The weight of heavy metal

Nowadays, it is not too hard to end up seeing someone in a band shirt. What is usually harder to find are full-blown metalheads with vests, spikes, black clothes and a bit of paint.

I ended up wondering how people would react to a metalhead compared to an average person. So, I pulled out everything and decided to find out firsthand.

I walked up and down a couple streets and into different establishments to see how pedestrians, customers, and workers would act and respond. I made sure to talk to everyone who was wearing a band shirt. Some came up to me to see if I was actually metal and not a poser who was just wearing the band’s merch. I saw some who were really welcoming and carried on conversations, and to my surprise were knowledgeable about what I was wearing.

However, that was not the mass reaction. I got a lot of stares in some of the places I walked around in such as an ice cream shop, a candy store, and furniture store. Overall, it felt like I stood out majorly and got some weird reactions.

Surprisingly, a lot of older people were the ones who talked more about music and seemed unphased by the getup I was wearing. To make sure it wasn’t me, I went back later in a completely different outfit and tried to strike up similar conversations in the same stores. I got very different responses.

People usually did a second glance when I was all dressed up, but a simple t-shirt, shorts with sneakers was business as usual. I even tried to talk about music with people wearing band shirts. Sadly, many did not listen to the bands.

A girl told me she thought Sublime was a clothing line. I was shocked.

It is weird to see so many people wearing bands on their shirts, especially those wearing darker metal shirts, for them to not know anything about the bands. I guess it really does show the way you dress defines the way you are seen by society, not the way you intended.

Besides the immense warmth from wearing black denim and extra layers at the beach, the stigma of metal has not become as popular as other styles. There was a divide between the metal style being trendy and being deeply invested in the genre. The people who were metal fans were great to talk to, and I had fun meeting them and hearing their stories.