Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Theory on why metal stopped growing in popularity.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Theory on why metal stopped growing in popularity.

    Someone mentioned You Can't Bring Me Down from Suicidal Tendencies the other day. So, naturally, while driving to the store yesterday I had to blast it - just for old time's sake. And, man, does that song hold up.

    It got me lamenting how metal just sort of stopped growing in popularity not long after that song came out, which led me to think about the old 80s/90s scene.

    Nearly every band back then that gained a large fan base had a few things in common most bands these days don't have.

    Each had their own sound/take on the genre. You could hear a few riffs and instantly know you were listening to Judas Priest or Megadeth or Venom or Coroner or whomever.

    Each had a larger than life personality in the band, if it wasn't the band themselves.

    Rob Halford, Cronos, Tom Arraya, Dave Mustaine, Mike Muir, King Diamond, Snake, Chuck Schuldiner, Rob Zombie - all unforgettable, larger than life, rebelliously charismatic personalities that commanded the stage, commanded attention and made people want to see and hear what they were going to do next.

    These days, there's like dozens of bands that all sound the same, and while there's a ton of talent, they all seem to be missing that "Rockstar Chromosone" that put guys like Mike Muir, a punk rock gang banger from Long Beach on the international map.

    Instead of forcing their own identity on the world, a lot of bands these days just seem to be jokeying for their own sub-sub-sub-label to describe what they play. There are no Halfords or Muir's or Chucks, seems like there are just copycats, gear endorsees and YT influencers.

    Maybe I'm just old and stuck in my ways, but I feel like if the next generation had followed the lead of guys like those named above, metal would be a lot more popular.

    Now, it seems like all those characteristics describe rap and hip-hop acts. Is it any wonder that those genres are way more popular now?



    Don't expect much, it's not like I'm a Rocket Surgeon...

    #2
    All solid points. I can't think of any "superstars" in current/recent metal, like Ozzy, Halford, Dickinson, etc. Maybe the Avenged Sevenfold and Dragonforce guys because of Guitar Hero?

    It's probably part of why everything I listen to is 10-20 years old. (That, plus the fact that I'm just old now. )

    Comment


      #3
      Man i still love tendencies and Rocky George playing the Universe is what made me love seven strings.

      I think what killed metal was too many shitty hair metal bands on mtv and the radio. It was oversatuation. Everything got lumped together. Grunge tried to fil the vacuum but got overwhelmed by rap and hip hop.
      O K T H E N

      Comment


        #4
        I don't think metal has stopped growing in popularity at all, it's more likely that you are just not interested in what current "popular" metal has to offer so, it's just not popular to you.

        I'd agree though that "modern metal" - 9 string guitars with 2 guys with dream theater level of skill on guitar and some guy with half his head shaved crooning over it, is shit, but thats just my opinion.

        I still look for and find cool new bands on a weekly basis and bands I like are still putting out great material.

        Most people get to a point in about their mid 20s where they just assume thst new stuff is shit and stop looking.

        Nothing wrong with sticking to what you know though, it does get harder to find stuff that seems exciting the older you get.

        Regarding the rockstar element, probably just comes down to the fact its no longer financially viable.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Nick View Post
          I don't think metal has stopped growing in popularity at all, it's more likely that you are just not interested in what current "popular" metal has to offer so, it's just not popular to you.

          I still look for and find cool new bands on a weekly basis and bands I like are still putting out great material.

          Most people get to a point in about their mid 20s where they just assume thst new stuff is shit and stop looking.

          Nothing wrong with sticking to what you know though, it does get harder to find stuff that seems exciting the older you get.
          Yeah, I agree with this.

          Another factor is that it's so easy to get your music out there nowadays, that it's really hard work to wade through all of that to find stuff you actually like.

          Comment


            #6
            Maybe it's different in Europe, but here in the states in the '90s there were ALWAYS metal bands playing arena shows. Now, aside from maybe Gojira, I can't even remember the last arena metal tour that came around.


            To me, that's a genre no longer growing in popularity.

            I remember a tour in the early 90s at an NFL stadium that sold it out - that's 65,000+ seats. These days, again in the US at least, it seems most metal bands are lucky to sell out a 5000 seat venue.
            Don't expect much, it's not like I'm a Rocket Surgeon...

