Excavating Heavy Metal's Blues and Jazz Roots

"The blues was like that problem child that you may have had in the family. You was a little bit ashamed to let anybody see him, but you loved him. You just didn't know how other people would take it." --B.B. King

"Metal confronts what we'd rather ignore. It celebrates what we often deny. It indulges in what we fear most. And that's why metal will always be a culture of outsiders." --Sam Dunn, Metal: A Headbanger's Journey

To me, either one of these quotes could be used interchangeably to explain the spirit of blues, jazz, or heavy metal; although I'm sure there are plenty of music enthusiasts that would disagree. But there are more than just shared stylistic traits linking the genres: There's a shared DNA that unites them at their sonic foundations.

See also:

-Unearthing Metal's Classical Roots -Digging Up Heavy Metal's Country Roots

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise