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Metal And Politics: Do They Mix?

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The author
So, for my first ever article for GunShy, I’m going to be talking about something that is important to me that I think the metal community gets wrong a lot of the time. It’s an issue that’s close to my heart and I feel needs to be addressed properly.

Who knows, this could turn out to be really boring but it needs to be said. Some people think that politics and metal shouldn’t mix.

But let’s be honest here, metal is all about emotion, and the well-being of your fellow man gets me fired up and ready to fight. I don’t see why it shouldn’t. It’s interesting and inherently idealistic, with so many different points of view as to how it should be done. Politics can vary just as much as metal does, but there are two main ideals — polar opposites to each other — that seem to be at the fore of metal, when it pops up.

Of course, this leads me to Nazi or National Socialist (it’s not actual Socialism; it’s closer to Fascism) metal. Typically, this is conveyed by black metal and brings a harmful stereotype to the black metal community. Bands have to express specifically that they are not Nazi bands.

To have to come out and say that you aren’t a racist, homicidal, Holocaust-denying (or even supporting) maniac is degrading to say the least.

This stereotype has been progressing through the non-metal community as “all metalheads are Nazis,” and it’s not hard to see why, especially when you live in places like Europe, America and Australia. People of other ethnicities are few and far between in the western metal world, and it’s a real shame.

One, because it perpetuates a harmful stereotype that mostly isn’t true, but also that it means we are woefully monotonous. I would love to hear more world influences in western metal; how cool would it be to hear some tribal African influences in metal, or aboriginal Australian folk music? Prospects like this get me really excited.

The other end of this political spectrum is Socialist, particularly anarcho-socialist metal. This one has a deep rooting in crossover thrash and hardcore. It’s a political view that I personally support, and is a view that is inherently inclusionary. One that supports the wellbeing and equality of the people, not matter what race, creed, or religion.

However, it’s really unfortunate that bands can get it right, and politicians can’t. I just don’t understand what the problem is with people and politics. Not just in metal but in general. It’s something that everyone should be involved in. If everyone got stuck in and had a go, I honestly think this world would be a better place.

Which brings me back to the point I’m trying to get across. Metal is all about passion, and expressing passion in an aggressive medium to drive home that passion and emotion about what you’re feeling. So what’s wrong with incorporating politics? How is it different to your religious sentiments?

Spoiler: It isn’t.

Write about what you feel is important. Listen to what you feel is important. Just have fun and enjoy yourself while doing so.

Rant over. Xander, signing off.