It’s time to rant, and as a note, a rant deserves to be unrevised and unedited to reflect its immediacy.
I’m not sure if anyone else feels the same way I do, but to me, one of the most maddening aspects of being a fan of heavy music is the fact that I am (not me personally, but I include myself as part of the third person singular and plural) constantly referred to as a “kid”.
In interviews and articles I constantly hear and read Metal artists, journalists, and other industry people refer to Metal fans as “kids”. As in, “We think the kids will really like how brutal our new album is.”
You may have not noticed, but I’m not a kid. I’m twenty-seven years old. I am developing a career. I’m living in a foreign country while the rest of my family is in the United States. I pay my own rent. I maintain my own bank account. I buy my own groceries. No matter that I don’t always want to admit it, but I am a full fledged ADULT.
What makes people in the Metal industry believe that 95% of their fanbase consists of dependents under the age of 18? Or even 51% of their fanbase? What makes old-as-fuck bands that have been around for more than 15-20 years think that their fanbase is largely made up of teenagers? I have news for you: a good-sized portion of your fanbase HAS ACTUALLY AGED WITH YOU.
Now, I do realize that I may be arguing semantics. I am no way an expert on the etymology of “kids” in the heavy music world, but I would bet good money that that term actually came from Hardcore Punk back in the 1980s. Knowing what I know about the hardcore punk scene back then, I would imagine that the great majority of its fans were actually 18-20 or younger. Back then, Hardcore Punk was in its embryonic stage. Now, I think it’s dubious at best to assume that the majority of fans of a 40 YEAR-OLD style of music (in the case of Metal) are “kids”.
Let’s get to the heart of the matter. I feel insulted in just about every way possible to be referred to as a “kid”. I would like to think that I have mentally, emotionally, and spiritually matured well past being a “kid”. And Satan Almighty, does that hangover hurt a helluva lot more than it did when I was 16. Even if “kids” is a catch-all phrase for fans of Metal music, why can’t we simply be referred to as “fans”, which would be the logical choice anyway.
In fact, I’m going to take this a step further and get all psychological on yo’ ass: What if people in the Metal industry refer to their fanbase as “kids” because they don’t want to admit to their own lack of overall maturity and have to demean their fanbase by calling them “kids” to feel better about themselves and their profession…?
Alright, obviously that’s being just as overgeneralizing as referring to all of your fans as “kids”…I guess you get my point now.
– Judge Dredd