Posts Tagged ‘Heavy Metal’

Interview Questions 12

March 26, 2018

If you could be a cartoon character for a week, who would you be?

I grew up on cartoons and I still watch cartoons on a weekly basis because animation is such a fun genre of television and film and the stories it is able to tell are so interesting. I immediately wondered what the question means by cartoon character. Does it just mean a character who is animated or an actual, original cartoon character? For the purposes of my answer, they are the same thing. My first inclination was to pick Bugs Bunny because he is so confident, funny, and he always succeeds somehow. However, he also is constantly getting into trouble that he has to get himself out of. That sounds like a hassle. Off the top of my head, I think I would pick Maui from Moana. With the aid of a magical artifact, I could change into different animals at will. I would also have super strength and speed. I would spend the week seeking out adventure and helping people out. That would not only be rewarding but it would also make me feel even more powerful. I assume I would be spending that week here in modern times which seems like it would be a lot of fun. Being extraordinary seems like it would be fun for a while but being able to go back to normal after a week sounds like the ideal opportunity to have my cake and eat it too.


If you could be an Olympic athlete, in what sport would you compete?

There are a ton of Olympic sports between the Summer and Winter Olympics. The Olympics are all anybody can talk about for a week or two every two years. Some of the most memorable televised moments in the world are from the Olympic Games. That right there does not appeal to me. I have never been the guy who grabs the spotlight and I do not really like performing in front of huge crowds. So, competing in a sport like ice skating, gymnastics, or any other fan favorite would be absolutely nerve-racking. Besides, a lot of those sports rely on judges who hold subjective opinions as illustrated by stuff like I, Tonya. Instead, if I had any athletic prowess, I would love to compete in one of the lesser televised sports. Judo comes to mind. Judo is a fascinating martial art that deals heavily with momentum to throw one’s opponent rather than punching and kicking. Similarly, competing in Wrestling would be fitting. I wrestled for two years back in grade school and it is a sport that requires brains, brawn, and reflexes. Both of these sports do not get as much publicized attention but both are also very prestigious sports to compete in. I think that would take a bit of the pressure away while still providing the thrill of intense competition. Proving myself in a sport like that would be amazing.


When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?

My answer for this used to be that I would eat. I remember many times where I would make up for depression with a snack or a fast food or take out meal. It really was not healthy and I am glad to have kicked the habit, especially when it comes to sugar. Anyway, now I try to pour that same emotion back into writing. Getting a lot of writing done makes me feel like I accomplished something and makes me more confident about myself even if I do not always feel like I have written well. One shot short stories often allow me to get some of the anxious emotions out of my system. I also have a long history of watching something fun to lift my spirits. I used to have go to depression movies to try and shake myself loose from my funk. Tangled, Enchanted, Ghostbusters, Twister, and many more were movies that I watched to try and get happier. Now I am more interested in watching something new but I often search out something I feel will be lighthearted and cathartic. Often, I will have it on in the background as I write. If I do not have time for either of those two things, I really like to listen to music. On the really bad days, it is great to put on hard rock or heavy metal that I know the words to and just sing my heart out. This is done in private since my singing is not so great.


What 3 famous people, living or dead, would you want at your fantasy dinner party?

This is always such an interesting question because when I think of actually meeting famous people, I get intimidated. Will they like me? Will I say something stupid? However, I have met and gotten along with plenty of people. I know how to talk to people. I should not allow myself to have that frozen feeling inside. I think the first person that I would love to have over would be Mick Foley. Foley is a former professional wrestler who moved on to become a New York Times Bestselling author and stand up comedian. The guy is highly intelligent for somebody with so many head injuries and I would love to talk pro-wrestling, writing, or whatever with him. Another fun person to have around would be Justin Roiland, one of the creators of Rick and Morty. Justin just seems so energetic and, if Rick and Morty and his other works are any indications, he is a pretty smart and funny guy. He seems like an interesting guy to joke around with or talk about science-fiction with. The final one has to be Arthur Marx aka Adolph Marx aka Harpo Marx. Harpo had a reputation for being a fascinating guy. While he never finished third grade, he was still intelligent in a lot of ways and he gained a unique perspective during his life. He was part of the Algonquin Round Table which was one of the most famous groups of talkers in history. Famously, he was the best listener in that group. I would love to talk about whatever with him and feel like we are both truly listening to each other.

Heavy Metal

April 10, 2017


Metallica – Blackened

The very first album I owned was a tape of Metallica’s And Justice for All. It was mine but only because my parents bought it for me. I did not really know much about Metallica, but I wanted to get something different from what my parents were listening to. It is not that I disliked The Rolling Stones or Lynyrd Skynyrd but I wanted to find my own thing too. When my dad let me put the tape in his car as he drove, I felt like my voice was being listened to. The music blew my tiny mind. I had never really experienced the loud, raucousness of heavy metal music. The guitar work was amazing and energetic and I felt like James Hetfield was yelling right into my brain. I felt like we were driving two hundred miles per hour and I loved it.


Black Sabbath – War Pigs

Black Sabbath are often known as one of the progenitors of heavy metal as a genre and in particular, they helped start the doom metal subgenre. Like Metallica, their music and vocals reverberated inside of me. I sang along to Ozzy or Dio as I tried to study and later as I drove my crappy first car in high school. I loved the epicness of each song. One of the first albums I bought with my allowance was the Ozzman Cometh: Greatest Hits. It was actually a UK import that came with some additional tracks including the awesome Faeries Wear Boots. As an angsty teen, I really got behind the darkness in Black Sabbath’s tone and lyrics. It was so unlike everything we had to listen to in school and what my parents listened to.


