Web Documentary: How The Internet Changed Heavy Metal

from the hint:-for-the-better dept

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an upcoming web documentary by Metal Injection looking at the impact of the internet on heavy metal, among other things. The internet-focused episode was released last week, and it contains lots of interesting tidbits about the metal scene's reaction to changing technologies.

I say "tidbtis" because the format of the documentary is a little frustrating. It jumps rapidly back and forth among interviews with a huge variety of people including musicians, promoters, journalists and label representatives. It's kind of hard to keep track of who everyone is, and nobody really gets the time to make longer, more complex points, which also means there are a few quotes that are hard to interpret without the surrounding context. Nevertheless, there are some great views expressed, most of which will be familiar to Techdirt regulars.

At its core, the metal scene (like most music scenes) seems to be embracing the internet. One thing I found interesting was the number of people who clearly accept what's happening even if they don't entirely approve of it: whether they think that there is too much crappy music out there now, or that file sharing is bad for artists, they acknowledge that these things are here to stay and the only thing to do is embrace them and move forward.

There is also a running thread of the idea that the metal genre is especially well-positioned to build online business models, because metal fans tend to be big consumers of merchandise, and have a huge appreciation for large-form artwork and appealing physical products. Several people point out that it's no surprise the metal world embraced filesharing, since the golden age of heavy metal was fueled by tape trading—a topic that's discussed in more detail over at the Metalluminati blog.

You can watch the full documentary below.

Filed Under: heavy metal, internet, metal injection, tape trading


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  1. icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), 25 Apr 2012 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re:

    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but hasn't this been noted on this site in the past?

    It has. Luckily, or unfortunately, depending on your mood, it keeps getting repeated because there are some of us here (ahem...a particular failed "independent musician" anonymous coward around here in particular) that don't believe it and would rather run around with our hands over our ears yelling "But, Piracy!"

    I've seen the same with myself, and it is funny that I didn't know anything about Jessica Frech until I watched her free youtube video and then started buying her stuff even though she makes it available for free on her website. I've done the same with many other artists. But there are some here that believe that free is evil and the only way to make money in this world is to treat your customers poorly, accuse them of stealing your stuff, and then complaining that piracy made you unsuccessful when it really was your own attitude and failure to sell yourself to your audience.

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