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Gene Chode
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:06 pm
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:02 pm 
 

I bet many people have heard about the so called social divide in metal . Especially about how the makeup of the metal scene was supposedly vastly different back in the 70s and 80s than now . According to this narrative the metal scene in the 70s and 80s contained a lot more teenage fans than today , as well as a lot more stereotypical metalheads ( for lack of a better term ) . Today's scene is supposed to contain a lot more hipsters and intellectual types . It's also said that a lot of the dislike shown towards so called hipsters in the metal scene originates from the more stereotypical metalhead crowd . So how much truth is there to this narrative ?

I'd be especially interested in hearing from some of the older members on this board , since they obviously know much more about the scene than a younger fellow than myself .

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
Posts: 4415
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:08 pm 
 

I wasn't around in the 70s/80s, but I haven't noticed any real change since I've been going to concerts, starting mid to late 2000s.

I also just don't care that much, and probably am not a 'stereotypical metalhead' if that means long hair, kutte vest etc (although I have and wear plenty of band shirts).
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10759
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:23 pm 
 

In the 90s when I started going to shows, I felt often like I was one of the very youngest people in attendance as a teen. nowadays things are really different. There are a lot more young people now. And yes, you get all sorts. But I don't think there's much of a significant "divide". Maybe when it comes to where people lie on the so-called political spectrum, but I think even that is overstated.

I can't speak for the 80s as I was too young then to attend shows, but I'd say things changed a lot in the 90s, and now we're once again in a very different era.

I understand what's meant by "hipsters" but I can't bring myself to be too bothered. People show up if they like the music or the social aspect. It's just too much work and bother for most people to keep up this pretense of ironic detachment. They eventually either get sucked in, or they stop bothering.
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Dembo
Dumbo

Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:58 am
Posts: 863
Location: Crippling Velocity
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:02 pm 
 

Gene Chode wrote:
According to this narrative the metal scene in the 70s and 80s contained a lot more teenage fans than today

Probably not more but certainly a higher percentage, for the simple reason of fans of what was at first mainly a young people's thing growing older. Just like everything from punk rock, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, etc. used to mainly have young fans who now are old.

Gene Chode wrote:
as well as a lot more stereotypical metalheads ( for lack of a better term )

Also expected for any movement and easily explained. It's when it's new that it gets more attention and alot of people get their impression of metal fans from, hence the larger portion of what makes up a stereotype comes from the earlier days. And the stereotypes are strenghtened the longer they get repeated by all sorts of people both in and outside the scene, and also by stuff like retro movements.

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RakdosWarlord
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:26 am
Posts: 9
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:59 am 
 

I don't often get to shows much, I don't have anyone to go with nor the transportation to do so. I really wish I did but there is always the future.

It seems to me that people aren't very social around here. I guess after college when people go to work and stuff things change a lot. Besides buying and wearing metal band shirts I don't know how I would go about finding friends who like metal IRL if I can't make it into the city to go to shows.

I don't see very many people dressed in metal shirts or with long hair. I myself cannot stand having long hair so I buzz it all off. I can't really be bothered with looks.

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AbdullahNA
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:31 am
Posts: 4
Location: Saudi Arabia
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:17 am 
 

Yes, I've notice something. I'm almost 34 now, I can tell my closet and hairstyle look significantly different from 10-15 years ago. How did that happen? That would be another tale for another day.

It used to be a sea of black band T-shirts which were all cheap regular-fit cuts. Today I don't own a single band T-shirt, my only black one is a Locust shirt haha. Hair is 1mm long compared to what used to reach half way to my butt.

I've some what noticed some big gaps in the social/financial situation between friends who stayed metal and myself who somewhat left metal temporarily. Most of them wanted to focus of Metal so they held on to easy dead end jobs, no side businesses or investments. Most of them owned mid-low budget cars, shouldering debt, and with little to non existent savings.

For example, I'm traveling this August to attend Wacken (Germany) and Brutal Assault (Czech), they only person I managed to drag along was another guy who temporarily left metal for a while. The others couldn't afford even within what was a 5 month notice.

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SatanicDeathLust666
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:06 am
Posts: 39
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:19 am 
 

AbdullahNA wrote:
Yes, I've notice something. I'm almost 34 now, I can tell my closet and hairstyle look significantly different from 10-15 years ago. How did that happen? That would be another tale for another day.

It used to be a sea of black band T-shirts which were all cheap regular-fit cuts. Today I don't own a single band T-shirt, my only black one is a Locust shirt haha. Hair is 1mm long compared to what used to reach half way to my butt.

