Why are metal drummers looked down on?

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
When I look for a new car, I'm glad there aren't only Hondas and Toyotas. I'm glad there aren't only sub compacts and SUVs. I own a Chevy pickup truck.

When I listen to or play music, I'm glad there isn't only rock and jazz. I may not love or play every genre, but I love knowing that all those types of music are out there to choose from.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Sory, thought I had slipped onto a timewarp there. I thought we had just had this discussion
in another thread about two weeks ago???
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I guess there is a bit of a condesending attitude in some circles.
Mike Mangini in the March issue of Modern Drummer said (and I am paraphrasing) that drummers like him and several others (he names) who practice this craft don't seem to get the respect for all of the intense study and practing that is required that they put in to their craft. It is extremly intense drumming that still requires all of the finesse of a jazz drummer (for example). If I could play that way I would be very impressed with myself, as it is I could not touch it with a 60 foot pole. I don't have to be an avid listener of a certain style of music to recognise quality. So I guess I would just ignore any comments that tick you off and just keep on keeping on.
I think I know why. Other styles, especially jazz and classical, do feel they are operating at a more musical level, and that the general metal vibe seems (maybe incorrectly so) to run at a feeling of either intense or more intense. I think of metal drummers the same way an athlete in many sports may consider body builders: it's light on application (in my opinion), but man you've absolutely gotta admire the commitment and work ethic.
 

metal overlord

Gold Member
Maybe it's because metal is a youth thing. Or, for that matter, still a young (not just 'young-person') genre. Back in the day, when rock and roll first formed, it too was also considered just 'talentless noise'. But it was just a new born, evolving genre that held beliefs of rebellion to the old ways. I'm sure all the elder drummers of that time also looked down upon those 'damned rock and roll drummers' too. Same thing goes for metal, it is still a relatively newer form of musical art. It's still the revolt, pushing its way into the mainstream even now. Drummers of age may simply be stuck in a rut, for they're more expirienced with what was before rather than now. People just don't like change. Music, like anything else, changes and grows.

Going back to my youth point, what is youth known for? Energy. What is metal known for? Energy. Metal isn't what is in the head, but what is in the heart. Speed and technicality are at the forefront to some, but to play to show off just takes away the soul of it. It's the passion, the adrenaline rush, the thunder of the band and the roar of the crowd that makes a metalheads heart melt. Maybe that's something our previous generations have a lack on understanding too. The feeling that 20's beebop drummers had, and the dance like grooves and feel of it all, has only just grown into a new beast. Instead of an upbeat 'dancy" tune, metal has taken that to a new level by pumping massive ammounts of energy out each and every night. The same bloodline of generations before them, but moved on. Instead of a ballroom dance, its a field or arena (or bar) warzone. Moshpits may be viewed as extremely stupid to some, but it's just a metalheads way of letting the energy flow (just like dancing, but... a tad more brutal haha).

Such a long and dragged out post. My apologies if it's worded strangely, it's very hard to convey my thoughts into words. Especially listening to Iron Maiden after a couple beers
 

LanceG33

Member
Or, for that matter, still a young (not just 'young-person') genre. Back in the day, when rock and roll first formed, it too was also considered just 'talentless noise'.
This.

Metal is still a relative babe in the woods and is currently undergoing its hazing period into 'legitamacy.' But there are enough mega-talents in the genre that the discussion is different that it was in the 80s and even the 90s.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
This.

Metal is still a relative babe in the woods and is currently undergoing its hazing period into 'legitamacy.' But there are enough mega-talents in the genre that the discussion is different that it was in the 80s and even the 90s.
The way I think of "metal" from my childhood, it was actually better than the pure double-bass drum fest that I see getting called "metal" today. Even the guys that did play shorter "blasts" seemed to be able to do it without focusing on how fast or how long they could. Now days it's like the primary and sometimes sole focus of "metal drumming". It just doesn't sound good to me. Usually when I hear it, I'm thinking... "Man, there is so much opportunity to do something other than fill every space with slightly different double bass variations devoid of dynamics or real musical consideration."
 

zakhopper316

Silver Member
I've seen way more incompetent metal drummers then jazz drummers so that may have something to do with it.

Still there are some really talented metal drummers.
 

LanceG33

Member
The way I think of "metal" from my childhood, it was actually better than the pure double-bass drum fest that I see getting called "metal" today.
By and large I agree. But it has take some time for the general population to accept that Bill Ward might be a drummer worth a second or third listen. I think it almost took mainstream acceptance of metal before the original progenitors could get their just due.

