I have been listening to heavy music regularly since I was in middle school. It became an outlet for me at a young age, through which I am sure many frustrating times and painful experiences were alleviated. Despite my love for many musical styles, there are a few key aspects regarding the reality and community of heavy music that have always impressed me.
1 – It brings people together who would otherwise never know each other exist.
There is something about going to a show and knowing you will meet many like-minded people there simply because of the music you are going to witness and be entertained by. Your adrenaline starts to reach a higher level, and there is a free-flowing spirit of excitement in heading to a venue to experience music that reaches to your very core.
Furthermore, regarding people who are like-minded, I have found there are a number of levels on which concertgoers can relate, aside from the music they share appreciation of. Of course, occasionally the opposite is the case. But this rarely means that people will take action towards ostracizing another. A number of my closest atheist friends are musicians, and I might not have ever gotten to know them or share the privilege of friendship with them were it not for our common ground of music. This is merely the tip of the iceberg.
2 – In many instances, heavy music has been a deterrent of aggressive behavior.
For the many violent actions taken by people throughout the world, there are likely 10 to 15 fans of heavy music who are releasing their anger through music. For those who understand, there is almost nothing more detoxifying than listening to one of your favorite metal or hardcore bands when you are having a particularly rough day.Listening to metal makes a day great! Click To Tweet
It is true that aggressive and pugnacious personality traits can already be present in someone before hearing heavy music, thereby being more of an associative factor, rather than someone turning to heavy music for other reasons. I acknowledge this facet of the heavy music scene.
However, more often, the people I meet who are doing well with handling their emotions and metaphysical struggles are those who happen to listen to heavy music.
I can guarantee that when presented with the choice, most officials, social workers and parents would much rather our youth (or most people, for that matter) go to a metal show than release any anger, emotions or thoughts through less constructive means.
The people who have grown to love heavy music in its many manifestations know that it is the virtually perfect outlet for removing intentions of legitimately harmful behavior from one’s mind. Many, if not all of my friends who love heavy music are some of the most easygoing, calm people I know.
3 – It allows you to immerse yourself in the subculture like never before and consequently arrive at new discoveries that could have likely never taken place otherwise.
There is a wealth of information, websites, events, companies, ventures, organizations and of course, bands and musicians that can be nearly impossible to discover outside of some type of participation with the heavy music world.
Despite having experience in various worlds of music, there was much I had learned (and continue to learn) from my involvement with heavier styles of music. One wonderful example was spending time at Cornerstone Festival for a number of years. I heard, saw and absorbed chunks of information that I otherwise would not have had the chance to partake in.
Two highlights were getting to speak one-on-one with two of my greatest influences, Matt Greiner and Mattie Montgomery. Cornerstone was indeed a festival of numerous genres, but it primarily featured heavier genres, and for this I was very thankful. Cornerstone was also the catalyst for discovering Afterimage, a band I later had the privilege of performing with. I was handed an Afterimage demo at Cornerstone 2007, and five years later, I had the opportunity to fill the role of drummer. Community and networking opportunities are truly second to none.