Funk metal

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Funk metal (also known as thrash funk [6] or punk-funk) [1] is a fusion genre of funk rock and alternative metal which infuses heavy metal music (often thrash metal) with elements of funk and punk rock. It was prevalent in the mainstream during the late 1980s and early 1990s, as part of the alternative metal movement. The genre has been described as a "brief but extremely media-hyped stylistic fad". [7]

Funk rock music genre that fuses funk and rock elements

Funk rock is a fusion genre that mixes elements of funk and rock. James Brown and others declared that Little Richard and his mid-1950s road band, The Upsetters, were the first to put the funk in the rock and roll beat, with a biographer stating that their music "spark[ed] the musical transition from fifties rock and roll to sixties funk."

Alternative metal is a rock music fusion genre that infuses heavy metal with influences from alternative rock and other genres not normally associated with metal. Alternative metal bands are often characterized by heavily downtuned, mid-paced guitar riffs, a mixture of accessible melodic vocals and harsh vocals and sometimes unconventional sounds within other heavy metal styles. The term has been in use since the 1980s, although it came into prominence in the 1990s.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Contents

Characteristics and origins

Funk metal band Faith No More. Faith No More 2009.jpg
Funk metal band Faith No More.
Les Claypool, a member of the funk metal band Primus, has said "We've been lumped in with the funk metal thing just about everywhere." Claypool to wiki.jpg
Les Claypool, a member of the funk metal band Primus, has said "We've been lumped in with the funk metal thing just about everywhere."

According to AllMusic, funk metal "takes the loud guitars and riffs of heavy metal and melds them to the popping bass lines and syncopated rhythms of funk". [8] They go on to state "funk metal evolved in the mid-'80s when alternative bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone began playing the hybrid with a stronger funk underpinning than metal. The bands that followed relied more on metal than funk, though they retained the wild bass lines." [8] In spite of the genre's name, the website categorises it as a style of alternative rock rather than heavy metal music. [8]

AllMusic Online music database

AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.

Alternative rock is a style of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1980s. In this instance, the word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream rock music. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or simply the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music. At times, "alternative" has been used as a catch-all description for music from underground rock artists that receives mainstream recognition, or for any music, whether rock or not, that is seen to be descended from punk rock. Although the genre evolved in the late 1970s and 1980s, music anticipating the sound of the genre can be found as early as the 1960s, with bands such as The Velvet Underground.

Red Hot Chili Peppers American rock band

Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group's musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk rock and psychedelic rock. When played live, their music incorporates elements of jam band due to the improvised nature of many of their performances. Currently, the band consists of founding members vocalist Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea, longtime drummer Chad Smith, and former touring guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best-selling bands of all time with over 80 million records sold worldwide, they have been nominated for sixteen Grammy Awards, of which they have won six, and are the most successful band in alternative rock radio history, currently holding the records for most number-one singles (13), most cumulative weeks at number one (85) and most top-ten songs (25) on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. In 2012, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The self-titled 1984 debut album from the Los Angeles-based Red Hot Chili Peppers has been cited as the first funk metal or punk-funk release. [9] Faith No More, another Californian group who gained popularity in the mid-1980s, have been described as a funk metal band that also dabbled in rap-metal. [10] Rage Against the Machine's mix of funk and metal not only included rap, but also elements of hardcore. [11] Certain bands not from a punk/alternative background, such as glam metal groups Bang Tango and Extreme, have also frequently incorporated funk into their musical style. [12] [13] Bands such as Primus and Mordred emerged from the thrash metal underground. [5] Primus, a band that crosses many genres, has been widely described as funk metal, though bandleader/bassist Les Claypool dislikes the categorization. [14] [15] Claypool has stated "We've been lumped in with the funk metal thing just about everywhere. I guess people just have to categorise you". [16] Living Colour have been cited by Rolling Stone as "black funk metal pioneers." [17] Entertainment Weekly noted in a May 1991 article that "Despite the rise of black rockers like Living Colour, the American funk-metal scene is predominantly white." [18]

<i>The Red Hot Chili Peppers</i> (album) 1984 studio album by Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Red Hot Chili Peppers is the debut studio album by American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on August 10, 1984 on EMI Records. The album was produced by Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill, and is the only album to feature Jack Sherman on guitar. Sherman was in the band as a replacement for founding member Hillel Slovak, who had left the band along with founding drummer Jack Irons before the album was recorded. Shortly after the album was released, Sherman was fired and Slovak rejoined the band. The album also features founding members Anthony Kiedis on vocals and Flea on bass, as well as Cliff Martinez on drums.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

Faith No More American alternative metal band

Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1979. Before settling on their current name in 1982, the band performed under the names Sharp Young Men and later Faith No Man. Bassist Billy Gould and drummer Mike Bordin are the longest-remaining members of the band, having been involved with Faith No More since its inception. The band underwent several lineup changes early in their career, along with some major changes later on. The current lineup of Faith No More consists of Gould, Bordin, keyboardist/rhythm guitarist Roddy Bottum, lead guitarist Jon Hudson and vocalist/lyricist Mike Patton.

