Metal Elitism - Chelf
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Metal Elitism

Metal Elitism

Metal Elitism. Am I metal enough for you?

Frankly, I do not care. Not in a respectless way, nor to make a point that not caring is indeed oh-so-metal.

I simply don’t.

I never understood the concept of metal elitism but I have been thinking a lot about it and I want to understand.

Just for the sake of being able to say that I understand the theories I reject.

What is Elitism?

Elitism is the belief or notion that individuals who form an elite—a select group of people perceived as having an intrinsic quality, high intellect, wealth, power, notability, special skills, or experience—are more likely to be constructive to society as a whole, and therefore deserve influence or authority greater than anyone else. Thank you wiki.


What is Metal Elitism?

It’s the notion that metalheads are better than non-metalheads.

And that comes with the second most googled dilemma: “Is this metal enough?”

(the first one is “which came first: the chicken or the egg?” and yes I am kidding).

Is my lifestyle metal enough? How about my shirt, my wall decorations and the contents of the sandwich I had for breakfast at 3 pm?

Does this metal-elite status come with societal perks, opportunities, and benefits that I am not aware of? Do I even want to know?

I get how you want to belong. Wearing that band tee makes you one of them. Easily recognizable too. It’s nice to belong, not that I would know.

And teaming up against the ones that made the conscious choice of wearing a Linking Park tee (why tho?) makes your bond even stronger, right? Common friends and common enemies. “My t-shirt is better than yours.” (actually mine is because I got it from the Nephilim store, but that’s a story for another day).

Jokes aside, allowing yourself to believe that your metal music is superior to other people’s music does not sound very healthy to me. In fact, it sounds kind of smug.  Talking down and criticizing?  Very smug. Not in a sexy James Dean cinematic kind of way. In a way that makes me cringe and I’m gonna get wrinkles from all the cringing and how on earth will my corpse pain stick to my face?

So, let me play along:

Is there a metalhead template that I should follow? Do metalheads have their own measurement systems and measurement units? Is there such a thing as a metal-meter? And if so, do I get extra creds for wearing the darkest shade of black? I am doomed.

Summing it up, if you are a metal elitist, I will never be metal enough for you. Nor do I care as we established before. Unless you are Rob Halford, in this case, Rob, if you are reading this, I do care very much so, bring out the metal meter.

I live in an all-white house with all-white furniture and a golden retriever. I don’t drink and I rarely go out. I co-founded and run a metal magazine, Metal Digest. I will wear all-white (vegan) cashmere outfits or band tees. I manage metal bands and I also do very non-metal creative work as a freelancer.

Are you confused? Metal music is a very big part of my life and in many ways shaped who I am as a person. But that’s not who I am and it does not define me. I am not your typical metalhead and I do not aim to look like one. I don’t think that you could tell my music preferences just by looking at me, and I am more than ok with that.

I’d like to be a well-rounded multifaceted individual that is made of a variety of artefacts, and angles and molded by experiences including music, but not defined by music.

In the same way that I would not identify myself based on my sexual preferences, food choices, or political views.

And the fact that elitism is not cool with that makes me not cool with elitism.

I’m not sure how to conclude this anti-elitism rant so I’m gonna let you guys take it from here.


If you enjoyed and found this article helpful you might enjoy these too:

Skills that will take your Band far in the Music Industry

What to Do if you Can’t Afford a Band Manager

How to Survive Isolation as a Musician

How to create your EPK

Check out my music archives and interviews here.

Check out my music magazine METAL DIGEST here


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Until the next one,


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