The book you need

My book is a blend of memoir and research about my favorite kind of music – heavy metal. I’ve seen Metallica and Megadeth each more than 30 times, traveling far to squeeze into the contested space near the stage where the bass vibrates your rib cage. I include those stories along with research exploring why catharsis isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, how musical fandom is fundamentally different from devotion to sports or religion, and why heavy metal fosters such deep and durable devotion.

Check out the first few chapters of "Singing the Songs of Angry Men: Why People Love Heavy Metal" below.  You can hear me talk about the book on this podcast, Horns Up.

Special thanks to Phil Demmel of Machine Head, who took this photo of me at the front of the stage during a show in 2015. He posted it on Instagram, dubbing me "Machine Head's Most Valuable Rager" for the the night.

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Here's a list of all the bands I've seen live. Sadly, this list has been static since February, 2020, and will remain so for some time. Total count: 289 bands, 518 sets.

Megadeth  32

Metallica  32

Machine Head  20

Corrosion of Conformity  15

Slayer  13

Lamb of God 10

Propergander  10

Foo Fighters  8

Clutch  7

U2  7

Alice in Chains  5

Anthrax  5

Christopher the Conquered  5

Mike McAbee  5

Suicidal Tendencies  5

Avenged Sevefold  4

Black Label Society  4

Godsmack  4

Volbeat  4

Amon Amarth  3

Coal Chamber  3

Eyehategod  3

Fear Factory  3

Hellyeah  3

Life of Agony  3

Mumfords  3

Pearl Jam  3

Poison Control Center  3

Soundgarden  3

Testament  3

Weezer  3

All That Remains  2

Anti-Mortem  2

Avett Brothers  2

Behemoth  2

Bonnie Finken  2

Brett Newski  2

Deftones  2

Device  2

Devil Driver  2

Down  2

Emily Bass  2

Envy Corps  2

Exodus  2

Fu Manchu  2

Galactic  2

Guns n Roses  2

Hanyaks  2

Judd Hoos  2

Matthew Sweet  2

Metal Church  2

Miss Taken  2

Mothership  2

Napalm Death  2

Papa Roach  2

Rob Zombie  2

Slash/Miles Kennedy & the Conspirators 2

Slipknot  2

Stone Temple Pilots  2

The Soul Rebels  2

515  1

3 Teeth  1

35" Mudder  1

36 Crazyfists  1

Against Me  1

Alabama Thunderpussy  1

American Sin  1

Angel Hill  1

Apocolyptica  1

Arch Enemy  1

Armored Saint  1

Asking Alexandria  1

Atreyu  1

Bare Naked Ladies  1

Beck  1

Big Business  1

Black Flag  1

Black Sabbath (w/Dio)  1

Blackberry Smoke  1

Blank Range  1

Box 10  1

Brant Bjork  1

Breaking Benjamin  1

Broken Skulls  1

Brother Trucker  1

Bullet for my Valentine  1

Bush  1

Butcher Babies  1

Candlebox  1

Cannibal Corpse  1

Cantaloupe City  1

Chad Elliott  1

Childish Gambino  1

Children of Bodom  1

Chimaira  1

Cowboy Mouth  1

Craig Robinson and the Nasty Delicious  1

Crowbar  1

Daisy Head Maisy  1

Danzig  1

Data Gun  1

David Zollo  1

Davina and the Vagabonds  1

Deadechoes  1

Deadfront  1

Dear Herman  1

Death Angel  1

Death Division  1

Decoy  1

Ded  1

Despised Icon  1

Dethklok  1

Devin Townsend Project  1

Diddy Bops  1

Dillinger Escape Plan  1

Dirty Hooks  1

Dr. Murdock  1

Dream Theater  1

Echo  1

