Meet the metalhead comedian who's act is too gay for upstate New York, on the latest Hell Bent For Metal

Meet the metalhead comedian who's act is too gay for upstate New York, on the latest Hell Bent For Metal

- By Tom Dare

On the new episode of the LGBT+ heavy metal podcast, Abi Vasquez, the singer in UKBM band Underdark, and Peter Angelo, metalhead comedian, give very different perspectives on being out as LGBT+ in metal, plus Dödsrit provide the unanimous entry to the HCGB jukebox.

On the latest episode of the podcast, Tom talks to Abi, who tells Hell Bent For Metal about her experience of being out as trans in extreme metal. The talk covers how different areas of the scene deal with it differently – specifically how grind and black metal are contrast. She also offers hope for the way metal is headed for the LGBT+ community, speaking about how she feels metal may have turned a corner.

The conversation also covers how there's a new wave of bands coming out of Britain with a very different view of the world to some previous black metal movements, and how this affects how they express themselves through their music. Underdark are one of many such bands, so Abi is in a perfect place to discuss this.

There's an insightful observation about how and why the different scenes within black metal have each had their own ethos, and why the UK is heading the way it is. This feeds back further into how and why things are improving for the LGBT+ community within metal, as those bands are setting their own rules for their scene, and they are often rules of inclusion.

Meanwhile Matt chats to Peter Angelo, metalhead, amateur strongman, and comedian, whose observations about why metal rules will ring true to many – and are also very funny. Because no one sees the funny side of metal more than people who live for it.

Pete and Matt talk about Pete's experiences of being out in the metal scene of New England, how it's quite different to being out in comedy, and different again to the strongman contests he participates in, with his boyfriend in attendance. He's also got some stories from his time in comedy, including how he works his love of metal and his sexuality into his act. This includes an explanation of how he once went down brilliantly with a biker gang, but another time got banned from upstate New York because a promoter thought his act was "too gay".

Pete also speaks about how people are frequently surprised about the various strands of his life, thinking they are contradictory, and he explains just why they simply aren't. This leads into a discussion about how metal's evolution as a place for LGBT+ people is improving, but still needs further progress. Pete says what he feels needs to happen for it to be a place the queer community feels more comfortable and able to be themselves. They also compare the situation in metal to another big strand of Pete's life – sports, both watching and participating in – and how there are some strong comparisons between the NFL and Premier League football/soccer.

Plus the Hate Crew Gaybar jukebox has just one addition this week, with both hosts uniting behind 'Mortal Coil', the third album from Swedish atmospheric black metal/crusty punk band Dödsrit. It's a combination of styles that sounds unlikely, but both hosts agree they pull off superbly.

Listen to Hell Bent For Metal on Spotify here, listen on iTunes here, or choose one of the other ways to listen here.

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