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  #41  
Old 04-16-2013, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
I would also posit that it's a generational and genre gap thing. Because speed and endurance and double bass are emphasized by metal drummers and their followers, and obsessed over by aspiring metal drummers, those who don't hold that those are the key values in drumming (say, jazz, pop, or fusion drummers) are turned off by it.

Another perception (one I personally share) is that many younger and newer drummers focus on the physical, mechanical aspects of drumming with no appreciation of the musical aspects of what they are doing. If you don't know what an eighth, sixteenth, or thirty-second note is or what it means or how it relates to the music, it is much harder to mesh with the rest of the band, and the music becomes a "how fast can you hit things" drill. Since metal is a popular genre with certain segments of the population, metal has a very large proportion of these types of aspiring drummers.

I agree that there is good and bad metal, just as there's good and bad of all kinds of music. And there's always going to be music that's so experimental or outside our personal tastes that it is unapproachable. Add to that the imagery and lifestyle that many metal adherents espouse, many of which emphasize shock value, nonconformity, and running counter to conventional tastes in and of themselves, and it's not hard to see why metal has many more, and more vocal, detractors than, say, freeform jazz or polka.
Nicely put, I totally agree with that.
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  #42  
Old 04-16-2013, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Have no issues with metal per se. But the fans can be great for a giggle.

The daily quest to invent a new sub-genre is an endless source of entertainment for me. With the absolute pinnacle being "christian death metal".....the sheer bloody irony is hilarious.
I think Christian Death Metal is a term that fits quite well. I Die Daily, is a name I've considered for a band name. It comes from the bible. The Apostle Paul said that.
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  #43  
Old 04-16-2013, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Originally Posted by Numberless View Post

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TN7earYLig

This song has a couple of growls, check out the lyrics, the growling distorted voice is so perfect at 5:45, it really makes the song for me, an appropiate musical effect used at the right time to achieve a great emotional impact.

Also listen to this song because it's frigging awesome.
Now that opened my mind a bit. I agree, the vocal affect was perfect for the song. I also liked the composition & performance too.

The reason I'm highlighting this is that screaming/growling vocals are generally the biggest turn off for me. When used as in the above example, I can see it has it's place, but when it's spread all over the song (& usually done far less well than here), I just switch off.

& then there's Sabbath. I like most early Sabbath stuff, but it's most unlike much of the super fast paced stuff I associate with the genre.

The real issue for me is, I don't understand the genre. It doesn't generally interest me, therefore I don't spend any time exploring. I'm sure there are gems in there somewhere. All of that doesn't make me biased in my views re: including metal as a totally valid music form, & I certainly don't attach any form of stigma. Just recently, I have been wowed by Ben's Gloryhammer album, & when I met Derek Roddy last year, found him not only to be a superb gentleman, but also a first class grooving drummer. I might be under educated, musically ignorant, & somewhat close minded, but I apply my life values equally, irrespective of genre association.
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  #44  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

I'm not sure I understand what metal is any more. Growing up there was heavy rock- Deep Purple, Sabbath, Led Zeppllin and then there was the NWBHM bands such as Maiden, Judas Priest (who I never got into inspite of some catchy tunes), Sazon, Def Leopard etc. Then thrash came along with Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeath and the like and my interest dishappeared overnight. I wouldn't invalidate it per se and I get that technically the drummers are very advanced in certain areas, but I just don't get the genre and its sub genres.

I like my music to be musical and the growly shouty 200mph stuff just leaves me cold. I have no issue with its right to exist (some classical music and jazz leaves me in the same boat) as I think every form of music does, even those I can't get into- and there is a tribal bit to it too, as there is with all types of music that are adopted by groups of young people, such as punk, the new romantic movement etc in my lifetime.

I don't think its socially stigmatised- I think its fans, as a group, seek to differentiate themselves from the masses, and people base their reactions on their own reaction to the music. So I wouldn't identify with that grouping as its not my thing, but my brother, on the other hand, does and makes no appology for it.

