“Hails and Happy New Year Metal Legions and Welcome To 2017!!!” Are you excited? I know that I am looking forward to a year that is loaded with exilarating Metal shows and new releases. I should add that I am also hoping for a lot less entertainment sadness than we found hitting us in 2016 so let’s keep our fingers crossed for that. Over the last couple of year’s I’ve typed up a little list of possible things to do that will help you live a better Metal life and since we do so much of the Pop Culture stuff now in terms of the comic book and toy postings, I will work out some items for that side of the fence as well. Here we go.
1. Keep listening to the Metal: Your favorites are the bands that have kept you interested in this kind of music for most of your life I am guessing whether it be KISS, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath or Type O Negative. Just keep playing those bands when you need to center yourself about the genre. I’ll return to this topic later on down the line of things.
2. Go To Metal Shows: Whether they be the big names or just some very worthy regional acts go out and see them perform in concert. It’s also recommended that you see the opening acts when its possible to do so for a couple of reasons. The first is that you did pay for the show so who wants to get less than their money’s worth and the second, probably most important aspect is that you just might see one of the next great things. Remember that at one time Van Halen opened for KISS and Cinderella opened for David Lee Roth and Motley Crue and Metallica for Ozzy Osbourne. Greatness awaits.
3. Buy Merchandise: I know that the shirts are expensive sometimes but generally you can do them if you skip on the equally overpriced concessions at these shows. The tour shirt will last longer and add less calories to you at the end of the day. There are also a lot of little items at the shows that are more economically priced. I am speaking of pins, patches and photos in this sense.
4. Listen to New Metal Bands: This is the super important one because while you should never stop listening to the classics, you SHOULD and actually MUST be aware and best prepared for what comes next after the legends have all called it a day. It’s looking like Scorpions and ACDC will be heading towards that “Final Tour” path after Black Sabbath ends this coming February so listening to the bands that are on the rise or have been doing some good for a number of years and not been paid attention to by you should be given a chance. Here are some solid options to choose from. Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Sabaton, Katatonia, Five Finger Death Punch, Kobra and the Lotus, Kamelot, Epica, Amon Amarth and honestly the list can go on for miles when it comes to my picks. Perusing any of these in Spotify will not cost you a dime and will leave you with a better Metal Education. Keep it rising to the top my fiends.
5. Talk About Metal: Keep the scene vibrant by chiming into those discussions with friends about what you are seeing or listening to. They and you might learn some more bands to investigate. Never a bad thing. Asking your fellow Metal maniacs what bands they are the most passionate about is good promotion for the bands we are all proud to be fans of.
6. Get Socially Networked With Metal: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on top of focused band websites and outlets like our own PiercingMetal are here to guide you along the path to Metal Wellness. With the website posts chime in your topical thoughts on the articles as comments and with the Facebook and other social networks you should follow them and like their posts or share said posts with fellow fans. Help the numbers increase on those networks because people are looking at them. The more that support a given outlet the better chances they have of reaching and raising awareness across the Metal Republic.
7. Unfollow The Junk: Yeah there are socially networked sites that are just not worthy of the time and I mostly mean the ones who endlessly rehash press copy, use other photos with no respect to the original source or just love absolutely everything without any sense of critical review. You should drop them immediately and move onto the ones that properly evaluate and make you think or react in some sense. We live in a time where everyone seems to have a site and some social networks for it so you should only be giving the thumbs up to the ones that do the best work for your interest.
8. Throw A Tip In The Jar: Remember I said buy some merchandise? Well, many of the tables at the smaller shows have a tip jug and while there are often outlandish reasons written for what the money is for, in most cases its to keep the band vehicles fueled up and the band members fed. A single buck or two will not hurt you.
9. Don’t Taunt Each Other’s Metal Choices: I hate when I hear in the scene from people chatting “You like that band, wow they suck”. Keep that nonsense to yourself or leave it as “they just don’t do it for me”. There are a lot of bands that my friends like that make my head spin but I like to think that I make them do the same thing and I take all input about Metal groups as learning. We are often the outcasts in the general Pop focused music scene of the world so we need to stand together and not be jerk faces.
10. Hit The Books: There are SOOOOOO many books about Rock and Metal nowadays that you can build a serious library up about its history and numerous players of note. From KISS, to Sebastian Bach, to Dee Snider and so many more. Authorized biographies as well as unauthorized ones, there is something for everyone. If you’re a comic collector there are tons of great things coming out from numerous company’s that should suit your fancy. I’ve even begun tracking my reading via Good Reads this year and hope to meet the 2017 Reading Challenge that I set for myself.
Okay so maybe I was a little preachy here but my Metal resolve is in the right place. Closing up I hope that these few suggestions do help you live a better Metal year and please let me know what you plan to do to make the most out of 2017 for the sake of our favorite genre. Topical comments are most welcome so bring it on.