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"Shut up and Play," or how Metalheads Lost their Way.

Added 13 April 2021, 4:46 PM
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Well, after the events in the White House, when a bunch of supremacists tried to invade Joe Biden’s ceremony of posse as the new USA President, I remember of seeing a statement from former USA President Barack Obama: that the evil that took the country by assault would take years of efforts to make things normal again. And he is right.

Unfortunately, throughout the world, signs of ignorance are arising every day. I remember of an Instagram post from Mille (from KREATOR) about a t-shirt he’s wearing with DEAD KENNEDYS’ slogan ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’. Until this point, all’s normal, but I saw many Metalheads directing complains and insults to such kind of publication. On SACRED REICH page, the same thing when the band did a post about matters concerning Donald Trump, and many others (I can say that MUNICIPAL WASTE and BRUJERIA had hard times dealing with such people). In the beginning I thought that’s only with Brazilian fans (if you could see the number of offenses that NERVOSA and CRYPTA are dealing with sometimes, you’d be scared).

Let’s make the link: the words of Mr. Obama are echoing in my ears since I saw such events, and they’re not isolated. A great number of Metalheads are linking their ways into neoconservative thoughts, and I fear that, in any moment, fascists ways will be reborn. And a way of thinking was born and frightens everyone: the “shut up and play’ motto.

Obviously, it means that these fans ignore the message that bands are offering, they just want to hear the music (in Brazil, such thing is easy, because just a few Brazilians can understand fully lyrics written on English, an old and sad problem from our educational system). But I have to ask a thing: Trump, Bolsonaro and a handful of politicians on the right-wing parties are the same that caused persecutions to Rock ‘n’ Roll (and Metal), seeing on the music and its fans a menace to ‘traditional family’, to ‘morals and good customs’ and to ‘the good people’. Yes, you can ignore such thing, but to be a Metalhead is to accept a heavy burden that society put over your shoulders. I suffered a lot, because I was just a brat trying to enjoy a form of music, because there were conflicts between my conservative family and my younger ways.

Yes, to be a Metalhead in the 80’s meant to be an outcast, someone that your family would be ashamed of, even being a nice and good person, the claws of conservative would make anything to make you fit on their ways. Maybe to those who live in democratic states, these words could be a bit strange, but for those who had to support conservative places, things are Hell. And I’m not kidding (I’m 50, so I know and still remember those hard days, and still have to deal with tons of pain and scars inside my soul).

Metal themes are not political related as a whole, but a great part of the bands deals with matters that a conservative would never accept. Sorry, but a conservative person hearing to Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal or Glam Metal acts would be a contradiction. Conservative traditions are religious traditions, and based on religious morals points of view, so would a Black Metal fan tell to MARDUK, MAYHEM, or any other to ‘shut up and play’? Or the same thing to CANNIBAL CORPSE, BEHEMOTH (and let me tell you that Nergal is supporting a hard time again, because he was charged once more for his anti-Christian points of view) and MORBID ANGEL? Or maybe would say that to METALLICA, TESTAMENT, SACRED REICH, NUCLEAR ASSAULT and others? For God’s sake, no! It’s not to them to fit in your conservative world, but you, and only YOU must find a way to do so. Do it, or leave them alone. But for conservative people, to keep your mouth shut isn’t a simple thing to do. They think that God is behind their actions (and it’s not true, because he is disgusted by such form of thinking/acting, and maybe Jesus would be a non-conservative Metalhead, using a CANNIBAL CORPSE shirt).

And having in mind that conservative people, sometimes, have links with white supremacists’ ideas, how can you like Rock ‘n’ Roll? It was born by the hands of a woman and Afro-American descendent Sister Rosetta Tharpe! If no one advised you, time for the truth: if you’re a supremacist or misogynic person, you’re hearing the wrong musical genre.  A fascist lover would do the same. Rock ‘n’ Roll can be said as a form of ‘entartete Kunst’, or degenerate art (because it doesn’t fit on the classic/natural approach that Nazi party preached), because the themes of the lyrics and arts from many Metal covers are shocking, perverted and degenerated.  Oh, the conservative readers are offended by my words? Sorry, but I’m the one that have the right to feel offended.

I’m a Christian, but as well a scientist (I’m a Ph.D. on Geophysics), and a long-time Metalhead (once more: I’m 50, and I’m into metal scene since I was just 15), and found a way to fit into things. The way is called ‘respect’, because I can agree with an idea or not, but I’d never think of offending a musician or band for it. I have the in my personal collection almost all the albums (in physical shape, and sometimes, two or three different versions) of DIMMU BORGIR, ROTTING CHRIST, CRADLE OF FILTH, VENOM, MERCYFUL FATE, KEEP OF KALESSIN, MELECHESH (that’s my favorite band of all time), and many others.

Of course I had to find my way to deal with things, and it wasn’t so easy. It took years of study, of internal struggles against my personal story and familiar education, of talking and understanding what the other people feels. I had a conservative way of thinking some years ago (and interesting, I wasn’t a Christian on those days, but an atheist), but I thought of myself as a liberal. But one event called “Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs” (yes, the album from ORPHANED LAND) made me look at myself, and I experienced an old saying from Nietzsche: ‘if you look to the abyss, the abyss looks back to you’. And to see who I really was on that moment caused me such pain and remorse that I finally could see the light, and leave the darkness of the cave I was chained to. I can’t undo my past, the nasty things and offenses I did. Since then, I try to apologize to people I did something bad, and fight to never fall in such trap again. Maybe my personal experience can give you a light.

In the end, I’d like to say that Metal is for everyone, but you need to find your place and to fit in the scene, and not try to make things fit in your ways. The world doesn’t turn around you…

Metal Temple writer "Metal Mark" Garcia
 
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