Metal fans listen to heavy, aggressive, and sometimes even brutal music because they’re…depressed? Well according to a new study conducted by University of Melbourne researcher Dr. Katrina McFerran, young music fans who are at risk of depression are more likely to listen to heavy metal music.
Dr. McFerran reportedly conducted in-depth interviews with 50 young people aged between 13 and 18, along with a national survey of 1000 listeners, in an attempt to determine why many young metal fans use the genre in a negative way. In her study, she concluded the following:
“Most young people listen to a range of music in positive ways; to block out crowds, to lift their mood or to give them energy when exercising, but young people at risk of depression are more likely to be listening to music, particularly heavy metal music, in a negative way.
Examples of this are when someone listens to the same song or album of heavy metal music over and over again and doesn’t listen to anything else. They do this to isolate themselves or escape from reality.
If this behavior continues over a period of time then it might indicate that this young person is suffering from depression or anxiety, and at worst, might suggest suicidal tendencies.”
Now we don’t have any academic studies or research to full debate Dr. McFerran, but her study seems like it’s promoting an (sometimes) untrue stereotype of metal fans. It seems that her conclusion, that metal music is being used for negative purposes, simply seems unfair. I mean, has she ever heard songs like Lamb Of God’s “Set To Fail”? Wait…bad example.
You can read more about Dr. McFerran’s study over at the University Of Melbourne’s website.