The year was 2001. Within many English-speaking countries there was a grassroots campaign effort to get citizens to fill in the religious affiliation portion of their census form with “Jedi” (See also Jedi Census Phenomenon). The campaign saw reasonable success in some countries, even beating out Hindu and Buddhism in New Zealand by garnering approximately 1.5% of the populations’ census forms. Similar results were seen in Australia, England and Canada.
A decade later, Metal Hammer and Saxon‘s Biff Byford seeks to create a similar campaign for metal. To quote Ozzy Osbourne, “Rock’n’roll is my religion and my law…” (From “You Can’t Kill Rock & Roll” in Metal Hammer).
This year, Biff and Metal Hammer are teaming up to get the “metal as religion” campaign off the ground. In the short time since announcing the campaign, they’ve already amassed quite a following (as of February 11th, the campaign’s Facebook page has nearly 19,000 fans). Metal Hammer‘s press release gives more information about the reason behind the campaign, as well as some great quotes from Biff.
Radio stations and news sources around the UK are starting to catch wind of this campaign, and how serious it can get. Some media outlets, such as The Guardian, meet the campaign with skepticism while various radio stations, such as BBC Radio 4, have had discussions on the matter. The campaign has even had attention on BBC Channel 5′s news!
The folks at Metal Hammer asked if metal were to be a religion, what bands, musicians, cities, etc. should be regarded as “holy”? You can e-mail them your suggestions but let us know too by posting your picks below!
If you want to follow the campaign, check out the Heavy Metal For the 2011 Census page!