A lot of metalheads talk about how they want to 'help the scene', but end up not doing anything concrete. Perhaps it's my own bitterness talking, but I've always felt that if more people decided to take an active role in the scene, then things would be better for everyone.
With that in mind, we've come up with five ways you can help out your scene, gleaned from years of observation and strife. After all, if we didn't have this, we might as well be dead.
5. Let A Band Sleep On Your Floor
Let's start off with the most obvious and, frankly speaking, possibly sketchiest one. Most people wouldn't be totally down letting a bunch of strangers crash on their floor, and conversely, a lot of bands are a little bit paranoid about sleeping on strangers' floors (other people are weird; that's just how life works). As a contributing member of your scene though, you should look to be someone who provides a safe space for bands to sleep and be comfortable. Be helpful, friendly and supportive. Prove that you're looking out for them and feed them if you can. As you start to build a reputation, people will come to trust you and you'll probably be rewarded with free merch and guest passes to shows, making everybody a winner!
4. Helps Band Load Out
This is a big one that I only stumbled upon recently. The way I've come to see it is that if we're lucky enough to get to be a part of this great scene then we should be willing to help bands move their stuff off the stage (after asking, of course!). Considering that not only do you win the bands gratitude this way but also help to get the show running more smoothly, everyone will have reason to thank you. We all just want things to end up better for all parties involved, and by lending your physical capabilities, even if it is only to move a box of merch back to the van, you are helping what could be a stressful night become a little easier for everyone.
3. Document Your Scene
Now this one might sound a little bit self-congratulatory since (obviously) all Metal Injection does is document the scene. That being said, this is perhaps the best way to support the music and to get people across the metal scene thanking you. If you're taking photographs, doing interviews or writing reviews people are almost certainly going to start being able to bring the bands and the fans together and bring a greater sense of unity to the scene. If you can help immortalize bands and give them a chance to share what they're all about with the masses, especially those who don't have regular access to shows, it makes you a heavy metal hero – not just for the musicians, but for all the fans too.
2. Endlessly Support The Local Bands
You probably have that Facebook friend who constantly posts stuff like “Even your favorite mainstream band was once a local act” And guess what – they're right! Supporting local bands is essential because it allows your own local scene to grow and create the metal titans for the next generation. If you're there watching every band and constantly befriending folks in local bands then you're putting yourself in a good place to help the scene as a whole. Soon your reputation will grow and you will be able to help put together shows and maybe even get a deserving friend's band (or even your own!) an opening slot for a larger, touring act.
1. Become "That Guy"
You know who I'm talking about. The dude with the tattoos, the spiked jacket, and that perpetual mean look on his face who always can be seen hugging the guys in the touring bands. “That guy” can be found in almost every scene and he is a key part of what makes it work. He knows everyone, he has his fingers in a lot of pies, and while he might not make any money at it, he helps to make sure that shows can continue to happen and gives crucial advice to the local bands, garnered from his years in the scene. It's not easy becoming “that guy” but it gives you the ability to improve the lives of a ton of people who love the same kind of music as you. You are giving back and guiding everything forward, allowing more people to engage in sonic salvation than ever before.
Related: 8 Things You Need To Know Before Your Band Goes On Tour