Jeremy Wallach, an anthropologist and associate professor in the Bowling Green State University department of popular culture who has served as a consultant on the Sam Dunn films “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” and “Global Metal“, has penned a 400-page essay collection entitled “Metal Rules The Globe: Heavy Metal Music Around The World” which explores the identity and meaning behind heavy metal scenes that thrive in cultures around the world.
Wallach and co-author Paul D. Greene went to The Spiral Bookcase (112 Cotton St.) in Philadelphia Pennsylvania on Thursday, January 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a signing and discussion.
“Metal is an indicator of democratization,” Wallach tells Newsworks.org, who studied Indonesia’s underground music as the country transitioned to democracy around 2001. “The thing that precipitated this country’s transition to democracy was heavy metal. Christians and Muslims play in bands together in Indonesia and it’s not a big deal.”
When asked what heavy metal means in the big picture, Wallach says, “The main argument is that heavy metal is used by musicians and fans as a way to negotiate the dislocations brought about by modernity. It’s a way to assert the freedom of the individual without falling into consumerism, but also not falling into the reactionary return of tradition.”
Excerpt from the “Metal Rules The Globe” introduction: “Frequently misunderstood and maligned in its countries of origin, heavy metal music has in the last four decades become a potent source of meaning and identity for young and no-longer-so-young people across the planet. These fans have stayed loyal to the music despite societal disapproval, occasional moral panics, censorship, and even government harassment and violence. ‘Metal Rules The Globe‘ is the first academic book to explore the broad swath of metal’s worldwide growth and examine why this often devalued, censored, and ridiculed music genre has attracted so many devoted fans in far-flung locales.”
For more information, visit www.metalrulestheglobe.com.