Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Home of Metal
I went to the Home of Metal Exhibition a couple of days ago during my adventures back to Birmingham. Such a great exhibition thanks to the Capsule ladies, who are responsible for all the best gigs in Birmingham including the mighty Supersonic festival. Some facts about Heavy Metal if you didn't already know...
The term 'Heavy Metal' comes from the metal and coal industry that had been going since the 19th century in the Midlands. Birmingham and the Black Country was a 'hotbed of heavy industry.' The workers and their families lived in terraced houses right next to these factories, had to deal with the constant noise of heavy machinery pounding into their homes. You can imagine why people compared Sabbath's loud and proud new style of music to the sound of factories and their 1970 self titled LP marked year zero of the newly formed genre, Heavy Metal.
Tony Iommi, of Sabbath, used to work in one of these factories and suffered the fate of losing the tips of two of his fingers. He was told he'll never be able to play guitar again, he may as well 'pack it in.' Not to be fazed by that, Iommi made tips for his fingers out of old washing up liquid caps and developed a new way of playing with thinner strings, thus making new sounds with the electric guitar that hadn't been heard before, pioneering the way forward for Heavy Metal.
Punk and Heavy Metal music were emalgulated together in the 80's to form a new genre of music called Grindcore, encompassing screaming vocals with thick distorted down-tuned guitar riffs, but played so fast that it would make you want to throw up. This type of music was first played by Birmingham band Napalm Death. (They recorded their second album in Worcester, where I was born!)
Plenty of punk/Metal zines on display, pity I couldn't pick 'em up and a have a good leaf through them!