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orionmetalhead
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:54 am
Posts: 2467
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:44 am 
 

I just finished a longer essay following a recent gig I went to featuring Morbid Saint and some local bands such as Infiltrator, Sacrificial Blood and Condition Criticial. I'd like to hear some thoughts. The original article I posted on my blog: Contaminated Tones.
Quote:
INNOCENCE, ARROGANCE and ELITISM

I don't know when I realized what I had learned the other night after Morbid Saint, a band that should crush a small backroom at a bar, had an awful sounding performance and the opening band, Infiltrator, totally destroyed all that came early to show support for what should have been an awesome billing. The opening band even impressed a friend of mine whose ambivalence for modern metal would be written and cited and analogized by Homer if the Greek had been alive to know the guy. The turnout at the show was surprising - roughly half the attendees were about fifteen or sixteen years old and the rest were the usual crowd of band members and their girlfriends. For a bar show in the heart of one of Philadelphia's less pleasant areas, that such youngsters were even allowed out was amazing to see. Highlighting this fact was the altercation at the Chinese take-out restaurant around the block where a few friends and myself ran to fuel up during Casket's set. After a handful of somewhat awkward looking kids left, one of the locals brandished a nightstick, touted his prison credentials and hit on what must have been another local underage girl buying pot stickers; an environment completely safe for youthful upbringing.

I've been dwelling on a particular thought for a while - trying to pinpoint the notoriously elusive concept of "Elitism" and "Elitists" and their place within the global and, more importantly, local metal scene which I've been engaged with for years now. It's been hard to really solidify anything really which, for myself, could properly define either concept. On the internet, I've come to realize, the idea of being an elitist really has no concreteness. It's like looking at clouds at believing you could place a heavy weight on them without worrying about it falling down and crushing your skull back on earth. There are no grounds to stand on when it comes to being an elitist on the internet but we've still made attempts to label particularly diaphanous groups, people and users using equally translucent definitions. In most cases, the "Elite" have come to represent ultra-knowledgeable iconic purveyors of underground metal imagery who take square pegs and turn them into round cylinders so that they will fit into the holes in their own philosophies and, therefore, the acknowledged thoughts of a vast majority of the heavy metal electorate.

How many people are there that believe that only the bands listed on Metal Archives are truly metal bands? How many people are there that are afraid to formulate their own opinions on Metallica's Death Magnetic or Megadeth's Risk because they are afraid of the backlash by those within their circle who hold differing opinions? How many, looking for alternate opinions to those commonly held, have turned to Anus.com and Ray Spinoza to try and out-maneuver the extremeness of friends so that they may be deemed an original thinker? How many people have we met that are willing to agree just to be deemed acceptable in the eyes of someone else? The list goes on and on and unfortunately, I'm sure that those that want to argue against these concepts are the very same that employ the actions behind them. I think it was later on in the night driving home under a particularly weird fog/low cloud ceiling at three in the morning when a lot of this clicked.

I was thinking back to some of the conversations earlier in the night amongst not only myself and my friends but conversations overheard of others - admittedly one of which I was purposely paying attention to. I was able to break the conversations down ultimately into a relatively few categories. One was the category effectively labelled as "bullshit" conversations as Harry Frankfurt would describe them in his 2005 coffee table reader On Bullshit. These were conversations which were sincere, serious and yet jovial amongst friends. Such as myself talking with the guys behind Stench about excrement, aliens and general personal quandaries about how they were doing, what was going on with their music, etc. The second type of conversation was observational in nature and involved almost always the actions of the younger kids at the show such as a conversation about the patches on their jackets, their frumpiness and blissful ignorance. The last set of conversations were something different entirely. It also was a response to the youngsters at the show but it was not observational but rather confrontational and, for lack of a better term, assholish. I overheard some older guy quizzing one of the younger concert-goers on his tastes, his knowledge and his experiences.

It all started to get put together, piece by piece as I was driving home, once again applying some of the experiences to the larger question I had been stuck on - elitism and it's role. Just to clarify before I go on, everything I am about to say happened exactly as I describe it and I'm particularly interested in whether I piss people off by criticizing their actions but I'm going to use random names anyway. Those that read this and recognize themselves anecdotally can bitch but I'm not pointing fingers or throwing punches and my opinions on those individuals isn't for the better or worse and I'm sure I've made some pretty arrogant statements as well so I'm also not saying that I'm some angelic Metalhead. I'm not touting my own horn - those that know me personally know I am not a person to do that.

There was a moment during the night when I began to take more notice of some of the more minor things I normally wouldn't take note of. Maybe I realized that there was some deeper meaning evolving that night but who knows. Once again it goes back to that Chinese restaurant and while we were waiting for them to make our food behind the bulletproof glass the aforementioned group of youngsters were still in the small waiting area. They were all really young, they couldn't have been older than sixteen years old. They looked like awkward middle-schoolers. Two of the four of them had denim kuttes with a whole mess of patches, all ironed on to my eyes - not that that matters - and with no real order either. One of the other kids was wearing a slayer shirt or something and one just had on some striped shirt and was anorexically skinny. I could have fit his whole body inside a CD-r case and still have room for the booklet.

I was paying attention to their conversation because they were talking about Megadeth. They were totally oblivious to my friends and me. The statement that really caught my ears originally was one of the talking about how Endgame was his favorite Megadeth album and that Symphony of Destruction and Sweating Bullets were such awesome songs. It was one of those things where you listen to see if you heard right because to my knowledge I've never met anyone who had thoughts like that. I also don't have any sixteen year old friends. The conversation continued:

"I think I've listened to all of Rust In Peace."
"I really like that song Poison Is The Cure"
"I've listened to most of it."

It's the kind of conversation which reminded me of how old I was. I haven't had a discussion about Megadeth and my favorite Megadeth songs in at least seven years. I've had discussions on more subtle issues in regards to Megadeth such as Dave's refusal to play The Conjuring and his new found religious beliefs, the contemplation that maybe Endgame is a throwback to Rust and Peace because Dave's out of ideas and that the remaster of So Far... So Good... So What! Is better than the original pressing. These little kids made me feel like an elderly man in a wheel chair with a breathing tube wearing diapers and crapping myself. Out of curiosity I cut in, "I think Risk is an underrated album. Same with Youthanasia." The swarm began:

"Yeah! I like Risk!"
"Youthanasia? Which one is that?"
"Risk is probably their best album."

It was a strange development. To their conversation because they all basically outright agreed with me about an album which the vast majority of humankind loathes and hates with the same force and passion as albums like St. Anger or Dance of Death. One of my friends joined in with something to the effect of "Fucking Cryptic Writings man!," - an attempt to foster more laughs for us at them. I found it amusing as well, even if my original comment on Risk wasn't meant to be a condemnation or "troll." While we waited for the food, one of the kids came up to me and asked me specifically about one of my patches:

"Where did you get that Morgoth patch? I've never seen that patch before!" He was hunched over looking at the patch like a doctor would examine a skin deformity.
I told the truth, "I bought it in Germany."
He backed off, staring with an amazed look, probably the same look he'll have when he sees tits for the first time. "Germany!? You went to Germany?"
"I played Keep it True 7 with one of my past bands. I bought it from a vendor there. It's an official patch from around the time Odium was released."
He wasn't even interested in the patch anymore. "You played Keep it True!?" All his friends by this time were equally as awed.
"Yeah. Back in 2007."
"What was your band called?"
"At the time I was in a band called Arctic Flame."
The kid thought for a moment. "I think I heard of that band."

