Metal isn’t metal (by Steven Wilson)

If we had to list what metalheads consider, according to their own criteria, “not metal”, we’d came to the conclusion that nothing is metal. Steven Wilson, which we interviewed a couple of days ago, shares this opinion. According to him, metal music has lost its original, free and subversive mindset, while it isn’t the case of some bands that don’t belong in this scene at all, including his own solo album.

Given this sad statement, we needed his expertise to find a way to revive the genre, and where to start. So we listed 11 things that Steven had to characterise as “heavy” or “not heavy”. He agreed to do it for the common good’s sake.
We thank him for that.


« No, it’s a cartoon, it’s not heavy. ».

Cricket ?

« Well, the ball’s heavy, the matches are long, and some people find them quite boring. No, it’s not heavy, it’s a very polite, gentleman’s game. ».

Black Sabbath ?

« Heavy ».

Steven Wilson ?

« I think Grace For Drowning (note : his solo album) is quite heavy, yeah. You won’t hear heavy guitars on it, but you’ll hear some really twisted, evil textures and sound. In places not, and in places yes! »

Is a stone heavy?

« That depends on the size of it. That’s funny, because we’re talking about heavy, of course, we’re not talking about it literally, in terms of the weight. It’s more a state of mind. So it’s kind of difficult to answer! »

What a about a rolling stone?

« The band? »

No, a stone that’s rolling!

« It depends on how big it is. If it’s rolling towards you, yeah! « 

The Beatles?

(long hesitation) « In places, yes. Some of their early stuff was quite dark and twisted, like ‘I Am The Walrus’. There’s something quite oppressive about some of those tracks, yeah. ».

Monty Pythons? ?

« No, I would call that more surrealist. That’s not heavy, that’s surreal. There’s a sense of the absurd. ».

Lou Reed?

« Velvet Underground was very heavy. Very dark, very garage-y, very twisted in a way. There’s a sickness to early Velvet stuff that is always associated with being quite heavy, yeah. ».

Johnny Cash?

« I’ve never really understood the appeal of Johnny Cash. I’m not a fan, to be honest. I know some people think he’s incredibly dark. They call him ‘the man in black’, don’t they? No, I never really got Johnny Cash. I would say no. ».

Anathema ?

« No, certainly not now. Anathema has a very positive message. If you speak to Danny and ask him what his music is about, what his message is about, it’s all about positivity. He loves harmony and beauty. I think for music to be heavy, it needs to be somehow fucked up and twisted in a way. That’s not what Dan is interested in. He loves harmony and positivity. I don’t think that’s really the point of heavy music, is it? ».

It’s up to you to draw the conclusions that are outstanding reading this list. Anyway, we can’t help but notice that some artists that don’t play metal in the musical sense seem close to Steven Wilson’s idea of metal, while the self-proclaimed « Kings Of Metal » themselves are far from it. Who knows,maybe metal music’s salvation will come not from metal itself, but from pop music…

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  • Le métal est métal mais quel genre de métal??? Mon cul est-il métal?? Si oui et ma bite alors? En parlant de ça la bite de Wolverine?


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