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Earlier this year, statistics released from music distribution company TuneCore revealed that heavy metal was the fastest growing genre year over year in terms of streaming and downloads.

According to the company, metal saw a 154-percent increase in streams and downloads from 2017 to 2018, topping other fast-growing genres such as J-pop, R&B/Soul, K-pop, and world music.

With this news in mind, we caught up with musicians backstage at the Sonic Temple Festival in Ohio, gathering their thoughts on the TuneCore stats and the state of metal in general.

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Prophets of Rage), David Draiman(Disturbed), Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne), Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), and Jesse Leach (Killswitch Engage) were among the artists who reacted to the statistics, each offering insight on the impact of metal and hard rock in today’s music industry.

“There have been countless times when people have counted rock ‘n’ roll out, counted heavy metal out,” remarked Morello. “There’s something so visceral, and so powerful, and important about the air moving from a Marshall stack with an electric guitar … you’re never gonna get rid of that.”

Draiman added, “Rock and metal will always have its peaks and valleys of sorts, but it will always sustain and maintain. … The fan base is one of the most loyal and least fickle of any of the fan bases in existence. And that loyalty and steadfastness is a huge part of the longevity of the genre and how it continues to grow and continues to spread.”

Among the other artists who weighed in with their thoughts are Johannes Eckerström (Avatar), Manuel Gagneux (Zeal & Ardor), Jason Aalon Butler (Fever 333), Winston McCall (Parkway Drive), Caleb Shomo (Beartooth) and Josh Katz (Badflower).

Watch all of their reactions and thoughts in the video below.

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