Girl’s Guide to Metal – Part Two
So, you found that once you started listening to metal you couldn’t stop. Other music has become weak and insipid in comparison, like a cup of tea from a buffet car on a train. When you’re watching the news and you hear a mention of Osbourne you think of Ozzy, not George. When you read that your crisps contain no MSG you’re relieved that the Michael Schenker Group hasn’t been used in the creation of a potatoey snack. You now need a daily dose of noise made by black clad musicians which is both fast and loud. When waking up you say ‘Another heavy-metal day, better have some vibes’.
This is all excellent and you may now consider yourself a metaller, metal head, head banger, respecter of the riff, or any other regionally variable term for one who loves metal. What follows is some more advice on how to make metal fit into and enhance your life. It can be a huge force for good. There’s no life ‘til leather as the old saying goes. It’s like winning the musical taste lottery. I’m excited for you already.
This guide is mainly for metal ladies but there should be much here that chaps can agree with and might find useful to read about. To answer the question of is there sexism in metal? Of course there is some, just as there is in wider society, and any large group of people will contain some individuals with extreme views. There might even be someone out there who thinks Lulu was a good Metallica album.
Because of metal’s value of being tolerant to experiences outside the social norm it could help women be more open-minded about the career paths that are open to them. I’ve picked a few female examples for role models but remember it doesn’t matter if you have a foo-foo or something more manly stashed in your pants, good metal is good metal and good people are good people. Role model suggestions are: Jo Bench, The Great Kat, Doro Pesch, Soph Day and Nervosa.
Album Listening Suggestions
At this stage in your metal journey these are merely suggestions because there is forty years worth of metal music out there from all over the globe. You and your metal comrades will spend hours discussing music. However, you won’t go wrong if you get these in your ears:
Exodus – Tempo of the Damned. Musically tighter than a mouse’s ear and lyrically smarter than a fox with a doctorate from Oxbridge university.
Motörhead – No Remorse. Massively meaty chunk of quality metal.
Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell. Wonderful album and also historically important due to the little gentleman in black velvet saving the mighty Sabbath when they might have floundered without the big double O.
Manowar – Kings of Metal. Cheesier than a cheddar topped brie and edam baguette with a side order of emmental this is stirring stuff indeed *does sign of the hammer*.
Slayer – South of Heaven. Will give you goose bumps on your goose bumps.
Paradise Lost – Gothic. Doomily bleak and beautiful, so entrancing it’s like absent mindedly sitting on a sandwich and it leaves an imprint like buttock on soft bread.
Type O Negative – October Rust. Like walking through a park on an autumn day, kicking up leaves while wearing a big warm jumper.
WASP – Self titled debut album. This album nails your ass to the sheets. Then it gets up and makes you a cup of tea and apologises for being so rough with ‘Sleeping (in the fire)’.
So, you’ve spotted a metal god across a crowded bar and you want things to get hard and heavy. You’ve admired each other’s T-shirts. You’ve discussed your favourite music. Now you want to move things on and blow his speakers, sink the pink, let him breach your gates of Valhalla and so on.
The quickest way into a metal heart is with a chat up line.
Here are a few simple ones:
‘Can I buy you a beer?’
‘I love the smell of leather, can I sniff you?’
‘Nice tats, I’d like to see a bit more of them’.
‘You make me think of a song I love’ can work well but it’s more advanced. You’re likely to be asked to follow this up with which song it is so be ready.
Songs appropriate to specify as being reminiscent of a potential mate:
AC/DC – Come And Get It
Spinal Tap – Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight
Jackyl – She Loves My Cock (it’s a bit cheeky this one, so use with caution or save for the third date).
Songs not appropriate to specify as being reminiscent of a potential mate:
Napalm Death – Scum
Georgia Satellites – Keep Your Hands to yourself
Lawnmower Deth – Duck Off.
Offering to come back to your place to listen to something obscure can work well. ‘I’ve got a rare 12 inch’ can be whispered into a manly metal ear and I’ve been surprised by some of the reactions to this.
In the olden days you could make a mix tape for a potential beau who was bit slow to notice you were interested in him in that way. Nowadays you can make a playlist for this purpose. Put some AC/DC on there, you have a one in three chance of a song of theirs being about romance.
Once you’ve attracted a suitable metal mate you can get cosy, perhaps to the point of giving him a nickname.
Acceptable heavy metal nicknames for your boyfriend are Lord Of Steel, Hulk, Spike, Big John (only if he’s actually called John obviously, substitute name of actual chap as needed), Pumpkin, Trigger, Iron Man, Crusher, Rock Hobbit and Pleasure Slave.
Unacceptable heavy metal nicknames are Mr Snuggle Flumpkin, Floofy Kitten, Huggle Bun Bun, Cuddle Pants and Bambi.
How to Deal with Non-Metal Men
Sometimes you’ll have to deal with non-metal men. Most non-metal men are perfectly charming and harmless. However there are two common exceptions: those who think you should dress in a more mainstream fashion and those who focus on you entirely because of the way you dress.
