with DeadSun

You've seen him in Fan Speak all around the antiMUSIC network, now DeadSun gets his big show as the host of his very own talk show,  The Not Quite-So DeadShow ! Forget Oprah and Dr. Phil, DeadSun knows how to liven up a talk show. 

.

disclaimer for lawyers and dumbasses:
Please read the disclaimer before proceeding with this article. the disclaimer is included here-in by reference.
If you are under the age of 17, this article is not meant for you so please bugger off.
For those too lazy to click what follows is parody and celebrity a**holes are impersonated
.

Nu Metal: Where Did it Go Wrong?

Nu metal is dying.

In fact, the signs indicating that it was on its last leg started to linger around 2003, when record sales from the ubiquitous, big money acts began to dwindle. What happened? I suppose the answer lies buried somewhere in between the culmination of the style, and it having been a frequent target of acute criticism from heavy metal fans worldwide. Simply stated: a lot of people, especially long term fans of metal, had it in for nu metal from the beginning. So what exactly is it about nu metal that so many take issue with? Does the evidence of its (comparatively speaking) decline in mass-popularity vindicate those who have--- all along--- not only put nu metal down as wanting in technique, but adamantly declared much of it to be little more than the latest hatchling from the minds of market analysts? In this month's editorial, I intend to explore the possible answers to these questions, and I intend to do so as fairly as possible.

"Nu metal"--- we've all heard it before. The phrase itself is generally acknowledged to have been coined by Korn frontman Jonathan Davis, to describe an (at that time) emerging sound/style--- what he referred to as "new URBAN metal". 

This novel coinage of Davis' begs a question. Why the inclusion of the word "urban"? In my mind, this leads to even more questions. Was metal, prior to the mid-1990's, somehow "un-urban"? This inference seems ridiculous on its face. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but didn't bands like Metallica, Slayer, and Exodus cut their teeth in the Bay Area of California? Didn't Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Motorhead plant their gardens in British cities like Birmingham, London, and Manchester? Can it get much more "urban" than San Francisco or Birmingham?

Of course, I'm being coy. "Urban", in this case, was Davis' euphemistic substitute for hip hop culture, something that nu metal has hitherto been rife with--- whether this is "good" or "bad" is a judgment that can only be left to the devices of the individual. The point is this--- from its inception, the name itself was intentionally obscure, however the impressions soon became palpable enough; oversized pants, the pimp-esque jogging suits, the gold chains, the sideways baseball hats, vocals offered up in rap format, the presence of the obligatory "kicker-box beat", the absence of noteable guitar presence in favor of beefed up basslines, the employment of a DJ, etc.

... and all the while, most metal fans were scratching their heads. I was one of them. Record executives weren't, though. During the mid-1990's, they were all-too aware of hip hop's growing market share and--- let us not forget--- hip hop's relatively low production costs. I believe the search went out for cross-over acts who could potentially tap into the hard rock and heavy metal markets. These markets were observably hung over from the enormity of the early 90's "grunge" swell which, by that time, had begun to recede. Even still--- the alternative rock explosion of the late 80's/early 90's offered up much more than whatever was coming out of Seattle at the time--- and in a few exceptionally rare instances, the labels took notice as MTV took notice.

Enter the band Faith No More, and their blockbuster video for the genre-bending song "Epic".

Considered by most to be the earliest crystallization of nu metal, "Epic" was (unfortunately for a truly avant-garde outfit like Faith No More) the model prototype of what more than a few AR label recruiters were looking to tap. And tap they did. That is not to put forward the idea that Faith No More was the sole catalyst behind what ultimately morphed into the nu metal of Jonathan Davis' description. Quite the contrary. 

One can, with little effort of thought, hear the seeds of nu metal being formulated in the earlier works of bands like Godflesh, Helmet, Faith No More, Rage Against the Machine, Sepultura (Chaos AD and Roots in particular), the Melvins, and even the Swans--- at least from the heavier, musical side of things. What we somehow ended up with, by the late 1990's, was Korn, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Linkin' Park, Deftones, Crazy Town, et al. With that taken into account, I often find myself bewildered that nu metal evolved the way it did. My ears tell me that the resulting product did not proceed logically from its root sources of inspiration, almost like a tree that grows in the shape of a letter "Z". I have often--- to the shock and consternation of many a metalhead--- put forward the notion that nu metal might have evolved into something that was more than just a novelty act with generic (and hence) popular appeal and a "tuff" name, had it opted for the avant-garde mission statement of bands like Godflesh, Melvins, and Faith No More. Instead, it collectively aligned itself with the most transparent gimmicks associated with mainstream hip hop culture--- just look around. It isn't difficult to see the blatant level of saturation. Bad move. Metal fans don't tend to jump the trains of popular trend, all because a few marketing drones dangle a glossy video before them. 

