Is Iron Maiden the biggest metal band in the world right now?

Metallica sold out to the mainstream after Black. It's not only about music, it's about image. Haircuts, wardrobe, logo changes. And now we can even dwell into song themes, structures, and length. It was more similar to image, sound, and song structures of mid 90s alt rock bands, than to Metallica of several years ago. Same with St. Anger and nu metal "influences".
This doesn't make much sense. Who cares what clothes they wear, who cares how long their hair is? The song remains the same, right?

As far as I used to understand it, metal fans were not so concerned about looks. The music was the important factor. At least that is the way it is for me. I hardly listen to Metallica these days. They were decent a couple of decades ago. In fact kill em ALL,ride the lightening, and master of puppets are very good. Personally I don't much like the black album or any other subsequent Metallica album. Just not to my tastes. The are still playing metal, just not thrash, they are more like black Sabbath now. There is nothing wrong with them making more popular music and making money. They can enjoy wealth. Music is a business right?

They have become a bridge though, an entry/access point for people the become interested in metal and not see it as some weird niche to be avoided
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
The song remains the same, right?
Err...no. I wouldn't mind stylistic changes (growing up) if the song remained the same but Black/Load/ReLoad are a far, far cry from ...AJFA.
Music is an art. It's not business. Music that's business is not art - MTV pop/dance/gangsta rap.
 

Wayne Bond

Educated Fool
It’s a blurred line between art and business. We all like to think of our favourite bands as artists who got into music to create and of all the styles of music out there this is more true of rock and metal bands. However, once bands get a taste of popularity and the money that can be had how much longer can we still call them artists?

Did slayer stick to a pretty similar formula for all their albums over the years because they believed in their music or where they too scared to change up their style for fear of losing fans/popularity and subsequently money? Look what happened when they slightly tweaked their style with diabolos in musica.

It could be argued that Metallica sold out to get the money from the Black album onwards but there is an equal argument that could state they were tired of writing in the same style and formula as their first 4 albums and wanted to change things up. Maybe what looks like selling out to the alternative rock crowd was actually them growing up and their own musical tastes changing and maybe load and reload were products of exactly what they wanted to do at the time and not because they were chasing commercial success. Maybe Metallica were the ultimate non-sellouts and took a risk on creating music that might not have gained them new fans and lost them loads of existing fans.

I look at my own musical tastes and they are radically different now at age 41 to what they were as a 14 year old kid just getting into hard rock and metal. Back in the beginning I couldn’t get enough thrash and death metal. Whilst I still like the same bands and styles now I’ve developed much broader tastes and listen to a much bigger variety of music now. If I had started a band in my younger days it would have most likely been a band playing fast and heavy music but now a days my tastes would have totally changed the bands style as it would incorporate lots of other influences.

I think the biggest problem fans have with Metallica is that a certain section liked being the only kid in school wearing a Metallica t shirt. It gave them an identity. When it became fashionable to like Metallica in the 90’s these hardened metal kids/adults were put out that it wasn’t so unique to be a metal fan as bands got bigger and more casual fans jumped on board. It was as if a few people screamed out “there my band not yours!”

I truly believe maiden stuck to a formula with their music simply because it’s what they like and not for any commercial reasons. Every interview I’ve seen with Steve and other band members over the years when talking about there favourite artists they rarely change and even when they talk about more modern stuff they like it’s not a million miles away from their own style.

Fans love maiden because they see them as champions of metal, not giving in to being commercial and chasing money but I don’t think this is true. They are brand as much as Metallica and kiss. Look at all the maiden branded stuff you can buy. They are a business and need to make money, not necessarily for the band members but they have a huge amount of people who rely on the band for income. Whilst I don’t think maiden ever chased money or commerciality from a music point of view they certainly have in every other way.

Metallica simply crossed over into the mainstream casual audience a bit more than maiden did which is why they are bigger.

Wow, long post and probably rambled way too much. Oh well lol
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
One of my friends said that she'll be damned if she painted lighthouses. Lighthouse is the most mainstream motif, it's sold easily. But it's not what she wants to do, it's what people want to buy. If she used her art time to produce these pictures and not paint something of her own, she'd be a commercial painter and not an artist.

I think artists should express themselves. They soak up the world around them, and reflect it on the medium. This is not what commercial music mass production does.

Btw, not related to Metallica, like I said this is more MTV crap comparison. But yes, those people are not artists, first of all I don't see performers who perform other people's work as artists, merely as performers. They don't express themselves the way Maiden or Metallica do, Maiden or Metallica construct the song from their inner self and perform it for audiences.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Re. branding. Our football club is somewhat a brand, the name is far more recognizable and fanbase quite larger than what true sport achievements would suggest. In any case, they've branded it some years ago, and started earning money, that was going to black market prior. Black market? Well if there's a demand for a shirt, someone is going to start printing shirts in the garage and sell them on the match day. So people already wanted to spend the money on merch, it's just that club wasn't ready to supply, and it lost cash.

