For many years, this was my answer to the ever-asked question, "What kind of music do you like?" I listened to metal and not much else. Meshuggah, Behemoth, Slayer, At the Gates, and everything similar were my bands and that was fine by me. Everything that I needed, I got from metal.
But over time, I began to question my unwavering faith in metal. What else was out there? Was metal really the end-all be-all form of music for me? Could I enjoy other forms of music? Looking back, I see how ridiculous these questions were. Of course there were other things to enjoy. It would be silly to think anything otherwise. But at the time it was a serious issue, one to which I had not the answer.
I experimented with listening to punk and hardcore. Remembering Never, Dead Kennedys, and things like that were what I first got into. You know, bands that were still good even though they were pretty well known. Then I took music recommendations from a friend of mine named Dant. He showed me numerous bands that eventually came to be some of my favorites, like Foxy Shazam, Test Icicles, and Band of Horses. And, funny though it may seem, Rock Band actually got me into a lot of classic rock. I downloaded The Who's greatest hits and found them to be quite amazing. That's when I started listing to things like The Police and Michael Jackson.
As of now, my answer to the musical tastes question is a resounding, "I don't know. A lot of random stuff." I have no specific genre that I say right off the bat, and I like it that way.
See, I think that more people need to broaden their musical horizons. Most people I know are like me. They listen to a lot of things and don't really have one genre that they prefer. But I also have many friends that like one genre and one genre alone. That's all they listen to, that's all they've ever listened to, and chances are good that that's the only thing they're ever going to listen to. And that's sad to me, because I know that they'll never even give other music a chance. They'll never know the endlessly amazing musicians out there that make truly good music and don't really tie themselves to a specific genre.
I guess the point of this whole post is to try and show that great music exists outside your immediate field of vision. You should give other music a chance. You might just find that it's better than you thought.