Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Of Wolves and Dogs

I probably spend more time than I should obsessing about whether a band is "true;" ever since I first got into this music, there was always some kind of "heavy" corporate rock that I wouldn't abide being considered metal. Glam rock, grunge, nu-metal, metalcore, and now so-called hipster metal bands have all been chastised by snobs like me for not being heavy enough. But the line between "true" and "false" metal keeps getting thinner, as the mainstream becomes more accepting of heavier and heavier bands; there's no doubt that bands like Saviours or As I Lay Dying would have passed 15 years ago, but that's not good enough now. So where do you draw the line? What's to determine who's true and who's posing?

For me it's always been a gut feeling that I couldn't put into words, until today. The difference between "true" and "false' metal is the difference between wolves and dogs. Wolves have to hunt for their food, dogs simply eat what's placed in front of them. It's the difference between liking whatever's on MTV, or tracking down on your own through esoteric zines, blogs, and podcasts. And like wolves, "true" metalheads will tear apart anything that's different, that doesn't smell like one of the pack. Trendy. Poseur. Hipster.

So the next time someone asks me why I'm not into the Sword or Baroness, I'll tell them it's because while they may sound metal, and they may look metal, they sure don't smell metal.