First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on choosing to become part of one of the most awesome group of people you will ever meet. The friends you make as a Metal Head (for that is what we call ourselves) will be with you for the rest of your life. with that in mind, allow me to dispel some of the more common myths surrounding metal head in general.
Firstly, we are not Satanists (some of us are but that’s a personal choice and not a prerequisite), we don’t sacrifice goats or any of that other nonsense, we’re not all on drugs or alcoholics, we don’t all come from broken homes or poor backgrounds and we certainly are not a bunch of unwashed knuckle draggers as some people seem to think we are.
With all that said, we can carry on with the guide.
To start off with, you have to listen to the music. this may seem like a no brainer but it is the fundamental difference between a Metal Head and some one who just dresses like one, I hesitant to use the word ‘poser’ but that’s what people will call you. As to what bands you listen to, that is entirely up to you, no one will tell you what you should or shouldn’t listen to. You may catch a bit of flak about certain bands (I for example catch a fair bit of abuse for liking Lana Del Ray but that’s a topic for another day) but this will never be malicious in any way and all will always be in good fun. Finding what bands you like is the first step on the road to Metal Headhood and is the most personal, follow your own tastes and your own ears and you can’t go wrong.
Moving on from that we go into the ‘look’, how you dress like a Metal Head. this is like choosing what bands you listen to, follow your own tastes and you cannot go wrong. At it’s core, being a Metal Head is about being yourself and giving the one finger salute to anyone who has a problem with that. it is because of this that so many people get into Heavy Metal in their teenage years as the freedom to be who you are is something that appeals to those who feel like they don’t fit in with what would be considered the societal ‘norm’. Sometimes this is a phase that people move past as they become more comfortable with themselves as they get older and eventually they hang up their leather jackets and studded belts, this isn’t unusual and there is seldom any ill will towards the person as this is just them carrying along on their own path.
Getting into the nitty gritty of the ‘Look’, you should know the following.
Long hair is not a prerequisite by any means, or are beards. if you want to and are able to grow either then do so by all means, no one will gainsay you for having short hair and a clean shave. the reason behind the long hair is twofold, first of all for men it represents a rejection of the societal norm that all men must keep their hair neat and short (though this can come down to current fashion trends which are notoriously nebulous things), the same goes for beards. Hair styles vary amongst Metal Heads depending on their own preferences and in some cases the type of metal they listen to (Viking and Celtic metal fans tend to grow their hair and beards out to better emulate those ancient warriors)
Moving on from your hair style, we come to clothes. this, again, is almost entirely down to personal taste but there are some staples that can be found across the board. Jeans and combats are a mainstay in the wardrobe of many Metal Heads (myself included) as are band t shirts.
Band t shirts are worthy of individual mention, as they are a declaration of what bands you listen to. in this sense, they are remarkably similar to football jerseys as you can easily see if the person you are speaking to is into similar music as you are, thus giving you both something to talk about. this makes them a great ice breaker though ,unlike football jerseys, you are unlikely to receive a boot to the teeth for liking a band someone else does not.
As you’ve probably gathered, this is not exactly a step by step guide to being a metal head but that’s the whole point. No one is meant to tell you how to be a Metal Head, it’s something you have to figure out for yourself and that is where the fun is. Once you find what bands you like and dress however makes you comfortable then you are one of us.