To your other points, the older I get I find myself listening to less and less of the current, next-gen metal bands and exploring more post-rock offerings. The draw being a much less 'canonized' form of music.

While I like double bass when used as a pummelling accent, it is more or less used as a foundational beat in modern metal and that does not interest my ears much.
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
It's an immature thing to look down on other styles. I find your style repulsive to my ears, esp. blast beats. But, I admire the dedication and I've come to realize that it's wrong to judge the merits of an art form based solely on my tastes. Choosing to consume it is all about my tastes, but its validity doesn't require that I like it.

Honestly, if someone talks down your style, it sort of disqualifies them as a valid opinion. A lot of artists search for validation by pulling others down. Saying they don't like it is one thing, saying it's a lesser form is another. You can always hand the sticks to the next guy who says it's easy, and say "show me".
I only had to get two posts into this thread to see something I totally agree with. Bravo.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I don't know that metal drummers are looked down upon. I think it's metal music that's looked down upon, usually by drummers of the previous generations. You'll likely dislike your kid's music too.
I'm not of the metal generation and the things that turn me off to metal are as follows:

No space. Space in songs draws me in. Too many notes repel me.
Much to angry for me, I want to be soothed with pleasure, not aurally assaulted.
They play so many notes, they lose their effect. Excess doesn't exceed with me.
When the growling starts, I get depressed. I really hate that sound. It makes me dislike the direction music is taking. It make me think the human race won't make it. It's not positive as far as I can tell. Plus I cannot for the life of me make out what they're saying. I get the feeling that they are spewing hate. Even if they aren't, it sounds that way.
The drumming to me sounds so incredibly crazy difficult, why would I ever want to work that hard for something that repulses me so much? Not in a hundred years.
It's very ego driven music. It's all about the players anymore it seems. Get over yourselves.

I like some earlier metal, because I can understand the songs.
The drummers that can play metal...can wipe the floor with me technically. So I would never down them anywhere. I don't laugh behind my back at their music preferences either, they are from different generations, with different values and circumstances. To each their own.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Debating over with is more valid/harder/easier is beyond pointless and stupid.
+1. Just learn how to freakin' play whatever style you choose "balls to the walls" ..... and do it !!! Make it look easy. Don't worry that some somebody/nobody thinks your style isn't quite up to their high standards.​
These "stereotypes" .... metal drummers are cavemen ..... jazz drummers are weak snobs ..... it's all BS. Most all stereotypes are.​
I respect any cat, who's making a living, playing tubs. I respect any cat who's got gold records on his walls, and world tours under his belt. And, honestly, I plain old respect any drummer who's just plain old tryin' his best, to entertain. Any cat who can sit/stand in front of people, and entertain them, and get called back to entertain them again .... hey, my hats off.​
Living almost my whole life in L.A., I've met a lot of great drummers. Pros. And I've never heard one (not one, out of hundreds), ever talk smack about another drummers style of music, or talent. The guys who talk smack, they're the dudes who have absolutely nothing going on. They sit in their rooms, play their drums, drink their drink, smoke their smoke ..... and talk endless smack about the cats who are actually out there doing it.​
There simply isn't enough time in my day for their negativity. Like trying to "teach a pig to sing", arguing with these meatheads is just a waste of time. When I was a young man, I had time to waste (or so I thought). At 55, I cherish all my time. Ain't got no time to "teach pigs to sing" no more.​
 

BYUDOG

Member
Metal bass players are treated bad too. Im not a huge metal fan but i respect the skill that goes into it. The problem is closed minded people.

However, i would like to also address that a lot of metal guys look down on every other kind of music too.
 

zampa85

Junior Member
I've been listening to discussions like this for a long time, and honestly I don't understand why....

Don't get me wrong, I'm not snob...I just think of music in another way...or maybe I like most kind of music, so I can't even see some differences among the genres. And most of all, I don't get the idea of better/worst in music.
I just care of people saying something (to me) while playing, no matters how.

Maybe with jazz it's easier to express yourself...but then you hear lot of players sounding exactly the same...
Metal it's more "structured", so it could be more difficult to show some personality...but then you got some drummers you can recognize with two strokes...

I stop here, I could get really boring... :D

PS: My personal battle...
the MAIN (or I'd say UNIQUE) difference between jazz and other genres is the sound of the recording.
ok, for metal and rock you may need some "boost"...but if you listen to jazz, you feel what they're actually playing.
if you listen to some rock (and metal especially), you hear a heavy edited music. So most of the time all the drummers sound exactly the same. and I HATE that. I can't stand it, and maybe that's the reason why I don't listen to much metal anymore...
I wanna get feelings from musician, and processing and editing the music you jest eliminate them...
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Here's an example of some good metal. I get the feeling that some of you guys haven't heard good metal. To me metal is a lot like country in that I like a few songs but definitely not all of it and not for too long. I have hours of metal music and it took me awhile to sift through it all to get enough songs I like to put on a mix CD for the car.
 

