Global Metal Apocalypse is adding a new dimension to the site and it may be the first time that a music blog / site has done this, if it is then what can we say? Other than let this new adventure bring greater achievements and a greater global established presence as I conduct interviews and / or gain quotes from different nations in particular their culture ministers on how Heavy Metal is viewed in their country, bring out the controversy and support, this is going to be a bumpy ride.
Focusing on a host of established and highly underground metal scenes, this post is aiming to express the feelings of Heavy Metal in the respective country outside the core community by trying to voice opinions and views that ministers of culture express and at the same time seeing if the world's most extreme music genre has impacted on the traditional cultures of the specific nation.
So far the ministers from Iceland, Monaco, the Bailiwick of Jersey, New Zealand and Scotland
Minister of Education, Science and Culture in Iceland
Vice-chairman of the Left-Green Movement
Unfortunately Mrs. Jakobsdóttir was unavailable to give an interview about the Icelandic Metal scene but instead gave a generous quote on how in her profession she views Heavy Metal in Iceland, this is what she had to say:
"In my view the growth and diversity in the Icelandic music scene has never been more evident, the vibrant rock music scene with all its sub-divisions being one part thereof. The underlying causes for this are of course many and different, but one is the strong system that has been built up in Iceland in music education on a municipal level. Schools and youth centers around the country have also in many cases given shelter for young talent to blossom. Recently Icelandic politicians have also become aware of the economic benefits of the arts and creative industries. The support given by governmental bodies to culture and the arts have to be in constant revision, in my view. A national cultural policy has to be both relatively conservative when it comes to taking care of the cultural heritage and forward looking when it comes to adding to that heritage".
This therefore seems to a positive messages towards the Icelandic Metal scene, here's hoping it grows and thrives further. Given that Iceland itself has a strong Death Metal and Black Metal scene and also owing to notable bands such as Solstafir, Beneath and the latest exposed metal band Skálmöld, it seems that Icelandic metal has a strong unification and yet are still proud of their heritage as most lyrical themes are based around Vikings, Norse mythology and similar topics, however I don't think a song about the Eyjafjallajökull eruption will come around just yet.
MME AXELLE AMALBERTI (on the left)
Rédacteur Principal (Senior Editor)
Direction Des Affaires Culturelles de Monaco
(Department of Cultural Affairs of Monaco)
Unfortunately due to lack of information, the department of cultural affairs in Monaco could not give an interview or quote that is equivalent to what was expected to be given, but instead they did reply with this:
"We'd like to first thank you, regarding the interest you attach to the Principality, but unfortunately we are not going to be able to answer to your requests onto the rock and metal music scene, because we do appreciate this style of music, but we do not have enough information in order to provide you a complete answer or interview".
Which is totally understandable since there are only at present a couple of projects, musicians or bands in existence at this present time, however the Monegasque metal and rock scene is sure to thrive in the underground until the fateful day when the metal or rock media expose this principality and covers its music scene. In fact the only Monagasque metal band that i can think of is Black Knight Symfonia, essentially a Gothic Metal quartet that is the brainchild of Michaël 'Saga' Fiori and is a four-piece ensemble, there could be a number of factors that could owe to the miniscule size of this metal scene, namely the status of principality may dog the lower class traits heavy metal has and as being Monaco is host to multi-millionaire and is a self-acknowledge tax haven, this would seem likely to be the major factor.
Senior Youth Worker
States of Jersey Youth Service
I initially contacted the right honourable Mr. Rod McLoughlin of whom is Jersey's Cultural Development Officer, however he felt that his colleague Mr. Ivor Richards could relate more to the topic in hand and so thus he has delightfully given his answers:
"La Motte Street Youth Centre, as part of the Jersey States Youth Service, champions youth music across all its genres. It has a large resource of capital equipment and expertise at its disposal to promote and support teenagers in their pursuit of creative goals – not only in music but also within other creative disciplines such as dance, drama, radio, photography, video and generic media work."
"The States Youth Service works in partnership with many other artistic, creative, educational and financial agencies to ensure young people and our project reach full potential. We also work closely with venue owners, studio owners and other performance related personnel to widen the horizons of young people in our projects. The La Motte Street project is a high profile, well respected project which attracts high levels of support and funding within our community".
"Commercially, the Island has a number of venue owners promoting music but we uniquely suffer whereby young adult audiences are often off-island studying (18 - 23yr olds) – which has an impact of the viability of live music in licensed premises. Our Arts Centre and Arts Trust organisations also regularly invite local and overseas artistes to perform, predominantly to an adult audience".
