Here we go again: A defense of metal music

19 08 2008

So, you may have heard about this kid in Krugersdorp who killed his classmate with a sword. He was apparently dressed up as a drummer from Slipknot when he did it, and claimed that Satan told him to kill people. So now, from what I have heard/read/seen, a lot of people are getting all worked up about the whole thing, claiming that metal music is evil. I’m here today to debunk that theory, using simple logic.

Firstly, saying that Satan gives messages to people in metal music is just rubbish. There is absolutely no way that this is true. It’s just impossible. Why I say this is because there are a large number of metal bands who are also Christian. Sure, you may believe that they are false prophets or whatever, but if you actually listened to the music and read the lyrics, you would see otherwise. The second part to this lie (that metal music is Satan’s music) that we debunk is simply that most lyrics and songs are purely interpretations. There is no specific meaning that went into the music when it was written, and even if it was, most people will not read THAT specific interpretation into that music. It’s a fact that, given the same piece of music, most people will read what they want to into it, regardless of the actual subject matter. Music is subjective, and saying that “bad” (whatever that means) lyrics will influence people to do crazy stuff is rubbish.

Secondly, saying that this kid killed his classmate just because he liked Slipknot is also rubbish. I listen to that type of music (metal, metalcore, hardcore, call it what you want), not Slipknot per se, and have I killed anybody? NO!! Has any of the other hundreds of thousands of people who listen to Slipknot or music of that type killed anybody?? NO!! Of course not. And that points to only one conclusion: That music does not influence people to do crazy shit. Just because this one kid had some serious issues, took drugs (from what I have read and heard) and killed his classmate, does not mean that metal messed him up.

If this kid had listened to pop music, and dressed up like … I don’t know … Mika? before he stabbed his classmate in the neck with a sword, would there have been a huge uproar about his choice of music? Of course not. And why is that? Because pop music is the status quo. If he had been a huge Mika fan, with posters on the wall and all the paraphernalia in his room, his choice of music would not even have been mentioned. But, because he listened to metal music, which most people don’t like or understand (some would say FEAR), suddenly it is the root of the problem.

When we really get down to it, it is the Columbine massacre all over again. School kid(s) finally snaps and kills school mate(s). Society, looking for something to blame (other than the parents, the kid themselves, their upbringing, possible bullying or any of the hundreds of possible reasons), invariable find something that the kid(s) liked and place the blame squarely on that. In the case of Columbine, it was violent video games that became the target, in addition to Marilyn Manson’s music. Again, a case of the less popular media becoming a scapegoat.

Once again, I reiterate that it was not the fact that this kid listened to Slipknot that he killed his schoolmate. The kid obviously had some deep rooted issues that needed to be sorted out. It is wrong to blame the band who happens to write violent lyrics because of what this kid did.

I, like millions of others, listen to metal bands with sometimes violent lyrics. I, like millions of others, play violent video games. I, like millions of others, have also not killed anybody. However, it is the one or two exceptions that make the news. And there is always a moral panic about the cause of it. “Are video games too violent?”. “Is music too angry and are the lyrics too violent?”. No. Just take notice of the people around you, care enough to ask them if there is a problem, and maybe we can avoid the next senseless killing.

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32 responses

20 08 2008
Brian

you have put it perfectly.

20 08 2008
Caroline

Perhaps it is due to the fact that you metal fanatics are so defensive that people are so quick to accuse?
(And I disagree with the Mika thing – not that anyone who listens to Mika would EVER kill someone LOL)

20 08 2008
Lorinda

I Think it has nothing to do with music, I think it has to do with a trouble kid who doesn’t know anything as he tries to blame satan?? SICK
Stop blaming everything and everyone else……. Stop…..Look at yourself…… If you wanna blame something blame the Ninja Movies this kid probably was watching……..not the music….

20 08 2008
Malherbe

LOL! Mika fans most probably won’t hurt a fly, but I can honestly say that I’ve contemplated killing Mika last year when his rubbish orally mutilated my mind everytime I turned on the radio!

20 08 2008
Malherbe

Oh, and I was just joking by the way. Just proclaiming my personal and utter disgust I find in his music. I’m not even a metal fan, but Mika’s music is downright childish and MASSIVELY irritating. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little thinking of it.