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Markus View Post

              Yeah, I agree with this.

              Another factor is that it's so easy to get your music out there nowadays, that it's really hard work to wade through all of that to find stuff you actually like.
              Yeah I find myself using cover art to decide what I'm going to give a chance to more often than not

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Nick View Post

                Yeah I find myself using cover art to decide what I'm going to give a chance to more often than not
                Yeah, that and band names. If a band with a stupid name comes up in my Spotify radio, I usually just skip without even listening.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Iron1 View Post
                  Maybe it's different in Europe, but here in the states in the '90s there were ALWAYS metal bands playing arena shows. Now, aside from maybe Gojira, I can't even remember the last arena metal tour that came around.


                  To me, that's a genre no longer growing in popularity.

                  I remember a tour in the early 90s at an NFL stadium that sold it out - that's 65,000+ seats. These days, again in the US at least, it seems most metal bands are lucky to sell out a 5000 seat venue.
                  There were less bands in the 90s though, if you liked metal you'd likely like all the big names, now you can sniff corks and only like a certain sound and still have a million options. Not less popularity just, less people per band.

                  I think the live approach has moved away from massive individual bands with touring support as well to combat my point above. Festivals are far more frequent and well always well attended now. I know this is true in the US because I have tried to attend them and been unable due to tickets selling out for 3 day events etc.

                  Certainly in European festivals bands are still standing in front of 1000s of people .

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Nick View Post

                    Yeah I find myself using cover art to decide what I'm going to give a chance to more often than not
                    I've done this since I was a kid, it's one of the first things that got me into metal.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Rock music in general is not nearly as popular as it once was. The top of the charts is dominated by hip-hop derived music. I'd even go further and say that pop music in the popular imagination has devolved into background noise for TikTok videos and whatnot. "Listening to music" is not an activity by itself for anyone under 30, apart from a few true musos.

                      In my observation, metal is still popular primarily among musicians. I don't know too many "civilians" who listen to it, apart from old guys like me listening to the same music from their teenage years.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Nick View Post
                        I don't think metal has stopped growing in popularity at all, it's more likely that you are just not interested in what current "popular" metal has to offer so, it's just not popular to you.
                        .
                        The fact that 9 other people that like the hyper blast djent screamo kvlt bands that you do doesn't make them popular.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Chris View Post

                          The fact that 9 other people that like the hyper blast djent screamo kvlt bands that you do doesn't make them popular.


                          Not only do I not think the stuff I like is popular, I don't WANT it to be popular



                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Chris View Post

                            The fact that 9 other people that like the hyper blast djent screamo kvlt bands that you do doesn't make them popular.
                            Don't expect much, it's not like I'm a Rocket Surgeon...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Chris View Post

                              I've done this since I was a kid, it's one of the first things that got me into metal.
                              I remember picking up Ride the Lightning the week it came out. Totally in love with the cover art, I flipped it over and saw pimple faced Metallica on the back and was like "what cheese is this?" Before I could put it back down, my buddy was like "dude, that album RIPS!" so I got it. To this day, one of my all-time favorite albums ever made.

                              I also grabbed the first Armored Saint strictly due to the cover art. Great album, but not Ride.
                              Don't expect much, it's not like I'm a Rocket Surgeon...

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by Nick View Post



                                Not only do I not think the stuff I like is popular, I don't WANT it to be popular


                                The styles of metal that I listen to the most are not played on the radio, nor were they ever played on the radio, and it's unlikely they ever would be (or the equivalent of the radio/TV today). They're too extreme, too complex, too long, too short, too avant-garde/experimental, and so on (progressive death metal, progressive black metal, avant-garde metal, grindcore, post-metal, experimental metal, etc. etc. etc. etc.).

                                I personally am always listening to new bands and, while I do listen to a lot of music from 10, 20, 30, and 40+ years ago, I also listen to a lot of music from within the past 3 years. I just bought 3 albums in the past few days that were released within the last 12 months. While I worked today, I listened to the debut album of an artist that came out 1 year ago and 2 albums that were released within the past 2 years by bands that have been around for more than a decade, as well as the debut album of a band that came out 2 years ago. Only one of them could be considered popular, and even then, not super popular or anything like that.

