My Year in Writing: 2015

This year, I hit a bunch of professional goals, made a bunch of new friends, traveled to 6 countries, got hired on full-time at a giant global media company, started a zine, continued loving my sweet dude and my giant cat, started volunteering at a museum, saw Willie Nelson (and dozens of other killer bands), visited a haunted prison with my grandma, drank moonshine on two continents, read a lot of books, got a sweet Motörhead tattoo, edited a ton of great writing, started filming videos at work, wrote a hell of a lot, and managed not to die, so I’m calling it a success.

Here are a few of my favorite things I’ve written this year. Most of them appeared on Noisey, of course, but there are a few freelance jobbies for the Guardian, Jezebel, Bandcamp, and Refinery29, too. Beyond cultural criticism and general heavy metal mania, I made a concentrated effort to really up my interview game this year, and I think it shows.

As you’ll notice, not all of these are about metal (or about music at all); I finally got the chance to branch out and dip my toes in the world of non-music writing, and boy, I’ll tell ya—the water’s fine out there, and I’m looking forward to doing more of it. As always, stay tuned.

Thanks for reading—here’s to not dying in 2016!

Tom Araya Sold His Soul to Slayer, But Was It Worth It?

Rock’n’Roll Is Dead: One Last Toast to Lemmy Kilmister

Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson Wants to Die With His Boots On

Even the Gods Need Rest

Cloud Rat Find The Beauty in Darkness with Their Cathartic New Album, ‘Qliphoth’

King Diamond: “I Welcome the Powers of the Unknown”

“Humanity Is Horrific”: Vastum’s Leila Abdul-Rauf Operates on Death Metal’s Dark, Ugly, Sticky Side

Spotify Just Discovered That Heavy Metal Is More Popular Than Pop Music

The Rebirth and Deliverance of Corrosion of Conformity

Kentucky Country Queen Angaleena Presley is a Loretta Lynn for the Weed Generation

How The Bicycle Liberated Victorian Women & Kick-Started American Feminism

Jazz on Bones and X-Ray Audio: Chasing the Ghost of Soviet Russia’s Most Dedicated Vinyl Bootlegger

Johnny 2 Fingers Was Born with Only Two Fingers on His Right Hand and Is a Rad Rock’n’Roll Guitarist

Only one of us is wearing makeup.

Toppling the Ivory Towers With VHÖL’s Sigrid Sheie

On Sharing Grief: A Year Removed from the Death of Black Tusk’s Athon

Why Merle Haggard is the baddest outlaw at a festival full of punk rockers

Thrash ’n burn: why 1985 was metal’s defining year

What You Find on a Stroll Through New York City’s Macabre Past

What Mat Fraser’s Cripfest Taught Me About ‘Crip Pride’

Buy! Buy! Die! It’s Black (Metal) Friday

Whitey Morgan Is Country Music’s Last Great Honky Tonk Hero

Shut Up About the “Fuck PETA” Controversy, Tanya Tagaq Puts on the Best Live Show I’ve Ever Seen

How To Recycle Your Body After You Die

Death, Glory, and Triumph: Why Iron Maiden Is the Artist of the Year

Castrator’s Brutal ‘No Victim’ EP is a Perfect Feminist Death Metal Revenge Fantasy

Your Cute, Summer Onesie Has An Apocalyptic Origin Story

Heritage, Horses, and Tengger Cavalry: Inside the World of Mongolian Folk Metal