Social media is a shitshow lately. I don’t need to remind you about certain divisive presidents of certain international superpowers, or particular superstars who always seem to pop up to draw attention to themselves when someone else is getting too much positive press. Whipping out your phone to check your social feeds can be unintentionally stressful, and the metal community is no exception. Staind’s Aaron Lewis shot his mouth off at Limp Bizkit’s Wes Borland recently for referring to Los Angeles rather than his native Jacksonville, Florida as his home (like there aren’t millions of people who want to re-forge their identity outside of their hometown), and it spilled over into Facebook arguments among fans on various Facebook groups. Drum legend Mike Portnoy is always speaking out against metal news sites that seem to phrase their headlines in ways designed specifically to generate arguments in the comments section. And don’t get me started on the shitstorms whipped up in the replies any time Kerrang! or Revolver tweets about Slipknot, Ghost, The Pretty Reckless, Babymetal… It’s enough to make you want to chuck your phone in the creek and go have a lie down under a tree.
Sometimes you need to step back and realise that your social media feed is for you to curate. If you’re cramming this information in your head all day, it’s okay to make sure you’re only cramming in the stuff that doesn’t send you into a panic attack. I’ve noticed there are a few particularly great social media accounts that post uplifting-but-still-totally-metal content, and I find they help me get through my day as someone who buries their face in their phone way too much and would rather load up on a ‘promote what’s great, not what you hate’ philosophy. If that sounds good to you, here are some recommendations for people to follow on Twitter. Oh and I’m @iheartguitar if you don’t follow me already.
Ben Eller – @BenEllerGuitars
Uncle Ben is one of the sweestest dudes you’ll ever meet. A great guitarist and bassist, he puts a lot of heart and happiness into everything he does, whether it’s sharing spicy guitar memes or his hugely popular This Is Why You Suck At Guitar YouTube series. (Dude can only get away with that series title because he’s so damn nice).
Kimberly Freeman (One Eyed Doll) – @Kimberly_OED
Kimberly is the frontwoman of the duo One Eyed Doll. Imagine if a supernatural horror movie could play metal guitar, or if What We Do In The Shadows was a band instead of a hilarious mockumentary. Kimberly is incredibly supportive of her fans, and her retweet game is crazy strong.
Jose Mangin – @JoseMangin
A self-described heavy metal ambassador, Jose is a host on Sirius XM Radio and the dude lives metal. He’s the kind of guy who will put his Uber driver on the guest list for a festival he’s hosting, and he’s a big believer in using metal as a catalyst to bring people together across racial and social divides.
Jared Dines – @JaredDines
Jared is a music/comedy YouTuber with nearly 2 million subscribers, who makes videos about metal cliches and tropes, but is also a talented guitarist who understands that metal can simply be fun. Check out his recent video where he uses a custom Australian-made 18-string Ormsby guitar to create a crushing-but-hilarious djent track.
Higgo – @Higgo74
You may have heard Higgo on Triple M or GoldFM, or on his Distortion podcast. Dude is metal through-and-through and he always on top of the latest bands and releases as well as the classics. Even if I do razz him for tweeting about reality TV sometimes. Heh.
Jaide Soto – @Jaide_Alicia
Jaide is an 10-year-old metal journalist from the USA who was raised on a diet of Van Halen and KISS, and whose metalhead dad helped her set up shutupandrockon.com to share her reviews and interviews with the likes of Fozzy’s Rich Ward (another great person to follow at @thedukeofmetal), Faster Pussycat guitarist and rescue-dog advocate Ace Von Johnson (@acevonjohnson) and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider.
Dean Delray – @DeanDelray
Dean is a comedian and former rocker from California whose podcast Let There Be Talk is a must-listen resource for great conversations with rock royalty. He’s utterly hilarious onstage so if he’s ever in your neck of the woods, do go see him and you’ll have a great night.