The BAND is The Stranger's open column for local musicians to write about whatever they want, from offering a critical eye on Seattle music to funny stories about their years (or days) of experience on stage. If you play music in this city and have an idea for The BAND, send in 350 words to

Before grunge washed through town, there was a thriving metal scene in Seattle. Panic, Bitter End, Forced Entry, the Accused, Culprit, and countless other bands ushered in the grunge explosion, and then were quickly admonished by the new Seattle Rock Royalty. After the fall, few of the clubs would book anything heavy. I had to go to the fucking Fenix to see metal bands for fucks' sake. KCMU ditched Brain Pain, and good luck getting your metal played on KEXP--where "the music matters"... unless it's metal. These days I have to stand in field-goal position with my hand on the antenna to catch Nate's Metal Shop on that crappy Tacoma station.

Now I see the tide starting to turn. For many years I would go to a Kyuss or Mercyful Fate show and there would be a few fellow scumbags, Mark Arm, and that was about it. Then about two years ago I started seeing the same little indie-twits that used to look down on me for having long hair walking around with skin-tight Metallica shirts on at Fu Manchu shows (not metal and a complete fashion faux pas by the way). While no one has the balls to come out and say that they like it, I've seen more encroachments on metal's intellectual and spiritual territory lately.

Now indie rockers are forming metal bands. A wave of cuddle-core fans are "metalizing," as if they haven't spent the last 10 years spitting on the genre.... Seattle metalheads will not stand idle while you make a farce out of our music, like you did when you "revived" punk with Hello Kitty lunch boxes. The last thing we need is a Second Coming of the false-metal prophets, and we're here to ensure your crucifixion should you ignore our warnings.

It's difficult enough being a metal-loving miscreant in this town without having to compete with an Elvis Costello clone for a ticket to see Motörhead. We gave you Entombed in exchange for that Hellacopters shit. What more do you fuckin' want?!

RockStarMatt's band, Metallic KO, plays the Bellingham Skate Park on Sat June 15 with the DT's.