Variety is the spice of life after all!
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  #45  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

It's just what you're used to. From a distance, it's all just metal, rather like if you went to live in, say, India, you'd probably find that all the music around you just sounded like Indian music. But after a while you'd start to notice the subtle distinctions between different types and it would start to become a 3D world you could explore rather than a single block of stuff. Same is true of metal. I don't think it's really possible to apply generalisations to it beyond the most basic idioms of the genre (instrumentation) as it's just so diverse. When I was 15 you wouldn't have caught me listening to Dimmu Borgir, or Slayer, or probably even Gloryhammer. It took me years of research and getting fully accustomed to how it all worked before I could understand it and appreciate this kind of music for what it was. I can even listen to death metal vocals these days and enjoy it. It's like learning to appreciate scotch whisky.
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  #46  
Old 04-16-2013, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Now that opened my mind a bit. I agree, the vocal affect was perfect for the song. I also liked the composition & performance too.

The reason I'm highlighting this is that screaming/growling vocals are generally the biggest turn off for me. When used as in the above example, I can see it has it's place, but when it's spread all over the song (& usually done far less well than here), I just switch off.

& then there's Sabbath. I like most early Sabbath stuff, but it's most unlike much of the super fast paced stuff I associate with the genre.

The real issue for me is, I don't understand the genre. It doesn't generally interest me, therefore I don't spend any time exploring. I'm sure there are gems in there somewhere. All of that doesn't make me biased in my views re: including metal as a totally valid music form, & I certainly don't attach any form of stigma. Just recently, I have been wowed by Ben's Gloryhammer album, & when I met Derek Roddy last year, found him not only to be a superb gentleman, but also a first class grooving drummer. I might be under educated, musically ignorant, & somewhat close minded, but I apply my life values equally, irrespective of genre association.
keep it simple makes some interesting points in this post. I think a lot of us don't necessarily think metal in an invalid style of music, and can appreciate the technical abilities of some of the musicians. However, there is only so much time in life, and too much music to be able to explore each genre in detail. Metal is so high energy and loud that it kind of naturally appeals to people in their youth. Witness how many of us have posted about liking it when we were younger but not being familiar with the current scene.

For me, having tinnitus from all the loud playing and concert-going I did when I was younger puts me off of loud music now. Also, I have played guitar for over 35 years, but the drums for only 2 years, and I remember reading a lot of people say that learning jazz is the most comprehensive way of learning the drums, since it covers the rudiments and theory so extensively. The more I get into jazz, the more I realize that I could spend the rest of my life exploring this style and not master it, so I'd rather put my time and energy into this.

I did like that link that numberless posted, however. Discovering new things is fun, even if one doesn't spend a lot of time listening to a particular style.
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  #47  
Old 04-16-2013, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

The following video succinctly and comprehensively explains all aspects of the metal genre....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hreqn9j3PHI

And to bigianw :
NWOBHM, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin, Megadeth, Saxon (the more you know).
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  #48  
Old 04-16-2013, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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And to bigianw :
NWOBHM, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin, Megadeth, Saxon (the more you know).
Given NWOBHM = New wave of British heavy metal. I'm gonna dispute Zeppelin (too early to be new wave.....along with contemporaries like Sabbath and Purple, more considered to be early pioneers of the genre) and Megadeth (too American to be British).
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  #49  
Old 04-16-2013, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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& then there's Sabbath. I like most early Sabbath stuff, but it's most unlike much of the super fast paced stuff I associate with the genre.

The real issue for me is, I don't understand the genre. It doesn't generally interest me, therefore I don't spend any time exploring.
Understood, well stated, and understood.

I definitely tend toward the more melodic/less "noise"/not insanely fast end of the metal spectrum myself...most of which I suppose might be considered hard rock.

Also, I have never been a fan of any of the "hair metal" bands of the eighties, or the endless sub-genre cesspool that metal has become. I don't think that the bands in those sub-groups are nearly as bad as the fact that they are all considered different (widely based on the specific following that the groups have) enough to have their own classification.

