Andy R. Brown

Andy R. Brown


Personal Statement

Andy's teaching and research interests include popular music, with a special interest in the history and cultures of heavy metal music, of which he is considered a notable contributor to developing scholarship; popular music journalism, the music industries, media and youth consumption, subculture and audience studies.

He was a one of a nucleus of scholars that got together to imagine the idea of ‘metal studies’ and out of which the International Society for Metal Music Studies (ISMMS) emerged. He was recently interviewed for a piece to be published in the first issue (1(1) of the Metal Music Studies journal (Oct 2014) on the recollections and experiences of early scholars in the field. He was also an academic consultant on the film Global Metal (Sam Dunne 2009) and the cable-TV series, Metal Evolution.

Andy has presented research papers at the First International Conference on Heavy Metal studies, Salzburg, Austria (2008); the Heavy Metal and Gender congress, University of Cologne, Germany (2009); the 3rd and 4th International Conferences on Heavy Metal studies held in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2010 and 2011; Heavy Metal and Popular Culture conference (2013), Bowling Green State University, Ohio; Metal and It's Cultural Impact, University of Dayton, USA (2014).

In December 2014 he was invited to present a Keynote talk at the ‘Heavy Metal et sciences sociales’ conference University of Angers, W. France. In April 2015 he gave a talk to the International Association of Music Librarians on Heavy Metal and the Metal Studies Bibliography at Aston University, Birmingham. In 2016, he gave his third keynote address to the Modern Heavy Metal: Markets, Practices and Cultures conference, held in Helsinki, Finland where he also attended the Tuska metal music festival as a VIP guest. <\ br><\ br>His article 'Heavy Genealogy', part of the special issue of the Journal for Cultural Research on ‘Metal Studies?: Cultural Research in the Heavy Metal Scene’ (July 2011), currently has over 1100 views/downloads! This issue was published to coincide with the Lottery and Arts Council funded, summer long event, Home of Metal, co-ordinated by Capsule Arts, the University of Wolverhampton and Birmingham City Museum, in 2011.

Andy is the principal editor of Global Metal Music and Culture: Current Directions in Metal Studies, published by Routledge in 2016:


He also manages a Facebook page for the book and other publications here:


Andy is a member of the editorial advisory board of the academic journal Metal Music Studies:


Academic Qualifications

  • BA(Hons) UWE
  • PGCE(FE) Cardiff
  • DPhil London

Professional Qualifications

  • Postgraduate Certificate of Education (FE) Cardiff

External Examiners

  • External examiner Music and Event Management Programme, Bucks New University, 2013-
  • External Examiner for the Popular Music Programme, Southampton Solent University, 2008-12
  • Visiting External Examiner to the University of Malta, Dept of Sociology, March 2008.

Professional Memberships

  • International Society for Metal Music Studies (ISMMS)


  • British Sociological Association (BSA)
  • International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM)

Current Scholarship

  • Since 2008, Andy has worked on the following research projects:

  • Metal, Class and Masculinity: collaborative research with Prof. Christine Griffith, University of Bath, exploring the cultural discourses of class and masculinity in UK popular music review journalism focused on heavy metal music and fandom. This research, employing an approach influenced by Bourdieu and recent debates about cultural classed relations in neo-liberal times, has explored how heavy metal is classed through symbolic appropriation and exclusion and how metal fandom constitutes itself as a community via its lack of taste and cultural legitimacy. The methodology of this research has combined a CDA of a 7 year sample of critical rock writing in the pages of the NME and insider/outsider ethnography of concert attendance and crowd participation at metal festivals and concerts.

  • The Tabloid Metal Magazine. An international comparative analysis of a six magazine sample of the UK and North American Metal music tabloid, focusing on issues of fandom, subculture, commoditization, class, ethnicity and gender, conducted over a period of 24-36 months, employing a combination of content and discourse analysis, reader focus groups and interviews. Part of this work was supported by a small budget from the Media Communications department.

  • Don't Panic Here Comes Emo: a content analysis survey of the UK press coverage of the music genre-derived term: Emo, in the period 2000-2010 employing the search engine, Newsbank.com. This material formed the data set, along with material from Kerrang!, NME and social media websites, for exploring the extent to which the scare about Emo in the national press was a rare example of a failed moral panic.

  • Metal Studies Bibliography Database (MSBD): an investigation of the emergence of the sub-field of metal studies via an extensive and exhaustive analysis of all academic publications contained in the MSBD, from 1978-2010, including monographs, articles and book chapters, across the disciplines of Psychology, Sociology, Musicology and Cultural Studies.

  • Explaining the Naming of Heavy Metal: an empirical and discursive analysis of a continuous sample, spanning the period 1969-2012, derived from the website archive Rocks Back Pages and the Rolling Stone archive, of review items and interviews, containing the term heavy metal or heavy-metal.

  • The djent project: examines the relative un-marking of ethnic minority lead guitarists in the progressive metal sub-genre by exploring on-line threads, tech geekdom and fan interaction on social media sites, such as You Tube.

  • Recently commissioned to write a chapter on Heavy Metal for the Sage Handbook of Popular Music, edited by Andy Bennett and Steve Waksman (forthcoming).

Other External Roles

  • Associate Tutor, Media and Global Communication MA, Dept. of Media and Communication, University of Leicester
  • Editorial Advisor for the academic journal Metal Music Studies: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal,id=236/
  • Reviewer for: Metal Music Studies, Volume!, Journal for Cultural Research, Journalism Practice and Journalism Studies
  • ESRC Rapporteur 2011
  • List Owner of Subcultural styles (Meccsa)

Areas of Expertise

  • Reception and Audiences
  • Popular Music Industry
  • Music Magazine Culture
  • Popular Music Journalism
  • Youth Media Consumption and Subcultural Identities
  • The Horror Film
  • The History and Cultures of Heavy Metal Music

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

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