Hell Bent For Metal are joined this week for an In My Kingdom Queer by possibly the gayest covers band in the world, GayC/DC, the AC/DC tribute act you do not want to go watch with your dad.
Matt sits down with Chris Freeman, Steve McKnight and Brian Welch from the band to talk about their experiences of being out gay men in metal. The guys touch on how much acceptance towards queer folk in rock and metal circles has changed for the better in the past few decades, and recall times where they had been welcomes and made to feel safe by people in the scene, and how they revel in changing people's perceptions by putting on a hell of a show.
The band also tell anecdotes of what it was like to be gay in the days where glam metal ruled, where for all its campy aesthetic and obsession with wearing women's clothing, it was anything but kind towards anyone who identified as anything other than hetero. They tell of friends of theirs losing their jobs for their sexuality, and the horrific realities that forced so many musicians at that time to stay closeted.
There's also a lot of chat about GayC/DC's own aesthetic, where the idea for that came and why they wanted to subvert most things about AC/DC whilst still paying homage to their favourite band. This expands into discussing why their band exists for other queer folk as much as themselves, and how they would have loved to have seen a band like theirs when they were growing up and struggling with their sexualities.
This week's Camp Classic is 'UruR' by Norwegian dark ambient neofolk troupe Wardruna. This ten minute opus features only three lines of lyrics, which happen to be in Old Norse and translate to tales of the runes of the Elder Futhark, so what could possibly be speaking to Tom's queer side here? Matt has no idea either, but as soon as an explanation is given, can instantly relate.
There's discourse on how the track conjures feelings and memories of pretty much the entire experience of coming to terms with yourself and finding your place as a queer, something that most of the LGTBQ+ community will be able to relate to at least parts of. What is really impressive is how a song that's 90% instrumental can be so vivid in the emotions it inspires, which leads into chat about the power of music on a more general level.
The conversation finishes up on how some bands can tell a very specific story through their lyrics, whereas with others who are either instrumental or sing in their native tongue, it can be interesting to take your own meanings from, just inspired by how it makes you feel, even if you don't have any true knowledge of what a song is about.
After all that insight and storytelling, it's time for a drink and this week's Hate Crew Gay Bar picks are Fishing for an Apparition, the second full-length album by the completely absurd Canadian progressive-folk-metal (sort of) band Iomair, and In One of These, I Am Your Enemy by 'postcore' Dutch black-metallers Terzij de Horde.