A listen to @thefuse984 or @XFM1055 any day will make it apparent just how separate these two genres of rock music are. It’s like asking Lady Gaga to be homophobic…or Agwambo to change his middle name to Kamau or Njagi. And this difference seems to be inculcated in their respective listeners. This wasn’t blatantly apparent until I noticed quite a number of my followees on Twirra accusing the above rock shows of not playing any metal requests (well, things have changed slightly since then: people power). And don’t even think of suggesting some of your favoured bands to a person of different tastes…they’ll be shot down as GAY! (true story btw. Happened to me.)
Most contemporary punks and alternative rockers label metal as a “melancholic cacophony of snapped bass guitar strings, cracked hi-hats, and possessed growling vocals”. They say that while metal involves aggressive instrumentation, punk rock embraces the blend of all instruments..some being quite unconventional.
Choose to agree or disagree but it’s mostly metal that has influenced mainstream society to labeled as ‘demonic’ and ‘satanic’. For example sample theses lyrics from a black metal band:
We’re left hand followers
Because Satan rule the earth
On command of the messenger of darkness
We begin our eternal ride
The obscurity doors are opening
Until we reach the abyss
We have to triumph on many spheres
Climb mountains of thoughts
“…and kill worthless gods”
Well, that’s pretty self-explanatory. If not, your poetry teacher was probably a Std. 8 dropout. Metal is characterized by loud distorted guitars, emphatic rhythms, dense bass-and-drum sound, and vigorous vocals according to Wikipedia. And to most this is just some educated wordplay synonymous to noise.
Metalheads, as I said view most alternative and punk rock as ‘sissy music’
Most apparently seek the same instrumentation that many claim is lacking in rock metal. It’s a genre of music just as any other and viewed as an avenue of expression of human emotion…and culture.
Which makes me think, any genre carries along with it a ‘dress-code’. A label to the society of one’s affiliation. All rock-affiliated dress codes seek to distinguish themselves from the crowd. To be unique. So, the punk’s loud (or not) colours, piercings and artistic t-shirts bear a brazen contrast to the gory, heavily-accessorized attire of metalheads. Things could not be more similar…
Myself, I’m a self-confessed punk (with no negative connotations as the dictionary may attach to the word) so I may hold a slight bias against any genre of music harder on my tympanic membrane… (I’ve always wanted to use that word, Thank you Bio teacher, Linet )…on my eardrum than alternative metal played by bands like My Chemical Romance or Breaking Benjamin. However, I also digress occasionally, sampling some of the melodic tunes by legends like Metallica or Korn; these are usually my angry songs.
Just as anyone else, most metalheads seek the release accorded to them by the music, most choosing to ignore the negative stereotype attached to the music. Same for other rock lovers.
But what about listeners of the other rather ‘mainstream’ music genres yaani RnB, Hip-hop (which is dead btw) and the others. Most look upon all rock genres with disdain. Others don’t even know that some of the so-called songs they listen to are actually rock songs (examples escape my mind presently). But what do such people like/hate about rock…well, apart from the incessant ‘satanic’ babble. The day one single person gives me a concrete and honest answer I will hold my peace.
But for now, whatever your tastes, preferences and try experimenting on something new. Try getting out of your musical comfort zone and give your ears a “caffeine rush” of sorts. Personally, I recommend jazz; it’s diverse enough to get even the wax in your ears jumping for joy. Techno/House/Electro/Dance are also quite something else; ask anyone who’s been on the Nairobi party-scene this year.
For now, remember: ALL MUSIC IS BEAUTIFUL!
Well, apart from beiber gaga, and that creature called Hemedi
As a footnote, if you think anything I’ve said is incorrect, or too shallow, or even biased, feel free to educate me.
Musically, but still cluelessly yours, Mutegi