My friends chimed in jest with their usual comments about how the band was awful, that the songs I had written for the band were crap etc. Some back story since I generally don't use Contaminated Tones as a journal or anything and I really don't give out chunks of my own personal feelings I'll clear up some stuff. I played in Arctic Flame from about 2007 until 2011 when I left after the recording of Guardians of the Flame but before the release. I had known during the writing sessions for the band that I would leave after the album was finished since I was unhappy with most of the material on the album. I had hoped that the band would move more in a direction towards something like Omen or Jag Panzer but it was obvious that wouldn't happen. I had other priorities at the time as well - school, finding a job, internships and such - which did factor in heavily but I was dissatisfied with the rotating list of members, the lack of focus and attention to detail in the recordings... But even with all that, I did enjoy my time with Arctic Flame. I still am friends with all the members and I wouldn't want that to change since they are all great guys. I'm really looking forward to their January show with Attacker who is now fronted by a good friend of mine - Bobby Lucas. I had a lot of great experiences with the band and although I do know that the band is considered somewhat comedically by many, I know that the band did not look at it's existence that way and I didn't look at my involvement that way. I'm not ashamed of my involvement with the band at all and with the exception of one track I really liked my material on both albums. Anyway...

Fact of the matter is that there is very little chance that kid had ever heard of the band since Arctic Flame hasn't played a whole lot of shows locally recently and they've been preoccupied writing another album. Ultimately later on, during a totally separate conversation I reflected on the whole idea of image. These kids had at least thirty to forty patches on their jackets. My jacket has five patches and all five of them have stories behind them with experiences I've had. My patches MEAN something to me. I expect that it will take me YEARS to finish patching my jacket because for me, I look at my jacket as something that is symbolic of my own journey through metal. I want my jacket to not only be patched with bands and albums that really mean something to me, but also be stitched with the experiences which I've been afforded by being a metalhead throughout my life.

My Morgoth patch reminds me of my time in Germany, playing the Keep It True 7 warm up gig with Wolf, Onslaught and Ross The Boss. It reminds me of having probably my first hangover and not being able to wake up the following morning. It reminds me of not only one of my first metal experiences abroad but also one of my first real life experiences. My Manowar Hail to England patch reminds me of seeing Manowar play Starland ballroom a year back and playing all of Battle Hymns - an album that for me is one of my absolute favorite albums ever - and just being witness to a band, expecting so much and being still blown away by the power of Heavy Metal. My Judas Priest patch reminds me of Germany when I played Sword Brothers. The Manilla Road back-patch is obvious. I bought it off a guy online who didn't want to sell it. I paid too much for it. I've restitched it a handful of times and my girlfriend of over nine years has stitched it for me as well. I will have it signed at MDF this year when I interview Mark...

The kids at the show were all really enjoying themselves all night. The crowning moment was obviously Morbid Saint though. It was immediately apparent to myself, my two friends and many of the other older people at the show that their sound was god-awful and that they looked bored and uninspired. The kids didn't care at all. They were running around like sheep in a pen, like kindergarteners before the bell, like untrained moviegoers during a fire. There were skinny ones, fat ones, slightly pudgy ones... all exuding the youthful innocence and naivety of captivated youth while the older seasoned individuals who saw Morbid Saint a year ago at the Barbary or seven months ago at Maryland Deathfest stared on intrigued but not impressed. While the children crowd surfed at created a game out of trying to leave footprints on the ceiling fan blades, the rest of us waited impatiently and unresponsively to hear failed recreations of Scars, Cry for Death and Assassin. But the children didn't care. I watched my friend break down in hysterical bouts of laughter as one of the kids, a sea-lion of a boy, in an attempt to join the circle pit wound up literally running in a circle around himself like a dog chasing his tail. Imagine that image, a boy that looks like a sea-lion and is shaped similarly running in a small tight orbit as quickly as possible.

Afterwards, we waited outside for a bit. My friend had to clear up some business with an ex band member so we were there to make sure that it didn't turn ugly. Everything wound up fine though we knew he was still somewhat irked. Whatever. We talked a bit and some of the kids decided to leave. My friend was going on about how the kids had no idea what a circle pit was. For some reason he was really stuck on the issue and, unfortunately for the kids that engaged in the circus that was this mosh, my friend happened to be in a pissy mood at this point. He engaged them, telling them that they had no idea what a circle pit was, and that it was supposed to be violent, not happy go lucky and yada-yada. My other friend and I just shook our heads. Later on I realized that I had uncovered the other half of the puzzle I was missing in regards to elitism.

At the base of this condemnation of the kids moshing "incorrectly" was a belief that one person knew more about the thing - in this case moshing - than someone else. Sure, it was true in this case but what does that even mean? Knowledge really has no bearing anymore and is confused with such. Prior to the inundation of the internet, knowledge was a mark of elitism and expertise for metalheads. There was little chance that anyone could discover bands from overseas without knowledge of someone overseas to contact for trades. Knowledge was in high demand. Individuals across state lines with contacts through tape trading were one of the few ways of spreading new music. Individuals that actually spent money to buy records and tapes were how other people heard new music and got into new bands. Essentially, those "in the know" were the most important people in the hierarchy of elite within a scene. It took hours of scavenging through fanzines and liner notes just to hear about a band you've never heard of and then you had to know someone that had access to that. It was necessary to build rapport and know people and locations to find products and scenes which new material was commonly introduced

Today, there is no such thing as "in the know." The internet and rapid spread of information renders knowledge a common commodity. Anyone can download anything. Anyone can learn as much as they want with little effort other than time spent reading forums and asking for recommendations. There are thousands of blogs out there explaining things. There are hundreds of weekend-writers and armchair-filmakers creating youtube documentaries for easy absorption by anyone who wants to learn about US Power Metal or Japanese Thrash or whatever. Anyone can search for anything and check out every band from any place with a click of a button. Those that still believe that elitism is founded on the notion of knowledge are living under false pretenses. Perhaps there is still a small amount of clout to those original thinkers within the scene and world, that can still pull relevant and new thoughts out of their brains but I expect that those individuals will also soon be overshadowed by the sheer amount of new thoughts available for picking on the internet.

Earlier in the evening I had struck up a conversation with a guy I met at another show named Jim. He had readily admitted to only recently getting into Heavy Metal and we were talking for a bit. Nice guy. He saw me at this Morbid Saint show and we talked again - mostly bullshit again - about jobs, about girls and what we'd been up to for the past month or so. He seemed genuinely happy to have someone familiar at the show to talk to since he had come by himself. I know the feeling - I oftentimes go to shows alone. It's nice to see someone to talk to. Usually I know at least a few people but for him, with little connections built with those that are regulars to shows it could be daunting to decide to go to a show expecting to spend the night alone with your thoughts. Let's face it, even metalheads are emotional humans. We enjoy company. We aren't, as some may have the masses believe, solitary demons crouching in corners and spitting at all that pass by.

If Elitism isn't knowledge or being able to pack the most patches on your jacket or be able to troll the internet forums the hardest or have the rarest t-shirt or longest hair or being the toughest fucker in the pit, ready to bash in the weak pudgy youths at the slightest offense to mosh-law, where then do we find the elitists? Who are those that exemplify elitism in the purest sense? I think it can be found in those that truly allow metal to exist and occur. It resides in those willing to forgive some ignorant indiscretions at the hands of inexperience. Elitism is the method by which individuals provide support.