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros  1

Fallen Reign  1

Fastball  1

Fat Sky  1

Fiction Plane  1

Flannel Channel  1

Flotsam & Jetsam  1

Gang of Youths  1

Ghoul  1

Gimikk  1

Gloom Balloon  1

God Fobid  1

Godkillgod  1

Gojira  1

Gorgatron  1

Great Sabatini  1

GWAR  1

Halestorm  1

Happy Hazard  1

Hatebreed  1

He is Legend  1

Head Candy  1

Head for the Hills  1

Hinder  1

Holding Mercury  1

Horace X  1

Iced Earth  1

Idina Menzel  1

If Ever Was a Fire  1

In Flames  1

In This Moment  1

Interpol  1

Jane Doe and the No Names  1

Jason Danielson Quintet  1

Java Jews  1

Jazzocracy  1

Jeff Beck  1

Jerry Cantrell  1

John Klemmensen and the Party  1

Jordan and his Stupid Silly Songs  1

Jukebox Gyro  1

Kaiser Chiefs  1

Keepers of the Carpet  1

Kelly's Clan  1

Kenny Rogers  1

Kid Rock  1

Kilgore  1

Killswitch Engage  1

King Diamond  1

Korn  1

Kyng  1

Laaz Rockit  1

Laughing Falcon  1

Less than Jake  1

Lesser Known Saint  1

Line Cutters  1

Little Anthony & The Imperials  1

Lo Pan  1

Local H  1

Lumineers  1

Mandolin Orange  1

Mariachi El Bronx  1

Mastodon  1

Melismatics  1

Mem Shannon and the Membership Band  1

Ministry  1

Monte Peck  1

Mountain Witch  1

Muse  1

My Morning Jacket  1

Narcotic Self  1

Nevada Nevada  1

Never Forgotten  1

Newsted  1

Nickel Creek  1

No Good Deed  1

Nonpoint  1

Normal Blvd.  1

North of Grand  1

Nuclear Rodeo  1

Orgy  1

Orkes and Trolls  1

Panic! at the Disco  1

Parkview Drive  1

Patrick Flemming (of Poison Control Center)  1

Patrick Hazell  1

Philip H Anselmo and the Illegals  1

Pierce the Veil  1

Planet Passengers  1

Population Zero  1

Primus  1

Profound Science  1

Puddle of Mudd  1

Quaker City Night Hawks  1

Rancid  1

Release Time  1

Rise Against  1

Royal Blood  1

Royal Tusk  1

Rumley Brothers  1

Safety Suit  1

Saints of Lust  1

Saul  1

Saviours  1

Secret Weapons  1

Self Atrophy  1

Serj Tankian  1

Sevendust  1

Shirley's Temple  1

Shovels and Rope  1

Sick Puppies  1

Six Story Walk Up  1

Skalmold  1

Skypipper  1

Sons of Texas  1

Stately Wayne Manor  1

Static Lullaby  1

Static X  1

Stone Belly  1

Suicide Silence  1

Sum 41  1

Sumpin' Doo  1

Sunflower Dead  1

Tenderloin  1

The Adarna  1

The B-52s  1

The Barn Owl Band  1

The Black Dahlia Murder  1

The Blue Moon Players  1

The Breeders  1

The Colt Walkers  1

The Cure  1

The Devil Wears Prada  1

The El Dorados  1

The Funky Meters  1

The Hype  1

The Iguanas  1

The Inspector Kluzo  1

The Maytags  1

The Misfits  1

The Obsessed  1

The Parranderos  1

The Police  1

The Pretty Reckless  1

The Problems  1

The Ramones  1

The Shrine  1

The Stars of Heaven  1

The Strange Fellows  1

The Sundogs  1

The Sword  1

Tim Rushlow  1

Tom Russell  1

Tommy Keene  1

Tonic Sol Fa  1

Top Notch Defective  1

Touched by Ghoul  1

Trivium  1

U.S. Bastards  1

unknown Des Moines band  1

unknown Lincoln band  1

Utopia Park  1

Vahnevants  1

Vains of Jenna  1

Vertical Horizon  1

Videodrone  1

Wanda Jackson  1

Warbringer  1

Wheelers  1

Whiskey Two Step  1

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