I've some what noticed some big gaps in the social/financial situation between friends who stayed metal and myself who somewhat left metal temporarily. Most of them wanted to focus of Metal so they held on to easy dead end jobs, no side businesses or investments. Most of them owned mid-low budget cars, shouldering debt, and with little to non existent savings.

For example, I'm traveling this August to attend Wacken (Germany) and Brutal Assault (Czech), they only person I managed to drag along was another guy who temporarily left metal for a while. The others couldn't afford even within what was a 5 month notice.


When and if i hit 34 i still see myself being the same way i am now...still listening to the same stuff and wearing the same stuff why change? i feel it my heart this is the way i am...what made you change? or leave.

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 5787
Location: Kansas City
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:29 pm 
 

There's always been gradations within metalheads of their level of commitment to the metal lifestyle. That's not new, and there are comparable dynamics in all things, but the notion that there's a large, clear division between real metalheads and hipsters is less credible. Elements of the "hipster" look have long permeated mainstream fashion so seeing some manbuns or square glasses at a metal show today isn't any more significant than seeing a flannel shirt in ye olde days. The people going to shows and affecting a level of knowledge or involvement in the metal scene which they don't actually possess are plain ol' posers. They've always been around as well.
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Smoking_Gnu
Chicago Favorite

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:22 pm
Posts: 4311
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:56 pm 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
There's always been gradations within metalheads of their level of commitment to the metal lifestyle. That's not new, and there are comparable dynamics in all things, but the notion that there's a large, clear division between real metalheads and hipsters is less credible. Elements of the "hipster" look have long permeated mainstream fashion so seeing some manbuns or square glasses at a metal show today isn't any more significant than seeing a flannel shirt in ye olde days. The people going to shows and affecting a level of knowledge or involvement in the metal scene which they don't actually possess are plain ol' posers. They've always been around as well.


Someone at DMU probably read this and had an apoplexy.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3698
Location: The library
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:37 pm 
 

The older I get, the less I care about hipsters. Credentials don't extend past the price of admission. I don't base the quality of my time somewhere on its ratio of hipsters. In the best of times, the lights are so low that the only things I can see clearly are the stage and my way to the bar. Once the band starts I don't give a shit who's around me.

As long as they're tipping the bartenders and being respectful to the rest of the assembled unclean, there's plenty of elsewhere to look and plenty of other stuff to think about. They supported the venue, which supports the scene. They showed up, which is more than I can say for a lot of people. Even if they're buying shirts to punch their card, so be it. The band is one shirt closer to breaking even on production costs. I have a really easy time ignoring people anywhere near me, so I couldn't care less. I encourage anyone who wastes their time getting pissed over the inevitable developments of generational change to do the same.


Abominatrix wrote:
I understand what's meant by "hipsters" but I can't bring myself to be too bothered. People show up if they like the music or the social aspect. It's just too much work and bother for most people to keep up this pretense of ironic detachment. They eventually either get sucked in, or they stop bothering.

Well put.

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FunkyBurlin
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:08 pm
Posts: 67
Location: Maryland
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:05 am 
 

SatanicDeathLust666 wrote:
AbdullahNA wrote:
Yes, I've notice something. I'm almost 34 now, I can tell my closet and hairstyle look significantly different from 10-15 years ago. How did that happen? That would be another tale for another day.

It used to be a sea of black band T-shirts which were all cheap regular-fit cuts. Today I don't own a single band T-shirt, my only black one is a Locust shirt haha. Hair is 1mm long compared to what used to reach half way to my butt.

I've some what noticed some big gaps in the social/financial situation between friends who stayed metal and myself who somewhat left metal temporarily. Most of them wanted to focus of Metal so they held on to easy dead end jobs, no side businesses or investments. Most of them owned mid-low budget cars, shouldering debt, and with little to non existent savings.

For example, I'm traveling this August to attend Wacken (Germany) and Brutal Assault (Czech), they only person I managed to drag along was another guy who temporarily left metal for a while. The others couldn't afford even within what was a 5 month notice.


When and if i hit 34 i still see myself being the same way i am now...still listening to the same stuff and wearing the same stuff why change? i feel it my heart this is the way i am...what made you change? or leave.
I feel like caring about a metal appearance or living x lifestyle of anything, for that matter, is a young mans game. Essentially I feel that people shouldn't have the time to be immediately identifiable by any one aspect of their life. We all have an assortment of hobbies and career aspirations. On any given day I can be a plethora of different things from metalhead, gamer, social worker, soccer coach, powerlifter, and or to whatever else. At no point do I allow someone else's idea of how any of those archetypes dress or act effect who I am and what I do.