Grindcore, deathcore, melodic death, extreme metal, technical death, hardcore, groove metal, speed metal etc...It does seem a little self-indulgent. And, I, as a lover of music, just hope that the gems within this world of hard rock/metal are not overlooked or under-enjoyed because of this type of issue.

Not only are there some gems, but there really are some diamonds in the rough; and I think that's true for anyone who considers themselves a fan of AC/DC, Sabbath, Zep, Pink Floyd, Queensryche, Van Halen etc...
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  #50  
Old 04-16-2013, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

Back in my middle/high school years I used to love metal because it served as an outlet from the conformity of traditional private (catholic) school. Everyone was listening to the radio while I was listening to Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, etc. I was never bullied or picked on growing up, I just didn't like what was on the radio at the time and I thought metal was the answer. When I finally got my first double pedal I immediately wanted to be Dave Lombardo and Paul Bostaph so I practiced everyday and performed in metal bands in my garage until about 11th grade where I was at jazz band rehearsal and the bassist invited me to audition for a punk band, I told him punk was not fast enough and he said, "It's almost like metal but it's easier to play. It'll be fun man, you can't be angry all the time." Those very words changed the way I looked at things forever. I realized, "what the hell am I so angry about? Am I 'so metal' that other genres are inferior? Why am I even playing drums for the jazz band?" So even then, metal had its social stigma and I realized I had to get over myself and remember that my passion was drumming. I couldn't imagine where my career would have went if I stuck to metal but it seems like everything has gotten faster and harder these days and every show feels like a marathon of who can play the loudest and fastest. Every now and then I'll listen to the newer metal bands and appreciate their musicianship and I won't forget my friend opening my mind to the rest of world. In short, to me, metal just seems angry.
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  #51  
Old 04-16-2013, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

Music is, and always will be, a reflection of the generation and it's circumstances that spawned said music. It's not good or bad, it just is. You have to be true to yourself and embrace the music that motivates you. Every generation lays claim to "its" music, always has, probably always will. Every new generation generally looks at the next older generations music as at least a little old fashioned. I'm speaking generally here, there's always exceptions. Metal will probably be seen as old fashioned to a kid born in 2020. Just a guess, but it's fairly predictable. It's been like this long before any of us have been here and will be like that long after we're all gone. The term social stigma could easily be termed generation gap IMO.
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  #52  
Old 04-16-2013, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Music is, and always will be, a reflection of the generation and it's circumstances that spawned said music. It's not good or bad, it just is. You have to be true to yourself and embrace the music that motivates you. Every generation lays claim to "its" music, always has, probably always will. Every new generation generally looks at the next older generations music as at least a little old fashioned. I'm speaking generally here, there's always exceptions. Metal will probably be seen as old fashioned to a kid born in 2020. Just a guess, but it's fairly predictable. It's been like this long before any of us have been here and will be like that long after we're all gone. The term social stigma could easily be termed generation gap IMO.
That's a good point. I can hear today's 17-20 year old metalheads in 20 years. "You kids call that music? Why in my day we had bands like Cannibal Corpse and Biohazard and Goatwhore and Beneath the Massacre. Now that was music! Oh yeah, and Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, too!"

OK maybe not the last part so much
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  #53  
Old 04-16-2013, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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That's a good point. I can hear today's 17-20 year old metalheads in 20 years. "You kids call that music? Why in my day we had bands like Cannibal Corpse and Biohazard and Goatwhore and Beneath the Massacre. Now that was music! Oh yeah, and Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, too!"

OK maybe not the last part so much
I think you're off by a generation :) I'm 38 and Cannibal Corpse, Biohazard and Goatwhore were around when I was a kid... not sure about Beneath the Massacre. But yea, it is a good point...

All that 'djent' and *-core the kids now a days a listening to I just don't get... Back in my day we only had 30-40 sub-genres of metal and we loved it.
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  #54  
Old 04-16-2013, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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I definitely tend toward the more melodic/less "noise"/not insanely fast end of the metal spectrum myself...most of which I suppose might be considered hard rock.
That would be my take on the subject too.

