Sanity and Metal

There’s two ways to look at sanity.

If I’m starting a band, and I’m a realist, I see a bleak future. Thanks to technology, life always gets more expensive. You have tools to save time, but they cost more, so you either earn cash or go into the ghetto and work food service for the rest of your life. So if you’re starting a band, it needs to be a career. Make songs many people want to hear. Make money from those songs. Then you can be a musician your whole life.

On the other hand, there’s another kind of sanity. If you’re going to be a musician, you recognize there’s two levels to that: being able to play music, and being able to create — write — music that is evocative and powerful. Of course, the masses want distraction from living in ghettoes, so you’re not going to demean yourself by making that. Instead, you’ll make great art, and feed your soul if not your body. You might even find a way to sell enough of it to live on the fringes of the ghetto.

Both perspectives are valid. However, the first leads to a society chasing its own tail in decline, and the second leads toward building something greater which will continue to get better, and may transcend its meanspiritedness enough to no longer be a ghetto/rich whore division. Metal is fundamentally geared toward the latter because metal is about taking something that is offensive to most people (loud noise, heavy dark topics, bassy violence) and making it into something beautiful, even if most people are blind to that beauty because they fear it. The metal way is nto following the sheep.

Now do you see why there’s such a binary division between true bands and sell outs?