This did nothing but repel them. 

How unsurprising, then, that the greater part of the fanbase which nu metal sought out and ultimately attracted are consummate trend hoppers, who--- even the TOP end of the spectrum--- typically have a four year attention span for something, until they race off to latch onto the next "like, uber hot" novelty. This calls to mind the similar, self-inflicted fate that dealt glam metal a death blow by the dawn of the 1990's. Once again, the artists took the easy bait. Now sales are winding down. People are losing interest. Too bad. Maybe there would have been fewer platinum albums along the way, but if nu metal acts had taken a more creative, substantive approach to structure and style, it might not have found itself--- in mere few years--- relegated to obscurity, only occasionally resurrected to serve as a punchline. So much for doing what is best to preserve in earnest. 

It is interesting that, among its fans--- I've noticed that the phrase "nu metal" has lately become a dirty word of sorts--- another indication that portends its pending demise. All of a sudden, people go on the defensive when a band is referred to as a nu metal band. Have you noticed that in many instances--- to its fans--- "nu metal" is no longer a viable classification, but when administered, is now viewed as a negative stereotype? Clearly, a shift in perception has taken place since the late 1990's. Many now prefer to bury nu metal underneath the misleading term "alternative metal". Be on the lookout for that one, because it's coming into vogue. This falls under that age old magic trick: "If we call it something else, people will believe that it is something else." It isn't alternative metal. I also find it curious that, to my knowledge, nobody seemed to mind the classification so long as sales were booming, and advertising one's music as "nu metal" meant a better chance at getting noticed by a big label. So what's different between THEN and NOW?

This is fairly black and white--- nu metal is running out of steam, and those who oil the gears are looking for ways to wring a few more years out of it. Renaming it is one such way.

Therein lies the problem--- if nu metal is going to stay alive, cosmetic changes aren't going to be the solution. Changes need to take place within the music. 

The sound needs to break its mould. 

Will it?

It's doubtful.

DS
 
 
 
 


advertisement

advertisement

News Reports
Day in Rock:
Guns N' Roses Announce 2017 American and Euro Tours- Bon Jovi's Father Threatened To Kill Sebastian Bach?- Red Hot Chili Peppers Release Animated 'Sick Love' Video- more

Emerson, Lake And Palmer's Greg Lake Dead At 69- Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi Fells OK But Needs Lump Removed- Rolling Stones May Do Vol 2 Of Blue and Lonesome- more

Metallica Announce Another Rare Club Show- Dio, Lemmy and Randy RhoadsLead Metal Hall Inductees- Megadeth To Rock Late Night TV and Mustaine Unplugging For Charity- more

Day in Pop:
Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody Re-Imagined As A Violent Crime Drama- Patti Smith To Play Bob Dylan Song At Nobel Prize Ceremony- Aaliyah Collaboration With Drake- more

Meghan Trainor Cancels Upcoming Live Dates Under Doctor's Orders- Russell Crowe Will Not Face Charges Over Azealia Banks Incident- Kenny Chesney Sells 106,000 Tickets- more

Avenged Sevenfold Has 'A Lot Of Similarities' To Kanye West- Rock and Metal Grammy Nominations Named- Drake 'Views' Reaches Quadruple-Platinum Status- more

advertisement


Reviews

TBT: The Cult, Stabbing Westward, Monster Magnet and Bird3 Live

Holiday Gift Guide: Pop Culture Edition

Rahm - Between the Lines

Fall Out Boy: The Boys of Zummer Tour: Live in Chicago

Holiday Gift Guide: Vinyl Edition

TBT - Korn's Live & Rare

Road Trip: Sea Life Arizona Aquarium

Panic In Eden - In the Company of Vultures

Holiday Gift Guide: Rock Reads Edition

Thirsty - Albatross

The Slang - Night and Day

Queen On Air: The Complete BBC Radio Sessions

TBT Interview: Nickelback's Chad Kroeger

Holiday Gift Guide: Kris Kristofferson- Van Morrison- Human League Box Sets

John Mellencamp Live In Chicago

MorleyView: Dee Snider

In Tribute: Leonard Cohen Live

TBT: Anthrax - Among the Living

Tilted Axes - Music for Mobile Electric Guitars

Pink Floyd - The Early Years

TBT: Don Felder Interview Flashback

Scattered Hamlet - Swamp Rebel Machine more

Rock News Stories
Guns N' Roses Announce 2017 American and Euro Tours (top story)

