August 2001: Metalhead or Metal Listener?
This is an editorial column written by the
Metal-Rules.com team. Each month we pick a metal-related topic and share
our thoughts, feelings and ideas on it.
Metalhead or Metal Listener?
There is a clear difference between being a metalhead and a metal
listener. Being a metalhead does not mean you are a better person then a
metal listener. This is NOT what this is about at all. If you happen to
be a metal listener then at least we have something in common!! If you
are a metalhead, then we just will happen to have even more in common.
The main difference between a metal listener and a metalhead is
devotion. I believe that Metalheads are the most loyal fans of any genre
of music. Being a 100% metalhead usually affects many decisions and
aspects of life such as: friends, appearance, clothing, attitude, etc.
All are something affected by living and breathing metal 24/7/365. You
also go to great lengths when pursuing new albums, seeing shows etc. A
metal listener on the other hand is nowhere near as fanatical about the
music. They do not do much searching out of new bands and many (not all)
are fair weather fans. That means if metal is "IN" and in
their face they will like some of it. If they have to lift a finger or
put any thought into it then they don't get into the new bands or in
many cases keep up with the bands they liked when they were the in
thing. Another way to distinguish between the two is to look at the CD
collections of each. If a person has as many metal CD's in their
collection as they do other styles of music chances are they are a metal
listener. If you are a truly devout fan of metal you don't usually have
a lot of time to bother with much from other styles - I know I don't!!
Keeping up with metal and the hundreds of bands and new bands that come
out can seem overwhelming to a metal listener or even pointless to them.
I'm of the mindset that the realm of heavy metal is diverse enough to
keep me interested and un-bored. To suggest that you need a break from
metal or that you need to listen to something different from time to
time is the suggestion of a metal listener, it the suggestion of someone
who doesn't know the broad range of choices that exist within metal. I
won't bother to go into giving examples because that's not what's this
is about. I'm sure some metal listeners will think us metalheads only
mindlessly listen to one type of music. That idea is FLAWED!
Metal is NOT one type of "music" and it is MORE then music. If
they think that way then I think they just don't get it or even care to.
And hey, that's fine…everyone has something in his or her life that
turns his or her crank right??
So can a metalhead like something besides metal? Of course! I freely
admit to liking some hard rock, some classical and the occasional movie
soundtrack. The thing is, can I obsess over it or pursue it as much as
heavy metal? Of course not!!! Metal is all consuming to me and I'm happy
just the way I am knowing that there is something in this sick world of
shit that I can always turn to, relate to and identify myself with. If
nothing at all in this world makes you feel this way then I pity you.
Call me close minded if you want but at least I know what I like and
what makes me happy! METAL RULES!!
Metalhead Vs Metal Listener
This month is a topic that I can identify totally with. It was only 2
days ago that I was speaking to one of my oldest friends on the phone.
He has moved away and I unfortunately only get to speak to him via the
telephone. He was telling me about his room mate. Another guy, a couple
of years younger than us. He has recently gone on a big Metallica kick.
Picking up the latest Loads of crap Metallica albums and also the latest
Live video.. whatever its called. Anyway, my buddy was going on and on
about how this guy thinks he knows it all about Metallica and that they
never sold out and only got better when they put out the Loads. My buddy
argued that it was the older metalheads like me and him that made
Metallica what they are and then they sold out for the money when we had
made them popular. Now when my buddy said this I almost had a heart
attack laughing. He called himself a metalhead! Headbanger (the 80s
equivalent) was the term he used. I had to excuse myself for a minute to
have a real good laugh then got back to my phone call where he went off
on some other tangents. Here is the perfect example of a Metalhead
versus a Metal listener. Back in the 80s when metal was more popular my
buddy listened to all the same stuff I did for the most part. Metallica,
Suicidal Tendencies, Megadeth, Iron Maiden , Judas Priest, AC/DC etc etc
etc. He also listened to a lot of music that was far from metal. Lots of
pop songs from the radio etc. As time wore on and metal started to fall
out of favour with the mainstream crowd my buddy lost interest in metal.
