SCIENCE FINALLY ASKS THE QUESTION: “WHAT IS THE MEANING OF METAL?”
In college, I once took a course on literary representations of New York City, and one the texts utilized was Frank Miller’s graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns.
My point being simply that it was only a matter of time until academia turned its eye towards extreme music.
From an official press release:
“A research group of a faculty member and graduate students in the University of North Carolina system and in the university of Oulu, Finland, are conducting a multi-year international study of the meaning of metal music. The research project was started in summer 2008 and its main data consists of questionnaires and interviews on the meaning of metal to the different participants of the global metal scene. So far, the researchers have received 370 survey responses, representing a diverse community of Metal fans—men and women between the ages of 13 and 70 from 25 different countries have participated in the research project thus far. Some of the artists interviewed in the project include members from Amorphis, Dark Tranquillity, Disturbed, Nonpoint, Swallow the Sun, Katatonia, The Black Dahlia Murder, Kreator, Epica, Scar Symmetry, As I Lay Dying, Barren Earth, Rotten Sound, and Cannibal Corpse.”
Apparently the information they’ve culled has already been used for several research papers, all of which feature incredibly entertaining titles, such as “Am I Evil ? – The Meaning of Metal Music to its Fans,” and “’We Can’t Have Satanic Worshippers Represent Our Country Abroad’—Metal Music and a New Kind of National Pride.” That simultaneously tickles me and makes me curious to read those papers. There’s a part of me that will always cringe at the thought of trying to find the “meaning” of any kind of art, and part of me that remembers I’m a blogger, and that’s kinda-sorta what I do on a daily basis.
ANYWAY, the group apparently needs more subjects to answer its questionnaires so that it can “acquire a sufficient amount of research material for extensive analyses and sufficiently generalizable results.” For more info, you can either access the questionnaire and additional details here, or e-mail drmetal AT metalculture.net or metal_culture AT hotmail.com.