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.


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  1. icon
    weneedhelp (profile), 25 Apr 2012 @ 9:29am

    Re:

    Small groups? You are kidding right? You prove you have no clue about this subject/genre. Metal heads are everywhere. One is probably sitting next to you now. In the metal heyday those bands sold out stadiums time time again, album after album, tour after tour, year after year. Albums were 7-10 bucks, concert tickets were 7-20 bucks and t-shirts were 7-10. Being a teenager with a decent job could afford you the album, t-shirt, and ticket.

    And surprise suprise, the first thing I used to do when I got an album was to dub it and give it to my friends. They would hear it, decide they liked it (or not) and shelled out the 7-10 bucks for it. I cant tell you how many albums I purchased that way. In the case of Iron Maiden the album art was as much a part of it as the music. Eddie is awesome.

    Flash to present day. Immortal Technique & Paris were given to me from a co-woker on a flash drive. The complete collections. After a month or so I had some extra cash and bought their whole collections because I liked their music.
    Clutch, Coal Chamber, Deathalizer, Devil Driver, Flaw, Grip Inc., Hatebreed, Hellyeah, Kyuss, Lacuna Coil, Lamb Of God, MurderDolls, Mushroomhead, and on and on, and thats just a partial from my Metal folder. Guess what? All free. Free, free, free, free, free, free, and free. Guess what else? At least one album bought, bought, bought, bought, and bought from each artist.

    Metalheads are older now. No longer do we dress in jeans concert shirts and denim jackets with the great Iron Maiden artwork patch on the back. (I still have it though.)

    Most of us now have kids, jobs, car payments, mortgages, etc. I dont give a fuck who it is 100+ for a concert ticket is absurd. 35-50 for a concert shirt, are they fucking out of their minds? I wont, repeat wont, spent that kind of money, and believe today's parents wont either.

    So now instead of having 100,000 fans shell out $15-$20 bucks to see them in a stadium, it is $50 on up for a 3000 seat club. Do the math.

    I dont care how much I love your music, when I can take my family camping for the weekend for the cost of 2 concert tickets, ill tell you to go fuck yourself.

    Now here is where your true colors show:
    Beanie Baby collectors or hidden camera pervs.
    What a fucking asshole you must be. Hidden camera pervs, yeah ok buddy.

    Coulda saved yourself a lot of tome and just posted Metal sucks.

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