What is metal? Thoughts...

TRrEiTxIxRiE DTrash

New Metal Member
Apr 14, 2001
Ok, I have a question as I have gotten into this argument a lot lately.

Do you people consider 80s glam metal to be metal?

I think is DEFINITELY is. Lets take for example Poison and Motley Crue as glam metal bands, and Scorpions and W.A.S.P. as heavy metal bands...

The only real difference between these bands is that the glam bands have more pussy vocals and cleaner production. The riffs are the same style, solos the same, same big rock beat, and same attitude (except glam metal is sleazier).

I think to deny glam as being metal, would also deny nearly all 80s "Heavy Metal" except for maybe Maiden, Priest and Manowar, which were more originators of power metal I think, as being metal also... which is almost saying heavy metal didn't exist until the birth of thrash, which is completely stupid.

To me, music styles are defined by attitude more than anything else. It's the reason why fans are attracted to that style of music, because it has the same attitude as that person. The attitude of metal has always been about fun/fantasy/escapism I think. Even death and black metal are about that, but in a much more violent and extreme form.

This is where I have a problem calling bands like Slipknot metal. To me, they are much closer to hardcore punk than heavy metal. Their music is based on chaos, aggression, and noise... the guitars are there just as backing like in punk, where as in metal they are the driving force of the music, the vocals are aggressive and screamed, and the lyrics are anti-social about how crap the world is. But because it is simply heavy, it is called "metal", while because glam is party music and not heavy, its called "rock".

Glam metal is about a big fist in the air drum beat, rockin' riffs which drive the songs, big guitar solos, catchy choruses, long hair and leather, flamboyant live shows, and escaping into boyish fantasies.

Lyrically, glam metal has the same attitude as heavy metal too. Where glam is about sexual male fantasies and rock and roll, heavy metal lyrics like in Iron Maiden songs are often re-enactments of battle scenes and adventure stories... again male fantasies. And where the lyrics of glam songs are about rocking hard, so are songs by Manowar and Priest... just check out things like Metal God, Metal Warriors, Kings Of Metal, etc...

If you look at the lyrics of Slipknot, its a negative social commentary that speaks of youth rebelling... ("Fuck the world, fuck everything that you stand for" etc..) This is reminiscent of punk bands like the Sex Pistols and hardcore bands like Misfits and Anti-Nowhere League.

To me, and I think most metalheads, the so called "nu-metal" scene is much more a hardcore scene with influences crossing over to thrash and death metal. And also, its important to remember this: why don't hardly any metalheads like "Nu-metal" if it is metal? It would seem strange that nu-metal shows are made up of skaters and punks, MTV followers and grunge fans, and the metal community stays far away from it if it is metal. If it was metal, metal fans would like it! It is also interesting that fans of these bands don't like any heavy metal except for a bit of thrash! (And this would be because thrash metal has influences in hardcore punk)

I think "The Decline Of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years" highlights it the best. Alice Cooper says that heavy metal is the rock and roll of the 80s. Kiss refer to heavy metal as rock and roll. Ozzy Osbourne says that heavy metal is rock n roll. My point? 80s HEAVY METAL WAS ROCK N ROLL! And because now since grunge killed metal in the mainstream in the early 90s, metal is a much more serious and technical underground style of music that has lost most of it's rock n roll attitude, people forget that 80s heavy metal was rock n roll and judge the 80s stuff by comparing it to '90s styles, and most of these people only consider thrash metal in the 80s (and death metal in the very late 80s) as 80s metal. The rest is just seen as rock, or hard rock. This assumption is already proven wrong by the fact that the term heavy metal was being used before thrash started. In the 1970s, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Kiss etc.. were regarded as heavy metal, and I don't see why that should change now just because there are new styles of metal.

In summary: glam is heavy metal! 80s heavy metal is heavy metal! "Nu-metal" is hardcore with a metal influence, but not metal! Hahaha.

What do you guys think??

(I think I might save this little piece into a text file so I can send it to people next time I have an argument, I never find the right words in an argument haha).
I think heavy metal is: Guitar solos, big riffs, attitude, fantasy style lyrics and above all..........................ESCAPISM :)

Its all about forgetting your problems and just enjoying the songs.

