Metal doesn’t belong on the charts, the radio, or in the public eye. Sure, some bands have broken through and helped the genre grow, but at its core, metal is not the ‘popular’ music– and that’s perfectly alright.
You can’t have a chip on your shoulder when you’re popular.
See, my biggest complaint regarding ‘popular’ music is that it’s lifeless. It’s got no soul, no passion. Metal is full of passion. While it’s often so-typed as straight rage, there are so many emotions that go into it, positive and negative. If you want to channel those things, you can’t do it through a three minute, radio-friendly song. It’s impossible.
So many metal bands thrive on that determined, underground mindset. Take a band like Hatebreed for example. They’re full of passion and intensity. Imagine them on the pop charts, getting the same kind of attention given to Drake and the Weeknd. They would lose their edge, their grit. Imagine if Death had been popular like Eminem? Or what if Opeth was treated like Kendrick Lamar?
It’s just not meant to be.
Metallica can do it. They’re my favorite band of all time, but I’ll be the first to admit that they are extremely commercial, a giant, well-oiled, money-making machine. For bands that are less radio-friendly, it’s a good thing they aren’t mainstream. These bands shouldn’t try and go popular, they don’t need to.