Get your best mosh-shorts out of your drawer because Metal Spin Class is coming to Australia, it’s called Ride the Lightning and we’re inviting you to make history and attend the very first event.
Think loud; think ferocious; think endorphins. This idea is incredibly exciting – consider the prospect of getting fit to blistering riffs and soaring breakdowns.
To make this possible, Wall of Sound are supporting one of our very own long-time writers Ricky Aarons, who’s bringing the concept to life with Melbourne’s music-centric rhythm cycle studio United Ride in Richmond.
But first, let’s take a step back and look at how this all came about. There’s been a fitness revolution in recent years, and we all know it. We’ve seen fads like F45 and CrossFit take off, as well as contemporary work-out classes like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) take over our gyms. We’ve adopted some of these fads to an extent, but we’ve also disregarded a lot of it for good reason.
To put it simply, the average metal-head is diehard. We make up the most dedicated fanbase of any other genre, just ask Spotify. We head-bang, we mosh viciously, we like to MOVE, and we take metal seriously. What we don’t like, is moving our bodies to the radio’s top forty rotation, and we certainly don’t get through that final hill-climb to the drum and bass track of the class that everyone else is frothing over. And no, we’re not waiting for the ‘drop’ – but we might be interested in waiting for a blistering breakdown.
Enter Metal Spin Class, pretty neat right? But don’t be fooled, we’re not claiming to pioneer this concept at all. In fact, the Download Festival UK tickled the idea in 2017 (check it out below) and it’s been dabbled with in places like New York (read about it here) and we believe there may even be traces of it here in Australia.
Ricky’s vision with Ride the Lightning is to create a regular cycle session with United Ride whereby heavy music enthusiasts can rock-up in their favourite band-tee and sweat it out to a mix of the sickest tunes, new and old, loud and fast. So, we think there’s something for everyone in this class; whether you’re into the old-school thrash of Metallica, the newest bangers from Slipknot or some more contemporary metalcore hits from the like of Parkway Drive or Northlane.
So, who are United Ride (UR) and why are they the right cycle studio for the job? Well, we caught up with collaborator Mel Nixon, co-owner of United Ride, who sheds some light on what the studio means to her and why Ride the Lightning will be a special event that takes off in the studio.
“I took over the studio about five months ago now” she tells us with pride as UR is “the first rhythm riding studio in Australia, and we’re ultimately at the fore front of rhythm riding now, we’re very competitive with other studios in Australia and we’re very community based. We want everyone to feel free to come in and share their journey with us.”
And that ‘community-feel’ includes us alternative music lovers on the periphery.
“Our community is very like-minded, a lot of our people work for charities and are in the fitness community, so we all have each other’s backs, there’s never any judgement in our studio, and no one ever feels like they have to be of a certain level of fitness, look in a certain way or wear certain clothing, and that’s why I love UR.”
The reason Ricky approached UR was because of their ‘music-first’ approach to cycle classes, as opposed to the uniform Les Mills playlists that get delivered to gyms around the world.
“Ultimately, all of our instructors need to have a sense of rhythm, need to love music. Our instructors don’t just jump up there and throw on any playlist; hours and hours go into them, and with so many classes every week, we need a new playlist every time to keep it fresh, so you have to know your music and love your music and take the people through a journey.”
So obviously for us it seems like a good match with UR, but as any collaboration goes, it’s curious that UR are welcoming us to invade their studio for forty-five sweaty minutes – but it turns out we’re not too many moons apart.
“Certain genres work well with spin due to the beats and bass, so there’s no reason why rock or heavy metal couldn’t work, you use instruments, still have BPMs (beats per minute), just like they apply to RnB and other genres. And in a way, if we’re not playing [metal], I feel like we’re discriminating. So just another layer for us to introduce, and who knows, maybe some of our [existing] clients go home and listen to Slipknot, you just never know.”
Mel is not only keen to welcome Ride the Lightning to UR but she wants to personally run it, and there’s a good reason for it. “As a customer when I used to come into a class and a trainer would come in and play a throwback to me, not necessarily metal, just something old school, I know how excited I used to get, and I never realised how excited others would get to.”
So Mel doesn’t only get it, she also used to live it in a past life. “I was in radio for fifteen years in talent acquisition, so I was in charge with interviewing all the bands coming into Australia, jam with them while they’d do intros into advertising slots, and I would take them, to gigs and hang out with them in Melbourne, so the music’s in my blood.
We asked Mel if she reckons she can handle the heaviest of heavy and she was confident that it won’t be a problem; queue Make Them Suffer in the playlist.
So are you keen to get involved? Maybe you want to be a bit fitter at your next gig and last longer in the pit, or you’re getting some cardio in before the silly season – either way if you’re wanting to try something new and mix up your exercise regime, join the metal community to support heavy music.
Wall of Sound Presents: Ride the Lightning – Metal Spin Class
Debut Session – November 30th @ United Ride
1/110 Swan St, Richmond VIC
Spots Limited – Register Here