I went and saw Watain here in LA a couple weeks ago. I’m not a fan, but my girlfriend loves them and bought the tickets like two months in advance. Even though their music doesn’t do a whole lot for me, I have to admit they put on an excellent show. The stage was all gussied up with rotting, stinky cow heads, burning crosses (I was actually surprised you can do this in a post Great White world), and like 483 lit candles. According to some others I’ve spoken with, they were all rubbed down in some kind of animal blood as well (imagine that pre-show ritual!). This certainly made for some eye candy while sitting through an hour of songs I don’t know at all. As my mind drifted off throughout the set I pondered many things in regards to this band’s appeal, or at least this kind of entertainment in general. In fact, to call it “entertainment” is probably selling some of these fans’ dedication short. There are people who are really down with this shit.

Before I come off as some square douche who just saw his first black metal show, let me fully disclose the fact that I “get” it. I used to love stuff like this. I flew to Milwaukee Metalfest one year mostly to see Gorgoroth. I snuck into a sold out Mayhem show in 1998 because I just couldn’t miss it. I bought tickets to Cradle Of Filth’s first ever LA show (hey, they were cool once) well in advance because I was just that stoked. I loved this stuff for the same reason I loved punk and other kinds of metal. My parents hated it, and I, at the time, was not the biggest fan of my parents. What better way to express your disgust of the world around you than through loud, aggressive music?

Now, the whole theatrical element of the black metal style is, to me, one step shy of goth-ism (is that a word?). You are so in need of attention, yet angry at everything around you, that you feel the need to wear all black and be into some dark shit to get back at your uncle for getting drunk and sticking his thumb in your butt every Thanksgiving. This is perfectly normal in your teens, when on top of however difficult your life already is you’re forced to go to public high school, which is basically where you realize that the rest of your life is going to suck even more. But there are people in their 20’s, 30’s, and even 40’s that I see at these shows and involved in this business.

And I think now I am finally getting to my point, or at least my question to all of you. Without going into full details about what happened to you in your childhood that makes you so down with black metal, or satan, or jerking off with broken glass while listening to Deicide (unless you really want to, because I’m sure that would make for some great comment reading), would you say that there are certain “daddy issues” you’re dealing with?


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