the sword signd guitar epiphone

Thank YOU for taking part in our “Give Thanks to Metal” contest, in which we asked you to tell us why you’re grateful to have metal in your life. You guys are truly a thankful bunch, and we received several quality and heartfelt entries. Congratulations to Daniel Jaryniewich of North Arlington, NJ; Daniel’s letter made us laugh and made us cry, proving to us that he is truly, honestly and completely thankful for metal. For that he wins an Epiphone guitar signed by the members of stoner metal phenoms The Sword; don’t say we never did nothin’ for ya.

Daniel’s excellently crafted winning entry in its entirety, after the jump. Enjoy.

If there is actually a reason for me taking some spare time during the busy holiday season (have you visited your local Sovereign Bank to start up your Christmas Club yet?!), it’s because I hope you might actually care about what some of your readers might have to say about this post. On a lark or out of sincerity I actually hope you might take my opinion with the weight of my convictions, I don’t care which, just know I actually care on some level, metaphysical or not. With this weight squarely rounded in mild sarcasm and with a hint of bitter sweetness, I sally fourth into my justification of a life long dedication, casting myself out as a wolf amongst the sheep.

Growing up with 4 half sisters, I always wanted a brother. Outside of learning how to be a perfect gentleman, how to spend the least amount of time in the bathroom getting ready for school, while using 3 seconds of hot water and my having Halloween candy stash falling victim to the side effects of menstruation , I longed for a bro-staff. My luck didn’t end there, I was also blessed with a cloudy disposition, being a round-headed tubby adolescent and a socially awkward nerd who couldn’t play sports, not even for Nintendo (Double Dragon, Super Mario Brothers and Excite Bike! apparently don’t count). I can even recall in the 4th grade, a short conversation with my emotionally distant mother..

“What kind of music do you like?”
“I don’t like music, it’s stupid, singing sounds stupid.”
“Well music speaks all languages.”
“Other languages are stupid, why can’t everyone speak English?”

..a wunderkind destined for the Metal Elite? You betcha.

After the death of video entertainment systems in the mid 90’s (cite Streets of Rage 3 and the introduction and almost simultaneous farewell of Nintendo 3D), I realized I needed a new scene to dedicate my Mac N’ Cheese eating, vegetable hating spare time to…outside of someday being the illest half Peurto Rican, half Polish gothic ninja ever. Enter Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, awesome. My next purchase? MC Hammer’s Hammer Time cassette single! My third purchase!?! GWAR’s life-changing, SCUMDOGS OF THE UNIVERSE! My father then explained to me what the word “vile” meant and forced me to return the aforementioned purchase..but at least I got the Wayne’s World soundtrack in its place. So anyways, in fewer words, the damage was done and I knew I found my place in the world at the tender age of 11. Thank you Beavis and Butthead, parents that work 3 jobs between 2 people and a sister obsessed with NKOTB and Madonna.

Ditching catholic school for Jersey public, I was confronted in the 6th grade with a crises of identity. My solution, an epiphany dressed in one black converse, one red (one bigger than the other), green corduroy pants my very first band t-shirt (White Zombie Astro Creep 2000 album shirt purchased at a now defunct local record shop Born to Rock). My ohh-soo clever, new found sense of identity earned me a public lambastation/forced faceplant into the first snow of the season courtesy of the school bully(and a couple years later, most bad-ass goth/death rocker in town!) leaving me without a friend in the world..except for my GWAR (EFF YOU DAD!) Guns N’ Roses, White Zombie and Alice in Chains CD collection.

With the backdrop set, I will now get to the crux of the matter, My Proclamation of Loyalty to the Brotherhood of Metal:

I am thankful first and foremost for the unity and brotherhood that came along with getting involved with underground metal at a young age. Giving me a sense of direction, honor, self-esteem, a talent for playing an instrument, a healthy outlet for my white angst/Puerto-Rican wickedness as well as rock solid (fl)abbs. I am thankful for all the great times I’ve had at the now extinct Brownies, the (S)Wetlands, CBGB’s, Obsessions night club, NJ Pipeline as well as every seedy venue I’ve seen some of the coolest working class heroes of our time. I’m extremely thankful to metal for a wardrobe consistent with clothes that couldn’t get even George Clooney laid as well as a misogynistic outlook on women (additional thanks go to Body Count). I give thanks to metal for the particular hypocritical freedom that exists only within the Metal Community, the freedom to be yourself as long as other outcasts think you’re cool. I am thankful for metal because without it, I would of probably gone to a good college, landed a respectable job, married a beautiful girl (I’m quite handsome), purchased a respectable home in a nice neighborhood, have a group of life-long successful and respected friends…and would of also been miserable beyond comparison, shot my stupid bitch wife and set fire to my ugly-ass starter home.

Infernal hails, forever.


PS. How heavy is this axe, like lbs?

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