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Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal

Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal
August 06, 2009, 04:35:14 PM
Quote
[I grew up in a] liberal environment without censorship or such things. There was no religious disapproval or anything like that. But early 80s metal didn't fit in this milieu, not so much for ideological reasons as for cultural reasons. The over the top imagery and sound of early 80s metal, its blue-collar earthiness, was a world away from the aspirational, educationally-minded, relatively abstemious environment of British Jewry.

Esoteriic: Interview with Dr. Keith Kahn-Harris, aka "Metal Jew"

I think we should not read too much into the religious/cultural/ethnic angle that is Judaism, and focus on the idea of rising middle classes including professional classes. Is metal too blue-collar for them? Dr. Kahn-Harris here states what most metalheads are afraid to bring up because it divides everyone by class: metal has mostly been relegated to the blue-collar world because the middle classes want to climb socially and fear they lose social status by listening to metal.

From death metal blog.

Re: Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal
August 06, 2009, 04:56:46 PM
One must also take into account the phenomenon of middle class kids who intentionally adopt aspects of the working class in order to appear "cool" or "keep it real."  This appears to happen far more with hip-hop, because it's associated with a disenfranchised minority group, tripling or even quadrupling its coolness.  However, this can be seen in the metal and punk worlds as well.  Back in my high school (which is in an affluent white suburb), kids used to pretend they weren't rich by wearing thrift store clothes and listening to "really hardcore punk" like the Ramones.

Anyway, I believe it was Bruce Dickinson who said that metal is the working man's opera.  That seems like a fairly accurate description of early heavy metal.

Re: Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal
August 06, 2009, 05:19:15 PM
Go to any concert today that features at least one -core band on the bill and you will see lots of flannel shirts, wife beaters, trucker hats, etc in the crowd.

Go to a Master show and you'll pretty much just see a wave of jeans and t-shirts.

It's cool to "look" blue collar, but it sure as hell isn't cool to be blue collar, which 95% of metal musicians are, because they're lucky if they can break even with their music career while having to work full time at non-music jobs.

Re: Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal
August 06, 2009, 05:50:57 PM
One of the themes that Keith Kahn-Harris describes, that I've seen over and over again, is the criticism that metal is vulgar.  This is an incredibly common criticism launched by the wealthy against almost anything working class.  As far as I can tell, this is usually a way of delegitimizing anything that is direct, honest, and simple (think Mark Twain).  I suspect this is the result of a defensive psychology built up in members of the upper class (especially their children), that protects their precious little egos and delusions of grandeur from truth.  Not to sound like a liberal, but often the wealthiest of people are also the most delusional.  They are given everything in life and so they build up giant egos and senses of entitlement.  Combine this with being raised to believe they can do no wrong, and it's easy to see why they despise reality checks.

Re: Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal
August 07, 2009, 01:42:51 AM
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I suspect this is the result of a defensive psychology built up in members of the upper class (especially their children), that protects their precious little egos and delusions of grandeur from truth.

It's also a class war shibboleth-- one of the ways that the upper class have of differentiating themselves from the lower class, partly to prevent entry of the unwashed into the social club.

Re: Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal
August 07, 2009, 09:40:11 PM
I don't think metal's image can be defined as working class. Metal's image seems to be mostly taken from Hell's Angels and this is what metal basically represents: the lawless who live on the fringes of society. I think metalheads would sooner be identified as criminals than working class, particularly in the eighties when metal's image hadn't been fully commodified yet and turned into something harmless by the media. I think parents fear more that their child will become some kind of hoodlum or satanist because of metal but admittedly the fear of their kids becoming construction workers probably also plays a role. And I can't imagine many parents wanting their kids to be outsiders or loners unless it has something to do with passing on their own fruitcake ideals to their children.

It's amusing to see how the hippie generation had an "open mind" but only for things that fit in with their "peace and love" ideals. Black Sabbath really did scare the shit out of most of them and the effect lasted for decades.



Re: Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal
August 08, 2009, 08:07:46 PM
My experience suggests a class divide within metal, where the "underground" (and black metal, in particular) has typically been more successful among middle and upper middle class types while "commercial" metal has appealed most successfully to a largely "working class" audience.  This reflects, I think, a number of differences in the music, its distribution and the way it is marketed.  Hipster appropriation of both underground and commercial metal styles has tended to obscure this, but it's there nonetheless.

Re: Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal
August 09, 2009, 02:34:53 PM
My experience suggests a class divide within metal, where the "underground" (and black metal, in particular) has typically been more successful among middle and upper middle class types while "commercial" metal has appealed most successfully to a largely "working class" audience.  This reflects, I think, a number of differences in the music, its distribution and the way it is marketed.

I see this same division, but I think the marketing reflects what the audience wants. Working class audiences want music that fits in where middle class audiences want music that's not fitting in, or is unique. All heavy metal seems to me to be designed for the fucking masses while underground metal, except sell-outs like Venom, Death and Pink Frothy AIDS, is more thoughtful.

Re: Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal
September 02, 2009, 10:57:11 PM
How interesting it is that middle-class children seek blue-collar music for its authenticity, but blue-collar children are always dressing up in berets to appear cultured listening to avantgarde jazz.

Re: Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal
September 04, 2009, 05:18:19 AM
There is little difference racially and mentally between social classes these days once you get past the lowest classes, as anyone in our societies may increase their social standing as long as they have a dedication to being rich. There is little in common between the rich of today and the rich of times past. Noble people may be born in a "blue-collar" family or a higher income family, although it may be slightly more common in the latter only because intelligent people are generally only born to at least one intelligent parent and chances are that intelligent parent saw that if he was going to get anywhere, they're going to have to do inane assignments at school so they can go to college so they can get a (most likely) inane job so they can move their families to less dirty areas and afford food not poisoned with artificial preservatives and flavors. But also likely is that the parent decided it was wasn't fulfilling to do those silly tasks and only did so well at school and could only afford a "blue-collar" existence.

Re: Middle classes avoid "blue-collar" metal
September 05, 2009, 06:32:23 AM
This topic reminds me of a really stupid commercial they use to play where some "white collar" fellow is driving with is boss asks to turn on the radio to catch the scores on some game or something and when he turns on his employees car, some typical death/core music comes on and the guy looks all embarrassed.


Wow, you don't want to lose your promotion and huge salary because you listen to metal.  Better come up with a good excuse, if you want climb to the top.


But anyway, I'm sure there are more people in higher society that listen to metal than you would think.  A lot of those people are wanting control over others after all.