Charlotte’s Obsession With Heavy Metal

There’s so much talent in Charlotte that goes unnoticed. It’s a real shame.

We used to go to local concerts pretty often, and we saw so many great local musicians here at venues like The Evening Muse and even some small-time bars like Hef’s. Our favorite people keep moving to places like New York, Nashville and Austin TX, where the music scene is thriving and independent artists are supported. The unfortunate thing about places like that is there is so much independent art going around that you’re just another small fish in a big pond.

Which is why I hate that Charlotte musicians don’t get more support! There’s so much undiscovered talent. And the ones who do get discovered get lucky because they know someone who knows someone else in a bigger city.

Oh, but wait. There is one way to get discovered here. Become a metal head.

I got nothin’ against heavy metal, if it’s good heavy metal. Now, to be perfectly honest, I don’t really listen to it, but there’s some good grungy stuff out there that’s eclectic enough for my taste and not so screamo that I have to leave the room to hear my brain talk to itself again…

I used to be in an indie pop-rock group and we rented rehearsal space at the Playroom on Tuckaseegee Rd. God only knows why we picked that spot. I think it’s because we desperately needed somewhere to practice and record our music, and in this city it’s slim pickins’ unless you’re willing to pay a small fortune. As a garage band, we didn’t have much money to spend.

Our first week in, I wanted to leave. There we were in our practice room trying to record our cheesy pop music, and it was virtually impossible because of the metal band next door. I wouldn’t have minded it so much if their music was good. But when all you can hear are screaming vocals and the same chord changes being slammed over and over again, and all you can imagine is the long-haired dude killing 2000 brain cells a second because his head is banging so hard, it’s really difficult to not want to scream your head off too.

In short, I really just don’t get Charlotte’s obsession with heavy metal bands. The venues here will support them all day long. And cover bands too. Anything original with a good melody and substantive lyrics that you can understand and relate to seems to get the boot.

I’m not sure if it’s that metal bands and cover bands bring in a lot of listeners, and that helps pay the bills for every bar in town. Or maybe it’s just that no one likes to listen to good music. But this town has a horrible obsession with tunes that make you go deaf—and like it.

Before we had to close our doors, we welcomed a few metal bands, but they were easy on the ears. Their songs had detectable melodies and meaningful lyrics. They were small-time. I’m actually not even sure if they’re still playing together. (That’s another thing about metal bands: they tend to break up a lot).

I’d like to give metal a chance, but I’m waiting to hear some awesome tunes. Anyone reading this – can you give us a few recommendations? We’d love to feature the good apples here on garagevenue.com!

Who are some of your favorite metal bands and why? (They don’t have to be local to Charlotte, NC – just good.) Comment below with any that you’d like to see reviewed on here, and we’ll do our best to take a listen. 🙂

As always, thanks for listening to us. ‘Til next time…