KAI’S MEMORABLE MOMENTS 2016
Now that it’s over and it can’t hurt us anymore, we can say it loudly: 2016 was a fucking shit show. Musicians of incredible talent died, hundreds of thousands of refugees are still looking for homes, wars haven’t stopped raging, people still deny that climate change is a thing, Donald Trump is soon to be sworn into office as the 45th president of the United States of America, Galavant was cancelled and Norther still hasn’t reunited. I therefore compiled my 5 favourite uplifting news of 2016 to prove to myself that 2016 wasn’t all evil.
5. Serious metal bands backing Babymetal Very few bands have invoked the metal community’s ire quite like Babymetal. With their Lolita dresses, pigtails, and J-Pop vocals, I cannot recall the amount of times that Neanderthals have yelled that Babymetal isn’t metal while in my presence as I vehemently defended the kawaii metal band. Though the trio is not very popular with metal fans, they are beloved by the musicians of the metal scene, and while they’ve always been supported by some pretty big names, 2016 was particularly good to them. From Rob Zombie shutting down trolls in defense of the precious teenagers and their collaboration with the legendary Rob Halford to their supporting Guns N Roses on a small tour of Japan and Abbath's genuine excitement upon meeting the girls, the weight of the support behind Babymetal is increasing every day.
With fans like the members of Lamb of God, Dragonforce, Carcass, and more talking them up every chance they get, how long until the grunting metal fans start accepting the Japanese teenagers as one of theirs?
4. Robb Flynn and stolen guitars are reunited Many things happened to Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn this year. With all the Dimebash controversy happening very early on in the year overshadowing everything else, it would have been easy to miss this fluffier, happier happenings in the heavy metal singer’s life. However, this story is one of my favourite of 2016. In 2010, Robb Flynn’s house was burgled and multiple guitars were stolen. Among them was a Dimebolt axe given to the musician by Dimebag Darrell himself, an Epiphone Signature Series prototype with Flynn’s signature on the back, and the Ibanez with which Burn My Eyes was written and recorded. Holly Cherry found herself the unlikely owner of two of the priceless instruments after purchasing a storage unit for $10. After discovering that the instruments were stolen from Flynn’s home six years before, Cherry reached out to one of Machine Head’s sponsors in the hope of returning the guitars to their rightful owner.
Though two guitars are still missing, Robb Flynn was finally reunited with the Dimebolt guitar and the Epiphone prototype in May of this year when he met Cherry in a parking lot to take possession of his beloved instruments.
3. Slash and Duff McKagan rejoin Guns N’ Roses It has been speculated about, dreamed about, but nobody ever thought it would really happen. With all the bad blood between Slash and Axl Rose, who would have thought that we would finally see the day where they would reunite? As the rumor grew stronger and stronger, I couldn’t help but wonder whether I would live to see it. Axl and Slash sharing a stage again? Could I be so lucky to witness such a miracle? Well, while I haven’t seen the show, it did happen! Guns N’ Roses featuring not only Axl Rose and Slash but also bass player Duff McKagan kicked off their Not In This Lifetime tour in June of 2016, a tour that was a resounding success and saw the iconic metal band play over twenty shows across the United States before Axl Rose went on tour with AC/DC. According to the three members of the classic lineup of Guns N’ Roses, all is well in the GNR clan. All members get along and new music is even on the horizon! It’s hard to tell how long that will go on for, but with a reported $112 million in gross ticket sales for the 20+ dates played between June and August, I would be willing to bet that the three legends will keep getting along for a while. 2. Baroness shows support for female fan victim of sexual assault at show Every female showgoer knows the feeling of dread and apprehension that comes with going to a show unaccompanied or accompanied by a female friend. There is no position more vulnerable than when one is sandwiched between an attendee and the metal barrier separating gods and men. The intentional breath on the neck, the wandering hands, the occasional erection pressing against our legs, hips, or asses... Shows are filled with people who have no sense of boundaries, self-control, or common decency who are determined to make women feel uneasy for their own pleasure. Redbrick writer Rosie Solomon experienced the unspeakable in March as she was attending a Baroness show. An inebriated man followed her around, humping her leg like a dog whenever he could get close to her while she was trying to enjoy her favourite band’s set. Rightfully disgusted by what happened to her, Solomon wrote about the incident and got the attention of the Baroness, who released a poignant statement supporting the writer and condemning the animal who had dared touch her inappropriately. By sharing Rosie’s story and issuing a statement denouncing the culprit’s actions, Baroness did what most metal bands refuse to do, which is acknowledging the rampant sexism and the despicable amount of sexual assault that women still face in a scene that laughably prides itself in being inclusive and open-minded, and firmly taking a stand against it. Baroness, we salute you! 1. Orange Goblin singer starts crowdfunder for fired Team Rock employees 2016 saw too many music deaths. David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg, Joey Feek, Frank Sinatra Jr… The contribution of the people that were lost this year is immeasurable and their loss will be felt for years to come. While some died in the spotlight of their grandiose work in the music industry, three died in the shadows; Classic Rock Magazine, Metal Hammer, and Prog. The three publications under the Team Rock umbrella saw 73 employees who devoted their lives to music suddenly unemployed after Team Rock went under mere days before Christmas. To lend a helping hand to those who made it their life's’ work to support the rock and metal scene, Ben Ward of the stoner metal band Orange Goblin made it a mission to give back and started a crowdfunding campaign to raise a bit of money to those employees who had been made redundant. The initial goal of £20,000 was met quickly, and the campaign has now raised over £83,000 to help the now-unemployed members of the metal community. Donations are still accepted and the amount climbing every day, so if you can spare a few dollars, head on over to the campaign page and help ensure that the dedicated ex-members of Team Rock have a little something to fall back on.