Most metal musicians are resigned to the fact that their skills are unlikely to ever pay the bills.
This is the problem with playing alternative music of any kind: your passion is not likely to ever be your only job. Metal bands have jumped happily or been forced into all kinds of alternative employment to pay the bills.
Image by: Daniel Green
Here are some of the stranger ones…
The County Medical Examiners
The County Medical Examiners are a band who play goregrind.
If you’re thinking, “Good sir, goregrind sounds like one of the more extreme forms of metal, due to the presence of the provocative word ‘gore’, and the reference to the extremely political hybrid genre ‘grindcore’,” then you are a verbose loon.
You are also correct; goregrind is not for the faint-hearted metal fan.
Back on topic (why do you insist on distracting me so?), this group of Carcass-worshipping maniacs have one significant edge on their rivals: they actually have medical degrees.
It’s much more effective, after all, to describe your songs with appetising titles like Epicedium For Epidermal Slippage or Y-Shaped Thoracoabdominal Incision than with titles like Hammer Smashed Face, right?
So much more precise. So much more elegant.
No-one knows who the people behind the band are. The consequences for their careers if they were found out could be disastrous!
Would you feel comfortable knowing that your doctor was one of the people who wrote the song Maturating Decompositional Gas?
KEN Mode (standing for “Kill Everything Now Mode”) are up for a Juno award at time of writing, and the media have latched onto one very interesting, pertinent fact about the band with an unusual degree of gusto.
This particular noisy band consist of members who are all accountants!
Why does this matter?
I don’t know, but it seems like everyone is obsessed with the contrast between their job (seen as grey, pencil-pushing and pointless), and their chosen genre (seen as loud, aggressive, hard-drinking and hard-partying fun).
I have no idea why someone who was a funeral director would be drawn to playing doom-laden songs about death.
OK, the reason for this particular venture into metal is quite obvious, but a funeral director is not a ‘normal’ job by any stretch of the imagination.
Encoffination, in the words of one particular friend of mine, dooms hard. They play music that sounds like a diligent and well-reasoned explanation of why nothing you do will ever matter. Ever.
In fact, just talking about them is making me feel down.
I suppose the kind of job you have is always going to impact on your music.
When The County Medical Examiners are faced with visceral brutality every day, it comes out in their albums.
When the accountants of KEN Mode deal with mind-numbing technical stuff they don’t believe in every day, they respond with blasts of noise.
And of course, the funeral director in charge of Encoffination is obsessed with the inevitable doom we all face eventually.
Far from being incidental obstacles to these bands, I believe that their jobs have shaped and guided their sound, making them what they are.
Maybe this is obvious now, but I don’t see many people commenting on having a job being a good thing for metal. I think that it keeps them tied to the real world, and thus tied to real music.
That’s got to be a good thing, no matter how badly you hate your job, right?
Minchmar Defeldefuc is a professional Mormon and ferret-wrangler. He writes blog posts for Choose Your Accountant, who can help you find an accountant just like those ones out of KEN Mode, whether they are accountants in London or elsewhere in the UK.