Context: My Tastes Broken Down By Geography

Often when I read a magazine or blog about music, or read an album review on iTunes or Amazon etc, I wonder about who wrote the review and what that review means in the context of their overall taste or patterns-of-taste.
I do try to leave a lot of context up on this blog, since allowing strangers to read it a few months after starting it for just my friend and I, when it morphed from just a comunications tool for personal reasons into a more public site about music.

You can already find out my exact amount of talent as a musician and as a writer on here by viewing the different subsections; you can find out all the music that I own on here and you can find quite a few articles on how my brain actually deals with music and how that has changed over time. If you are particularly observant then you also already know that I’m a white British male in my twenties, with a First Class Honours Degree and that my other hobbies outside of music and blogging include weight-lifting and videogames.

In summary, there is a lot of information available here that you can base your trust or distrust of my opinions on.

This particular entry will deal with my cultural perspective on music. Being a British male in my twenties right now, I have been subject to the advertising and magazine articles available to me, primarily from the years 2000-2006 and then later the Websites, TV Shows, Blogs and Podcasts from many of those same companies/individuals (many of whom migrated from the staff of one to another over the years) from the years of 2007-2012. What any of those people/publications chose to cover during that time has arguably been hugely definitive on my tastes, and I now question how much of my opinion is truly my own.

What follows is a breakdown of my musical tastes based on geography:
(Bands marked with an Astrix note a band that I do not count as a propped fan of but have an interest in due to friends and relatives, and have heard a lot of music from)

Alien Ant Farm, Amen, American Head Charge, Anthrax, At The Drive In, Audioslave, Baroness*, Biohazard, Black Tusk, Blackfoot, Cannibal Corpse, Chimaira, Clutch, Coheed And Cambria, Corrosion Of Conformity, Damageplan, Death Angel, Deftones*, D.E.P*, Deicide, Devildriver, Dio, Disturbed, Down, Drowning Pool, Elf, Exhorder, Exodus, Fear Factory, Five Finger Death Punch, Five Horse Johnson, Flaw, Forbidden, Fu Manchu, Green Day, Guns N Roses, Hatebreed, Heart, Heathen*, High On Fire* Jasta, Ill Nino*, Incubus*, Jimi Hendrix Band Of Gypsys & Solo, Kansas*, Killswitch Engage, Kiss, Korn, Kyuss, Lamb Of God, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park*, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Machine Head, Marilyn Manson, Mars Volta, Mastodon, Megadeth, Metallica, Mondo Generator*, Monster Magnet, Mountain, Mudvayne, Mushroomhead, Neurosis*, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Nuclear Assault, Overkill, P.O.D, Pantera, Papa Roach, Pearl Jam, A Perfect Circle*, PM5K, Primevil, Puscifer, QOTSA, Queensryche, RATM, Red Fang, Rishloo, Robot Lords Of Tokyo*, Sacred Reich, Serj Tankian, Shadows Fall, Sixty Watt Shamen, Shrine Builder*, Skid Row*, Slayer, Sleep, Slipknot, Soil, Soulfly, Spineshank, Static X, Stone Sour, S.O.D, SOAD, Testament, Tool, Trivium, The Union Underground, Vio-lence, Willy Mason*

United Kingdom:
Amplifier, Architects, Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles, Black Country Communion, Black Sabbath, BMTH, Camel, Caravan, Carcass*, Cradle Of Filth, David Gilmour*, The Darkness, Deep Purple, The Defiled, Dirty Pretty Things, ELP, Foghat, The Fratellis, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Iron Maiden, Jethro Tull, Jetplane Landing, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Judas Priest, King Crimson, Last Shadow Puppets, Led Zeppelin, The Libertines, Litlans*, Marillion, Muse*, My Dying Bride*, Napalm Death, Onslaught, Orang Utan*, Ozzy Osbourne, Pete Doherty, Pink Floyd, Queen, Radiohead, Rainbow, Rise To Remain Roger Waters, Van Der Graaf Generator, Yes, Yeti

Accept, Dew Scented, Helloween, Kreator, Rammstein, Sodom,

Annihilator, Anvil, Rush, Sheavy, SYL*, Voivod

Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Dozer, Entombed, Opeth*

Carpathian Forest, Immortal*, Emperor*, Zyklon

R.O. Ireland:
Gamma Bomb, Horslips, The Saw Doctors

The Grand Astoria, Organic Is Orgasmic*

Silverchair, Parkway Drive,


Daft Punk*


As you can see, the biggest portion of bands that I listen to come from the USA, but that also contains the biggest portion of entry-level bands that I only have one album of, and the biggest number of bands marked with an Astrix so am not a proper fan of. Is the reason for this higher percentage due to musical merit ? the USA simply being the largest/most populous country ? The USA having the best record companies and marketing ? A coincidence ?

The second biggest is the UK… would this be different if I wasn’t from the UK ? Is it just because of the British Press covering British bands ? Is it purely based on musical merit ? Is it a coincidence ?

Of the ten other countries on the list, no country ha more than five bands that I am a proper fan of. Is it a lack of musical merit ? Is it a press and distribution caused information-hole based on government trade agreements ? Do these countries just have the least powerful record labels ? …or is this all just a coincidence ?

