Back in 1985, the late/great Frank Zappa offered the question, "Does humor belong in music?" (as the title of a home video concert). And while there have been a few artists over the years who cross into metal or hard rock territory who aren't afraid to show their sense of humor (Primus, Tenacious D, and Gwar immediately come to mind), by and large, metallists are a serious bunch.
But one area where modern metal bands seem more eager to goof around is within the realm of music videos. When recently asked the question "Why don't you think more metal bands nowadays show their sense of humor in videos?" during an interview with BraveWords, From Ashes to New singer Danny Case shared his thoughts on combining metal with humor – as evidenced in the clip for the tune "Hate Me Too".
"That's a really good question, because this is a genre that does have a very serious and dark tonality. And I think that it can help to show that it can be fun, too. That's why hair metal was so big in the '80s – they were the 'party music.' We thought it would be cool to bring some lightheartedness and fun to the genre. And there are a couple of bands that do that too, occasionally. I've seen Periphery put out a video that was ketchup versus mustard ['Scarlet'] – which was hilarious. I thought that was awesome. It would be cool if each band had something like that – to show their sense of humor, so people can see a different side of them and see them in more of a natural light that is more of who they are as people."
And as seen in the storyline of the "Hate Me Too" video, Case's band is one of the latest metal bands to highlight humor.
"The video for it was just us taking the piss out of ourselves. Not making fun of ourselves, but essentially, it was like, 'I do not want to do another 'breakup video' – unless it's really well thought-out and inspired. Instead, my brain went down the route of, 'Let's just get a blow-up doll, and we pretend like she's a real person and all of my friends pretend that she's a real person. And she's secretly cheating on me with Matt, and I find out and go all 'American Psycho' on her! An absurd video – the dumbest thing we've ever done…but so fun, and we don't regret it at all."