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Why Does Everybody Hate Nu-Metal? Your Metal Questions Answered
Why Does Everybody Hate Nu-Metal? Your Metal Questions AnsweredChris Fehn of Slipknot told us: "Metal fans in general just have a passion for life that a lot of people don't get."

It's not for everyone, but Metal is deep and powerful, and it's an escape from the norm.

To learn more, we asked Albert Mudrian, author of Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces, our 10 burning Metal questions.

Why does everybody hate Nu-Metal?
Because it undermined much of the progress that underground made in the early to mid-'90s. After hair metal died and "alternative" music supplanted it, most listeners demanded more "authenticity" from their music. So, underground metal was able to build on the foundation laid by the early waves of death metal, black metal, grindcore and hardcore crossover and branch out in many new progressive directions (this is the period where a band like Neurosis really came into their own). So, just as metal was turning a corner in terms of its perception from outsiders, the invasion of the mooks began.
Oh, and that bass sound is really stupid, too.

Exactly how much of a debt does modern metal (speed, death, doom) owe to punk rock?
Hard to say. Obviously the faster stuff (thrash, death and grindcore) owes a considerable debt. But despite the fact that Saint Vitus were originally signed to SST, I don't think doom metal was influenced a whole lot by punk. Unless, of course, you consider Black Sabbath a punk band. Most modern metal bands that have had chart success (Lamb of God, Tool, Mastodon) have very little to do with the punk genre at this point.

Metal amazed us by hanging around long enough to attract a whole second generation of fans. Will there be a third?
It's never going away. Sure, there will be an ebb and flow in the genre's popularity. And, at the moment, it's clearly experiencing a boom period. But even when it wanes in popularity, it never completely goes away. Think of it like a virus in your system: once you've got it, you're stuck with it, even if the symptoms don't always reveal themselves.
As far as converting that third generation of fans goes, I think that's already happening. The fact that at least a third of the current audience at Iron Maiden concerts is in their teens suggests this as well.

Can anybody find out what, exactly, the lyrics to Black Sabbath's "Children of the Sea" mean? Is it a science fiction story, an allegory, or what?
It's a shame we didn't ask Ronnie James Dio in the Hall of Fame story we did on the making of Heaven and Hell because now we may never know.

(Celtic Frost with "A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh")
Is there common ground between the Goth scene and extreme metal?
There's some. The link manifested in the gothic doom metal subgenre. Celtic Frost were definitely progenitors in that sense, incorporating operatic female vocals and strings into their mid-'80s compositions. By the early '90s, an entire subgenre of bands led by Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride followed. Eventually it splintered with some acts getting more gothy, others more Pink Floyd/OK Computer era- Radiohead influenced. There are still some new goth metal bands popping up here and there. But they're generally from Europe and—more often than not—cringe worthy.

Quite a few bands show influence from Crowley, Lovecraft, Poe, and other horror authors. What is it about metal that makes it so intellectual?
I've never really thought of metal as intellectual. I think it's maybe more literary than anything. As you mention, Crowley, Lovecraft, Poe definitely informed the lyrics—not to mention the album art—of several metal bands. But it hardly stops there. Just look at the impact Lord of the Rings has had on extreme metal. Cirith Ungol, Gorgoroth, Morgoth, Isengard, Amon Amarth and Nazgul all took their band names from the Lord of the Rings. There are probably at least a dozen more acts that have done the same.

In your introduction, you talk about the ones that got away. For one thing, you couldn't interview Helmut because of "some midnight blood pact" between John Stanier, Peter Mengede, and Henry Bogdan. Come on, give us some clues!
I might be embellishing things a bit there. But the truth is that John Stanier, in particular, REALLY doesn't see eye to eye with Page Hamilton. We've asked Stanier to participate in an interview about the making of Helmet's 1992 record Meantime on no fewer than three occasions over the past five years and he declined each time. However, he's never provided a reason for passing. If I had to guess, I'd imagine it has something to do with money. More often than not, that's the reason a lot of these relationships fall apart.

From the same introduction, what's the situation on Danzig?
Think of Glenn as the Page Hamilton of Danzig.

What act of God or Cthulhu would it take for some of these bands to get a charting Hot 100 single? Or even airplay on the radio (beyond Sabbath and Slayer, of course)? Should we just nuke the music industry from orbit and start over?
For better or for worse, it's never gonna happen unless an extreme metal band drastically changes their vocals to a more "traditional" singing style. And then we probably wouldn't count that anyway! But if a flagship band like Iron Maiden can't get played on the radio, then what chance does Prostitute Disfigurement really have?

"Keep trading the tapes" is the battle cry of indie music fandom. What is the consensus of most of these band's position on music-sharing?
Every artist feels the pinch of file-sharing, but metal bands feel it slightly less. Most metal fans—myself included—are collectors and crave corporeal product. So, we still buy CDs, LPs, shirts and deluxe box set editions of records we already own. I think the general consensus of most younger bands on file-sharing is, "download our record and if you like it, please buy it." Probably more so than in any other genre, they stand a chance of that plea actually being heard.