20 08 2008
Kelly

Ok I agree *surprise*… I am with you.. that kid probally was mentaly sick and noone picked it up… But my question is…

If you see a kid with a black mask on carrying a sword… WHY LET HIM ON THE PREMISES?????????? Metal music has nothing to do with even Mika… NONE!!!!!

Music has to be the one medium Teenagers turn to during crisis why would they use it in vain….

Nice Post.. 😀

20 08 2008
Jessica

I believe that Slipknot’s music had a role in this killing due to the Lyrics of their songs – it is all about killing and raping and all that horrible stuff! I mean with an album name like “sleep, kill, feed, repeat” or whatever it is, is disturbing.
Imagine you listen to this type of music, and you have a disturbed soul, you are opening a doorway for Satan to speak to you. And yes, Satan does exist! He is very real and he is out to get the youth of this generation!
Can we, as Christians, pray against Satanism and satanic rituals amoungst the youth? We need to show the youth that there is more to life than the worldly pleasures. The Bible says “store up your riches in heaven” because once you are no longer part of this earth, everything which you had here you cannot take with you to eternity. Do you not want to be part of the wonderful heaven God created for you? Or do you want to burn in the firey pit of hell for all eternity? God created you, you should be grateful that He gave you life and thank Him for it everyday. It is a precious gift that no one, but God, can ever give you…
I am proud to be a Christian! So should you be!

20 08 2008
Tracey

Well done everyone. Why is it that it seems to the young folk of our time that don’t seem to want to blame satan for this one. I really thought the whole satanic verse in music (metal, rock alternative…. and Queen LOL) died out in the early 90’s, clearly when all else fails we can always rely on this. Music that is louder than what our parents listen to is evil. WTF.
Where are this boy’s parents? where were they when he left the hpuse dressed like a crazy person? His school has high security prison like actually. Did nobody notice the mask, the blackened face,hello, the fricken three, not one , three swords. Didnt someone think…. wait a mionute it isnt halloween or casual friday we should check this fruit loop out>
And why that kid? Why not anyone else why Jacque?????

21 08 2008
Linda

As a metal fan I agree with you to some extent – although I do think that if a young, troubled person with little self esteem or social stability were to immerse themselves in the music of bands like Slipknot, Sepultura etc it may well have some influence on his/her behaviour. If he has nothing else to identify with he well find something in the culture that he feels “speaks to him”. He may become obsessed and lyrics like those from Disasterpiece are not conducive to a healthy outlook on life! I do not believe the music alone would drive a stable person to commit murder but I think in this instance it may well have contributed……

21 08 2008
Cherisa

Well well! Don’t tell me that Metal and all their lyrics make you feel good inside???? It MUST do some harm somewhere! It is not good to listen to negative things. If you hear all day: You are bad, you are no good, you are this, you are that, you are going to believe it………. If you hear negative things you wil behave negative, if you hear positive things you will behave positive. That is all there is to it.
Maybe his personality wasn’t that strong, but if he went to Church, and listened to better music, maybe he would have handeled the situation totally different.

21 08 2008
Anonymous

Hay all u stupid skanky bitches,i listen 2 metal and OBVIOUSLY it has FUCK ALL 2 do with this killing,obviously he was lyk super depro and got a bit spiked up on 2 many lines of coke or a couple o shots of heroin,but it has Fuck all 2 do with metal and satan,rap artists (eg. Akon,eminem,50cent,t-pain,florida,chris brown etc) sing about getting with ‘ho’s’,getting high,killing ppl and so on blah blah blah blah,but do us metal heads complain? HELL NO!!! U people just believe whatever the press tells u,its actually sad and quite sickening! Honestly people,get a life! I understand that jacques is gone and never coming back,but morne is in prison now so wats the big deal?

22 08 2008
Brian

Hi all. I am christian and listen to heavy metal, screaming etc but it too is christian with praise lyrics. I just find it sad how you all are so judgemental, even you christians. Lets not judge if we know not all truths. Only God knows all truths .

22 08 2008
Tamiko

This blame-the-music-if-someone-murders story is really getting old and tired. I am not the most stable of people. I listen to Marilyn Manson. I love violent movies and games. I even used drugs when I was younger and I have tattoos! But I don’t even kill an ant in my house. Please make the effort to read up on why people kill and get an understanding of the psychologies behind these. There is much written about it. Arm yourself with knowledge and then speak. Instead of blaming something like metal music which you don’t even remotely understand either. People always blame what they fear. Make a conscious effort and THINK before you say something stupid. JEEEEZ!!!