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Originally Posted by StickIt View Post
Not only are there some gems, but there really are some diamonds in the rough; and I think that's true for anyone who considers themselves a fan of AC/DC, Sabbath, Zep, Pink Floyd, Queensryche, Van Halen etc...
I was a fan of the bands you mentioned here, so yes, there's some real good stuff out there today (and yesterday too) since I kinda switched off the "metal" type of music.

I have discovered quite a few "gems" because of my daughter, and I listen to them with the same pleasure as those old Purple, Sabbath and Zep records, but like Andy, I don't spend time looking for them nowadays.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Back in my day we only had 30-40 sub-genres of metal and we loved it.
ROFL!

Quote:
like Andy, I don't spend time looking for them nowadays.
That is very understandable. I don't actively search them out anymore myself.

I haven't really heard the amount of discord that I expected, which is awesome, but I also haven't seen anyone break any new ground concerning their feelings toward this music...oh well. I guess, like has been stated, kinda like jazz, it is a genre that you either do or just don't "get" (read enjoy).
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  #56  
Old 04-16-2013, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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All that 'djent' and *-core the kids now a days a listening to I just don't get... Back in my day we only had 30-40 sub-genres of metal and we loved it.
Oh, yeah I can't stand metalcore. The Ocean shares some characteristics, but I do find them an exception to the rule. Meshuggah is the only djent band. Animals a Leaders isn't too bad though, and they're instrumental.
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  #57  
Old 04-16-2013, 09:47 PM
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The funniest (and crudest) metal band out there has to be steel panther hands down. They are a ban mocking the 80s glam rock and metal, and play the part so well. Their music is great and their interviews are even better. As far as the topic goes I think this whole cliche metal image is why people either love it or hate it.
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  #58  
Old 04-16-2013, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Given NWOBHM = New wave of British heavy metal. I'm gonna dispute Zeppelin (too early to be new wave.....along with contemporaries like Sabbath and Purple, more considered to be early pioneers of the genre) and Megadeth (too American to be British).
I was just pointing out all of Ian's spelling mistakes- not suggesting all those bands were NWOBHM : )
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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There are more than a few posts that have struck me as being very direct in attacking/disregarding metal music as a step-child of musical culture. Likewise, there are many posts that advocate it quite strongly. I bet that there is a definite connection to age and musical 'era' there.

I am not an advocate of metal per se', but I do find that there are plenty of songs and some complete albums that are absolutely terrific within the genre. (I'm 31 yo btw)

I am just wondering if anyone cares to share any specific reasons/examples of why they abhor metal music in general...and too, if we might have a debate (using links to songs as an example?) as to the relevance of this music within our musical society in general.

FYI - I do not mean to attempt to 'divide' the forum in any way. Just looking for some mature debate/opinion.
Like most teenage boys, I grew up loving heavy metal. Back in the 1980s, there were just a few hundred metal genres, not like today, when just every band defines a new genre. There was black metal, pop metal, butt rock, mustache metal, hair metal, death metal, D&D metal, maybe a few others. I still love heavy metal and I listen to it frequently.

The genre doesn't get much respect because it's just goofy. The fake satanism, the tattoos, the spikes, the hair, the drug references and bad odors. I love it anyway, although I don't like to admit it publicly, because heavy metal is the Ringo Starr of musical genres - the butt of jokes among the general public, even as it's wildly popular among late teens/early 20s males. It seems there are more people who want to play metal than listen to it.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

Metal WANTS to carry a stigma. That's a huge part of its appeal.
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  #61  
Old 04-17-2013, 03:17 AM
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Metal WANTS to carry a stigma. That's a huge part of its appeal.
+1. That's getting to the quick, innit?

I was wondering about this thread driving home last night trying to put my finger on what it is that I find so grating about the genre (as a whole, but with scads of exceptions). I like loud distorted guitars, screaming vocals, pounding drums, a good technical challenge, etc. For every metal attribute I can think of, I can't point to a single one that makes me think, "no, I don't like that ..."

