Holding On To Black Metal

Album: Circuital (2011)


  • Black Metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal that took root in Norway in the early 1990s. An outlet for young, adolescent aggression, it has been met with hostility from mainstream culture, mainly due to the misanthropic and anti-Christian standpoint of many artists. Moreover, a few of the genre's pioneers have been linked with church burnings, murder and National Socialism.

    This track from American indie rock band My Morning Jacket find them expressing scepticism about people holding on to things as absolutely bleak and dark as black metal once they reach adulthood. Bassist "Two-Tone" Tommy explained to IFC: "There's no doubt that an obsession with anything - even a genre of music or a TV show or a movie or collectibles - can be a distraction from what's really going on or a way to hang on to the past in a way that keeps the responsibilities of life/ adulthood at bay. But there are also things that can only be expressed, or are easier to express, through escapism and especially through music, so much so that its importance should never be discounted. How difficult would adolescence have been without the music that helped carry us through it? No one enters adulthood feeling none of the emotions they did when they were 16."
  • Vocalist Jim James is accompanied on the song by an all-female choir made up of a group of women the band is friends with. Their contribution was recorded in a funeral home in Louisville, which Two-Tone commented, "makes it more metal."
  • Two-Tone told IFC about the recording of the song: "Jim's demo was built on a loop he had made from a Thai pop song called "E-Saew Tam Punha Huajai" by Kwan Jai & Kwan Jit Sriprajan. His mission to the band was to perform the loop like child soldiers roaming the streets. We recorded several takes but the first one - where we're all just getting a feel for playing the loop together - was the keeper."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."

Country Song Titles

Country Song TitlesFact or Fiction

Country songs with titles so bizarre they can't possibly be real... or can they?

Mark Arm of Mudhoney

Mark Arm of MudhoneySongwriter Interviews

When he was asked to write a song for the Singles soundtrack, Mark thought the Seattle grunge scene was already overblown, so that's what he wrote about.

Concert Disasters

Concert DisastersFact or Fiction

Ozzy biting a dove? Alice Cooper causing mayhem with a chicken? Creed so bad they were sued? See if you can spot the real concert mishaps.

James Bond Theme Songs

James Bond Theme SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the 007 theme songs?

Church Lyrics

Church LyricsMusic Quiz

Here is the church, here is the steeple - see if you can identify these lyrics that reference church.