For the other countries who have no representation on this list whatsoever, what is the reason for this ?

We’d all like to think that we are strong of mind and immune to advertising and media persuasion, but it is interesting to ask whether our opinions are truly our own or if they are just the result of the exposure to taste-makers and human individuals who somehow find themselves in a supposed position of authority telling teenagers about music (and the broader implications for all media, religion, political allegiance, personal hygiene, our place in the universe or anything else you could think of) and again whether those taste-makers themselves had real opinions or if their own tastes where just a result of the exposure that they had to previous taste-makers when they were still young and impressionable… and if that is OK or something to be concerned about.


  1. If you ask me, either way your opinions are indeed your own because you’ll still actively filter what you do like from what you don’t. For all their time championed by metal magazines back when I read them, I never once got into Dry Kill Logic, Ill Nino, even Metallica (that came later as part of a general parcel of nostalgia for when Luke lived two minutes away and faded after a year or two of half-interest). I’ve found that my tastes have evolved quite naturally over the years, mostly due to the fact that I have little to no physical contact with anyone I can tolerate outside of my family and Deborah and am not a regular contributor to any internet community in which I recognize personalities beyond user names. Of course, there’s a level of influence that comes from you, your brother, Luke and the guys I know through him, but it’s really minimal. Very little of the stuff I get into is brand new right now mega current advert buy buy buy, and as such I can’t agree with the point about advertising above as it pertains to me. Current and recently explored interests include: 70s Marvel comics, 90s Batman comics (which are seeing reprint thanks to the new movie but which I’ve simply been waiting for for years anyway), Tampa DM, the past 6 years of WWE, 90s movies on Blu-Ray, ICO, A Nightmare On Elm Street. These can all be justified in some way or another but some take more thought. Nightmare and 90s films comes down to nostalgia and teen fondness – 70s Marvel from buying reprints when I was in primary school and wanting to read them again and finding they had exactly the right amount of period charm and actual quality to entertain me – Tampa DM because of a latent (unrecognized?) interest for years and finding a shared interest with a Dungannon native – Wrestling because of a (now ex) co-worker’s enthusiasm, as well as interest in the returning Chris Jericho (one of my actual genuine inspirations in life, for his general accomplishment and philosophies, by the way) and just carrying it on – ICO because it was on sale, etc.

    You’ll very rarely just come across something without any major or minor reason to buy it, but it does happen. How you react to it is what defines how much of it is your opinion. If you go on Amazon and say Scream Bloody Gore is better than Leprosy because it’s more important, even if you prefer the latter, you’re a twat. If you like something, and you carry that fondness beyond social interactions (such as listening to Demanufacture at Luke’s house parties and in general throughout my teens) into later life, then that’s yours.

    Buying Zombi’s Spirit Animal based solely on its artwork (and seeing it on Amazon, having never heard of them before) is one such example of a pure interest, but is it? Dawn Of The Dead is called Zombi in Italy, and I’m sure I was aware that the band might be (since confirmed are) aware of this when I bought it, so there’s a retroactively applied outside influence right there.

    Also, the Portuguese dudes round Dungannon were big into bands from that part of the world that we’re not exposed to, so geographically speaking, where you come from plays a large part in what you’re actually capable of experiencing in the first place. The chances of us being familiar with MDB if we didn’t live in this part of the world are slim – the COF connection may have led there, but it likely wouldn’t have.

    Of course, back when we were getting into music, physical availability was a massive factor. You could BUY MDB albums in HMV for reasonable prices, and you had to because downloading wasn’t yet a) easy or b) legal. Americans had to pay crazy import prices, if they were stocked at all. Now, if someone in American hears that an ex-Cradle keyboardist played violin for years in a sextet from Bradford, he can just hop on Amazon and have their catalogue in minutes.

    Not sure where I was going with this, but super interesting read from your deadly brain. Thumbs up emoticon.


    • Ha… so true about Physical availability. For about three years a thing had to be in The Music Shop Cookstown for me to be able to buy it, except about two times a year when I’d get to go to Belfast or Derry (usually for a Birthday) and be overwhelmed by choice in an actual city-HMV. Excluding a on-year flirtation with Splash Plastic and
      I remember there was quite a few Led Zeppelin albums I couldn’t get. Led Bloody We Are So Famous Zeppelin albums were unavailable.

      Then for about three years it had to be in either The Music Shop Cookstown or Gene Stewart’s Dungannon or it was unavailable until I started using Amazon on a very rare basis.

      It wasn’t really until about Late-2005/Early-2006 when the whole world opened up to me in the way it is now when I really got enough money from working and also Amazon inclination… but then again I didn’t even use iTunes until about 2010.

      Its interesting that since moving to England I’ve always lived in a town with a HMV.


      • Splash Plastic! Never used it but I remember the cards.

        My geography wouldn’t extend beyond the obvious English bands, American ones and Scandinavian ones. Plus Sepultura and Rammstein. Not aware of anyone else I like that’s not from there. I tried listing bands I like and like and why and etc., but the blog (which is massive) is so hard to finish. I find writing about music so difficult. Reading about it, though, is easy as pie.


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