Is Metallica Stunting the Growth of Metal?

On this episode we discuss if Metallica and other legacy acts are stunting the current growth of metal. In Contextualizing St. Anger, a previous episode of the podcast, Ty mentions that there isn’t a band that has dethroned Metallica as the top metal band in terms of popularity and overall appeal. We get into this and try to answer this question.

The scope of the issue isn’t tied to just Metallica, though. All of the “legacy” bands that have been around for thirty or more years could be causing problems. This includes acts like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Megadeth and Guns N’ Roses.

Something to consider are tour cycles. Larger bands tour more frequently and for far longer. For example, Metallica has been on their WorldWired tour since Feburary of 2016. Of course the tour has multiple legs and the band hasn’t been touring non-stop, but with only about a month off between each leg Metallica has seen a lot of action in a short amount of time. Does this even matter? Do these insanely long tours at stadiums matter at all when other bands are playing to a thousand people a night? Maybe. Maybe not.

What about the media? A significant amount of time and energy is spent by the media talking about the latest news with these bands. We aren’t naive enough not recognize that these bands are more popular and will drive site hits, but what does that do for smaller acts? Most bands lack the platform that legacy acts have built over the course of their careers. Perhaps if more time is placed on up-and-coming bands we would see a wider and more diverse growth in the amount of bands people tend to follow.

What current bands (if any) could rise up and overthrow Metallica and company as the dominators of the metal scene?

Put on your tin foil hat because things are about to get speculative.

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