Nu-metal bands dont qualify for escapism as all they do is remind you why you hate the world so much (I love slipknots music, but they arent metal, i always figured they were death metal without the christian hating, they just hate everyone equally) and even though a band like Iron Maiden is ALWAYS going to be 100 times better song wise and musician wise, they are a good release for me sometimes :)

Anyway, thats what I think, and yes, 80s metal IS metal, it was about escapism as well, but instead of battles or dragons or whatever it was just about escaping to a good time.

Thats my 2c anyway :)
:eek: I wasn't expecting such a long post.

I'll have to read it later. (Glam is metal)

I've read it now. :)

I agree with basically evwery single word you said (typed). In fact, I was thinking the very same thing today about this so called 'Nu-Metal'.

Nu-Metal isn't about metal or music. It's about money.
Simply what they have done, is taken a stero-typed sound of a scary rebelious metal sound, thrown in daft tattooed white boys (boyz), added simple vocals as so simply-minded Video Hits teen's can remember them and 'sing' (rap) along - thus creating a new brand of excrement.

I love Glam - WASP, Dokken, Kiss, a bit of Poison, Motley Crue
I love the other side - Testament, Opeth, Slayer,
and I love everything in between.
Originally posted by Hanso
Cheese = Metal

studed leather jackets
painted faces
nuts caught in a vice singing


:lol: :lol:
How about this when does meatl of any sort become "pop". Because my meaning for pop is any music that sells well in the mainstream charts or when the film clips appear on Video Hits more than once.

In the words of the stones "I know it's only rock and roll but I like it"
I think heavy metal can be pop in a way. If you think of pop as in meaning popular. There is a whole style of metal out there called pop-metal anyway, like Def Leppard, 80s Bon Jovi, Great White, White Lion etc...

But as long as it still has the elements which make something metal, its still heavy metal to me :)

That's why I don't use the fact that Slipknot are popular to say they aren't metal... it's that thier attitude and style isn't metal. And also because most of their fans don't listen to any metal, whereas lots of metal fans enjoy glam metal/pop metal.
Can't remember who said or sung this "Its all rock'n, roll to me " .
All people want to do is put labels on things. I as rule will listen to most music but as soon as its heavy it gets me in.

So yeh . Metal = Glam , Cheese =Metal therefore Glam=Cheese.
But not sure what Cheese+Ham +Bread= Oh a Sandwich
Trooper what a great post.
Wasnt that billy joel bucko? ("everybodies talkin bout the new sound, funny, but its still rock and roll to me" I could be wrong, but id swear they are the lyrics?)
Excellent post Troops, though it all depends on who you ask.

A washed-up classic rock magazine writer would tell you that metal is, was and ever will be Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, and that every band who followed them is derivative with nothing new to offer. They might be right about the influence of these three bands, but to call progressive groups like Zeppelin and Purple metal on the basis of a few heavy tracks is missing the point, almost as much as ignoring all the groups that came afterward.

A hip n' trendy music journalist or DJ will put influential acts like KISS, Aerosmith, Van Halen, The Cult (and sometimes even Maiden!) in the same category as any number of 80s hair/glam bands and write them off as a nostalgia trip for sad people who can't let go of the past. I read a "where are they now?" style article about Poison a few weeks ago that seemed more interested in poking fun at the band rather than talking about the success they had. Listen to the way Adam Spencer (Triple J) insults any or all of the bands I just mentioned, and he calls himself a fan! :mad:

Today's serious-minded "metal" listener will gravitate towards stuff like Pantera, Sepultura, Soulfly and Fear Factory, while the impressionable teen will enjoy Slipknot, Korn, Limp Bizkit etc.
Both will write off all the bands I've listed above, sometimes without even listening to them first, because they're victims of record company/pop culture brainwashing.

I'm starting to sound like Jon Schaffer in the Days of Purgatory liner notes, so I'll shut up in a minute :). Before I do, it goes without saying that I like all the bands in the first two categories, but I can't stand any in the third.

In summation- Bring on the cheese, it ROCKS! \m/

Spawnys stops what he is doing and listens........Did someone say Jon Schaffer?