The funk metal sound was most prevalent in the West Coast of the United States, particularly in the state of California, although it managed to gain some international recognition through foreign acts such as British group Scat Opera and Super Junky Monkey, an all-female funk metal/avant-garde band from Japan. [19] [20]

West Coast of the United States Coastline

The West Coast or Pacific Coast is the coastline along which the continental Western United States meets the North Pacific Ocean. As a region, this term most often refers to the coastal states of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. More specifically, it refers to an area defined on the east by the Alaska Range, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, and Mojave Desert, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The United States Census groups the five states of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii together as the Pacific States division.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Super Junky Monkey was an all female Japanese funk metal group.

Mainstream popularity and decline

The success of Faith No More's early 1990 single "Epic" helped heighten interest in the genre. [9] It had reached a commercial peak by late 1991, with funk metal albums such as Blood Sugar Sex Magik (by Red Hot Chili Peppers), Sailing the Seas of Cheese (by Primus) and Mr. Bungle's self-titled debut attaining critical acclaim from the mainstream music press. [3] Mark Jenkins of The Washington Post claimed in a 1991 article that "much of it sounds like art rock". [3]

Epic (Faith No More song) song by Faith No More

"Epic" is a song by the American rock band Faith No More. It was released as the second single from their third album The Real Thing in 1990 in US, UK and Europe. The song was a breakthrough hit. It peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, and their first number one single on the Australian charts. It is among the band's most popular songs and a staple in their concerts.

<i>Blood Sugar Sex Magik</i> 1991 studio album by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Blood Sugar Sex Magik is the fifth studio album by American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on September 24, 1991 by Warner Bros. Records. Produced by Rick Rubin, its musical style differed notably from the techniques employed on the band's previous album Mother's Milk (1989), and featured minimal use of heavy metal guitar riffs. The album's subject matter incorporates sexual innuendos and references to drugs and death, as well as themes of lust and exuberance.

<i>Sailing the Seas of Cheese</i> 1991 studio album by Primus

Sailing the Seas of Cheese is the second studio album and major-label debut by the American rock band Primus, released on May 14, 1991. It spawned three singles: "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver", "Tommy the Cat", and "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers". "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" appeared in the video games ATV Offroad Fury, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Rock Band 3, and as downloadable content for Rocksmith 2014, while "American Life" appears in Tony Hawk's Project 8, as well as in the first season of True Detective.

By the latter part of the 90s, the genre was represented by a smaller group of bands, including Incubus, Sugar Ray, Jimmie's Chicken Shack and 311. [21] [22] Bands from other genres such as nu metal (Korn, [23] Primer 55, [24] and Bloodhound Gang [25] [26] ) and punk ( Snot [27] , Zebrahead) [28] also incorporated elements of funk metal into their sound during the late 90s and early 2000s. Popular 80s and early 90s acts such as Faith No More, Mr. Bungle [29] and Red Hot Chili Peppers had largely abandoned the sound in favor of other styles by this point. AllMusic suggests the genre was "played-out by the end of the decade". [21]

Incubus (band) rock band from the United States

Incubus is an American rock band from Calabasas, California. The band was formed in 1991 by vocalist Brandon Boyd, lead guitarist Mike Einziger, and drummer Jose Pasillas while enrolled in Calabasas High School and later expanded to include bassist Alex "Dirk Lance" Katunich, and Gavin "DJ Lyfe" Koppell; both of whom were eventually replaced by bassist Ben Kenney and DJ Kilmore respectively.