                                Extreme metal was never "popular." And the reasons why hair metal or nu metal went out of popularity have been examined in extreme detail over the years.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Nick View Post
                                  I don't think metal has stopped growing in popularity at all, it's more likely that you are just not interested in what current "popular" metal has to offer so, it's just not popular to you.

                                  I'd agree though that "modern metal" - 9 string guitars with 2 guys with dream theater level of skill on guitar and some guy with half his head shaved crooning over it, is shit, but thats just my opinion.
                                  THere's a lot of truth in this. I still listen to new stuff, and occasionally find something I like.

                                  But I also have to say, that I do blast out an old band I loved 20 years ago, and yeah, it's cool, but not as cool as it used to be.

                                  I think as you get older, you've kind of heard most stuff, most sub genres, and nothing is really new and exciting like when you were 14 and every single band was awesome. Some of those bands I've listened back to, and they were actually not anywhere near as awesome as I remember.

                                  There is good new stuff, like the new Architects, for example, I am really enjoying. A while back it was Skyblood.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Another thing to realise is that we have drastically changed the way we consume music. It is definitely more of a throwaway commodity now, and easy to just find a ton of stuff, and there is a lot more out there as well. So some of it, I think, has also to do with overload of the market and saturation.

                                    It's hard to stand out when you are surrounded by a lot of bands doing the same thing.

                                    I do agree there's no real big characters now. Social media kind of killed it I think.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Waiting for this thread to dissolve into miserable old fuckers in 3, 2, 1...........

                                      I think the point has already been made though, the plurality of the Internet has made it possible for a lot of bands to have a modest to decent following that won't fully pay the bills, rather than the old gatekeeper model of million selling superstars with private jets.

                                      The lack of personality can also be attributed to people not being able to immerse themselves fully in their art any more. I've always said that putting a band on tour for two weeks will progress them quicker than two years of single shows, being 'do or die' on a package tour with other high performing bands for months on end is where real rockstars are born, and that's a very rare opportunity now. It will probably also make them seem like shitty people to everyone when they return to 'normal life', but this is the way.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by jacksonplayer View Post
                                        Rock music in general is not nearly as popular as it once was. The top of the charts is dominated by hip-hop derived music. I'd even go further and say that pop music in the popular imagination has devolved into background noise for TikTok videos and whatnot. "Listening to music" is not an activity by itself for anyone under 30, apart from a few true musos.

                                        In my observation, metal is still popular primarily among musicians. I don't know too many "civilians" who listen to it, apart from old guys like me listening to the same music from their teenage years.
                                        This is pretty accurate I think. There's just a lot more competition in the category of "shit you can do to entertain yourself alone in your room" than their used to be. Social media, video games, etc.

                                        Also tbh, genres come and go in popularity and it's sort of weird to expect one to stay at the top of the heap for like 40-50 years. I think metal has followed a pretty normal trajectory where it had it's underground phase, then it broke through and was mega popular for a while, and now it's still pretty popular but not exactly mainstream.

                                        Comment


                                          #21
                                          Definitely think a lot of it is changing times, changing ways music is consumed, etc. Where's GWAR when you need them?

                                          Also a lot harder to get out there and get people buying your stuff than it ever was back in the day. I remember hearing Opeth had a "hit" album that only sold 5k copies the first week. We did 27k the first week back in '89 and were considered barely notable sales wise. Napster and the Pandora's box it opened definitely screwed a lot of musicians.

                                          Originally posted by Lozek View Post
                                          Waiting for this thread to dissolve into miserable old fuckers in 3, 2, 1...........
                                          Right?

                                          Don't expect much, it's not like I'm a Rocket Surgeon...

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            I actually have no idea what is new or popular in metal right now. I've not really understood the appeal of a lot of new music for a long time and have been living in my own little bubble.

