16 December 2010

Thrashing Like A Maniac

I guess part of the appeal of thrash and the nagging nostalgia felt by all of us (especially those, like me, who didn't live through it the first time) is that guys in thrash bands seem to have it all together. All they do is drink and thrash. It's perpetual youth, it's stupid, it's irresponsible, it's empty but they don't seem to know it's empty. They just keep thrashing and drinking.


The real hell of it is that they don't have to stop, and so they don't. Sure, they get wives and kids and mortgages and savings accounts and, probably, accountants, but then they hit the road and they're 19 again and thrashing and drinking (though probably drinking less).  The thought immediately crosses the mind, however, as to why they do this. Certainly it is fun and I quite enjoy thrashing and drinking on occasion, but I wonder when the thrashing and drinking become a cover up for that crushing feeling of remorse when you realize that you live in parking lots and the most important thing in your life is a guitar that's probably worth less than a thousand dollars and fans that only want to talk you so they can show off how much they know about thrashing and drinking.

Or maybe there is more to it than that. Maybe it is a purer lifestyle, in theory if not in moral practice. It's a life dedicated to an art form you believe in, holding no regard for material wealth (in most cases); a modern traveling skald bringing his music to the hopeless masses for a dash of fun on a Thursday night in November. Maybe these guys have it more together than they seem. This is probably not the case, but at least they are having fun and living the dream. Hopefully the dreams run dry later rather than sooner. After the dream, it seems, there's not much but a blur of a youth spent thrashing and drinking.

Metallica is the prime example since they have been so open with their issues (or at least had the only issues worth filming). What's left when you wake up drunk in a pile of money made from thrashing? Why, you spend it and then you yell at your drummer and maybe, just maybe, you'll reinvestigate your childhood, figure out why you can't stop thrashing and drinking, and then stop thrashing and drinking and make bad thrash music.

So leave it to the real thrashers, the youths and the lifers, to provide a soundtrack by which to thrash and drink. Leave it to the professionals.

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