Same thing with bands, really. Yes it's cringeworthy to see C-grade bands marketing their merch. What was it, DJ Ashba's water? Not even laughable. There's no demand for Ashba because his brand value is less than the typical operating cost per day of a bottling factory.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
That one's quite good.

But the pun style is starting to get on my nerves because every second joke I read in English on Internet is a pun. It starts promising, click, punchline a fucking pun...
 
I think one thing is to change because that's the path that music leads you and you want to progress and another thing is to change just for the sake of being succesful not caring if the music is of the best quality.
That's the thing people criticize of Metallica, not the change per se.

Iron Maiden also changed, no one can say they sound like in the 80's, but people don't think they sold themselves because it sounds like a natural progression in their music.

I think the Black Album was also a natural progression for Metallica and for that reason that album is being accepted much more right now.
But what came after the Black Album looks like they were caring more about making the charts than making good music anymore.
 
But what came after the Black Album looks like they were caring more about making the charts than making good music anymore.
I think metal fans can often get too excited about bands becoming too commercial. So what if they do?
IS it that we want our band to be a niche, not in the mainstream?
Anyways, bands change, music changes, you don't have to like every album a band does. If your into thrash and Metallica goes away from thrash, well, you still have megadeth, anthrax, annihilator and many other bands.

Metallica haven't betrayed their fans, they aren't sell outs, they are doing what they want, if that happens to be music you don't like so much, then move on to a different band. It's no big deal.
 
I am not saying they're not allowed to play whatever they want. In fact the exact opposite is being said.

It is fine for me if they want to play another style of music if they feel like it. But if you're a real artist you will try to give your best to compose the best you can offer.
What I criticize is bands that go mainstream just for the sake of it and don't care anymore if they create good music or not as long as it makes them popular.

If a band goes mainstream doing the best they can do in any kind of genre that's fine with me as long as they feel they are giving all they got.

My problem is when an artist knows he is not giving the best he can give but prefers composing comercial songs because they sell better.
That for me is the exact opposite of being an artist.
 

Wayne Bond

Educated Fool
I think one thing is to change because that's the path that music leads you and you want to progress and another thing is to change just for the sake of being succesful not caring if the music is of the best quality.
That's the thing people criticize of Metallica, not the change per se.
That’s your opinion and as we know opinions are subjective. Load andcre load sold a lot of units so I’m guessing a lot of people liked those albums. There not to my taste but you say Metallica didn’t care about the quality of the music well I beg to differ.

They did care about the quality of the music and anyone who says different is just butt hurt that they weren’t making master of puppets part 2. They changed their style for reasons only they truly know and a lot of people liked it a few didn’t.
 

Wayne Bond

Educated Fool
I am not saying they're not allowed to play whatever they want. In fact the exact opposite is being said.

It is fine for me if they want to play another style of music if they feel like it. But if you're a real artist you will try to give your best to compose the best you can offer.
What I criticize is bands that go mainstream just for the sake of it and don't care anymore if they create good music or not as long as it makes them popular.

If a band goes mainstream doing the best they can do in any kind of genre that's fine with me as long as they feel they are giving all they got.

My problem is when an artist knows he is not giving the best he can give but prefers composing comercial songs because they sell better.
That for me is the exact opposite of being an artist.
How on earth do YOU KNOW if a band is going mainstream for the sake of it or not putting their all into the music anymore. Unless you personally know the people in bands your talking about then you have absolutely no idea.

I hate this elitist opinion that you get from a lot of metal heads where if a band changes style and the music they make is no longer tobtheir tastes they automatically label said music as crap and the cries of sellouts ring the air.

If you don’t like the music a band puts out then fine, we all gave our own tastes but to label a band sellouts for the sake of it and to accuse bands of putting no effort into music just because you don’t like it is crazy talk.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Out of the 4 Met albums I don't find that favourable, St. Anger is the rock bottom followed by Reload. Both Black and Load are ok. Personally last two are much closer in my book to 1980s output than these. Hardwired is indeed very good and so is DM once you find unbricked version that doesn't sound like a blown out speaker.

And I frankly don't care about Unforgiven 3 intro :) That song is best of all three. The verse riff is very tasty and so are vocal melodies.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Metallica are objectively bigger than Maiden (they sold a lot more albums, and, as has already been stated, are likely to be the first band people will think of when asked about metal), but then again they were heavily supported by the mainstream media during the '90s. Friendly reminder that Maiden got where they are now almost completely by themselves, so yeah. I think if Maiden had had the same kind of attention Metallica have received, they would be the biggest ones.
 
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