tips for forming a nu metal band

I saw this question on Quora:

What are your tips to form a nu-metal band?

As a once popular artist within the nu metal genre myself, I thought I’d be in a great position to tell this person exactly what to do and where to go. Here are my tips for anyone who has a serious desire to form a nu metal band:

  • Go listen to some Metallica albums and EPs starting with Garage Days Re-Revisited and then head backwards in chronological order. Notice the lack of turntables.
  • Become a bigger fan of the Judas Priest albums Screaming for VengeanceBritish SteelHell Bent for Leather and Painkiller, in that order. Think to yourself “Would Rob Halford have sounded this good if he sang like a dumb jock?”
  • Explore more death metal, black metal, grindcore, power metal, crust punk, NWOBHM, blackened crust, and speed metal, to see if any of their singers rap. No? They don’t?
  • Listen to Body Count, the Judgment Night soundtrack, and the Anthrax songs “I’m the Man”1 and “Bring the Noise” with Public Enemy, with maybe a cursory glance towards the Sir Mix-a-Lot version of “Iron Man” starring Metal Church. Notice the absolute completeness and finality of their exploration of these ideas, and how there’s nothing more that anyone would ever need to add to this or to pull from this musically, especially while dressed like a minor character from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  • Let the shame of this photo burn itself into your memory for all time:
  • Avoid listening to Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power. You’re not ready yet.

If, after following all these steps, you still want to start a nu metal band, take off your clown mask, put the guitar down, and back away from them, never to return.


Oklahoman by birth. Angeleno by fate. I've been in half a dozen bands and own 25 cubic feet of old records. Thank God for Ikea shelves.

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