Banger Films — the firm behind “Metal: A Headbangers Journey” and “Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage” — has started a new documentary series called “Metal Evolution.” You can catch it now on VH1 Classic.
One of the Canadian documentarians behind the series, Sam Dunn, was recently interviewed and said, in so many words, that without nu-metal, the boundaries of heavy metal would never have been challenged.
“I learned there was some value in what those bands brought to the genre because it tested the boundaries of heavy metal,” Dunn said. “Part of the charm of metal is the musicians’ and fans’ commitment to the music and the sense of community. But the downside is that can become pretty exclusive and even elitist at times. The nu-metal episode made me realize adding a seven-string guitar and bringing metal back to some sense of groove — which it really hadn’t had since Led Zeppelin in the ‘70s — maybe wasn’t such a bad thing. Just because I’m a crusty, thrash-loving metalhead from the ‘80s doesn’t mean I can tell Linkin Park fans their music isn’t important.”
The series, says Dunn, is 11 episodes “on the entire history of hard rock and heavy metal. And each episode is really a documentary unto its own. Because what we discovered is that each metal subgenre — whether it’s thrash or shock-rock or glam-metal or grunge — has its own unique story. And its own cast of characters and key people. So it was a lot more work from a research and writing perspective because we had to pin down the key characters and come up with interesting stories. There were a lot of late nights in the writing room with Deep Purple on.”
I wonder if they did a grind episode. Probably not.