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MattBlack
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Joined: 02 Dec 2005
Posts: 67
Location: Malebolge

 Post Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 1:39 pm    Post subject: Clever Metalheads
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Telegraph.co.uk Article

An interesting article above. At school I was one of those alienated from the mainstream groups, I was naturally bright and academically capable (so I was often told by my exasperated teachers when I failed to do my homework again), and I was into Heavy Metal. I was not the only one in those shoes either, though there were not many of us.

The problem I find with all this is the fact that - like it or not, Heavy Metal is still Pop music - it is designed within very strict limits of rhythm and melody, designed to appeal to many people, and also designed to be catchy, in places. It is not Classical or Jazz - though the better stuff draws from both - it is Pop - as in Popular Music. The main difference in realistic terms is the theme - covering both the subject matter and the mood.

Do bright kids go for Angry, Despairing, or Destructive themes for a reason? Is it just that they reject the Love, Lust, and Boasting themes of mainstream pop?

I feel that would have made a good follow on study, though perhaps such in-depth psychological analysis is a little outside the bounds of the initial study reported above.
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Purple Madgirl
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Joined: 02 Dec 2005
Posts: 401
Location: Nottingham

 Post Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:25 pm    Post subject:
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I fitted into that category myself.

As a musician also, i just can't stand useless miming on a stage and boy bands who can't actually play an instrument so thefore are a group rather than a band. I have always tended to lean toward anything with a guitar crunch in it as far as my all time favourites go. But having trained classically on flute i am very keen on classical music and anything that is properly performed eg some country stuff and classic stuff like simon and garfunkle, soul and jazz. Im going all out to educate my kids at school in every kind of music because without experiencing it all, you can really make a choice of what is best.



I think a good reason for brighter kids listening to metal is down to the fact that they perhaps are more aware of things and therefore look for more depth in the things we listen to.
Much of the depth in metal lyrics takes a LOT of working out and studying to really get to the bottom - plus also perhaps being more sensitive, we find more meaning from the depth of the music and identify with what is in it.

I personally am finding these days that many of the pop bands are using old songs in theirs - im sure in one drive to work i heard 3 so called new songs that were basically just rapping over a well known 80s track.
Yes metal fans and bands cover things - but they don't tend to do all their songs sampling someone elses work. And they tend not to release them as an A side as often.
It just seems like there is no originality in the pop music world. (and by that i mean the mainstream pop world).


They do say that often people suffering from mental health issues are actually bright individuals who perhaps find themselves under pressure to perform and burn themselves out - this is something i KNOW about from personal experience of myself and those around me and have seen it happen.

I definately think it is something that would be interested to investigate further!
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DDave
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Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 123
Location: Bristol

 Post Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject:
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Pretty much agree with everything Matt says.

I had friends at uni who - despite being rock fans themselves - couldn't appreciate that I found more extreme music relaxing (as a form of release?).

Is it desire to expand my horizons or rejection of mainstream formulas that caused that's important? Considering one of my fave albums of last year was this I expect that although I'm a self-confessed contrary git, I'm not as stupid as to be the latter.
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MrDek
Band


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 86
Location: Planet 54

 Post Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Clever Metalheads
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MattBlack wrote:
Telegraph.co.uk Article

An interesting article above. At school I was one of those alienated from the mainstream groups, I was naturally bright and academically capable (so I was often told by my exasperated teachers when I failed to do my homework again), and I was into Heavy Metal. I was not the only one in those shoes either, though there were not many of us.

The problem I find with all this is the fact that - like it or not, Heavy Metal is still Pop music - it is designed within very strict limits of rhythm and melody, designed to appeal to many people, and also designed to be catchy, in places. It is not Classical or Jazz - though the better stuff draws from both - it is Pop - as in Popular Music. The main difference in realistic terms is the theme - covering both the subject matter and the mood.

Do bright kids go for Angry, Despairing, or Destructive themes for a reason? Is it just that they reject the Love, Lust, and Boasting themes of mainstream pop?

I feel that would have made a good follow on study, though perhaps such in-depth psychological analysis is a little outside the bounds of the initial study reported above.


I think these are all really interesting points. I think that as metal in general is still pretty much underground as far as mainstream media is concerned, you have to make a conscious choice to find it. Unlike, pop and dance music which is constantly pushed at kids because it is safe. A lot of metal music is about the darker side of life and deals with adult themes and seems more rooted to reality. Coupled with lots of energy and aggression, I can see why people are drawn to it.

The best metal bands maintain honesty and integrity in their music and with their fans, not pandering to fads or fashion which makes fans very loyal. and protective of the bands they support. All the people on this forum are a good example.

You can see how strong metal fans opinions are with Metallica/Napster thing where Metallica fans were smashing CDs becuase they believed that 'their band' had turned into a money grabbing corporate machine. I don't really think this would happen now, with any other genre of music.

Ok, i think I've rambled on enough for one day!

Dek
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Triaxial
Groupie


Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 42

 Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:00 am    Post subject:
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I have that very article pinned to my wall here at uni!

My grandparents actually sent it to me, and I hope that, having read it, they now think of their son (my dad) in a different light, because metal is certainly not an angry genre of music for unintelligent antisocial misanthropes. Although of course it can be angry and I'm sure it is listened to by said people!

I think I got into metal because I am not an idiot. I enjoy and take pride in being able to get from A to Z in a song via B,C,D,E, and all the rest; I don't need to be handheld from A to B. The pleasure I get from metal is that it deals with intelligent themes, many of which are relevant to me personally. They show the reality of life, rather than a rose-tinted view that we are expected to strive for: the whole ghetto superstar bling bullshit. Often I will also seek out music that focuses on a particular feeling, to help me cope with my own emotions and discharge any bad feelings constructively. There's so much negative press, and even ingorance about the fundamentals of metal in the news (Biffy Clyro are metal are they? Fuck off), as well as in shops. HMV, Virgin and the like need to employ metalheads to take out all of the Pop shit from their metal sections, so that newcomers to the genre aren't left with Hoobastank or some such tripe which will inevitably make them think metal is poop.

Metal is also challenging to listen to; it isn't truly ever going to be mainstream because it takes time and dedication before it really clicks in your mind. Many bands aren't afraid to experiment, and this makes the genre as a whole difficult to approach, which I can accept, but people who aren't into the music from a younger age seem reluctant to give it the time it deserves. Especially when there is such a wide selection of musical variety under the banner of metal - take doom metal and power metal for example, they are technically in the same ballpark but very different stylistically. Not everyone likes all subgenres, but it's all metal, and again, that is confusing for some.

I'd like to think that I have above-average intelligence, and there aren't many genres of music with bands that dedicate whole albums to Moby Dick (and I'm not even talking about Mastodon. Yes, two bands have done MobyDick concept albums! Ahab- Funeral Doom metal at its awesomest). Like literature, you have to look for the subtext and metaphors present in many metal lyrics - this just doesn't happen with such modern classics as "My Humps," much as I like the song as a guilty pleasure!

This isn't a subject I get to discuss much, if at all, hence my enthusiasm! Metal is so horribly neglected but is so wonderful, and a massive part of my life. It isn't just music though, it's a way of life for me and goes a long way to defining me as a person.

RANT

OVER.
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