ASKING ALEXANDRIA's BEN BRUCE: Nu Metal Was 'One Of The Best Eras Of Metal Ever'
July 6, 2023
In a recent interview with SiriusXM Octane host Jesea Lee, ASKING ALEXANDRIA guitarist Ben Bruce spoke about the so-called "nu-metal" genre which swept the airwaves and peaked for a brief period in the late nineties and early noughties. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "People say now, 'Oh, what a terrible era.' I think it was one of the best eras of metal ever because it was so huge, but it also birthed… That was the cool thing about nu metal. If you listen to, like, '80s metal bands, a lot of them sound very similar. But they spawned, the '80s spawned some incredible bands. Same with the '60s — same with every generation and era of music. And nu metal was so diverse. I feel like when you say nu metal, an automatic sound goes into your head. But the reality is you've got SLIPKNOT on one end of that spectrum, LINKIN PARK on the other end of the spectrum you've got EVANESCENCE somewhere in the middle, you've got SYSTEM OF A DOWN, you've got KORN, you've got all these great bands that came from nu metal, and they all sound so different; they're so unique. SLIPKNOTis a nu metal band — they are — but they do not sound anything like LINKIN PARK, and LINKIN PARK do not sound anything like SYSTEM OF A DOWN. So I just think it's such a great era. I still listen to it."
Ben continued: "If I'm gonna put on a metal album, chances are — eight, nine times out of 10 — it's gonna be a nu metal record from that era. Probably 'Toxicity' or something or 'Iowa', but it's gonna be from that era. And I still love listening to METALLICA and all kinds of other metal bands too, but nu metal — I don't know — holds a special place in my heart. Maybe it's my age."
Along the way, several bands associated with nu metal, including KORN, DEFTONES and SLIPKNOT, took a somewhat defensive stance against being labeled as such. Even those less apologetic nu metal groups eventually changed their sound, effectively disowning the genre that they helped pioneer.
ASKING ALEXANDRIA will release its eighth full-length studio album, "Where Do We Go From Here?", this fall via Better Noise Music. The LP's debut track, "Dark Void", was released in May and saw the band return to their metalcore beginnings has already amassed five million streams and one million video views to date. Last month, ASKING ALEXANDRIA shared the album's first official radio single "Psycho" along with the track "Bad Blood" across digital platforms.
Last month, ASKING ALEXANDRIA announced a co-headlining tour with THE HU, the acclaimed Mongolian rock sensation and Better Noise Music labelmates. The "Psycho Thunder" tour will kick off this fall and also includes BAD WOLVES and opening act ZERO 9:36. ASKING ALEXANDRIA will make three festival appearances in July — Rock Fest (Wisconsin),Inkcarceration Festival (Ohio) and Louder Than Life (Kentucky) — before the co-headlining tour commences August 30 in San Antonio, Texas. Throughout the trek, which ends October 8 in Los Angeles, ASKING ALEXANDRIA will appear on additional festival dates, including Rocklahoma (Oklahoma),Blue Ridge Rock Festival (Vrignia) and Louder Than Life (Kentucky).
Having joined Better Noise Music in 2021 with the release of their critically acclaimed album "See What's On The Inside", ASKING ALEXANDRIA subsequently achieved their first-ever No. 1 Active Rock radio single "Alone Again" and a follow-up Top 10 single with "Never Gonna Learn" (No. 6) in 2022 from their EP of the same name. The band has garnered over 1.4 billion combined streams to date across all platforms along with over 3.1 million monthly Spotify listeners. Their music videos have received over 700 million views.
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