On a sweltering summer day back in 1999 at the Woodstock Festival, as Limp Bizkit launched into their hit "Break Stuff," fans literally did just that, dismantling the stage, setting fires and mindlessly attacking each other, and in doing...... Read Full Episode Summary »
On a sweltering summer day back in 1999 at the Woodstock Festival, as Limp Bizkit launched into their hit "Break Stuff," fans literally did just that, dismantling the stage, setting fires and mindlessly attacking each other, and in doing so, creating, arguably, Metal's most absurd and embarrassing moment, marking the beginning of the end for the genre's most vilified stepchild, "nu metal." In Episode 8 of Metal Evolution: The Series, Sam Dunn chronicles the rise and fall of nu metal; starting with its ancestry, Sam considers the impact of pivotal artists like Rage Against The Machine, Faith No More and Tool and their fiery amalgam of hard, heavy distorted rock and post-Prince funk. From there, Sam turns his attention to pioneering nu metal artists like Korn and Deftones, who produced the kind of cathartic, anti-authority anthems that found affinity with thousands of seething, repressed suburban kids. Through their own brand of heavy, groove-oriented, but brazenly hip-hop-influenced sounds, these bands managed to achieve both popularity and credibility within the metal community. But nu metal's moment in the sun didn't last long. Through candid conversations with record execs both past and present, Sam confronts the idea that the music industry exploited the growing popularity of nu metal by creating dozens of carbon copy acts, corrupting the original intent, and reducing the music to caricature. He'll go one-on-one with Fred Durst and Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, both labeled as products of this crass corporate opportunism, artists who were accused of veering away from the ethos of Metal by focusing on image over music, and more gravely, betraying the central tenant of the Metal sound by marginalizing the role of the electric guitar. But all was not lost. Nu metal did spawn groundbreaking acts that managed to transcend the corruption of the sub-genre and emerge as powerful and influential artists. Sam tracks down Serj Tankian of System Of A Down and Deftones' Chino Moreno, revealing their profound dissatisfaction with being lumped in with the nu metal movement, and how they managed to break the shackles that befell so many of their contemporaries. A revelatory tale that serves as a fitting conclusion to Season 1 of Metal Evolution: The Series.