The queer view on Black Sabbath, and bad Grindr hook-ups, on the latest Hell Bent For Metal

The queer view on Black Sabbath, and bad Grindr hook-ups, on the latest Hell Bent For Metal

- By Tom Dare

The LGBT+ heavy metal podcast hears from the man behind a project mixing queer music, heavy music, and unambiguous lyrics about the life of a gay man, and a joke on a sports podcast helps the hosts change their interpretation on a Black Sabbath classic – from one sad queer interpretation, to a much more positive one.

Hell Bent For Metal talks to Chris Gregory from Belted Sweater, a proudly gay and stylistically unusual project with highly overt lyrics. Chris chats to Matt about his album 'I'm Fucking Delightful', and talk about why it was so important for the lyrics to be quite so blunt, and very gay.

They also dig into why the project's unique style had to be what it is, Chris' experiences of being out in heavy music, and his concerns (or lack thereof) of how audiences might take such proud lyrics once live shows are possible for him.

They touch on how important it was for Chris to be able to talk openly about his own romantic experiences, having grown up hearing so many straight artists sing about their experiences, but never hearing out queer people sing about theirs.

Chris and Matt talk about the ambivalent (at best) feelings queer men have about hook-up apps, and their experiences on there. They also dig into the importance of honesty in sexual behaviour, anti-contraception zealotry, and why one-off hook-ups can be a positive experience if you're coming out of a bad relationship – and why Chris sings about all of these things.

Tom and Matt discuss two very different queer interpretations of Black Sabbath's classic "Die Young", one highly positive, and the other absolutely not. They dig into both ways they read into Ronnie James Dio's lyrics, and explain in depth why each one has specific relevance to LGBT+ experiences.

They also explain why Tom owes his being able to see the positive spin to the Blood & Mud rugby union podcast making a joke that ties this song to a Welsh former rugby player (now a coach) who always looks in need of cheering up. But Tom also explains how this has helped him find enjoyment in a song he used to struggle to like – not because of the music, but because of the meaning he took from the lyrics when he was a closeted gay man.

There's also some news about Violet Cold, the actively LGBT+-supporting one-man metal project from Azerbaijan who Matt's trying to singlehandedly bankroll. Not content with releasing a Pride-supporting album, Violet Cold is doing something else completely amazing for the LGBT+ community in metal.

Matt and Tom also bring you two terrific and very different audience responses to their discussion of Pride from last week's show. One is from a listener who feels very similarly to the hosts (or possibly even more strongly), and the other is from someone who used to feel similarly to us but now feels very differently. This sparks some brief discussion about how your own perspective and experience, as well as what you want from Pride, can significantly effect how you feel about it.

Plus there's the usual additions to the Hate Crew Gaybar jukebox, with 'Flyblown Prince' by and '…And Again Into The Light' by Panopticon being the hosts' selections for what they're in love with this week. And after a lot of agreeing in recent weeks, they finally have a good old bicker.

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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