Punk rock or metal? | The Tylt
While the kids get along much better these days, punk and metal fans hated each other with a fiery passion in the '70s and '80s, and some of that mutual animosity still lingers today. Punk accuses metal of being meaningless, wanky, and elitist. Metal derides punk for being unskilled, simplistic, and political. Metalheads revere technical prowess and showmanship, while punk rockers champion the DIY ethic, the message, and the meaning. Yes, you can love Iron Maiden and Bad Brains, but if you had to choose... punk or metal? 👹🤘💣
Punk rock or metal?
Metal fans deride the political messages in punk are preachy and annoying. Metal frontmen have big voices with which to wail and hit crazily high octaves, and despise what they see as the talentless yelling that accompanies punk rock. Metal values musical virtuosity and complexity, and scorns the primitive, untrained sound of punk bands. As one metal fan pointed out, "The point of punk was to be bad, and not very skilled."
As late as 2014, Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson went off on punk rock's basic lack of musical ability.
"The closest the 'art establishment' ever came to embracing metal was punk. The reason they embraced punk was because it was rubbish and the reason they embraced rubbish was because they could control it. They could say: 'Oh yeah, we're punk so we can sneer at everybody. We can't play our fucking instruments, but that means we can make out that this whole thing is some enormous performance art.'"
Your average 80s punk rock fan thought metal bands were little more than greasy, long-haired guys yelling about Satan and how much money they have while playing wanky guitar solos.
"Because metalheads revere skill and showmanship over straightforwardness, metal is sometimes described as convoluted, byzantine and busy," one commentator noted. "Folks that diss metal despise the music's lack of a moral center: it's all sex, drugs and rock'n'roll."
Punk is usually politically engaged (even if it's about tearing down the whole system) and extremely class conscious, unlike the Hessian obsession with the occult, medieval themes, and death. Punk scorned metal's worship of musical virtuosity—it was about the message, the feeling, making something totally new:
Because of their lack of formal training, most of the punkers started out sounding either primitive or rather avant garde. Songs can be in strange keys or include mangled, thuggish sonics...because the punker is doing this all by ear. This also opened up another great renaissance in sonic experimentation.
Why are you in a band when you can't sing or play an instrument? Metal wants to know.
it will never be cool to say metal is better than punk, but it is always true— Wu-Tang Horse (@Horse_Crimes) November 28, 2015
HOT TAKE: Punk is better than Metal. Also most to all music is better than Metal. The only good metal is prog metal.— 🎷💀 (@ShlaneBleppi) August 8, 2015
Love going to a bar, throwing punk rock on the juke box and then watching all the non-punkers squirm. Hey guys, metal sucks punk rocks dick— Nick Boskovich (@NickBoskoDude) November 12, 2016
Macho-sexist hair metal sucks PUNK ROCK RULES— Kurt Cobain (@KurtCobain4950) September 1, 2016