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It seems America is king when it comes to rock and metal.
A look at the main-stage line-ups at this years large music festivals shows that whilst the Brits clean-up when it comes to the more mainstream pop, dance and indie events (T in the Park and V) the USA still dominate at the metal, rock and punk ones (Sonisphere, Download and Reading/Leeds).
At Sonisphere 14 American bands are playing the main stage at Download this year are American – compared to 4 UK. At Download those figures shift to 13 and 3. So where are all the big UK rock and metal bands?
It is a popular theory in the music business that tastes go in cycles: when pop music is dominating the charts, rock, indie and dance take a back seat. Rock saw a surge in popularity in 2004/2005 with bands like Green Day, The Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon and The Hives.
Since then the genre, whilst maintaining a loyal fan base, has lost out to pop and indie – and there has been a lack of new bands coming through.
Further more, festivals like Download and Sonisphere
focus on the heavier rock and metal – a genre that has been even more out in the cold over recent years.
The mid 90s saw nu-metal bring the genre to the mainstream, and since then artists like Marilyn Manson and Slipknot have give it a noughties twist for the kids, but there have been remarkably few British rock bands breaking into the big time. Obvious examples are Bullet for My Valentine, who have recently announced their biggest UK tour to date in arenas across the country.
So with metal relying on our American friends, it is pop, dance and indie that is keeping the British music dream alive, for now.
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