13 Metal Musicians We’d Take A Bullet For


We’d like to think we’d take a bullet for anyone — and hey, maybe we would! Maybe if we saw someone, even someone we don’t like, in the line of fire, a mixture of cat-like reflexes and the angels of our better nature would kick in, and we’d leap in the shooter’s path. That said, if we’re being perfectly honest, we’re not sure that would happen. And depending on the person in those crosshairs, our first thought might not be, Protect them at all costs, it’d be, Shit, what’d you do now?

That said, we can think of a handful of metal musicians about whom this wouldn’t even be a question. Whether it’s due to their influence on us musically or what they stand for in the metal scene, these artists are people we’d shield with our bodies at all costs. So in their honor, we figured we’d make a short list of the musicians we’d throw ourselves in front of.

Here are 13 metal stars we’d take a bullet for…

Mike Patton

Watching Mike Patton get shot would feel too much like watching some brilliant revolutionary get shot. That dude can think and create loops around us, and knowing him, he’d either be dressed in an immaculate suit or he’d have on an ill-fitting schoolboy outfit and miniature dreads. Either way, this kind of thinker can’t just be silenced, for fear that the world will be less off without him. Imagine jumping in front of an incredible piece of art, or chaining yourself to a redwood. That’s Mike Patton for us.

Dave Lombardo

There are few people whose talent is just so great that we cannot let it be wiped from the Earth, but damn if Dave Lombardo ain’t one of them. The founding Slayer drummer’s beats are just so fucking awesome and unpredictable that I can’t be lettin’ no mad gunman take ’em away from us. If we see someone pull heat on Dave, we would feel an instinctual need to preserve one of metal’s shining talents. Knowing Dave’s hands, though, he’ll just catch the fucking bullet.

Chase Mason

We can’t lose this current generation of metal stars. Their music is too good, and they’re too promising for the future. So we can’t let Gatecreeper frontman Chase Mason get shot. It also helps that he’s a stand-up dude who’s really funny; it’s not as though we’d take that bullet reluctantly. But if metal’s gonna survive, Chase’s torch can’t go out like that, plain and simple, so we’re taking that slug. Plus, it would be a monumental loss to the collective knowledge of indie sodas.

Frank Bello

You know who’s a really nice dude? Frank Bello from fuckin’ Anthrax. He’s just a pleasure to talk to! You say Frank Bello a circle of metal journalists, and they just go off. Great guy. Total positivity. Awesome interview. So if someone drew a gun on Frank, my thought wouldn’t be, Frank, you dumb bastard, what’d you do? I’d think, This must be some asshole nutcase, pointing a gun at Frank Bello, because Frank Bello is a national treasure. He makes it easy for you.

Matt Pike

If Matt Pike dies, I worry I might, too. Matt Pike feels like metal Jesus in that way, like he’s an avatar for the smirking, sweat-stained dirtbag in us all. If there is no High On Fire or Sleep, a part of us has died, you know? So to keep Matt Pike and perhaps the entire metal lifestyle and legacy alive, I would catch a slug in the gut. Then I’d have Matt blow weed smoke into the wound. Come on, dude, do it. You owe me.


Honestly, Doro Pesch better hope I never meet her, because I’ll just awkwardly stare at her the way some people do at their favorite actor or athlete. I’m in perpetual awe of everything Doro’s done for metal; she feels like the genre’s shepherd, in a lot of ways. So taking a bullet for her would sort of feel like taking a bullet for metal as a whole, because to harm Doro is to harm metal. And she’d probably think, Thank God he shot that dude who kept staring at me.


The easy answer here is that I don’t want to live in a world without a new Cannibal Corpse album. And that’s true. But you know what, let’s go deeper. If you’ve ever followed Corpsegrinder on Instagram, you’ve seen how much of a hardcore dad he is. If someone drew heat on George Fisher, part of me would just imagine the dude’s family at home, and know I couldn’t let this happen to them. Besides, you just know that shot’ll be fatal, because how could the gunman hit anything but the guy’s neck?

Cliff Burton

Obviously, this is more complicated than just thinking Cliff is cool. This would involve some time travel. But we’ll say this: Cliff Burton holds such a place in our hearts that we’d pretty much do anything and everything to protect him if the opportunity arose. So if Cliff got shot at, and we were in 1985 misusing the professor’s equipment to try Crystal Pepsi, you bet your ass we’d jump into the line of fire. It would be an honor.

Devin Townsend

Here’s the real concern with Devin Townsend: what happens if his people come back for him and he’s been shot? The saucer lands in a smoky cloud of light beams, the three other Ziltoids in their ceremonial robes slither down the ramp – and their beautiful envoy to the Primate Planet has been killed? That’s how the world dies screaming. You gotta throw your body on Devin and just hope that he heals you with a glowing finger later. 

Trey Pemberton

We like knowing Creeping Death’s out there charging hippo metal, and we like that Trey Pemberton’s a part of the band. Maybe it’s just from following his social media, but we find ourselves really endeared toward the guy. And much like with Gatecreeper’s Chase Mason, the idea of him and his talent and this promising band he’s in getting harmed in any way just depresses the shit out of us. He seems like a good dude, and a good enough dude that we’d take the slug.

Nita Strauss

So far, Nita Strauss’ story has really charmed the hell out of us. She’s somehow both this high-voltage guitar goddess and one of us, a virtuoso who’s still a nerdy fan. That mixture of talent and relatability makes her the kind of person we’d happily block from certain death. When heavy metal crafts someone this cool, you do what you can to defend ’em. 


Will Rahmer

We’re huge Mortician fans, so maybe part of our selfless sacrifice to Will Rahmer would be due to gratitude. But that’s not why we’re doing it, honestly. We’re doing it to hear what excuse Will will say afterwards. There’s no way he’ll just say ‘Thanks,’ you know he’s going to say something like, ‘I would’ve dodged it if you hadn’t jumped in’ or ‘Sig Sauer bullet’s ain’t that big a deal anyway, I wouldn’t’a noticed.’ Something like that.

Tony Iommi

Look, it’s real simple: we don’t know what’s going to happen if Tony Iommi dies! Do Dracula rules take effect, and all metalheads turn into normal, well-adjusted people? Will the bullet hole become a singularity and suck the entire planet into a single point of ultra-dense blackness? Will cocaine come pouring out of him, like when you rip open a bean bag chair? We don’t know and we don’t want to know! Better we take the bullet than find out.

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