Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rant Number 1 in E-Minor

Rant Number 1 in E Minor – “I Like All Kinds of Music, Except Heavy Stuff…”

Q. “So, what kinda music are you into? :-)”

A. “Oh I like all kinds of music…except heavy music. :-)”


How many times have you had this conversation?
For the sake of shits and giggles let’s conduct a thought experiment. Forget your biases of all kinds (please take a moment to do this as best you can) now tell me, if you were in the position of the person asking the question, why should the above conversation be continued at all?

Let’s examine:
For starters the person to whom you are speaking has just lied to you. No, you do not enjoy ALL music if you then admit that there exists an entire plethora of music which your ears avoid.

Anyone so prepared to display such ignorance, in my opinion, does not deserve the pleasure of the conversation. Anyone who today is still so closed minded as to believe that heavy music is something other than JUST music is, to be perfectly frank, a bit stupid. Why are people still so hesitant to accept music for what it is after 50 years and 3 generations of heavy music, in which time it has been at the heights of the mainstream on a number of occasions?

I think it is perhaps a more telling fact that anyone who says they don’t listen to heavy music but do attend gigs is either lying again or is confused and made ignorant by their prejudices (something tells me that more often than not, it’s the latter…). Any gig one attends in any medium sized venue is probably going to be using a PA system that runs on thousands of watts and reaches dangerous decibel levels. In be words of Tony Iommi (watch this space for a reference later) all that Black Sabbath were trying to achieve in their early days was an intensity of volume that meant the talking of the audience did not drown out the music. This is a given at gigs and even more so in clubs today. Why do you think in the late 60’s and early 70’s folk’s spoke of Blue Cheer and Deep Purple, not in terms of how ‘heavy’ they were but how loud they were?

It is both fortunate and unfortunate that today the term ‘heavy’ is interpreted so many different ways. Some will tell you it still refers to loudness and sheer intensity, others will maintain it means unforgiving lyrical content, still others will say its “just so heavy man” meaning they think something is heavy with no understanding of what the term is supposed to mean.

I’ll keep this experiment/rant to a reasonable shortness of length. Comments are very very welcome so let rip good people!

For Bornagainnihilist 2011
Edward Gerard Brophy


  1. What is heavy music? I supose we may each have our own idea of what's heavy. When I was in a band when I was about twenty, this guy who played guitar around my way, asked me who we were influnced by, I role of some names then I said Led Zep, and he said are they not 'Heavy Metal', and I said no, the term wasn't around when they were out, but to him they were heavy metal, to me there not but they are heavy! Then, see I love Led Zep and Hendrix, but I can't stand Iron Madien or motley crew. When is heavy to heavy for you?

  2. There's a whole lot of different kinds of heavy in my opinion but most often or not i find people mean its to distorted (pansy's) which they feel hurts their oh so sensitive ears.

    Sometimes when i hear someone say its too heavy i want to tie them down beside an 8x10 ampeg svt with a bass tuned to B with about 10 big muffs in a row and just chug the B for hours on end untill eventually they go deaf, just so they dont have the satisfaction of saying they dont like heavy music again and go back to trying to listen to kings of leon.

  3. It's an interesting point to make , what constitutes 'Heavy'. Edward wrote this, so this is his view of things .Me personally, while I'm a huge metal,stoner ,hardcore and punk fan, I don't think it's the be all and end all of heavy. Heavy to me is bands or acts that carry a certain weight in their music, and for me this means acts as disparate and eclectic as Neurosis, Aphex Twin, Autechre, and even Leonard Cohen.It's more about the mood for me as opposed to a certain genre or guitar sound. Iron Maiden to me , though I love them dearly , aren't exactly what I term heavy music, it's chart friendly stuff at the end of the day, whereas someone like say ,Scott Kelly, or my friend Simon Bird, is most definitely not , even though it's just a bloke and a guitar, or a bloke and a Kaos Pad, I find that the threatening atmosphere and foreboding lyrics contributes to a feel of listening to something 'heavy' , but again, just my two cents.