Thanks to Albert Mudrian for answering our burning questions. The book is Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces.

Comments: 21

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It's strange how this subject matter is dissected in so many ways, all with very convoluted statements (such as this one that I'm writing). There's no denying the impact that parents have on kids, and how this often translates into some form of aggression in adulthood. Hating Nu Metal, I'd say, is an interesting manifestation of this aggression. In all seriousness, I believe the music is about an attitude, a spirit, a subculture, which involves what we like to call an "image," with mostly negative connotations attached to the term. I think what matters most is if that "image" is coming off as sincere--not just to win over teenage fans. How do we know if a band is sincere? Well, if they continue to do what they've been doing, and don't succumb to altering their musical style to suit whatever genre is popular at the time (i.e. "Selling Out"), that is about as sincere as one can be.
-Drew from Uranus

For me, the least desirable characteristic about "nu-metal" is that it whines about everyday human events. Metal, a derivative of classical music, typically expresses resistance to oppression and submission by employing means of force. To whine about one's mommy and daddy is not a metal thing to do. That's more a Lady Gaga modus operandi. But, many bands do not always hit the metal bullseye. Some do it accidentally. Let's take the band disturbed, for example. "Down With the Sickness" is a little bitch song. In contrast, "Indestructible" is metal in nature. Take the country song (Country??? WTF???) "Highwayman" by Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings. The music... bleh, but the content is metal as Hell. Metal is so much more than just pounding on pots and pans. There has to be metal philosophies, as well. True metalheads are good, productive people who use the music to drive toward overcoming obstacles. To just throw on a t-shirt, use profanities, and drink a bunch of beer is something that even popfans and bumpkins do. Metalheads create for good.
-BCRich from US

I don't get the hate that Nu-Metal gets, but then again the metal community in general is very set on their specific genre. I love Nu-Metal, but I also love early Heavy Metal and early Thrash Metal. I love the fact that Nu-Metal mixes metal and hip hop, not for commercial reasons, for musical reasons because Hip Hop (good hip hop, not the garbage that is on the radio, but underground lyrical hip hop) is a great genre that is misrepresented by the mainstream and then crapped on by the metal community. I hate Limp Bizkit for that same reason, they didn't understand real hip hop, so they got this faggy poser wannabe who can't rap and just talks about drugs and how great he is.

You can love Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, Metallica, Dio, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Anthrax, Evile, Exodus, Testament, Kreator, Destruction, Overkill etc. and also love Linkin Park, Slipknot, Korn, Disturbed (debatable on if they are Nu-Metal or not), System of a Down (again debatable), Nonpoint, Skindred etc.

You can also love both metal and hip hop. Both communities are too ignorant about the other to this day.

What does that first answer in the article mean by "that bass sound is stupid?"

I hate the term nu metal. I prefer to call it rap metal. I would describe korn as heavy metal because I can't hear any rap influence in korn whatsoever.
-Tanner from Nova Scotia

look,you can't be childish and pissy because some aspect of "metal" has changed. Metal is ridiculously broad and everyone has their likes and dislikes about all the subgenres that are inherent with something as broad and ever-changing as metal. At the end of the day were all metal-heads, whether you like hair-metal, nu metal (me personally), gothic metal etc. Sure I don't like symphonic metal, but that doesn't mean I'll bitch and moan about it.

People, let's just turn our attention towards the afront that is "post-hardcore". I'm sure that's something all us metalheads can agree on.
-everydaynormalguy from City of Dis

KoRn is the Only Good Nu-Metal Band, Limp Bizkit sucks, Not Even worth Mentioning, Slipknot Never Was and Never Will be Nu-Metal (more like Soft Death Metal) And Disturbed was also Never Nu-Metal, More Traditional than you think.
-Samuel from Australia

The 'Children of the Sea' are the animals that live in or around the sea that die because of pollution - at least that is what I think the song is about....

And Iron Maiden is definitely punk influenced ;-)...........
-LU from rotterdam, holland

I think people hate it because it gained mainstream success, Once something is accepted by the masses it's not cool anymore. I for one would much prefer to have nu metal songs blasting on the radio over what we get at the moment.

There are still nu metal bands coming out of the wood work (few and far between) but you can find some in the upcoming & unsigned section of my forum @ - its like a nu metal appreciation website i set up in my free time :)
-dave from uk

Numetal and mallcore have been pushed more in the last 10 years... they've been picked up by the younger generation.. I blame the media for destroying metal in the 90s these kids today... most of them wouldn't know what metal used to be... the hair got shorter and the sound got watered down to drum riffs and screams..... and then you got the bands that sold out... and to top it all off any metal you hear today on broadband channels is either mallcore or numetal... the media (and government) knew they couldn't annihilate the movement.. so they just censored it and ripped out it's balls and represented it as a byproduct which gets crapped out of a radio or a tv program every day.
-Dave from Texas

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