Black Voices – Dré

On Tuesday June 2nd, I, like many others, posted a black square to my Instagram with the #BlackOutTuesday hashtag. Almost immediately I realized that this was not nearly doing enough and that if I truly feel Black Lives Matter then I have to do something more. I figure something I do have is my modest platform here at DC Heavy Metal. With that in mind I started reaching out to some of my black friends to ask them if they’d like to make a guest post on DCHM. I told them they can write something, make a video or audio recording, share links, literature, whatever. The subject matter of each post is entirely up to them, it does not have to be related to metal or even the DMV area. This is the first of this series of posts I’m calling Black Voices and I hope you take the time to listen to them. You can find all the posts in this series using the Black Voices tag here.

This first post is by a friend of mine named Dré who I met several years ago through our local metal scene. Even before COVID came he’d stopped going to metal shows and in the below video he talks about why that is. There’s a lot to be learned about what we as a community can do better here. Enough from me, watch Dré’s video below and feel free to read the transcription below that if you’d like to as well.

Hey Chris this is Dré. So I’ll try to be just like brief on why, so the video is basically about why I stopped going from metal shows in the DMV, and just metal shows in general, to going strictly to electronic dance music shows.

The main reason I moved away from that was because of the fan base in metal. Now I love metal. Metal will always be a part of my heart. I listen to it everyday. I was grateful enough to be [given] the opportunity this year to go to 70,000 Tons Of Metal and to be their pool boy and to be a model for them and I’ve always wanted to go to 70k so I was so super happy. I had a great time. I saw most of my favorite bands on the boat and it was amazing but the main reason I went from going to metal shows to EDM shows is because [of] the fan base. I never felt so loved and accepting of a community in EDM than I did in metal. In metal there’s a lot of amazing people in that genre of music and I’m grateful that a lot of those guys are still my friends but the metal community is just judgemental assholes. I was tired of going day to day like going to shows trying to prove my metal credibility. I had to quote Slayer albums, I had to quote song lyrics from bands I’ve seen and I would not get the same amount of lovingness and care that I would get from in electronic dance music. I was getting into fights in metal over just dumb shit and it was mainly because people were just being assholes. People, I don’t know if they had a bad day or just their cat died or something like that but a lot of them were just really mean to me.

Then being a black man I had to prove to them, I had to prove my metal credibility in order for me to go to these shows. Like “oh, do you even know this band?” “What’s you’re favorite subgenre of black metal?” Like why the fuck would I need to go and answer that when I’m just trying to go hang out with my friends and listen to some good music? But when I go to EDM, electronic dance music shows, I feel so loved and so happy being there. These people will, they will do stuff do stuff for you and they won’t even know you. When I lost my wallet at an electronic dance music show this lady gave me $200 just for me to go home. I didn’t need the $200. I didn’t even tell her that I couldn’t be able to go home but she insisted that I take this money to make sure that she was good. Of course I didn’t take it but that’s just how the community over there is and I fell in love with it and when I got older I got pissed off at metal shows and metal fans because a lot of them were just obnoxious. Make you, a lot of them make you feel that you weren’t supposed to be part of it, at least for me. And I’m not saying that race was a big part of it but it was definitely part of it. When I went to West Virginia at shows I would get called the N word and I just grew tired of it. Especially with the DMV I just hated the metal scene and the community over there. There was drama happening every single day and I was just tired of it. Hardly had any drama in EDM.

So the main reason why I didn’t want to go to metal shows any more is because of the fan base. Unless the fan base changes then I’m not going to go. Unless the band is amazing and I need to see them or I get personally invited out from the organizer or if I know a friend who’s playing in the band I most likely, probably won’t go to metal shows mostly any more. It sucks but at the end of the day I feel much more loved and respected in the electronic dance community versus the metal community and it breaks my heart because I love metal but unless the people change then I’m not going to change my stance on it. So I know I traded in my Darkthrone shirt for candy and glow sticks but the people that have the candy and glow sticks are much better to me than the metal community. So, I’m just like, I mean… yeah.

3 Comments

  1. Dre: You are the coolest of the cool and I will party with you anytime. I am sorry for how you have been treated at concerts. Enjoy what concerts you get to and it is the Metal Scenes loss to have treated you like it did. You Rule!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Dré. The local scene is definitely lesser without you. Painful to admit but I totally see the assholes and racists that spring up from time to time in metal. Definitely a lot of pretentious personalities and gate keepers that ruin the fun for the majority. I know this because I totally was one of those “trve kvlt” gate keepers as a kid and I regret that period…Any racism in the scene is inexcusable and needs to be called out. Anyone who denies the fact that the metal scene isn’t marred by racism/anti semitism is full of shit. I remember going to a Watain show not too long ago and having a skin scream “MURDER JEWS” between songs. Do these people speak for the scene as a whole, no. Do we still need to call them out and not tolerate their intolerance, yes. I also used to be apart of the EDM scene but left due to the amount of drugs/sexual assault. Sadly not every scene is perfect. Anyway, thanks for sharing…

  3. “When I went to West Virginia at shows I would get called the N word”… WTF. That’s absolutely terrible…thanks for sharing this experience. It’s important to bring to light. The community can do a whole lot better.


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