Michael Stancel from Allegaeon talks to the LGBTQ+ heavy metal podcast about how things have got better for gay metal musicians. Also Judas Priest’s “Hell Bent For Leather” might be a bit gay actually, and releases from Heriot and Marrasmieli go into HCGBs’ jukebox.
Michael talks to Tom about his overwhelmingly positive experience of being an out gay man in metal, being accepted by pretty much everyone he’s encountered from his bandmates, crew, fans and other people in the metal scene. He also reminisces on the funny story of how he originally came out to his bandmates during a game of ‘Gay Chicken’.
Michael also speaks about how he’s recently been posting and talking more about his sexuality than before, so that queer metal fans can have someone relatable to see. He also speaks about how it was for him growing up gay being into metal, how his friends at the time were more gatekeeping of the scene and how he felt that coming out to that group at the time could have been a completely different story to the welcoming response he got when he eventually did come out years later.
Michael discussed his early fears of getting kicked out of a band for his sexuality or not being able to play shows, but how now he feels that that would never be a problem. He and Tom finish on another uplifting note, talking about how most of the places that Allegaeon play on tour these days are LGBT-friendly, with pride flags and safe space stickers in abundance, and how this would have been unthinkable just a decade ago.
This week’s Camp Classic sees Judas Priest‘s ‘Hell Bent for Leather’, from which the podcast took its name, finally discussed. And who’d have thought, Tom and Matt come armed with a variety of reasons why this song might just be a tiny bit queer. There’s talk on the gay fascination with the leather/biker/cruising look which Rob Halford was very fond of, and how that ironically went on to inspire the aesthetic of a lot of black metal musician’s who were in fact horrifically homophobic.
There’s plenty more to the song too though, as the guys discuss how Rob at the time was hiding in plain sight for just us queers to see, and what was going through his mind when he was recording the song. The discussion finishes by delving into the allure of someone whose sexuality you’re trying to work out by looking for cues, and an interesting theory is offered on why it sometimes seems that gay men’s gaydars is much better than that of bi men.
This week’s Hate Crew Gay Bar sees two mutually-picked additions in the form of UK disgusting hardcore-ish quartet Heriot with their debut EP Profound Morality, and the sophomore LP from Finnish folk/black-metallers Marrasmieli, Martaiden Mailta.