heavy metal

Expert Opinion: Mortals Rocker Elizabeth Cline on Heavy Metal in the Movies

Expert Opinion: Mortals Rocker Elizabeth Cline on Heavy Metal in the Movies

Q: 1. If you were going to turn a friend on to heavy metal, is there a documentary you’d recommend?

A: There are so many! I would say the best introduction to the genre, its origins, and its fans would be the 2005 documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey. It follows a Canadian anthropologist and metalhead named Sam Dunn around the world as he interviews metal fans, bands, and founding fathers of the form, such as Tony Iommi, the guitarist of Black Sabbath, and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden. The flick shows the diversity and passion and vast scale of the global metal scene. Secondly, I would suggest watching Lemmy, a 2010 documentary about the iconic bassist and singer of Motöhead. At 68, Lemmy has witnessed and fueled the evolution of rock and roll and metal in his lifetime. How he’s still doing it is anyone’s guess.

Quilts made from heavy metal t-shirts

Quilts made from heavy metal t-shirts

Artist Ben Venom makes these huge quilts stitched together from t-shirts of various heavy metal bands. Titled “See you on the other side,” the 13′ x 15′ quilt pictured above is currently on display at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Over 125 t-shirts sacrificed themselves in order for the artist to make that quilt. Although my ears are not the biggest fan of this musical genre, I have a huge fascination with its culture: the style, the fans, the hair, and obviously the devil worship (calm down people, joking here…sort of). Some of my favorite documentaries (as well as the mockumentary SPINAL TAP) focused on heavy metal music such as ANVIL, which I thought was rather brilliant. And our very own editor here Perrin recommended the short doc HEAVY METAL JUNIOR to me (watch in its entirety on YouTube) which I found quite hilarious.

Vegan cooking meets heavy metal

Vegan cooking meets heavy metal

“Heavy metal vegan” may strike you as an oxymoron… but, then, until a few months ago, Fair Trade organic coffee by Rob Zombie may well have had the same effect. Despite the head-banging, leather-wearing clichès, veganism has found its way into metal culture… and a couple of web-savvy headbangers are creating online cooking shows devoted to this niche.

Organic coffee… for metalheads?

Organic coffee… for metalheads?

When I first saw that Rob Zombie was selling certified organic and Fair Trade coffee through his online store, I thought “That’s unique…” Turns out I was wrong… Zombie’s joining metal artists ranging from Steelheart to Dave Mustaine of Megadeth to Charlie Benante of Anthrax in lending his name and image to coffee. In all of these cases, the brands in question tout their dedication to the environment and social/economic justice.

OK, your average metal musician probably appreciates a good cup of java after a night of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, but organic and Fair Trade? Is that necessary for this demographic? Or is this just some kind of marketing ploy aimed at attracting a wider audience?

Product-placement pioneers: the hair-metal band Autograph

Product-placement pioneers: the hair-metal band Autograph

Jon Fine of BusinessWeek has a great post about one of the earliest-known examples of product placement in a music video: the pen company Paper Mate’s sponsorship of Autograph’s 1984 video for “Turn Up the Radio”: Yes, this actually happened: In 1984 Paper Mate found an unknown poodle-rock band called Autograph, gave ‘em some bucks,…