So metal heads, what’s YOUR prescription for music to thrive by?
The latest “Expand Your Playlist” radio ad for Kaiser Permanente Hospitals begins like this: “There’s a reason why you see so many people walking around with earphones. We love listening to music…” And then, out of nowhere and like the sound of a needle scratching a record, the soothing female voice bashes gothic doom metal. Listen to Kaiser Permanente’s latest radio commercial here (especially at the 0:08 mark).
“Listen to music daily. Twice daily. Three times daily or just as needed,” the commercial continues. “Explore new music. Expand your play list… because not only can music rock your world, it can make you happier and healthier.”
Taking a small break from the 32-hour, in-studio marathon of placing the finishing touches on the new WHILE HEAVEN WEPT album, guitarist & songwriter Tom Phillips took some time to ponder the commercial’s message and offers his take on the grossly misunderstood genre of gothic doom metal. His response:
“First and foremost, I truly think it is a shame that ANY form of music is ever branded with a negative connotation; it wasn’t lost on me that this was a misguided attempt at humor on the part of Kaiser Permanente, but the reality is this is the kind of mentality that results in music ultimately being blamed for violence and tragedy.
“Further, a healthcare organization should recognize the value of music as a constructive outlet in dealing with tribulations and negativity. Despite the fact that WHILE HEAVEN WEPT has little to do with anything ‘gothic,’ most of the Doom Metal musicians I know are able to lead happier, healthier lives due to the cathartic aspects of this music.
“One of the greatest things about music is the fact that it is open to the interpretation of the individual (i.e. what is ‘dark’ to one person is ‘beautiful’ to another, etc.). Over the years we’ve corresponded with so many people all over the world who took the time to share their most intimate stories of loss and strife and went on to explain how our music (and the music of our colleagues) made a genuine difference in their lives, how they felt understood or simply that they weren’t alone in this world. If that doesn’t make you feel good, I don’t know what would!
“The bottom line is any form of music can be helpful, healing, and inspiring perhaps even more so than the most advanced medicine in many cases. I personally would not be here today if it weren’t for Doom Metal, so I hope that Kaiser Permanente and corporations in general will rethink their marketing strategies in the future so as to avoid implications that ring of ignorance.”
WHILE HEAVEN WEPT’s Nuclear Blast debut, Fear Of Infinity, is the follow-up studio album to 2009’s Vast Oceans Lachrymose. A late Spring release is expected.
On Saturday, March 26th, WHILE HEAVEN WEPT will be headlining a benefit concert at Volume 11 Tavern in Raleigh, North Carolina for Tony “Dio” Leonardo, a local metal promoter who recently underwent a nephrectomy. They are also confirmed to perform their emotive, epic metal on the center stage at the ProgPowerUSA XII festival on Saturday, September 17th in Atlanta, Georgia. View the festival line-up here.