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That riff is so gay
August 16, 2006 10:30 AM   Subscribe

Rainbow in the dark: Gays in Metal From the best metal magazine around, Decibel.
posted by klangklangston (52 comments total)

 
<elton>
Seems to me... that you lived your life... like a rainbow in the dark...
</elton>
posted by GuyZero at 10:34 AM on August 16, 2006


"For many years, I didn't know of anyone in a heavy band who was gay. They all looked like a bunch of flaming queers, but weren't at all. The only guys that were vocal about being gay played shitty dance music and I can't relate to that at all."

Heh. WE'RE LOOKING AT YOU, PET SHOP BOYS.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:36 AM on August 16, 2006


We're everywhere, we're even in your spandex.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:44 AM on August 16, 2006


Your favorite metal band sucks. Apparently.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:45 AM on August 16, 2006


Love the title.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:05 AM on August 16, 2006


News flash for Decibel: Punk is not metal. Hardcore is not metal!

The interview with Halford was cool, but I can't take this seriously when everything else they've got is people who talk about the punk and hardcore scenes, along with some crossover bands like Kings X and Faith No More. They'd have done better by examining exactly why hardly anyone talks shit about Halford: because he came up with classic, enduring heavy metal, and in metal the music actually matters. The whole thing about "no women in metal", "no gays in metal" fades in cases where you're got women (like Jo Bench or Doro) and gays (Halford) who get out there and put up something worthwhile.

Then again, mentioning that might make heavy metal fans look human, and the people at Decibel are clearly too busy being ashamed at themselves for liking this music to do that. Just try finding the metal (not something-rock, not metalcore, not hardcore) bands on their front page, and you'll see what I mean.
posted by vorfeed at 11:14 AM on August 16, 2006


I went to a Judas Priest (MegaDeath opened) show one time, 'cause my mom was working on a movie about them, and we got to go backstage and meet them, I was looking forward to some kind of insane debauch but it was just a bunch of dudes drinking tall cans of Bud around steam table Chinese food and a couple aging rock ladies in bulgy fishnets. Halford was incredibly nice and really friendly, I forget when he came out but this was in the very late 80's, I think and the audience was half Long Island Headbanging douches and half crazy gay metal kids (screaming, jumping up and down like schoolgirls, fucking wild moshing, awesome) I guess it was kind of an open secret if he wasn't out already? It was great because he creaked over to us in his full leather metal studded getup and was showing me his new lightning bolt tattoo he got on his head and then he started talking to my mom about her cardigan sweater and if it was as comfortable as it looked. He's a swell guy.

I mean metal is totally gay, not in the "that's gay" way but in the "plenty of the subtext is about wanting to fuck dudes" way.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:20 AM on August 16, 2006


Nobody talks shit about Halford because nobody wants to get their skull crushed.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:21 AM on August 16, 2006


This makes me think back to when Freddy Mercury died. I was in first year university and all these aggressively hetero guys on my dorm floor were so mixed up: Queen is cool and I like Freddy therefore I should be sad + Freddy was gay and died of AIDS therefore I should be laughing = cognitive dissonance/head explodes.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:26 AM on August 16, 2006


Everything is cognitive dissonance to aggressively hetero guys in first-year university dorms. Just part of the territory.
posted by blucevalo at 11:33 AM on August 16, 2006


Yeah, I got into Priest during my freshman year in high school, 78-79. And although I and my friends were never devoted to Judas Priest, we all listened to them and felt that there was something really authentic in their music. It rocked.

I had no exposure whatsoever to gay culture, even that which you could find in some slightly alternative media at the time because, well, I was in a fucking small Bible-belt town in eastern New Mexico (which might as well be Texas). But my parents did have a number of books which were the sex literature of that time period and somehow, somewhere, I became aware of the leatherman gay stereotype. And the first time I saw a photo of Halford, I reocgnized it. But if I raised the possibility that he might be gay with my friends, they wouldn't consider it. Hell, most of them figured Freddie Mercury was straight.

