The 25 Most Important People in Metal: The REAL #1, The Fans

  • Axl Rosenberg

As much as metal is a genre of music and a lifestyle, it is also a community. And like all communities, it has its leaders — men and women whose work, be it by design or circumstance, affects all lovers of extreme music on a regular basis.

Throughout November, MetalSucks will celebrate these industry leaders by counting down The 25 Most Important People in Metal one per day. To be clear, this is a list of the people we believe are most important to metal today, in 2016 — not necessarily the most important people overall in the entire history of the genre. Some of them are musicians. Many of them are not. Some of them are people you’ve heard of. Many of them work behind the scenes and do not routinely get to take a bow. But they all have one thing in common: more than just cogs in a machine, they are truly, undeniably irreplaceable.

First of all, if you really thought we were going to name me as the #1 most important person in metal today, please report directly to your nearest kindergarten class. Like Billy Madison, you are so stupid you clearly just need to go back to the beginning and start your education all over again.

Second of all, props to the dude on Twitter who figured out that you, The Fans, were going to be #1 when we first kicked off this list. I’d call him “clever,” but…

…I mean, c’mon… isn’t this obvious? Of COURSE the fans are the most important people in metal. Without the fans, no one on the below list would have a job in this industry. In fact, the below list wouldn’t exist at all. Without the fans, none of this would exist. Lars Ulrich would not be married to a gorgeous model half his age and twice his height. Corey Taylor would be the most beloved manager of a Chick-fil-A in all of central Iowa. Fenriz would be forced to put up with 5,000% more people calling him “Gylve.” Jose Mangin would be hauled off to a mental institution for screaming out various band names at random intervals. Basically, everything would be a fucking disaster.

Metal may very well have the most passionate fans in the world. I doubt anyone is sending out death threats because a snarky blogger gave the new Ariana Grande album a bad review. There is no style of modern music that came to prominence via a grass roots movement to the extent that metal did; hip-hop would be a close second, but hip-hop has obviously had way more help from the mainstream media over the past twenty or twenty-five years. Metal fans are the reason metal isn’t even underground anymore.

So here’s to them, you, all of us — the fans! WE DID IT! Hopefully we can keep this thing going for at least another fifty years. INTO THE PIT!

#25: Mark Riddick
#24: Robb Flynn
#23: Rob Scallon

#22: Kim Kelly
#21: Fenriz
#20: Rob Halford

#19: Ash Avildsen
#18: Steve Joh

#17: Karim Peter
#16: Misha Mansoor

#15: Dan Rozenblum
#14: Joey Sturgis

#13: Randy Blythe
#12: Amy Sciarretto
#11: Dimebag Darrell
#10: Corey Taylor
#9: Jose Mangin

#8: Monica Seide-Evenson
#7: Albert Mudrian
#6: Borivoj Krgin
#5: Sharon Osbourne
#4: Monte Conner
#3: Brian Slagel

#2: James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich
The Fake #1: Axl Rosenberg

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