Then it came to me: It's the uniforms. It's the conformity among the non-conformists. It's what I absolutely LOVED about Helmet - that they looked like regular guys with short hair and normal clothes while absolutely blasting the paint off the walls. But they didn't care to look the part; they didn't want to be these method actors trying to look convincing all the time. Or never, really. They didn't have to.

I can pretty much extend that thought out to any purist form of music, be it punk, country, jazz, blues, or whatever. As soon as I see people doing the method acting bit, I get real skeptical and start questioning the actual art part of it, like where's *your contribution* to the world? Does your aesthetic sense really happen to align with everything your peers are doing? Seems unlikely. More likely it's an exclusive club to join.

I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member - Groucho Marx. I love that line.

I know it probably isn't fair of me to have that first reaction and I do grant a lot of passes (gee, how nice of me, right?) ... I just don't dig the acting bit or uniforms when it comes to my own musical preferences.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

To be fair, I think it's it's extremely difficult to change an opinion by expressing your own opinion. I'm aware that a lot of people have predetermined notions about all sorts of genres and there's not much that can be said to change that.
The stigma associated with metal music is similar to the stigmas associated with, say, rap and noise- although the stigmas come from different places, they all begin due to misunderstanding, beliefs passed down from peers and role models, and so on (People have had problems with vocalists screaming in music for generations now; perhaps Little Richard was the first? ;)). Metal is a genre as unspecific as pop. Pop encompasses all sorts of musicians, from David Bowie, to John Mellencamp, to Usher. Similarly, metal includes groups as varied as Kayo Dot, Pig Destroyer, Earth, and Kylesa, all of whom create entirely different styles of metal. Not all metal is double bass, growls, and distorted guitars yknow. John Zorn's Naked City did a pretty incredible job of mashing all sorts of genres together.. Decrying an entire genre based on certain exceptions is pretty harsh. As someone who attempts to listen to and appreciate as much music as possible, I feel like every genre has its ups and downs, and its worth exploring as much as possible. That may mean falling into some pitfalls, but there's always a chance you can find something interesting.
By the way, for those who have no interest in modern metalcore, I recommend trying Botch, Boysetsfire, and early Converge. Modern popular metalcore is admittedly pretty divisive. If you don't like the sound, most of the bands absolutely won't change your mind. The genre's roots are worth exploring though. It's kinda the same thing with most hardcore.

tl;dr the stigma is par for the course with all genres of music nowadays, and the bad qualities always speak louder than the positives. To each their own, but a little open mindedness never hurt.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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It's what I absolutely LOVED about Helmet - that they looked like regular guys with short hair and normal clothes while absolutely blasting the paint off the walls. But they didn't care to look the part; they didn't want to be these method actors trying to look convincing all the time.
Totally agreed. Metal is who you are, what you like and what you play -- not a fashion statement. Unfortunately, there have always been the bands that consider image as important as the music they play, whether mainstream or underground. These people, along with their goofy actions, have always created the stigma for the genre. When Metallica blew up in the 80's, they were basically wearing the street clothes they always wore, resisting the current trend to wear makeup and women's lingerie. Or the bands that came out of Seatle in the late 80's/early 90's... They were just wearing what they normally wore... Unfortunately, out of that came the fashion called "grunge" -- which btw is not a type of music, unbeknownst to many.

I consider myself to be an open-minded, musically-diversified individual, and metal is one type of music I enjoy (although given the amount of metal bands, I am VERY selective in what I like). I also notice the older I'm getting, that love for metal is not going away... if anything it's increasing. Having said that, I've felt embarrassed for a LOT of fans I've seen at shows, especially the nod to yesteryear of wearing leather vests with band patches that's coming back.. "How cute, your mom has sewn your clothes for you". Anytime I go to a metal show, I try to avoid the black t-shirt thing, because it has really become a type of conformity (the last show I went to, I wore a baby blue Arrested Development "Frozen Banana Stand" shirt!). I've played with guys before that, before the show, asked, "you're not wearing that on stage are you?".

