Some of the Best Heavy Metal Conspiracy Theories


Yesterday, a member of The Illuminati revealed that Lemmy isn’t dead — he’s just completed his deal with the devil, in which he was granted rock stardom, and has ascended on to the next realm (or whatever). Which we’re 99.999% sure is total nonsense… but it’s entertaining nonsense!

Which got us thinking: what are some metal’s other most entertaining conspiracy theories? Here are a few of our favorites.

Motörhead Sent a Backwards Message to the PRMC in One of Their Songs

Speaking of Lemmy…

The whole concept of playing a record backwards and hearing some hidden message is at least as old as The Beatles, and, no surprise, plenty of such theories revolve around metal bands. Some are creepy, but most likely coincidental…

…some are creepy, but were probably deliberate…

…and some were definitely deliberate

…but this one, from Motörhead’s 1916 (1991), is arguably the most interesting. The story goes that it was intended as a message to Tipper Gore’s Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) — y’know, the group that famously wanted to ban certain albums based on their lyrics, and who at one point took a drubbing from Dee Snider. What makes this one fun is that seems plausible both as a coincidence and as something the band did on purpose.

Marilyn Manson is One of the Kids from The Wonder Years

And by “one of the kids,” we mean Josh Saviano, who played Paul Pfeiffer, the best friend of protagonist/narrator Kevin Arnold. This has been debunked about a billion times already, and as adults, Saviano and Manson actually don’t look very much alike. But when the rumor first started going around in the mid-90s, it seemed plausible enough — no one knew what had become of Saviano, Manson’s off-camera persona hadn’t yet been made famous, and the fact that so many child actors grow up to be seriously damaged made it easy to believe that Saviano was now making a name for himself a shock rocker.


Tommy Lee and Mick Mars Don’t Play on Mötley Crüe’s “If I Die Tomorrow”

The story goes that for various reasons, including Mick Mars’ ongoing battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis, session musicians Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, etc.) and Dj Ashba (ex-Guns N’ Roses) were brought in to record drums and guitars, respectively. The band have been denying it pretty much since the rumor started, although the fact that Ashba is now part of Sixx A.M. no doubt only intensified some fans’ belief that the story is true. It’s also worth noting that Freese did record in Lee’s place for The Crüe’s cover of “Street Fighting Man.”

Ted Cruz is Actually Michael Sweet from Stryper

This was debunked earlier this year… but it’s very easy to see how the rumor got started.

Ted Cruz Stryper

Andrew W.K. is More Than One Man

This might be the mother of all heavy metal conspiracies, because it’s so complex. You can read the long version here, but the short version is basically just that Mr. W.K.’s physical appearance seems to have changed over the years, and this somehow makes him multiple actors and not just, y’know, like every other regular human being whose physical appearance changes over time.

Some of the Best Heavy Metal Conspiracy Theories

Obituary drummer Donald Tardy, who has recorded and toured with W.K., attempted to clear this up in our 2010 interview. Unfortunately, he just kinda confused us more.

What are YOUR favorite heavy metal conspiracy theories? Add to the list in the comments section below!

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