Remember when this thread was about growing up with metal? I do. Anyway, there really aren't that many pictures of me looking all that metal, but I'll explain how and why every picture is relevant.
1992, roughly age 2 here, I share this of me as a toddler when I'm clearly not old enough to really have a developed taste in music because that little megaphone I'm holding (along with a little toy garden hoe that I called my "singer") was used to shout Pantera songs at people like an obnoxious little shit. Believe it or not I could talk really well by age 3 and around the time of this photo I was surely coherent enough for my parents to understand that I was trying to sing Enter Sandman and Cowboys from Hell to whoever would listen to me. So yeah, thanks to my mom's taste in music, mainstream metal has been around me since conception, so I grew up on a healthy diet of Metallica, Megadeth, Dio, and other such essentials.
My two brothers and I. I'm probably around 7 in this picture, which would make my two brothers 3 and 1ish (somewhere in 97/98). Again, I'm not wearing a band shirt or growing my hair out or hanging out with Corpsegrinder or anything cool, but I remember very clearly that the three of us were singing Iron Man, and my mom thought it was so adorable that she took a picture of us and then changed to a Pantera CD and taught us how to slam dance. My dad came home from work during our little mosh pit, and I believe this was the moment it became clear that my family is goddamn insane. But again, still growing up around metal. The accessible kind, but I'm fucking 7, y'all'll cut me a break for not listening to Baphomet quite yet.
Either 11 or 12 here. Finally me with a band shirt on, and with a hilariously bad hairstyle to boot. Why? Because if you've read a single story I've ever told here, you'd know that I'm a goddamned idiot. At this point I was in a weird musical phase. I was coming out of my pop punk phase and getting back into metal more through shitty nu metal bands (which probably explains the hair), and was at the same time getting more into what Boris coined "whiffle thrash". Slayer was way
too intense for me, but I'd discovered Testament by this point and thought they were cool, underground stuff that not many people knew about, and really liked The New Order
. It was kind of my secondary musical love at the time though, because as much as I liked Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Anthrax, and other obvious bands at the time, I was still the perfect age at the perfect moment to be really into bands like Static X, Korn, System of a Down, Rob Zombie, and bands of that ilk.
Age fifteen, thanks to the convenient timestamp. The story behind this
hairdo was that I'd asked my stepsister if it'd be possible to give a pasty white boy with long hair an afro since she was in cosmetology school. She, likely being high as fuck, said she could, and my idiot ass, being eternally sober but also eternally dumb, decided it was a good idea to let her try. Also notice the grody neckbeard, not one of the best style decisions I've made throughout my life. Musically, I'm yet again wearing another Metallica shirt (this one exclusive to their fan club, did I mention they were my favorite band for about fifteen years?), but at this point the internet was making my rate of exploration explode. By this time I was heavily, heavily into Mercyful Fate, and spent every waking minute practicing my falsetto as a result (3 Inches of Blood was also to blame for this). My favorite album of all time, The Mechanical Hand
by HORSE the Band, had entered my life and was another constant in my CD player, and to this day still is. Also this was during the height of my Nevermore fanboyism, when they were basically the only band I listened to for about a month or so straight. I also had gotten into Death by this point, but only Symbolic
and The Sound of Perseverance
. Basically I was kind of snobby and liked anything either weird or labeled progressive, basically whatever was hot on guitar forums at the time.
February '07, age sixteen. This was what my hair looked like when not in Sideshow Bob-o-vision. The little toy maracas, I used to carry in my coat pocket and then shake whenever somebody said something I deemed appropriate to shake little toy maracas. Because I was an obnoxious idiot, that's why.
Note the Children of Bodom shirt, at this point they'd finally broken me from my nearly two year long Nevermore fascination and became my new obsession. Around this time both power metal and death metal had opened up to the extent that thrash had years prior, as counted among my favorite bands were both Gamma Ray and Vader, with Ensiferum fast approaching to overtake CoB's throne as my pet obsession. I'd also discovered my favorite band, Running Wild, by this point, and certainly thought they were awesome, but they'd yet to take that coveted number 1 spot on my heart. Necrophagist was another big one I'd spend a lot of time jerking off to around this time, despite the fact that more brutal bands like Cryptopsy and Suffocation were pretty much beyond my grasp at this point. Though nary months later I'd decide to join two of my friends in going to a Suffocation concert which pretty much changed my life. Despite this, this is when I acted like a Borisite/Manowarrior and had a habit of acting like a dick whenever somebody expressed a taste in music different to mine. Metal was the only
music, I never liked nu metal or punk! Slander and lies!
A year and a half later, obviously at a Diamond Plate concert. August of 08, so I'd been reviewing here for about six months by this time. Running Wild was my favorite band, basically every style of metal had at least some sort of appeal to me (though like today, black and doom are pretty much neglected in favor of trad, power, thrash, and death), and I was the kind of stereotypical know-it-all still. If I found myself humming a pop or punk tune, I'd find excuses as to why in case anybody heard me. I certainly didn't think American Idiot was a catchy song, no sir, I've just been singing it to myself for a week because it's so bad. Totally. Anyway, this was kind of near the death throes of this "metal only" club I was banging on about, as it was early in 09 that I started listening to Bad Religion, who catapulted their way into the number 2 spot in terms of my favorite bands (and are still steadfast in the spot three years later, if they're dethroned from that perch it won't be any time soon), which really got me to appreciate punk again and non-metal in general for the first time in probably a decade.
Shortly before turning 19, I got my first haircut since shaving that dipturdedly stupid mohawk back in 03, my first haircut in a little under six years. Nowadays I keep it somewhere between bald and shoulder length, depending on how lazy I'm feeling and how my employers/girlfriends feel about it. Note the shirt this time, Toxic Holocaust. Nothing special, but it was around this time that my taste was the most receptive to basically anything. Musical osmosis was rampant and basically anything I'd heard, I had a steadfast opinion on that, to this day, probably hasn't changed a whole lot over the years. It's because of this I was really able to discern what it was that I did and didn't like about any music I'd heard, and was thus able to shape my taste accordingly. None of this just being told what to listen to crap, none of this "well it's not really thrash so no, don't like it" horsecock, it's basically when my attitude towards music solidified itself into the mentality I still have today.
October 2010, age 20. This picture of me and Guy Marchais from Suffocation stands as the only picture of me with a metal musician. And for that significance alone I figured I'd share it.
Probably the most recent picture of me, when my brother graduated high school in June (I've been a bit of a hermit since before Christmas so there aren't many photos of me recently), and apart from the fact that I'm experimenting with a clean shaven face, this is pretty much my uniform. Baseball cap, band shirt, blue jeans, black shoes, stupid face. Taste wise I'm still around where I was in the previous picture, mainly trad, power, thrash, and death metal, though I've since grown to at least not hate drone and ambient styles which I'd previously always found lazy and boring, so now pretty much the entire spectrum is available to me to at least attempt hearing anything from. Basically I'm perfect and you should all strive to be me.
Now, these last two pictures didn't really fit anywhere, but I'm adding them as bonuses because they're my two absolute favorite pictures of me and need to be seen by everybody imaginable.