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Abyss_Raider
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:48 pm
Posts: 6
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:06 pm 
 

Hello everybody! As I mentioned in my intro I'm studying Folklore and its influence and importance to certain fandoms. (I'm researching this for academic purposes.)

Anyways, while I may have just introduced myself, I've been part of the community for years now, and by what I've surmised over those years, this is a very dedicated metal community. I'd love to hear your all's thoughts and opinions on how folklore pertains to our fandom. Not just like, past folklore (myths, etc.) but also modern/personal folklore. (How metal affects your life, how we interact as groups, etc.) Please, any and all responses and opinions are welcome, however you feel about this, I'd really like to know!

Thank you, I hope this is an appropriate thread.

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Oxenkiller
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:42 am
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:18 pm 
 

I'm not quite sure what you are asking, are you asking about how folklore influences metal lyrics or lyrical themes? Or, more about folklore related to the heavy metal genre as a whole?

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Abyss_Raider
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:48 pm
Posts: 6
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:15 pm 
 

Sorry, I'm not the best at explaining things, sometimes, and looking back I may have worded that all wrong. In the sense of how we're studying folklore in the class, we're looking at it more as group dynamics- In this folklore doesn't refer to just the past (like mythology, legends, etc.) but moreso a group, fandom or community can create its own internal and personal folklore. This group folklore is created through our sharing of traditions, performances, stories, as well as just how we interact with each other on a group or person-to-person basis.
So to expand- What kind of traditions do we participate in as a fandom? How do you communicate with others in the metal community? How has being a part of this community affected your life ? I'd love to hear how questions like these relate to your own life and experiences with this community (and more, if there's things you feel would be important to establishing group folklore) and if you think they help enforce us as a folkloric group (or can we be considered a folkloric group?)
An example that just popped up in my head to maybe help better understand is- We like to share with each other what bands/songs/albums we really like, and we do it on a consistent basis. That could be considered a shared tradition among the metal community which may, in turn, be a defining factor of our group's folklore.

Basically a theory set by a past philosopher (whose name escapes me) states that to be considered a folkloric group you have to share in traditions, performances, and group dynamics in a face-to-face medium. According to him online groups can not be considered folkloric groups because we don't communicate face-to-face, and I was wanting to use examples and opinions from this community to help disprove that theory and show that, despite us maybe not meeting face-to-face, we are just as strong a folkloric group as any offline group is.

The most important underlying question here is: Based off experiences and interactions with this community, are we, or can we be, considered a folkloric group?

I hope this clears things up a bit... But I really do suck at explaining stuff so there's a very good chance I just made the question seem even more nonsensical.

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Earthcubed
The Great Fearmonger

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:54 pm 
 

I think this is a very worthy topic of consideration, but I'm wondering how you/we would separate, say, metal folklore from Metal Archives folklore, given that you're asking people here. Granted, this place is pretty well-known and I suppose some MA folklore is fated to live its own life in the "real world," so perhaps the distinction doesn't matter as much anymore in our modern world.
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Abyss_Raider
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:48 pm
Posts: 6
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:36 pm 
 

A great question that I honestly didn't put into consideration... I kind of did look at MA as the "be all" of the metal fandom but we definitely wouldn't encompass the entirety of metal folklore. So to be honest when I posed this I was just thinking under the basis that what is shared here would be pretty much common among all metal groups (which is a very biased way of thinking, now that I actually write these words.) I do plan on researching other (maybe smaller, less known) metal groups to include, (and of course read articles and the like) but more as research/observation, as the Metal Archives community is where I feel the strongest personal opinions, experience, and information would come from.

I may actually have to rewrite my research as Metal Archives folklore as opposed to general metal folklore, though... Which might actually be the more sensible thing, as trying to grasp the broad entirety of a folkloric group sounds pretty intimidating.

Thank you for the insight, Earthcubed. It gives me a lot to think about how I should approach the research.

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Antioch
Metalhead

Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 4:08 am
Posts: 1252
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:58 am 
 

I think the best way to research "how we interact with each other on a group or person-to-person basis" on these forums is to peruse the threads that most interest you and ask relevant questions, instead of asking for conclusions in a new one. Don't get me wrong, I'm not devaluating your approach; I'm just pointing out that it won't be as empirical as you probably want it to be. Good luck.
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demonomania
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:44 am
Posts: 371
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:41 am 
 

Just my two cents: certainly the process of recommending new bands that one has dug out of the depths (and always trying to "one-up" each other with the most obscure stuff ever), the "sacred cows" that are almost indisputably classics according to almost all, the process of being shaped from a metal newcomer who just likes Metallica into a necrotyrannical nuclear goatfucker via some gentle/not so gentle teasing and mildly elitist prompting from more established metalheads on these forums, the defining characteristics of band members or groups that are shared among this community, or metalheads in general (Frank "Handshake" Mullen comes to mind, I'm sure there are plenty of good ones for Halford, Lemmy, etc.) - heck, even the process of obsessively categorizing bands and defining subgenres - all these things are examples of our "culture" on this website. Not sure if that fits your "folkloric community" definition though.
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Five_Nails
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:34 pm
Posts: 422
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:06 am 
 

I'd say the "folklore" idea, though demonomania provided some great examples of culture, can be taken more into the idea of stories we know and love retell. Dio's story about the horns is a great story within the style. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwQ1A5eB_dY The Norse myths, put together in each Edda by Snorri Sturluson, were examples of folklore. Folklore is oral history at its origin and I think that point has been missed in this thread.