Moral of the story: Just be yourself, and don't apologize for the music you're drawn to.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

I regard what we've done with the image in Gloryhammer as a bit of a send-up of this obsession that the metal community has with pretending it isn't image-obsessed. You'd be amazed how many people complained that our singer doesn't have long hair and a beard. And yet they're criticizing us for dressing up in a daft way because it's about the music. Clearly this does not make sense at all. However, that's not to say that it's a bad thing, it's just that everybody presents an image whatever they do. Metallica presented an image of authenticity because they weren't trying too hard...but if they'd worn pastel-coloured tank tops in their everyday life, and then worn that on stage, I think they would have been laughed at however good the music was.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

Over on talk bass, there is a running joke question, which is:

"What's the best bass for Metal?"

This is always a trigger of merriment and for those that don't get it; vociferous arguement.

The analogy with Jazz is a good one because the biggest flaming of others goes on within these 2 genres. Er ... IMHO, AFAIK and LOL?

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Old 04-17-2013, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

Both metal fans and jazz fans are defending 'their' music against all comers, be that Kenny G or Evanescence...
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

I guess that's right.

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Old 04-17-2013, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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I just don't dig the acting bit or uniforms when it comes to my own musical preferences.
That is a very valid point, and I agree. I don't mind a little insanity at a concert, though, lol.

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I try to avoid the black t-shirt thing, because it has really become a type of conformity
+1
I have joined your revolt. It is annoying and hilarious that Rock n' Roll has gone from rebellion all the way back around to conformity. I mean, a style is a style, but everyone (EVERYONE) has a black t-shirt on?!

Haven't listened to Helmet in a while...sounds like a great idea.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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+1. That's getting to the quick, innit?

I was wondering about this thread driving home last night trying to put my finger on what it is that I find so grating about the genre (as a whole, but with scads of exceptions). I like loud distorted guitars, screaming vocals, pounding drums, a good technical challenge, etc. For every metal attribute I can think of, I can't point to a single one that makes me think, "no, I don't like that ..."

Then it came to me: It's the uniforms. It's the conformity among the non-conformists.
In terms of hair metal, I absolutely agree.
In the late 80's, sometimes I'd get ahold of the musician wanted ads from LA, and they were hilarious. Instead of say "drummer wanted, must be into this band and that band" it was say "drummer wanted, must have this color hair, of this length, don't apply if you have this type of hair.." Absolutely ridiculous.

Outside of that, I disagree. I liked how in the 80's if you flipped through a magazine, the band photos told you something about the band. The new wave bands had their funny hair cuts. The classic rock bands had their look. The poofy metal bands had the big hair. Then someone like Metallica would come along with their jean jackets and plain t-shirts; it told you there was something different. When Guns and Roses came out, one look at a band photo and you knew they were different from the rest of the sunset strip bands.

These days, if you flip through a magazine, all the bands look the same. You can't tell a pop band from a punk band from an extreme metal band, they have the same basic looks.


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It's what I absolutely LOVED about Helmet - that they looked like regular guys with short hair and normal clothes while absolutely blasting the paint off the walls. But they didn't care to look the part; they didn't want to be these method actors trying to look convincing all the time. Or never, really. They didn't have to.
But to me, that quickly became just as pretentious.

As I've said, I always thought the great irony in grunge was it was supposed to be about rebelling against the "uniform" of spandex and hair spray but instead, it was just replaced by a new uniform of moppy hair cut and flannel shirts. 100 guys trying to look like David Lee Roth vs 100 guys trying to look like Kurt Cobain; it's still 100 guys following a trend.
I remember talking to bands looking for a drummer in the 90's, and conversations would be like "cut your hair, get some appropriate flannel shirts, and don't tell anyone you own an 80's album". Not much different that being told to have your hair a certain color.

Then it became "lets try to not look like anyone". And it seemed some bands almost went out of their way to try to not look like a band. And I just think "well, what's the matter, are you afraid your mom might find out you play in band?