I look at the people that I respect the most in my local scene. Vinny from Signature Riff, Kieth from Fallout Zine, Ed from Wendigo Productions and all the people that allow their operations to operate. Those who provide constant coverage in times of need like Zach and Adam in Mortum who always are willing to play shows last minute. These are people who give more than the normal to make things happen. Whether it be money, or time or effort or equipment... metal doesn't live without individuals like this. I look at the bands that play shows and they set up, play then leave and I think of how sad that is. There is no support from individuals like that and these are individuals who will NEVER in my eyes be respected. People that pull out of shows last minute to play somewhere else, people that steal other bands equipment or won't let people use their stuff if something breaks. These arrogant individuals exemplify the elitist attitude as defined by so many but it's a definition that should not be applied to the scum that saturate the scene who expect so much from everyone and give so little back.

I'll also touch on something that also really bothers me which fits in this whole conversation. Eddie Trunk should be tarred and feathered by the Metal community. I don't understand how anyone can watch him, take him seriously or consider him an expert on metal at all. If there was an example of what elitism is viewed as he would be it. He is so full of himself as to have a section on his show where people quiz him on "Metal" and try and stump him. As if stumping him is so difficult. Everything he knows is anything anyone would know that grew up listening to hard rock and Metal in the 80's. He is a classic example of being there at the right time. He interviews the same has-beens every show. His lists and recommendations are awful. But the single most sad aspect of the guy is how people believe he is this big supporter of Heavy Metal and how he pretends to be. He has never once promoted any legitimate Metal concert other than the concerts which he himself serves as host - Overkill shows and Accept shows in the area. He has the opportunity to reach millions of people instantly and have them know about shows that are going on in the area through his show on VH1 Classic and instead, he elects to interview Ace Frehley and his wrinkles. He is a sham and I hope that when his book is released he uses one of the images of me being hoisted up by Amadaeusz at the last Accept show giving him the finger. Pure Elitist self-worshipping arrogance. I saw him at the Accept show and got physically angered. I started shaking, my teeth were clenched my fists balled... it took a lot to not walk up to him and call him out on his leechlike ways.

Think about that kid in the Chinese take out place so amazed at my jacket and consider the larger picture. Something is pretty clear to me. There are a lot of kids out there that are getting into Metal and they have no one but themselves and the lawlessness of the internet (or misguidance of TV sham-artists like Eddie Trunk) to guide them these days. Where will that lead them? They will become products of an age which I believe many view with disgust. The ease of consumption without the ability to digest. These kids have everything at their fingertips instantly. They will have few experiences but a lot of supposed knowledge. They will become elitists in terms of what they read elitism to be but will fall incredibly hard when that accrued knowledge fails to live up to reality. The internet is a rough place usually for youth to grow up. It's a playground in which all the swing sets are coated in a slimy layer of acid, where the slides are fashions not of plastic but of coarse sandpaper, where the floor is not wood chips but bones of past youth crushed in places where the discouraged have trodden and the whole thing exists not under a starry night but in a glass dome of carcinogenic and asbestos particle riddled gas.

They will inevitably leave their dens, armed with knowledge they accrued from months spent surfing the forums that dot the landscape of their home world. Their superior intellect they know will guide them in all situations because they've listened to every album they could download and they've read every article on Swedish death metal they could find. They know that their camouflage is perfect because they've compared it to all the other images of camouflaged vests. They have all the right patches in all the right places so that those out on the front lines will know that they are capable soldiers.

And there they will stand, talking loudly and proud about their opinions and about all the stuff they know. And yet, as the night continues on, they won't realize that they are acting as drunkards act while not being old enough to buy alcohol. They won't realize that their patches don't mean anything because they never left their nest before to acquire a patch that DID mean something. All the knowledge in the world won't help them when the opening bands don't have any material online for them to prepare to. They will headbang out of time with the music and they will make fools of themselves in front of those they are trying to impress. They won't even notice that it is as clear they are amateurs as it is clear to veterans that Morbid Saint sound like shit tonight.

That's all well and good. No tradesman ever is considered a master without years and years of field experience. No tradesman is ever considered highly by co workers unless he is willing to hold the pipe or carry the cables into a job site.

In a sense I am proposing something through all this. We should aspire to teach these children and youth and all those around us what they can not learn without leaving their homes. Elitism is not only the support of the scene logistically. As individuals, we should aspire to create an environment for these youth and amateur Heavy Metal fans that will keep them coming back. The reason that the metal scene in the USA is so poor has a lot to do with the regulars being out of touch with those that revitalize the scene. We are jaded. The sense of excitement on going to shows has worn out for us in many respects. We've seen something louder, faster, more brutal. We've seen pits more violent. We've seen shows that leave us speechless and shows that are so awful that we leave before the show is over. These are all our experiences but yet we continue our support because Heavy Metal means something to us.

For these awkward, excited and rambunctious but ignorant and foolish children metal means something as well. We shouldn't do harm to that meaning through arrogance. Ostracizing them through unnecessary critique, overwhelming force or blatant too-good-for-you-ery does nothing for the scenes we try and hold together, often with duct tape and super glue. I'm not saying we pull our punches. I'm saying that we support the vitality of Heavy Metal by being inclusive to those that show they really want to be a part of Metal. I'm saying we support the people that go through the trouble to put shows together by making kids WANT to come out to shows. We will know those that don't want to be there and for those unlucky souls I say we make an example of them by ripping and tearing them to shreds so that they are too scared to come back but when some kid spent all his lunch money buying patches for his jacket instead of eating lunch, when some kid is out at a metal show on a Saturday night instead of trying to woo a pimple-faced prepubescent classmate, when some kid brings his friends to see Morbid Saint put on a performance of barely lackluster quality in a seedy bar, maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge.

Nudge their frail bodies in the right direction, inspire them with experiences, show them that there is more to Metal than listening to Pleasure to Kill alone. Because there is more to it - at least I've always thought so. For some it's a life-long philosophical pursuit and for others it's a way to get away from serious stuff. "Elite" is the kind of characterization that should be associated with individuals of better qualities than being an internet troll or a selfish recluse. Honestly, there should be no confusion that elitism means something very very different than what we've come to believe it to mean.
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Last edited by orionmetalhead on Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
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Location: Finland
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:19 am 
 

Your claim that metal elitism can no longer based on vast knowledge isn't entirely accurate. Even if information is easily available and nearly anything can be downloaded and listened to, there are still enormous rifts between the level of metal knowledge, experience and analysing skills people have. A vest full of patches has never been an indication of infallible metal knowledge and mastery, but even when every single patch was ordered from eBay and sewn on the same night, each logo represents some aspect of metal that the bearer identifies with. The meaning, then, might not be as personal as with your patches, and each patch obviously won't have a story or a powerful memory, but they do not entirely lack meaning or indicate lack of knowledge. At least, one must not confuse the aforementioned habit with something like Beckham's wearing an Exodus shirt.

