Heavy metal has never enjoyed widespread radio coverage. Since the genre’s emergence over four decades ago the scene has succeeded as a result of a dedicated legion of followers, not as a result of nationwide radio coverage. That is what metal bands and metal fans pride themselves on – supporting a scene that is outside of the mainstream media. Yet, metal has started to emerge in the mainstream with songs played on the radio, bands booked for Reading & Leeds and so forth. So is metal finally being accepted by the mainstream media?
Perhaps this is due to the advancement in technology and communications. With social media becoming a major force in today’s modern world it has become incredibly simple for bands to gain fans around the globe, as a result of this band’s popularity can rise at a more noticeable rate. Look at the success of Bury Tomorrow, with over 150,000 likes on Facebook the band have consistent radio plays of singles from their latest record Runes and enjoyed touring success with venues selling out incredibly quick.
As I previously stated, with the development of communication technology the world is becoming a smaller place. With it being so incredibly simple to communicate with people in different continents, the broadcasting of music has become incredibly more varied. With so much musical variety available it doesn’t really seem much of a surprise that metal is becoming more accepted by the mainstream media, as by catering for varying styles of music opens up new listeners/viewers that would have been previously alienated by the content of these organisations.
Yet, it is only a fragment of the heavy metal world that has enjoyed coverage from mainstream media, arguably the lighter side of metal. Extreme metal is still very much untouched from mainstream coverage but remains incredibly popular amongst metal fans. Perhaps it is the sheer intensity of that style of metal or perhaps the lyrical content and themes are just too extreme for mainstream media coverage.
So has metal been accepted by the mainstream media? Well, only to an extent. It is true that metal bands are starting to get coverage from the mainstream – Bring Me The Horizon are played on Radio 1 throughout the daytime, Motorhead were recently added to this year’s edition of Glastonbury. The tide is definitely changing and it seems that heavy metal is becoming increasingly popular amongst music fans.