Brian Posehn: Why I Love Metal
As part of Rhapsody Metal Madness, we asked comedian/writer/actor/generally sweet dude Brian Posehn if he'd like to write a little something about his own love for metal and provide a few suggestions for further listening. Here's what he sent us; listen along with our Brian Posehn's Favorite Metal Jams playlist.
Why do I love metal? The easy answer is, I love the attitude, the image, the theatricality, the technicality, the aggression, the technical aggression. I love the way it makes me feel. I love hearing great new metal for the first time. I love listening to old metal that I've heard a million times, even though I've memorized every riff and lyric. I love the riffs, I love the lyrics, the themes, the simplicity, the complexity, the heavy guitars, the brain-pummeling back lines, the grooves ... I could go on and on. How much time do you have?
I've been a metal fan for more than 30 years (yes, I'm old), and to this day, people are always asking me why. What I really want to reply with is, "Better question: Why don't you?" or "Why do you like crap?" Because if the person asking loved metal too, there'd be no need to ask at all. It's just one of those things -- you either get it or you don't. It's always been that way for me. I don't ask other metalheads why they love it. I f*cking know why. It's like asking a fat person why they love food or a criminal why they love crime. It's what they know, it's ingrained, it's part of them; there is a long history. I can barely remember a time when I didn't love metal.
I can remember, however, when I started loving metal. Like a drug addict remembering what sht he put in his system before he found his sweet lady heroin, I can remember what my gateway was. Like a lot of people my age, my gateway music was hard rock, specifically KISS, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Van Halen and UFO (in that order). I heard KISS in my school library when I was 10 years old -- another kid was playing a "Detroit Rock City" 45, and I had to know right away, "What is that?" For you readers who aren't f\cking ancient, a 45 was an MP3 on a small plastic disc with the MP3 of another song (which usually wasn't as good) on the other side. You would play said 45 on a record player. Don't expect me to explain what that was, you have Wikipedia, f*cking use it.
Anyway, after hearing KISS, I begged my mom to take me to a record store. You know what a record store is, right? Back then, a record store was where you went to buy new music, posters and T-shirts of your favorite bands and be ridiculed by the employees, who were a lot cooler than you. Now, a record store is where white-trash people buy their salvia. It's also where mean old people who are still way cooler than you work. After I collected all the good KISS albums and tapes (plus some bad ones), I moved on to the other bands I mentioned. I found AC/DC, Van Halen and the like through the radio, my friend's older brother, my cool cousin, and the hot stoner chicks that babysat me. That carried me through the '70s.
At the end of the '70s, I was at a buddy's house going through his older sister's vinyl collection when I was exposed to two bands that changed everything: Black F*cking Sabbath and Judas F*cking Priest. The imagery and the music were everything I liked about hard rock but heavier, faster and darker. I became obsessed; I had to have everything by those bands and anything like them.
Then came Scorpions, Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Iron Maiden. I abandoned Leppard and the Crue after their second albums; Maiden and the Scorps, on the other hand, just got even better, in my opinion. By then, I had checked out other European bands like Accept, Raven, Saxon, Angel Witch and Tygers of Pan Tang. Was it possible to be heavier than Raven or faster than Accept? I sure hoped so. In late 1983, I heard a demo tape of a band called Metallica. "Holy sh*t," I thought. "Did these guys form this band for me?" Like the bands before them, Metallica fueled my obsession to seek out heavier and faster metal. I'm still looking for that rush, always looking for new bands to bang my head to.
Below are my picks.
Some of My Favorite Old Sh*t
Death Angel, Act III
Exodus, Bonded by Blood
Raven, All for One
Riot, Fire Down Under
What I've Been Listening to Recently
Anthrax, Worship Music
Ghost, Opus Eponymous
God Forbid, Equilibrium
Overkill, The Electric Age