Metal Musicians Comment On Violence In Metal
Band Photo: Strapping Young Lad (?)
Imhotep Zine from Norway have issued an extensive report asking a long list of hard rock/metal musicians these two questions: "Can aggressive music led people to kill others?" and "Is there any connection between heavy music and violence / killings / crimes against humanity?". Here are some of the reponses:
Jens Johansson (Stratovarius):
I think the connection is not a useful one to make. This was just one of those freak things that no amount of planning, forethought or "self policing by the industry" could have prevented. I would blame it more on the state of health care (psychiatric health care in particular) in the USA and of course on the gun control laws! But I would not put much blame on those things. It's simply not useful. I also wonder a bit why the US Marine Corps take a schizophrenic guy and teach him how to use a gun. But maybe they need people like that, what the fuck do I know. Such a sad thing what happened. I only met Dimebag very briefly once when we played this Randy Rhoads benefit together in LA many years ago. He seemed a cool guy, surprisingly quiet for playing such aggressive music. :) Everyone I've spoken to who knew him say that he was one of the sweetest people they met. It's so typical somehow. Why don't they ever kill the assholes??? :)
Jonas Björler (The Haunted, ex-At the Gates):
No, I don't think brutal music causes violent behavior. The violence I've seen in pits during metal concerts have been all about 'friendly violent fun'", like EXODUS said. I really don't see a clear-cut connection. But there will always be exceptions to a certain rule, and in the case of Dimebag's killer - that was a really sick & troubled young man who dealt with his frustration & anguish the wrong way.
Gene Hoglan (Strapping Young Lad, Dark Angel, Death, Old Man's Child, Testament):
These people are VERY misinformed, and, by the looks of their articles, really have it in for heavy metal and anyone who listens to it or plays it. How could anyone seriously lay the blame back on Dime for some psychopath's delusional breakdown? No one came out to blame John Lennon for Mark David Chapman's murder of him, and he was under FBI scrutiny for years! Had he been in a metal band (or merely an avid fan), it would have been, "Oh, he got what was coming to him", and his death could have possibly been made fodder for some of the true haters out there.
Music only becomes an issue when it can be used to enflame a story. When Charles Whitman climbed to that bell tower in Texas and gunned-down dozens of people, no one questioned his musical tastes. Chances are, him being from Texas, the 1960's, ex-military, he was into country/western music. Did that drive him to kill a ton of people, with its discussions of how "I'm gonna take a gun and shoot my wife", or "I shot a man in Reno/ just to watch him die"? Sure it did. Is this this uninformed conjecture on my part? Of course it is. But it sure is easy to do...
Now, some factions of Black Metal seemed to embrace violence against others...that's a subject I don't know what to do about... RIP Dime. You are loved and missed...
Read the entire list of reponses from other musicians here.
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