I hate you. As a band and as individuals, I hate you. I never thought this would be the case. But I can say in complete earnest that, as a 35 year old metalhead who has seen you go from ragged, denim-clad metal gods to insecure fashion avenue wealth-casualties that I, in fact, hate you in a very real and very profound way.
In 1988, when I was 11 years old, I had a prepubescent musical and sociological awakening that was formed in large part by the environment from which I was borne. While many of my friends jumped on a bandwagon piloted by the likes of Michael Jordan and Nike, I found myself feeling rather dark, alienated, and unwilling to follow such a wiggerish pied piper. I was very turned off and vehemently opposed to such fashion and attitude. Who were we trying to kid? We weren’t urban. We were the sons of mechanics, cranberry growers, laborers, Masons, Elks, etc… It was 6th grade and I sought refuge and comfort with a classmate named Josh Schaeffer who had a mullet, an ear piercing, and a complete willingness to show up to school in a Guns N Roses shirt that featured an image of a recently-raped woman on the back. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure he ended up in military school which, ask any metal head worth his salt, was a very real fear at the time. Anyway, through him, I discovered, among many many other metal icons, the great METALLICA.
In the year 1988, I looked up to Metallica with a reverence that would end up being the compass for which my life’s bearings were set to… 1992 and 1993 was the Metallove plateau. My walls were plastered with posters big and small, my denim jacket was a living advertisement to you and I wore it proudly and triumphantly … then in 1994 I heard your black album. Or should I say, the brown album. Because it felt like each of you unleashed your own brown into my ears. First off, the songs blew. At that point in my young life I had never heard such insincere, desperate heaviness. Second off, you seemed to have a new and revolting zeal for preposterous music videos and manufactured imagery. Prior to black, with the exception of One, your lyrics enabled my mind to create it’s own visuals for what your music was about. With black, your science was so fucking weak that you leaned on the crutch of MTV mise-en-scene. You, my friends, had officially become soft. And from then on, you would never, ever, ever recover. As a matter of fact, you’d reached the apex, tripped over your own shoelaces, and stumbled down down down down down.
Flash-forward to today. I’m 35. I pay your post-black album to now timeline no mind. I saw you play the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show at MSG a while back which was just so pathetic and nauseating. I have Justice, Puppets, Kill ‘Em, and Lightning in my iPod and listen to them quite often. I saw Some Kind of Monster because I happened to be in a room where it was playing. I’ve seen the paparazzo pics of flip-flop wearing James and his bag of couture because 80 people forwarded it to me, knowing it’d make my blood boil. I’ve heard plenty about Lars’ art collection. I heard 10 seconds of your Lou-Reed-Collabo vanity project. I get it. You are mentally deranged, rich, white dudes who made a killing by smartly commodifying your metal zeitgeist. And then, WHAM, I recently read about Orion Music + More festival (fest) (whatever) happening June 23 & 24, 2012 in Atlantic City, NJ.
For the most part, not a bad fest. Not great, but not bad. I mean, I don’t care for half the shit you have booked, but a lot of people do. So more power to them. I hope they have fun. I really do! Because I am not an asshole. But then I see that one of the evenings is being touted as the first time you will have played the black album in its entirety on US soil. THE BLACK ALBUM? I see you are playing Ride The Lightning in its entirety on one night, which is a fucking great idea because that’s a great fucking album. But the BLACK ALBUM? Who are you playing for? Who of your fan base would rather hear that than, say, ANY OF THE OTHER ALBUMS PRIOR TO JUSTICE? Is it because black was your first serious, MTV-approved commercial success and that you feel obliged to cater to fans too dumb to get into your stuff before MTV told them too? Or is it because pre-Justice stuff is far too difficult for Lars, the shittiest, luckiest, most fraudulent drummer of all time? Either way, kudos on the fest because it actually implies effort. Though, probably not your effort. As a matter of fact, I think I know exactly what you’re doing; you are hosting a festival of eclectic, more contemporary acts, headlined by you, so you can attempt to slingshot yourselves back into relevance. Good luck with that. I also see there will be comedy at the fest. Will that include a 35-minute set of Kirk trying to convince the audience he isn’t gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that)?
Jesus fucking christ you have some incredible albums, but as ‘men’, you are a fucking disgrace. And transparent. Write a song as balls to the wall awesome as Disposable Heroes between now and the fest and I will become a Big Brother to some kid. I promise.