Why I Miss Nu Metal

RevDrucifer

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Weird.

I had that same guitar (RG7520VK), same volume pedal (Ernie Ball), same whammy pedal (Digitech Whammy II), same distortion pedal, same or nearly identical shoes, same baggy khaki pants, etc. It's almost like we shopped at all the same places or something. :lol:

I was coming out of my Vai phase, at one point my rig was like 90% of his rig. Shortly after this pic was taken I got rid of the Legacy and went to Mesa or Peavey and I regret selling that amp so damn much.

Still have the DS-1 and Whammy II! The DS-1 needs to be re-housed, which is a bummer because it’s an old MIJ from ‘82. My pug pissed on it several times and the joints that hold the pedal part in place rotted away. :lol: The WH-2 worked for years but eventually died. I remember in this band I was constantly jumping between the Detune and the 2 octave up settings, the detune was my only chorus for like a decade.
 

Captain Shoggoth

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This could also be because nu-metal was what you were heavily entrenched in in your prime music-listening years, and modern music is being thrown at you as a nearly 40 year old man whose tastes are much less likely to change. I'm not saying you're wrong, just that some kid who listens to Polyphia music on loop and goes to their shows might remember their riffs by heart like we all remember Freak on a Leash.

While this is a salient point, from my experience in the current alternative scene in the UK, turn-of-the-milennium nu metal is an enormous influence among 18-25 year old artists of many genres whereas stuff like Polyphia is more the preserve of niche tech metal guys and bedroom shredders :2c:
 

wankerness

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You mentioned hook and melody. Things that no one seems to give a fuck about in the last 10 or so years when it comes to writing music. That's exactly right. To quote the man Marty again, " playing fast is only cool or appealing when you can't do it". Same thing can be said (as you mentioned) with people worrying about how technical something is. I agree 100%. This is stale and needs to move on.
A large portion of Nu Metal has no hooks or melody to speak of. I mean, listen to the half the tracks that almost no one likes off of 3 Dollar Bill Y'all or Significant Other or Life is Peachy or Coal Chamber - S/T or whatever. I don't sense any hooks or melody that non-nu metal artists could stand to learn from on say, "Stink Finger." It's not like playing simpler music or more complex music means you can or can't come up with hooks and memorable melodies.
 

wankerness

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While this is a salient point, from my experience in the current alternative scene in the UK, turn-of-the-milennium nu metal is an enormous influence among 18-25 year old artists of many genres whereas stuff like Polyphia is more the preserve of niche tech metal guys and bedroom shredders :2c:
I don't see how that has anything to do with what he said. Those 18-25 year old people aren't copying nu-metal over polyphia because OP listened to it as a kid! If I had to guess it's more because it's really easy to imitate without knowing how to play instruments. I know that's why we copied it when I was in a band in high school! Even copying Metallica was way more work than writing a couple boingy drop-d powerchord riffs.
 

bostjan

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A large portion of Nu Metal has no hooks or melody to speak of. I mean, listen to the half the tracks that almost no one likes off of 3 Dollar Bill Y'all or Significant Other or Life is Peachy or Coal Chamber - S/T or whatever. I don't sense any hooks or melody that non-nu metal artists could stand to learn from on say, "Stink Finger." It's not like playing simpler music or more complex music means you can or can't come up with hooks and memorable melodies.
A lot of nümetal was just rhythmic nonsense. Mmmmm bah bah mmmmm bah bah eeemah // ooooo ah-ah-ah-ah // pogo pogo pogo pogo pogo - stuff. To be fair, that's when it was at its best.
 

Lozek

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A lot of nümetal was just rhythmic nonsense. Mmmmm bah bah mmmmm bah bah eeemah // ooooo ah-ah-ah-ah // pogo pogo pogo pogo pogo - stuff. To be fair, that's when it was at its best.

You may have got to the heart of it, didn't take itself too seriously and therefore angered gatekeepers of other metal genres.

I could potentially understand it at the time because the media was so singular, publications and broadcasts featuring Nu Metal was to the detriment of everyone else, Linkin Park dominating Metal Hammer coverage meant there was no column inches left for Emperor.

But 25 years later on, when we can literally immerse ourself in sub-cultures online 24/7, I don't understand why older fans are still angry about it. I think that was @Captain Shoggoth point too, younger musicians now don't feel the stigma of citing Nu Metal as an influence.
 

