Billy Corgan Tells Lars Ulrich That “It’s Amazing How Disrespected Metal Is”
Regardless of how you feel about his music, you have to give Zwan’s Billy Corgan some credit: he’s a legit metal fan. For one thing, he’sresponsible for one of the best Iron Maiden covers of all time.
For another thing, he recently went on Lars Ulrich’s s Apple Music Beats 1 show and said this:
“For years, I would take shit about being a fan of metal – it should be beneath you. It gets into weird class politics. Most of the people who criticise people like us for being who we are, what we are, or what we represent, had better backgrounds than we had.
“We didn’t necessarily go to the nice school, we didn’t get to read the cool newspaper. For me, bands like Metallica told me that there is this other world that is more closely aligned with the experience you’re having than the one you’re being told about.
“So when I heard Mercyful Fate, Metallica or Ted Nugent, that told me, ‘Wait, there’s this other world than the world you’re telling me that I’m supposed to believe in.’
“Even to this day, for all the money that metal moves, it’s amazing how disrespected it is.”
Corgan is right on the money. I mean, the part about taking shit for not reading “the cool newspaper” is a little odd (Was that seriously a way kids taunted one another when Corgan was growing up in the ’70s and early ’80s?), but the rest is pretty much spot-on. I actually did go to “a nice school,” and I can tell you, there were not a whole lot of other metalheads around (I took tons of shit for having long hair, and was told my clothes were “welfare”), and I was told by several adult authority figures that metal was a not a music listened to by people who were “respectable” or “intelligent.” I can also tell you from unfortunate first-hand experience that there are mainstream companies out there that don’t think metal’s money is green or something. You can present them with statistics demonstrating that metal fans are just as well-educated and well-paid as fans of any other genre of music, and those companies will still be like, “Nope, not interested.” It’s the damndest thing.
Share your own tragic stories of class warfare-fueled discrimination against metal in the comments section.