Sam Dunn gets browbeaten by his producers, who want more money through more accessibility:
Dunn: One that really stands out to me was nu-metal, which emerged in the ’90s and was this subgenre that explored hip-hop and included turntables. Guys in bands like KORN and LIMP BIZKIT and LINKIN PARK didn’t look metal. And I honestly despised these bands at the time. But in doing the episode, I learned there was some value in what those bands brought to the genre because it tested the boundaries of heavy metal. Part of the charm of metal is the musicians’ and fans’ commitment to the music and the sense of community. But the downside is that can become pretty exclusive and even elitist at times. The nu- metal episode made me realize adding a seven-string guitar and bringing metal back to some sense of groove — which it really hadn’t had since LED ZEPPELIN in the ’70s — maybe wasn’t such a bad thing. Just because I’m a crusty, thrash-loving metalhead from the ’80s doesn’t mean I can tell LINKIN PARK fans their music isn’t important. – Blabbermouth
There’s a good reason metal left those things behind: they belong to rock.
Rock is a broad, accepting, really indistinct thing. It’s an amalgam of folk, country and other popular musics derived from them. It distills them to the absolute basics and removes all meaningful musicality through use of the key-neutral pentatonic scale.
Rock assimilates things. It makes them into an average, a mundane norm. For all of its bluster about accepting those who are different, it doesn’t like different — if it deviates from the lowest common denominator, crowd-pandering, simplistic music.
Metal was a breath of fresh air.
Dunn’s purpose seems to be (and this is quite intelligent of him) to group all of the newer music into nu-metal, which is accurate. Nu-metal is metal with swing, basically inherited from angry hip-hop. His point is that even if it’s underground, if it’s metalcore or indie-metal, it’s numu.
And that’s a lesson we can all use.