C O L U M N S

One Question

Topic: Single greatest individual contributor to Heavy Metal

Published: Monday, August 22, 2005
"To you, who is the single greatest individual contributor to Heavy Metal
over the last 30 years—can be based on output, skill, influence, etc.--and why?"


Tim 'Ripper' Owens - www.timowens.com
Metallica...Because they were Heavy Metal and made it at the time when there was nothing commercial about them!

Rob Rock - www.robrock.com
If you want to talk about a popularity vote, I'd have to say Ozzy Osborne, because of his TV show, because of the success of Ozzfest. Obviously his albums, along with Black Sabbath and Randy Rhoads and all the rest. The Godfather of metal, in a public sense, I would say. But the biggest contributors to metal, I think you'd have to start mentioning bands like Zeppelin and Queen. These bands not only influenced metal, but they've also crossed over into pop radio and stuff. It's hard to tell where a band's influence begins and ends, but as far as publicity, the publicity train belongs to Ozzy!

Martin Popoff - AUTHOR - www.martinpopoff.com
The answer is Tony Iommi, the music writer of the band who invented heavy metal. Sabbath, of course, was the dominant force in the invention of the genre as a whole, but also more specifically had a huge hand in movements such as stoner rock and doom, not to mention grunge, black metal and death metal, and... yes... nu-metal. I mean, just listen to the riffing and the crooning and the down-tuning... Sabbath is in all that. Plus Tony had a commercially successful and thus influential run with Dio (influencing power metal along the way), and then lots of records with Tony Martin. Capping it off, he's been productive in the '90s and '00s through more recordings and more so, in bringing metal to large crowds through Ozzfest. Boring, predictable answer, but the only one possible.

Joe Stump - www.joestump.com
For me the answer guitar-wise is Ritchie Blackmore. Just about all of the guitar driven European power metal is in some way influenced by his playing, composing and riffs. He was the first one to combine killer hard rock riffs and classical music, a blueprint that would be followed for generations to come. And his work in both Purple and Rainbow had and continue to have a huge impact on almost any form of classically influenced European style metal. Along with Tony Iommi he wrote the book. Just about all forms of guitar driven metal can be traced back to those two guys.

Krunt - TAD MOROSE - www.tadmorose.com
I think that Tony Iommi is by far the greatest individual contributor to Heavy Metal. He had a huge impact on rock music. A pretty "obvious" choice I guess, but to me, he invented Heavy Metal. I just wish that he would put out new material on a more regular basis nowadays.

Brian Keene--AUTHOR (The Rising, City of the Dead, and Terminal) - www.briankeene.com
Ozzy Osbourne. He is our Elvis. (laughs). In all seriousness, Ozzy has never taken himself too seriously, and is the master of reinventing himself to match the times, while remaining true to himself--and his fans.

DM - THE MISSING: - www.themissing.com
Okay, so I'm gonna have to go with the big man himself: Ozzy Osbourne. For one, his early work with Sabbath helped lay the groundwork for what would later become heavy metal; there are so many metal bands today that still quote Sabbath as their biggest influence. Two, his solo career petty much defined the genre. And three, his Ozzfest tours have sort of unified the scene: goth metal meets hardcore metal meets death metal meets old skool metal. He helped reintroduce classic bands like Judas Priest to a whole new generation, while also giving small, local bands the chance to play alongside legends. I mean, do you know how good it looks on your musical resume to say that you played Ozzfest? So yeah, that's my two cents. Ozzy rules!

JK - TYPE O NEGATIVE, DANZIG
For me, it’s Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. He was an incredible guitar player and is considered one of the founding fathers of heavy metal. The spin that Zeppelin put on the blues is still making an impact for almost 40 years. Musically, he incorporated many different types of music that was widely accepted by hard rock fans. He didn’t just find his niche and stick with it. He continually expanded his horizons into different territory. Zeppelin was able to play many different styles of music yet still be regarded as Heavy Metal. I wouldn’t exactly consider a song like The Battle of Evermore heavy metal but they could pull it off and it was on a record that had other songs on it such as Black Dog and Stairway to Heaven that would definitely be considered metal. Jimmy Page’s contributions didn’t end with his guitar playing and songwriting. He was an incredible producer having produced all of Led Zeppelin’s records. On the business side of things, Zeppelin changed the way bands would do business with promoters and record companies. Absolutely unheard of at the time, Jimmy Page was the first to receive a cash advance from a record company for a record. Zeppelin turned around the practice of promoters paying the band a smaller fee for a performance and the keeping all the money for themselves. They told promoters and agents that they would pay them a percentage rate for a performance and the band would be keeping the rest of the guarantee. 10% of a Zeppelin show was better than nothing. These practices are commonplace now and Zeppelin was the first to do these things. I think that Zeppelin brought metal into the spotlight. They were playing some of the heaviest music and filling stadiums around the globe with dynamics and intensity that has still, yet to be replicated and still influencing, including myself.