As for young people wildly moshing and headbanging at a lacklustre performance, it's completely understandable when you see a favourite band for the first time. Hearing all those great songs you've headbanged to at home finally live with the incredibly low sound, the fantastic atmosphere at a live show with all the sweat, rough physical contact and likeminded metalheads all around - it's easy to ingore the fact that the band isn't particularly enthusiastic, especially with no prior experience of the same band playing a more energetic show. I think it's merely a positive thing that there were so many young people so enthusiastic about metal that even the lacklustre performance didn't hinder their enjoyment.

Some more thoughts later, maybe. I have to hurry to a lesson
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I Am the Law
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:12 am 
 

I think your anger towards a TV personality is pretty childish and unwarranted. Eddie Trunk is only going to cover the mainstream stuff. He's on VH1. What would you honestly expect? I wouldn't expect a "serious" metalhead to look at him as some tome of knowledge on metal. I'm sure people watch the show for what it is; it's just entertainment. I personally don't watch it regularly, but I've turned it on every now and then when there is a guest on that I think might be interesting.

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Ancient_Sorrow
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:39 am 
 

This really got me thinking about what it means to be into metal, and what makes an elitist... Today's pondering, which I will no doubt contradict myself on tomorrow, is thus;

I) A metal fan is someone who enjoys listening to heavy metal, that is a given. But they don't necessarily ambitiously pursue knowledge of it, perhaps having their thirst slaked by a handful of entry-level acts, and feeling no need to explore further. There are, no-doubt, many among this group who have "gotten it wrong" - bedecked in misinformation, and a lack of knowledge, pursuing numerous non-metal but nonetheless heavy artists, while considering them "metal", and not grasping the basics particularly well. I'd say almost everyone who claims to be a metal-head "enters the game" at this level, before moving on in terms of knowledge.

II) Those who posses a real curiosity, a love of music-knowledge, and thirst to be closer to feeling the "essence" of metal accumulate "metal-knowledge" - the "I will listen to this band because I haven't before, and I might enjoy it" mentality, as it were. That's where the knowledge of metal comes from, and being able to better feel it's intricacies - to understand it more fully, both in terms of it's diversity, and it's boundaries.

III) The "metal elitist" is simply the character above, but possessed of a cynical and perhaps mislead suspicion that he has a far superior understanding of metal's essence than the mere mortals around him, and values his judgements as objectively better musical choices than that of others, particularly of those who don't have as much knowledge. While for instance II) would not be elitist in telling I) that a band such as Slipknot "aren't really metal", III) would be elitist in telling I) that, say, Pantera "are awful" in a matter-of-fact fashion.

Ultimately, I think elitism isn't about knowledge, but about how the individual treats their own knowledge. Group II) helps to create some middle ground which makes the distinction less radical, with the non-ignorant non-elitist sitting between the ignorant and the elitist.
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BasqueStorm
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:43 am 
 

orionmetalhead wrote:
I just finished a longer essay following a recent gig I went to featuring Morbid Saint and some local bands such as Infiltrator, Sacrificial Blood and Condition Criticial. I'd like to hear some thoughts. The original article I posted on my blog: Contaminated Tones.

You know you could quote the text of the article just to make your post look better, right?
Anyway, I can't read your article now.

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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:10 am 
 

There's the kind of negative elitists in the form of guys who listen just a certain circle of bands (cause the rest are 'obvious' poseurs, conclusion not taken by the music quality as the main factor, but personal issues); treat as poseurs to anyone who wasn't in the 'right place' as they have some kind of privileged status for being stupid youngsters when some acclaimed bands were also stupid teenagers; people who claims that internet killed metal not for piracy, but for the easiness to find material that was obscure back in the day and only 'they' had it, thus making them the 'exclusive providers' of the darkest metal knowledge - of course, only available for the 'chosen ones'; and so on. The knowledge is not the problem, it's the way it's portrayed and especially used, most of time in conversations and judgements of subjective matters as facts. Still, I think elitists are needed; most of them are dedicated metalheads that buy albums/merch and attend gigs, which are the ways to support the bands directly and effectively.

Still, I feel the same about the overall 'enjoyment' youngsters seem to genuinely feel when the experimented metalheads frown upon the venue, the sound, the promoters, the price tickets, the ugliness of the flyers, among other important and unimportant stuff. When I saw bands live, like 20 years ago, I didn't care how shitty was the sound and the venue. I was there to have fun, nothing more, nothing less. With time, I began to give gigs a different meaning, as metal and the 'scene' were meaning something different as well, especially when I joined my first band back in the mid 90's. Then gigs were not simply places to listen some good music and have some beers with friends, it was almost like an unofficial cultural gathering showing another face of the city, whose main characters were the guys that people look as delinquents for having long hair and jackets with 'evil' patches, etc... BUT, I still had fun and after all, that's the main reason I attend gigs and play live.

Yes, newcomers don't have much 'direction' about bands, albums, but do they really need it? if someone likes, say, Cryptic Writings, how can that be wrong? tastes are not 'right' and 'wrong' things and no matter how many metalheads think the same about certain albums and bands. It takes to listen deeply a certain music genre to understand it, but still when you've been into it for years and years, there'll always be 'that' album/band that you like/hate but no one else. They just need to go thru it and learn to appreciate the styles for simple experience; no one will truly understand a style cause someone just explain it. Some recommendations are of course useful but that's pretty easy to get in any metal forum; it's the dedication which will 'forge' them as metalheads with an opinion, one that they made by themselves sharing thoughts and 'living' metal.
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:21 pm 
 

I Am the Law wrote:
I think your anger towards a TV personality is pretty childish and unwarranted. Eddie Trunk is only going to cover the mainstream stuff. He's on VH1. What would you honestly expect? I wouldn't expect a "serious" metalhead to look at him as some tome of knowledge on metal. I'm sure people watch the show for what it is; it's just entertainment. I personally don't watch it regularly, but I've turned it on every now and then when there is a guest on that I think might be interesting.


He's not just a TV personality. He's had a long term radio show here in the area, he attends and promotes gigs for bands that he knows and ignores all the other bands in the area that would be acceptable to promote. Eddie Trunk grew up in my town, was a part of the Old Bridge Militia back in the day, was looked upon by many as having gotten to a position where he could do a lot of great things for metal and somehow, he just ignored that opportunity instead using his podium as a place not to speak to the crowd but as a place to display his connections in the form of little bobble-head figurines.

I'm not expecting him to promote black metal or death metal but there are a lot of regular old heavy metal and hard rock bands in the area that could use the boost he could deliver for them. The ultimate point that I was making, and that you seem to have missed, is that he plays the part of what I am claiming an elitist is defined as currently, and not what the elite should actually be - he is all about the show, the glitz and the glamour and not the support that someone with his credentials could actually be giving to the scene.
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absurder21
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:31 pm 
 

I only got halfway before I tl/dr'd. I thought it was interesting, and your probably write about elistists values before the internet but:

1. Those kids didn't know sqwat about Megadeth (also, I'm pretty sure the only real problem people have with Maiden's Dance of Death is the artwork). I'm not saying it's impossible to like Risk, but they way you portrayed them just made it sound like they were trying to fit in with fans of a band they didn't really know. They knew the names of albums and a few songs, but not the actual full blown album.

