My oh my dear Metalheads where has the time gone because 2012 is starting to wrap itself up and here we are once again at the faux-holiday for the purveyors of the heavy, “National Metal Day”. The Metal Republic first saw this event being celebrated last year on 11-11-11 and it seemed rather clever, but a one time thing that appeared to be geared at VH1 Classic promoting Eddie Trunk’s “That Metal Show” and a number of archival concert things that they were going to show. Turns out they are doing it once again and with that being the case how could I not wish my wonderful readers a raucous, but joyous time on this louder than hell holiday occasion.
As I’ve been keeping a pretty healthy itinerary these past few months with concerts, conventions and the rest of the stuff that I do for the Metal scene, I am going to admit about my being very ill-prepared for National Metal Day this year. So with that in mind, I will once again list the bunch of things that I came up with last year that should not only be practiced today, but every day if you are truly a fan of the things that go mosh in the night. I did expand upon some of them just a little bit to avoid being a total rehash of my own though processes.
PiercingMetal Ken’s Suggestions For A Productive (and Fun) National Metal Day:
1. Listen to some Metal – I know that this one seemed kind of obvious, but I am not making this task easy for you at all. When I say “listen to some Metal”, I don’t mean for you to just dig out the old Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest albums and expect your friends to be impressed by your doing so because that is the stuff that EVERYONE is fully aware of at the end of the day. Instead, I say expand on this and dig deeply into your music library and pull out stuff that you might have accidentally forgotten about a long time ago that can really use another spin in your CD player. If for some reason all that you own is the legacy stuff, then I strongly encourage you to seek out something on the current side because while the Old School support is nice, it does not help the proliferation of the genre in today’s scene much at all. The new bands are the ones that really need our dedication the most. They are holding up the torch.
2. Read up on some historical Metal facts – I know full well that the Metal heads are readers and there are a shit ton of Heavy Metal band biographies out there and even a number of tomes that guide you safely through numerous genre styles that you might otherwise tread lightly upon. With so many interesting stories out there to be told, why not learn a few more of them. In the time that has passed since I first composed this little list, books have been released about Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley of KISS, Corey Taylor, Tony Iommi and even Zakk Wylde has one. Fire up that Kindle or just hit the Barnes & Noble and spend some money.
3. Are You A Musician? Then Play Your Instrument Today: You might very well do this anyway if you are a six-string slinger or skin basher, but in the event that you don’t hone your craft every single day, let “National Metal Day” be the day that you pick up whatever tool is under your command or being learned and try to knock out some riffs. If you are in a band perhaps you can organize a practice for your group or even do a last minute gig. Bring it to the people in the best possible fashion. I actually jammed not too long after first composing this and really enjoyed it’s freeing powers. I might have to do that again a little more often.
4. Go To A Metal or Hard Rock Show: Depending on your location, there should be something brewing in the live sense even if it takes some looking into on your part. PiercingMetal resides in NYC so we are very fortunate with all the venues and happenings that we can discover at the turn of the page. There is literally something going on in every corner of our Metropolis and we love it. You should remember that supporting the shows allow these bands to continue doing their thing and keep coming back to entertain you again and again.
5. Remember the Metal Heroes Whom We Have Lost: It would be respectful to raise a glass and toast a word of thanks to the champions of the craft who have moved on from the physical realm and left us with some amazing music that will forever find them remembered in our Metal hearts. While the list is too massive to cite here are a quick choice bunch who have left us “Dimebag” Darrell, Ronnie James Dio, Peter Steele, Mitch Lucker, Phil Kennamore, Rob Doherty, Ronnie Montrose, Mark Reall and so many more. Do this part one better and play some of their tunes at maximum volume. Let them hear you people.
6. Be the best Metal head you can be: Don’t worry about the naysayers to the genre. We know the kind of work and heart that it takes to do this stuff right. Let them have their Pop or Rap drivel. It does not change the way we feel about our music.
7. Support the Social Networking side of the Metal scene: It’s without question that Facebook, Twitter and Blogging have become tools of the trade for the Metal realm nowadays. As a fan you can do your part by “Liking” the resources for Metal that interest you most in Facebook or “Following” their Twitter and now Instagram accounts and be sure to comment on their blog postings. Today’s dynamic finds the bands, press outlets and review mediums all using these items to their advantage and hopefully also engaging you as the fan. You need to do a little more work in Facebook now to see all the posts you like, so be sure to continually visit the sites you like the most and show them some love.
8. Buy something related to Metal whether it be some new or old music, a Metal t-shirt from your favorite band or some kind of cool memorabilia. There is a LOT of great music to grab from labels like Nuclear Blast Records, Spinefarm Records, Metal Blade Records and Road Runner and the wonderful thing is that these particular enterprises actually cater to the genre on the whole. Maybe even snap on some buttons to your leather jacket or take that old denim and patch it up. These are the smaller things that are still very within financial reach even in a trying time don’t you think?
9. Lastly, I will ask that you try to embrace the whole Metal genre and not just a segment of it. Sure you can have a personal preference but nothing about Metal should be dismissed by you in any fashion. Don’t be someone who writes off any of our vast palette of genre specifications. You’ll build a better framework on defending it against the aforementioned pop drivel in the end by being this way.
Since it’s not a holiday without any presents, I am giving away the farm for free. Yes, every single song on these links is free for you to download and the great thing about it is that it let’s you absorb some stuff you know about and a whole lot of newness that should expand your Metal appreciation going forward. You can also snare a few more which are not Amazon.com based but instead are cool provisions from the fine folks at Scion A/V by clicking HERE. They have a lot more than I documented so be sure to peruse their site and download your heart away.
PS: The photo of the horns being raised that you see up above are that of the one and only late great Ronnie James Dio. I shot the image when he was touring with Heaven And Hell a few years ago and created this photo from a larger full on shot of Metal’s true Godfather. Let’s do him proud today.