Nina Saeidi from UK progressive doom mystics Lowen talks to Hell Bent For Metal about intersectionality, and how their gender identity, sexuality, and ethnicity have affected their experience of heavy metal.
Nina gives the podcast some candid descriptions of the more negative experiences people have inflected on her because of one aspect of her identity or another, both within metal, and elsewhere. This includes some candid, upsetting descriptions of racism, and how metal has sometimes made them feel very unwelcome because of their ethnicity.
They also recall some instances where they were assaulted at metal shows, including a particularly distressing story from an Electric Wizard show, and another from their first time at a metal festival.
That said, there's also plenty of positivity, as Nina's quick to put this into context of how the negative experience represent their experience overall. There's also some examples of very welcoming behaviour, and some timely talk about how respect for people's correct pronouns is improving (ironic, given this chat was moved from last week's episode due to the events covered in that show).
And because it's Hell Bent For Metal, it was inevitable that Manowar come up. Because what else would they talk about?
Katie from mathcore destroyers Pupil Slicer also makes a welcome return. She last came on the show just before their album 'Mirrors' came out, so this time she talks to Tom, there's naturally a bit of talk about the hugely positive reaction to that. But the main subject of discussion is her band's new single, “Collective Unconscious”, and the accompanying video, both of which are relevant to the LGBT+ community.
The conversation takes in media biases and how they become ingrained into people, and how marginalised voices such as (but definitely not limited to) the LGBT+ community struggle to find an audience. It's an apt subject for Hell Bent For Metal, given that's partially why the podcast exists.
The conversation moves on to talk about how transphobia seems to have become something that unites people from across British politics in a way that seems less true in the US. This also takes in a particular group who seek to exclude trans people from the LGBT+ community, who both host and guest are very definitely not fans of.
There's also a discussion about the way minorities (including much of the LGBT+ community) can be used as punchlines by comedians, with a very prominent example being 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective', which uses a character being trans as a central joke of the film's main plot.
Plus there are two new entries for the Hate Crew Gaybar jukebox. The first is 'Existence Is Futile', the thirteenth album by British symphonic extreme institution Cradle Of Filth, which naturally provokes a discussion about Star Trek. Because obviously. And second up is the sophomore full-length from London stoner riff avalanche Green Lung, 'Black Harvest'.
And Tom and Matt manage to get a bit hot under the collar, as there's a brief chat about some huge, revealing news about power metal underwear. It's not a big part of the show, but they may contain big parts. Oh dear… – Ed>
(Also Tom manages to balls up a record number of links and intros. Even by his standards, this is a comedy of errors.)