2. Although it's easy to become an eltist in present days, there are still these "center eltists" characters around, I see them mostly on facebook groups, and it's the exact situation that you described at the Chinese restaurant: young kids floundering around a center elitist/more knowledgeable person. I mean, where I see it on FB and MA, it's kinda sad, as these kids generally turn whatever these elitists say into morale law and finding anything that goes against what they said (even without actually reasearching what these people said first, for instance in the case of metalcore, tons of people don't understand that it's a two sided coin, that any mixture of metal and hardcore is metalcore and that it can lean towards one way or the other. Also, the illsuion of bands like Three Inches of Blood and WITTR are hipsters in disguise or that bullshit).

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Abominatrix
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:36 pm 
 

I enjoyed reading all that. Some of your thoughts on the Internet and acquisition of knowledge really did strike a chord with me.

But I don't think there's much to be done. Some of these metalhead fly-by-night people will be gone tomorrow, but others will learn what it all really means and become more passionate as they dig deeper. We all have to start somewhere, right?

I loved Morbid Sain'ts MDF performance...shame they weren't really able to deliver the other night.
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:43 pm 
 

absurder21 wrote:
I only got halfway before I tl/dr'd. I thought it was interesting, and your probably write about elistists values before the internet...


You got halfway through, found it interesting, but still didn't read the whole thing...
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Abominatrix
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:48 pm 
 

orionmetalhead wrote:
absurder21 wrote:
I only got halfway before I tl/dr'd. I thought it was interesting, and your probably write about elistists values before the internet...


You got halfway through, found it interesting, but still didn't read the whole thing...


I hate that "TLDR" stuff...

But your "Risk is the best Megadeth albuM" was definitely a pure, unmitigated troll, Orion, designed to trip up the newbies! I think you felt bad about it..or at least your article seemed to suggest so.
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godsonsafari
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:05 pm 
 

If you choose to interact socially with those who share a hobby you might have, you'll find differing levels of experience and people with a variety of opinionz 4 u to share and with a vast variety of futures to live out. "Elitism" to some extent is bound to be found. Personally I don't really spend a lot of time mediating on it because there's been enough research by sociologists and psychologists on these sorts of subjects that reading all the papers would occupy a substantial chunk of my or anyone else's life.
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I Am the Law
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:29 pm 
 

orionmetalhead wrote:
7He's not just a TV personality. He's had a long term radio show here in the area, he attends and promotes gigs for bands that he knows and ignores all the other bands in the area that would be acceptable to promote. Eddie Trunk grew up in my town, was a part of the Old Bridge Militia back in the day, was looked upon by many as having gotten to a position where he could do a lot of great things for metal and somehow, he just ignored that opportunity instead using his podium as a place not to speak to the crowd but as a place to display his connections in the form of little bobble-head figurines.

I'm not expecting him to promote black metal or death metal but there are a lot of regular old heavy metal and hard rock bands in the area that could use the boost he could deliver for them. The ultimate point that I was making, and that you seem to have missed, is that he plays the part of what I am claiming an elitist is defined as currently, and not what the elite should actually be - he is all about the show, the glitz and the glamour and not the support that someone with his credentials could actually be giving to the scene.


I can see what you're saying, but I guess I can't get worked over up all of it like that. I don't know about the back story so it's different for me. He's just some guy on TV as far as I'm concerned. It's easy for me to ignore him. Maybe he just doesn't like or care about those other bands? I can't speak for the man because I have no idea.

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TheJizzHammer
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:03 pm 
 

I agree with your alternative take on what it is (or should be) to be 'elite' or an 'elitist'. When I was first getting into metal about six years ago, I had some very shitty conversations with some guys at shows, guys that had to be in their forties, exhibiting arrogance because they were there when so-and-so toured the US for the first time or put out their first few demos. I was actually laughed at once when I said that my favorite Carcass album is Necroticism. With how impressionable younger kids are, it really does not take much to make them not want to participate, whether that means going to the shows or having a conversation, all the way up to trying to get their own webzine going. If you show them all the positive energy you have for the genre, and talk to them and share, it rubs off and increases the likeliness of them sticking around (rather than it becoming just their 'metal phase'), which is always good because heavy metal is so much fun to be involved with, and that's definitely something you want to share. You cannot advocate that effectively by being a dick.
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godsonsafari
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:06 pm 
 

Eddie Trunk's viewpoint is so radically different than the sorts of people that would post on this forum that I really don't see any great benefit to debating his ideas other than to watch a bunch of people circle jerk about how he's wrong. TL;DR version of several pages of that; Eddie Trunk is an old loser who thinks hard rock and glam is metal, LOL look at him.
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Veracs
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:16 pm 
 

godsonsafari wrote:
Eddie Trunk's viewpoint is so radically different than the sorts of people that would post on this forum that I really don't see any great benefit to debating his ideas other than to watch a bunch of people circle jerk about how he's wrong. TL;DR version of several pages of that; Eddie Trunk is an old loser who thinks hard rock and glam is metal, LOL look at him.


How exactly is it wrong? He host's a show called that Metal show that doesn't even touch upon the surface of the music, it predominantly does plugs for his idiot quasi-comedian friends and hosts bands's that weren't even relevant post-cock rock 80's hair bands.
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Von Jugel
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:24 pm 
 

Matt Pinfield's favorite artist (well, second to KISS) is Billy Squier. Not hatin' just sayin'. He's more of a hard rock guy than a metal guy. I've seen the show a couple times, but that's it because I don't have cable. It's not great, but there's worse things you could watch.

This "etlitist" thing exists mostly in the mind. Lots of people are intimidated, and several of those bullies on the interwebz who feel so inclined to get all metaller-than-thou don't even go to shows or socialize in public. As far as my experiences are concerned, metal fans who are complete stangers to you generally appreciate it when you mention (positively) about their shirt or patch. People like to talk about metal.

But then again, some don't. Some people are just assholes, and that goes for fans of any type of music. These are the people who have the inferiority complex that requires them the need to feel respected or entitled.

As for the kids, they'll be fine, they don't need to know shit from the old folks. They're the ones who are making the rules. It's not their fault that were born into the internet generation. If they really wanted, they can learn a lot about music and the history of it in a short amount of time, and they might appreciate a conversation about that, or maybe they'd be more interested in talking about Assassin's Creed. They don't need to constantly reminded that their dancing style doesn't resemble Ruthie's Inn circa '85.

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godsonsafari
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:51 pm 
 

Quote:
How exactly is it wrong? He host's a show called that Metal show that doesn't even touch upon the surface of the music, it predominantly does plugs for his idiot quasi-comedian friends and hosts bands's that weren't even relevant post-cock rock 80's hair bands.


I'm not interested in arguing if it is wrong. If you want to spend bandwidth on getting worked up about Eddie Trunk, that's your call. I offered to save you the time and effort.
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:57 pm 
 

Enough about fucking Eddie Trunk... It was an example of a modern day elitist in action and nothing more. Any other thoughts about the actual underlying principal of the article?
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VampireofTheNazereth
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:03 am 
 

Ancient_Sorrow wrote:
This really got me thinking about what it means to be into metal, and what makes an elitist... Today's pondering, which I will no doubt contradict myself on tomorrow, is thus;

I) A metal fan is someone who enjoys listening to heavy metal, that is a given. But they don't necessarily ambitiously pursue knowledge of it, perhaps having their thirst slaked by a handful of entry-level acts, and feeling no need to explore further. There are, no-doubt, many among this group who have "gotten it wrong" - bedecked in misinformation, and a lack of knowledge, pursuing numerous non-metal but nonetheless heavy artists, while considering them "metal", and not grasping the basics particularly well. I'd say almost everyone who claims to be a metal-head "enters the game" at this level, before moving on in terms of knowledge.