                                            On social media, which is really the only social sphere I have anymore since moving, it's all like.... Cardi B? Megan Thee Stallion? I loathe both. I just don't understand the appeal. I rarely hear metal being used in clips or shared. The new music that I enjoy mostly comes from bands that are like 20-30 years old
                                            Leon Today at 7:59 PM: Ripping farts is heaven

                                            Comment


                                              #23
                                              Originally posted by 7 Dying Trees View Post


                                              I think as you get older, you've kind of heard most stuff, most sub genres, and nothing is really new and exciting like when you were 14 and every single band was awesome. Some of those bands I've listened back to, and they were actually not anywhere near as awesome as I remember.
                                              This is it, really.

                                              Comment


                                                #24
                                                Despite hip hop/R&B/EDM being the more popular choices today, that doesn’t negate the fact that there are more guitars and guitar gear on the market now than there ever was. I don’t think these companies would be putting out so much product if they didn’t think it’d sell. Between Ibanez, ESP, Schecter and Kiesel, they’ve got TONS of models that are directed at the younger crowd, never mind all those small builders that are making money off of SSO.

                                                I’m in a few guitar-based groups on FB and from all I can tell, the younger generation is just as stoked about Periphery and Bring Me The Horizon as I was about Alice In Chains and Faith No More in the 90’s. It’s so saturated now that it’s hard for anyone to really stand out and I think that’s the bigger point. All that music is still there and there are still just as many people passionate about it, but because the world is in our hands with a cellphone now, it’s not like the 80’s or 90’s when you had your core group of friends and everyone loved Maiden and Priest and could be identified by the patches on their denim jacket, or in the 90’s when you had the goth kids all into NIN and Manson, or the skater kids into Korn and CKY. Music practically belonged to certain groups back then and these days it seems the group aspect isn’t a part of it anymore.

                                                It also seems like people are spreading out their tastes a lot more and instead of just being into metal, the younger generation will listen to anything from metal to rap to EDM and dig it all just the same. While I don’t dig rap (or hip hop, I don’t know what they’re calling it now...trap?) I’ll always see it as a good thing when people spread out their influences.

                                                TL;DR- rock/metal still has all of it’s fans, probably more now than there was back in the 80’s/90’s, but because it’s so spread out and we’re only seeing small collectives of it within the context of the entire world, it makes it seem like it’s not as popular. The sheer amount of guitars and gear available right now shows that it’s not in a decline, but spreading further and wider. IMO.

                                                Comment


                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by RevDrucifer View Post
                                                  Despite hip hop/R&B/EDM being the more popular choices today, that doesn’t negate the fact that there are more guitars and guitar gear on the market now than there ever was. I don’t think these companies would be putting out so much product if they didn’t think it’d sell. Between Ibanez, ESP, Schecter and Kiesel, they’ve got TONS of models that are directed at the younger crowd, never mind all those small builders that are making money off of SSO.

                                                  I’m in a few guitar-based groups on FB and from all I can tell, the younger generation is just as stoked about Periphery and Bring Me The Horizon as I was about Alice In Chains and Faith No More in the 90’s. It’s so saturated now that it’s hard for anyone to really stand out and I think that’s the bigger point. All that music is still there and there are still just as many people passionate about it, but because the world is in our hands with a cellphone now, it’s not like the 80’s or 90’s when you had your core group of friends and everyone loved Maiden and Priest and could be identified by the patches on their denim jacket, or in the 90’s when you had the goth kids all into NIN and Manson, or the skater kids into Korn and CKY. Music practically belonged to certain groups back then and these days it seems the group aspect isn’t a part of it anymore.

                                                  It also seems like people are spreading out their tastes a lot more and instead of just being into metal, the younger generation will listen to anything from metal to rap to EDM and dig it all just the same. While I don’t dig rap (or hip hop, I don’t know what they’re calling it now...trap?) I’ll always see it as a good thing when people spread out their influences.

                                                  TL;DR- rock/metal still has all of it’s fans, probably more now than there was back in the 80’s/90’s, but because it’s so spread out and we’re only seeing small collectives of it within the context of the entire world, it makes it seem like it’s not as popular. The sheer amount of guitars and gear available right now shows that it’s not in a decline, but spreading further and wider. IMO.
                                                  Good points here. I guess things are more.... polyglot? for The Youth
                                                  Leon Today at 7:59 PM: Ripping farts is heaven

                                                  Comment

                                                  Working...
                                                  X