It started about ten years ago. In the Mens Room at our offices in Escondido that we’d recently moved into. It was like most office restrooms. Too bright. Sterile. Not a modicum of design. Laid out on a CAD drawing once upon a time (the offices were new to us, but definitely not new), and executed with banal efficiency. Without style. Or thought. Materials quality were the very definition of mediocrity.
And it was way too reverberant in there. Every sound was amplified. So, I hit on what seemed to be an obvious solution. Add music. And what kind of music? Also obvious. Death Metal.
We began by using a little plug-in boom box. That sufficed for the short term, but the devices weren’t really designed to run all the time. So we upgraded to speakers that were installed in the ceiling. The person who’s desk shared a wall with the Mens Room complained about the all-day-long noise. It took a while to find the right equilibrium, but we did. It wasn’t as loud as would be ideal, but it was loud enough.
Death Metal wasn’t the first choice for some of the guys. Weird, I know. There were a variety of suggestions. I shot them all down. I didn’t want to come into the Mens Room and hear “Take On Me” by A-Ha, or Pink Floyd’s “Welcome To The Machine.” Not the right time, or place. I love working with our team on decisions and coming to consensus when possible. This was not the right time, place or subject matter for consensus. Death Metal it would be, no argument. At the time, there was another restroom without speakers less than 30 seconds away. Use that one if you preferred.
It wasn’t long before the ladies in the company started to say things like “Why don’t we have music in the Women’s Room?”
A fair question. “Fine with me, but it’s really none of my damn business if you have music in there, or what you choose to play,” I said. I made it clear that if they wanted music, the company would pay to install the system, but I would have no part in the playlist. The system was requested, and so we got it installed. Periodically I’d hear that this style or that style being played. OK. Since then, we’ve moved offices a couple times. Is there music in the Womens Room these days? I honestly have no idea. None of my damn business.
Is there Death Metal playing in the Mens Room? There damn well should be.
Over the years we’ve brought the ethos of Death Metal in the Mens Room to the public side of our operation. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido? Check. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Liberty Station? Yep. Stone Napa? One of the best sound systems we’ve got. Even our two places in Berlin and our one in Shanghai had it. Cranked up as loud as we can have it without it bleeding too much into the room outside.
In late July 2021, we decided to write a small variety of about 20 phrases to be printed underneath our bottle crowns. The idea was proposed to me by our creative team, and I thought it was a great idea. I made some comments on the initial list they proposed, with a thumbs up to most of them. I added “For the phrases, I’d like to see us have some non-sequitur, apropos of nothing phrases mixed in.”
I also proposed a few. “Death Metal In The Mens Room” was one.
The phrases we collectively chose to include were the result of a wide range of submissions, and culling. The one that garnered the highest amount of debate? You guessed it.
The fear was that it was too ‘insider.’ Perhaps so, but no longer with this blog post, amirite. Anyway, that’s what non-sequitur apropos of nothing is.
And so, there you go. That’s why “Death Metal In The Mens Room” is one of the phrases underneath our bottle caps.
If you’re someone reading this who expects to be visiting the Womens Room at a Stone location in the future and want to know what kind of music will be playing in there, I can tell you unequivocally, I have no bloody idea. Not up to me. There’s plenty of time between now and the time the new crowns are out in the marketplace for our CEO Maria, or any other of the women at Stone that choose, to take the lead on that question to enact whatever plan they would like. Or, it could be that it’s just not enough of a priority for it to stay on their radar, and that’s fine too.
Honestly, it’s none of my damn business, but they have my full support with whatever they choose!