Thursday, May 1, 2008

Professing Metal to The Masses (or 5 dudes from Stanford)


Wagner Lamounier ex-guitarist/vocalist of Sepultura & Sarcófago during the 1980s. Currently a professor of economic science at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

A few weeks ago I did a radio special on KZSU which was a sort of "audio history lesson" on Heavy Metal. I was really suprised at a few things. Namely, the guys were really into virtually every song I played from Crazy World Of Arthur Brown in 1968 to Metal Church in 1984. A few things I've noticed in doing these sort of "History" specials:

- Cut things off at 1984. It grows exponentially insane at this point. 1984-86 the initial impact of Thrash, Speed, Black and Death Metal begin though all used interchangeably.
- Big, bloated bands like AC/DC, KISS, Led Zeppelin don't need to even need to be mentioned much less played.
- Blue Oyster Cult isn't Heavy Metal and only occasionally Hard Rock. The 1970's definition of Heavy Metal hasn't held up since 1979. I mean Foreigner, Journey and Bad Co. aren't Metal what so ever. (Not unlike people thinking AC/DC or Elvis Costello were "punk" around the same time). They have a few moments here & there but up against Black Sabbath, Judas Priest or Thin Lizzy fuggit about it!

Some interesting things my students brought up:

Q: Would people have called UFO "Metal" in 1979? A: Hard to say, the term was around then but it was a bit hazy. See above on the 70's definition of Heavy Metal. Yet there was a burgeoning (albeit virtually unknown in the U.S.) New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the UK. The music media in the U.S. was all about disco or anti-disco rockers like Ted Nugent.

Q: Thin Lizzy's singer was a black guy? A: Yes. Black & Irish in fact.

- Sabbath/Priest/Maiden = Son, Father & Holy Ghost (not sure on the order tho')
- They loooove to headbang in the Outer A studio to 'Priest, Motorhead & the like.
- Two of my students said despite the dark themes it's very jubilant and melodic (or at least the '68-'84 era).
- Where does double bass drumming come in? I answered that it was from Motorhead (and forgot to mention things like the faster or complex 'Priest/'Maiden songs ex: "Rapid Fire" and "Rime of the Ancient Mariner") and hardcore punk like Discharge which had an impact on Metallica, Anthrax and Bathory.
- Another student wanted to heard Metal Church and was gave me a dead on description of David Wayne's "screaming banshee" vocals.
- Motorhead's "Overkill" has 3 false endings if not more on the "No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith" version.

See "the kids" aren't just into that sideways haircut, faux-indie bullshit. There IS hope for the least these 5.


"Wagner" in his "Satanic Lust" days.

1 comment:

marcelo said...

You´re wrong. This picture with a suit and tie Wagner "Antichrist" Lamounier is very after the SARCÓFAGO´s end, when he began to give classes in UFMG. The other pic is from the THE LAWS OF SCOURGE times.

take care.

Someone else from Brazil.