History is cyclical. All historians can show you how history repeats itself. Trends come and go, and eventually they come back again. The exact same thing can be said for heavy metal music in the year 2000. The Shock and Glam Rockers of the 80’s had given way to the angst filled, disgruntled Grunge Rock of the 90’s. The 90’s came and went and we we’re all literally partying like it was 1999. Fear was running amok at the thought of the Y2k bug, people we’re planning and canning. Ready to head out into the mountains with their emergency survival kits when the world went down in a raging ball of fire because all the computers in the world stopped working at midnight.
Midnight came and went, 1999 turned into 2000 with no more than your average New Year’s Eve drama. The world did not burst in to flames, but metal did. Again.
If you can’t laugh and yourself, who can you laugh at? This question has been posed by many a poet over the years, and the LA based Glam Metal comedy band Steel Panther did just that. They started laughing at themselves, and soon the world was laughing with them.
Ironically, these funny 1980’s parody characters also happen to be really good metal musicians. International award winners, Michael Starr, Satchel, Lexxi Foxx and Stix Zadinia took it upon themselves to combine the likes of Weird Al Yankovich and Motley Crue to bring us the joy that is comedy metal.
- Hole Patrol (2003)
- Feel the Steel (2009)
- Balls Out (2011)
- All You Can Eat (2014)
When Parody Bands Just Aren’t Enough
I give you, The Upper Crust. We see a kind of recurring theme in some of our best metal bands. This creation of alter egos, personas that can take the stage in crazy costumes free of judgement and just rock. We saw it with bands like KISS and GWAR. Outlandish stage shows, insane costumes and wild names. The Upper Crust is another one of those bands, garish costumes and arrogant attitudes freeing the artists up to be able to sing and do as they please.
Dressed in Victorian Era costumes, with powdered wigs and rosy cheeks, the band lives by one philosophy “if not great and excellent, then debauched”. Arrogant and snobbish, this group of aristocratic fops sing songs as if they were actually 18th century nobility.
There is something to be said for the humor these bands bring to the stage. Heavy metal has always been dark and ominous, brooding music for the dregs of society. In reality, metal is full of emotional rhythms, intense vocals, and crazed guitars. It is music that is raw and rough, yet it is music. On the surface, you wouldn’t notice, but this harsh, angry music’s nearest cousin is classical music. It is colorful, emotional and intensely creative.
Heavy Metal is modern day classical music. It will continue to grow and develop; to shoot off into subgenres and inspire humans around the world to shake their fists in rage, or just in parody of themselves, whichever offers the most fun.