Heavy Metal Saved My Life
Don't let the scene fool you; it has a lot more to offer than you think.
"I want to see all of you motherfuckers on the ground—every single one of you... Now, on my word... when I say, 'Jump the fuck up,' what are you going to do? WHEN I SAY, 'JUMP THE FUCK UP,' WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?"
Jordison keeps the guitar going
"Joey... Let's take these motherfuckers home..."
Bout time I set this record straight, All the needlenose punchin' is making me irate, Sick o' my bitchin' fallin' on deaf ears, Where you gonna be in the next five years?, The crew and all the fools, and all the politix, Get your lips ready, gonna gag, gonna make you sick, You got dick when they passed out that good stuff, BAM!, Are you sick of me? JUMP THE FUCK UP
Every single person from the front row to the back, ground, and seating, is going absolutely insane. Drinks are being thrown, pits are breaking out every few yards. Not to mention, there is a dude that decided to be lifted up to crowd surf a few feet behind you, who you must keep lifted in the air or he'll crush you. Everyone is chanting
"Fuck me I'm all out of enemies!!!!!! Fuck me I'm all out of enemies!!!!! SPIT... IT... OUT!!"
This was the moment that I realized who I really was. A little bizarre, don't you think?
Growing up, I really wasn't your average girl. I was always a little different from the rest of the people that I grew up around, always a little odd as some would say. I was always a little heavier than other girls and little more awkward. I just couldn't seem to fit in. I came from a split family, which wasn't too appealing as well. My parents' divorce has always given me trust issues, but that is a story for a different day. I jumped from friend group to friend group only to realize each one was just like the last. As I got older, I kept trying to find good friends, people who actually cared. Then a boy broke my heart, but I found love again. I was happy with my life, but something was always missing. It is sad to say that love is sometimes just not enough. One day, I found my old MP3 player. I plugged in some headphones and decided to take a listen. I scrolled through old Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brothers only to come across a very different genre of music, my dad's music. My dad always downloaded his CDs onto my computer, so they automatically downloaded to my devices. It was the lyrics, "And the reign will kill us all," from Slipknot's Psychosocial, that lead me to know that this was my band. This was going to be my go-to. I became obsessed. I started researching all of their music, and, well, you can guess what happens next.
A few months later, I began begging my dad to take me to see them. The only problem was, there were no tour dates for my location in sight. But, lucky for me, my dad was so hyped that I was into Slipknot that he booked a room and took me to see them in Baltimore for my 15th birthday. We sat far up in the stands because my dad was worried about mosh pits and because it was my first metal concert. Korn was touring with them, and, after seeing them live, they became my next obsession.
Our first music festival followed months later. My dad went all out... He loaded up the car and hauled me and my brother down to Florida for two days of nothing but rock. Yeah, that sounded pretty easy, but I forgot to mention the deer we hit that totaled our car at six AM that delayed our trip for about five hours... That sucked. As the dedicated metal-heads that we are, we kept going because who doesn't love Florida? Plus the tickets were already paid for. Anyways, we seriously had the time of our lives. All of my favorite bands were there: Slipknot, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Godsmack, Slayer, SLASH. There was no way we were missing that show. We headbanged so hard that our necks were sore for weeks. But it was this weekend that I finally became a part of Slipknot's legendary "Jump the Fuck Up." Although I had seen them before, I was so far back that there was barely any action. This time, I was deep in the crowd getting the full experience. I have never felt so free in my life. I had not a single care in the world. The best part was, I was telling all of my enemies to go fuck themselves and nobody cared because, hell, they were doing the same. So much anger and anxiety were instantly released from my body. Honestly, at that moment in time, I never feel more free, more myself.
I knew I had to keep this feeling.
Since then, we have been to two more festivals: Welcome to Rockville 2016 and Chicago Open Air 2017, as well as three concerts: Slipknot twice and Slayer's final tour. There is no doubt in my mind my father and I will continue to see shows together; it's kind of our thing. But what a lot of people don't know is the impact this genre of music has had on my life.
After a bad day at work (I work in the hotel industry), I'm ready to explode. In my case, that is having a quarter of your reservations demand to check in early for a wedding that will probably come back wasted later, all the while you've been standing since seven AM and your legs are starting to cramp. Oh, and your bladder? Yeah, it's been punching at your stomach for about an hour now, and you're starting to contemplate how many seconds it would take to book it to the restroom before another guest comes in or management notices.. See what I mean? The cure to my sanity is pretty simple. I pop in my Slipknot album and scream my head off until I feel like I am going to pass out. Every little bit of stress and anxiety from the day is released through my screams and growls. I feel completely relieved. Even if I just have a lot on my mind, and I need an escape from reality, I tune into the rhythm of the guitar and lose myself in every string. I never fully realized the power a guitar solo could have on emotions; they flow out of you just like the sound from the speakers. The intensity washes all of your worries away. Then there are times I find my mind slipping into a dark world of violence and hate. So, instead of actually hurting those people I have on the top of my list, I just scream about doing it to some badass drums and keep myself from getting arrested.
If you truly listen to heavy metal, most lyrics are very precise and full of meaning. A lot of times, I find myself looking up definitions of words in lyrics just for my own knowledge. The vocalist of Slipknot, Corey Taylor, is a master at this art. Even though their diction is hard to make out, if you listen deeper into the music, there is so much value in every word.
Somewhere on a toilet wallI read the words "You form a lineTo Formalize the Former Lies"And I finally saw the truthSomething so profound and it was sitting thereSurrounded by the garbage and the stainsAnother victim of the refuse
This line, in particular, resonates with me. At first, it doesn't seem like much. Yeah, cool, the guy found something written on a bathroom wall: Who cares? But think deeper. Typically, you see nasty things all over the stalls in any bathroom. But this particular writing had value, it had good intentions, and, like a lot of people in this world, it becomes lost amongst the bad.
When I actually get to see a show live is when I am most at peace. At times, it can get dangerous, but, in my experience, the people who are associated with the scene are typically the most genuine. Trust me, when it comes to a metal concert, judging a book by its cover is a sin. There is a rush when it comes to these shows that I just cannot put into words. All you want to do is scream and headbang. The best part? Nobody is judging you! Nobody cares about your appearance because, chances are, they are looking just as rough, if not worse. If it rains, the infamous mud-people arise, so you never have to worry about keeping your shit clean. It is all out chaos; nobody gives a damn what you're doing, and that is how life should be.
My life has changed drastically since that day I found my old MP3 player. I am a lot happier with my life. I feel that I can handle situations better knowing I have an escape route from reality. I couldn't imagine my life now without heavy metal. It has brought a light out inside of me that nothing has before. I feel myself in every song. It has brought so much meaning into my life, and I am very grateful for that. People may whisper about me and call me "strange," but I couldn't honestly care less. As Corey Taylor would say, "...nobody wants anything I got, which is fine because I'm made of everything you are not."