Although this does not fully cover the initial request, it does offer some insight into what the Jersey music and cultural personnel think about music in general and so thus it would therefore seem that they also accept the metal music genre, given it's small size and locality between the UK and France, I feel that the Jersey Metal music scene is one that should be respected for.
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
(2008 - Present)
Attorney-General of New Zealand
(2008 - Present)
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
(2008 - Present)
Member of the New Zealand Parliamentfor National Party List
(2005 - Present)
I directed an email to the right honourable Christopher Finlayson of whom is the minister for arts, culture and heritage in New Zealand, upon receival of his reply he had forwarded his answer through his press secretary Mr. Ben Thomas. Owing to New Zealands small metal scene recognition, it has a fair number of metal bands going around regardless of how well known bands like Ulcerate have garnered international attention, it would seem that the general public only know New Zealand for kiwis, the mountainous terrain and Lord of the Rings, but even Saruman took up the opportune moment.
None the less, the response was a pleasing and displeasing reply yet it was interesting
"The government of New Zealand has no official position on metal music. The government has an arm’s-length funding agency, New Zealand on Air, whose responsibilities include promoting the presence of local music on radio and television. To this end, New Zealand on Air disburses grants to performers for recording songs and making music videos. Traditionally New Zealand on Air has aimed to maximise “commercial radio” airplay, which may have made accessing funding more difficult for some metal groups. Recent changes to New Zealand on Air funding are intended to broaden the types of acts that are funded.
A number of government agencies, including the New Zealand Music Commission and New Zealand On Air support the Smokefree Rockquest, a nationwide school-based competition which encourages young people to write and perform contemporary music.
There is no official government support for young people to learn instruments for use in metal music. The government does fund an initiative called Sistema Aotearoa, which enables primary-aged children from disadvantaged communities to learn classical music under the instruction of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. It is not inconceivable that these young players may one day end up accompanying power metal groups such as Nightwish as part of a full orchestra, or providing ominous strings and horns on a black metal record by the likes of Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir".
It has been known for musicians to train through non-metal music styles and end winding up in a metal band, such as Apocalyptica who are classically-trained celloists hence owing to their unique genre of 'cello metal', also the ex-Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen is also an opera trained vocalist and since her departure has retained her reputation by going solo.
MSP FIONA HYSLOP
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs(2011 - Present)
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Linlithgow
(2011 - Present)
Scotland has a generally decent metal music scene but there always seems to be a lack of media coverage, besides the obvious well known metal band Alestorm who hail from Perth and play practically Power / Folk Metal but essentially is dubbed 'Pirate Metal', simply due to the pirate related themes they adopt in their lyrics, which ironically is apt since Perth has had a history of shipping and maritime experiences such as trade with the low countries and Baltic nations (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia). Recently Blackened Folk Metal group Cnoc An Tursa were signed to Candlelight Records and distinctly sing about Scottish history and poetry, which uniquely features songs in both English and Scottish Gaelic, their debut album 'The Giants of Auld' was released February 25th, 2013 and thus becoming another giant step forward for the Scottish Metal scene, on that note it was only apt that the Scotish cabinet secretary for culture and external affairs got interviewed about the nations metal scene, this is what she had to say:
“Scotland is a creative nation which has produced many talented musicians across all genres. Music is a normal and regular part of the curriculum in our schools, encouraging creativity and helping pupils develop. We want all of our children and young people to access music and have the opportunity to learn and explore the subject. In addition, we are continuing to support young Scots to get into music and have protected funding for the Scottish Government’s hugely successful Youth Music Initiative.”
"The Scottish Government will provide £10 million for the Youth Music Initiative (YMI) in 2013-14. YMI is delivered by Creative Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government and supports more than 300 projects each year covering all musical genres, age groups and teaching methods. Local authorities receive £8 million per year with the intention of ensuring all schoolchildren have access to one year’s free music tuition by the end of Primary 6. It is not intended to substitute the provision of core music tuition in"
It seems that Scotland does have a fruitful selection of metal bands but non the signed radar, in fact it was only due to Terrorizer Magazine actually featuring Cnoc An Tursa that I actually checked them out and I found startling comparisons to that of English black metal band Winterfylleth of whom coincidentally are also signed to Candlelight records and ideally sing about similiar things except they focus on English and Anglo-Saxon / Pagan heritage. I also recall speaking to vocalist Chris Naughton at Bloodstock on why they called the band name Winterfylleth, intriguingly it is the Old English name for october and that they focused on English heritage simply because as he recalls, there are hardly any metal bands that sing about English heritage, so in some sense this poses the question: "does Heavy Metal offer itself as a vehicle or tool for conveying education and learning in a musical and creative way?"