Today he listens to whatever is on the radio or TV especially gangsta
rap. I mean whatever. He was never truly a metalhead. This guy was a
metal listener. Yeah he did listen to some metal but it was never his
favourite type of music and even when given the opportunity recently to
hear a lot of metal he still didn't like it. He liked the few bands he
listened to in his teens but didn't like any of the new stuff. A metal
listener is someone who might listen to metal but also listen to a
number of other genres with equal interest. There is nothing wrong with
that in my opinion. A person is entitled to listen to whatever they
like. These people however don't live , eat, sleep and breath metal.
This leads me to the Metalhead. This is a person who eats, sleeps,
breathes and totally lives metal. Metal is their favourite music beyond
all others. I don't think that a Metalhead necessarily has to listen to
only metal but if they do listen to other music it is in small amounts
and could never take the place of their beloved metal. Being a metalhead
requires that you have to hunt your music down from obscure websites on
the internet, order it from mailorders run from shoebox like offices
hoping that it will all come in one piece or that you can even get it at
all. A Metalhead must be much more active in their pursuit of metal. Its
not like its on the radio everyday or on TV. To find the bands you like
and new bands to listen to takes time to search the web, webzines and
fanzines. very different from the lazy pop culture who only listen to
what their friendly neighbourhood MTV or Radio Station tells them is
cool. Being a Metalhead also means that many of your choices in life are
centered around metal. The clubs you choose to visit, the friends you
choose to associate with and for some even the clothes you wear. I know
that I am a metalhead. Metal is a constant in my life. I listen to metal
all the time, have flown to other countries to see shows and just can't
go more than few hours without hearing some metal. To sum it up. A metal
listener is someone who listens to metal justto listen to music. A
metalhead is a person who LIVES to listen to metal. Its as simple as
Metalhead vs. Metal Listener
I consider myself a fan of good music no matter what the genre. That
means I listen to a helluva lot of metal, but not necessarily all the
time. Of the more than 500 hundred CDs that I own, I'd say around 30% of
them are by non-metal artists. I'm a big fan of classic rock, some
classical, some pop music, some country and even a very small smidgen of
rap. Does that make me less of a metalhead? Depends on how you set the
standard, but I think not.
If a metalhead is someone who listens to metal only and has no time
for other forms of music, then I don't fit the definition and never
will. Then again, neither would metal gods like Dickinson and Halford,
who have both had good things to say in interviews about alternative
bands like Smashing Pumpkins and Stone Temple Pilots. Or guys like
Warrel Dane, whose bands have covered Jefferson Airplane and Simon &
Garfunkle. How many times have you heard guys like Dave Mustaine refer
to the huge influence the Beatles have had on them and their music? We
know guitar gods like Malmsteen have been classically trained and
influenced. If you read enough of the interviews or listen to the music,
you can tell that a great deal of people making metal music are
influenced by and enjoy listening to all kinds of music. So listening to
other forms of music doesn't make anyone any less of a metalhead.
I listen to what I like. A great majority of the time that means I'm
spinning metal in my CD player, but there are some days where I'm into
artists like U2, Journey, Bad Company, Pink Floyd, Queen, Boston or
James Taylor. From time to time I pop in Mozart, Vivaldi and Beethoven.
Every once in awhile I groove to Prince, Public Enemy, Matchbox 20 or
the Dixie Chics. Having said that, I would never drive three hundred
miles to see any of these artists perform (except Queen, but that would
be impossible), but I have and will continue to do so for a good metal
concert. It's all good though, because in the end I get it out of my
system and I'm always drawn back to metal. And believe me, when I play
it, I play it loud and with reckless abandon. That makes me a metalhead
no matter how you define it.
In short, a "metal listener" is someone who enjoys metal,
but doesn't make it a priority in their daily listening experience. I
respect those types because they recognize good music and support the
bands by buying the CDs. On the other hand, a "metalhead" is
someone who listens to metal most of the time, not because it's cool or
trendy, but because metal is a way of life. Only metal can give you the
ultimate adrenaline kick that gets you through the day. Why? I think the
name of this website explains it all ... METAL RULES!
