man in black shirt and gray denim pants sitting on gray padded bench

I happen to like metal music. Specifically some extreme genres of it such as black metal, death metal, deathcore, as well as the more “socially acceptable” power metal and the multiple symphonic and folk metal versions. This kind of music is often actively disliked by pretty much everyone.

By actively disliked I mean that it will cause frowning, and people will loudly complain about it with the usual “this is not music, how can you listen to this noise?” variation. Play any pop, folk or more mainstream style of music, and nobody will even think about what is playing at that moment, but the moment some metal kicks in, the complaints will start.

Over time, you stop even attempting to play your music when other people are around and even stop discussing your music taste in public for fear of the reaction people will always have. Assuming that you don’t live by yourself, you will even stop playing music in your own home.

Then the headphones became my best musical friends. Anytime I go for a motorcycle ride, my helmet becomes my (literal) headspace where I can play music through the intercom headphones. The same applies when driving a car by myself. I have some time to listen to a few songs, blasting the volume up if I want to. Going for a run works too, since I’ll always run alone and with headphones. I have even gone for walks just to listen to some album I wanted to hear.

Sometimes I’m alone at home, and I’ll play some music but as soon as the rest of the family is back I know that I’ll have to stop it or face the usual comments.

Lately I have been using portable bluetooth speakers. These have a very notable advantage: you can put them next to you, and point them directly at your face, which allows for playing at lower volumes. This is useful especially when cooking or doing similar activities a bit separated from the rest of the house. Unfortunately, metal is meant to be played loud so it’s always a bit disappointing to hear it through speakers at minimum volume.

I guess this ends up causing some kind of introversion, due to being used to hearing negative comments and negative reactions anytime the music I like gets played, or discussed. And it causes some background sadness too.

I don’t know if this is a common feeling in the metalhead community. I hope not.

Habey Gonzo
habeygonzo@ice-wind.be

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