Alexa Statistics for this blog

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Don't bother talking to him about music, he likes 'death metal' man!!!

How many times has a metal-head heard this?And why is it that this is said to him/her?And why is it that once you tell someone that you listen to only metal,its interpreted almost 90% of the time as 'Death Metal'???The answers to these question right after this break....

So, there I am,just hanging out in college with some guys and when asked what I like to hear,someone promptly says 'nah,no Floyd for him,he likes Death Metal'. Now,please allow me to enumerate exactly how much Death Metal I like: Death,Bloodbath and to small extents Nile and Six Feet Under.That's 4 bands.Out of I don't know HOW many.These 4 would make about 5% of the bands I like.Good enough?I don't think so. See,the point is not 'which band belongs to which genre' (that's a different story),the point is,why does the term 'metal' NOT seem synonymous with 'music' for so many people?And the less important one,why is someone who has a reputation of listening to metal shunned as some psychopath who has no musical taste or sense because he likes 'Death Metal'? Time for another break.We'll be right back...

All right,I guess the 2nd question easier to answer:prejudice. When Black Sabbath came out with their self-titled debut that started a whole new revolution in music,people were TOO scared to actually sit down and see that there was a very classical influence to their music.In fact,most of metal has been influenced by western classical:the sweeps,the fast riffs,the palm-muted chugs etc. Anyway,it was this fear,coupled by the churches labeling such music as 'antichrist' that started deterring people from this genre.Soon it was just people cautioning their kids and other kids to stay away from this music.

But herein lies part of the answer to the 1st question as well.Metal was,and still is,the heaviest,fastest and most bass-rich form of music. Its these traits that prevent people from actually listening to the rhythm sections and tunes. Now,I say PART of the answer because frankly speaking,the general public's basis for deciding how good an artiste is is from the vocals.Everyone is too centred on the vocals. Anything screamed,growled,shrieked etc. is just plain NOISE because 'that guy can't sing'. Or,if it IS the music that they like,they like it because its CATCHY.Which is why a band like Fall-Out Boy or Creed finds more favour than say Iron Maiden or Children of Bodom. Now,I understand that a scream or a growl would take some getting used to at first,but when you actually try to see what style of vocals would best suit the given rhythm,mood and lyrical content of the song, clean singing sounds absolutely RIDICULOUS. Take the example of Children of Bodom's 'Everytime I Die' - melodic guitars,atmospheric keys and THUNDEROUS bass= heavy,slow rhythm=melancholy,epic feel= perfect backdrop for screams and growls (though Alexi could try to NOT eat up half the words). If someone actually decided to sing those words like "no sparks of hope inside,no shooting stars on my sky,on broken wings,no flying high",it would sound totally out of place.

But thats the problem; no one cares about the rhythm.Thats NOT the 1st thing that catches one's attention.In fact, when I asked a female friend of mine what she thought of 'Nothing Else Matters' she said that it takes too long to start. Why? Because the intro instrumental portion is too long. So Hetfield and Ulrich should have just kept the singing part? So they are idiots to have 'disrupted' the song by painstakingly writing that solo and riff? Ridiculous, but true. But if you're a metal-head and reading this, don't bother getting people to appreciate metal. They won't. Give them some stupidly easy song or something with a ridiculously simple, beat-bastardized rhythm and cranky vocals, they'll LOVE it. No one has time to sit and appreciate the emotion or the epic feel in a song's rhythm. Everyone is too 'scandalized' by 'death metal'. So that's what Megadeth referred to in 'The Day the Music Died'.

Poor things.


Express said...

Ok, now that is one of the best posts EVER on ur blog; and me saying this with all my heart.

I won't say you are completely right though. I belonged to the other category of "people" untill very recently. Maybe thats why I see parts of both sides of the story. Being exposed to metal made me look at music with al-together a new perspective. Metal gives me an outlet, it calms me, metal does.

Generalization of any kind for that matter is annoying. People talk anything without knowing.
But you can't blame people who don't appreciate this form of music. They have never been exposed to it. People tag it as noise, coz it sounds so to them. Like BSB and bryan adams sound like a lullaby 2 u. Its personal taste and people should have liberty with it atleast in recreational activities like music.

Then there are the myths involved. It is a "bad influence", "it doesn't fit into our lifestyle", we get it all the time! Gigs are tagged to be places of "dopers and posers", I mean I got that for attending one organized by us in my own college!

Also, there are so many choices that are offered to the indian youth 2day that everyone makes their choice and sticks to it. Metal has its own audience like any other genre does. Things are changing for the better. But it sure will take sometime....

Express said...

Oh and yea,
Half the gals into metal, fake it. I don't need 2 tell you.
But gender bias is still ok,
The thing that gets to me pissed is people asking me,

"You lissen to metal, classic rock, alt rock, pop, hindustani classical, rabindra sangeet...all at once???"

I say, "yea, I have super-natural powers" :-P

metal-militant said...

