Have you ever judged a metal-head? I wouldn't be surprised if you have. There are so many stereotypes regarding them and people mostly assume that they are something simply not right.
Metalheads are stereotyped more than any other music genre fans, and that too in a very evil way. People judge metalheads, and say metalheads are satan worshipers, crack addicts, angry and violent, psychopaths. These are just few of the titles given to them.
The world is full of stereotypes but how true are the stereotypes? And, is it right to judge someone without knowing them? You know what they say: don't judge a book by it's cover; and damn this saying is so right!
These metalhead stereotypes are actually far from reality. Don't believe me? Fine. Let's see what science has to say about it.
Researches have shown a very different side of metal music and metalheads, and has proved that metalheads do not actually fit in the usual metalheads stereotypes. In fact, they're kinda cool!
Take a peek!
Metalheads Are Actually Not That Different From Classical Music Fans!
Shocked? But it's true!
A study, which included 36,000 people from 6 different countries, conducted at Heriot-Watt University proved that metal fans are actually not a threat to the society. In fact, they are a "delicate thing"! And not only that, but metalheads and classical music fans have a very similar personalities. No, I'm not making this up.
Adrian North, the professor who led the study said:
"The general public has held a stereotype of heavy metal fans being suicidally depressed and a danger to themselves and society in general. But they are quite delicate things."
According to him, metal fans are creative, gentle people and are at ease with themselves. He said: "We think the answer is that both types of music, classical and heavy metal have something of the spiritual about them- they're very dramatic- a lot happens".
So it turns out that wearing black doesn't mean they have dark souls afterall.
Unlike The Popular Belief, Metalheads Are Actually Happier Overall
No, metalheads are not always depressed. In fact I think metal is not for angry people.
A study was conducted by Maya Tamir and Brett Ford at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It included 175 people who were asked to participate in role playing exercises where they had to either confront a person like a cop or collaborate with someone. But before starting the exercise they were asked to choose from a selection of music to help them evoke the feeling they would need, namely, anger, happiness or neutrality. They were also asked questions about their emotional health, happiness and feeling of social support.
Tamir says, "Music is often used as a way to manipulate emotions, I just had people decide how to manipulate their own emotions".
Angry music will help to get the adrenaline rushing for such a task, right? In the end, the people who chose angry music had no problem completing their tasks. They also found the people who chose to be angry actually showed a greater sense of well-being overall than those people who avoided the negative emotions. So they proved, constructive anger is actually good.
Now, Frederic Luskin, a Stanford professor who has done good amount of research on constructive anger said on an interview with The Atlantic that:
"Constructive anger usually leads people to feel that they've accomplished something somehow. There could be merit to the idea that people who enjoy getting blasted by riffs and fake blood at a Slayer show—screaming angry lyrics at the top of their lungs in a crowd of thousands of other heavy metal fans—are actively engaging with their anger in a controlled, safe, temporary way. It could be nothing different than doing other sorts of thrill-seeking. When people go bungee jumping…it stimulates adrenaline, it gives them a sense of adventure. It serves as a wonderful discharge for certain energies.”
So there you go. Listening to loud music does not encourage you to involve in violent activities. It in fact will help you release your tension in a more productive way.
Metalheads Are The Smart Ones
Yep, you read it right. It was found in a study that a greater number of students from the National Academy of Gifted and Talented Youth were metalheads. The research was led by Stuart Cadwallader and Jim Campbell and they interviewed more than 1000 students. The Students of National Academy of Gifted and Talented Youth are the top 5% of the most brightest students of Britain. Let me quote a few lines from the researchers themselves.
There is a perception of gifted and talented students as being into classical music and spending a lot of time reading. I think that is an inaccurate stereotype. We are looking at a group with lower-than-average self-esteem that does not feel quite as well-adjusted. They feel more stressed out and turn to heavy metal as a way of relieving that stress.
He also suggested that metalheads appreciate the complex and often political themes within the lyrics. And he continued, "it has a tendency to worry adults a bit, but I think it's just a cathartic thing. It does not indicate problem".
Yeah, true he also suggested that metalheads have low-self esteem, and I think that's what makes them weird around friends and family. Well, we all know people with higher IQ tend to have a lower self-esteem developed out of being different, which makes them a little bit of an outcaste. Some students even claimed that metal helps them cope with the pressures they have to face everyday.
I'm not saying that listening to metal music will make you smarter. Smartness doesn't work that way. But it definitely is the kind of music smart people enjoy.
