Question Of The Week: Exercise Your Demons
Hey MetalSucks people! It’s me Kellhammer, MS contributor and staff metalician welcoming you to the MetalSucks Question Of The Week while Axl, Vince, Sammy, and Anso are facedown in the sand somewhere! So let’s talk workout jamz!
Even we metal people should stay fit, so as the warm weather creeps ever closer, more and more of us are getting back to the gym. But we need something more than just the dream of six-pack abs to get worked up to work out, right? I know I’ve always got my iPod on hand when I’m hittin’ the treadmill, and I’m not alone. So let’s peek at each other’s playlists in today’s MS QOTW!
Fearless. Controversial. Half-baked. We give it to you straight every Friday afternoon. Straight to the “not allowed in showers” list. Here’s this week’s question:
Inspired by lifting stuff and being awesome at exercise, we asked our staff the following:
What music gets you pumped up to pump iron?
My last good workout was to Destroyer 666, but I’m gonna go with “Terrifyer” from Pig Destroyer. I think grind is the perfect genre to really get you psyched to sweat it out, especially on the treadmill. Beats the hell out of watching Eat Pray Love on the monitors they have set up. Grind or die.
It astounds me that some people listen to the same playlist or genre whenever they lift — I can guarantee that whatever I’m feeling this week is completely different from what got me there last week. Right now, old school reggae is doing one hell of a job motivating my lazy ass, but a couple weeks ago I was rocking really shitty electro house. When metal’s the in sound, I usually go for anything with overproduced double bass like Slipknot or FFDP. So the only common thread is that my gym tunes are usually fucking terrible; that stuff frustrates and angers me.
Of course loud metal helps me dig deep and push past the max, but more often, music makes me hyper-aware of time and its passage. Then the workout goes by slowly and I get bummed. My goal is mindless oblivion while grinding, so I let the gym’s random music — usually pop radio for whites — baseline my aimless thoughts (the bod on that doctor’s wife who whirlpools with me, Kobe, pizza, the nearby brahs I suspect of secret gayness, Axl Rosenberg’s smile, etc.). Plus, all that exertion can jog loose old drugz, so I’m totally on Mars (esp in the pool all oxygen-deprived lol). But y’know what task requires real motivation via full-volume, screaming metal? Housework. To ensure focus and swiftness, I blast the chaotic, maelstrom shit — Hate Eternal is clutch — roll up my sleeves, don rubber gloves, and grimly spray toxic junk on stuff and scrub scrub scrub, my face behind a SARS mask contorted into a super-scowl. Gruhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaa
DAVID LEE ROTHMUND
Burn The Priest. If you’re not uppercutting Godzilla’s engorged ballsack after he edged for 20 centuries in the ocean, or fist-fucking a planet made of lava while listening to Lamb Of God (before they were Lamb Of God), then you’re fucking doing it wrong. Seriously, it’s as organically drop-D ass-punchingly violent as metal can get, if you ask me. And yeah, you are asking me, and now I’m a little pissed and ready to eat my steak right off the fuckin’ bovine, om nom nom nom. But seriously, ears bleeding, and I ain’t really that mad. Oh, and Randy Blythe. Enough said.
If I worked out more, my gym playlist would definitely center on Mortician‘s Chainsaw Dismemberment. Obviously, there’s no shortage of neanderthal riffs. (I love Gorguts, but for lifting that shit is too complicated and distracting) And if there’s a death metal record with more booty bass than Chainsaw, please inform me: Low end dominates the record, making this perfect for achieving strength beyond strength. The addition of bassist Desmond Tolhurst (perhaps the only Berklee graduate to play on something this ignorant) makes Roger Beaujard’s guitar riffs extra meaty. Will Rahmer’s vocals are so low that they sometimes blend in with the guitar for a charred wall of the downtuned. This is especially true if you crank it super loud — the line between death metal and harsh noise gets murky. You don’t need a gym membership. Just jam this and start hurling tires and other heavy objects. People will learn to not fuck with you.
Man, you know I get mad sweaty in the gymnasium while hoisting some el-bees. Truth be told, when working out I’m a sucker for what I think of as Summer Festival Metal. Most of the more interesting satanic stuff is just too nuanced for a lifting session — I love really pneumatic, grunt-based stuff in the gym, shit that would sound good while shirtlessly cranking a lever of some kind like you’re in some old-school Bolshevik propaganda. Plenty of Pantera, White Zombie, Metallica, Bush-era Anthrax, Rammstein, a little newer Kreator, Slipknot, and of course, Slayer. (How much do Slayer lift when they go to the gym? HELLA WEIGHTS!) For sex, though, I’m all about Celtic Frost, just so I can look deep in a girl’s eyes and go “UNGH!’ as I brick off. Happy Friday!
I had never been big on The Acacia Strain. That all changed late last year, though: One night while doing some pushups, I threw on their latest to see if anything about them had changed. And lo and behold, something had. The band had finally perfected their brand of eight-stringed deathcore to properly suit the post-Meshuggah djented world in which we exist. Or to put it another way, Death Is The Only Mortal has a bunch of really great, dumb breakdowns. And while that’s nothing new for the band, they seemed to cross a line they hadn’t been willing to in the past. Nothing pretentious but nothing too rote, either. A gazillion albums after they decided to stop being a solid-enough early-aughts metalcore band, they finally were doing what I wanted them to. And that was dumb, downtuned masculinity, perfect for whaling on your quads and back. After all, why get medieval on a skinny kid in a Parkway Drive shirt when you can just unleash on yourself? The kid gets to go home after the show unbruised, you get to work on your core (or your glamour muscles like me).
There’s no better gym jam than my second-favorite album of 2012, Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza‘s Danza IIII. Blast it so everyone else can hear the thundering odd-metered double bass while you squat the weight of a small brick house. Extra points for wearing a tank that matches your plugs.
The gym is “I will kill you” time for me, the time when I’m lost in my own head and body, and I get to think about murdering all the ripple-muscled men and overly-svelte ladies that don’t need to be there in the first place. For that reason, groove-heavy death metal or noise-rock (the more caveman the better) and blusterful hardcore work the best. I jammed the new Enemy Reign comp the last time I destroyed the elliptical trainer, and I remember having great times with Struck by Lightning‘s first one and Pigs’ You Ruin Everything. And yes, as you can imagine, I always work out alone.