Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Can metal be understood externally?

Can metal be understood externally?
March 18, 2007, 11:13:59 AM
Quote
Less mainstream than rap is heavy metal, a category that also draws criticism from adult critics. Evidence suggests it appeals most to white males. The peer group has a stronger hold on heavy metal fans, and they have less respect for women than other adolescents.

"However, if there is a syndrome at work here, it is a 'troubled youth syndrome,' not a heavy metal syndrome," the researchers say. That is, adolescents who are troubled or at risk in various ways tend to gravitate to heavy metal, but most heavy metal fans are not on drugs, not in jail, failing school or depressed.

The relationship between academic success or failure and music taste may be very important, the authors say. Studies indicate early school achievement influences later music choices, not the other way around. Lower school commitment is generally associated with heavy metal, and in the view of at least one British researcher they cite, low-achievers embrace heavy metal as a "cultural solution" to their low standing in the traditional school pecking order. The music reinforces who one is and tells others what group he or she belongs to.

http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/1997/november12/teenmusic-2.html


An interesting analysis, but one external to metal, in that it does not study it as an art form but a "phenomenon" of type "entertainment." Music fans do not choose it; they drift toward it to justify their failings. While this may be true for many, one wonders how they hope to study a genre by its lowest elements, unless it's an attempt to simply fund another study.

My supposition is that people become alienated because they are aware enough to realize:

1) Our society has massive problems that will end in disaster.
2) These problems are not necessary, but exist out of the pretense of others who are weaker.

This is the smart fans, of course, and the study does not differentiate between "heavy metal" (Slipknot, Motley Crue, Great White, grunge, metalcore) and underground metal. It's hard for those outside the genre to perceive these differences, especially if they're not musicians with a background in classical theory and composition.

In my experience, metalheads become alienated and in the process of looking for answers and a way of life, find metal. Metal doesn't lie to them, but it also finds a way to glorify the warlike struggle for what is right over what is convenient for the herd. This gives them hope through the work of their own hands. Metal is art, not entertainment, or at least the good metal is.


Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 18, 2007, 12:31:02 PM
Quote
This is the smart fans, of course, and the study does not differentiate between "heavy metal" (Slipknot, Motley Crue, Great White, grunge, metalcore) and underground metal.


I think for this very reason, that the results of this study mean very little amongst the smart metal fans.  Also I feel that even the majority of 'underground' metal fans shouldn't be considered smart either, lots of them are in the 'scene' because its so kvlt, brutal, evil, etc; clearly these fans are morons.  I don't think you should be justifying what this study suggests since I'd go as far as to say the amount of smart death/black metal fans considered was probably 5% or less, although I do agree that it seems even the smart fans become alienated, though for completely different reasons than the rest of the 'heavy metal fans.'

Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 18, 2007, 10:59:53 PM
I agree with the first statement. Im a senior in high school, and have been a metal head since 5th grade. I found metal during a time when my elementary schools' internal society cast me outwards. Ethnic prejudice, and religious discrimination was rampant in my life. I had given up. Then I found metal. Since then i have never once attempted suicide, i havent been a failure, and this "report" i feel, is nothing more than regurgitations of "mainstream" opinion. this little "syndrome" is an abomination of the art form. In my opinion, i will state it quite frankly, Metal kicks ass. No other music genre carries the artistic prowess than metal. Metal, is the epitome of musical artistry. And the roots of it speak to the mood and the reasons why metalheads are drawn to it. Blues, Classical, and Rock N Roll, all speak to the ideology of metal. While yes, "troubled kids" do make a majority of the fan base, i know of a bunch of pristene individuals who like metal simply cuz its good music. My final word, no it can't be understood  externally, cuz those outside of metal are influenced bu the mainstreams preconcieved notions that metal is "evil, unsophisticated, white, and unruly," when the truth is, rap is more debaucherous and unsophisticated than any other form of music. the "artisits" boast about commiting murder, theft, and date rape. they condone a life where you dont have to work, all you have to do is steal, have intercourse with unknown women, murder competitors, and club 24/7. these messages are spread through the use of electronicized beats, and no vocal talent. this, by definition, is not music. Metal, is by any definition music. it uses instrumentation, vocals with range and tone, and notes that are used in composed, written music, not just a fake snare drum effect that was created by the press of a button.

Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 19, 2007, 04:16:11 PM
I got into metal simply because the music played around me didn't fulfil anything. Its aspirations and philosophy were pitiful and as art it was defunct. As music, once you listen to the radio/TV for a day, you've listened to it for a thousand years. Whenever I got the chance to hear some metal music, I always knew there was something epic to be offered.

Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 19, 2007, 04:32:19 PM
Part of what keeps metal from being recognized as a legit form is that people tend to laugh at otherworldly stuff not directly related to 'real life' topics. While I can understand where they're coming from, I don't think it should change the essential signifigance as art, no matter how goofy  it may be. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts I say. Personally, Nirvana may have hipper lyrics/image, but never did anything to influence my outlook on life like good old 'dumb' metal has.

Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 19, 2007, 07:39:39 PM
Modern life is an illusion, metal is a ray of cold harsh reality breaking through, some are drawn to it and others mock it or disregard it and those who listen to it. People seem to think that the music itself makes people suicidal. I can never explain  to people who don't like metal what its appeal is, so no, i agree that people external to metal will just never fully understand.

Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 19, 2007, 09:44:33 PM
Sociological investigations tell us about the social structure of cultural phenomena, but they're notoriously inadequate for understanding the 'why' of cultural practice.

I have no doubt that there's a correlation between early disengagement from school and 'normal' social channels and participation in the metal subculture, but that's going to be true of any underground musical form - you can't simultaneously be heavily engaged socially and in the sort of constant busy work typical of modern education AND intensively investigating music that is difficult to find, hard to acquire and not instantly accessible.  This is a purely practical reality, to which can be added the obvious appeal of metal to people who figured out early on that our society is fucked an 'academic' success only prepares you for servitude in the cubicle slave pens.

Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 19, 2007, 10:18:51 PM
Quote
Modern life is an illusion, metal is a ray of cold harsh reality breaking through


Interesting that it uses fantasy as its vehicle.


Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 20, 2007, 12:38:46 AM
a large part is due to the fact people don't seem to understand the idea of a metaphor, people don't promote satanism (thats the Christian Satan not any other form of him) because it brings obvious sour consequences that benefits no one and only horrible harms all. Hence why the use of metaphor, its the idea he was a being that cast down the dogmatic ways of the old and forged his own destiny and created his own heaven and became his own master, thats the idea, not the practicality of it.

Its this level of misunderstanding that has earned metal its unsavory reputation. This also extends onwards to gore influenced bands and the motorhead style of driving fast/big explosions.

Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 20, 2007, 06:10:37 AM
Quote
I am not sure about this.  I have known metalists with decent grades.  Prozak went to college!  Furthermore, I really don't think listening to metal can be used as a legitimate excuse for poor academic performance or lacking in other areas of life.  These other things are more important.


As far as I know, Nile577 and I are both grad students.  But I suspect his experience is much like my own: I had plenty of free time to investigate music because school required absolutely no effort on my part until the last semesters of undergraduate study.  My larger point is that underground music - especially pre-internet - in a sense self-selects for people with the time to investigate it closely, which would tend to include more people who take school less than seriously and exclude those on the fast track to 'success.'


Azazel

Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 20, 2007, 12:20:16 PM
I'm sure there are plenty of people on this forum (and others) who are/have pursued higher education. I'm a grad student myself. Metal never got in my way, not even when I was playing for a band until a couple of years ago. I'm sure there are plenty metal musicians have gone through college, or if they couldn't, it's because of reasons other than intellect. I feel that metal just cannot shape your mind in that way, it can only influence your thinking to take on any challenge that comes your way, be it education or otherwise. That's how I have applied it personally.

Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 20, 2007, 08:49:52 PM
Quote
My larger point is that underground music - especially pre-internet - in a sense self-selects for people with the time to investigate it closely, which would tend to include more people who take school less than seriously and exclude those on the fast track to 'success.'


People on the fast track don't waste time caring about music. They might listen to it, and a lot of them do.


Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 20, 2007, 10:17:06 PM
From what I've noticed is that the school system, pre-college at least, has many flaws and many illogical aspects. The nature of metal-heads is to question everythign and not just accept and go with the flow. It's very hard to conform to somethign so obviously inadequate.

People are metal-heads before ever listening to metal, idealogically at least. There are people that do not accept everything in the world as "just the way it is". They question it and try to change it. Then they find metal which has the same ideals and become metal-heads.

I agree that rap is generally much worse moral wise(by christian standards) than metal. Yet it is odd, as some people have pointed out, that rap is more socially acceptable than metal. To me it seems that the three reasons that rap is more socially acceptable is that 1. It is seen as a fad that children will grow out of while most metal-heads are metal-heads for life, 2. Most metal-heads are openly opposed to christianity while most rappers claim to be very devout, and 3. Basic metal idealogy is to question authority and rebel to the dysfunctional world we live in while rap is mroe about cursing alot, wearing "bling", and bangin' them bitches. Although, as with metal, it is hard to understand a group as an outsider.

Azazel

Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 20, 2007, 10:39:30 PM
Quote
1. most metal-heads are metal-heads for life


Are they?

Re: Can metal be understood externally?
March 21, 2007, 01:51:34 AM
Quote
To me it seems that the three reasons that rap is more socially acceptable is that 1. It is seen as a fad that children will grow out of while most metal-heads are metal-heads for life, 2. Most metal-heads are openly opposed to christianity while most rappers claim to be very devout, and 3. Basic metal idealogy is to question authority and rebel to the dysfunctional world we live in while rap is mroe about cursing alot, wearing "bling", and bangin' them bitches. Although, as with metal, it is hard to understand a group as an outsider.


Rap is also tied to the civil rights movement, although by a hair.

Rap isn't against changing the world order, only modifying it.

Rap isn't scary because who cares what gangstas do in the hood... we rent/buy elsewhere so our kids can safely listen to rap.

I think most rap fans are white and secretly racist.