Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ex-Mormon Metallica

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          I first heard Metallica back in the days when I was trying my hardest to be a good little Mormon girl. The music sounded illicit, almost forbidden, especially in an environment where all the leaders seemed pre-occupied by how sinful and worldly everything was. But still – I couldn’t quite shake off the few songs I did hear. The music was addictive and in a way that somehow felt right. 
          And then I left Mormonism and during my freshman year of college, one of my dorm-mates gave me a copy of Metallica’s S&M performance*. I was hooked. I listened to that recording on repeat. I still have that album, along with many other recordings. Over the years, I find myself returning to these albums again and again. 
      Part of me wonders why I like Metallica so much. And the closest answer I can give is this: this is a band that doesn’t give a fuck. This is a band that writes songs like “God That Failed” and “Seek and Destroy”, a band that wore the nickname Alcoholica with pride, and a band that sued their own fans, shutting down Napster in the process.  

        For a girl who grew up in an environment where I was expected to care about everything – and learned to internalize the blame – sometimes I wish that I didn’t give a fuck either. But I do – sometimes too much – and so for that, there is always Metallica.



*It's ironic that my first Metallica recording was a burned copy.  But I did end up buying a legitimate copy later.  

12 comments:

  1. And when you listen, crank up the volume. It helps drown out the guilt. :)

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  2. I have the S&M album on CD. Their live rendition of "No Leaf Clover" was second to none. I'm glad to hear that you're an unrepentant metalhead.

    Did you discover other heavy metal groups after Metallica? What others do you listen to?

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    1. I did find some other groups such as Satyricon and Accrassicauda. I also had the privilege of attending a Skinny Puppy concert, which was an unforgettable experience. Although I tend to skew a little more towards blues, as a whole. :)

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  3. Heavy metal was basically my number one gateway drug out of the LDS church. :)

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  4. I love Metallica (at least pre-black album Metallica :))! I don't know if you've read about this at all, but James Hetfield grew up in a strict Christian Scientist household (his family didn't believe in doctors, he couldn't attend health classes in school,etc.). I feel that experience for him really shaped his lyrics in so many ways, be it something obvious like "The Unforgiven", to something like "Am I Evil?" which opens with "my mother was a witch, she was burned alive." He took growing up in an oppressive environment and turned it into his art, and that has resonated with so many people over the years.

    On an semi-related note - if you are ever looking for an interesting documentary, Some Kind of Monster is quite good. Both fans and non-fans will find it fascinating

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    1. I did know that - and it's probably one of the reasons their music resonates so much.

      I keep meaning to check out their documentary. The only problem is, sometimes knowing too much about the artist can ruin the experience.

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  5. I'm into a bunch of different kinds of metal now. I wonder sometimes if I wouldn't have gotten as hooked on it if it hadn't been so forbidden when I first heard it as a loyal little Mormon teenager!

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    1. I know, right? But hey, it's a pretty harmless guilty pleasure. :)

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  6. You'll love these guys Mohindu; an incredible band from my grandmother's homeland of Finland. Be sure to watch the videos HD and full screen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIBdpFJyFkc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YynIYQU8VOo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2xaluuCiks

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2sd8UMUaIk

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    1. Thanks Bob - I'll have to check it out. :)

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