Iommi's story about how his finger tips got chopped off is a great story about what makes the sound. Ozzy supposedly biting the head off a bat, the legal history of bands like Judas Priest and Twisted Sister getting implicated in suicides and anarchy, or even black metal with its stories of Dead's head becoming necklaces and churches ablaze are now folklore. As much truth (and documentation) as there is to many a story in metal history, the stories themselves are remembered and passed down. Folklore is as much a history as it is an imagining of times past and I think that the great stories in metal history can fit the bill of Abyss_Raider's project.

Folklore is fascinating but obviously many a lie grows over time. However, to me there's no "boy who cried wolf" story in metal that shares a lesson with its text. There's many a misstep but fables are few and far between unless they're in the lyrics of cautionary songs like "Hand of Doom" and I think that the music speaks for itself in that sense. Metallica's changes are a cautionary tale to some but so many other bands have reinvented in other ways and it's worked. It's tough to negotiate what becomes a fable without enough time to make it one.

Still, I think what the OP is looking for is something that M-A does well and can be considered worthwhile between metalheads on this site. Though this isn't the be and end of the metal realm, this site is still a far better cultural resource to source stories from than something like blabbermouth or metalsucks that use Facebook to get comments.

Tape trading and one-upping, like mentioned above, are parts of a community. Folklore is in the stories we tell. That's folklore to me and I think it's a worthy topic to elaborate on but we'll need an organized person to actually put this thread together in a more readable way as it grows.

What are the great stories of metal that make metal its own distinct branch in the music tree?
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demonomania
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:44 am
Posts: 371
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:01 pm 
 

Ah, Five's post makes the whole thing make more sense. In that case, may I offer a few lines from Manowar (sadly with the pedo as part of the lineup):

In The Beginning There Was Silence And Darkness All Across The Earth
Then Came The Wind And A Hole In The Sky
Thunder And Lightening Came Crashing Down Hit The Earth And Split The Ground
Fire Burned High In The Sky

From Down Below Fire Melted The Stone
The Ground Shook And Started To Pound

The Gods Made Heavy Metal And They Saw That It Was Good
They Said To Play It Louder Than Hell We Promised That We Would
When Losers Say Its Over With You Know That It’s A Lie
The Gods Made Heavy Metal And It’s Never Gonna Die

We Are The True Believers It’s Our Turn To Show The World
In The Fire Of Heavy Metal We Were Burned
It’s More Than Our Religion It’s The Only Way To Live
But The Enemies Of Metal We Can’t Forgive

Cause We Believe In The Power And The Might
And The Gods Who Made Metal Are With Us Tonight
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Oxenkiller
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:42 am
Posts: 2096
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:07 pm 
 

well, you used to hear stories about some of the early thrash metal bands, and what their shows were like. This was a couple years before I was old enough to go to these club shows, by the time (for example) I got to see Exodus, Baloff had already quit and the band was too big for Ruthie's Inn or the Stone (or the other Bay Area clubs) anymore. But the stories that circulated of those club days, of Baloff wearing armbands of ripped t-shirts of Ratt, Dokken, etc that he and/or the fans had ripped off the backs of the "posers", or of people getting beaten up for wearing such shirts to their gigs in the first place, went around and became legend. And of course, how violent and bloody the shows were, or of the fights between thrashers and "posers," and punks and thrashers (Thrashers tolerated and respected the punk scene a lot more than the other way around)- those kind of stories were circulating by the time I started going to gigs in the late '80s, and I never personally experienced anything that violent (though I became a veteran of many a bruising moshpit) I definitely heard these kinds of stories.

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GTog
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:35 pm
Posts: 847
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:15 am 
 

Some observations from a middle-aged metalhead:

- Metalheads are first and foremost united by the music. Pre-internet, that's where their friends came from, and that's what their social activities evolved from.

- Unlike many other subcultures, metalheads tend not to be exclusionary. Everybody gets to listen to metal if you want, and if you don't want that's ok too. We can still be friends. Hell, most of my friends these days are into country.

- It's not a club with a strict dress code. Have long hair or short hair, tattoos or not. Wearing band t-shirts and jeans all the time is not mandatory.

- There's no behavioral code either. They stereotype is that metalheads are kind of tough guy/gal assholes. I've been to a shit ton of metal shows over 30+ years, and have only witnessed any kind of incident maybe twice. Metal doesn't make assholes; they were that way to begin with, same as everywhere else.

Sorry for the choppy narrative, I'm actually listening to Ancient Bands at the moment, and keep getting distracted. That solo from Spiriti Liberi I swear is like part magic.

