A link to this blog entry over at InvisibleOranges.com was sent to me about a month ago. At the time I was far away from home and only skimmed through the piece. Again, the subject is Today is the Day, more specifically, a film based on the band's latest album, Axis of Eden. Apparently the music video for "I.E.D." is lifted from Axis of Eden the film, and the writer loves "how the mirror effect assaults the central axis." I thought the effect came across as more of a ploy to cover up a lack of ideas, but, you know, whatever.
But this was the quote that was highlighted in the email: "(David) Hall basically downloaded the mess that is Steve Austin's mind--guns, drugs, sex, psychosis--and splattered it across a psychedelic horror canvas." The author then goes on to say, "TITD is about drilling down to the bottom of the psyche and exposing it in the rawest way possible...." So, I guess the point of the email was to point out that sometimes metalheads talkin' metal shop sound a bit silly, to which I will say, yes, we most certainly do. But have you really ever paid attention to how silly indie-shop sounds?
Until recently the conventional wisdom has been that indie kids don't like metal and metalheads don't like indie rock. Hardliners in each camp tended to consider the other too unintellectual for their own smarts. Indie rock is too rudimentary on a musical level, and you can't take anyone wearing corpsepaint seriously. But in reality, both can be bottomless pits for the exact same reasons--they're each too esoteric for their own good, each are full of elitists and both champion some vague notion of authenticity, not selling out or "true"-ness. In recent years, the bridge from indie to metal has gotten easier to cross, and the truer metalheads aren't so happy about the situation. They call that stuff hipster metal, which would include your Sunn O)))s, your Borises and your Mastodons. (Your Today Is the Days might not make the cut.) The distinction of hipster metal tends to have less to do with certain stylistic qualities as much as it concerns the composition of the audience. The very same Invisible Oranges blog touched on the subject last year, pointing out that metal bands that generally fall into this category have some other non-metal quality to which the non-metal listener gravitates. The author also implies that hipsters are afraid of the essence of metal.
A year or two ago, the metal magazine Decibel wrote an article on the subject in which principle Mountain Goats member and Decibel contributor John Darnielle participated in a round table discussion of the matter. All links to the article online seem to now be dead, but, if memory serves, one of Darnielle's main points was that the hipsters (whom he identified specifically for this case as being the indie rock/pop/whatever crowd) and the metalheads kinda need each other. Indie rockers and the metal that they like tends to not venture much past revisionism. The most ardent "true metal" adherents tend to devote a disproportionate amount of their attention to extremes and pushing envelopes, to the point of alienating everyone else. Basically, indie rockers and metalheads are both needed in order to keep each other from getting too boring.
So, to answer what I assume is the question, metalheads sound silly because they don't know how to talk to you. Email your metal questions to cream [at] nashvillescene [dot] com.