During a recent conversation with Christina Rowatt of Revolver, System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian was asked to define the nu metal genre. It goes without saying that System of a Down is by far one of the most important bands to come from the genre, for not only have they released a plethora of incredible records, but they have gone on to inspire countless other acts.
At one point during this interview, Rowatt brings up how we (as a metal community) are starting to explore the history of 00’s heavy metal; she eventually goes on to ask Serj who he thinks are some of the significant bands to come from that era. This is what Tankian had to say (as transcribed by The Pit):
“Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Korn, Deftones – like those combination of bands, pretty much all from [the] Los Angeles area, were the heavy hitters of our peers coming up at that time. […] Those are some of the bands that really changed the sound, the scene, and what was going on when we were coming up.”
Those are without a doubt some of the biggest bands to emerge from the late ’90s and early aughts. Serj is later then asked to define the nu metal genre (how he personally views it). This is what the System of a Down frontman had to say:
“Um… nu metal would probably be… If I was to find a particular definition for it, it would be: Low bass, low tempo, dark, metal music that came out of LA in [the early aughts].”
Do you think Serj’s definition of the nu metal genre makes sense? How would you define nu metal music? Who would you consider the “heavy hitters” of the early aughts? You can check out the full video interview featuring Serj below.