Professor writes book about heavy metal


Jeremy Wallach, associate professor, contributed to the book “Metal Rules the Globe” and uses it in his class.

Reporter and Reporter

For Jeremy Wallach, heavy metal and head banging are just what he grew up with.

Wallach, associate professor in popular culture at the University, wrote some of the essays in his second book, “Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music around the World.”

The book contains a collaboration of academic essays on metal scenes in fifteen countries.

The book came out at the end of 2011, which was perfect for Christmas gifts, Wallach said.

“On Amazon it was bought along with Metallica monopoly and head banger gifts,” Wallach said. “It was actually on this list of ‘fun things to buy’ along with KISS biographies and things like that.”

The book doesn’t only serve the purpose of a good Christmas gift; it also gives his students the gift of a classroom tool.

Students do not seem fond of this idea, Wallach said.

“I think students think it’s a scam, but I don’t receive any money from using the book in my classes,” Wallach said. “I use the books because they are relevant.”

Wallach is debating whether he will continue using his books in classes because students don’t like it.

Not everyone dislikes Wallach’s book; one of Wallach’s former students enjoyed it.

Graduate Student Nick Ware read Wallach’s book and feels like this novel is important because “it engages not only with heavy metal, but with an ever-more-rapidly globalized popular culture.”

The book’s main focus is what made heavy metal into what is believed to be the best music of all time. It contains the history of metal music as well as globalizing effects on race and gender.

“A lot of the people who became interested in studying metal as a scholar are about my age,” Wallach said. “I became interested in studying heavy metal from a scholarly perspective. I ended up doing research in Indonesia for my doctorate, and that area happens to be one of the biggest metal scenes in the world.”

Wallach’s first book, “Modern Noise, Fluid Genres: Popular Music in Indonesia,” came out in 2008 and was inspired by his trips around Asia.

“Because heavy metal in Asia was what was going on in my field sight, it became my research interest, and from that I became interested in the globalization in heavy metal,” Wallach said. “Other people began to notice its importance in the places they were from or lived.”

Years later, Wallach and other people became interested in putting together a book of case studies of heavy metal in different countries.

Wallach was inspired to write the book based on the outlook of a “typical metal fan and a typical metal band.”

Wallach believes that heavy metal is a genre that seems to matter to people all around the world.

“The book discusses how musical form becomes meaningful in different places and becomes a way for people in different circumstances to find meaning and power in music,” Wallach said.

It took Wallach and the other authors, Harris Berger and Paul Greene, 11 years to complete the book.

“By 2005 we had a better idea of who and what was going to be in the book,” he said. “We had a lot of chapters already by that point.”

Wallach and the other authors are confident that the book turned out the way they perceived and think it was well designed and well worth the long process, Wallach said.

“We’ve already gotten two reviews, and it usually takes at least a year to get a reaction from anybody,” Wallach said. “One was from Razorcake, which is a magazine and Metal Rules website, and both reviews were quite positive, which was nice.”

The book is $26 and can be purchased on, Barnes and, Powell’s Books and Ramalama Records in Toledo.

“‘Metal Rules the Globe’ is the first scholarly book to specifically explore heavy metal as an international phenomenon,” Graduate Student Benjamin Olson said. “This book is an inspiration to metal heads and scholars everywhere.”