Jumping Darkness Parade




I’ve never really wondered this about myself, but I guess it’s a good question:why the fuck am I still involved with metal?

Honestly, I don’t have an answer besides to say that no matter what I do, I’m always drawn to it. It’s almost akin to a sexual preference. You don’t choose it. It is what it is. People choose their sexual preference as much as they choose their fetishes, which is not at all. Well, I think tastes in music and art follow suit. Sure, you get college lesbians as much as you get people who take on the musical tastes of their significant others or social circle, but at the end of the day, I don’t think you can really choose what your tastes are. I think there’s some sort of brain wiring involved which dictates our taste preferences, and I’m just not privy to the actual process.

I remember what I got out of listening to metal in the early days: the intensity of the feelings expressed and sounds created spoke to how frustrated I was with my life. It also echoed the anger I wanted to unleash on the world in response to that frustration. I’m talking back when I was twelve.

Well, I’m not twelve anymore. And I certainly don’t act like a twelve year old. And my frustrations with life are definitely not the same. So why does the genre of music still apply to my life? I have only one friend left from that era, I don’t hate my parents anymore, I’m not worried about if I’ll ever get laid, getting out of the prison known as “school” is a distant memory, there’s no more plaid shirts in my closet, all the insecurities that come with being that age are gone, the Black Album is not the current monster metal record, and I certainly don’t have an acne problem. Obviously my life is way different.

And beyond being different, my life is in the best place it’s ever been. It’s gotten consistently better with each passing year. So shouldn’t it follow suit that little by little my tastes would morph into some genre where happiness and positivity are what’s expressed?

My tastes in music do go far beyond metal, but they always have. There’s one common factor though: Rregardless of genre, the music I listen to seems to always be expressively dark and musically groundbreaking. For instance, those are qualities you will find in Opeth, Pink Floyd, or Aphex Twin. Radically different genres but, they still all are or were expressively dark and musically groundbreaking.

Maybe it’s not the genre I’m drawn to, maybe it’s just the criteria I listed above. Or maybe I just realized at a young age that the world is an abject shithole, that most people suck, and things are not going to get any better in that regard. Doesn’t matter how old you are, or what your level of success is. The world is a shitty place. Life hands us bullshit cards constantly and all that really measures our worth is how we react to and handle these things. As a twelve year old or as a thirty year old, the basic understanding of the horrible nature of our species and the world we’ve created stays the same.

I think that me being drawn to metal is a combo of all I listed above plus a few other things I haven’t quite figured out yet. What about you guys? I’m seriously curious to know. If you’re a teenager, why are you listening to metal? If you’re a full grown adult with an adult life, why are you still listening to it? Tell me! I’m especially curious to know if your tastes in metal don’t originate from a negative place.


Levi/Werstler’s debut album, Avalanche of Worms, comes out April 20 on Magna Carta. You can listen to a track and pre-order the release here. You can also follow the project on MySpace and Facebook.

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