March 4th, 2009

oracle from 300

ramblings on the metal "scene"

from a female perspective.
I was asked my opinion on this in one of the forums I frequent on Facebook (Lifer : A Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Forum), and I thought I'd share my response with you lovely ladies. The question is pretty broad so I attacked it from multiple angles. I definitely could have written a lot more. Also, as a warning, it's pretty stream of conscious so there's structural/grammatical mistakes that I'm too lazy to fix.

I'm not going to lie, I started in metal with Nightwish/Within Temptation/Epica/After Forever/etc. However, I have grown, and a lot of girls don't. Actually, Nightwish has been attracting more and more people (guys too) that listen to their music and don't really consider themselves metalheads at all, which is more than fine by my book. In general, most metal girls I meet piss me off- at shows, in their (lack of) depth of knowledge, and refusal to really grow in any sort of musical direction. In general, guys tend to be nerdier about their music, and will therefore go much more in depth into their genre(s) of choice, so this could also explain why.
I was talking to one of my "indie" friends today actually, and she said something that struck true with me as well - if a band has male vocals, we're going to respect them more. IDK from the indie view, but for me a band with female vocals limit themselves to a specific sound, typically in gothic, symphonic, or power metal. When bands branch out (Opera IX, various avant garde bands like Stolen Babies, Unexpect, and Diablo Swing Orchestra), I'm much more likely to like them. Gossow has found her niche in fairly typical melodeath and while it's very anthemic and whatnot, I find now that it isn't interesting.
As far as being a female at shows and whatnot, I can't really give you much in the way of harassment stories as I'm not all that pretty, so guys tend leave me alone. In fact, I find myself being ignored more and more as I delve deeper into the more extreme metal stuff, and this is fine with me. If I do end up in a conversation, it's actually more me that initiates it, and they're pretty wary at first; girls do tend to have a reputation to either be the metal slut types or the boyfriend clinger type or the "I'm here but don't actually listen to this type of music" stuff. Often when I start talking though, they get more friendly and open up a bit. Actually, the past few shows I've been to, I've been treated with nothing but respect. There have been a couple token efforts but it's not nearly as bad as when I was going to the more mainstream shows like Within Temptation, Kamelot, and Killswitch Engage (>.>). I'm totally contradicting myself on what I said at the beginning of this paragraph.
In terms of being a metalhead in a nonmetalhead world, I usually surprise people very much by my taste in music, especially when they know that I'm a fairly devoted Christian before they know I like metal (they're a bit confused when I wear my Rotting Christ tee). And the few kids I do meet that like metal usually write me off at first but it's usually me that ends up disappointed as they end up sticking to bands like Black Dahlia Murder, As Blood Runs Black, and Opeth, but not really going much further. I'm also usually picked on for my overclassification of genres (it's not death metal, geez, it's melodic black metal with some industrial influence) but that's kinda irrelevant. Anyway, I end up viewing the scene through the perspective a nerdy female more then anything else.