The last time I saw Metallica was in 2009 at Anaheim Stadium. I left with bruises on my arms and a particularly serious inclination to buy a drum set from Guitar Center, but witnessing “Seek & Destroy” totally eat up the stadium in tandem with multicolored lasers was the icing on my Doc Martin cake. I remember thinking, what in the hell could top this?
Fast-forward a little over a year later to a house party in Malibu, where those familiar notes of cut through the clamor of our king’s cup game and caught my immediate attention. This was definitely “Seek & Destroy,” but it was also something else. I jumped up, what-the-helling all the way down the stairs until I found myself dropped down on the floor in front of the laptop, intently reading the name of the artist who had dared tweak a Metallica song and somehow make it even more badass. In short, I was fucking stoked.
Up until this point, I’d been a rock girl. Metallica? I owned every CD. Tool? Blasted every menacing song on the way to and from school. I elbowed my way around Motörhead mosh pits and yelled every word with fists in the sky to the Fighters Foo. I was all about it. But then that night happened, and dubstep stomped right into my life on razor-edge stilettos. The marks never went away.
I dove in like an Olympic swimmer. I wanted to hear it all; I wanted to catch up on everything I’d been missing for however long it had existed. Rusko’s “Jahova” was one of the first songs that made a dent, and Caspa’s “Bread Get Bun” was another to deepen the mark. Benga’s “I Will Never Change” was my soundtrack as I ate up the weekly miles in my car, while Skream’s “Anticipate” became a quick favorite. There was so much to listen to and so much I did not know, that I felt like I could never stop.
As my musical education progressed, I noticed that the harder the song pushed at the bones of my rib cage, the more I needed to hear it. I was so immersed in it that I would go to shows by myself if none of my friends could go with me; why would I miss the chance just because I didn’t have company? My love of this music was so intense that sometimes I would leave feeling as high as if I had taken something. It was the first time in my life I realized that music could single-handedly create this feeling I was so quickly attached to. Just like my father knew it from jazz, and his father knew it from country, I knew that dubstep would stay alive in my bones forever.
If a beat moves you, let it take the lead; if it sets your heart on fire, let it burn. If the music makes you want to head-bang, throw your head down and do it. All of the headaches, bruises and scars will eventually go away, but the reasons you got them never will. Learn from them. In a world so big that holds so much, just close your eyes and listen up. Let the music lead you; you won’t regret it.