II) Those who posses a real curiosity, a love of music-knowledge, and thirst to be closer to feeling the "essence" of metal accumulate "metal-knowledge" - the "I will listen to this band because I haven't before, and I might enjoy it" mentality, as it were. That's where the knowledge of metal comes from, and being able to better feel it's intricacies - to understand it more fully, both in terms of it's diversity, and it's boundaries.

III) The "metal elitist" is simply the character above, but possessed of a cynical and perhaps mislead suspicion that he has a far superior understanding of metal's essence than the mere mortals around him, and values his judgements as objectively better musical choices than that of others, particularly of those who don't have as much knowledge. While for instance II) would not be elitist in telling I) that a band such as Slipknot "aren't really metal", III) would be elitist in telling I) that, say, Pantera "are awful" in a matter-of-fact fashion.

Ultimately, I think elitism isn't about knowledge, but about how the individual treats their own knowledge. Group II) helps to create some middle ground which makes the distinction less radical, with the non-ignorant non-elitist sitting between the ignorant and the elitist.



Wow this is brilliant! I wish I could quote what you just said and show everyone I know who are "elitists" thinking they know everything good.
This sums it up right here. I love how you split it up into 3 types!

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Zodijackyl
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:17 am 
 

In some ways, elitism is an ego-booster attached to non-musical ideologies to create a feeling of exclusivity. This is probably the most common in black metal, where many people are still preaching different philosophies from it being about the music, to satanism/something being an integral part, to a few pathetic individuals who have a Nazi fashion show on private releases and carefully maintain an image that suggests but doesn't outright speak reprehensible ideologies that would put off most people. This type of elitism is very intentional and the image is as much of the performance, if not more, than the music. A few guys have an interesting business plan - rather than making their music available to as many people as possible and hoping to sell a few thousand copies of an album every two years, they release tons of music in very limited quantities, sometimes a dozen demos/splits/EPs/albums in a year, limited to a small number of quantities, then repressed. Smaller quantities do involve less risk, but I don't believe that is the motivation in putting out extremely limited numbers of a large number of releases. These bands are selling elitism, selling the exclusivity of being one of a very limited club to own something, where the rarity and uniqueness of one's collection is a sign of status, making them the elite. This is a fairly small niche.

Elitism is also an easy way to dismiss someone who sees music differently than you with a less popular opinion. Different people listening to a lot of the same music can value very different things in it, always with some overlap, very rarely with near complete overlap. Most people start out listening to a lot of the same bands, but their listening habits change - some look for different things in music, some look for more of the same, and some people simply aren't as interested and dedicated to listening to and learning about music and don't spend as much time with it, especially over time. Based solely on the music, it takes a lot of time to get used to rough production and abrasive music, and many people don't involve themselves with the music to the point where they focus on the music and get into the mood of an album when it isn't the most attractive feeling.

A lot of people don't even listen to albums, they put iPods on shuffle and rarely listen to anything long enough to really get involved with it, to feel it, to get the full impact of an album. This is an evolution of the convenience and detachment of listening to radio, buying singles, and having the primary form be the song, not the album. There is a reward to listening to songs, but I found over the years that I could find more enjoyment when a band crafted a longer album as a whole, rather than a collection of smaller pieces. Those who listen to full albums and get involved probably feel that they are becoming much more intimate with the music than those who don't give the whole piece that time and dedication. Certainly sounds elitist to say it, but I think I'm getting more out of the music than people who are like I was 5-10 years ago.

The p2p generation (myself included) also tend to explore more music than they can really immerse themselves in. There's so much music available that it's difficult to determine what to listen to, and how much to listen to. A song or two on a band's MySpace page? One album? Which album do you start with? Which bands do you listen to, who gives you the information about all these bands? If a lot of people tell you about it, it must be worth listening to, right? Hype, promotion, and reputation tend to play a big part in this, and they can also be crafted and supported by people in the music business to sell you a product. People with no business interest can also do the same out of loyalty to the bands, like the many people here who will tell you about bands who are long gone. You can start to feel like an expert in a genre in a month when you listen to 100 "essential" albums, but a lack of immersion in the music, experience with it, and perspective over time doesn't give the same experience as you would get when you listen to 500 albums, 100 of which are "essential", 200 of which are crap, and the rest in between. You might find a few hidden gems too, and coming across them yourself feels like a reward itself - even more so when you listen to a lot of music to find this. Two problems here - the perspective on quality from hearing a wide range of quality and so many more attempts makes the great albums seem greater. The other reasoning flaw is that if something isn't the best, it isn't worth listening to. You get something out of listening to mediocre music. You get something out of listening to pretty good music. You get something out of listening to bad music if you're thinking about what is going on rather than thinking that it sucks. Did those kids have perspective on Megadeth outside of Megadeth albums and the most famous thrash bands? Risk certainly isn't up to par with a lot of Megadeth's music, but where does it stand when you compare it to a truly mediocre thrash band of the time, like Slapdash? It was really hard to come up with that example, to think of a band that made the point properly. Remember the "worst album ever" threads where the vast majority were off-albums by big-name bands that really weren't bad, but had massive expectations? St. Anger is often called the worst album ever, but the huge disappointment is the context, the history of the band, and the expectations. I have heard some truly terrible music - listen to the albums I reviewed by Rancid Entity and Anal Desecrating Penis Mutilation, then compare that to disappointments by big name bands. I've heard a few dozen bands that could be in the same basement as those 0% and 1% reviews, those that completely fail at creating music. I have also done the same as many people and expressed frustration at glaring flaws in albums where some potential is crushed by incompetence.



In my experience, from my perspective, three traits of music are large barriers between more casual listeners and longtime, seasoned, and entrenched listeners.
-Production. Polished studio production, often heavily loudened in mastering, is the easiest to digest. People like loud remastered versions of songs, but most people seem to prize nearly synthetic production that sounds more like a machine than a practice room. Atmospheres and feelings are very hard to describe and identify without ambiguity, and while most listeners can pick them apart, a lot of people prefer for the music to be partially digested by the time it gets to them.
-Grooves. The hooks that constitute the primitive rhythmic basis of metal and derivatives. Thick tones, low tunings, lots of chugging and big sounding, layered power chords. Mechanical sounding, digitally edited guitars that hammer away with precisely replicated chugs. Everyone likes grooves and they're easy to recognize. They're also easy to get tired of, especially when you hear ten bands with chugging breakdowns all handled by the same producer. The heaviness of the tone is an accessible feeling, but also one that can tire you when you're looking for more from music. There are still grooves, but they're not up front, processed, and packaged.
-Quantifiable attributes. The fastest drummer, the flashiest guitarist, the lowest tuned guitars, the "heaviest" band. When you're looking for direction in music, it's easy to pick out someone doing something unusual when the guitar work is extremely complex, the song structures are chaotic, and direction changes every ten seconds. A lot of people want to see things in black and white, or at lest well defined shades - the best guitarist in the world - there's a lot of talk about who it is, so you should have an opinion! The most insane band. 250bpm sweep picking, brutal breakdowns, guitars with more strings, tapping with more fingers, doing weird and crazy shit that you can't wrap your mind around. It's easy to get focused on quantifying the complexity of music and forget that, when you're not thinking about how the acrobatics behind, the music is boring. The other common quantifiable fallacy that I hear is that popularity equals quality, and that certain classics can't be touched and if anything was better, it would have been more popular. How many metalheads do you know who swear that Slayer is the sickest band in the world, yet they haven't heard Morbid Saint, Pestilence, Infernal Majesty, or the many other bands who make music that shares a lot with Slayer? Reputation often becomes a way of sorting through the endless sea of music.

