A big part of working behind the scenes in metal is learning about who will act like a complete dickhead to you. Nothing is more depressing than announcing to a room full of your peers that you’re about to interview one of your musical idols, and watching all of them grimace and trade a knowing look. Sure, it’s unsurprising to learn that musicians in a community which puts its founders on godlike pedestals would be up their own asses, but you’re always hoping that your favorite rock star is going to be down-to-earth and relatable, or at least play the game and answer a few questions without incident.
However, this is not always the case, and in metal, it’s especially egregious. Maybe it’s because metal bands often have to really claw their way to the top of a scene that doesn’t usually get taken seriously by the mainstream, but damn, when metal musicians are difficult, they are fucking difficult. They are bossy, mean, entitled, and manipulative in a weird psychological way. If you dislike being spoken to in a disrespectful way? Lighten up, be a team player. If you don’t want to work unpaid overtime? There’s no room for laziness here. Of course, these artists are often the most sensitive and reactionary, flipping out and publicly slamming others when things don’t go their way.
The thing is, I’m the press. For every musician meltdown I’ve encountered, I’ve received just as many terse, furious apologies from artists who know that I’m necessary in promoting their album, even if they regard me the same way they might an earwig (I’ve also talked to hundreds of really respectful, kind, generous, down-to-earth artists, but this post isn’t about them). What really shows that an artist is a diva is how they treat their fans, the people on the ground who make their careers possible.
So, as the fans, you tell us: who’s the biggest diva in metal? Who acts like you’re lucky to talk to them, or bosses people around because they’re a rock star? Have you ever had an interaction with a metal musician that’s fundamentally changed how you relate to them?
Let us know in the comments. Your most exhausting and obnoxious stories are welcome here.