It’s funny how often people think that someone can’t be both presentable to the mainstream world and a massive metalhead. The thought is that by being a metal fan, one is eternally mired in blasphemy and alcoholism, and therefore unable to be a functional member of society. But more and more celebrities are proudly declaring their love of metal, from pop star Demi Lovato repping metalcore bands to actor Nicolas Cage supporting his black metaller son. And now, there’s another celebrity on this list: actor Michael Fassbender, best known as Magneto in the recent X-Men films.
As reported by Metal Injection in 2014, Fassbender started his love of metal young. During a guest DJ spot at a California radio station, the German-Irish actor described his metal-loving upbringing, saying, “Nowadays, people just listen to everything, it’s great, but back when I was at school, high school, you were a goth or you were into grunge or you were into punk or you were into metal and that kind of defined your style — in what you wore and the groups you hang out with.
“I think in places, you know, growing up in the countryside, I think music is a very big deal for teenagers and especially in places away from cities. It’s kind of the one outlet you can get. There’s not a lot of options other than, you know, fields and mountains which are beautiful and great, but in terms of any action it was found through some sort of music. So yeah, heavy metal was big.”
In a VH1 feature, Fassbender lists Sepultura as one of his favorite acts, while in another interview, Fassbender described his origins as a metal guitarist, saying, “I wanted to be a musician, I was into heavy metal, I wanted to be a lead guitarist in a heavy metal band. (I loved) Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer…
“There was just one other guy (in my band) and he played guitar also. It’s always hard to find a drummer and a bass player in a small town, we couldn’t find the back-up so we just went out as we were…We only played one gig. It was a little pub, it was lunchtime trade and there was middle-aged people and we were trying to play Metallica and they kept telling us to turn it down.”
Michael, we salute you! May you continue to prove to the world that even teenage metalheads can grow up to be famous actors, race car drivers, and terrifying supervillains.
Words by Chris Krovatin