Hipster champions insincerity, reveals nature of indie-metal


Self-preening egomaniac solipsist hipster Brent Hinds, who plays with indie-metal (heavy alternative rock) band Mastodon, accidentally revealed the nature of indie-metal as indie rockers who enjoy metal ironically making imitations of better bands. Speaking between bites of arugula and sprouted garlic sandwich on quinoa bread, Hinds opined:

“I never really liked heavy metal in the first place. I came from Alabama playing country music, surf rock, rockabilly, and stuff like that.

“I just went through a phase in my 20s where I thought it was rebellious to play heavy metal. And then I met Brann [Dailor, drummer] and Bill [Kelliher, guitarist], and they were really, really, really into heavy metal.

“And ever since then, I’ve been trying to get Mastodon to not be such a heavy metal band, because I f–king hate heavy metal, and I don’t want to be in a heavy metal band.”

Playing metal to be rebellious is a hipster gig because it is entirely surface with no deeper connection to the music than to use it, as hipsters use all things, to signal your emotions to a world that could not care less. Metal musicians play metal because they love it, but giggin’ hipsters play it ironically to be rebellious and shocking. Hinds finally admitted his own insincerity, but with him he brings down a genre.

Indie-metal arose from the “alternative metal” of the 1990s which took metal riffs and put them in rock songs using the aesthetics of grunge and alternative rock. Although the result was an artistic disaster, it was more palatable than the hip-hop/rock hybrids and other pop experiments of the era, and so caught on. Unfortunately these bands are not metal, only metal-influenced, and so they bring in all of the dysfunctional mid-therapeutic behavior for which indie bands are notorious. The result has been adulterated quasi-metal like Deafheaven, Mastodon, Isis, Pallbearer, Babymetal, Pelican and Vattnet Viskar which has attracted a new audience of underconfident, neurotic and conformist fans while driving away the audience metal built up from the 80s-90s.

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58 thoughts on “Hipster champions insincerity, reveals nature of indie-metal”

  1. Paul Warkin says:

    Wow, when did Brent Hinds become a deathmetal.org writer? This is exactly what you guys have been saying for years.

  2. Dominating F. says:

    That goddamm faggot band Mastodon and their ilk are pure shit, only thing worse
    is the retarded cunts they have for fans, they couldn’t tell the difference between
    Profanatica and Dimmu Borgir’s fourth album.

    If bands like these are not really metal music but indie rock, why keep tagging
    their music as “metal”? My main gripe with this type of fag music is that people
    keep referring to it as metal, if they at least would call it something else, I
    really wouldn’t care.

  3. Daniel says:

    I don’t remember any true metal heads in the early 2000s talking about these fools like they did Immolation’s Close to a World Below. Mastodon’s hype was created by shitty mainstream metal magazines pimping System of a Down and stoned sludgecore subhumans.

  4. in the void says:

    the people referring to it as metal are hipsters, and when the majority of people are calling it metal then it goes to show you the state of the current scene

  5. LostInTheANUS says:

    Heh, at least he’s honest.

  6. I blew my head off like Per Ohlin says:

    My interest for them has dwindled.

  7. Nate says:

    ” if they at least would call it something else, I really wouldn’t care.”

    Agreed. It was easier to make connections with the music you liked when it was as it was stated. At least the terms Nu Metal and Metalcore are helpful in navigating interests. The application of the term ‘metal” in those genres is almost using a concept of metal like a spice. Metal is not a spice that one can dash into their indie music, hip hop groove or hardcore image. Metal genres exist, at their best, when the core expression is metal, and the artist decides to use that core in a direction that works for them. Ildjarn directing metal into raw expression, Deicide into extreme content, Bathory into Viking meditation, King Diamond haunting thematic stories…

    1. Moloko + says:

      Dude you obviously haven’t heard Body Count?? funny just how much racism and homophobia still resides in a place like this. And you all wonder why Metalgate took off the way it did. Shameful.

  8. Doug Killjoy says:

    Thanks to your reckless cuck reporting, I just got back from Walmart and somehow ended up with $500 worth of Barbasol and disposable Bic’s! Can’t speak for anyone else but I’ve honestly never met a dude wearing those kind of ear adornments that would classify as any variation of “a good guy.” But that head shop hippie stank is a lock every single time.