Henny Wolter - DONNERKOPF, THUNDERHEAD, SINNER, PRIMAL FEAR - www.donnerkopf.de
I didn´t take too long to decide: To me, Lemmy Killminster of Motörhead is the one of a kind, reptile, can´t be killed, rock´n roll monster that you are looking for with this question. I´m not even sure if he considers himself metal. Rather Rock´n Roll. But this guy is surely true and at whatever he has done these past decades.

Marc Storace - KROKUS - www.krokusonline.com
"Not an easy question, but I think Judas Priest are one of the very influential bands and Rob Halford's solo albums came out when there wasn't much happening, keeping the pioneering spirit goin' on."

Martin Sigtyr - EXMORTEM - www.exmortem.com
That’s a tough fucking question! I could say Iommi for being the man behind those groundbreaking Black Sabbath Riffs. I could say Kerry King for being the evil metal troll that he is. I could say Lemmy for being drunk the last 30 years, but in the end of the day, I’ll have to say Trey A., simply because that Morbid Angel has been among my favourites for the last 15 years or so!

Chris Caffery - SAVATAGE - www.chriscaffery.com
This question is simple...however it is an individual band and its members. Black Sabbath - Not only was Black Sabbath the first heavy metal band in every sense...lyrics, name, music, LP covers, look, attitude....Black Sabbath the song was the first heavy metal song....the thunder, the drama, the sense of evil and mystery. Consistently the band has contributed more "Classic" CD's throughout a muti-decade span. No matter what formation. Just about every CD can be considered a classic. From the very first til some of the most recent. "Sabotage", "Paranoid", "Masters of Reality","Black Sabbath", "Heaven and Hell", "Mob Rules", "Born Again", "Eternal Idol", "Headless Cross", "Tyr"...just about everything the band ever did. I consider Tony Iommi the single most influential "Heavy Metal" guitarist. This goes beyond skill, he is the greatest metal riff writer. Even ones who came close were a birthchild of him. However, you cannot disconnect Ozzy from this...as a solo artist he became just as powerful and in time more-so than the sum of the whole band. Why? His is heavy metal, he lives it, breathes it...even in the simple sense of watching his family life there is something very "Metal" about Ozzy. The first "Metal" frontman ever. Geezer Butler was an amazing lyricist...wrote a lot of the Sabbath stuff. War influenced and fantasy influenced lyrics. The rhythm section of Ward and Butler laid down beats that have been imitated more times than you can mention in your present day. The songs and riffs have iinfluenced more bands directly than all other heavy metal bands combined. Even when Ozzy was fired, the soul of the band remained and left "Heaven and Hell" and "Mob Rules". Two CD's that never get too far from top 10 in anyone's all time favorite list. Identically "Blizzard of Oz" and "Diary of a Madman" do not either. I sign of just how strong the forces and spirit of Black Sabbath were at this time. Randy Rhoads is a direct piece of the circle of sound and cycle of influence that has moved on into Zakk Wylde and continues to influence millions....but however were all a direct influence of the first time we all heard these classic seven words..."What is this that stands before me?" Very simple, Black Sabbath...the single greatest contributor to Heavy Metal.

John K. - BIOMECHANICAL - www.biomechanical.co.uk
Even though this is an extremely difficult question I'll answer from a singer's point of view. I think it would have to be Bruce Dickinson. Top vocals, awesome writer and has influenced shitloads of singers!!

Joakim Brodén - SABATON - www.sabaton.net
Without a doubt Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. The man wrote the book on how metal should sound, and right beside him stands Ritchie Blackmore who wrote the book of hard rock. In my opinion it's on the earliest Sabbath albums you can hear the first traces of heavy metal, hell... the man invented metal with his kickass riffs.

