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  • Alitzia Tyminski

COVID-19: Metal Health

Throughout history, art was created during pandemics - to amuse, to console, and to give voice to those who were previously unheard. (O'Neill, 2020)

The great thing about the metal community is it has always brought us together and especially now.


When the beloved Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn launched their kickstarter campaign on April 7th, it was compelling to see the metal community come together both locally and internationally to support the venue and metal bar.


Get Creative


Scott Kelly is a retired NASA astronaut who spent a year on the International Space Station.


Sharing tips on how to cope with isolation in The New York Times, Kelly suggests pursuing a hobby and getting creative. "When you are confined in a small space you need an outlet that isn’t work or maintaining your environment. You can also practice an instrument (I just bought a digital guitar trainer online), try a craft, or make some art.


Astronauts take time for all of these while in space. (Remember Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s famous cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity?)" (Kelly, 2020)



Motley Crue and Judas Priest called on fans to get creative and post covers during quarantine. Metal God Rob Halford posted a message to fans, "Humanity has this great tenacity to pull together, to be strong and to overcome things that come before us."



Resilience


John Joseph frontman of Cro-Mags JM, Ironman and author of "The PMA Effect: How a Positive Mental Attitude can make you the badass you were born to be" inspires us to turn the impossible into possibilities with resilience, "Right now we are not able to do many of the things we used to enjoy doing; going to the gym or yoga centre, race, swim, tour with your band, go to restaurants, concerts, family outings, movies, whatever the case may be.


Without resiliency you’ll become fixated on what you can’t do what you can’t have and will bug-out instead of adapting and saying here’s my new normal this is what I can do. So let me focus on these things and do them to the best of my ability. If you do not come out of this situation with new skill sets, with new goals accomplished… It’s not that you lacked time, you lacked discipline and resiliency. That’s my fucking two cents for what it’s worth."


He also proves that eating healthy is inexpensive and irresistibly simple with plant-based recipes on his Instagram page.



Meditation

David Lynch is one of the most brilliant directors of our time. Lynchian fans are prevalent in the metal community from Audrey Horne to Swallow The Sun.


In a recent interview with VICE Canada, Lynch swears by meditation to harness creativity, transcendental meditation (TM) specifically. "If you’re miserable and suffering in isolation, then it won’t be good for creativity. Negativity is the enemy of creativity. If you’re filled with fear and anger and all kinds of negative things, that flow of ideas gets restricted and the tube of happiness just gets squeezed by negativity.

If you meditate and transcend every day, the negativity lifts away. Gold comes in and garbage goes out. Negativity, stress, anxieties, tensions, depression, sorrow, hate, need for revenge, bitter selfish anger; it all starts to recede." (Rose, 2020)



Laughter


It goes without saying laughter relieves tension and is known to improve the immune system, blood pressure and blood flow. If laughter is the best medicine Steel Panther are prescription-strength pharmaceuticals.



The Science Behind Music & Your Well-Being


Zoomer Magazine published an article earlier this year, "Your Health: The Magic Of Music" where scientists believe there's no question that listening to music can directly benefit your well-being and has shown to lower blood pressure.


"Studies show serotonin rises significantly in response to pleasing music, and it's much more than the happy neurochemical that prozac made famous. It's a multitasker that's also involved in learning, memory, sleeping, digestion, even bone health."

Like food, sex and recreational drugs, music also primes the brain's reward system to pump out dopamine, the so-called pleasure chemical crucial for cognitive function, working memory, movement and emotional well-being.


McGill University reported that listening to music you love will make the brain release even more of it." (Abraham, 2020)


Now that's DOPE.


Free Music


Isolate/Create Project is a free resource providing creatives with digital assets to spark creativity and inspire digital collaboration featuring twenty artists including Deafheaven, Thou and Metz. You can also share your work using #isolatecreate to support the contributing artists via the links in their profiles.


In March, Trent & Atticus of Nine Inch Nails announced on their website new music Ghosts V - VI available for download, "Music has always had a way of making us feel a little less alone in the world and hopefully it does for you too. Remember, everyone is in this together and this too shall pass."



Metal Yogis


Both Nergal of Behemoth and Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth are known to practice yoga. Johan and his wife Maria teach yoga inviting fans and enthusiasts alike to enlist in an online yoga class for $7.



Melody Henry owner of Lucky 13 Saloon teaches yoga in Brooklyn. She offers black metal light yoga classes "done in the dark in black light in the back of a bar set to sounds of the likes of Burzum, Blut Aus Nord and WITTR". Melody is providing guided meditation and breathwork on her Instagram page. You can donate to Lucky 13 Saloon to keep their doors open here.



Post-Apocalyptic Masks


Kim Kylla Dylla aka Vulvatron of Gwar is the mastermind behind Kylla Custom Rock Wear. Her clothing line designs custom stage wear for wrestlers and artists Enslaved, Nita Strauss, Satyricon and many others. She created a video tutorial on a DIY fabric mask for healthcare workers. She is currently designing post-apocalyptic reusable fashion masks to fund free masks for healthcare workers. Right on Kim!



Behemoth are including a free mask with each order on their web store.


T-Shirts For A Cause


Revocation created an exclusive t-shirt where 100% of the profits go towards supplying face masks to health care professionals.



Converge x Breather Resist Mash Up Fundraiser Tee limited-edition by Converge. Proceeds from this item will be donated to Artist Relief COVID-19 Fund, a non-profit organization providing grants to Artists and Musicians facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19.
















Bandcamp


Bandcamp’s C.E.O., Ethan Diamond, wrote before the campaign. “It may sound simple, but the best way to help artists is with your direct financial support.” (Pemberton, 2020)


On March 23rd, the music platform Bandcamp announced that it had sold $4.3 million worth of music and merchandise in a COVID-19 fundraiser for its artists.


Reign In Health Bandcamp Playlist
















References


  1. Amanda Hess. "Our Health Is In Danger. Wellness Wants To Fill The Void". The New York Times. April 6 2020

  2. Scott Kelly. "I Spent A Year In Space And I Have Tips On Isolation To Share." The New York Times. March 21 2020

  3. Carolyn Abraham. "Your Health: The Magic Of Music." Zoomer Magazine. February 3 2020

  4. Nathan Taylor Pemberton. "A Moment To Rethink How We Support Music." The New Yorker. April 2 2020

  5. Heather O'Neill. "Art During The Time Of Coronavirus." Maclean's. March 24 2020

  6. Ethan Diamond. "Update On Friday's Campaign To Support Artists During The COVID-19 Pandemic." Bandcamp. March 23 2020

  7. Nick Rose. "David Lynch Wants You To Meditate, Maybe Make A Lamp During Self-Isolation." VICE Canada. April 9 2020




© 2020 by Alitzia Tyminski