  9. Moloko + says:

    they are metal and you’re all in denial/don’t like it? leave

    1. Right. Reduce any criticism to “you just don’t like them”.
      So Logic.

      1. Moloko + says:

        Listen buddy. This isn’t about proving a criticism wright or rongg because no one’s forcing you to like them. No it may not be ‘true’ or ‘spirited’ as other stuff but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sound like metal nor does it make it any less worthy for those who might enjoy it. I seriously think you should reconsider your statement and at least give them a proper listen buddy this is not anoubt probing a criticism right or wrong. this is becauze no one is forcing yu 2 liek them!

        1. Only you are talking about “liking”.
          In here we talk about something being good or bad, which is separate from “liking”.

          Something can sound like metal yet not be metal (See glam rock, see sludge, see MASTODON, etc).

          1. Moloko + says:

            What are you even going on about David? Something can’t be objectively good/bad irrespective of whether the listener likes it or not, it is the listener that decides that for himself. Some people are never going to see the deeper aspect of the music and that’s fine, let them enjoy whatever they can if it’s not hurting anyone, or more importantly, stopping anyone from themselves creating the type of music they want to hear! Because personally I like Mastodon just as much as I like Beethoven, Susie Q, Burzum etc whereas the attitude at DMU seems to object that they even exist. Surely you realize such insecurity is the path of failure.

            1. “Something can’t be objectively good/bad irrespective of whether the listener likes it or not, it is the listener that decides that for himself.”

              This is the hole you are still in.
              Let’s get some things clear from the start: Music is not objective or subjective.
              It has some traits that can be called objective and some that can be called subjective. As a whole, it isn’t either. It is both convention, human nature and inspiration.

              You can judge something independently of “liking” it.
              I can judge something I like as “poor”. And I can judge something I do not like as “excellent”.

              “Because personally I like Mastodon just as much as I like Beethoven, Susie Q, Burzum etc whereas the attitude at DMU seems to object that they even exist. ”

              Here you are just making shit up. We’ve never said they do not exist, nor have we ignored them.
              We’ve talked bout about Mastodon, Beethoven and Burzum.
              If you haven’t read the articles, look them up.
              I have no idea who Susie Q is, but I have the impression she just isn’t in our scope.

              “Surely you realize such insecurity is the path of failure.”

              Yes, the insecurity in your thin conception. We encourage learning and discerning. There is no insecurity here, only learning and upholding of standards.

            2. Stuka says:

              “Some people are never going to see the deeper aspect of the music and that’s fine, let them enjoy whatever they can if it’s not hurting anyone, or more importantly, stopping anyone from themselves creating the type of music they want to hear!”

              I think the fundamental message of the article’s criticism is to enlighten those who are [i]unknowingly[/i] confused about music that seems like it’s metal, but isn’t.

              Even if you already realised that Mastodon belongs in this ‘fake metal’ tar pit, there are plenty of other people who would benefit from the warning.

              Newcomers to metal need guidance to help them discern what is real metal and what is merely pop/rock music that borrows metal’s sound and playing techniques. Many seasoned metal fans can also benefit from a healthy reminder, in the face of heavily-marketed fake metal and the relative scarcity of excellence in contemporary metal.

              If more musicians become instinctively aware, at a younger age, of what defines real metal, the genre stands a better chance of surviving its currently toxic levels of stylistic & thematic pollution.

              Beyond that, your remark about people making and listening to this kind of music not “hurting anyone” misses the point: it may hurt no-one at an individual level; however, the propagation of fake, parasitic metal bands and fans is gradually eroding the integrity of the metal genre and the quality of its future audience and artists.

              1. Moloko + says:

                If a genre is weak enough to be influenced/infected by something this ‘fake’ then it deserves go down the same path. Not that I’m happy to see it but it’s the way shit goes essentially. And not that I’m homophobic either but if you screw around or live the lowly dog life and end up getting HepC, HIV or whatever somewhere along the line, who am I to judge otherwise.

                1. Anything is vulnerable to being “infected” by posers. That is just the nature of human beings as a whole.
                  Very few groups have initiation rites that are scary enough to scare away posers.

          2. Thundar says:

            @ Moloko

            There’s nothing more annoying that silly clueless “fans” like yourself that
            believe are entitled to an opinion, regardless of how uninformed and thus
            incorrect it may be.

