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5 Non-Metal Musicians Who Love Metal: Ryan Adams, Dave Grohl And More

by Joey DeGroot   Sep 20, 2014 14:50 PM EDT

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Heavy metal isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea, but metalheads are far from the only people who listen to it. In fact, there are plenty of decidedly non-metal musicians who are big fans of the genre. Here are five non-metal musicians who love metal.

1. Ryan Adams

In a music scene where "country" means Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, and Florida Georgia Line, Ryan Adams doesn't exactly fit in, but it's not as if he ever wanted to. In fact, he's been quoted as saying that he hates country music, and always wanted to be in a metal band instead. In 2010, Adams finally followed his metal muse and recorded the album Orion, a tribute to Canadian prog-metal band Voivod.

2. John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats)

Though the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle is known for his hyper-lyrical, lo-fi folk style, perhaps his best known song is "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton," about two high school kids who form a death metal band. Darnielle's metal love doesn't stop there, however; he also wrote a book about Black Sabbath's Master of Reality for the 33 1/3 series, and for Pitchfork's "Situation Critical" feature, in which musicians choose songs to soundtrack hypothetical situations, all of his selections were songs by Danzig.

3. Dave Grohl

Nirvana and Foo Fighters may be loud, occasionally aggressive rock bands, but nobody would ever consider them to be metal. Despite this, Dave Grohl is an enormous fan of the genre, having played drums for Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister and even recording his own one-off metal album Probot, featuring members of Venom, Sepultura, Napalm Death, King Diamond, and more.

4. Rivers Cuomo (Weezer)

The closest Weezer ever came to metal was their (vastly underrated) 2002 album Maladroit, which incorporates some metal riffing into their slick power pop sound. This metal influence harkened back to frontman Rivers Cuomo early days as a musician, when he was a member of the Connecticut-based prog-metal band Avant Garde, which was active from 1985 to 1990, before Weezer was formed. Weezer's most recent reference to Cuomo's metal past is the title of their 2010 compilation Death to False Metal.

5. Jeff Buckley

Late singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley may be known for his heavenly, vaguely psychedelic alt-rock and folk songs, but before he pursued a solo career in the early '90s, Buckley's first passion was heavy metal, particularly Van Halen and Led Zeppelin. In fact, it was said that moments before he accidentally drowned in Memphis's Wolf River Harbor in 1997, Buckley was singing along to Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," which was playing from a radio up on the shore.

What other non-metal musicians love metal? Let us know down in the comments section!

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