Top 10 Early Career Ideas of Metal Musicians

Metal_Treasure
I put higher the musicians whose earlier career ideas were far from what they became known for, esp. when those ideas were not related to music at all or not related to metal.

The Top Ten

1 Respiratory Therapist - Tom Araya Respiratory Therapist - Tom Araya Tomás Enrique "Tom" Araya Díaz is a Chilean American musician, best known as the bassist and vocalist of the American thrash metal band Slayer.

He enrolled in a two-year course to become a certified respiratory therapist. His father and sister insisted on that and he did it. Araya's father told him he either find a job or enroll in the course. - Metal_Treasure

2 Journalist, Organ Player - Tobias Sammet Journalist, Organ Player - Tobias Sammet Tobias Sammet is a German metal musician, best known as the vocalist and primary songwriter of the power metal band Edguy, as well as the founder, main singer and bassist of the metal opera Avantasia.

Journalism was his child dream but he founded Edguy at 14 and never studied Journalism.
He can play organ though (he began lessons very early) and that was the reason he was originally the keyboardist for Edguy, but became the lead singer and bassist, and occasionally - keyboardist. - Metal_Treasure

3 Psychologist - Zachary "Zak" Stevens

Savatage singer even got a university diploma in Psychology but never practiced. - Metal_Treasure

4 Classical Violinist - Tim Charles Classical Violinist - Tim Charles

He's a classically trained violinist (began lessons at 6) but in his teenage years he got into metal and joined Ne Obliviscaris to play violin.
But he also became a lead singer (clean vocals) because the band auditioned a few female singers that were't suitable. Then Tim volunteered and said "I can sing a little bit".
Turned out, the singing ability he had was more than "a little bit". - Metal_Treasure

5 Drug Dealer - Dave Mustaine Drug Dealer - Dave Mustaine David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own ...read more.

He sold pot for a living (before he joined Metallica). "I’d been living on my own since I was 15. Every day was get up and play guitar and sell pot for a living. That was my existence" - Dave Mustaine

Also, Megadeth's first manager was their drug dealer. Dave Mustaine admitted regretting this decision, “We chose a manager based on what he could provide for us, because he was the drug dealer to the band," he said. "We were so blinded by partying. [Bandmates] Gar [Samuelson] and Chris [Poland] were living a certain lifestyle, and when Dave Ellefson and I met with them, instead of them becoming more like us, we became more like them, and we started compromising just about everything.”

Drummer Gar Samuelson (RIP) was with a blossoming heroin addiction. - Metal_Treasure

6 Pianist, Drummer - James Hetfield Pianist, Drummer - James Hetfield James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

The first instruments he played were piano and drums. He first began piano lessons at 9. - Metal_Treasure

7 Drummer - Bruce Dickinson Drummer - Bruce Dickinson Paul Bruce Dickinson, known professionally as Bruce Dickinson, is an English musician, airline pilot, and broadcaster. He is most well known for being the lead singer in heavy metal band Iron Maiden and his solo career.

It was a short-lived dream though - Metal_Treasure

8 Guitarist - Jon Oliva Guitarist - Jon Oliva John Nicholas Oliva, known as Jon Oliva, is an American composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer. Co-founder of the metal band Savatage and the rock opera Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He's got a real 4 octave range, able to morph the sound of his voice to any style, from John Lennon and Freddie Mercury, ...read more.

He was even the original guitar player for Savatage but he realized that the talent of his brother Criss was superior to his and swapped with his brother. RIP. Criss.
Jon Oliva is actually a great singer, very good pianist/keyboardist, OK guitarist, OK bassist and OK drummer. - Metal_Treasure

9 Metal Guitarist - Hansi Kürsch Metal Guitarist - Hansi Kürsch Hansi Kürsch, born Hans Jürgen Kürsch, is the lead singer, lyricist, co-composer and bassist for German power metal band Blind Guardian . Heavily influenced by Freddie Mercury, he creates a huge choir effect by overdubbing his own voice multiple times in complex, overlapping vocal harmonies. He records ...read more.

He became a metal singer. And a bassist. But not a guitarist. - Metal_Treasure

10 Pianist - Steffen Kummerer Pianist - Steffen Kummerer Steffen Kummerer (born June 1, 1985) is a German guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and producer. He is the leader, main songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist for the (technical) death metal band Obscura as well as the black metal band Thulcandra.

He was in a school for musically gifted kids where he studied mainly piano (and composition, music theory and history).
Similarly to Tim Charles of NeO, in his teen years he got into metal and began playing guitar at 16-17 or so. He also learned to play bass and drums. - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 Drummer - Todd La Torre Drummer - Todd La Torre Todd La Torre is an American singer and drummer. He is the lead singer for the progressive metal band Queensrÿche, and a former lead vocalist of the bands Crimson Glory and Rising West.

He actually was a drummer for about 20 years but eventually became a singer. - Metal_Treasure

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