Because It’s Hallowe’en: How to Psychologically Engineer Death/grind

Having recently, for whatever reason (paging Doctor Freud) been listening to a shitton of death/grind, and being the in the psychological sciences and all, I naturally came to wondering about the possibility of shaping the behavior of (“engineering”) a musician who loves to play death/grind?

Not unlike John B. Watson (the behavioral psychologist, not the “thin as a lathe, brown as a nut” one) and Professor Higgins, I was thinking about designing, though shaping of behavior, a death/grind musician– my pigeon, my little Albert… my Doolittle of deathgrind.

Step 1:

Begin with your subject pool, technically accomplished musicians: they know their scales, key signatures, modes, and can generally read music, at least to an extent;

Step 2:

Make them love progressive rock and metal, but long for something even harder to play (especially for drummers);

Step 3:

Now quickly, before they quite naturally become a tech-death band, tell them they can only play punk/hardcore covers or some derivation thereof;

Step 4:

(This is the pivotal part)– introduce great trauma into their lives. And I don’t mean being annoyed or bored or even genuinely angry (like punk/hardcore)– I mean extended, reinforced, seemingly-at-random abuse of some kind, be it verbal, psychological, physical or sexual (and don’t’ let them talk about or process it with anyone else, ever)– that leads to things like:

demonstrating very disordered thought processes that will tend to manifest under stress;
being overly intense in emotional displays (these lapses in regulating feelings generally being highly inappropriate and maladaptive);
having low frustration tolerance;
and being prone to lose control.

Once you’ve installed these wildly pathological stimuli, serve and enjoy deathgrind!*

Happy Hallowe’en!

*Note: approximately 1 in 5 of these subjects will exhibit severely maladaptive behaviors, namely serial crimes, most likely serial sexual homicide. Results may vary. Not applicable in NH, MA, ME or NY.

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