Everybody’s seen Pantera’s Watch It Go movie, right? If you haven’t, put down this magazine instantly and get with the fucking programme, dickhead, and be grateful that I haven’t kicked down your door and punched your fucking nose off.
Pantera. Now there’s a bunch of heavy metal dudes who didn’t give a fuck. You wouldn’t have caught Dimebag (RIP) sobbing to his cherished fans on YouTube about how much they all mean to him, nor would Rex be sharing selfies on Instagram… “In bed with a poorly tum-tum. #loveme”
Metal bands should not be your friends. And you shouldn’t want them to be. The second I see Max Cavalera in a onesie, I’m burning my special-edition Arise re-release. As a kid, I wanted to think that Biohazard would beat the living shit out of me if I ever wandered over to the wrong side of the tracks.
Metal has changed. Breaking news, right? Trust me, I hate dickheads who waffle on about how music was better in the good ol’ days more than anyone, but the internet really has changed everything. Where’s the fucking mystique? The awe? It’s fucking gone, replaced by crowdfunded trips to Woburn Safari with your favourite cute singer. If you really want a guitarist in a heavy band to be your mate, get involved in your local hardcore scene – it’s a community and that’s what it’s there for.
If metal isn’t about the obscene, the extravagant, the ridiculous, then what the fuck is it about? There was plenty of dumb shit knocking around when I was a lad. Take your fucking pick – Coal Chamber, Static X, Orgy, Powerman 5000… countless nu metal catastrophes. You know what, though? It was still ‘dangerous’. Of course they all looked (and sounded) like right fucking wallies, but they had their own thing going on, y’know?
I’m not saying that nu metal drivel should make a comeback, but I just can’t help thinking that the ‘Fuck you! I know I’m a dickhead!’ attitude should. Heavy music is supposed to be a bit stupid. Fuck, it is a bit stupid. I mean, think about it: four dudes playing their instruments as hard and fast as possible with their mate who couldn’t be bothered to learn an instrument yelling into a microphone about how the world doesn’t understand him. You want avant-garde, stylish, tasteful music? I’ve got some news, mate – Meshuggah had that one pretty much covered 20 years ago. When you’re a teenager, metal is about pissing off your parents as much as possible and finding your own way of saying, “Chomp on my chuddies!” through the music you blare out of your bedroom window.
‘So where do The Hell fall into all of this?’ I hear four people ask. Well, before now, I’ve never really given it much thought (because I’m busy being the sickest guitarist on Earth, so I don’t get much time to reflect). With our first album, there wasn’t an industry gameplan; I just made an anonymous metal album on a two-stringed guitar and got my mates to shout stupid shit over it. For whatever reason, it connected with people and now we are super famous rock stars earning loads and loads and loads of money. Maybe.
On the flipside of the coin, I discovered how important hating shit is to many people within the metal community. It’s like these guys and girls feel it is their glorious duty to protect the realm of heavy metal from silliness and fun. Call them elitists, call them metal snobs, call them whatever you like – they are here to tell you that you don’t know enough about heavy music and that you should be ashamed.
Well, fuck you, dickheads. Actually, I take that back – thank you. Thanks for being miserable pricks because we’d be nothing without you stoking the fire. You can call us edgy, cringy, question our punk rock credentials, leave racist and homophobic comments… The Hell do have a gameplan now. Our plan is to bring joy and carnage to the miserable, cash-starved, nicey-nicey-share-my-tweet façade that is modern metal. And be stupid with it.
The Hell’s new album, Brutopia, is out now via Prosthetic