Well, the research would suggest otherwise
Let’s face it: Metal fans get a bad rap. They’re generally regarded as being unkempt, uncultured, loutish, and dour. And with that racket they listen to they must be a bunch of violent morons, right?
WRONG! Various academic studies in recent years have confirmed that metal fans are not guilty of all the offences listed above, and more.
Earlier this year, University of Queensland’s School of Psychology honours student Leah Sharman and Dr Genevieve Dingle conducted a study to monitor the effects of heavy music on a person’s mood and behaviour. The results showed that, in comparison to listeners of other music genres, metal fans were mainly calmed and inspired by their music! — despite the fact that the genre is awash with violent lyrics and imagery.
Another study published this year found that, among its subjects – fans of various musical genres in the 1980s, it was the heavy metal fans who turned out to be generally more content and happy in later life. Three Decades Later: The Life Experiences and Mid-Life Functioning of 1980s Heavy Metal Groupies, Musicians and Fans, published in the journal Self and Identity (via Pacific Standard), found that while “metal enthusiasts did often experience traumatic and risky ‘sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll’ lives, the metalhead identity also served as a protective factor against negative outcomes”.
That’s all well and good, but they’re still stupid right? Nope. Apparently quite the opposite:
In March of this year it was revealed that a disproportionate number of members in the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, based at the University of Warwick in England (a body of 120,000 students which represents the top 5% of academic achievement), list heavy metal as their favourite kind of music.
There’s also a metalhead among the team that recently discovered water on Mars. Nepalese-American grad student Lujendra “Luju” Ojha, one of the discoverers of recurring slope lineae, the lines of flowing salt water that were observed on Mars, used to play in a metal band himself!
So, there you go: Metal fans are calm, happy and smart. Maybe YOU need more metal in your life!