If you follow me on Twitter then you may have noticed that recently I have been on a kick of listening to metal. Bands like Confide, We Came As Romans, Killswitch Engage, and Bullet for My Valentine, just to name drop a few. Since high school, I have had an ear for metal, hardcore, post-hardcore, and music of the like. Some great father/son memories were created between me and my dad going to hardcore shows to see local scene heroes Stretch Arm Strong. To this day, I still think that my dad might have enjoyed going, just as much as I enjoyed getting down in the pit. You would never find him down in there with me, but the point was he cared enough to endure the intense volume of music and heat in the venue. What can I say? My dad ROCKS!
Little Man has also become somewhat of a fan of metal as well. Both of us being influenced by my brother-in-law. “Uncle Bubby” as he is called by the little ones, is a guru of all things metal music. We have had some great times in this house banging our heads until we got dizzy, riffing it up on air guitars, and just killing it on air drums. Then of course, being in my growing age, I get out of breath, have to sit down, and then the party is over. But it doesn’t seem to matter to the little dude. Whether we rock out for 10 minutes or one song, the fact is daddy took the time to rock out with him.
It never ceases to amaze me how music seems to provide those moments, or create memories, or just be such an influence in our lives. Music holds a special power that uplifts, brings people together, gives them a reason to carry on, or just seems to define who a person is. Now honestly, you would have to actually ask my dad whether he enjoyed the hardcore and punk shows, or listening to “For the Record” 18 times on the way to the video shoot at the Elbow Room. I’m sure there were many nights where we got home, he went to the bedroom and told my mom to break out the ibuprophen. But that is who my dad is. To him, it was about an opportunity to provide a special moment for his son.
For myself and my miniature me, while I don’t think he is ready for his first concert, we create our own experience right here at home. Even when I have my guitar out jamming, he will take some time to get his guitar and rock right along. He can’t play chords, he can’t really carry a tune, or pull off brutal metal growls, but the boy has a passion for music. Through this shared passion, we create bonding moments everyday in which music plays an important role. When he wants to rock out, we rock out. When he wants to join me in rocking, he does.
Funny the things that we find bridging the generations in our families. For us, metal mayhem just happens to be one of those things. What started with my dad providing these memories for his son by being there, going to the shows, and enduring what those shows entailed, now continues with that same son, now raising a son of his own, and using a passion for music to create some grand memories. And in the end, that’s what it is all about to begin with. Not that we all share the same musical taste, but the fact that we were there and a part of the memory to begin with.