The Original Lubbock Metalhead
Yes, I was a teen-age metalhead. Actually I was about 20 or 21 when I began hosting the “Midnight Metal Shop” on FMX. I played released from Twisted Sister, Motley Crue and Twisted Sister when they were on independent labels. I ran the gamut from Iron Maiden, to Saxon and Sabbath. Basically I brought the fathers of modern metal to the masses in the Hub City. More after the jump.
After many moons I was promoted again and again, but one key thing happened, I moved to Austin right when metal took a turn for the worse. I played Ratt and Quiet Riot, Priest and Krokus, but I NEVER played Poison. I remember their album had just hit the door when I left to work at a classic rock station in Austin. Now, I can proudly say I never played the ‘true’ hair metal crap, but I’m embarrassed to have worked at two classic rock stations (trust me, it is THE format for burnouts) with the second being in Spokane Washington (not far from where Mike Leach is now coaching). I have always been a fan of the hard stuff, until now.
When I came back to KFMX, we became the first radio station in the nation to play Pantera in what is called “regular rotation”. This is a fact that I’m especially proud of, especially after spending time with Dimebag and Vinnie.
My problem with modern metal is that for most bands it’s no longer ‘songs’. It’s five minutes of riffs and a guy screaming over it. That’s fine if you like it, it just leaves me cold. Now if there’s some song along with the screaming (like Killswitch) I’m not only down, I love it. I’ve got to have more than just a blast of anger, I’ve got to have something ‘hooky’ in my brain. Metal these days is more like storytelling than songs. I understand it, it’s just not what I look for in music.
Them there are the ‘fans’. Well it’s a constant game to find the coolest new band and take an old one and throw them in the trash for ‘selling out’ (ie: singing). It’s a bunch of people yelling “Slayer” who can only name one or two Slayer songs. If Slayer sold as many albums as they have stickers and t-shirts they’d be the biggest band in the world, but very few people actually listen to the band (no big, it’s the same with the Misfits and the Ramones).
So people will probably post “you don’t understand” or “you’re too old” under this. No big. What I’m trying to point out is “you don’t understand” and “you’re too young to understand”. Metal shows used to constantly sell out the Coliseum here (that’s about 6000). Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot and many bands you’ve never heard of packed that joint. Now days most metal shows do about 300 people. The only real big metal show we had hear was FMX’s first “Bloody Holly Festival” and even though turnout of it was fantastic, it was far from the 6K it took to fill the coliseum.
So what’s the point of this? Not only is your scene dying, it’s practically dead. It cannot continue to exist with the way YOU, not I, treat it. Bands cannot tour for ten years playing to a couple hundred people at a time. I suspect Lamb Of God will survive since they can bring together a few thousand people at a time, but everybody else is just going to play ‘runner up’ to L.O.G. What WILL happen is many will adopt a slightly more melodic approach like Killswitch. Bullet For My Valentine and In This Moment have. This will leave you hardest of hardcore folks listening to Norwegian black metal in dark basements as casualties of a dead scene.
I hope you guys can get it together at some point and ‘unify’ the scene. Right now people just chase new bands like a dog chasing it’s tail and never getting anywhere. I hope I haven’t seen the last of the metal bands that can fill a nice medium size venue, but right now that seems to be reserved for the bands that are more hard rock than metal like Avenged and Slipknot.