A funny thing happens as you get older, in your youth you spend so much time open minded to the world and its endless possibilities. Then you start to age, and your mind slowly narrows towards your own tastes and interests. Your worst fears start to come true once you have the revelation that todays music is garbage, and nothing like the days while growing up. Thankfully I put a stop to that thought process the second it started rearing its ugly head into my brain. The band Ghost is a perfect example of how I was able to actually enjoy something new, just by letting my grumpy guard down.
Years ago there were whisperings of this new band making a lot of noise in the metal community, a band named Ghost. At first I pondered how such a simple band name had never been used before, and then I decided to take a look into who they were. That idea immediately hit a brick wall due to the fact that this band was hiding behind makeup and masks. Suddenly, I was bludgeoned with flashbacks of my experience with Slipknot kicking off a surge of terrible copycat bands wearing masks and makeup in the early 2000s. An era of heavy music that many of us angry metal fans wish never existed. Coupled with the fact that one of the earliest bands I took part in wore makeup on stage, it was easy to see this schtick was triggering some post traumatic irritation.
By this point, I was convinced that this band Ghost did not deserve my time or attention. The fact that they relied on theatrical aesthetics was enough to shun me away for good. Things got even worse when I started reading headlines about the band on every single heavy music website. The icing on the cake was last year when the band actually won a Grammy for best metal performance. After pondering why and how this could be happening, I sent an email to one of my friends who’s musical knowledge is respected at religious levels. I asked him for an explanation, knowing that he would be just as stubborn as me with his response. I was wrong, and this email set off a chain of events that spun me into a whirlwind of obsessive madness.
My friend asked if I had ever heard of a song called Square Hammer, to which I denied, but with subtle curiosity. He told me how the song was beaten to death on rock radio stations, but it was actually a great sounding catchy song. This is when I first decided to actually listen to the band. As if that idea would have crossed my head long ago before deciding to take such an idiotic stance against a band I had never even listened to!
Upon first listen I was annoyed, and I don’t quite understand why. Im guessing it was just my common sense coming to terms with my stubborn little shit attitude. One thing that stuck with me, aside from the catchy keyboard riff in the opening of the song, was the bands sense of humor. Right off the bat I recognized how this band wasn’t taking itself too seriously, much like another band I worship, Type O Negative. It brought back memories of hearing Peter Steele ramble on about hilarious concepts, all the while maintaining an intense sonic delivery. At this point it was time to do some serious digging, and start exploring the bands discography.
The deeper I dug, the more enamored I became with everything this band stood for. Granted, I wasn’t a rabid fan of every song they released, but the ones that stuck with me did so in a way that left an everlasting impact on my ears. Before I knew it I was on a path to loving this band that I previously had shunned for no good reason. How absurd that I could be so selfish and arrogant to deny myself from experiencing something that moved me. This was a huge wake up call to stop seeing the music world with such narrow vision, and be open to anything and everything.
Of course this newfound ideology comes with limitations, as there are always going to be bands which drive my eyes to fall out of their sockets in sheer disgust. Despite the fact that anger and arrogance will always linger inside my musical prowess, I am looking forward to a future where there might just be another band like Ghost to take me by surprise. Everyone is always talking about what the next big thing in music will be, and in this case, it was right in front of me the whole time!