What’s wrong with these people?” I thought, referring to my friends who listened to that stuff. What the hell was going on for them that wasn’t going on for me? The answer: nothing at all, merely a matter of aesthetics. Metal is better than music. It can be a surrogate for every job you don’t get, every girl who ignores you— or it can just be the noise you put on when you’re bored. Even as a fledgling college music student, I could find stuff on Reign in Blood to show my teachers and say, “See, no matter what kind of stuff you tell me, I know there are guys doing it better, harder, faster.” Because of its power, metal fans tend to be diehard, as would I be had I discovered the next best thing to getting high and getting laid. I won’t claim to be a metal expert, but ever since that awakening, it’s always been music close to my heart in one way or another.