(This is the third in a series of guest posts by NCS supporter Utmu in which he poses questions and seeks answers. In the last installment, he sought reader input for a paper about metal that he has been preparing for a college Composition course, which we may be seeing here soon. And in this post, he’s asking for reader opinions again. Please leave your thoughts in the Comment section after the post.)
I’d like to apologize for the untimely manner in which I’m going about my paper. My composition class ended on August 2 and I’ve been on break since then. The reason why I’ve been reluctant to submit it to Islander is because I want to make a few changes with the structuring. Also, I’d like to proofread it to make sure that it impresses upon people in the way that I want it to, and I’d also like to make sure all of my arguments are cogent. But to the matter at hand!
In the last installment of RitV, I surveyed you all about the general well-being of metal in order to gather information for the paper. Part of me thinks that the results weren’t what I was looking for, but the other part of me does. Regardless of whether or not my respondents understood what I was asking depended entirely on the way in which I asked it—that is to say, any faults in the survey were my doing, not the respondents’. I’ve diagnosed the possible faults of my survey as a symptom of not actually knowing how to conduct one. Specifically, I don’t know when I’m leading my respondents and when I’m informing them (my instructor intended for this to occur as a form of “on-the-job training”, I suppose). However, I still got the general idea from the respondents that metal is indeed alive and well.
Now I’d like to take a moment and ask you how you define living metal. What makes metal alive? Is it based on the extent of perceived innovation in the music? Or is it a function of the simple fact that new music continues to be made, whether innovative or not? Perhaps you would subscribe to a different explanation entirely.
For me, metal needs innovation to be alive (and also for it to be a form of popular music, I suppose, but this thought was just conceived, so I digress). I’d wager that my definition of innovation is different from yours, based on the previous survey, that is. My definition of innovation is essentially the one cited in my paper, but I’m afraid that you, dear readers, will have to wait until my paper is published here on NCS to hear more of my opinion on this topic.
One postscript: I should have used the word “innovation” in the previous survey, rather than “new”. I apologize for my lack of clarity.