‘Heavy Metal And Popular Culture’ Conference Held In Ohio

The inaugural “Heavy Metal And Popular Culture” international conference took place April 4-7 at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. It was the first scholarly conference on heavy metal in the U.S.

Metal music and culture scholars from Norway, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, Canada, New Zealand, Finland, Brazil and all over the U.S., including Puerto Rico, gathered to share theories, network, and discuss the forthcoming peer-reviewed journal that will be published by The International Society For Metal Music Studies.

In his report on the event, Neil Shah of The Wall Street Journal writes: “At the conference, musicologists delved into the deep growling of so-called death metal singers, demonstrating the differences between inhaled and exhaled screams, and revealed how some ‘speed’ metal bands secretly use computers to fake their superfast drumming — despite most metal fans’ distaste for artifice. Experts cataloged the widespread use of masks and face paint by bands, and chronicled the history of the heavy-metal concert T-shirt.”

“For the first time, I’m talking with my peers,” Dave Snell, a 33-year-old researcher, who received a $80,000 grant from the New Zealand government a few years ago to study “Bogans,” New Zealand’s hard-partying, metal-loving underclass, told The Wall Street Journal. “Usually at conferences, it’s a room full of suits, and I’m in my IRON MAIDEN T-shirt,” said Dr. Snell, who holds a doctorate in social psychology.

Read the entire report from The Wall Street Journal. A two-minute video report can be seen below.