When I was a kid listening to the first heavy bands I came across, Queen, Zeppelin, KISS, AC/DC and others, I saw them as “International”. When the New Wave of British Heavy Metal hit the scene with Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Motorhead and others, I knew it came from “Over There…”. In school, I learned where “Over There” was, but I struggled to figure out how to get there.
I was never good in school, I struggled with my education, so I never thought I would ever make the kind of money necessary to travel abroad and see all the exotic lands that my favorite bands came from and toured in, but I thought that if I was in a band that I would have a better chance of seeing those places.
I knew from an early age that if I was going to travel and be “International” as a musician that I couldn’t hold any prejudices. As a young kid, I made lots of mistakes, did things, said things. That’s what you do when your young and that’s what you do when you never leave your block or local town. But when you start to look at the world as a whole and that there are other people and if you are lucky enough to go out and meet them, then you can’t hold any prejudices in your heart.
When I toured with my band, Cessation Of Life, it was an unbelievable pleasure to meet people from all over the United States. I was quick to learn that each State of the United States is like its own little country with its own traditions and customs. Most of which are very fun to experience. But there were times when I realized that sometimes you run into people that are not “International”. They have never experienced anyone from outside of their town. They have never traveled and cannot or will not respect others idea’s or beliefs or different skin color, sexual preference and what ever.
The more I have traveled, the more those interactions become obvious with people of lessor tolerance.
Seeing bands like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Sepultura and Motley Crue, I knew those bands had been around the world. I bought their tour books at the shows that listed all the tour dates and I knew they were “International”. I knew that they had shaken hands with every color and creed.
For me, it said “These people must be tolerant of other colors and religions or whatever”. I would surely read about it in magazines if they were yelling mean things from the stage or telling fans to fuck off because of their skin color. So, without anyone having to tell me that being prejudice is bad and from that fact that none of my grandparents or parents ever behaved that way, I came to the conclusion that being “International” meant being TOLERENT of others in general.
I have had the opportunity now to have traveled around most of the United States, lived in Japan, currently living in Italy and traveling around Europe, soon to be heading to China, meeting Metal Heads where ever I go and exercising the lessons I learned not just from my parents, but the lessons I learned from the bands I worshipped as a kid.
\m/ METAL \m/