I’ve a confession to make. I wasn’t always the big man about town; the veritable city slicker, pounding the streets of London like a Kentuckian pounds his own sister. No; I actually hail from a village with a population of fewer than a thousand – and a good proportion of that is ducks.

So when I finally got out of my equivalent Nickelback/Justin Bieber phase (I’m not even going to tell you what they were, they were that bad) and got into The Real Stuff, inevitably I was pretty much in a minority of one. It quite possibly became the talk of the town when “that nice young Grenville boy from number 5” grew out his hair and started blasting Botch from his Renault Clio at deafening volumes.

The main point of contention was (and to a certain extent still is) with my family though. Apparently the dulcet tones of Jacob Bannon, nor the unabashed enthusiasm of The Chariot were particularly impressive to ears more used to Enya or Eric Clapton. Although I moved out almost four years ago (Jesus, has it really been that long?), at least twice a year we have the same discussion around the dinner table:

“How can you listen to that noise?”

I say discussion; at first it was more like public hangings at first, but as time has gone on (and more importantly that they no longer have to ‘put up’ with it) it’s become slightly more accepted. Slightly. Yet still, despite the fact they consider me to be reasonably intelligent, and that I am involved in running an increasingly successful heavy music website, it still escapes them as to how I (or anyone else) can enjoy down-tuned riffs, blast beats, and most of all, big beefy motherfuckers screaming bloody murder down your earholes (my words, not theirs).

I am 100% not alone in this experience, I know. We want to hear how you’ve faired in your metal development. Like me, did you grow up in a metal vaccuum, and have to find your own way in the world? How did you do this? Or did your dad give you your first Black Sabbath record and force you to start growing a beard the minute that first wiry pube-like hair didst erupt from your neck? Have you grown up as per the stereotype; alone, unloved and weeded out for your supposedly ‘satanic’ tastes, or were you blessed with a supportive network of cuddly corpse-painted buddies with whom to share your who’s who of Norwegian black metal trading cards?


– CG

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