I can see how people would think I project elitism because of how I talk about music - I have developed a lot of feelings about the music that I have immersed myself in for many years. I also tend to connect a lot of less experienced listeners' thoughts with how I have thought in the past, before having certain developments and revelations.

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jedimasterhassan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:33 am 
 

so im reading this article thinking to myself "i know several of those bands, and this guy sounds like someone i would get along with very well" then i get halfway through and realize that i do you know lol. whats up jon, its kenny from fiakra!

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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:39 am 
 

Zod, thanks for the interesting response. I found a lot of what you said relevant to how people experience and criticize music across different levels of experience with listening. I won't comment on that but I think there is a certain level of correlation between the "elitist" we are so commonly engaged with on forums online and in person and their level of listening which you, in my opinion accurately delineated...

It seems to me, that those individuals that prance around as all high and mighty often times fall into the grouping of individuals that believe that because they can 'handle' bad production and 'enjoy' sketchy, vague, left-field albums which %99.99 of the listening audience would never listen to and would never care about, that they have discovered some basis to believe that their knowledge is superior. This in itself alone supports their self-labelled belief of their expertise / elitism. I just don't think that it's that impressive when anyone out there can by sheer luck discover a band simply by clicking on links on a website.

I think often times, these individuals may be people who have been listening to metal for a while but not long enough to realize that they really have no importance to the existence of metal itself. At a certain point I think individuals pass through a gate of sorts, they leave the highschool popularity shows behind and actually try and do something other than hoard thoughts. Some try and make music. Some try and do a fanzine or blog or promote... I think those individuals are worth their weight in gold, especially the promoters... they could use that gold.

Early on, elitists definitely were the most knowledgeable, they were the ones with connections, importing new music and disseminating material across their scenes and amongst friends... they were the ones allowing unheard of bands to get heard but with the internet, these elitists are no longer in existence. They were necessary due to those abilities. It's not the case anymore that we need people who are able to find new material because it's easy for EVERYONE to find material. Those that believe that they can still play this part do so, get upset when they realize everyone else out there has discovered the band, attempt to destroy the band by invalidating their new status, inevitably fail and move on. This has happened to the vast majority of bands such as Drudkh, Opeth, Agalloch, Necrophagist, etc. I would say that it's pretty easy to spot bands like this and the elitists that get their panties bunched over them. I've heard a handful of people claiming that Negura Bunget's only good releases are their demos and totally slamming everything that came out after 'n Crugu Braduluil...

There is no point for those individuals now. Who are the elitists we should look up to now?
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:40 am 
 

jedimasterhassan wrote:
so im reading this article thinking to myself "i know several of those bands, and this guy sounds like someone i would get along with very well" then i get halfway through and realize that i do you know lol. whats up jon, its kenny from fiakra!


Hahaha. How was opening for fucking Raven dude?
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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:18 am 
 

Quote:
attempt to destroy the band by invalidating their new status, inevitably fail and move on. This has happened to the vast majority of bands such as Drudkh, Opeth, Agalloch, Necrophagist, etc. I would say that it's pretty easy to spot bands like this and the elitists that get their panties bunched over them. I've heard a handful of people claiming that Negura Bunget's only good releases are their demos and totally slamming everything that came out after 'n Crugu Braduluil...

I'm quite sure these bands invalidated themselves in the eyes of older fans (apart from Necrophagist, which never was considered very valid by many anyway). Drudkh, Opeth, Agalloch and Negura Bunget all changed style at some point, so your speculation doesn't seem to hold much water.
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Delta_Wing
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:45 am 
 

Orion,

Very interesting post and I am going to focus my response to the OP and my personal experience.

My back story; I have been a metal head since roughly 1986. Metal, and early on hard rock, is really the only genre I have ever listened to and I have experienced both the scenes in Germany and here in the US. I am also someone that has not been actively involved in the personal aspects of either of those metal scenes since my mid 20s, outside of the forums. I am now in my late 30’s, life has changed for me. It’s gotten a lot more complicated: jobs, moving, family, paying bills, etc.. I now go to shows mostly alone, listen to metal alone, and have no personal relationships with the local metal crowd outside of brief conversations at shows I attend from time to time. I still have some interaction with old friends in person, but those are few and far between. Most have moved on so to speak, and I am still here.

I am in essence now a lone wolf and my metal social life, has moved on so to speak 12 years ago.

Being a loner at shows I tend to people watch and I have made many of the same observations as you have made at your recent concert. I see the old guard of my “current” local metal scene; the guys/gals always together at every show hanging out with the same group of people, drinking, and in many ways not really caring about who is on stage at any given time. They make sure to not go out of their way to have any conversations with the new crowd. I remember distinctively trying to strike up a conversation with one of this crowd one night, when they happened to be wearing a well weathered back patch of one of my favorite bands. Yep that didn’t go well, because I wasn’t one of their click, and probably didn’t look the part. I just laughed inside and made my way thinking that they probably have become jaded with the whole thing but now it's a part of their existence. I’ll call these folks the Elite and the Arrogant.


I also see the younger kids, some wearing jackets and patches that look like they were made just for that show. Some try too hard, and while they can get their patches online at a mouse click, like you mentioned and gather tidbits of info very quickly online to look the part, I have less of a problem with them than I do with arrogant and elite. These are the innocents in my opinion, just like the kids in your Chinese take out scenario. They remind me of a younger me and I can only assume that many other metal heads that are now a long way down the road started life just as them. I mean back in the day I didn’t get many patches, I had a few, but most were hand drawn. I tried too hard back then also, and I also had a jumble of mismatched bands drawn all over my jacket. While I was probably an annoying little guy, I think I came out alright in the end. I would never trade those days for now however. Finding bands when you are young is so much better. I can’t imagine doing it over again like these kids are with everything so close out there, at the tip of your finger, but at the same time so far away and with so much to digest. Back then you bought an album, traded it, or copied it tapedeck to tapedeck with your buddies. There weren't 1000's of bands in each genre, hundreds maybe but not the bulk we have now. Then you absorbed the material until it almost became a part of you. Life moved slower and made experiences better. Still this new generation while sped up, still experiences the same pit falls as the generation before. They make the same mistakes and can look foolish, but it's just a part of growing up. When you have lost that spirit in something maybe you need to move on. I have not lost that spirit and still can look foolish.

I tend to talk to these kids, maybe because they are in some ways easier to approach (sometimes not). I tend to talk to them about the bands they adore on their Kutten or shirts. They seem so hungry for first hand info, and I gladly tell them anything they want to hear whether positive or negative. See I have this philosophy that if info is kept to yourself, it will eventually die. I know that some people think that they have some secret band and if the secret gets out then it will ruin it for them, we all have that gem, it’s human nature. But to simply dismiss people who already know of a band, scene, or album, because you feel they are not worthy is so arrogant. Arrogance in the metal scene has made me want to abandon the whole thing a couple of times now, but the music always draws me back. Elitism and arrogance are in my opinion the number one limiting factor to growth in any form. Arrogance turns people away and eventually ruins the thing, that it in a strange way tries to shelter.