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Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I respect any cat, who's making a living, playing tubs. I respect any cat who's got gold records on his walls, and world tours under his belt. And, honestly, I plain old respect any drummer who's just plain old tryin' his best, to entertain. Any cat who can sit/stand in front of people, and entertain them, and get called back to entertain them again .... hey, my hats off.​


This ^^^

Not every styles of music has a huge appeal to me, but there's always something I will enjoy and appreciate in any style of music, metal is no exeption, but if a type of music is not my cup of tea, I will respect the drummer's work :)
 

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
I like some earlier metal, because I can understand the songs
I get the feeling that some of you guys haven't heard good metal
I see Larry's point, because I feel modern metal has lost some of the grandeur of it's forebears. When I think "metal" I think South of Heaven by Slayer. I thought the track Zephyr put up was okay, but metal nowadays seems lacking to my ears. What used to excite me about metal was either the slow, menacing, bludgeoning wall-of-sound - like the intro to Down to None by Machine Head, or the way the whole band can take a page from the drummer's book and play everything with a more percussive feel such as Refuse/Resist by Sepultura.

I'm sure I'll sound like an old fart saying this - and I'm open to some recommendations, but bizarrely enough I feel modern metal just doesn't have enough balls to interest me.
 

Mark_S

Silver Member
Here's an example of some good metal. I get the feeling that some of you guys haven't heard good metal. To me metal is a lot like country in that I like a few songs but definitely not all of it and not for too long. I have hours of metal music and it took me awhile to sift through it all to get enough songs I like to put on a mix CD for the car.
For me, when I think of good metal I think of Iron Maiden; much more tasty and intricate drumming to my ears and just shows you can do metal without a double pedal. I've always loved "Childred of the damned" for example.

I tend to find a lot of modern metal all sounds very similar; low gravily angry sounding vocals and chugging guitars, lots of clicky double bass (sometimes tastful sometimes not), not much melody and very over compressed production. But then again I'm an old fart at 33 years of age that's stuck in his ways! Each to their own at the end of the day, but that track didn't do anything for me. We all like different things though right? What we like shouldn't have anything to do with what someone else likes.

Regarding the topic at hand, I find a lot of metal drummers amazing - very athletic. I think the only drummer to look down on is the drummer that really can't be bothered to play the gig to the best of their ability for the audience that's come to see them.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
I do not care what in life it is that people do, people want respect & appreciation. When they do not get it, some people lash out in an aggressive or passive manner. I believe it all comes down to a poor combination of insecurity & ego.

I think more people need to be honest with themselves about what their weaknesses are. Many choices that are made, be it likes & dislikes, are based purely on what people can attempt, understand, and/or relate to. Then it is a matter of whether the person can handle the rejection or not regarding the path they chosen.

It is their insecurity & ego that causes the backlash of Jazz snobbery, which I believe is due to the fact the genre has been slowly dying since the popular introduction of Rock-n-Roll. It is their insecurity & ego that the Prog & Progressive Metal elitist and Indie Rock snobs have to flaunt what they believe has technical prowess and artistic credibility respectively. It is ultimately insecurity, ego and perhaps jealousy that people feel the need to trash a popular artist, no matter how easy it is to do so.

Very few can do everything exceptional. How many athletes have played multiple sports on a professional level? How many of the top architects are fine art masters showing in galleries? How many top drummers have played with both the top jazz and metal artists?

"There are 2 kinds of music, bad & good. I prefer to listen to the latter." - John Coltrane

It simply comes down to being confident in one's self & abilities and appreciating what others can do that is different.
 

shadowlorde

Senior Member
good drumming is good drumming .. and i am a huge metal fan

but for the people who don't listen to enough metal to really hear it all i can see how the un-metalcated can say .. " so ..he's just playing a single stroke roll at a retarded speed for an hour .. BORED!"

I have seen so many youtube vids of someone who is a teen and can blast at ludacris speed but the go to play a fill and its the same single stroke crazy stuff .. i prefer gene hoglan, richard christy, jason rullo, steve flyn , and aquiles priester over many extreme death metal drummers .. hoglan, rullo, and priester especially ... not the fastest .. but more than fast enough and creative. and rare to no blasts. blasts were great in morbid angel and cannibal corpse .. they are getting as cliche, predictable, and annoying as autotune in a pop song
 
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