22 08 2008
Sad...

As I read through this page my stomach turns in a twist… what is the world coming to..? It is really sad that the shells on people’s eyes have not yet fallen off! My there be people out there praying for you!

22 08 2008
Hope

Although Krugersdorp is not far from where I reside in south africa, it should be noted that incidents like this happen world wide.. we live in a violent society. In particular, South African children do struggle with Religion, Violence and are strongly faced with Peer pressure. It should be noted that a tragedy like this opens our eyes and ears to the voices of our children.

I feel that as a parent, we DO have control over what our children do and say.

Important to teach them to Live Love & Forgive!

A tragedy is not about music, it is about hopelessness.

22 08 2008
Mike

I have enjoyed reading everybody’s opinion about this story and in particular your responses to my thoughts on the matter. Yes I am a Christian and I too listen to metal music, but the difference being that I listen to Christian metal and thus the lyrical content is infinitely more positive than … say Slipknot or Cradle of Filth.

So … what I am saying is that music is not to blame. I grant that it may wind up being a contributing factor to pushing somebody over the edge, but honestly we do not know all the facts about this kid, so we cannot make any judgment or have 100% accurate, informed opinions about the whole situation IE that he was a drug addict, a satanist, bulled or whatever. He may well have been pushed over the edge by other music that he listened to … or nothing at all. The point is that we don’t know.

22 08 2008
Lalie

I am sad, very very sad, I am sad that some of this ppl who wrote here does not know about the world, this WAS a satanic attack, please ppl, something that is evil and tell that it should kill (im talking about the music) cannot be good, common ppl please open your eyes praise God and only God everything els is evil, I am sure this Morne guy does not know what God could do for him, I pray for him! and I pray for everyone els! And for the music if you are a Christian and you listen to Christian metal music you should know that the other tipes of music is evil and yes the Devil does speak trough music, God also speaks trough music, God speaks trough a book aswell. You know, if you read something nice and you feel that you have to tell someone about it, IT IS GOD TELLING YOU TO TELL SOMEBODY, not you deciding to!!!!! please ppl. I PRAISE GOD AND ONLY GOD! AND I PRAY FOR EVERYBODY WHO COMMENTED ON THIS PAGE AND I MEAN EVERYBODY! HOPE YOU GUYS WOULD FIND JESUS!!!

23 08 2008
Jenny

I so completely agree…
Don’t blame the metal! Think a bit. Don’t judge what you don’t understand.
There is so much bad stigma regarding Metal – but look at it at face value, IT IS JUST MUSIC. What you choose to listen to has less to do with your mental state and more to do with your taste!!!!
Please, realise –
ANYTHING can be taken to the extreme!
The gothica culture is associated with Satanism,
Hip hop is associated with gangsterism,
Rave is associated with drug abuse –
Get over the stereotypes, people. They’re pointless.
Musicians have the right to make the music that they want to make – its up to the individual whether he/she enjoys it or not. Give it a break.
Imagine if the dude had dressed up as Robert Mugabe????
How many of you know a SANE person who would go out there and slay a whole lot of people???

by the way, i like Mika 😐 nothing wrong with a bit of happiness in the world.

23 08 2008
Anne

Have you listend to slipnot’s lYrics???? – I wanna slit your throat and f*ck the wound???? and you wonder where that guy got his idea from?? do you really think that someone who listens to mika (who’s songs are about happiness) would kill anyone..if you do YOU MUST WAKE UP!!!and you say you dont listen yo bands like slipnot that’s why you havent killled someone..im not saying metal is bad…im just saying that some of those bands are satinists themselves and write those words out of a satinists view of life..a misrable useless point of view..
no its not just the music’s fault..but the music made an opening for the satan to get an hold on him!! you say its just music…music is a way to express yourself…what do you think slipnot is trying to express by the words-i wanna slit you throat?? have you ever experienced that when youre listenning to happy energetic music…you feel ready for life..you feel GREAT…but when you hear a sad song you go in a depro mood…i can’t think what must have gone through that guys mind by listenning a song like that!!!!!
the lord want’s us to hear positive things not trash that breaks you down and tells you to slit someones throat…melal is fine.. but the RIGHT metal.

