We are about to start our first themed and sponsored month ar HASR and before we do that, I wanted to address the metal players in our supporters. You guys have been very good to us so far and in May, you will get “HEAVY MONTH” to satisfy every mid to hi-gain need for fans of many heavier genres.
How many times have you all heard a metalhead say something disparaging about country music? It’s almost as if “I hate country” is part of the stubborn mindset that some metal players feel they need to portray to be certified as a real metalhead. We all know one or in my case, maybe 25-30. I have had this debate many times over the years.
I think many people dismiss country due to it’s current state in the popular sense and hell, I personally do not enjoy pop being called country with constant songs about trucks, tailgates, dirt roads and whatever beer has sponsored the artist in question’s newest album. I don’t see a lot of substance in these artists so I get it, I really do. The even larger tragedy here is that many of the top pop-country artists are backed by very talented session players who really don’t get to show their stuff.
Brad Paisley is an exception for me because while the man does have a lot of fluffier material these days, it’s impossible to ignore his incredible prowess and skill around the fretboard on songs like “throttleneck”, “cliffs of rock city”, “Mr.Policeman” and many others. The man’s tone is also impossible to ignore because it’s quite simply perfect in every way.
We ask that you dig deeper and do some research on the darker more outlaw and guitar driven versions of country music before you pass judgement. Look into the history of guys like George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and the many other artists from what I deem as country’s best times.
Now listen to the guitar tones that really drive country, surf, rockabilly, blues, southern rock and the other genres we are covering. You will find that the tones between these genres and metal really aren’t so different in a lot of ways.
First, they drive the genre, the songs and the melodies just like metal. They are the featured instruments in the genres as well so over the years, there have been legendary shredding guitarists in all of these genres over the years. The space in the mix they occupy and the way they are processed can also be very similar.
Dick Dale’s minor chord laden surf tones and gear are routinely deemed as the beginning of heavy guitar. He used giant speakers, custom made cabinets in his rig with extremely thick strings (tuned in E!) on his guitar and he was tremolo picking before most death metal musicians were even born. Many well known metal guitarists credit Dick Dale as a huge influence in their playing. Take one listen to even his biggest hit in “Misirlou” (aka the pulp fiction song) and you can hear the power in the tone.
Metal has direct and undeniable connections with country, blues and all of their connecting sub genres. Djent for example shares a ton of similarities with funk that don’t often seem to come up but that’s a feature for another day.
Let’s have an open mind and let’s have some fun this month folks! Enjoy!