The idea is not for metal to have an audience as such.The thing is that people just can't let metal be as another genre of music.No!!!! Its the DEATH OF MUSIC.ALL THAT NOISE!!!Its fucking pissing off.I'm not saying everyone has to hear metal and like it,they can hear what they want.All I want is for them to appreciate that there IS talent and hard work involved in the making of such music,and it IS music.

And yeah,lots of girls fake it.They think Papa Roach and Korn are just about the most 'metal' bands one can hear.But I know some females who appreciate metal.

Alok said...

Well, I'd like to quote lyrics from "Alone" by Judas Priest off their latest album "Nostradamus":

"They say we are fools
We say look at you
Long ago
We were just a few
Still say we don't need you

We don't wanna belong
We said all along
We just wanna be - left alone"

The very fact that an ignorant brain cannot appreciate the superb music behind the heaviness of metal is its hallmark - It takes someone with intelligence, rebelliousness and strength to look through masks and appreciate the effort that is inside.

If it were appreciable by everyone, why would people like us enjoy it? :D

Be it appreciating metal or respecting effort behind facades, it requires patience and imagination. Though all of us harbour these qualities, few care to nurture it.

So, well, my point is, those who cannot appreciate metal and judge people based on that, seriously lack imagination. Just imagine their lack of imagination, and you understand their prejudice. I feel it's good that they cannot understand metal. :)

Last, I heard this somewhere:

"There is nothing that unites people more than a common enemy. Mediocrity appreciates its kin."

metal-militant said...

well posted.i ALMOST feel the same way,its just that I give people a little more of a chance with sensibility.Looks like that will have 2 wait.

Express said...


Nice discussion people.

Well, I would just like to repeat myself. Its personal choice. Some things do have universal flavor. Some people do not relate to certain things.

Yes, they should appreciate the effort. but music is defined as something related to singing-dancing for all this while. To re-instigate something which is not so old is difficult, all this is simply bombarded on them in the recent past.

Like I said, it would take time 2 get people 2 appreciate. They wouldn't become "intelligent", they would just become aware.

Express said...

not reinstigate , reinstate :-P

To reinstate their definition of music, to make them realise that music knows no boundaries. :-)

btw I loved ur last para. "riduculously simple, beat-bastardized cranky vocal" made me lol :-P

nice post!


metal-militant said...

Thank you so much Express.Yeah well,the term 'song' does come from 'sing',so technically a 'good song' should be one with 'good singing',right? Well, how many words in the English language are still used in context to their origin? When you say 'bless you' to someone after he/she sneezes, do you actually believe that he/she is exorcising his/her demons out from his/her nose? Or when kids play 'ring-a-ring of roses' are they actually referring to the death toll during the Black Death?

What I'm saying is that origins mean one thing,but over time,their definition changes with use.Right now,a 'song' is something with rhythm first,and vocals later.

Alok said...

Express: The discussion was about two issues, people not being able to appreciate metal, and people not being able to accept those who can.

The point is, even if you cannot appreciate metal, you should have enough imagination to not label someone who does as 'having no taste in music'.

And well, metal does take some time to get used to. So does Indian Classical Music. But we do respect those who listen to it, don't we?

P.S. I have always believed that a listener without prejudice will appreciate a good song the first time he/she hears it.

Express said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Express said...

Acha ok.

And anyway I agree with most of what u guys say. My comments sound absurd though :-D

Ishaan u covered most of it here.
But then to me, more than words or rhythm or vocals or solos, more than anything else; music is just a medium of expression.

Because more ppl relate 2 hindustani classical. Thr is no cultural difference. and many of the genres v getta hear in india are derived somewhr 4m indian classical.

But then I agree with most of the recent comment.

aninosaintlife said...

True. i listen to some metal bands but like most people its just some 5% of all the music you listen too.

Really Hope music grows up in India some day!

metal-militant said...

Well its actually (100-5)% of the music I listen to but yea,people SHOULD grow up with their mindset towards music.

And the fact that this was coming from someone who's NOT a metal freak just makes it all the more cooler.Well spoken.

Jadis said...

everytime i die is fucking brilliant and so is the whole of Metal, anyone who thinks otherwise can go die fullstop. :| dude. you have no idea HOW trying it can get to be a FEMALE metalhead. firstly people consider you 'mannish', secondly they call you a psycho, thirdly they reckon it's high time you grow up. i mean what THE HELL!! it's almost like Metal is for 'retarded peple who like noise' and girls are supposed to love 'melodic' (hell, as if metal CANNOT be melodic!)music only. So a girl who is NOT retarded CANNOT like Metal . Fuckers. Which is why i get so violently protective about my love for Metal that i got to the extent of saying 'anyone who thinks otherwise can go die.' People do NOT understand. And neither do they try to. So it ain't worth even CONSIDERING taking what they think into consideration. Blah.
Lovely post!