Rock has always been about being dangerous and visual.
Think Elvis. He looked (as far as his time period was) dangerous.
Johnny Cash all in black. The rebel.
The Beatles all looked nice and all in their nice suits, but those mop top hair cuts were considered dangerous. The look was part of the band.
The flower power bands with the long hair and tye dye shirts; Dangerous to society.
Hard rock and metal with the leather, really dangerous.

Now, where the danger? Where is the expression? Every band now looks like the guy at the coffee shop.

As 8mile said, Metal WANTS to carry a stigma, it's the appeal. But there is no stigma when you it look like your mom dressed you for band practice.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

I just went to my first metal show in a long while a few weeks ago. As I Lay Dying with The devil Wears Prada. My 16 year old son wanted to go..it was his first concert. Good stuff! I'm 47 now. I grew up in a musical household where my dad (RIP) was the leader of a swing band for as long as I can remember. I get the same charge out of Benny Goodman and Miles Davis and Brubeck and Husker Du and Helmet and Joe Jackson and Missing Persons and Black Flag. NWOBHM was totally it for me when I was younger of course..and then came Metallica so I got into punk!

Anyway..That show I saw with my son yes, contained some stereotypes, but there were girls there too! And the band members I was surprised to see contained short haired normal guys, hipster looking bass players, and P90X style macho man muscles...not like the drugged out waifs back in the day. Except Ozzy who always looked a little pudgy. During the talk to the audience parts, they were very polite and friendly. I never could stand that part of the grunge era...they all seemed so depressed and douche-baggy!

Great show! The double bass work was well-applied and spot on. One band even had keyboards and they fit well.

Metal fits a mood I think more that it defines a lifestyle. Like Tabasco sauuce! Keeps the people away if you need it to..
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

Tabasco is about as metal as Bieber.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Tabasco is about as metal as Bieber.
This better?

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Old 04-17-2013, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Tabasco is about as metal as Bieber.
Ha!

I'm not saying Tabasco is the hottest, just really really good.

The Beebs is a drummer. Can't be too hard on 'im!
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Ha!

I'm not saying Tabasco is the hottest, just really really good.
Really good at having no flavor... Tapatio is the one if you don't feel like eating vinegar all night.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Now, where the danger? Where is the expression? Every band now looks like the guy at the coffee shop.

As 8mile said, Metal WANTS to carry a stigma, it's the appeal. But there is no stigma when you it look like your mom dressed you for band practice.
I get what you're saying, Ian, I really do. But for me, I don't want to look "dangerous". That part has zero appeal to me. Even in the '80s (maybe especially in the '80s) I didn't want to look dangerous. The danger (if there is any) and expression are built-in to the music itself with me as its lowly messenger. You can rag on grunge for that but Rush wasn't all that different, were they? Seems to me they flirted with a few different "looks" but for the most part they were WYSIWYG. I probably picked up my generic preference from them long before grunge came along, and when grunge did come along, I thought the look of it was a breath of fresh air, tbh. Especially someone like Matt Cameron who never looked like a band guy. I always thought that was cool. I still do.

If metal wants to carry a stigma, that's fine with me, but I don't have any desire to advertise to the world at large that I play. If anything, it makes it that much sweeter when they do find out - hopefully by actually seeing me play in some shitty hole in the wall somewhere. I've had co-workers come out to see my band before and there is almost always this, "Wow, I wasn't expecting that at all!"

And just question your very last point: is there really no middle ground between looking "stigmatized" and having your mom dress you? :-)
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

I enjoy that outlook, image doesn't have to be involved at all. Chuck Schuldiner, the frontman for Death would go on stage with socks and sandals to play death metal, didn't seem to bother anyone else. I think he was a great example of someone who just wanted to be himself instead of appeal to others. Basically I mean to say that musical substance overrides corpse paint and long hair, at least IMO.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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Ha!

I'm not saying Tabasco is the hottest, just really really good.