Anyway, some metal folklore artifacts:

- The "horns". Blame Dio.
- The leather. Blame Halford.
- The jeans jacket, often decorated with patches. Early Bay Area thrash scene, I think.
- The mosh pit. Borrowed from the LA hardcore punk scene.
- Corpsepaint. Sort of the natural evolution of the kabuki style stage makeup of Kiss or King Diamond.
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Scorntyrant
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
Posts: 1377
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:23 am 
 

As someone with Degrees in this area, this is very poorly conceptualized. Half of what's been talked about so far is participant-observation Sociology (social mores and customs) but without the proper distance of an impartial observer....and how do "fandoms" develop folklore when they are so transient? Maybe it's a terminology issue, but I'd be getting out the red pen and writing "citation needed" on anything more in depth than year 1 undergraduate on this one.
Assuming that this isn't a high school thing of course
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acid_bukkake
SAD!

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:45 am
Posts: 1195
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:56 am 
 

Scorntyrant wrote:
....and how do "fandoms" develop folklore when they are so transient? Maybe it's a terminology issue, but I'd be getting out the red pen and writing "citation needed" on anything more in depth than year 1 undergraduate on this one.
Assuming that this isn't a high school thing of course

I've been trying to put my finger on why this question perplexes me so and I think you've nailed it, but I'll also say that he's asking as it pertains to the metal subculture more than just "people who listen to music."

I think the best answers you'll get OP are in the two posts above the quoted. GTog hit a lot of nails with a war hammer right there and Oxenkiller's relay of Baloff's legendary poseur bashing seems spot on.
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Earthcubed
The Great Fearmonger

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
Posts: 3603
Location: eccaira nare epë Anar
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:45 am 
 

GTog wrote:
The mosh pit. Borrowed from the LA hardcore punk scene.



I didn't know that. Interesting...just one more reason for me to hate moshing.
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GTog
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:35 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:10 pm 
 

heh :) Not a fan of moshing either. Though if you want to get close enough to the stage, especially at club shows, you have to resign yourself to doing a little pit maintenance. Mostly I stand there in linebacker position and um... remind people where the boundary is.

I've been reading up on folklore since this thread got started, trying to figure out what makes it happen. In other words, what is the folklore of a subculture versus just shooting the shit with other members. I think it's the shared collection of stories that are mostly known just to members of the subculture, and not generally known (or understood at least) outside.

Some stories that I think we all know, but non-metalheads probably don't, or don't see as terribly interesting:

- The Satanic Panic of the 1980s, particularly in the US.
- Dee Snider's epic takedown of the PMRC in general and Tipper Gore in particular, in testimony before a senate subcommittee.
- Judas Priest actually, ridiculously, having to testify in court that no, they did not hide subliminal messages in their songs telling youths to kill themselves.
- Ozzy biting the heads off of things.
- The parody movie This Is Spinal Tap actually containing some true metal anecdotes, such as bands getting lost backstage.

Yeah, the 80s were weird.
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Oxenkiller
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:42 am
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:14 pm 
 

The whole 90's Norway black metal soap opera thing took drama to a whole new level though. I mean, there have been whole books, even movies, written about that scene, and the people and events surrounding it. I remember, at that time, it really influenced a lot of kids- who would have been the early 90's equivalent of today's mallcore kids- to jump on the black metal bandwagon. It was so "evil" and subversive, rebellious, extreme, etc. and the fact that there was all the violence and actual crime associated with it made it sound enticing to these kids looking for the next level of "extreme-ness" to latch onto. And you had the bands giving interviews where they would offer all these "Evil" sound bites, to just to sound controversial and what not. But then people read about the church burning and the murders, and the whole "making stew out of dead band-mates' brain" kind of thing, and they thought, "Those bands didn't just preach it, they lived what the preached" and so a lot of people were drawn to that. Sheesh, you had kids 20 years later still trying to be the next Mayhem, or the next Burzum, or whatever- going off in interviews about how "evil" and "True," "Kult", etc they are.

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Abyss_Raider
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:48 pm
Posts: 6
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:02 pm 
 

Wow! These are great, thank you so much, everybody!
Looking into other threads (like the video games thread, for example) is an extremely important part of the research and one that I've been using (although I haven't posted much in them, but I do agree that doing so would be a very good means of helping with this information, and I will definitely start using that to help with this research), so thank you for recommending that, Antioch!

I'm actually very happy to hear the critique, Scorn, as I know my definitions for what I'm looking for are horrible. It's helpful to hear this from someone who has a degree and knowledge in this area. While this is a(n undergrad) college paper, it is from someone with absolutely no experience or knowledge in this field of study. I'm a CIT student and honestly have no idea what I'm supposed to be looking for in a paper like this (I've never done a research paper (if that's even what this would be considered) so this has been extremely confusing and difficult for me) and your critique is very helpful, so thank you.

Seriously, Gtog, Five, Oxenkiller, demonomania, acid, and everyone else, these stories, comments and responses are amazingly helpful, and I truly appreciate them.

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