Just my 2 cents, I am no authority on the matter of metal in any shape or form, just a traveler and still an enthusiast who still sometimes bangs his head out of time. :old:

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false_icon
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:06 pm 
 

TheJizzHammer wrote:
I was actually laughed at once when I said that my favorite Carcass album is Necroticism.

:o Necroticism is awesome.
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MorbidAsshole
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:30 pm 
 

OP, I was at that show. Those kids with the Lich King patches were Thrash Weenies. In fact, YOU are a Thrash Weeny.

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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:00 pm 
 

Yeah, pure thrash weeny here... you know, I don't give a shit about almost any thrash out there but you can lump me in with them too. I'd surely rather be friends with them than with you since you're so quick to place people into groups, create your own niche of assholes - whoever you are, since you don't seem keen to identify yourself - and feel so threatened by someone advocating a change in thinking.

I guess I should ask the mods to change my title to THRASH WEENY ELITE. Would that make you happy? I don't see a basis for the title in anyway. Maybe you can enlighten me as to how I somehow fit in with this group.
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:05 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
Quote:
attempt to destroy the band by invalidating their new status, inevitably fail and move on. This has happened to the vast majority of bands such as Drudkh, Opeth, Agalloch, Necrophagist, etc. I would say that it's pretty easy to spot bands like this and the elitists that get their panties bunched over them. I've heard a handful of people claiming that Negura Bunget's only good releases are their demos and totally slamming everything that came out after 'n Crugu Braduluil...

I'm quite sure these bands invalidated themselves in the eyes of older fans (apart from Necrophagist, which never was considered very valid by many anyway). Drudkh, Opeth, Agalloch and Negura Bunget all changed style at some point, so your speculation doesn't seem to hold much water.


I guess, but I'm not talking about a criticism of the bands here. I'm speaking to the commonness of people abandoning all admittance of a band's discography out of a dismissal of their success. Sometimes I think that bands that we view as having invalidated themselves in fact have not but are made out to seem to have done so by a long-lived sentiment against the new.
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Headless420
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:48 pm 
 

Just came here to say I was at the show and really surprised at how many kids showed up. It was definitely a much younger crowd than shows usually get in that area, but it was really good to see such a large crowd turn out early to a $15 show. More so, because the opening band absolutely stole the show and it was their first live set.

Keep an eye out for Infiltrator. Absolutely crushing speed metal.

http://infiltrator.bandcamp.com/

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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:06 pm 
 

Headless, as soon as Infiltrator finished their set, I turned to a friend and said they would be the best band of the night. Awesome speed/heavy metal band. I'll be keeping an eye out for them and their future shows.

Still, their sound was awesome in comparison to all the other bands so... I can't blame the sound on the venue. The awfulness of the other bands falls squarely on them that evening.
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:46 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
But your "Risk is the best Megadeth albuM" was definitely a pure, unmitigated troll, Orion, designed to trip up the newbies! I think you felt bad about it..or at least your article seemed to suggest so.


Haha. In hindsight it was a pure troll but I was curious as to their reaction and I didn't intend it to be a malicious comment. I think it reinforced a point though that I had been wondering about for a while.
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Riffs
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:20 pm 
 

@Ancient_Sorrow: I really love your breakdown of fans, passionate people and elitists.

@Zodijackyl: That long post of yours was amazing and reflected a lot my own introspection on such things over the years.

I wish I could be as eloquent as you guys were but I'll just say the good old adage, which must be something like this in English: The more you know, the more you come to realize how little you know.

What elitists don't get is that while learning new things, being passionate and having conviction is not about drawing lines and gaining status. It's about enriching your life. To truly do this, you also must be open-minded. Only profoundly stupid individuals never change their mind.

There are lots of bands I still don't see what the big deal with really is. But I reserve the right to change my mind any time I please. Likewise, I reserve the right to change how I perceive the things I appreciate right now.
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:15 am 
 

Riffs wrote:
What elitists don't get is that while learning new things, being passionate and having conviction is not about drawing lines and gaining status. It's about enriching your life.


Very well said Riffs. I agree totally.
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Riffs
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:01 am 
 

orionmetalhead wrote:
Riffs wrote:
What elitists don't get is that while learning new things, being passionate and having conviction is not about drawing lines and gaining status. It's about enriching your life.


Very well said Riffs. I agree totally.


Thanks man and thanks for starting this thread! It's food for thoughts.

BTW, took a listen to Arctic Flame (1 song from the first album and one from the last one) and I was pleasantly surprised! What was the average age of the members, approximately?

I'm always amazed that newer acts nail the old school era sound and spontaneity better than the bands from that time period who are still active :p

Keep me posted if you've got a new project or if you feel this would derail the thread, PM me, please.
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Noble Beast's debut album is way beyond MOST of what Priest did in the 80s.

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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:12 am 
 

Well, on the first album, Primeval Aggressor I wasn't in the band but the members were all in their 40's except the singer, Dave, who was in his early 30's I believe. When I joined the band at 19, I was the youngest member and all the other guys were old enough to be my father. haha. I played on the second and third albums. Glad you enjoyed it. I liked the first album a lot myself before I joined the band. After Don and Rod left the band, there was far less emphasis placed on the metal aspects of the band and that, I think, hurt the band a lot.
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PhilosophicalFrog
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:17 am 
 

That was really wonderful to read man. I don't have much to add, other than I really agree with a lot of points you made. There was something very touching about the way you wrote, and your passion for the music is really inspirational, especially to someone like me who had a long falling-out with metal and just (relatively) recently re-discovered it. It's a testament to the music, and the people involved in it. That last paragraph was excellent. This was very, very good.
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:49 am 
 

Thanks Frog! Appreciate the comments and the sincerity but most importantly, that the article made an impact.
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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:51 am 
 

orionmetalhead wrote:
I guess, but I'm not talking about a criticism of the bands here. I'm speaking to the commonness of people abandoning all admittance of a band's discography out of a dismissal of their success. Sometimes I think that bands that we view as having invalidated themselves in fact have not but are made out to seem to have done so by a long-lived sentiment against the new.

That's something I can't comprehend. However, there's one point of view to which I can relate to. Consider this: a band creates a couple of demos with cheap budget that attain the status of cult classics. Due to low budgeting, the band isn't able to inject all the ideas and personality into the music they would've wanted and are forced to make certain compromises. By the time they've gained underground attention, they're able to sign a deal with a record company that provides a generous budget for their debut full-length. Now that money isn't an issue, the band is able to use prominent synth, multitracked clean vocals, clean production and all that to "enhance" their music. These newly available elements encourage the band to write and use more accessible material, because crating "hits" has become possible. Fans of their older, more austere material will doubtless feel distaste towards these new elements in their music. While listening to the new material, they pick out musical similarities between the old and new material, so the new material that they dislike will remind them of the old material, and vice versa. With this, the old stuff can easily lose its appeal to someone who believed in the band and their music, and thought he knew what they stood for.

This is something that happened to me with Fen, although I still listen to the debut EP from time to time. It has nothing to do with their increased popularity - I could only feel happy for them if they managed to sell many records with an awesome musical style. However, they changed from good to shit, and having heard their newer material makes me view the older stuff in a different way aswell.
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