Flyleaf – Cassie

I would be remiss if I did not talk about the women of heavy metal. The first female metal band that I discovered was Kittie and I was instantly enamored by Fallon Bowman’s classic heavy metal death growl mixed with more melodic singing. At some point, somebody clued me into other bands and I discovered Flyleaf. I figured that them being a Christian band was roughly equivalent to all the bands I listened to that talked a lot about Hell so I put that aside. I now seek out female vocalists in heavy metal and hard rock (I have two Pandora stations for this) as I love the mix of a strong female voice with heavy metal instrumentals. Lately, I have found more modern outfits like The Agonist, Battle of Mice and The Birthday Massacre all of which let their genres bleed a bit.


Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast

As I got older, I not only sought out new stuff but I looked for stuff from the past that had not been played on the radio. I became a big fan of Iron Maiden and some other great bands from overseas. I had already been a fan of bands like The Scorpions and Pantera but I was deep into discovering stuff new to me. I really got into Rammstein when they briefly poked their heads into the American mainstream. I discovered Dio’s post-Black Sabbath band Heaven and Hell which quickly became a favorite (along with his solo work, of course). Thanks to Chris Jericho and the video game Brutal Legend, I found even more new and old heavy metal bands to listen to. I discovered all sorts of different flavors of heavy metal and I am still discovering new stuff.


LADYBABY – Nippon Manju

Of course, as music continues, genres keep bleeding into each other. Artists seek out new takes on older musical styles and try to produce new stuff. It was one day on Facebook of all places where somebody posted a band called Babymetal. Their intention was to mock and surprise us about what the music industry has come to. I was actually inspired. I had already been sort of a fan of vocaloid and Japanese pop music since the early 2000s but the two genres had a baby called “kawaii metal” which also includes Ladybaby and Dazzle Vision among others. Around this same time, I also got into the combination of heavy metal and comedy, mostly through the band Steel Panther. A lot of heavy metal bands go on about satan or dark powers in their lyrics to evoke the forbidden for the sake of rebelliousness (and probably to scare parents). Steel Panther does much the same with rampant misogyny. It is a parody of the oversexualized lyrics of bands like AC/DC or Van Halen. I have to say that if these lyrics were not done as parody then I would be boycotting them no matter how good their instrumentals are. They are not for the lighthearted but they can be pretty funny.


Steel Panther – Death To All But Metal (Explicit)

Deathgasm (2015)

October 5, 2016

I feel that horror has always had an association with Heavy Metal music. Most of the sub-genres of heavy metal are loud, aggressive and often very dark. There is a whole laundry list of heavy metal songs that mention satan, hell and other scary and forbidden imagery. None of that really bothers me like it did when I was a kid and I thought that words held literal magic instead of the figurative magic they actually hold. So after a certain age, heavy metal was never scary. Heavy metal was enticing, energizing and exciting. It gets my motor running in the morning and can bring me to that second wind in the evening. Still, I understand the connection between horror and heavy metal. Especially the album covers of heavy metal paint a horrific picture which is now as familiar to me as Bela Lugosi in Dracula or the puppets in Puppet Master.

I made an effort to try and include more foreign horror movies this year. In that vein, this movie comes from New Zealand. I have never seen a kiwi horror film but the inclusion of heavy metal definitely drew me in. By the time that I found out it was from New Zealand, I was already on the hook and had slotted it in to watch. I mean, it also has demons and demons are one of my all-time favorite monsters. Like faeries, demons have no rules and can be just about anything when they appear in stories. That makes them dangerous and unpredictable and exciting horror villains. You do not often hear this but demons are awesome. So let us sit back for a story of heavy metal and demons.

To start, I loved the feel of this movie from the start. Not only is it into Heavy Metal but it uses comic book transitions and animation to add to its irreverent spirit. My youth was spent listening to Heavy Metal, having long hair, reading comics and watching cartoons which are all things done in this movie. Of course, except for the long hair, they are all things I still do. The whole movie has a great heavy metal spirit to it. The great thing about heavy metal is that it is not afraid to be goofy as hell while desperately trying to sound serious and cool. Stuff like Brutal Legend and bands like Steel Panther have gone even farther toward mixing comedy with metal and now this movie has also mixed in some horror. This is also a high school comedy and our heroes are guys I could have hung out with in school. I was a total geek and hanging out with metalheads, dungeon masters and stoners would not have been a stretch.

I was impressed with the special effects in the movie. They did not have the best gore effects in the business but they were clearly practical and looked really good on screen. Starting off with humor, animation and comic book style stuff makes even the cheesiest effect acceptable. Over the top blood is one of my favorite things in horror movies because it is a combination of gross, awesome and funny. It’s also done with a lot of nonchalance which makes it both scarier and funnier somehow. Speaking of nonchalance, there is a lot of boobage and some very graphic sexual material that appears but if you have seen enough metal album covers you should expect that. The movie had no actors in it that were known to me but all of them were great. In particular, Milo Cawthorne was great in the lead role and I could really empathize with him the whole way.

Overall, I loved the movie. The kiwi accents, the comedy and the horror all blended together really nicely. It almost goes without saying that the soundtrack to the movie is completely awesome but I will go ahead and say it. The movie never dragged and was always awesome, funny, scary, strangely touching or some mixture of all of the above. It is kind of the high school movie that I needed to see while I was actually in high school but it means a lot more now. Also, kudos for having an action girl main character who is pretty fun and cool even if she is kind of a cliche. I definitely recommend this one.


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