Metal Work: Putting the Spirit and Attitude of Heavy Metal to Work in Your Life

There is no denying that heavy metal is here to stay. But “back in the day,” it wasn’t that way. We remember the early 80s and the reign of new wave and mainstream pop music. Jocks and socialites were playing Journey, REO Speedwagon, Loverboy, the J. Giles Band, and Duran Duran. Things became worse with the entrance of Madonna and Cindy Lauper, and every rocker nearly crapped in his pants when he heard Eddie Van Halen playing a guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” These were tough times for headbangers, but they were glorious times. We knew we were making history.
Back then, you could write songs like Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” and “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll,” because our attitude was, “We’re standing against the whole world to show that heavy metal rules!” From Judas Priest to Iron Maiden to Metallica, the spirit behind the music was unified to establish metal as the new rock and roll.
Jump ahead 25 years and heavy metal is the music of choice to accompany the NFL, the WWF, and NASCAR. Even our wives keep a few Metallica songs mixed in on their iPods along with their Beyonce and Britney Spears. But, for us (the authors), the battle is still on, because although the world has finally embraced heavy metal music, they only adopted the sounds and the look. They didn’t embrace the “spirit” that created the music.
The Spirit of Metal
What drives heavy metal is a spirit—an attitude that addresses every area of your life. It’s the great angst behind every guy and gal sticking out their tongues and flashing with their hands the universal metal symbol: the devil horns.
It’s more than rebellion. Rock and roll was rebellious, but heavy metal dominates. In fact, heavy metal understands authority because heavy metal wants to rule! Not rule the world as some sort of dictatorship, but rule in life. Rule in the playing of an instrument; rule in the popularity of a band; or just plain ruling in work, relationships, or whatever goal you’ve set for yourself. When a headbanger sees something he likes, he says, “Dude, that rules!” That’s the spirit of metal.
People get high to psychedelic rock, because they want to “mellow out” and do nothing. That’s not metal. Heavy metal is about energy. It’s about moving forward. It’s about attacking something with brutality by feeding off the power of the music and the lyrics. You don’t “mellow out” to metal—you go out to “seek and destroy.”

What drives heavy metal is a spirit—an attitude that addresses every area of your life. It’s the great angst behind every metal head sticking out their tongues and flashing with their hands the universal metal symbol: the devil horns.

It’s more than rebellion. Rock and roll was rebellious, but heavy metal dominates. In fact, heavy metal understands authority because heavy metal wants to rule! Not rule the world as some sort of dictatorship, but rule in life. Rule in the playing of an instrument; rule in the popularity of a band; or just plain ruling in work, relationships, or whatever goal you’ve set for yourself. When a headbanger sees something he likes, he says, “Dude, that rules!” That’s the spirit of metal.

People get high to psychedelic rock, because they want to “mellow out” and do nothing. That’s not metal. Heavy metal is about energy. It’s about moving forward. It’s about attacking something with brutality by feeding off the power of the music and the lyrics. You don’t “mellow out” to metal—you go out to “seek and destroy.”

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