I'm actually going to be at a party Saturday night with two of my best high school friends, one of whom will be playing with his metal and classic rock band. I'll have to ask them what they think now about whether or not they thought Halford was gay. But I can certainly believe that it came as a surprise to a lot of people. Even with my suspicions, I had some trouble taking my suspicion seriously because I figured that if he were gay, everyone would know, right?

That article read strangely to me. Partly, it seemed like it was about 15 years behind the times in how it treated the subject. I suppose it's how I can imagine a country-western magazine will approach the subject in ten years time.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:33 AM on August 16, 2006


Nobody talks shit about Halford because nobody wants to get their skull crushed.

Or their head banged.
posted by xod at 11:40 AM on August 16, 2006


There's been several times where I was either in a metal bar or a cowboy bar and I've said to myself "I sure do wish these dudes would just get it over with and start sucking each other off instead of stalking around giving me the evil eye."
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:42 AM on August 16, 2006



“C'mon, we play in front of a couple hundred people," he says. "There's definitely someone in the crowd who smokes the pole.”

I’m not clear on homosexual practices in bed, but I can’t help but think setting fire to someone’s genitals and trying to smoke them isn’t a healthy practice.

I didn’t know Gary Floyd was gay, but I can only hope he still hates the police.

“The old-schoolers have this tough-guy legacy on their shoulders...”

Yeah, like Iron Maiden.

“but if they want to continue to have an impact on the scene, they'll have to connect with their newer fans by appealing to what's on these kids' minds.”

I’d say that’s because kids today are big pussies. I’m not saying that lightly. I’d’ve thought hippie kids were pussies. I’d’ve thought the granola eating mellow kids were pussies. There is something tribal and appropriately brutal about the old school metal. The last good mosh I had was a circle at the Exit on North Ave. in Chicago. It was polite, self-controled and internalize, but brutal and very intimate. Many kids seem to have been raised not to trust those connections and to equate violence (even the good consensual kind) and machismo with intolerance. But sharing that, the pain, the chaos, the rush and the energy is (for me) is what it’s about. And while I agree there is intolerance from some folks, I think the distortion of the purity of that is what irritates people most. Scenesters, etc. - anything less than plugged in really. Not criticizing, just personal observation.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:42 AM on August 16, 2006


Divine_Wino writes "I went to a Judas Priest (MegaDeath opened) show one time, 'cause my mom was working on a movie about them,"

Is your mom Penelope Spheeris by any chance?
posted by Brainy at 12:09 PM on August 16, 2006


If she is she's been lying to me for about 30 years now.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:11 PM on August 16, 2006


If she is she's been lying to me for about 30 years now.

I'm sold.
posted by Brainy at 12:22 PM on August 16, 2006


I'm amazed no one has mentioned this sketch from Mr Show, featuring Wycked Sceptyr's gay sex tape.
posted by jonson at 12:43 PM on August 16, 2006


I always disliked metal because it's 99% phony posturing. Punk, on the other hand, is genuine.
posted by mike3k at 12:45 PM on August 16, 2006


Yup, no one in punk's ever postured one bit.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:54 PM on August 16, 2006


Know who else was ginuwine?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:58 PM on August 16, 2006


I don't know why anyone would sing under the name Ginuwine when their real name was Elgin Baylor Lumpkin. I'd buy Back II Da Basics by Elgin Baylor Lumpkin in a hot second.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:11 PM on August 16, 2006


"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" -- Johnny Rotten, 14 January 1978
posted by blucevalo at 1:12 PM on August 16, 2006


heh heh heh, Wycked Sceptyr, yeah.
Or that bit in Spinal Tap where they both have cold sores.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:18 PM on August 16, 2006


News flash for Decibel: Punk is not metal. Hardcore is not metal!

Well, there's more crossover between the two genres fans than you'd imagine.

I always disliked metal because it's 99% phony posturing. Punk, on the other hand, is genuine.

*pinches cheek*

You're adorable.

anyway...

First of all, we should delineate between hardcore metal like old Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Venom, Raven, etc and the hair bands (who while not without their charms are a whole different kettle of fish).

