Hell Bent For Metal exists to give queer voices in metal a platform. It's there to improve the visibility of the LGBT+ community in our world. It's here, when needed, to counter homophobia, biphobia and transphobia within the scene when it happens. And it's here to provide a queer view on metal – because while you might know the music we talk about, the perspective may be very different from this side of the rainbow! Plus every week, we'll talk about some killer new music we think rules.
The podcast was started by experienced music journalist Tom Dare in his living room via Discord. After three years of ideas and planning, the UK's second Covid lockdown finally gave him the push needed to get the podcast out into the ether in November 2020. After founding co-host Joe Naan decided podcasting wasn't actually for him, although a friend of the pod for life, he left, being succeeded in February by new co-host, Matt Rushton. Now, more than 30 regular shows in (plus one feature-length special), the show has gone from strength to strength – and partnered with Knotfest, is set to reach new heights.
The show will feature improved production values, bigger guests, and a greater reach, and both Knotfest and Hell Bent For Metal could not be more excited to finally announce our partnership. You'll also be able to listen to specials once every month (plus a bonus one in December) through Knotfest Premium. You'll be able to hear the first special episode later this month.
But you can listen to the first regular episode of our partnership right now, with episode #31 – We Don't Belong At Pride!
The celebrates Pride month… by explaining why we two metalheads don't feel welcome there, and why being metalheads is a big part of this. We also suggest what we could do to improve this – and accidentally commit to one of those steps.
We also take a look at the most famous song from Dimmu Borgir's classic 'Death Cult Armageddon', the anthemic "Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse", and why it speaks to us as queers, in this week's Camp Classic feature.
Plus 'All My Dreams Came True' by Wreche and 'Solace' by Neurotech are this week's addition to the Hate Crew Gaybar jukebox.
Regular segments for the podcast now include:
- Camp Classics: where we explain why a particular work of heavy metal spoke to us as queers. Recent examples include why Iron Maiden's "The Wicker Man" sounds to us like it's speaking to the closeted kid, and why "Winter" by Oceans Of Slumber reminds one of our hosts of the guy who broke his heart
- In My Kingdom Queer: a member of the LGBT+ community who makes metal happen comes on to talk about their experiences of being out in metal. Such as when Willow from Body Void explained why being on stage is a safe space for them, and Hal Sinden of Talanas told us about the music industry professional who told him "don't talk about that gay stuff"
- Piece Of Mind: a burning issue of the day where heavy metal and queer issues overlap gets dissected, such as the homophobic comments Man On Man (featuring Roddy Bottum of Faith No More) received online, or Emperor inviting Faust (convicted of the 1992 murder of a gay man) back for live events again
- Side By Side: celebrating a moment someone in heavy metal made their ally status clear in a meaningful way. Named after the Kreator song that was the first example
- #YesHomo: taking a look at a moment a band tried to look very metal, and ended up looking really, really gay. Manowar and Venom being prime examples
- Honour. Valor. Pride.: Celebrating a queer metaller's proud statements of their orientation or identity within metal. This has included a more positive look at the Man On Man project (starring Roddy and Joey from the band), and Rob Halford's increasingly vocal and overt presentation of his sexuality
- Hate Crew Gaybar: where we've set up a heavy metal gay bar, stocked the jukebox with all the classic albums, but need to keep adding to it to stop the staff getting sick of the old stuff. So every week, we each pick one current album we love to add in. (Although sometimes we might unite on one if it's really special.)