• Axl Rosenberg

So I’m chillin’ with my phallically challenged friend Tommy Wee the other day when he wanders over to my desk and begins to peruse some papers I’d left out. Specifically, his imagination is captured by a list Vince and I had just written up earlier in the day- a list of albums to be released in 2007 that Vince and I have decided we’d like to discuss on the site in the coming weeks. It’s a list of some pretty big heavyweights, including Metallica, Ozzy, Megadeth, Shadows Fall, and, God willing, GN’R- but still, Tommy finds a glaring omission: “Didn’t I read in Spin or Rolling Stone that Linkin Park have a new album coming out?”

How could Vince and I have forgotten?! We pride ourselves on being “smart about metal,” and yet, we had left off the list one of the most finacially successful metal bands of the past decade. And after all Linkin Park has done for us! How selfish we are!

Why, it took nu-metal to bring us together! I remember, once, when I had just started at a new school, there was this Puff Daddy/P. Diddy fan who told me my shirt was “welfare” because I’d purchased it at a thrift shop. Now, I know this might sound like a crude, perhaps even mean-spirited comment for one teenager to make to another, but in hindsight, I know his hip-hop education just hadn’t properly prepared him for my rough-and-tumble metal ways.

A couple of years later, when Limp Bizkit began to dominate MTV, Puff Diddy arrived at school with a black eye. He had gotten it, he announced, in a mosh pit of the Bizkit’s making. “Limp Bizkit have mosh pits?” I asked P. Daddy, shocked.

“Of course, faggot!” he exclaimed, throwing in his most affectionate nickname for me. “And the guitars are really loud, too!”

So, at Puffy Dadd’s suggestion, I stopped at the music store- this was before the days of iTunes, mind you- and picked up the latest offering from Fred Durst and the boys. And you know what?

Duff Piddy was right! It DID have loud guitars! And I like- nay, I LOVE- loud guitars!!! So what if Durst was rapping about doing it all for the nookie instead of screaming about political or religious philosophy- who doesn’t adore some good nookie? Besides, Durst allowed me an outlet for my rage, and in terms more concrete and less metaphorical, than, say, Tool. Whereas Maynard sang “I’ll keep digging ’til I find something there”- whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean- Durst told me it was okay to just “Break Stuff.”

Something else I really enjoyed about Limp Bizkit- their guitar parts were SUPER easy to learn. It was no time flat before Vince and I had our own rap metal outfit, Neuroticberg (like Crazy Town, but more easily treatable) and were getting the nookie left and right. Now, thanks to my nu-love, I could be friends with all the same jocks who had tortured me for years!

Then Linkin Park came along- and BOY, did they really get this party started. I loved the way their lyrics had no pronouns or reference to anything specifically religious, social, political, socio-politcal, or emotional, so I could just project my own crap onto it. Why, one day I got a nasty paper cut- and wasn’t I surprised to find that Chester Bennington had already written a song called “Paper Cut!” It was like he was really speaking JUST to me, y’know?

And there was something even cooler about Linkin Park: the same way I knew I could travel all over the world and Big Mac would always taste precisely the same, I could find comfort in the thought that all Linkin Park albums- hell, all Linkin Park SONGS- sound EXACTLY THE SAME! As if to show-off their genius, the fellas even released the same album TWICE and it sold really well BOTH TIMES!!! Brilliant! JUST BRILLIANT, I TELL YOU!!!

“Yeah,” Tommy Wee says now, sensing my enthusiasm. “And the new album is produced by Rick Rubin. Dude, isn’t he also producing the new Metallica album?”

Yes, Tommy, indeed he IS producing the new Metallica album- and that’s what makes him metal. ‘Cause the Metallica boys would never work with some sissy producer- right?


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