I've always been surprised there weren't more gay dudes into harder music. Sure, there are vocal homophobes, but you could say that about hardcore punk, hip hop and country, too. But all the hypermasculinity, flailing and sweating and male bonding, you gotta figure it'd be a natural fit for 'bear,' type gays.

I actually did once get asked out on date by a gay aquiantance who looked kind of like a mid-period Jim Morrison who wore a leather motorcycle jacket and dug stuff like Soundgarden, Slayer and Biohazard.
posted by jonmc at 1:35 PM on August 16, 2006


Did you go Dutch or Greek?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:39 PM on August 16, 2006


Czechoslovakian.

I got flustered and said 'no,' and then we went our separate ways.
posted by jonmc at 1:42 PM on August 16, 2006


Had a similar incident. Woke up with a bangover.
posted by xod at 1:53 PM on August 16, 2006


Well, there's more crossover between the two genres fans than you'd imagine.


Yeah. A million years ago, when I was actively involved in "punk rock", there was just starting to be the discussion of "what's hardcore punk and what's hardcore metal". To this day I get confused when someone uses the term "hardcore" by itself to refer to a full on metal band when I'm thinking like Token Entry or something.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:55 PM on August 16, 2006


"Had a similar incident. Woke up with a bangover."

That calls for a hug of the bear that did you.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:57 PM on August 16, 2006


Hmph.
I always assumed every metal band was Gay???
posted by tkchrist at 2:04 PM on August 16, 2006


I mean, seeing as we're in Stereotype Land, is it just me who would never have guessed that someone called Roddy Bottum was gay? Assuming that's a stage name. And again assuming the whole thing's not been made up.
posted by imperium at 2:10 PM on August 16, 2006


Metal bands, meh...give me gays in the NFL or major-league baseball.
posted by pax digita at 2:25 PM on August 16, 2006


Yeah. I really sort of expected that veil of silence to have been broken by now. Kind of amazing, really, that it hasn't. Or maybe I just live in a blue fantasyland.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:37 PM on August 16, 2006


Wait, Decibel Magazine is the best metal magazine around? Obviously then you've never heard of Oaken Throne or Lamentations of the Flame Princess. LotFP has an excellent article entitled 'False Metal', which has a section about Decibel Magazine and this declarative statement: "Decibel desperately desires to be a Pitchforkian tastemaker shaping how metal is defined...".
posted by irix at 2:39 PM on August 16, 2006


is it just me who would never have guessed that someone called Roddy Bottum was gay?

You and everybody else who wouldn't believe Queen was gay. Queen! They were called Queen dammit!
posted by lumpenprole at 2:40 PM on August 16, 2006


My friend said to me, "They're British, dummy."
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:42 PM on August 16, 2006


Needs more gaybell.
posted by Balisong at 2:45 PM on August 16, 2006


Well, there's more crossover between the two genres fans than you'd imagine.

Sure, but that's no excuse for writing an article about "gays in metal" in which you talk mostly about punk and hardcore. Metal music still exists that stands apart from the -core bands. When I see a magazine that mostly discusses blah-rock, this-punk and that-core bands in it... well, that's not a metal magazine. It may call itself so, and it may appeal to (some) fans of metal, but it's obviously not metal because it's not about metal!

Here's a quote from the article that illustrates my point: '"I was never too involved in the metal scene," Cook admits. "I liked Slayer and Sepultura and all that stuff, but there isn't a real community there."'

Cook's Illustrated does not run articles with quotes like "well, I was never too involved in the kitchen scene". Nor would Car and Driver muse about gays in driving, and then interview a bunch of gay motorcyclists as an example. This sort of lazy journalism only serves to water down disparate non-metal genres into a morass of generic "metal", while constantly denigrating the real stuff. irix 's "False Metal" link has it -- magazines like Decibel exist solely to convince people to buy corporate-sponsored crap dressed up as metal. Meanwhile, independent labels die for lack of funds, and the same hipsters who swallow this mass-produced "metal" turn around and sneer over their ironic moustaches at the old masters like Saxon and Priest. Fuck that.
posted by vorfeed at 3:43 PM on August 16, 2006


The article makes no mention of queercore pioneers Pansy Brigade. Or the whole 70s gender-bending of Bowie and Lou Reed and the NY Dolls and all. Or Twisted Sister. Hello? Twisted Sister?

