KAI'S MOST MEMORABLE METAL MOMENTS OF 2018
This year, my main source of anxiety came from reading the news. Between our ever-decaying planet, the imminent extinction of some of the most beautiful creatures to ever walk among us, and the current political climate throughout the globe, much of my year was spent with an overwhelming feeling of dread for the future.
Instead of talking about the bad stuff (and lord Dio knows there has been an overwhelming surplus of bad stuff this year), I thought I would keep this light and talk about the good that metal musicians did throughout the year.
5 : Five Finger Death Punch’s Charitable Endeavours Love them or hate them, the American metal band Five Finger Death Punch has done some good this year. After making a $95,000 donation to Concerns of Police Survivors over the summer, singer Ivan Moody continued his charitable endeavours by organizing sleeping bag donations to help the homeless populations of Colorado Springs as well as Minneapolis and St-Paul.
4 : Bowl for Ronnie raises $74,000 for Cancer Research The loss of legend Ronnie James Dio in 2010 was one of the biggest loss of the metal world. To honour him, the Ronnie James Dio Stand up and Shout Cancer Fund was created, and with it came the annual celebrity bowling tournament Bowl for Ronnie. Celebrating its 4th installment in 2018, the event - attended by members of Dio along with other musical heavyweights like Jack Black, Tom Morello, and Otep Shamaya - raised $74,000 for cancer prevention research.
3 : Dave Grohl Being Dave Grohl Whether you love him for playing in two of the most iconic bands in modern music, playing one of the most hilarious Satan in modern cinema, or for just being Dave Grohl, the Ohio native made it very hard to dislike him in 2018. The devil with a heart of gold fronting Foo Fighters proved the extent of his altruism by giving back in major ways by:
Tipping nearly 100% of his bar bill just because.
Signing and selling guitars and drum parts to raise money to help children learn to play music in partnership with Reverb.com.
Feeding firefighters during the fire that ripped through the Los Angeles area in late 2018.
BBQing his Christmas day away to raise funds for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
2 : Metallica raises 1.3 million dollars for All Within My Hands foundation Through the creation of All Within My Hands, Metallica’s very own foundation, the band hopes to create sustainable communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services. In November of this year, the iconic thrash metal band held a special acoustic show in their hometown of San Francisco to raise funds for their charity. In total, the event brought 1.3 millions dollars to aid the band’s charitable vision.
1 : Randy Blythe Raising Funds for Sister-in-Law’s Cancer Treatment Lamb of God’s frontman Randy Blythe’s track record when it comes to charity is well proven. With 3.8 millions fans on Facebook, the “Redneck” singer has used his mega platform to bring attention to fundraisers, social issues, and has gone out of his way to make a difference himself. Whether he’s out walking miles upon miles to raise funds or selling his Grammy nomination medallion and certificate, the man has a long history of being charitable. So when cancer hit close to home, the man did what he has always done: used his platform to help someone in need. With a crowdfunder to help with the costs associated with his sister-in-law’s treatment, Blythe urged his fans to pitch in if possible. To contribute to the effort, the owners of the bronze Grammy nomination medallion put it up for auction again, raising $3,050 to help Bianca Blythe get better.
To this day, the ongoing Go Fund Me campaign has raised over $35,000.
Honourable mention! To complement the release of their hard-hitting and inspiring song "Jee Veerey," Indian metal band Bloodywood partnered with the online counselling website Hope Therapy to provide free counselling sessions. The duo purchased 60 one-hour one-on-one sessions to be used by people in need. "Jee Veerey" - which means "Live, brave one" - tackles mental illness and suicide in its bilingual plea for life. Though most sessions paid for by the band were booked quickly, a fan quickly purchased 20 more to pay it forward and lend an additional hand. In a year that saw so many deaths by suicide within the music industry, Bloodywood fought back in a beautiful way.