Metal for the Non-Metal Spouse
Posted by Reggie
If you are like me then you married someone who doesn’t listen to metal. It was never a prerequisite for me to marry someone who listened to metal like I do. Strangely enough I dated someone in high school (many many moons ago) that listened to music I liked at the time…80’s rock/metal. One would think that metal + metal = happiness, but this was not my case. We actually fought about music. My metal was better than her metal and vice versa. It was strange and I chalked it up to being young, but I also told myself that musical taste was not a prerequisite to marriage except when it concerned country.
To make a long story short I married a Sting, Billy Joel, Cheryl Crow, Michael Buble fan. It isn’t the type of music I bought albums for, but I do respect artists that have talent. So early on I knew my wife didn’t like metal and it didn’t matter. There is more to a relationship than musical interests and I could tell that my wife, like me, respected talented musicians. When I told her I liked metal she didn’t make a face or ask “are you satanic?” She might have thought it, but didn’t ask it. I knew she was (and is) open-minded and that was good enough for me. Besides, when we are together I let her listen to whatever she wants.
So I tried to introduce her to some things I thought she might at least like…some things I thought were more commercially accessible. I started with Dream Theater. Surprisingly that didn’t work out too well. Although she accompanied me to a 3-hour Dream Theater concert in San Francisco, it was not her cup of tea. Her comment was “really talented dudes, but the songs were too long.” So prog was not her thing. I even tried some Megadeth songs…nope. I took her to see Judas Priest. She actually seemed interested in that show because growing up in the 80’s…who didn’t know Judas Priest? Well, Anthrax opened and that was a definite bust, but she knew some Judas Priest and thought they put on a good show. I think she enjoyed watching the 40+ year olds in he crowd with mullets and balding heads more than the band. But it was a nice sharing a bit of my musical culture with her. Of course it works both ways. She took me to Matchbox Twenty, a ballet in the front row, and a musical featuring all Billy Joel music. I thought they were very well-done performances. So we shared our interests as couples should do. I still wanted to try to find one band; just one band made of metal that should would like. Not just put up with, but like.
Fast forward 9-years later. I am in my kitchen doing dishes (because she cooked) and the unwritten rule is he/she who owns the kitchen at the time listens to whatever they want on the cd player. So I pop in the very first Black Label Society album I ever bought (Order of the Black) because up to this point, I was just never into BLS. So I am cleaning and she is sitting on the counter chatting and she stops and stares at the radio. I am not saying anything because I know she is going to ask who it is. There is a pause for about a minute while Zakk is doing what he does best. And then the conversations goes like this…
Wife – “I like this.”
Me – “What?”
Wife – I like this, who is it?”
Me – “What?”
Wife – “This is good.”
Me – “What?”
Wife – “Who is this?”
Me – “Black Label Society”
Wife – “Now this I can listen to”
Me – “What!?”
Wife – “This guy can play guitar too.”
Me – “Are you F**king kidding me” (playfully, I am NOT a prick)? “After nine years the one band I chose never to listen to is the one you are going to like?”
Wife – “Whatever, these guys are good.”
And so it began. I asked why and she said “well, he doesn’t scream or growl, I can understand him, and the music isn’t too fast.” I was like that’s it? That’s all it took? Why had I not asked this question before?
My mission began. I took off on a journey to find 10 metal songs she would like. This has been going on about 5 months now. She had to approve all songs before they would make the cut and a lot of songs didn’t make the cut; stuff from Stone Sour, Queensryche, Weezer, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Dream Theater, James LaBrie, and Apocalyptica to name a few.
Before I list all 10 songs I want to use the term metal loosely. Some of these songs could be argued as metal or not, but this is a start. It became my mission to get 10 metal songs my wife would like. Not just put up with, but like. If you are in the same boat you might be able to try these 10 songs to close the gap musically. And in case you are wondering this is a two-way street. Because of my wife I do listen to The Eagles, Sting, Billy Joel, Van Morrison, Cindi Lauper, The Police, and Michael Buble and a few other similar artists. I usually don’t listen to them without my wife, but I wouldn’t expect her to listen to these metal songs without me. But in the car together, these types of songs closes the musical gap.
Also, my wife does like Van Halen, but who doesn’t like at least some Van Halen? I tried to stay away from those kinds of bands when looking for my magical 10 and stick to metal she most likely never heard of…except one I knew she liked. Her is the list…5 months in the making.
The Sword – Tres Brujas. She said this song was catchy and had that 70’s rock vibe. Funny, that’s what a lot of people say about The Sword.
Five Finger Death Punch – Bad Company. I cheated a little on this one. Since I knew she liked some of that 70’s vibe I thought she might like the updated version of a 70’s classic and it worked out.
Metallica – Enter Sandman. This is the one I already knew she liked. Probably one of Metallica’s more accessible radio tunes. It is what helped me get this project off and running.
Katatonia – My Twin. I was a little surprised at this one because it is a bit more dark than I thought she would like, but also for Katatonia, a bit more accessible than some of their other music. This is a great video though. In fact, just gave me a video for video of the week sometime.
Helloween – World of Fantasy. Helloween was hit or miss and I did try more than one song. I think this one just sounds a bit more pop than some of their more aggressive and faster songs. It met her criteria though and happy to have her listen to it.
Ozzy Osbourne – I Don’t Wanna Stop. This one was kind of a no-brainer because I knew she liked Crazy Train and Ozzy is really accessible, but I wanted to try to see if she liked the newer stuff and this one made the cut.
30 Seconds To Mars – This is War. Ok metal or not metal? It might be in the gray area, but it’s in the ballpark. And this one she found all by herself. So kudos to that.
Within Temptation – Faster. This is the newest song on the list. A well-done Within Temptation song that made the cut.
Joe Satriani – If I Could Fly. I am glad she likes this; Satriani is über talented. This is someones homemade video.
Black Label Society – Time Waits For No One. I could have picked just about any one BLS’s songs. This one is one she liked more than most. BLS is the one that started this experiment.
At the end of the day, this experiment was just fun for me to do. My wife isn’t running out buying metal albums. That was never the intention. She likes what she likes. I think ultimately neither one of us cares what music is played in the car or in the house, though I don’t play Slayer when I know that will just annoy her. We have common ground and understanding when it comes to music. I take her to West End shows and she occasionally accompanies me to a metal show (3 to date). She also respects my need to see concerts and attend the annual metal festival (or two). So it all works out.
This whole thing for me was funny because up to about 5 months ago, I didn’t really like BLS. I saw a video once about 7 years ago, didn’t like it, and never thought to try anything else from BLS. So I finally dig the music and this is the metal band she liked. So it was funny for me and then I thought why not find more? Now I have this 10 song list that your (and my) non-metal spouse might like. Besides, didn’t we all learn to share in Kindergarten? Thank you for reading. In case you are wondering, I am NOT going to experiment with death metal your non-death metal spouse might like. This is it.
Do you have a spouse or significant other that does not like metal like you like it? Let’s hear about it.
About ReggieJust a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!
Posted on May 30, 2011, in Metal Lists, Ramblings and tagged 30 Seconds To Mars, black label society, Five Finger Death Punch, Helloween, Joe Satriani, Katatonia, Metallica, ozzy osbourne, The Sword, Within Temptation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.