Heavy metal fans have evolved to communicate with each other like remote tribes in Papua New Guinea, a study by UCL anthropologists has found.
They have rules for behaviour in the front-of-stage “mosh pit” that are passed down by “elders”, there are gift-sharing rituals at concerts and dark cathartic music, which mirror rites among Papuan tribes that have changed little in 40,000 years.
Lindsay Bishop, a researcher, has spent 10 years studying heavy metal, the loud, pounding style of music that has grown from early followers of the band Black Sabbath in Birmingham into a worldwide culture with millions of fans in almost every country.
Human beings communicate like human beings. Pass on unwritten knowledge as we do. Precise and specific forms might mimic each other across willy different cultures. But the underlying parts are, well, umm, human, thus universal among humans. Passing on the details of the culture from older to younger? The Opies showed playgrounds have been doing this for centuries, no?