The Black Metal Arts

This town has one of the most thriving metal scenes in the world. Local faves Ludicra offer tips on how to cash in on that action.

Hello true believers. My name is Ross Sewage, and I play bass guitar in Impaled and Ludicra, two bands that are more metal than tungsten. I've been asked by the poser staff at SF Weekly to provide some advice on how you, the poserish white-belt-wearing readership of this decidedly nonmetal rag, might at least appear more metal. Here are nine of my top tips, because nine is an evil number according to The Satanic Bible. Well, that, and 666 tips are just way too many to write -- I've got headbangin' to do, damn it!

No. 1: There's a fine line between metalhead and leather daddy. Never don a leather cap along with your studded armbands.

No. 2: If you can't name the first Slayer album or a member of Venom, a studded belt will not make you metal; it makes you stupid.

No. 3: Never wear eyeliner. A face full of panda-style greasepaint, however, is A-OK.

No. 4: Be sure to use the words "gay" and "faggot" to describe things or people unfavorable to you, even though you totally look gay, you faggot.

No. 5: Pointy guitars are a must. This is sure to make up for your alcohol-induced impotence.

No. 6: If someone brings up a metal band you've never heard of, just say that band sucked after its first demo. Note to hipsters and white-belts: This works for you, too.

No. 7: Guys: If you're in your 30s, date someone in college. If you're in your 20s, date someone in high school. If you are 10, date a fetus.

No. 8: Girls: Date me. Hell, yeah.

No. 9: Let all your frustration and anger surface. Focus on things that matter, and feel the need to change the world. Become impassioned, confident, and realize your limitless potential. Now ... grab some beers and drink away all that hogwash. You are metal.

Pop Quiz Hotshot!
By Kary St. Clair

OK, now that you've read our handy guide, test your metal fortitude with this quiz. For each item, try to figure out, is it: A) black metal; B) death metal; C) neither; or D) both.

No. 1: Sherlock Holmes

He may have been a cocaine addict, but that's really more disco then metal. Answer: C.

No. 2: The Old Testament

Black metal is all about myth. Answer: B.

No. 3: Abortion

Many a death metal band's cover has featured just such an event. Answer: B.

No. 4: Hieronymus Bosch

"Anything Renaissance or medieval is going to be black metal," says Aesop. Answer: A.

No. 5: Chinese Water Torture

Science and psychology used to torment is definitely death metal. Answer: B.

No. 6: Homosexuality

As of yet, there is no place for gay people in metal. (Don't believe those rumors you heard about Rob Halford.) Bands can, of course, sing about Sodom till the sacrificial lambs come home, but try to tell them that butt-fucking is the antithesis of Christianity and therefore right up their sacrilegious alley, and they will kick your ass. Answer: C.

No. 7: Pawnee Indians

These guys were bloodthirsty and took a lot of scalps, which is death metal territory, but they were ancient warriors and part of the American legacy, making them black metal fodder. As of yet, no band has gone there yet. "Face it," says Aesop, "[metal] is a bunch of white guys singing about white guys." Answer: C.

No. 8: The Munsters

"Actually, they make me think of surf music," says Aesop. But when push comes to shove, the Munsters are monsters, and even though they may be plucky and lovable, monsters equal death metal. Answer: B.

No. 9: The Addams Family

The Addams family had an interest in bastardized science and medicinal plant life, making them death metal. But then again, they had a mythic quality and an interest in the tango, and that spells black. Plus, adds Shanaman, "Cousin It was sort of Middle Earth." Answer: D.

No. 10: The Golden Girls

This could really go both ways, because the ladies live in Florida (death metal!) yet they're also ancient elders (black metal!). But the tie-breaker is Betty White. Her character, Rose Nylund, is totally Scandinavian, making The Golden Girls black metal all the way. Answer: A.

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