who produce some of metal’s most brutal music: teaching English to Eastern European kids. Growing organic herbs. Science. Art. Graphic design. Author of young adult novels. Some (running a recording studio, tattoo artist) are less surprising than others (government computer systems).

Whether you’re near the MDF this weekend or not, take a moment to look beyond the black clothes, long hair, and tattoos — especially if they’re on your kids — and get to know the person beneath. You’ll probably be surprised. Pleasantly so.

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One response to “Metalheads’ lives may surprise you

  1. Thank you for this. My hubbie is a metalhead, and he is many many other things as well. He is a very talented chef, a loving and affectionate father and husband, and an all around compassionate human being. This is a great blog; it is so important to remind all of us that we should never judge a book by its cover.

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