We as music-lovers all have a story, a sort of ah-ha moment that assures us that we are, indeed, on the path we were meant to travel. Not all of those stories are happy ones, including mine. I am what you might call a statistic. I grew up in a lower-middle-class home in North Carolina where I was abused most of my life. The abuse didn’t end until I was 17; which is where my story really starts. Having been through what I had been, there were times when I simply just didn’t want to wake up in the morning. My parents were not the best, as you can imagine, and raising my younger brothers along with everything else that I was expected to do took a great deal of energy out of me. When I turned 17, though, I found rock and metal. My mother had relented a bit and allowed me to have a stereo in my room and one night while I was studying the country music station that I had always listened to went static so I looked for something else. Within a couple of minutes, the sound of a guitar riff caught my ear and I was transfixed. I didn’t know at the time that it was Metallica, or who any of the other bands that would add to my musical high after that song ended, but there was a feeling of freedom as I listened. As I studied, the music played on and there was a change in me; it’s hard to explain but somehow the music had given me a new-found strength.
From that day on, every day was one of musical discovery for me. I learned about Megadeth and the rest of the Big 4, then Ozzy and Lita…it was an absolute buffet of melodies and I relished it all. Soon, I learned to look for lesser known bands and discovered some incredible music. For me, the escape into my rock and metal is a way to recouperate after a long day, a sort of retreat from the stresses of everday life. Through the melody and lyrics of bands such as Lacuna Coil, Black Sabbath, and the Misfits, I have found a way home. For me, music is so much more than “noise” or a “hobby.” For me, and so many others, music was what saved us from ending up headed in the wrong direction in life. To this day, the absolute joys of my life are my children, and music.
Since joining Metal On Loud, I have come to know and love some incredible people, many of us on the same journey…finding respite and strength in the music. In this last year, thanks to MOL, new music has assailed my senses, and I have come to love new sub-genres such as doom and black. I have learned of the underground music so many miss out on, and relish each discovery. I have found bands before they are heard on the radio, such as Stitched Up Heart (Mixi sent me a digital autograph prior the the release of “Finally Free”). As I continue to explore different genres and bands, I am excited to be a part of a huge family of like-minded people who for reasons of their own are also looking to the music for strength, freedom, and even enlightenment at times.
I challenge you, all of you, to listen to something new, to allow the music and the lyrics to flow through you; music is powerful, if you allow yourself to drown in the sounds, you’ll feel a freedom like you’ve never known.
TOOL is a band I have oftened turned to, there is just something about their sound. Sober is probably one of my all-time favorites.