When I was younger I was more narrow minded and looked for a place to belong, like we all do, and attempted to attach myself here and there with how I dressed and acted. Overly opinionated metalhead, toxic soccer fan, and or whatever and now not being super involved culturally or socially doesn't make me any less of a fan nor does it make me enjoy something less than anyone else.
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More specific to the OP's post I feel like crowds and fans do change, but that's of anything. If you're old enough to be able to tell the difference, then you should be old enough to enjoy the shows for your own intrinsic reasons and shouldn't need to judge and typecast other fans there to make yourself feel better or cooler. Legit no one cares, we all enjoy things for our own reasons.

Also, I keep going back in my head to where the OP says 'intellectual types'. It's funny right? Sorry metal isn't catered to blue collar communities anymore? In a statement like that we can make the assumption that there are way more metal fans in wealthier social classes or rather a wider spectrum of social classes then it was before and it is. Which also means bands are being created out of the same said fans. I wonder what bands wouldn't have existed if being an 'intellectual type' was stamped out culturally in the metal community or would metal even have survived maybe I should say?

I feel like metal is a bit of a cultural anomaly, for the metal scene to last, thrive, and be so strong after so many decades where we've seen other genres birthed and die off already is pretty incredible. With that though you will get an infinite amount of diverging opinions regarding everything about it. Arguing about how fans should be is a luxury lol

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 5787
Location: Kansas City
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:21 pm 
 

Well if you took out the intellectual types there'd be no black metal, no folk metal, none of the over the top symphonic and prog stuff, no death metal other than Cannibal Corpse, and no Manilla Road. Yeah, it'd be just as good...
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 5787
Location: Kansas City
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:26 pm 
 

Smoking_Gnu wrote:
Someone at DMU probably read this and had an apoplexy.

I don't think so. Those guys go to shows like any other group of metalheads I'm sure and they know how things really are as well as anyone. They try to push these "enemy within" narratives so they can position themselves as the intellectual artillery of the counter-revolution or however the fantasy goes. It's just affectation.
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maladie
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:42 am
Posts: 169
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:35 am 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
Well if you took out the intellectual types there'd be no black metal, no folk metal, none of the over the top symphonic and prog stuff, no death metal other than Cannibal Corpse, and no Manilla Road. Yeah, it'd be just as good...

This is a pretty big exageration. There would still be most of those genres and styles without a doubt, perhaps with less refinement though.

I do think that there is a difference in the level of education but that's also because people in general have more education now than before so I don't see how this would be different for metal. However, I do think that there is a much higher percentage of musicians now being serious musicians which perhaps even includes musical education compared to before. I would believe this is also partly because of the proliferation of music programs that aren't only for classical or musicology anymore. In bachelor programs you always tend to se several metalheads among the rest, it still seems to be a bit rarer higher up on the scale but it definitely happens (myself included).

And yeah, who cares how people look and such at shows? Like others mentioned, that feels like a young man's game and I do think that most people grow out of it after awhile. I still have long hair, which I've had long before metal anyways, but rarely wear band shirts and really just dress for whatever the occasion needs.

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 5787
Location: Kansas City
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:01 pm 
 

Yeah, that was an exaggeration, but there's still quite the contingent of intellectuals in metal and always has been. Even in ye olde days in ye olde glam scene there were a fair few smarty pants types (even if they happened to be into cock rock and crossdressing).
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SweetLeaf95
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:19 am
Posts: 173
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:11 pm 
 

Part of it could also have to do with the "rock n roll" look as well. Since the genres overlap a lot, I think there are the people (like me) who are cool with that overlap, and the people who want to look or act strictly "metal". Though I'm a HUGE metal fan, rock n roll will always have my heart, and you'll most likely see me walking around in an Aerosmith, KISS, or Deep Purple shirt before any death metal look, or "hipster" metal look.
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Resident_Hazard
Possessed by Starscream's Ghost

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
Posts: 3075
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:17 am 
 

SatanicDeathLust666 wrote:
AbdullahNA wrote:
Yes, I've notice something. I'm almost 34 now, I can tell my closet and hairstyle look significantly different from 10-15 years ago. How did that happen? That would be another tale for another day.

It used to be a sea of black band T-shirts which were all cheap regular-fit cuts. Today I don't own a single band T-shirt, my only black one is a Locust shirt haha. Hair is 1mm long compared to what used to reach half way to my butt.