Gordon Tittsworth - IMAGES OF EDEN - www.imagesofeden.com
In my opinion, the single greatest individual contributor to Heavy Metal over the last 30 years would be Ozzy Osbourne, for several reasons...
- In 1969, Heavy Metal was born with the release of Black Sabbath I. The first "true" metal album. Over the years, the band would expand and perfect the genre. Ozzy and Sabbath defined the sound of metal as well as its image of evil and doom.
- After leaving Sabbath, he had a very monumental solo career and co-wrote landmark albums with some of the metal's greatest guitarists (Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde).
- His longevity outlasted anyone in the genre. It's been 36 years since metal's first album and he is still going strong with Ozzfest. He is the Grandfather of Metal and no one can deny that. Every metal musician/ fan was influenced by Ozzy and/or Black Sabbath in some way, shape or form. Without Ozzy, metal as we know it would not exist... or would at least be very different than what we all know and love.

Benjamin Niebla II - DESERT ROCK PROMOTIONS - www.desertrockpromotions.tk
MAGIC CIRCLE MUSIC management / A&R consultant - www.magiccirclemusic.com
Without a doubt, it would have to be Joey DeMaio (MANOWAR bassist and
founder of MAGIC CIRCLE MUSIC). He is the one musician that has NEVER bucked to any of the flavor of the day musical trends. He has stood on his own pedestal and carved his own piece in the metal music history books, while people periodically talk shit many times about him or MANOWAR because of his peculiar look at life in general and his grand standing persona. You have to give major credit to the man for single handedly carrying the heavy metal torch. In addition, he is the one person whom I have personally worked with and has put his money where his mouth is by supporting the world-wide metal scene via his record label MAGIC CIRCLE MUSIC. Simply the best label that I have ever worked with. Totally fuckin PRO.

Marco - HIBRIA - www.hibria.com
I could think at least in 5 different guys, but if I have to pick only one, my choice would be Lars Ulrich...The music when they were a "Bay Area" band was just killer with KiIl ´em All...With Master of Puppets they brought the band and Metal to a totally new thing. With the Black Album they have made Metal popular all around the world. As the Rock band they are now, they also keep conquering younger fans... For sure Lars is not the sole responsible, but as a drummer he also has been, since the early begining, a top technical drummer with very incredible musicianship. His prformance on stage is just great even playing an instrument which demands to be sat all the time...Besides that, to conduct a band for so many years and still conquering new fans is not for anyone...Due to the sum of qualities above, I salute Lars!!!

Sole Genúa - HUMAN FACTOR
We consider Steve Harris asis one of the most important contributors to theHeavy Metal scene, because if you ask anybody about Heavy Metal the answer is "Iron Maiden"!

Jim Springer - SPELLBINDER
Yngwie Malmsteen, his combination of classical and metal guitar with that speed is amazing.

King Fowley - OCTOBER 31, DECEASED - www.upthetombstones.com
"Steve Harris! He's never changed for the "moment" and he's always stayed the same in spirit as well as dedication. He is metal 100%".

Tony McBrayer - LOW EARTH ORBIT - www.lowearthorbit.net
Man, That's a tough question!! There are so many. For my money I think that "Lemmy" & Motorhead would be hard pressed to beat. I know that a lot of people may disagree with me on that but, damn!! That those guys have been doin it for thirty years and he was with "Hawkwind" before that!! He was a roadie for "Jimi".Lemmy is "GOD" and that's all there is!!! I just wish that , no I think that he should have gotten the Grammy years ago for the "Aces of Spades" it was revolutionary in my opinion. Even to this day I can plug it in and it still sounds fresh to me...you know real edge of the knife kinda thing. To me it was what Metal was all about. Don't get me wrong , there are a lot of bands/artists out there who influenced me a lot more musically. But, none of them paved the road like Motorhead. You know even today you see the "punks" with Motorhead t-shirts and the rocker's and the 'heads as well ,they all love Motorhead!! As do we all....in some form or fashion. The ones that don't are the ones dressing like Motorhead , playing like Motorhead .... and they think it is because of some band from 5 years ago. It's real funny because Motorhead/Lemmy still affect the status quo in Rock/Metal as if they just arrived ..... it's now like 3rd generation and the kids don't even know were it came from sometimes. It's crazy!! They will always be underground till the end and really I believe that Lemmy wouldn't have it any other way and to me that says it all!!! Godspeed to Lemmy & the boys....may they keep on doin' it till they die!!!! LEMMY FOR PRESIDENT 2008!!!

FINAL TALLY:
Ozzy Osbourne - 5
Tony Iommi - 3
Steve Harris - 2
Lemmy - 2
Rob Halford - 1
Jimmy Page - 1
Ritchie Blackmore - 1
Bruce Dickinson - 1
Joey DeMaio - 1
Lars Ulrich - 1
Yngwie Malmsteen - 1
Trey A. - 1
Metallica - 1




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