Bon Jovi's Father Threatened To Kill Sebastian Bach? (top story)

Red Hot Chili Peppers Release Animated 'Sick Love' Video (top story)

Metallica's Hammett Understands Dave Mustaine's Anger At Band (top story)

Stone Sour Release Video For Acoustic 'Zzyzx Rd' (top story)

Lemmy Statue Documentary Goes Online (top story)

Queensryche Release 'Hellfire' Music Video (top story)

Travis Barker Musink Festival Details and Lineup (top story)

Marillion Sell Out Historic Concert In Minutes (top story)

Def Leppard, A Perfect Circle Lead Lineup For Fort Rock Festival (top story)

Ace Frehley Says Reunion With KISS Is Possible (top story)

Deep Purple Announce The Long Goodbye Tour (top story)

Five Finger Death Punch Completing Tour Without Ivan Moody (top story)

Stone Temple Pilots Pay Tribute To Late Singer Scott Weiland (top story)

Rolling Stones Release 'Ride 'Em On Down' Video Feat Twilight Star (top story)

Phil Lewis Reveals He Is Leaving L.A. Guns (top story)

Lynyrd Skynyrd Cancel Shows Due To Family Emergency (top story)

Def Leppard Release 'We Belong' Video (top story)

Asking Alexandria's Ben Bruce Launches New Web Series (top story)

Anneke Van Giersbergen Announces New Band Vuur (top story)

Iron Maiden's Steve Harris Reveals Only Downside To British Lion (top story)

Anthrax Release Video For Among The Living Anniversary Tour (top story)

more

B-Side Stories
Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody Re-Imagined As A Violent Crime Drama (top story)

Patti Smith To Play Bob Dylan Song At Nobel Prize Ceremony (top story)

Unreleased Aaliyah Collaboration With Drake Goes Online (top story)

50 Cent Reaches $14.5 Million Settlement In Malpractice Case (top story)

Stevie Nicks Extends Tour With The Pretenders (top story)

Prince Fans Pays Tribute With Christmas Light Show (top story)

DJ Khaled Stars With Mariah Carey In 'Keys To Christmas' Special (top story)

'Transformers: The Last Knight' Trailer Features Eerie Flaming Lips Cover (top story)

Bruno Mars Thrills Fans At Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (top story)

Flo Rida Releases 'Zillionaire' Video (top story)

Nickelback Won't Be Used As Drunk Driving Punishment After All (top story)

Foo Fighters Resisted Dave Grohl's 'Crazy' Idea (top story)

Melvins Put Their Own Spin On Classic Christmas Song (top story)

Them Are Us Too's Cash Askew Killed In Oakland Warehouse Fire (top story)

Cypress Hill's Sen Dog Recruits Metal Stars For New Album (top story)

Justin Bieber Announces New Stadium Concert Dates (top story)

Kanye West, French Montana and Cam'ron Release New TRack (top story)

AFI Announce North American Blood Tour (top story)

Deadmau5 Once Feared That He Killed A Fan (top story)

Nico Segal Releases Paul Simon Remix 'Stranger' (top story)

Steven Adler Jams UYI Songs With Guns N' Roses Cover Band (top story)

Psychostick Release Christmas Themed System Of A Down Cover (top story)

Queen Classic Given Classical Makeover (top story)

Grace VanderWaal Streams New Song 'Clay' (top story)

The Lumineers Release Their Cover Of 'Blue Christmas' (top story)

Keith Urban Honors First Responders At New Zealand Concert (top story)

Tim McGraw And Faith Hill Duet In 'The Shack' Trailer (top story)

Rick Ross Releases 'Buy Back the Block' Video (top story)

Train Announce New Album 'a girl a bottle a boat' (top story)

Brett Eldredge Talks His Christmas Album 'Glow' (top story)

more



Follow Us:

Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.