A guy walk around with a black stud, shoulder length hair, an inked arm, handcuff through belt loop and ripped jeans all these attributes would create a mental image of being Metal Listener. The description just provides a perceived image of a metal music fan. Apparently, People have associated metal music more with the assumed Personal attributes rather than understanding the music itself.
Tracing back to the history of metal, it started late 1960 and early 1970’s. Metal from the time of its origin, has been very popular among all - started a new genre, emphatic beats, created a different sound in every ear, playing our brains to euphoria, making people jump feet to the beat; transformed music with a new fashion change, a new wave of long hair, flashing devil's horn out here and there, head banging, straining vocals, creating a revolution into the world of music swap the youth and raised atop. Shortly after it evolved and splintered into many different styles and sub-genres. And the love and the charm of the metal music remain then and now; and will be more tomorrow.
People perceive that metal is only listened by some strange thinking and weird people, especially those who are more de attached with the societal norms, those who are fetish to wildness, self-destructive tendencies: mosh pits, extraordinarily loud music, and hard drugs spring to mind and those who would not mind even when their ear drums burst out of loud scream. Moreover, it is generalized with people who are disoriented with time, emotion and any goal in life. Too many times a heavy metal fan are judged with pre-conceived notions of being emotionally damaged, a loner, one who doesn't care about his family, irresponsible, idle who is possibly into drugs, who feels rage, angst, unruly and away from the everyday social touch. The music is considered as a way to condemn a chaotic scenario.
While talking to the members who belonged to the metal Band, we had some different experience, although the society has created an outlook for the music, the real image of the members are opposite then what everyone assumed. Though they are regarded as rebel they have their individual identities which may not necessarily meet up with the definition they are given by society. This air has been cleared as we converse few metal Band Members.
According to Niraj Shakya, Member of Antim Grahan Band, he says “Metal in one of the extreme point of music, it does not have to symbolise with the colour black, or having an shoulder length hair, can be on simple t-shirts without having a corpse paint on it. Metal music is about the powerful expression of words, feeling as any other music.”- says Niraj Shakya, the member of Antim Grahan Band/ Night Band.
Similar voice comes from another member Jason Kunwar, Maya Band, Beyond Band, who says “Metal was the first genre I was extremely compelled by. I was in 3rd grade when I started listening to metal. It reflected something profound about who I am and my experiences with the world.
Listening Metal was an integral part of my journey and thus is a very personal experience. I do not have any general view on it. It helped me cope with my challenges when I was young and helped me become more honest with myself.”
Philosophy, culture, attitude all these compromises the metal music. It has strong possession of itself, which has been understood over the decades. Rather than stereotyping fans as deviant, antisocial, unruly it may be more gracious to understand as personal choice one has to the music. Unlike any other music, Metal music is also the outcome of one’s feeling.
Many a times it has been tagged to parental guidance, has been censored, banned too. Tracing back the history, in 2001, in Jordan, all Metallica albums were banned, thinking that the music has created chaos among the people, and tend to push them towards being anti-religious. The metal music was blamed to have put faith on hold. Although, to some extent, metal music might have created an appearance and associated strongly with colors, powerful black, the spectrum of the colors tries to give us a different story, and same goes with the attire they chose, it has polarize people in a way creating an impact upon two generations. One loves it and other blames it.
“Metal Music may have expression of anger in it, but we believe we give messages to people to be socially, politically and these are the form of corrections too, yes the music is loud as it as high distortion, but we are not into drugs, or any substance use, we just respect this side of music that all”- says Pratik Chitrakar, Ugrakarma Band.
All across the board from schools to colleges to the shirt and collars that most have become everybody has a soft corner for metallic, Panteras, Megadeths of their name. All the metal lovers are raised with these songs. And Listening to “Iron Man”, or Paranoid for the first time or cowboys to hell or “a tout le monde”, all resonated with those who were impressionable and created a lifelong adoration towards the style of music.
The Society lenses metal music, as mental monster that rides atop and make noise. It has been consistently discarded, stereotyped, condemned. Society believe that certain forms of music, primarily heavy metal, promote or are associated with negative and problematic behavior among teenage There is that stigma around metal music! However, the music still is loved and appreciated by those who understand the core. Metal Lovers have ignored the perceived enemies just to be the scapegoats, and the real problem is that the enemy is the mind set, and that people are delusional. Metal music makes people to understand the dark side, as it gives the punch of wrongs sides, and it also transcends those sides with positivity. Choice of music is entirely upon an individual, Metal music has music appealed many of us, the music presents the expression how pissed off you are but also it provides a kind of fraternity to which you can belong. It is not about the rage or any kind of rebel, it a form of music!
Anusuya Puri is Project Manager (Center of Resilent Development).
She has a Masters degree in Social Work with specialization in HR and psychology “