[derail]I have a hard time taking metal seriously, and an even harder time taking seriously the people who are serious about metal. It's like Dungeons & Dragons -- it's fun, and there's something to it that makes it interesting, but the average devotee takes it waaaaay too seriously.[/derail]

shock the middle class
take it up your punk rock ass
(Screeching Weasel, "I Wanna Be A Homosexual")

posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:54 PM on August 16, 2006


This calls for a link to the metal band with the world's best name, which also happens to be the world's best gay southern metal band: Confederate Fagg. (Sorry, best link I could find)
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:57 PM on August 16, 2006


I was always told that KoRn's song "Faget" was anti-homophobia. But I've never actually listened to the lyrics.

"Yeah. A million years ago, when I was actively involved in "punk rock", there was just starting to be the discussion of "what's hardcore punk and what's hardcore metal". To this day I get confused when someone uses the term "hardcore" by itself to refer to a full on metal band when I'm thinking like Token Entry or something."

When people say hardcore, I always go "Hardcore what?" It's like using extreme as an adjective. Extremely what? [insert "stupid" "pose(u)riffic" "ghey" etc jokes here]
posted by Eideteker at 4:40 PM on August 16, 2006


Heheh, insert.
posted by Eideteker at 4:40 PM on August 16, 2006


jonmc writes "Well, there's more crossover between the two genres fans than you'd imagine. "

Well, then, the article should have been called "Gays in bands liked by metal fans". There's also a lot of crossover between people who like to build their own furniture and people who like ice cream, but you wouldn't therefore go write an article about "Ice cream at Home Depot".

Eideteker writes "When people say hardcore, I always go 'Hardcore what?'"

To annoy them, I just assume they're talking about Gabber.
posted by Bugbread at 7:22 PM on August 16, 2006


"This calls for a link to the metal band with the world's best name, which also happens to be the world's bestonly gay southern metal band"
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:56 PM on August 16, 2006


MetaFilter: maybe I just live in a blue fantasyland.
posted by cgc373 at 1:32 AM on August 17, 2006


Holy cow... I don't even like metal very much, but that "false metal" essay irix linked is outstanding in its bitter dissection of the biz part of the music biz. It reminds me of similar rants by Steve Albini and Thomas Frank. Thanks.
posted by whir at 2:19 AM on August 17, 2006


"LotFP has an excellent article entitled 'False Metal', which has a section about Decibel Magazine and this declarative statement: "Decibel desperately desires to be a Pitchforkian tastemaker shaping how metal is defined..."."

The False Metal article is essentially a thesis by an internet crank. See here for a fisking.
posted by klangklangston at 6:45 AM on August 17, 2006


Or the whole 70s gender-bending of Bowie and Lou Reed and the NY Dolls and all. Or Twisted Sister. Hello? Twisted Sister?

Well, putting aside Bowie and Reed who are kind of genres unto themselves, the Dolls and Sister basically realized an old adage: chicks dig dudes who genderbend a bit. Johnny Thunders was a notorious ladykiller.

An interesting case would be proto-punk/proto-metal Mott The Hoople: a all-straight glam band who had their biggest hit with an explicitly gay anthem(and imho, one of the greatest rock songs ever) given to them by Bowie.
posted by jonmc at 6:49 AM on August 17, 2006


The article makes no mention of queercore pioneers Pansy Brigade.

Do you mean Pansy Division?
posted by kittyprecious at 7:08 AM on August 17, 2006


Do you mean Pansy Division?

I stand corrected. Me typee faster than what me thinkee.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:25 PM on August 17, 2006


Hardcore to me always meant hardcore rap. Just sayin'.
posted by Eideteker at 7:38 AM on August 19, 2006


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