The first type will say things like, ‘I hate to see a woman spoiling herself by wearing black all the time’ and ‘you’d be so pretty if you wore normal clothes’. You can deal with these tiresome individuals in two ways.
Firstly, reply ‘You’d be so hot if you wore a black T-shirt’ and hopefully the chump will reflect that clothes are only one aspect of a person, be they male or female. If they don’t get this be prepared to fend off said chump in his brand new Iron Maiden T-shirt next time you see him. At this stage you might need to point out that it’s not the job of women or men to dress to please other people.
More troubling is the opposite of the above in which men fetishise the whole of, or certain aspects of your metal appearance, without knowing anything about you. Popular culture likes to present metal women as slutty, always up for it, sexually adventurous sirens. Something as small and simple as a pierced tongue seems to get a lot of men hot under the collar and aroused in the trousers.
Respond politely but firmly and challenge misconceptions made about you. Walk away if you hear anything you consider truly offensive. Just because you dress a certain way does not make it okay for people to jump to conclusions about your sexual behaviour or morality. No-one should make you feel like a freak show. You wouldn’t dream of telling a man in a grey suit you think he looks like he’d be boring in bed would you?
Advanced Metal Fashion
Anything you feel comfortable in is fine and you will have developed favourite outfits. If you glance at your wardrobe now about eighty per cent of it is likely to be black. Dress down in jeans and a band T-shirt or dress up in a tight black studded dress, it’s entirely up to you but pick your outfit with the occasion you’re wearing it for in mind and with a nod to common sense. Women who are freezing cold look a bit silly.
Wearing a band’s T-shirt to their gig
There are a few exceptions to the rule of not wearing a band’s T shirt to their gig. One is if it is a very old tour shirt, about two decades old, or from the very start of a band’s career. Secondly, if you’re going to see an AC/DC tribute band you can wear an AC/DC T shirt, but ideally a rare one. Thirdly, if it’s all you have that’s clean and you’re in a rush to go out after work.
High street metal fashion
Sometimes fashion designers decide that it’s time for the rock chick look to come back. For many a metal maiden it had never gone away. You don’t need mass produced clothing, fashionable for only one season, you’re wearing this stuff in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Metal T shirts from Topshop and Topman should never be worn. But you’ll have the genuine articles in your wardrobe anyway so will snort derisively at these offerings. A good metal wardrobe lasts for decades, except underwear of course. Anyone who has bought a Manowar thong from the Kingdom Of Steel can skip this next part, you’re way ahead of the game and I take my hat off to you (it’s a pink Suicidal Tendencies baseball cap).
Black is obviously a favourite colour but red, purple, blue and pink are also good. Choose something silky, or with lace or fishnet, whatever you prefer. When buying underwear think about if someone accidentally saw it. Would it be okay because it’s great underwear? Does it look like it was discarded at the end of a Mötley Crüe video? Can you imagine it on the end of Danzig’s bed post? If so go ahead and buy it. No 99p Stores enormous harvest festivals (where all is safely gathered in). No grey bras. Your underwear helps you feel confident so choose wisely.
You might need some white underwear, for the occasional white metal T-shirt. Consider the purchase of a white Iron Knights T-shirt, it’ll be cool in summer at Wacken but it will necessitate new undies. Men just don’t have to think about these things.
Being stared at
You will probably be getting used to being stared at as you go about your day to day business by now. Ignore it. If you get on a bus and everyone stares then congratulate yourself that you have picked another killer outfit. Make sure you’re polite at all times to help destroy the stereotype of metal heads as aggressive weirdoes.
By now you’ll have been to quite a few gigs. You’ll be able to tell anyone who asks your top five. You’ll have regrets about gigs that you never saw. You’ll know how expensive your favourite drink is in London venues and will enjoy telling people this while shaking your head in dismay. Keep your concert tickets in a box with a skull on or frame them for display in your home.
Support your local metal scene as well as going to bigger gigs and festivals. Buy T-shirts of small bands who are touring when you can. You can wear them as a nightdress or customise them if they’re too big. Develop a favourite venue and a favourite festival. Spend hours imagining your ideal festival line up.
You can now make metal fit into every part of your life if you want to. I’m sure you already know the joy of hearing your favourite metal songs in your favourite metal pub.
There are metal cook books, cheese graters and spatulas shaped like guitars, metal cruise holidays and you have the power the metal up anything you like. Be creative. When making a cottage pie put a mash pentagram on the top, when planting a flowerbed use black and purple tulips in a skull pattern.
Metal Myths Dispelled
No-one has had a rib removed so they can do that. Think about it, if you want that done and you are a famous musician there are likely to be plenty of people around you can ask nicely to do it for you.
Musicians are normal people like you and I. Sorry, but it’s true.
If you say Lemmy into a mirror three times he won’t appear and offer you a drink, but try it if you want.