Anyway, good point about it all depends on who you ask. Each band in the first 2 categories you mentioned you can see similarities between them (i.i. both aerosmith and deep purple can be said to have great riffs and solos, and great rock songs etc.) But Limp Bizkit and friends dont sound even remotely like any of the groups in the first 2 categories.

This may sound strange, but I love fear factory, (old) sepultura and slipknot, and i loved all the other bands you mentioned as well! :)
But you are right, people dismiss other bands just because they arent "fashionable". I HATE that, these are the same idiots who, 15 years ago, all bought (to pick a band) poison records (face it, they sold about 20 million records, SOMEONE bought them and enjoyed them!) and now because they arent considered cool they pretend like they never used to enjoy their music. Talk about fairweather fans!!
I think im getting off topic!!

Oh one more thing, metal is also *epicness*!! Think stairway to heaven, rime of the ancient mariner, anything by kiss (face it, they ARE epic themselves haha!) and dantes inferno.
Glam was (and still is) an essential part of Metal.Given that i started listening to metal at around the end of 1984,here is what i was listeing to during the 80's(and most of which are still some of my favourite metal bands).I am very much a fan of 80's Metal

Iron Maiden
Judas Priest
Motley Crue
Black Sabbath
Twisted Sister
Mortal Sin
(also used to listen to Poison and Def Leppard but i never actually bought any of their music)

More recently i have been listening to bands like
Gamma Ray
Blind Guardian
Iced Earth
Dark Order
but i find that i still listen to 80's metal more than the later stuff

I am also a big fan of AC/DC,Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin(and have been since the middle 80's) but i think of these more as hard rock than metal (even though i started listening to both at the same time)
I'm 21 but I listen to a lot of 70's,80's metal, Mainly due to the fact that the often the bands at that time used very descriptive lyrics that make me think about the whats being sung when I'm listening to it, I'm not saying that 90's metal dosen't have good lyrics, Because many of them do.

I personally don't like Death metal or Nu-metal, Death metal I find is too macarbe for my tastes and as someone said before Nu-metal is just about money and fashion, But then so was Glam metal in a way.

Metal to me is good music and showmanship, Because if you look at all the most sucessful bands they have stage personalities and excellent stage setups, Also they have learnt how to work crowds very well, Also succesful bands are always trying to better themselves from album to album.

My point is that Metal is Metal no matter what time period or style you like. Each generation just has it's bands that personify the generation.

So just listen to what you like and screw what society says!
Spawn & Crossey yup you guys was right , spent the whole day trying to think who said that line. Heres another from those great Aussies "Its just rock n Roll rock n roll".

why do we have label shit , if you don't like it turn it off .fuk people who use the old cliche "death to false metal" shit me. Its just music .

But the best music is loud music so there
Originally posted by Wrathchild
I read a "where are they now?" style article about Poison a few weeks ago that seemed more interested in poking fun at the band rather than talking about the success they had.

Hahaha! Whoever wrote that article is a dickhead lol. Poison are actually still going well! They are the only glam metal band (besides Kiss) who are still touring with a full on larger than life 80s metal show. I've seen pictures from their 1999/2000 tours and they are still wearing leather, still have big hair, fluorescent lighting, pyrotechnics, multi-platform stages, big lit up Poison logo, etc. And they seem to be making a bit of a comeback too.. they have just started (or are just starting) a big tour in the US called the Glam Slam Metal Jam Tour (proof that glam is metal haha) which they are headlining, which also includes Warrant (where are they now is much more appropriate for them I think hahaha), Quiet Riot, Great White, and a bunch of other 80s bands.

No matter how much people bag Poison, their first 3 albums are still some of the best glam metal ever recorded... and they have stayed true to what they do rather than cutting their hair, wearing idiotic new fashions, touring clubs with no stage props/effects, and playing a more alternative sounding rock. (Warrant anyone?)

Also, if you haven't checked out the new Poison single, go to www.poison-online.com and go to the MP3s section to download it :) It's called RockStar and it RULES!!!

(Edited because somehow I spelt "pyrotechnics" as "pyrothcnicals" lol)