Sugar Ray American band

Sugar Ray is an American rock band from Newport Beach, California. Originally forming in 1986 and playing heavier nu metal style music, the band achieved mainstream popularity in 1997 with their more pop influenced single, "Fly". The song's success led the band to shift its style dramatically to the more radio-friendly pop sound with their subsequent releases. Their best-selling album, 14:59, was released in 1999, and featured popular singles "Every Morning", "Someday", followed by a self-titled album in 2001 featuring the single "When It's Over". The band would release two further albums, In the Pursuit of Leisure (2003) and Music for Cougars (2009), though the albums and respective singles generally sold far less. The band continues to tour into the 2010s.

Jimmie's Chicken Shack is an American alternative rock band from Annapolis, Maryland. They emerged through MTV as one of the first post-grunge bands of the 1990s.

During 2001, Alien Ant Farm released a hugely successful funk metal cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal", an electro funk song. [30] Bands from the 2000s and 2010s described as funk metal include Psychostick, [9] Twelve Foot Ninja [31] and Prophets of Rage [32] (a supergroup featuring members of Cypress Hill, Public Enemy and Rage Against the Machine).

In 2016, Vice Magazine referred to funk metal as "a mostly-forgotten and occasionally-maligned genre". [22] Mr. Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance mentioned his fondness for the genre in a 2007 interview. When asked if he thought it would make a comeback, he stated "Fuckin' revisionists probably won't think its cool enough... they'll go straight for the flannels and heroin." [33]

Citations

  1. 1 2 Smith, Chris (2009). 101 Albums that Changed Popular Music. Oxford University Press. p. 217. ISBN   9780195373714.
  2. Prato, Greg (September 16, 2014). Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool. Akashic Books. ISBN   978-1-61775-322-0.
  3. 1 2 3 Jenkins, Mark (October 27, 1991). "California's Funk-Metalists, Putting on Airs" . Retrieved January 31, 2017 via washingtonpost.com.
  4. Potter, Valerie (July 1991). "Primus: Nice and Cheesy". Hot Metal. Sydney, Australia. 29.
  5. 1 2 Darzin, Daina; Spencer, Lauren (January 1991). "The Thrash-Funk scene proudly presents Primus". Spin . 6 (10): 39.
  6. Dunham, Elisabeth. "Roll Over Manilow: Thrash funk is here". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  7. "Mordred - Biography, Albums, Streaming Links - AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  8. 1 2 3 Funk Metal. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  9. 1 2 3 Haire, Chris. "Psychostick returns funk metal to its silly roots". Charleston City Paper.
  10. Rap-Metal . Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  11. The Battle of Los Angeles : Rolling Stone. November 1, 2003. Archived from the original on April 14, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  12. Prato, Greg. Bango Tango > Overview . Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  13. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Extreme > Biography . Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  14. Gore, Joe (August 1991). New Rage: The Funky from Guitar Player. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  15. Hart, Josh (June 6, 2011). "Primus Set To Release New Album, 'Green Naugahyde,' This September". Guitar World.
  16. Potter, Valerie (July 1991). "Primus: Nice and Cheesy". Hot Metal. 29.
  17. Fricke, David (November 13, 2003). Living Colour: Collideoscope : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 12, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  18. "Genre-blending rock". May 24, 1991.
  19. MacDonals, Heidi (September 1996). "Super Junky Monkey / Parasitic People / TriStar". CMJ New Music Monthly (37): 13. ISSN   1074-6978.
  20. McClure, Steve (December 2, 1995). "TriStar Act Up To 'Monkey' Business". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 107 (48): 103. ISSN   0006-2510.
  21. 1 2 "Bring Your Own Stereo - Jimmie's Chicken Shack - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  22. 1 2 "How Bad Brains Created the Best Funk Metal Album 30 Years Ago - VICE" . Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  23. "Korn - Korn - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  24. "Primer 55 - Biography, Albums, Streaming Links - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  25. "Album Review: "Hard-Off" by Bloodhound Gang". February 24, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  26. "Bloodhound Gang - Biography, Albums, Streaming Links - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  27. "Snot - Biography, Albums, Streaming Links - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  28. "Zebrahead - Biography, Albums, Streaming Links - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  29. "Mr Bungle's Disco Volante Turns 20". Invisible Oranges - The Metal Blog. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  30. MacKenzie Wilson. "Alien Ant Farm". AllMusic. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  31. "[LIVE REVIEW] TWELVE FOOT NINJA at The Miami Shark Bar, 16th Feb 2017". February 18, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  32. Espinoza, Russ. "With Debut LP, Prophets Of Rage Strive To Be 'Soundtrack For The Resistance'" . Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  33. "Trey Spruance interview" . Retrieved January 5, 2017.

Bibliography

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