WarMachine

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A large portion of Nu Metal has no hooks or melody to speak of. I mean, listen to the half the tracks that almost no one likes off of 3 Dollar Bill Y'all or Significant Other or Life is Peachy or Coal Chamber - S/T or whatever. I don't sense any hooks or melody that non-nu metal artists could stand to learn from on say, "Stink Finger." It's not like playing simpler music or more complex music means you can or can't come up with hooks and memorable melodies.
Agreed 👍
 

soldierkahn

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You may have got to the heart of it, didn't take itself too seriously and therefore angered gatekeepers of other metal genres.

I could potentially understand it at the time because the media was so singular, publications and broadcasts featuring Nu Metal was to the detriment of everyone else, Linkin Park dominating Metal Hammer coverage meant there was no column inches left for Emperor.

But 25 years later on, when we can literally immerse ourself in sub-cultures online 24/7, I don't understand why older fans are still angry about it. I think that was @Captain Shoggoth point too, younger musicians now don't feel the stigma of citing Nu Metal as an influence.

yes.this.
 

Crungy

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I do agree that there was a lot of drop tuned guitar caveman-ery going on, but stating the majority of nu metal has no hooks is a bit of an overstatement... Subjectively, if you didn't like the music or particular artists you wouldn't find it "hooky" or having melody.

Bands like Limp Bizkit and Korn weren't doing completely avant garde free form music that didn't have motifs, themes and most importantly melody because their music absolutely did have strong and memorable hooks. Some much more than others for sure.
 

Spaced Out Ace

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But do you miss Winger? Genuine question. I just thought i remembered you being a fan.

I also wonder if the Glam/Hair Metal guys felt the same way i currently do about Nu Metal when Grunge took over.
I'd rather listen to 80s metal (heavy, "NWOBHM," thrash, early death and black metal, crossover, hair/glam metal,etc.) than Grunge. Nu metal is okay, but the riffs are rarely very defined tonally. A lot of it sounds like the tone knob has been rolled almost all the way down.
 

soldierkahn

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I do agree that there was a lot of drop tuned guitar caveman-ery going on, but stating the majority of nu metal has no hooks is a bit of an overstatement... Subjectively, if you didn't like the music or particular artists you wouldn't find it "hooky" or having melody.

Bands like Limp Bizkit and Korn weren't doing completely avant garde free form music that didn't have motifs, themes and most importantly melody because their music absolutely did have strong and memorable hooks. Some much more than others for sure.

exactly. for example, the song Nookie didnt contain one hook lol.... the whole riff is a hook lol.

*like a chump, like a chump, like a chump"

who DIDNT sing along with it? even if you were by yourself in your car, you KNOW you sang along lol.
 

Crungy

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Unless you hated Fred Durst, which many did. I didn't mind him lol
 
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RevDrucifer

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I think I mainly caught on to nu-metal when there was more melody/catchy shit going on, “ADIDAS” was a big step in that direction and Deftones with ”Change”, but when Davis really came into his own on Follow The Leader, that’s when I really got hooked.

American Head Charge, not sure I saw them mentioned in here yet….fuuuuuck they were good. It was like Mike Patton dipping his feet in nu-metal. Too bad the singer couldn’t keep his shit together, last I heard he’s locked up for robbing a Guitar Center.
 

Crungy

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I frickin loved AHC. Saw them a few times live, their cd release show for War of Art at First Ave was crazy.... The place was over capacity I think, and it was steamy hot in there. I kind of felt like I was hallucinating or was getting woozy from the heat and a couple beers. Cameron came out at the beginning with a 12 gauge and shot blanks at the ceiling for the intro, I couldn't believe what I was seeing lol. They had real pigs heads either hanging on hooks or just on the stage that ultimately ended up kicked into the crowd. It was a good fucking show, one of the most intense ones I had seen and haven't experienced anything like it.
 

thrsher

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AHC - the feeding has got to be the most underrated nu metal album out there.
 

michael_bolton

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exactly. for example, the song Nookie didnt contain one hook lol.... the whole riff is a hook lol.

*like a chump, like a chump, like a chump"

who DIDNT sing along with it? even if you were by yourself in your car, you KNOW you sang along lol.