            The really sad thing is, you can’t even realize the fact
            that you are either ignorant about the history/philosophy of metal and thus
            unable to discern what is metal and what isn’t, or you are simply an idiot
            with a fag taste in music.

            1. Or you can try to explain instead of just insulting him.

              1. Dominating F. says:

                Yo mean, for free?

                Maybe we could all chip in so he can get a proper education in metal.
                Subsidize his ignorance and while we’re at it, we could take care of
                any other ailings he may suffer.


                Thundar can appeal to his self-pride and motivate him to find truth
                on his own. “You know, maybe these elitist jerks are on to something,
                maybe there is a reason why they call me a fag…”
                Maybe there’s a reason why Matodon’s first album came with a dildo
                for men…

                1. Moloko + says:

                  Please, give me a break. I’m totally into the best of DLA/DMU stuff. All I’m saying is sometimes I don’t mind hearing other stuff from time to time, it’s no harm.

              2. Moloko + says:

                Cheers David, if only more people understood this!

    2. hypocrite says:

      Black Sabbath –> Metallica –> Mastodon

      1. Moloko + says:

        Your point? some people like the rock/novelty element in metal while others go for the theatrical, esoteric, romanticist stuff.

        Can’t we all just… get along..?

        1. “Can’t we all just… get along..?”


          Troll spotted.

          1. hypocrite says:

            Wow, it took you awhile.

            1. Moloko + says:

              Let me ask you this, does it really bother you that Mastodon are flopping around, cashing in on pretending to be metal? You appreciate the deeper artistic aspect of the genre i.e. underground death metal and black metal. so does the existence of Mastodon change or affect the underground stuff in any way, surely it does not (at least not any more than any other irrelevant or unconnected styles/scenes).

              1. >”Let me ask you this, does it really bother you that Mastodon are flopping around, cashing in on pretending to be metal?”
                Frankly, I don’t care.

                It still deserves to be criticized. What surprises me is that you care so much as to try and defend them so much from a little criticism that comes to ALL, to ANY band that is discussed. Not even Maiden is safe from criticism. Why would Mastodon not be criticized? They’re a big name and are good to set an example against bullshit. That is why they are criticized here. They REPRESENT something else.

                Those “why do you care?” arguments make no sense in ANY context.

                1. Moloko + says:

                  If I don’t like something I don’t feel connected to it, it’s as simple as that. Ambient music rap or hip hop for example are no threat to me – it doesn’t annoy me that these genres exist even though they might influence metal listeners/composers somewhere along the tracks (body count anyone?). But there’s something about Mastodon that I actually like, and it’s just sad to see that even the criticism they’re receiving here is mostly just cheap shots directed at them being hipsters, fakes, homosexual etc. Tell me honestly which one of you wouldn’t sport the skinny jeans, tribal piercing or get tattooed up to the neck if you knew there was big money, football pussy and a short lifetime’s full of meal tickets on the line?

                  1. The commenters will always take cheap shots. But I don’t see the article doing that.
                    And being a hipster is a substantial accusation with a concrete musical justification in this website. I think you know that.

                    1. Moloko + says:

                      What? the stereotyping used in the opening paragraph and the tags aren’t enough? Give me a break.

  10. pat redux says:

    I caught the tail end of a Mastodon show on Slayer’s Unholy Alliance tour in Berlin a few years back. It looked unhealthily rock star-ish with lots of blue denimmed crotch thrusting phallic play with the guitars. And the music was a boring sludgy mess. THey were followed by Trivium, who were just awful, like a teenager’s poster of a boy band come to life, and Amon Amarth, and then Slayer. Srsly, only AA were any fun that night, because in contrast to the tired old men of Slayer they had energy and were enjoying themselves, and in contrast to M and T they had some decent catchy toons (not death metal by any stretch of the imagination, they play rousing heavy rock-metal with gruff vox, but it is what it is)

    This guy talking metal down now displays a weak character. The music is rubbish, sure, but this shitting on the hands that raised you up to where you are is vile. Mastodon got to where they are through the broader metal media circus. It’s like when Evanscence, bless their little hearts, turned on the Christian rock scene that brought thme to prominence.

