Jeremy’s 2015 Resolution – Give Metal A (Second) Chance

Our site is based a lot on what we individually love and relate to. Of course, we all have pop culture we either hate (maybe even unreasonably) or don’t “get.”

So, we have all resolved to give something a second chance in 2015. As the year progresses, we will write updates on how these resolutions are going. (Read Kat’s resolution hereAmanda’s resolution here, and Jason’s resolution here.)

Music – Jeremy

I like to think I’m a pretty open-minded guy. So I thought this exercise was going to be really tough — to come up with something I either hate or don’t get and resolve to give that thing a second chance in 2015. It turns out I was correct, but not because I couldn’t think of anything; instead I struggled to choose from a list of things I long have avoided: romantic comedies; gore-fest horror movies; post-Arrested-Development laugh-track sitcoms; post-Season-10 episodes of The Simpsons; pop music; Nickelback; Mumford and Sons; Ben Affleck; and more. (Admittedly, I likely have found many of these distasteful only because my mildly anti-culture tastemaker overlords have told me they are so. We’re all sheep with different shepherds.)

I’ve decided to emphasize the idea of a “second chance” and select the heavy metal music genre as my resolution candidate. In my early teens, I loved heavy metal. I’ve mentioned before that my older brothers listened to a lot of metal, and that definitely got me started, but I independently developed specific metal tastes and sought out and purchased lots of metal CDs on my own. You wouldn’t have known it by looking at me, but I was a full-fledged metalhead for several years (more people than you might think could probably say the same thing). I can’t put my finger on any particular moment when that love slipped away; but over time I slowly listened to metal less and less until once, before a move, I sold nearly every metal CD I had.

metal

But now I’m curious. Beyond finding new loves in other music genres, was there something that I specifically stopped liking about heavy metal? What changed? Did I just decide that I was “grown up” and “shouldn’t” like it anymore? (If so, why do I allow myself to still like punk?) The few times that I’ve tried listening to metal since my divorce from it, I’ve found it immediately off-putting, sometimes laughably so. “Why so dark? Why so absurdly gruff? Nobody is that gruff. Did Batman start a band?” But was that instant reaction a true reaction to the music, or just a trained instinct from consciously deciding not to like the genre many years ago?

In 2015, I resolve to find the answers to at least some of these questions. I’m going to revisit some of the metal bands I still remember offhand from my youth — Pantera, Machine Head, Megadeth, Slipknot, Sepultura — plus find and listen to whatever’s hot today. And, for the sanity of my wife, I resolve to have all of this take place in the confines of my headphones.