23 08 2008
Psy

Here’s a video to shut everyone against Slipknot up for good.
I dedicate to this to all the knot fans out there… This is what the Samurai Killer had caused!!!!

http://www.viddler.com/explore/Psyrkus/videos/1/

23 08 2008
Psy

Here’s a video to shut everyone against Slipknot up for good.
I dedicate to this to all the knot fans out there… This is what the Samurai Killer had caused!!!!

23 08 2008
Psy

http:// www. viddler.com /explore/Psyrkus /videos/1/

Del the spaces after pasting into web browser

24 08 2008
Brian

I am not trying to belittle this whole tragic situation. But i find it funny how everyone can make a massive thing over this, when thousands die everyday. You have innocent people being bombed, innocent people raped, shot, killed, innocent people dying

24 08 2008
Brian

Everyday. Now i agree that this is very very tragic. Maybe its because its so close to home but read the papers. People die around you all the time. Its just media has a nice juicy piece of sensation now. Stop empowering them and talking about this, dont

24 08 2008
Brian

Be so naive. Read about all the other tragic things and find the storys they dont tell you because those are the storys that we should talk about. Just a thought, use it or dont. I just pray for the families of both children here.

26 08 2008
Caroline

Wow, lotsa comments, you must be so happy!!

I find it funny how everyone has an opinion, but does not seem to have READ the article(s) in which this story was published. The kid did not “walk out the house wearing a mask” but rather pulled it out whilst at school.

-A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, that’s all I’m saying-

And I’m with you, Brian, sad and bad things happen everyday, I mean, just this morning I woke up too late to get waffles for breakfast 😉

But seriously, maybe the music “gave him ideas”, maybe it was just a symptom, maybe it was the final trigger in his deluded mind, or maybe it is just a scapegoat – BUT either way, the kid implicated and involved Slipknot when he first pulled out that pwetty maskie, and I think it is naive of us to completely detach the two.

26 08 2008
madelein

ok i agree the music had nothing to do with it as he had planned it but to the person who used the vulger language that is not the way to express yourself . We all understand that you are a teenager and whats to draw attention to yourself but please we are al shocked . To the Pretoruis family i havn`t lost a child but i know how i would feel it i have lost a child . I pray that God will comford you in this time and all the family and friends of the Pretorius family .
May God take you in his arms and wipe away your tears and replace each tear with a smile and a happy memory of your bloved son . God bless you all

27 08 2008
Jenny

the media is really starting to get on my … ahem … yeah.
grrr.
just because you’re scared of something, it doesnt make it bad –
whatever happened to freedom of expression?

and to associate metal (and even anger) with satanism is just bluntly narrow minded 😐

28 08 2008
Jenni

Great post. My Christian son listens to heavy metal and there’s not much wrong with him. The only effect it has on me is that I wanna klap him when the volume is too loud LOL!

31 08 2008
Rocker4life

put it there, dude!! *high fives*

15 04 2009
Beelzebubbles

okay. where to start.. first metal doesnt make ppl kill. if it did. then the prison will be full of metal heads. come on.. why blame murder on metal.. is it right i blame rape and girls becoming prostitutes on rap music?… cos thats wat raps about.. and to the metal lyrics.. how is that satanic.. eminem sings a song like.. “please god send me a brand new car and a prostitute while my wife sick in the hospital”..and i dont see ppl complaining about that… and to all u christian pll.. before u judge satanism.. plz in the devils name go and read the satanic bible.
satanism frowns on murder.. i think they call it gohana… a term used by them, meaning.. its wrong to kill another god.. SOOOOO… that kid that did the crime.. he is just like a normal crimal.. thats that. It has nothing to do with music and satanism..

15 04 2009
Beelzebubbles

To Jessica. wat is ur problem.? u critize the words on metal albums and say its disturbing..
Now plz take a copy of the christian bible and tear off the cover and let someone that isnt a christain read it. Dont explain the bible to the person let him read it.. I can asure u.. the first time he read it he went WTF kinda god u have.
Wen i read it.. i was like.. Why would God rain fire to a country cos the ppl had different sexual life style. think about it.. would u say its goldy if the president one day says ” lets nuke cape town cos there are alot of gays there?
and another freaky part.. jews did sacrifices in the old days.. and u think its satanic cos a song in metal has the word sacrifice.. how hipocritic of u. and dont forget god sent angels of DEATH to wipe out the first borns in egpyt.. so i would say… if satan did tell that kill to kill someone. compare it to wat god did.. man its a drop of blood in an ocean.. So AVE SAT……..NAS

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