Why Do I Like the Music I Do?
I’m standing in a small basement of some pizzeria in Pennsylvania within inches of a stage with other people so close to you that you can hardly breathe. So many people create so much heat and everyone is so close that the sweat on my body is not only mine but also the people’s surrounding me. The lead singer is so close that I can touch him, and at times he leans over me. There is no security and he comes into the crowd and sings, well screams, with us. Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, my favorite band and there they are, right within reach, I love this music. Why?
I remember going through, what I call my “ghetto” phase. Yea, I thought I liked rap. I knew stuff that was on the radio. I thought I knew what I liked and it was rap and I didn’t think that my taste in music would change but at the same time I really did not know about any other types of music. I thought I was into rap because everyone liked rap so why not me? My grammar school was a bubble. I didn’t learn about anything new until high school.
Freshman year was different. My new friends introduced me to new music. It was really different from rap and I surprisingly liked it a lot better.
The first band that I really liked was My Chemical Romance. I also bought their very first CD. It was weird. They had a strange way of putting things, and they had all the guitars, basses and drums that you don’t hear in rap. The one thing that struck me was their harsh music. They said things louder and they even screamed some words. It all caught my attention and it just seemed right. It fit my personality more than mile-a-minute tongue twisters. They also said things more poetically. Sometimes they told more of a story. Other times they said things that were easy to interpret but some songs were so random that just made me wonder how they ever thought of it.
I started to like a few more bands that would fit into the same harsh category as My Chemical Romance. The only way I heard about these bands were through people, and I had one person who gave me a ton of new music that I would never to be able to find on my own. I was new to this type of music and all of a sudden I was getting this screamo/hardcore music thrown at me. I was shown everything from the soft and calming music to music where it’s non-stop screaming and you can’t even understand a word that they are saying. At that point I tried to like the “hardcore” stuff but I would find myself listening to it but not paying attention and falling asleep. I still don’t understand how I could fall asleep when I have people screaming in my ear.
I became a connoisseur of screaming music but some was too harsh and others songs were too light. I remember listening to a band and the singer was squealing like a pig. This was what this guy wanted to do. After hearing that, I knew their was no way I could like a band who’s main thing was squealing like a pig. I learned that there were different ways to scream, ways to control where the sound came from. If it came from the abdomen then it would be more of a deep growl type of scream. If it comes from the throat, which makes more a higher pitched more raspy sound. I never thought that there was more to screaming then just doing it. From talking to band members I found out that there are vocal teachers who help people scream different ways and help them build up stamina so that they don’t strain their vocal chords. It was all so different then anything else I heard before. Even if I was not into every band I heard, I liked the idea of it all. I just needed to find something that fit me best.
I wanted to find something in-between the light My Chemical Romance bands and the screamo bands like Converge or Job for a Cowboy. The first one I found is a band named Chiodos and they are perfectly audible and it’s both singing and screaming.
But the difference was that I could also understand what they were saying while they were screaming. One thing that I loved about them was that randomly in their songs they would slow down and sing for a little and then they would just scream it would almost scare you. It was like watching a scary movie: you know the killer is out their and the girl is running and all of a sudden the killer just pops out a kills her. The anticipation gives that section of the song so much more energy. Those are also the parts in the song where the crowd would start moshing. A lot of people find it to be angry music but only some of the songs are angry. Most of them are about other things like relationships or even positive thinking. Most rap heard on the radio is about sex or a woman’s appearance, and that’s one thing that you almost never hear in the music I listen to.
I know that there are other bands that are not heavy metal that sing about other things too but when I listen to them it’s just too boring to me. Yea, it’s slow, calm, and sweet but it bores me. I like how intense the music is and then when you’re at a show I love how excited everyone is. Another thing about the shows is how there is no security because their not considered “famous”. I once went to a show and I was buying a Fear Before the March of Flames sweatshirt and the lead singer was selling his own merchandise. I was able to have a whole five minute conversation with him and get him to autography my ticket. I went to another show called Saints