© 2012 Matthew Lee Johnston

Keep your indie out of my metal! (2002)

From: “RockStarMatt”
Subject: Do not metalize!

Dear Strangers,

When grunge washed through town there was a thriving metal scene in Seattle. Panic, Bitter End, Forced Entry, The Accused, Culprit, Grunttruck, and countless other bands set the stage for the grunge explosion, and then were quickly admonished by the new Seattle rock royalty. After the fall, none of the clubs (besides the Off Ramp and sometimes Moe) would book anything heavy. I had to go to the fucking Fenix to see metal bands for fucks sake. KCMU ditched Brain Pain, and good luck getting your metal played on KEXP – where “the music matters” unless it’s metal. These days I have to stand in field goal position with my hand on the antenna to catch Nate’s Metal Shop on that crappy Tacoma station. Since it’s inception, I have watched with delight as your little rag has talked endless amounts of shit about “heshers”, and mocked metal music incessantly with the usual condescending, self-righteous, and irreverent diatribes that have become your signature.

Now I see the tide starting to turn. For the longest time, I would go to a Kyuss or Mercyful Fate show and there would be a few fellow scumbags, Mark Arm, and that was about it. Then about two years ago I started seeing the same little indie-twits that used to look down on me for having long hair, walking around with skin tight Metallica shirts on at Fu Manchu shows (not metal and a complete fashion faux pas by the way). While no one seems to have the balls to really come out and say that they like metal in the Stranger, I’ve seen more and more encroachments on metal’s intellectual territory lately. A while back you called Crictor “Seattle’s newest obsession” and metal, which they are most certainly mocking, and I nearly went into a violent metallic head banging seizure when I saw a contribution by former Bitter End front man, Matt Fox a few issues ago.

I’d really like to see you maintain your stance that metal music is arcane, and metal heads are drooling Neanderthal caricatures that all have mullets and drive Camaros. This will allow metal heads to continue to think of you us a bunch of popularity contest pussies who vote for each other in “sexiest” polls. I beg that you still only write about “metal” when it’s referring to some posers trying to use this otherwise glorious music as a lifeboat when their tired indie rock bands are going down like corn turds in an End Fest Sani-Can.

It’s hard enough being a metal-loving scumbag in this town without being associated with your readership. I enjoyed reading the Stranger a lot more when you were making fun of Ronnie James Dio. If you could clown him a bit in this issue just to show that you still think metal is uncool, I would really appreciate it!

Thanks.

MLJ

—–Original Message—–
From: the Stranger
Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2002 10:59 AM
To: rsm@tricknology.net
Subject: Re: Fwd: Do not metalize!

Dear MLJ,

Your formal complaint has been forwarded to me by the Stranger letters folks, as it is my fault that we’re covering more metal because, I will come out and say it, I like metal. I like loud, fast, heavy music, and take that over wimpy indie rock any day. I also like people who can write well and and are smart and can make me laugh, and you fit into all those categories. Do you play in a band? If so, I’d love to have you write something (350 words) for the Band column about the hipster encroachment on metal….less about the Stranger and more about the at large events in Seattle so it’s not so insider-sounding, but basically the same idea as you have here. Lemme know what you think.

And thanks for the letter.

Best,
Jennifer

———-

-THE BAND!-

GET YOUR INDIE OUTTA MY FUCKING METAL!
by RockStarMatt

The BAND is The Stranger’s open column for local musicians to write about whatever they want, from offering a critical eye on Seattle music to funny stories about their years (or days) of experience on stage. If you play music in this city and have an idea for The BAND, send in 350 words to theband@thestranger.com.

Before grunge washed through town, there was a thriving metal scene in Seattle. Panic, Bitter End, Forced Entry, the Accused, Culprit, and countless other bands ushered in the grunge explosion, and then were quickly admonished by the new Seattle Rock Royalty. After the fall, few of the clubs would book anything heavy. I had to go to the fucking Fenix to see metal bands for fucks’ sake. KCMU ditched Brain Pain, and good luck getting your metal played on KEXP–where “the music matters”… unless it’s metal. These days I have to stand in field-goal position with my hand on the antenna to catch Nate’s Metal Shop on that crappy Tacoma station.

Now I see the tide starting to turn. For many years I would go to a Kyuss or Mercyful Fate show and there would be a few fellow scumbags, Mark Arm, and that was about it. Then about two years ago I started seeing the same little indie-twits that used to look down on me for having long hair walking around with skin-tight Metallica shirts on at Fu Manchu shows (not metal and a complete fashion faux pas by the way). While no one has the balls to come out and say that they like it, I’ve seen more encroachments on metal’s intellectual and spiritual territory lately.

Now indie rockers are forming metal bands. A wave of cuddle-core fans are “metalizing,” as if they haven’t spent the last 10 years spitting on the genre…. Seattle metalheads will not stand idle while you make a farce out of our music, like you did when you “revived” punk with Hello Kitty lunch boxes. The last thing we need is a Second Coming of the false-metal prophets, and we’re here to ensure your crucifixion should you ignore our warnings.

It’s difficult enough being a metal-loving miscreant in this town without having to compete with an Elvis Costello clone for a ticket to see Motörhead. We gave you Entombed in exchange for that Hellacopters shit. What more do you fuckin’ want?!

RockStarMatt’s band, Omega KO, plays the Bellingham Skate Park on Sat June 15 with the DT’s.