By Age 35, You Should Have Already Been In One Of These Bands


When your father was 35 he already toured with Edgar Winter, Steely Dan, and The Starland Vocal Band.

Let’s face it: you will never achieve your various goals. That novel you’ve been thinking about for the past ten years? Not going to happen? Your stand-up career? Even open mic nights don’t want you. Full-time video streamer? Yeah, you and everyone else that’s downloaded Fortnite in the past year. Even your music career has stalled.

Your dreams of metal stardom have more dust on them than that Metal Core pedal you got off Craigslist a few years ago. No riffy riffs, no weedily deedilies. Have you even been watching those Art Of Screaming Youtube videos I sent you? Pssh. Probably not. Too busy with useless bullshit like working and having a family. Are little Jaydin and Mahlaneeyuh worth it? Think about that the next time you’re not playing second on the outside stage at Maryland Deathfest.

Ideally, you should have released at least one full-length album, gone on two US tours, and been stuck with multiple unsold boxes of merchandise that you’ve stuck in the back of your walk-in closet. The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame may seem far off, but, realistically, you should already be halfway there. Economists and your mom both agree: By 35, you should have already been in one of these bands.

Shai Hulud

Do you own camo cargo shorts? Congratulations! You’re now a member of Shai Hulud. Ever worn a combat hat? Congratulations! You’re now a member of Shai Hulud. The band has been around in some form or another since 1995, so you’ve had ample time to throw down with them in various VFWs, a Hellfest, a Furnace Fest, or even a This Is Hardcore Fest. Even if you haven’t been in Shai Hulud yet, you have a good chance of at least being in one of their associated acts. Maybe you’ve been in New Found Glory or End or The Black Atlantic or the underrated Zombie Apocalypse.


Motograter has had over 30 members in their illustrious career that has seen an appearance on Ozzfest and now two, count ’em, two studio albums. At least five people reading this have at least considered trying out for the band at some point. You totally should! Their vetting process is more lax than the White House. Can you play guitar or bass? No? Can you sing? No? Can you hit an instrument that exists nowhere else in the world but this band? Fuck it, good enough! You’re hired.

Aaaaaaand you’ve already been kicked out of the band and replaced by someone else. The band’s lineup is so volatile, a member was literally kicked out this week. At least you have something to talk about at Thanksgiving when everyone is done cooing over your sibling’s baby or sucking down a homemade grapefruit-based beer made by your brother-in-law. No one puts a former member of Motograter in the corner.


Incantation have been around so long they are almost legally allowed to run for US Senate. They have been blasting out their brand of death metal for so long that other bands have formed, had careers, broke up, reformed, and broke up again in the same time span. Now if your chance to decimate Christendom and vanquish in vengeance. Heck, you don’t even have to do it full time. You can be a weekend purveyor of all things putrid and pestilent. None of this “Oh, I have a a full-time job” or “I need to take Liam to oboe practice.” Dust off your old Deicide shirt, shine up your gauntlet, and hop in the van on a Saturday afternoon to play Poughkeepsie Death Fest or whatever. You’ll be home in time for Law and Order.


Afraid your religious parents might not approve of your decision to focus on your godless Communications degree? Have no fear, Zao is here! You can throw down for Christ while your folks tell people you’re in a band like Stryper. True, Zao has distanced themselves in recent years from the “Christian hardcore” label, but you can probably convince the Christian book store in the weird corner of the mall to sell a few cds and shirts. That’s called networking. See? That Communications degree is already paying for itself. I mean, not really, you’re still deep in student loan debt and your poor diet has made you put new holes into your studded belt so it still fits, but you’re doing it! Everything is coming up Zaohouse!


This one is a bit tougher than the previous bands, though not impossible. You have to be a pretty darn good musician to be in Opeth. If you don’t have the chops, there are other things you can do to reach your goals.¬†Luckily, their foray into dad prog gives you some room to work.

Number 1: Grow a mustache. That will let Daddy Akerstache know you mean business. Can’t grow one or don’t feel like pasting one on your upper lip? That’s okay!

Number 2: Grow long, luxurious, silky hair that is both full of volume and easily manageable. Lather, rinse, repeat with only the finest shampoos and conditioners.

Number 3: Dress like it’s 1978. Vintage stores are your friends. If those aren’t an option, go to any Salvation Army, Savers, yard sale, swap meet, or estate action. Longsleeve button down tops and bellbottoms are your friend.

Number 4: Wash the clothes. Multiple times. Can’t be laying down a groovy ten minute jam if you smell like moth balls and Brill Cream.

Number 5: Know your Scorpions trivia.


Though many members have come and gone, Gwar has persisted. That fact will help you achieve greatness and not end up like your middle school gym teacher. You know the one I’m talking about. The one whose thumbs looked like big toes. Everyone said he had his thumbs blown off in ‘Nam and had his toes removed and put on his hands. Yeah, that one.

What won’t help you is being human scum. Gwar has no time for your lemon-lime colas and PTA meetings and snarky tweets that get six likes.You are filth in their eyes. They look at you the same way Vice President looks at hot pants. All is not lost, though! You can become one of Gwar’s slaves, toiling away in the Slave Pit, preparing their murderous weapons, and occasionally doing some light typing. Sure it’s hard work and the pay isn’t great, but you’ve got your foot in the door. Who knows? In ten years, you’ll probably be assistant night manager. With some smart investing, wise spending, and some stick-to-it-edness, you’ll be able to retire approximately 10 minutes after Gor-Gor has swallow you whole.

If all else fails, you can just start a dumb blog.

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