Metal Tech

Deafheaven’s Sunbather Was Featured in the Apple iPhone 5c Keynote


The new iPhones were announced a week ago, but I haven’t seen this story pop up within the metal interwebs yet (though it’s been covered elsewhere), and I haven’t seen any critical cultural discussion of it. And so:

Deafheaven received a very prominent plug in the keynote for Apple’s new iPhone 5S and 5c models, and their likeness continues to be featured on the Apple website. That any metal band is getting such a prominent plug from Apple is fairly mind-blowing. Note the cover of their new album Sunbather in the keynote:


And the same album getting some love on the iPhone 5c announcement page:

Deafheaven Apple


So many questions here!

1) Did Deafheaven know they were going to be featured or were they as surprised as the dozens of people posting the news on their Facebook page?

2) If they did have advance notice, are they getting paid for this? (if so: good for them!)

3) Does this mean metal has officially jumped the shark? Metal is officially “hot” right now in a certain sect of mainstream culture, whatwith outlets like NPR and Pitchfork that wouldn’t have touched metal with a ten foot rubber pole in the past suddenly showing it plenty of love over the past few years. I’m not going to argue that it has, but it’s certainly worth having a discussion about why and how metal is suddenly so acceptable in the mainstream.

4) I hate throwing the word “hipster” around, but again, I think it needs to be discussed in this context: why is it only a certain type of metal that seems to be acceptable in these kinds of instances? If you’d been shown a list of ten metal bands before this Apple promotion was released that included Deafheaven and nine other bands (let’s say: Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Cannibal Corpse, Protest the Hero, Revocation, Animals as Leaders, Periphery, Hatebreed and The Faceless) and then someone asked you to choose the band most likely to be included in an Apple commercial, you definitely would’ve pointed to Deafheaven. Why is that? What is it about Deafheaven that is intrinsically more appealing to non-metalheads?

None of this is to take anything away from Deafheaven, by the way. Sunbather is an absolutely fantastic album, and Deafheaven deserve whatever sales and/or popularity bump they’re currently experiencing from Apple’s exposure. But, I mean, the fact that Apple would feature a band with harsh, screaming vocals… it’s pretty fucking crazy, right???

Chime in with your thoughts below.

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