The metal t-shirt represents an element of metal culture that is misunderstood by both outsider observers and metalheads themselves. To the outsider,
the metal t-shirt so often appears to be a fashion statement and an attempt to be extreme or shocking.
To the misguided or ill-informed metalhead, the band t-shirt is a way to scare civilian-types, and accordingly, is of little meaning beyond an aesthetic one.
To a true metalhead, wearing a band-shirt is something natural and organic: it is not a fashion statement or a social statement, it is a statement of one's heritage. Just as we fly the flag
or flags of our ancestors as a tribute to our heritage, we wear t-shirts with album covers and band logos out of dedication to our heritage as metalheads. The metal shirt has the effect
of binding our duty to the tradition of metal, and the secondary effect of reminiding others of our dispraportionate contribution to society - a reminder that that the guy who is pulling
his office floor's weight listens to Death and Black Metal, just as that thoughtful student, who isalways there to answer the questions his classmates (and possibly teachers) cannot, does.
From time to time, I will walk into a classroom or a business-place and be meet with odd, akward stares. "I wonder what that's about?", I ask myself. "Oh, yeah, the Immolation t-shirt." I usually ignore the stares, and return to whatever it was that brought me there in the first place.These examples represent situations in which flying the flag of metal is, though not without controversy, a neccessary act.
As metalheads, we sometimes forget that there are situations in which flying the flag is not only unnessarily, but also quite thoughtless. I have compiled a short list of such situations here:
- when attending a funeral
-when presenting your master's thesis to the university
-when visiting a sick,elderly relative or friend, it might be wise to leave the "Pure Holocaust" t-shirt at home. (note: refferencing the lyrics to Death's "Pull the Plug" is similarly inappropriate)
- when meeting your girlfriend's highly religious parents
- when conducting church arson missions
- when appearing in court to dispute the charge that you tourched that chuch