Ten Metal Musicians Who Rock Their Gray Hair Proudly
Sooner or later it’ll come to get all of us: age.
But contrary to the popular conception that metal is a “young man’s game,” the genre of music we all love is actually quite accepting of aging (the “man” part is accurate, though): some of the biggest bands in the genre’s members are now in or approaching their Social Security years, and no one bats an eyelash when they continue to hit the road hard into their 40s and 50s.
As a not-that-old guy with more grays than my years, I’m hyper-aware of graying dudes in metal. And so I say: more of them should let their grays show! Don’t be that guy who’s got an obvious dye job: own your grays and rock them with confidence!
Here are some of the metal musicians who are doing it best.
Tom Araya (Slayer)
Araya has come to look like an “elder” about to impart deep philosophical wisdom upon the masses. Unfortunately he’s usually just spewing some homophobic garbage, but at least he looks authentic while doing it; Araya is metal’s version of that affable old dude on your block who complains about how things just aren’t the same anymore.
Troy Sanders (Mastodon)
Sanders’ latter day look has come to resemble “Homeless Man Chic,” and I’m digging the fuck out of it. Those wily, wiry grays suit his gruff voice so, so well.
Scott “Wino” Weinrich (The Obsessed, Saint Vitus)
The very definition of a metal lifer! Letting a drop of dye touch his hair would be sacrilege akin to selling out and joining a metalcore band; neither will ever, ever happen.
Justin Chancellor (Tool)
Chancellor’s long, curly, brown locks once defined his appearance, but the man has aged gracefully; those beard grays are all like, “Yo, I know so much more about bass than you do.”
Scott Ian (Anthrax)
If you were attempting to describe Scott Ian to a non-metal friend you’d probably say something like, “You know, that guy with the red goatee on all those VH1 ‘I Love the ’80s’ episodes.” That Ian’s been able to do a full pivot and embrace those wiry whiskers makes his modern-day look all that much more impressive.
Matt Halpern (Periphery)
Matt and I are roughly the same age, so I feel a certain sense of kinship with him over our premature white hairs. I can’t play the drums nearly as güd, though.
Kirk Windstein (Crowbar)
Windstein’s look is part Wizard, part Rabbi, full badass. Those perfect white streaks in his beard make his trademark bellow all that much more powerful, I swear.
Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater)
Rudess is like the Evil Keyboard Wizard of Dream Theater; it’s weird to think that anyone else tapped the keys for this band in the past, and even stranger that Rudess once had long hair and no beard.
James Hetfield (Metallica)
Papa Het has been living up to his nickname of late with a full head of whites to join the goatee he’s been rocking for a few years now. Way to lean in, Jaymz!
OJ Ojeda (Byzantine)
OJ was genetically blessed with the double-whammy of premature grays AND baldness, but he fucking owns it: I’d be able to spot that those sexy, white cheeks and shiny dome in a crowd anywhere. His look is one of a kind!
John Campbell (Lamb of God)
Adding in an 11th by popular demand — how could I have forgotten Mr. Campbell? His beard is stuff of legends: full on white and full on glorious. John had the benefit of lighter hair to begin with, but hot damn, he’s lookin’ good these days.