    Ten years from now though, this doofus will be pandering to the metal nostalgics worse than any one. I bet you a million Turkish lira this guy will have his own Probot project in 2025.

    1. Doug Killjoy says:

      You caught a Mastadon show in the tail end? Who hasn’t?

  11. Rob says:

    Well. This is definitely worth giving a shit about. *makes jerking-off motion*

  12. Insulate Capistrano says:

    In the band picture… My nigga is wearing a cut-off turtleneck woman’s t-shirt with a bolo tie. WOW

    1. Daniel says:

      He looks like he shoves his dick through gloryholes at truck stops.

  13. Robert says:

    I’m truly disappointed in hearing this since I once was a fan of Mastodon. You can criticize me all you want but Remission and Leviathan were really good albums with great metal riffs. I stopped listening to them after those records. Now to find that a band I appreciated who played metal was really just a fluke somewhat breaks my heart. I’ve been deceived. That dude who made that bullshit comment actually wrote some of the great riffs and here he is saying this nonsense.

    I feel compelled to toss Remission and Leviathan in the trash.

    1. ” with great metal riffs.”

      A lot of music can have great metal riffs and still not be metal.
      A lot of music can have great individual ideas and be an overall turd.

      1. Robert says:

        Do you agree that Mastodon had great metal riffs?

        1. Moloko + says:

          Right, I’d like to see the average DMU kid write even just one song as emotionally heavy and/or compositionally sound as a Mastodon track. Cloning the Ildjarn aesthetic isn’t going to cut it now is it?

          1. so you are going with that lame argument?
            “if you can’t do better, don’t criticize”
            That’s weak, man.
            By that same logic, only ex-presidents can criticize Obama.

            1. Moloko + says:

              It just seems like the people that are busy dissecting music i.e. endlessly re-circulating ideas about what genre something deserves to be called, whether it gets an A or a B, whether it’s true or not are themselves nowhere near the type of mindset that allows an artists to actually enjoy, then later pick up an instrument and try to make their own shit. Sure there are a few bands that seem kind of underground DLA-aware but that’s mostly because they didn’t tell the site to outright ‘fuck off’ yet. I sure many won’t even accept to be interviewed because they don’t want to tarnish there art with ideological stuff. And no one here can see it, it’s just sad.

              1. the thing is that to be a serious genre that is self-aware, all of it is necessary. If you want to escape the self-criticism as a genre, you are just descending into a mess.
                Many don’t accept to be interviewed because they don’t know what the fuck they are doing. They usually aren’t even very good at making music. And that’s the great majority. Knowing how to play an instrument and how to make music are two different things. And it has nothing to do with IDEOLOGY. Having an ARTISTIC VISION and having an IDEOLOGY are somehow confused by anti-intellectuals in music circles, apparently.

                1. Moloko + says:

                  Alright David. That is a good point and a very useful clarification!
                  I just wish more people could understand this.

  14. Stephane says:

    one of the reason I never get into this asshole band I guess

  15. Frank says:

    So… does actually good indie metal exist? Do Helms Alee count as indie metal?

    1. Frankly, I’ve heard better indie rock than indie metal. It might have to do with the reasons people play one style or the other, or why they chose to mix things together.


        Hey Mr. Rosales:

        Is there a more metal song than this one right here?


        This is the spirit of metal embodied, only surpassed by Slayer. Maybe.

        1. Not familiar with Overkill, only their name, but this is pretty “metal”. \m/

      2. Moloko + says:

        That’s pretty much what I was trying to say David. At this point, it isn’t likely there will ever be a new metal album that tops Nirvana’s Nevermind or the first Korn album.

        1. There is plenty of new metal topping either. If you need recommendations, just ask.

          1. Moloko + says:

            Alright, if you say they’re better then I’m curious to hear maybe what is your top 5 metal, but there had better not be any damn Condor or Rhapsody on that list!

            1. It depends on what you mean by top.

              1. Moloko + says:

                Anything metal irrespective of sytle or subgenre. 2005 – 2015

                1. Profanatica

                  *sorry, independently of your preference, Cóndor has produced something outstanding that signals a healthy and open direction for metal.

                  Condor is some of the best in the last decade whether you like them or not. It’s just not a matter of taste only.

                  1. Dr Death says:

                    What the hell man he said NOT condor ?!

                    1. He cannot change truth through denial :p

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