What is a Metalheads role in society?
Metalhead is a popular term for a devoted fan of heavy metal
music and is often used interchangeably with the term "headbanger".
Since the early 1990s however, the use of the term has declined in
favour of the more fashionable "metalhead" tag. There is one school
of thought among the heavy metal subculture that the "metalhead"
and "headbanger" labels represent distinctive groups within it,
with metalhead being a generic term for metal fans as a whole and
headbangers representing older fans or fans of older metal styles.
This idea does have some merit as older heavy metal fans often
dress in a distinctively 'retro' fashion from younger fans, favour
different or more traditional bands and eschew some aspects of the
culture that have developed in recent years. Nevertheless, both
groups share common interests that go beyond a preferred musical
style and together comprise a distinctive counterculture. Apart
from the music itself, the most distinctive aspect of metalhead
culture is its fashion. Like the music at its cultural core, these
fashions have experienced levels of change and diversity over the
decades. The evolution of metalhead fashion has in fact been quite
pronounced, from a style that could almost be defined as a uniform
in earlier times to a far more broadminded look recently. Some
aspects of this fashion have spawned a backlash that seems to be
renewing an interest in older trends among some members of the