Long stereotyped as violent and even Satanic, heavy metal music and its fans have an unfortunate history of alienation and intolerance from mainstream culture. But it seems all those years of negative press are totally in the wrong: Classical fans and metal fans are scientifically proven to have identical psychological profiles. And the two forms of music are way more alike than you’d think.Metalheads actually embody a peaceful nature far removed from public perception. “The general public has held a stereotype of heavy metal fans being suicidally depressed and a danger to themselves and society in general,” Adrian North, a Heriot-Watt University professor who studies genre listeners, told the Guardian. “But they are quite delicate things.” In fact, they’re exactly like classical fans.
This delicate nature stems from a combination of traits, which North’s study was able to nail down. He found that metal listeners were above all else creative, at ease with themselves and introverted — qualities he also found in classical listeners. “Aside from their age, they’re basically identical,” North said. This gentle and creative persona allows both listeners to then freely encounter nontraditional occurrences (like non-mainstream music) with a more open mind than their peers. Exhibit A: Wayne and Garth: