Sellout? Breaking Down How And Why Metal Bands Go From Extreme To Mainstream

Whether it bothers you or not, let's consider why this happens with so many heavy bands.

You’ve seen it a million times. Your favorite über-heavy underground band starts out on their first album heavy as nails. Album number two hits, and there are suddenly one or two clean-singing parts. It’s ok. You aren’t too upset; they kind of slipped it in under the radar. The next thing you know, the single from album number three is getting spins on your local rock radio station, and your favorite band that used to sound like Carcass now sounds like a tuned-down Nickelback with more double bass drum parts and a couple guitar squeals just to taunt you as to what they used to sound like.

That hypothetical scenario is only partially true given that most of you probably don’t mind the changes, and enjoy some hooks in your heavy. You grow with the band, or I’m sure plenty of the VH1 readers are much more into mainstream metal than the underground, extreme stuff anyway. So whether it bothers you or not, have ever thought about how or why this predictably happens with so many heavy bands?

The thing is, I know from first hand experience. My ex-band God Forbid started as grimy death-thrash-metalcore, sweating it out in the basements and VFW halls with hardcore and death metal bands. “Mind Eraser” is the first song we ever wrote as God Forbid in 1998.

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