It has a decent groove for sure, my fav opus from dem boyz was Rollin' straight up knowwhatimsaying playa? It even has a self reference in there as "old skool soldiers" now that's some awesome cringe.
 

guitar_player4_2_0

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I never thought I’d be saying these words, but…I miss Nu Metal.

I was born in the early 80’s, so I got to experience Nu Metal when it was in its prime back in the late 90’s. At that time, i was obsessed with all of those bands from that era.

But as time went on, i grew tired of it. Tired of seeing all these cookie cutter bands emerge from the predictable, and monotonous mold, and so I moved on to other genres of music.

Fast-forward to present day, and I am now reminiscing, and longing for that kind of music to return.

This didn’t happen overnight though. I think this nostalgia has been building up, and snowballing for the past few years, i just didn’t realize it. But i think the realization really hit me when i was thinking of Polyphia, and their song “Playing God”.

To be clear, I absolutely LOVED this song when i first heard it, and just like many of you, I was incredibly impressed by the technicality and level of skill it takes to compose something of that caliber. I had listened to this song several times, and each time i was just in awe of their talent.

But whenever I thought about this particular song, all i could remember was how technical it was, and how polished the production was. I couldn’t remember a single riff, or melody from it. I struggled to recollect what I had listened to so many times before, but for the life of me I could not remember anything else about the song.

Then it hit me. I could EASILY pull any Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Slipknot, Mudvayne, POD, Spineshank, Kitty, Snot, deftones, etc., etc., song from my aging memory. I could remember the lyrics, the riffs, the melodies, the breakdowns… everything.

Keep in mind that I don’t really listen to this music anymore (well, aside from deftones and Snot lol), but i haven’t listened to the majority of this stuff in years. So then why is it that i could so easily remember all this shit that I thought I had mentally buried all those years ago?

I think the answer is melody and simplicity.

Nu Metal bands had some of the catchiest riffs and melodies. They were simplistic, yet simultaneously fun as hell to listen to and play. They stuck with you, and apparently never leave.

But for the life of me, I can’t remember anything from a lot of newer and modern metal/progressive bands. I can’t remember the riffs. I can’t remember why i enjoy that music until i go back and listen, but even then, it all seems to somehow slowly fade when the music stops. It doesn’t stick like so many songs from the Nu Metal era did.

That’s not a knock against any of those bands, because I absolutely love what so many modern guitarists are doing, and how they seem to be pushing boundaries, and are doing things that are so beyond my skill level. I admire and envy that.

But for whatever reason, I really miss the simplicity, the catchy riffs, the breakdowns, and some of the predictable aspects that were somewhat charming, especially in retrospect, because there was something secure, and stable in all that predictability.

So perhaps I’m living under a rock. Perhaps I’m just old. Perhaps I’m just an old man yelling at clouds and missing the point. Perhaps midlife crisis has finally caught up with me, and this is what happens to people who struggle to move on.

Regardless, I’d love to see another era that embraces simplicity and basic song structure in the metal world. Something that I can easily digest and embrace the same way i did with so many Nu Metal bands. Something that…sticks.

Well, if you’ve made this far into my post, then thanks for sticking around, and if you’ve got some feelings and thoughts to express, I’d love to hear them! Perhaps some of you would like to even share some of your memories and experiences from this era, whether good or bad. And if you’d like to express your dismay for Nu Metal, well, that’s cool too.

Cheers!

*Give me one sec to put on my flame retardant suit*

I want to preface this by saying I read your whole post but I didn’t read any replies because I wanted this to be unbiased lol. I pretty much totally agree with you. Polyphia totally blow me away with their playing, but I kinda hate them. Tim Henson seems like a bag of tools from Harbor Freight on Black Friday. Yea, he’s way better than I’ll ever hope to be, but I can’t remember one lick he’s played. I watched them in awe and immediately forgot lol.

Most of the bands you listed have been around for 20-damn near 30 years and are still rocking hard. The new Korn single was lit, Deftones last album was my fav of the last five years, even LB put out Still Sucks. Personally I liked the last two better cuz they rocked way harder but Wes always throws some killer riffs on every album.

I was watching a video with Steph a couple weeks ago, it was older and I can’t remember from where, he was saying basically simpler is better. If you have their heads bobbing and their asses moving, you got it. It’s cool to shred, but only nerds like us get off on that, play that shit for your dad and he’s like “wtf is this noise” lol.
 


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