THE DEMO CORNER
Why Metalheads Should Totally Love Lady Gaga
May 30, 2011
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One listen to the music on Born This Way and it’s clear she is taking cues from groups like Orbital and Aphex Twin while turning catchy Pop sensibilities into sounds like Ace of Base mixed with Lords of Acid. The track “Government Hooker” may even outweigh KMFDM’s own ultra-heavy beat and the synth-riffs hit harder than anything radio-Metal could dish out. “Scheiße” has more bite than anything Rammstein has ever done and she makes grumbling in German sound way more sexy. She takes the 80’s Pop-ooze of “Hair” and metalizes it with a crushing synth-riff while “Electric Chapel” delivers some actual Metal riffs over a pulsating beat. “Heavy Metal Lover” may be a great title; it unfortunately doesn’t have much to do with Metal but more with sex, booze and violence. But since when does Metal not praise sex, booze and violence?
With just barely three albums in four years, ghoulish Pop-Princess Lady Gaga has displaced Oprah on Forbes’ “Most Powerful” list, blazed her own trail and has done for music video what Michael Jackson used to do. Even with all of the shock and stunts, it’s clear she likes Metal.
She’s been spotted with Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper (and at their concerts). She has had Marilyn Manson contribute to a remix. Her 666th Tweet name-dropped Iron Maiden and in a recent interview stated their “Run To the Hills” is one of her all-time favorite songs. Even Crowbar/Down/Kingdom of Sorrow member Kirk Windstein is one of a handful of Metal artists to admit an appreciation for Gaga. She wears more pleather and spikes than Judas Priest, makes an inverted cross look sexy and her blood-drenched live appearances should remind everyone of Samhain-era Glenn Danzig. She uses more fire than Gene Simmons, more raw meat than Blackie Lawless and more costumes than Peter Gabriel. The cover of her anticipated Born This Way looks more Shock Rock than Top 40 and even contains a song called “Heavy Metal Lover.”
And Metalheads are probably thinking who really cares? Well, Lady Gaga embodies the spirit of Metal. She’s defiant, abrasive, and obnoxious. She annoys parents, religious figures and probably most of the Tea Party. She has taken what others have done before her and put her own spin on it. Metal has been doing that since 1970. Lady Gaga’s been doing it since 2008. Plus as a Metalhead, it’s acceptable to dig Lady Gaga. You won’t catch anyone at a Deicide concert admitting to liking anything of Katy Perry’s other than her chest. And that is because that is all Katy Perry has going for her - both in the looks and musical departments. But you will find Ozzy Osbourne impressed yet ultimately annoyed by Lady Gaga. I can tell you right now, Born This Way is much more engaging and gutsy than Scream.
Most Metalheads wouldn’t dare admit to enjoying much music outside of Metal because it’s not true, extreme, brutal, cult or sick. But it’s not uncommon to see Metalheads praising Ministry, Nine Inch Nails or KMFDM. If you dig those bands, there is no reason you couldn’t dig Lady Gaga’s newest album.
Metal has been giving the middle-finger to everything and everyone since its inception. Metal does what it wants, when it wants, how it wants. But you rarely see anyone else outside of Metal do that. Lady Gaga does. Metalheads should not only love her, but respect her. I do.
Note: The author would love to be Lady Gaga’s personal Heavy Metal lover and has been down with her since her debut album. He also isn’t ashamed to be down with the self-proclaimed Wicked Clowns or prefer KISS without their grease paint. Basically, his views are his and do not reflect the rest of the Metal Psalter staff. But he did make a pilgrimage from Detroit to Cleveland to see Manowar (twice!) this year and has seen GWAR a total of 17 times and running. Therefore he is certifiably Metal.