“I gave you yesterday
Tomorrow’s no concern”
From “Tomorrow’s No Concern” by Dee Snider
For Dee Snider, heavy metal was always a form of self-protection – a way to define himself rather than succumb to how others saw him.
“I’d come home from school, wasn’t popular, didn’t fit in, was bullied. As an angry young man, I’d go into my room, lock the door, put on an album and just rock out in front of a mirror – lip syncing, working on my stage moves,” Snyder told me. “I would be sweating. And I felt better. It’s that important – everybody needs that. Somehow you need that … Metal allowed me to release all those frustrations and angers – and it changed me. It changed me in the moment.
“Would you rather have someone throw their fist in the air or punch someone in the face?”
In fact, Snider feels that being an outcast has been almost a precondition of being attracted to metal. “If I had been a popular guy – handsome and popular – would I have been drawn to it? Doubtful,” Snider described. “I walk up to heavy metal guys who are genuinely attractive … I’m talking fashion model good looks … And I say, ‘Why are you playing heavy metal?’ The good looking people weren’t standing in the mirror practicing their moves or practicing their licks.
“The good looking people were partying and getting laid.”
More, metal wasn’t just an individual connection with the music – Snider found an enduring peer group where he was embraced rather than rejected. “One thing there is also – metal has a sense of community. And for outcasts, to feel like you’re a part of something. You realize you’re not alone … It’s people sharing a common love, a common passion,” Snider explained. “Rob Halford said, ‘Being a headbanger’s like being a marine – once a marine always a marine.
“Once a headbanger, always a headbanger.”
Read the rest of the article: Michael Friedman Ph.D. for Psychology Today