Don't let the title of this post mislead you; I love being married. It sounds strange, but it's nice to have found someone--and a WOMAN, no less--to put up with the ridiculous things that I say and do, and who can handle my earthy Sasquatch stench. But being married ain't no cake-walk in the tea-park, either, especially for the hopeless metalhead who spends all of his time seeking out and rocking the most amazing and abrasive music the Interbung has to offer. So this is my inaugural installment into what might be an ongoing feature (provided I can find different avenues through which I can milk the subject). This column will be a guide to those of you who are both married and insanely devoted to the best music in the world.
Married people are a bizarre group. When you get married, things change in the most ridiculous ways. Your personality changes to include a second person who won't leave you alone for any reason, and practicality becomes important. Example: you know what I got for my birthday this year? A COUCH. We need a new couch because our Ikea futon has effectively died. The wooden slats are broken like my dreams and are sagging to an increasingly alarming degree, like my balls. It used to be that I would ask for video games or musical equipment for special occasions, but through the wonders of being married, I decided that silencing my wife's complaints about our crappy futon, cobbled together with old sketchbooks and a bed comforter, would be much more rewarding than getting new ultraviolent entertainment discs. Also, there's nothing good out until tomorrow, when Dead Space 2 finally drops, and my wife will get to play that before me anyway. What a world.
Married people who are into metal fall into one of three categories, and it's always painfully obvious which category any given couple falls in to. The first category is the one that I and my wife inhabit: the hopeless metal d00d with the wife who hates the music but puts up with it. My wife is amazing at putting up with my obsession; I am allowed to listen to my music in the car, while I cook, and pretty much any time. She, for whatever reason, puts up with me constantly talking about how cool Ulcerate and Converge are, and smiles wanly as I describe the differences between "Olde Schoole" death metal and tech-death. The fact that she doesn't care is clear and palpable, like my distaste for cauliflower and radio-ready hip hop, but she for some reason endures, and has even grown to (sort of) like some of the more eclectic and less aggro bands that I listen to, like Baroness, Burst, The Ocean, and Protest the Hero. But thankfully for me, she doesn't care enough to ever offer to check out a metal show with me, which is a fate worse than death. This, to me, is the ideal arrangement. Living this way is like wearing a condom that is too small for your wang; it's pretty uncomfortable, but it also kind of makes you proud (thanks, Ed).
The next category is the metal d00d whose wife hates metal with everything they have and will not put up with it for any reason. The woman who inhabits this type of relationship views metal as a phase, something that will be grown out of once children enter the fold. A good friend of mine, codenamed "The Financier," falls into this category. His wife hates metal. She hates guitars. She hates that he likes bands called Cynic and Megadeth and Anthrax and Slayer (The Financier is olde schoole), and will not put up with any metal-related hijinx. He is forced into the marital underground, skulking about stealthily listening to metal when his wife is out of earshot, but immediately being forced to turn off the CD when his Married Senses tingle, alerting him to the fairer sex's proximity to The Heavy. This arrangement would not work for me or most other br00tal bros, but The Financier makes the arrangement work, all the while asking me to refer him to other bands that evoke the glory days of Prong or Metallica. Though this would be an unacceptable lifestyle, it pales in comparison to the third option, which is a married couple who are both into metal.
Don't get me wrong, now; girls who are into metal are fine human beings, but are fundamentally broken. I would never be able to deal with something like this. My wife and I have enough stupid, pointless fights about bullcrap without having to add arguments about which Necrophagist album is better or debates about the relative merits of post-metal into the mix. That would be the most annoying thing in the world. "I told you, honey. Meshuggah's the next great legacy band. THEY INVENTED DJENT! DON'T YOU FUCKING WALK AWAY FROM ME!" Gross. This form of the married couple are always together, going to shows and talking about what is more kvlt and br00tal. Seeing them at shows is disgusting and unacceptable. I go to shows to have a good time, not to tote around a woman and make sure she's "having a good time." "Oh, you're tired? I guess we'll have to leave before the headlining band that I came to see comes on. Lame for me." "No honey, I don't think I'm spending too much for this Skeletonwitch shirt. No, dear, I don't have this one, I have the shirt with the antlered human skull on the front. It's the cover of Beyond the Permafrost." I would rather be dead.
So the question for you is, which category do you fall into? I'm going to try to explore this issue from many different angles, including how to get out to shows when you're a married metalhead and how to hide the amount of merch you buy from your better half until it's too late.
Tune in tomorrow, when I espouse the virtues of Mantic Ritual to you, my loyal readership. And remember: don't let the immasculating experience of marriage turn you into this guy.
Me and the dog both miss our balls, like, SUPER HARD