The popular hivemind tends to paint a not-so-pretty picture when it comes to the subject of bloggers. What person that spends that much time online can be interesting enough to warrant a blog? The word itself invokes visions a some hapless sap sitting by his computer and talking to (mostly) himself about things he enjoys and does.  Well, to an extent, that is actually kind of spot on…

Being a fan of music in a small town is a pretty lame experience, to say the least. Wikipedia tells me that my hometown has a population of just over six thousand, which isn’t a lot. While I clearly don’t live out in the boondocks (for which I am forever thankful), the best my town can do is an exposition center that is running on a deficit, averaging a rock concert every year and a half. Even then, we’re talking about bands like Staind and Shinedown—if we’re lucky. There was a rumor going around amongst my friends that Lamb of God was almost booked, but the political interests in my conservative town put an end to that screeching halt. I was never a fan, but the thought of an entry-level band like Lamb of God being “too heavy” is discomforting.

As you can no doubt tell, I strive to become more than just a passive music listener; I want to be involved in music in some fashion, and Heavy Blog has always been way of doing that, because it sure as shit isn’t happening in “real life.” If there was a local music scene and I had people to talk about music with, do you think I would have bothered throwing my hat into the metal blog ring? Not likely. At most, I would have tried for a less-ambitious contribution spot on another website.

Let’s take a step back for a moment. As with any average male college student growing up with the internet, I suffer from what some might call crippling social anxiety. As a blogger, I fit just about every stereotype you can throw at me. Let me list them for you, just so we’re clear.

  1. I am currently single.
  2. I am terribly shy.
  3. I always have my laptop with me.
  4. I have not, nor will I probably ever, meet my closest friends.
  5. I have entirely too much time on my hands.

What a sad, sad, existence I must lead, right?

Actually, no. I’m doing pretty good. I know I risked sounding like I was looking for a pity-party, but I’m not going to pretend that I’ve got it bad at all; I’m never hungry and I have supportive friends and family… in fact, I think it’s a good sign that I managed to turn my dissatisfaction into something that ended up being somewhat constructive that other people have found enjoyment in, no matter how small.

Because of Heavy Blog, I’ve had some opportunities presented to me that I never thought were possible before. I’ve been able to make some great friends, talk to musicians I admire, and listen to new music long before it goes on sale. I was even recently offered discounted press cabins on that 7000 Tons Of Metal cruise. I had to stop and think about that one for a moment and how bizarre it was for me to read that email. If school wasn’t in the way and I had the money to spare to get me to Florida, I would have jumped at the opportunity.

At my college campus, I’m the guy sitting by himself outside of the coffee shop every day with his laptop open and his headphones on. I can imagine that some of the people who walked past me were taking some sort of mental pity on me; but under those headphones, I was probably listening to some of the most highly anticipated albums a month or two before the rest of the world while writing for a growing website that some people take time out of their days to visit—to read these very words. It may not seem like much on the surface, but it feels pretty great.

Thank you, Internet. You’re pretty fucking sweet.

– JR

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