Metalhead vs. Metal Listener
If someone has just as much non-metal stuff in their CD collection as
metal are they really a metalhead? Or are they a metal listener? Hmmmm,
I've never really looked at it that way. As for myself, I have a fairly
large collection, hundreds of vinyl, cassettes and CDs All ranging from
Bowie to Slayer to The Rolling Stones to Iced Earth. I've been a music
fan for years and having no older brothers and sisters I had to discover
my musical tastes on my own. I'm sure if you question the various staff
members, I'd say that they've owned a Billy Idol or dare I say Duran
Duran album from the 80's?? Whether they've kept them or not (or even
admit to once owning it) is another question. Myself, sure I still got
all that "shit", but that's what makes me a music fan. I still
get a kick out of playing it every now and again for a laugh. I guess my
collection has just as much non-metal stuff as metal, with metal being
at the front, as it's my music of preference. When people ask what music
I'm into, I tell 'em my favorite is HEAVY METAL, but I'm into all kinds.
I like to consider myself both a metalhead and a music listener.
Metalhead vs. Metal Listener
By El Cid
The question of whether there is a difference between a metalhead and
a metal listener is very easily answered. There is a huge difference and
I'll do my best to explain it here.
A metal listener buys metal, listens to it and probably loves it, but
a metalhead buys metal, loves metal and makes metal a part of his life.
Metal is not just a preference, it's a passion, it's something you live
with, by and for. Ask yourself the question "Does Metal affect my
life?" and "to what point?". A metal listener will stick
to his bands, the stuff he likes, he'll go to the shows that are near
him, he'll buy CDs when he can spare some money from his expenses, a
metalhead on the other hand will go the extra mile, he explores new
grounds, searches for new bands to like, go to the shows he deems worthy
no matter what the distance, has a part of his income set apart for
metal every month and will just do what it takes to keep the flame
I think the amount of metal CDs on a person's collection depends
largely on how much money he's willing or capable to spend in the stuff,
if the person is a big fan of classical music he might have a lot of
classical CDs, but a metalhead is more than a fan of metal. I am
personally very much a fan of classical music, especially of Wagner and
I have about 150 CDs of his work. On the other hand, my metal collection
is just about short of 800 CDs nowadays and I can honestly say I think I
spend 95% of my listening time with metal recordings. In all I think
it's safe to say that the dividing line between a metalhead and a metal
listener lies in the passion you feel for your metal. Is it just a way
of entertainment, or is it your way of life?
In the end the choice is only yours, and it doesn't matter what you
decide as long as you're happy with your choice. But in all cases you
have to stay METAL.
Metalhead vs. Metal Listener
Is there a difference between a metal listener and a metalhead? To
quote SCSA: "Oh Hell Yeah!" I think just about all of us here
at Metal-Rules! fall into the category of metalhead. What is a
metalhead? Simple: someone who lives, breathes, eats, shits,
sleeps...metal! Yeah, cliché I know, but in this I argue that it's
true. Metalheads go to (sometimes) ridiculous lengths to see shows, get
new CDs, and get info on their favorite bands. More importantly,
metalheads stick by metal, regardless of its status in the * cough
fucking cough * mainstream. Metalheads don't care whether metal is
popular or not. Metal listeners on the other hand, aren't really true to
metal. They'll listen to metal if it's popular and maybe continue
listening to a couple of true metal bands when the mainstream has
inevitably turned its back. They are not however, true metalheads.
Now, does all this mean that metalheads can't listen to anything
else? Bollocks to that I say! I've got no problem admitting that I
listen to other forms of music such as classical, soundtracks, hard
rock, punk (real punk, not that fucking Green Day shit), and even some
more "popular" bands. Other than metal, the rest of the
content of your album collection does not determine whether you're a
metalhead or not. It's all a matter of loyalty. Metalheads are truly
loyal to the music and metal listeners are not. Case closed.