Why do we mosh? Experts think they’ve found out why…

“For many metal fans the moshpit is considered a safe, self-contained and welcoming space”… do you agree?

First of all you might be wondering… “Hey!… I know why we mosh!”…but whilst you yourself might know why you decide to fling your limbs around at an alarming speed, hurling your body against the nearest unfortunate soul person, now some experts in an recent article have chimed in on their thoughts on why we DO actually mosh.

Ill Nino vocalist Christian Machado says “We mosh because we war dance. We are primordial in many ways and this war dance called moshing is not just a dance it is a culture embedded in our culture. The human reaction to extreme music is much like the human reaction to extreme consequences, war. In moshing, we simply practice the art of war amongst friends. Capoeira is also a war dance that can be very much compared to moshing except capoeira applies a lot of martial arts and moshing doesn’t necessarily have to.”

Capoeira... We're not so sure you'd see this in a moshpit?

This is Capoeira for you… similar? We’re not so convinced.

War dance huh? That’s one arguement…

Ryan McGuffin guitarist of a band called No Parents compares moshing to sports… “Moshing to me is like football, or really any sport… I think people just want to touch each other. I prefer hugging myself, but the kids are gonna do what they’re gonna do.”

Dr Jesse Silverberg weighed in their opinion: “Why people decide to run around and get rowdy at a metal show is… well… up to the individual to decide. But let’s take for granted that (1) people at a metal show are going to “dance” because that’s what we do when we listen to music, and (2) metal-show dancing basically involves getting rowdy. Once you have those ingredients, physics takes over and tells you what will happen next.

Essentially, you end up with this chaotic-looking mass of high-energy people colliding into one another near the front of the stage. This is what we call a “mosh pit.” The emergence of a mosh pit is then a natural extension of these people ‘doing their thing’ all in the same area. With different styles of music you get different styles of moshing. For example, circle pits, push pits, and ninja pits are all variants on the same basic principles behind the collective motion at play in a classic mosh pits.”

Ninja pits?! Hands up who’s ever partaken in one of those? We’d be very interested to see what one of those pits actually looks like!

Another expert decided to focus her doctural research on women’s participation in moshpit practices within the Leeds’ extreme metal scene..

“…for a lot of the women I spoke with the moshpit was a freeing experience, a practice that allowed them to experience their bodies in different and subversive ways. Some of them thought moshing was an empowering practice because it challenges social and gender norms, and disrupts traditional understandings of femininity and what it means to ‘do’ female metal fandom. Moshing also heightens the live metal experience because it creates an electric energy, an atmosphere and through these intense, bodily encounters moshing becomes a contagious force that one cannot help but be absorbed by.”


So whether you war dance, want to “touch each other” or feel part of a community… there’s lots of viable answers to why we mosh. Just remember kids… what happens in the mosh pit stays in the mosh pit.