I've some what noticed some big gaps in the social/financial situation between friends who stayed metal and myself who somewhat left metal temporarily. Most of them wanted to focus of Metal so they held on to easy dead end jobs, no side businesses or investments. Most of them owned mid-low budget cars, shouldering debt, and with little to non existent savings.

For example, I'm traveling this August to attend Wacken (Germany) and Brutal Assault (Czech), they only person I managed to drag along was another guy who temporarily left metal for a while. The others couldn't afford even within what was a 5 month notice.


When and if i hit 34 i still see myself being the same way i am now...still listening to the same stuff and wearing the same stuff why change? i feel it my heart this is the way i am...what made you change? or leave.



This thread as a whole reminds me of Pantera's Great Southern Trendkill, and that song with the line "shaved heads meet hair in the mix, blending the 80's and 90's with hate".


As someone well into their 30's, I'll offer some of my own anecdotes.

During my 20's, I wore band T-shirts pretty much all the time. I was also a college student, worked generally simple jobs that required no education (took me a long time to get a job in my professions). Metal was a very big part of my life, and my friends were mostly people I met who had shared interests in music. I had long hair for a time and the Metal mohawk (long hair, sides shaved) for a while as well. My hair was not super long, though. My bangs reached my shoulders and that was about as long as it got.

I had a massive series of setbacks and shitty decisions and a period in my 20's where every month just seemed to get worse as my life was in a general downward spiral. This seemed to require desperate measures to right the ship, and I joined the military to do so. On the upside, that actually worked. From that, I eventually cleared debts, got a divorce (good for the soul, yuk yuk), found stable work, and the like. Some of this came with my absence from my "normal" life for training and a visit overseas. I lost contact for a time with a lot of my Metal friends.

When I saw them again, I had gradually changed. The one I was most closely friends with had not changed at all, and seemed childish and immature to me. He complained about similar problems in his life that I had, but he didn't want to fix them. He made comments like I was a sell-out, by saying he felt taking that drastic action would be "him selling out" to fix his lot in life. This is when I pretty much outgrew the idiotic notion of "selling-out" as something that comes from immaturity and a stubborn refusal to grow oneself. An argument can be made that there are times when "selling out" is a valid gripe, but usually, it's just childish bullshit.

Eventually, my other interests (video games, Transformers, movies mostly) filled out most of my life, and I really have no Metal friends now. I have friends who have similar tastes and celebrate the world of Metal, but our tastes are drastically different at times, and that's fine. I really don't have anyone in my life to join me in attending concerts. I went from "black, loud, vibrant Metal band T-shirts" to a variety of colors of shirts with more subtle stuff on them. When I was younger, I loved shirts with stuff printed on the back. Now I only want stuff on the front, and it should be subtle. I don't like the idea of people being able to "figure me out" from a glance.

My hairline started receding, so instead of long hair, I just shave it. Because of years in the military, I got used to it being really short anyway.

I am not now part of any "scene," and for the life of me, have never really felt that I fit in anywhere, in any group of friends I've ever had. All groups of friends come with some degree of conformity that, for whatever reason, I never fully gave myself over to. I don't feel that I have any real close friends right now. Not many people I would really trust with, you know, secrets, emotional stuff, and shit like that.

Lately my interest in gaming has waned, as I've noticed all my interests tend to cycle. I'll be really focused on one thing over another. I'll go months without buying or caring about Transformers, for instance, but have been buying a lot as the adult collector-driven Generations line has been amazing the last two years. Recently, I had an urge to dive back into expanding my music library, and bought more new (to me) music in the past two-three months than I had in the two years previously. It's pretty great to find so much new stuff. On top of this, I've started regularly wearing a hat again (a black military-styled cap), and I bought a bunch of band logo pins (which are oddly hard to find) to adorn it. More subtle than a T-shirt with big images on the front and back.

The people in your life can influence a lot of this, as well. My ex-girlfriend didn't like Metal, and my metal friends were gone, so getting more music was rare.

Long story short: As you age and grow, your life changes. As well it should. Your attitudes, your interests, your views, and the people in your life. That is growth, that is human. To do otherwise is to live in a rut. And when I cycle through my interests, they always have a way of becoming fresh and exciting again. Maybe I was in a rut at some point for my music tastes. Now it's fresh again. I'm in a rut for gaming right now, I'm not collecting, playing much, and barely interested. It happened once before--back when I was in college in my 20s, and Metal then was a major focus.
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