Metal Music, Harsh Vocals and the Creative Process
Metal has never really been my thing outside of some Sabbath and Motorhead, but I always check out the music you post. I also know you record your own metal music. How do vocalists in the style of metal you champion protect their voices long-term from things like nodes and other damage while continuing to sing this way? Or is my premise incorrect, and it’s not that big of a deal?
Answer: Though many people think screaming into a microphone is the easiest thing to do (“It takes NO talent!”), I can say that it is certainly not that easy. Vocalist that “scream”, whether it be the hardcore style of barking, the oft-hated “cookie monster” death metal grunts, black metal shrieks or anything in the middle takes talent and work. Especially if one is touring for several months. No, I’m not comparing these vocalists to Luciano Pavorotti or anyone of that caliber. But to simply pass this off as “talentless” is completely short sighted. Just like playing grindcore. Many people, even metal fans, can pass this off as a blur of noise until you see a band play live and realize how tight they play. I think to really appreciate music, at least to a high degree, one has to try to play it. Very similar to strength training; if you want to know about strength training one has to lift weights. You can theorize over weight training or music and read whatever books you want, but when you actually participate, things begin to change. I have taken a great love to anything creative; writing, music and my next goal is painting/drawing and even wish to start my own comic strip. Again, this is not an attempt to make money or gain fame, rather I believe the creative process is one that can lead to a better mind. I suck at drawing. SUCK. But that doesn’t mean I can’t derive a great benefit from it.
Over the years I’ve taught myself to play several instruments, the harmonica being my latest venture, and I can 100% say that I suck at each of them. But through the endless hours of beating on the drums or playing the guitar I’ve developed a great understanding and appreciation of music (music = playing an actual instrument and composing your own songs). I have made no secret for my love of extreme metal and I don’t expect (nor do I care) if others like it too. I was introduced to “heavy” music when I was very young (3rd grade?) via Blue Oyster Cult via my cousin. The moment I heard the song “Godzilla” I knew right away that THIS is what I loved. A few years later, in junior high, I heard Celtic Frost’s Morbid Tales, Venom’s Welcome to Hell and Slayer (Reign in Blood and the Haunting the Chapel EP) and have never looked back.
I am not one who “likes all kinds of music” – I am 100% metal but I can appreciate all kinds of music. And I really believe that learning to play several instruments have allowed me to do this. One thing that I hope I can inspire people to do is get off the damn computer and CREATE something. It is dying in our culture.
Got a question for Jim Wendler? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Legitimate questions will be answered via the website/blog. All older questions will be answered in time via www.JimWendler.com. If the answer is clearly answered in any of the 5/3/1 books, your question will not be answered.
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