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Some heavy metal fans have been known to go to crazy lengths to prove their fealty to the genre, from burning down churches to carving their favourite band’s logo into their skin (seriously, Slayer fans, why?) But those are just the extreme cases. Last month, a study by Spotify confirmed what many have always known to be true, that beyond the rare cases of arson and self-mutilation, metal fans are, en masse, the most loyal group of music fans there is.
Metal beat out other genres, including pop, folk, country and rock as the music world’s most dedicated musical fanbase. Here’s Spotify’s explanation of how they crunched the numbers.
“To find out, we first identified the “core” artists that, according to The Echo Nest (a part of Spotify), are most central to each genre, starting with the big ones, on a global level. Then we did the same thing with local genres in various countries around the world.
To create a measure of genre loyalty, we divided the number of streams each core artist had by their number of listeners. All of the charts are normalized against the genre with the loyalest fans.”
Spotify’s lineup of “core” heavy metal bands included the likes of Metallica, Slayer, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Sepultura, Pantera, Cradle Of Filth and Anthrax.
This week, director of promotions and new media at Relapse Records, Bob Lugowe, shed more light on metalheads’ musical dedication via Mashable.
“Whether it’s wearing a ‘battle jacket’ full of sewn-on patches of their favorite bands, buying every vinyl color and edition of their favorite album, tattooing their favorite band mascot on their arm or traveling exceptionally long distances to concerts and festivals, metalheads are extremely diehard and dedicated to their favorite bands and the genre as a whole”, he said.
“Streaming has been particularly beneficial as a promotional tool and a discovery vehicle [for new artists]”, he added.
However, it’s also been pointed out that the Spotify data could be interpreted as a bit of a negative thing, suggesting that metalheads restrict themselves to the genre, instead of broadening their horizons with different sounds.
On that note, we’ll just leave this here.
Image: Soundwave 2015 / Photo: Brett Schewitz