At 2/12/15 06:48 PM, Viper wrote:
Hey. So someone I know is writing a paper on metal music and wanted me to ask some stuff in places I frequent so she can get some insight into what other people think and feel when it comes to the genre.
-What drew you in to metal?
When I was a teenager, metal appeared to me as some kind of barbaric, violent and incoherent stuff. That was most likely because of how little metal there is in the mainstream musical media like on television and on the radio. Plus, the attention given to metal in these media is generally focused on the aggressiveness and violence, just like if there was nothing else in the song-writing, riffing, etc. So I was pretty much repulsed by metal. I kind of got "tricked" into metal by a friend sending me tracks by the band Kalmah and referring to it as "instrumental music with weird vocals". I instantly loved the band, and later realized that it was a metal band. What drew me in was the focus on instrumentation, the complexity of it and the sound construction required to write good rhythm and lead guitars, to make them match with the drums, bass and vocals, is most likely what drew me in. Compared to the music I had heard on the radio until then, it was pure genius. The focus was less on vocals, more on the music, and even then, the vocals were awesome and unique!
-A study in the UK said some people consider heavy metal as a religion, would you agree? Why or why not?
I don't think metal is a religion. But like religion, metal is pretty hard to define. It is a very broad concept, and there is not commonly accepted definition as to what is metal, just like it is very difficult to tell what defines a religion. But in metal music there isn't a specific set of beliefs explaining what the meaning of life is, what is the meaning of existence, where it comes from, etc. The idea that metal would be some kind of religion is, to me, at best kind of funny. I perceive it more as a way to say that the people who love it, love it with a passion, and a lot of them, devote their life to it. Some wear bands t-shirts, have long hair, they all raise the metal horns for their favorite bands. In a way, metalheads do share cultural traits, but that's not something that only religions have. Bottom line, I think it's a catchphrase, but I wouldn't call it a religion myself.
-What do you see differently in metalheads that you DON'T see in people who don't listen to metal?(such as personality and characteristics)
Generally speaking, metalheads are introspective and love arts in it's various forms. I've said countless times in the pass, and I will say it again, that metalheads usually are fans of music and not just metal. Metalheads usually like a lot of electronic music, rock (progressive rock, post-rock, etc.), jazz (free form or more traditional jazz), old classical music, but also contemporary classical, and more. Metalheads are like their music, in constant motion, evolving, at the avant-garde, going forward to meeting new people, new music styles, and maybe mix these new music styles to their own to make the music evolve continuously. Metalheads are also pretty open people in general. Not very judgemental, but kind and caring. They often have deep convictions though, and they can be a little rough when you say bad stuff about what they like and believe, especially if you don't have good manners!
-What does the aggressive nature of the music/shows provide to you?
Initially, probably some kind of freedom, a catharsis, a raw passion that helps emotionally speaking. But this passion also frees the music, and breaks a lot of bounds. It helps the music in the sense that it can be very contrasted in terms of emotion, ranging from happiness and hope, to anguish and despair. And since there aren't limitations in terms of aggressiveness and brutality, the music can use these elements to write loud, heavy, pounding riffs that just wouldn't fit anywhere else. It kind of becomes a song-writing tool, and also a story-telling tool. For a metalhead who's used to it, the aggressiveness might lose it's abrasive, antagonizing "in your face" vibe, to become just a great tool to make music interesting. Death growls, for example, aren't just there to constantly remember you that the vocalist is angry or whatever, they are also there because of how they sound, how they mix with the thick distortion wall of sound created by the guitars. So again, the aggressive nature of "some" (and I insist on the some) metal music, can pretty much be something as simple as a tool used to explore music in a different way.
-What would you be doing if metal hadn't existed?
I'm not trying to avoid answering the question here, but I think there would be some other music that would have explored what really needed to be explored. If metal wasn't there, there would be a gap to fill in music. If it didn't exist, it would have to be created! So I guess I would have felt melancholy, I would have felt the gaping hole in the universe, left by the absence of something that should have been there.
But again, I think it was kind of impossible for humanity to avoid creating metal music. If you look at just all the influences metal has taken from blues, hard rock, jazz, classical music, etc., you can't do anything but realize that all these genres were setting things up for metal. Hard rock was getting heavier and heavier, throwing in distortion all over the place, the vocals were energetic, powerful and crazy. Blues was getting dirtier, classical music had always flirted with heavyness, massive and organic sounds, and jazz was creative, free, wild, experimental. In four words: Metal had to happen!