Is rock dead? From rappers proclaiming to be the new rock stars, to chart sales favoring hip hop, the general public seems intent on burying guitar music (that isn’t country) forever. However–believe it or not–rock (and metal!) aren’t dying. They’re thriving, and as long as people keep listening, it’ll stay that way.
Bands like Guns N’ Roses and Metallica are living proof. Their Not In This Lifetime and Worldwired tours, respectively, sell out everywhere they go, from China to Canada. Metallica even performed at the Grammy’s earlier this year (albeit with disastrous results… microphone debacle). Stone Sour climbed to the top of the Billboard charts with their new ‘Hydrograd’ album, and lead singles ‘Song 3’ and ‘Fabuless.’ Even more, pop-rock bands like the Foo Fighters and Royal Blood have enjoyed plenty of radio success as of late. See; rock isn’t dead!
In the metal scene, new bands like Ghost and Gojira have emerged to support long-standing legends like Iron Maiden and Megadeth. Veteran bands like Exodus and Anthrax have pumped out some of their best music lately. The underground scene is (and by design, always will be) hidden away from the mainstream, but there are plenty of big metal bands still doing their thing. Hell, Slayer was on Jimmy Fallon!
Rock and metal aren’t going away. Sure, popular music is changing, but even during the heyday for most of these bands, there was pop music. The eighties and nineties had the late Michael Jackson and Madonna–now there are new singers, like the Weeknd and Rihanna. Rap was around then, too. Arguably the best rappers to ever live-Biggie, Tupac, Eminem–were recording in the nineties, when many grunge rock bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam got their start. The point I’m making here is that they can co-exist!
And as long as we keep listening, they will.
People won’t stop playing the guitar. It won’t happen. No matter how many rappers are rolling in money, people won’t quit making music. Heavy music has a devoted fan base. Tool hasn’t made music in eleven years and sells out every show. Metallica is the only band to play a show on every continent. Fans will find their music. And guess what? It only dies if we let it.
Don’t let it die.
Right now it’s alive.