Metal Fans Are The Best Fans
How you decide what's your taste in music? It's simple. The type of music you return to most often is your favorite genre. There's so many genres out there but no matter what the latest release is, you'll always return back to the one you love the most. That's loyalty.
Did you know in a study conducted by The Echo Nest, a part of Spotify, it was found that metal fans are the most loyal fans? If I say anything on this matter you'd say you're biased because you're one of them. But let's see what spotify has to say on this matter.
Here's what spotify wrote in its blog:
"To find out, we first identified the “core” artists that, according to The Echo Nest (a part of Spotify), are most central to each genre, starting with the big ones, on a global level. Then we did the same thing with local genres in various countries around the world. To create a measure of genre loyalty, we divided the number of streams each core artist had by their number of listeners. All of the charts are normalized against the genre with the loyalest fans.
The first thing we noticed: Metal fans are the world’s loyalest listeners."
Hardcore, aren't they?!
Metalheads Are Least Likely To Cheat On Their Partners
According to a survey conducted by Mirror UK it was found that metalheads are most loyal lovers! They conducted this survey on users of Victoria Milan, which apparently is a site for married or committed people looking for an affair/fling. Seriously. Not kidding. They have a website for that too. Going a little bit of off topic here but....people are weird.
More than 6500 users were quizzed. Three quarters of the "cheaters" said that they can't stop thinking about their lover when they hear their favorite music.
Sigurd Vedal, the founder and CEO, said:
“Music has the ability to conjure up images and feelings that need not necessarily be directly reflected in memory. As long-term relationships progress, the excitement and passion and fire slowly dies out and people start to look for that missing element outside their relationship.The song you choose to listen to in your car as you go to meet your lover, or the music you are playing while you are intimate becomes much more touching than the music you walked down the aisle to 10 years ago.”
The results are as follows:
According to the results, Jazz fans are 10 times more likely to cheat on their partners.
Huh. Keep an eye on what your partner is listening to.
Metal Fans Have An Open Attitude Towards New Experience, Don't Like Being Ordered, And Love Being Unique!
The research team lead by psychologist Viren Swami at University of Westminster, which examined 219 women and 195 men between 18 to 57 years for studying the associations between individual differences and preferences for a specific sub-genre of music, i.e. contemporary heavy metal. The psychologist presented these 414 participants with clips of 10 tracks of contemporary heavy metal and asked them to rate them for liking, from extreme dislike to extreme like. They also completed the measures of the Big Five personality traits, attitude towards authority, self esteem, need for uniqueness and religiosity. It was found that metal fans are more open to new experiences, don't like authority, generally have lower self-esteem, like to be unique and don't like religion.
Let's see what the research team said about this:
"Our results confirm previous reports that openness is associated with a preference for rock and heavy metal, including non-mainstream sub-genres. In explanation, it has been suggested that individuals who score highly on openness show a preference for the intensity, variety, complexity, and unconventionality of heavy metal. [It has also been suggested] that individuals who are open-minded and who seek novel experiences may become disinterested in mainstream or conventional musical forms as they grow older. This, in turn, may lead them to seek out musical genres that are unconventional by the standards of mainstream cultures, such as contemporary heavy metal."
According to this same research, metalheads don't just follow the crowd without any thought. And this, a lot of the times, translates into "an opposition to authority and mainstream society". Maybe this is why metalheads are considered as social outcastes. And heavy metal for sure express dissatisfaction with authority! So we can guess why someone who don't like to be ordered likes heavy metal.
It was also found that metalheads were more likely to have lower self-esteem, but a higher need for uniqueness. People with low esteem are drawn to heavy metal because it helps to release all the negative emotions, and this in turn "boosts self-worth and promote positive self-evaluations".
So, there you go. I love how science is slowly proving that all the stereotypes related to metal fans are actually false and are just based on human assumptiotn. Well, from all the researches I can make out that heavy metal helps you release the tension in the safest way. It helps you guide your emotions to something useful. It's full of complexities. But complex doesn't necessarily means bad.
Like I mentioned before: Don't judge a book by it's cover. There's a story behind every face.
It doesn't matter what people say. They like being unique, and nothing else matters!
So let's see..
If metal music is a work of Satan, then the devil has a great taste in music!
Sacha baloch on August 18, 2019:
Yes it is the fact metal makes you so happy and it just Helps you to get Into your own another metal world, including me it really helped me to combat my depression. Metal is the only way to escape from your problems.