how to start a D and D metal band: part 1.

We here at aginghipsterquarterly are trying to give YOU the reader the best and most up to date advice in music. Now you may be saying to yourself Mr. Aginghipsterquarterly, why exactly should I care about D and D metal and what the hell is it? We here at the Aginghipsterquarterly institute are concerned with forward thinking politics, style, and music. I am here at this moment to guide you through a musical trend that might have a high yield result for you, D and D metal. Take my hand, isn’t that good?  I am here to reassure you and make sure that every step on your journey into D and D metal is a safe and reassured one.

(Gary Gigax is yo boy)
Your first mission on this journey is to read ALL of the dungeons and dragons series. NO, not just the latest edition but all of them. Everything must be read from the original 1975 Dungeons and Dragons edition pamphlet up to the Advanced Dungeons and Dragon 4.0.  Read it until the point where you can distinguish page 25 of the original pamphlet up to the latest edition. Oh, and focus special attention to dragons and wizards, after all every band does need lyrics.
After all this reading  you will have enough ideas to make your own fantasy world. If you’ve only spent two years on your personal D and D fantasy world, obviously you do not have what it takes to be a true musician. In short, think of this world as your wardrobe, it all has to match and it all has to look good together. Here’s a tip for starters, an Orc horde should be placed near the plains and there should be at least one 5,000-year-old dragon. Also remember, there is NEVER enough dragons, like seeing hip bands BEFORE they had an EP, there is never enough dragons that can be put into place and as in these songs as in real life name dropping scenarios throw these dragons out into usage whenever possible, just as you would throw in random bands that you have met in real life (or for that matter not met).
After this you MUST get yourself a good medieval weapons collection. Remember everything is all about fashion and weaponry to D and D metal. Remember all that you need in your record collection is TRUE METAL and nothing else. In other words every Man-O-War album and bootleg you can get your hands on. With all the money you’ll be saving by not buying every 7-inch and vinyl of all those old bands that you will now not like, it’ll be easy to save up money for swords and maces. Hint #1 in weaponry buying, do not go for realism. What you should be going for is something more like, “I really could kill a 15th level Red Dragon with this sword”.  Think Victorian architecture… but in sword form. A good hint for beginners is to watch the knife shows on QVC. That’ll clue you in to exactly what you are looking for in a sword.
So you think you’re going to get off easy and just own the weapons do you? Well you’d be wrong and could never have a good band just by doing that. What’s needed is years of intensive practice in the arts of swords, maces, pole arms, and if you REALLY want to have a decent band Falconry. Seriously think about this. How can you possibly trust a band as serious musicians if they are using stunt doubles to do sword play against a poorly done CGI dragon in one of their videos? Many a band has lost serious cred and levels off of their mIRC thief/rangers just for such an affront to the name of TRUE METAL.
Now that you have your weaponry and a comprehensive knowledge of the Dungeons and Dragons universe next comes fashion. In the several years it took for you to read up on D and D and acquire a collection of swords to rival a 14th century Duke you should have been growing your hair out. As has been duly noted since the early 1980s you CANNOT be metal without long hair. After this, a pair of tights pants is required, like a moustache in Western NY, a pair of tight leather pants are a need to get into this special club. “What type of shirt shall I wear?” You may ask me now. Well if you were listening to me before you would have realized that this is all about the fantasy world that you are trying to recreate and what does every man wear in medieval fantasy shirts? That’s right, a billowy shirt. How are any of your fans of this band going to take you as a serious musician without a billowy shirt? My suggestion would be to go for the rapscallion look. Go for the Ranger/Theif look, by the time you have read all those damn books you will find this funny, trust me. Just like your self created fantasy world, make sure that your dressing style is epic and everything you do should turn out fine.
So now that you have your own world, read ALL the D and D books, have the long hair, have an arsenal of swords and maces, learning how to properly use them and have the fashion now comes the tough part having the band. The first and foremost thing to remember that your band MUST be carried in the world with the grandiosity of a Papal visit or the ramblings of an insane blog post. Actually what I should say is make your band’s grandiosity make those pale in comparison to you.

Naming the band, this is the hard part. The bands name must be what presents to the world the revelation of genuisity that you and coterie have. If you are at a loss for a name here is a hint. Look through all the fantasy books that you and your band members have (the how to find D and D metal band members will be covered in a later “how to article”). With the $20,000-$30,000 in books this should be an easy task. While looking through these books pull out phrases, words or names that you think capture the essence of the grand scope that you are about to share with the world. Remember obscurity is key, as this will show how smart you are.

My final tip in this section is on the actual songs and song structure. Remember you are not writing songs, songs are for those of a lower class then you, after all you know what true metal is, while others do not and therefore you are writing things on a higher level that in no way could ever be considered something as lowly as a “song”. What you are writing should be referred to as an epic, a tale, or something else in that way of thinking, maybe even in a ballad not so much in the 1980s love song way as much as in the 1580’s way complete with loots and harpsichords. Keeping with this theme nothing you write can be less then six minutes. Think this to yourself now, This is an epic and what I am doing should be done heroically and should therefore be lush but in a six to ten minutes type of way.
Don’t be afraid to leave your epics with cliffhangers in them, after all what you are writing is a saga, not an album. Let the truth ring through the entire saga and don’t just write unrelated epics that might leave things unanswered. Is six minutes enough to tell the tale of an elven princess on her way to find the Staff of the Windcrasher? Well no it is not and this is exactly why you need an entire 60 to 70 minutes to tell it.


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