The Beebs is a drummer. Can't be too hard on 'im!
I confused Tabasco with saline solution once. No harm done. I guess I just didn't really understand your analogy that well though, I got it now lol.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:33 AM
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the frontman for Death would go on stage with socks and sandals to play death metal, didn't seem to bother anyone else.
It should. It looks utterly ridiculous.....within the metal relm or outside of it.

Although strangely enough, many Europeans seem quite comfortable with it......disturbingly so. But much like those frightening handknitted matching jumpers (sweaters) that far too many American couples are all too willing to don for cheesy xmas photos.....those caught wearing socks and sandals deserve all the scorn and ridicule they get. :-)
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:51 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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It should. It looks utterly ridiculous.....within the metal relm or outside of it.

Although strangely enough, many Europeans seem quite comfortable with it......disturbingly so. But much like those frightening handknitted matching jumpers (sweaters) that far too many American couples are all too willing to don for cheesy xmas photos.....those caught wearing socks and sandals deserve all the scorn and ridicule they get. :-)
Big long tube socks with shorts is another classic.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: The social stigma attached to Metal...

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As I've said, I always thought the great irony in grunge was it was supposed to be about rebelling against the "uniform" of spandex and hair spray but instead, it was just replaced by a new uniform of moppy hair cut and flannel shirts. 100 guys trying to look like David Lee Roth vs 100 guys trying to look like Kurt Cobain; it's still 100 guys following a trend.
Sorry, but I forgot to address this point.

There is no irony with respect to what grunge was "supposed" to be, though it's true that it was in large part a rejection of the LA hair bands that were dominant at the time.

I've lived in Seattle my whole life and it rains a lot. Usually daily unrelenting drizzles from October through June. Yeah, a lot of people wore flannel, and still do, and look soggy and scraggly like they've been out in the rain because they have (little known fact is that practically no-one here uses an umbrella - you just never see them. Not sure why, tbh). It's important to understand that it wasn't some contrived "look" that people were deliberately going for as a fashion statement. It was the absence of the LA rock look, sure, but it was also just how people dressed - not just of our generation, but the ones before and since. Not unlike SoCal people wearing shorts, flip-flops and tans all the time.

And also remember that it wasn't fashionable until AFTER the whole unlikely, unexpected, and unprecedented explosion of one small cities' music scene went virally global, and nowhere was the whole fiasco a bigger surprise than in Seattle. I've been here playing in bands from long before grunge right up to the present and I can tell you that it was very surreal, which feels like a huge understatement. So I don't think you can really blame the genre for how its "fashion" ended up spreading - that would be like blaming Nirvana for selling out AFTER Nevermind suddenly and unexpectedly went through the roof as if they'd somehow engineered, targeted, or anticipated the insanity of their success.

The irony, if there was one, was the LA guys trying to dress like they were from the NW to mimic and cash in on a vibe that was never about cashing in. I won't even go into how many guys from LA ended up here looking to hit the big time. Come to think of it, my bandmate is from LA! (though he wasn't looking to cash in when he moved here in '96 - he just hated LA).

Anyway, I imagine what you feel about the followers and adherents of the grunge look probably isn't all that different from how I feel about it - that now the look of it IS about the look more than the pragmatism that it originally was, and I'm not any more interested in following the look of grunge as I am about metal, punk, country, goth, camaro rock, blues, or whatever. Deliberately going for the look of anything just goes back to that acting / comforming bit I was grousing about earlier.

Grunge had its 15 minutes and then faded pretty quickly as most of its adherents got turned off, not by the mainstream success of its originators, but by the mainstream success of its imitators (STP, Bush, et al). The very people that essentially created it turned their backs on it in a "this isn't fun anymore" kind of way, as if to carry on would be essentially joining the ranks of what they'd turned against to begin with: money-driven "art".

But metal is different, metal has been around for a long time, and while its details and forms have evolved over time, its brutal seriousness and aesthetic of darkness and anger has not. I'm not sure how its been able to persevere over generations without offing itself the way grunge did, but then again, metal has never been as afraid of the mainstream success of its imitators and pretenders and is always accepting of new followers with a welcoming growl and a raised clenched fist (with horns).
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