but where are my John Kevill underwear shots?

So, don’t you hate when you start listening to a band (namely Landmine Marathon) and then discover they’ve participated in something like the Revolver Magazine “Hottest Chicks In Metal” issue? When I first saw that shit I was hoping they would stop at one of them, but no, like a particularly obnoxious revenant it keeps popping back up to irritate the living daylights out of me. And not only that, but there’s a calendar. And a few years ago there was a tour. A TOUR, for crying out loud. What in the wide wide world of sports is a-goin’ on here?

So, before anyone starts with the “derp, you just are a hater because you are less attractive than these ladies”: dude, I know I ain’t hot shit, and I don’t hate the ladies, really. I fully acknowledge that if someone were to plop me down next to Doris Yeh or Grace Perry I would look like a fucking troll. I also don’t begrudge anyone the right to cultivate a glamorous, femme-y stage persona. It’s not how I roll personally, but since dude metal musicians have cultivated a variety of stage personas, from the flamboyant (Judas Priest) to the low-key (Wolves in the Throne Room) I don’t see why lady metal musicians can’t do the same thing.

But the thing is, this shit forms part of a larger pattern of female musicians being treated like novelties, not being taken seriously, and being evaluated based on factors other than their musical ability. How many times have I heard that “chick bands” can’t play? How many times have I heard someone dismiss a lady singer based on the fact that they don’t want to fuck her? How many times have I seen “female-fronted/female members” in flyers and band descriptions, like it’s a term that actually means something? Too many. And how many times have I seen anyone say any of this shit about bands with dudes? None. Has Revolver ever done a “Hottest Dudes in Metal” issue/calendar? Yeah, I didn’t think so, because when they evaluate dude bands it’s generally on the basis of, y’know, what they play. (Not that I think their taste is impeccable in that respect, either, given how many fucking abysmal metalcore bands they slobber over, but at least they’re not talking about how boneable the dunces in Whitechapel are.)

I’m not going to hector anyone for finding these women to be hot. I mean, I drooled quite a bit over Doris Yeh myself when I saw Cthonic opening for Nile. HOWEVER: I think what this kind of crap implies is that hotness of (female) members is somehow a really important factor for a band, rather than just a happy coincidence. If you want to pay tribute to awesome metal ladies, why not just do an issue about the Most Awesome Women in Metal? I mean, they’re fucking MUSICIANS, aren’t they? It’s not a profession where one’s appearance should particularly matter. Especially in the world of metal, for crying out loud. For example: I would rather sit on a running belt sander than bone any of the members of Slayer, but they’re still my favorite band of all time.

Or hey, if you’re gonna do this shit at least do it in a more equitable fashion. As I mention in the title, I eagerly await pictures of John Kevill lounging about in his underpants, or perhaps holding a vintage Kreator record over his junk and winking. (He sings in Warbringer, an awesome ’80s-throwback thrash band. He also writes a totally awesome/dorky column on old thrash bands for some big metal magazine [Metal Maniacs, I think]. I met him a couple times and both times he was a total sweetheart. Also, really cute!)

I was very pleased with Angela Gossow’s response to all this nonsense. I think her albums with Arch Enemy have been hit or miss (loved Wages of Sin and Rise of the Tyrant, was severely bored with Anthems of Rebellion and Doomsday Machine) but damned if I don’t absolutely love the woman as a public figure. Every interview I’ve read, she comes across as just an old-school metal geek who loves what she does and loves inspiring other ladies to be in bands. So rad! Anyway, she puts the fuckers right in their place:

KNAC.COM: A couple of years ago I was flipping through a metal magazine and there was a fold-out poster of you and Cristina [Scabbia] from Lacuna Coil representing their Hottest Chicks in Metal feature. To be considered as one of the hottest chicks in metal wasn’t a career goal of yours, right?

GOSSOW: It’s funny that you mentioned that, because I just had a huge clash with the editor of Revolver [Because the timeline of this conversation is unclear, we’re not sure if she means recently departed editor-in-chief Tom Beaujor or current editor-in-chief Brandon Geist. – Ed.] . He’s put me into the 2010 Hottest Chicks in Metal calendar with that picture in of 2004, so they keep kind of recycling that one. And, I’ve explained several times I don’t want to be featured in that—in that corner. If they want a picture of the band and it’s about the music, all cool. No problem. But if it’s about me being a woman… I don’t like the Hottest Chicks in Metal movement at all. I think it’s very counterproductive and kind of retro, you know? Going back in time and he said, “Of course. If you don’t want to be featured then I will make sure you won’t be featured in any of the other publications we have.” So I burned that bridge by saying, “I don’t want to be part of it. I’m not cool with it. You should have asked me.” So that’s what I got for it, and I don’t give a fuck. That’s so bad, Revolver magazine. It’s just all about highlighting the crap that’s going on backstage, highlighting a pair of tits, and all the crazy stories on tour. And then you look for the actual bits on music and you can’t even find them anymore. I don’t even know what kind of music these bands are playing that they are featuring, because it doesn’t come through in the articles, at all. We haven’t even had a feature in this magazine for the last three years, so I can very well live without the whole… I hate the Hottest Chicks in Metal! It’s an embarrassment for women, I think (laughs). It’s an embarrassment for female musicians, who actually are musicians. I don’t think we’re ever going to be popping up in Revolver magazine again, after my little e-mail conversation with the editor (laughs).

SWOON! God, if I didn’t think he was so awesome for being in Carcass I would fight Michael Amott to the death for her romantic attentions.

~ by Smellen on July 24, 2010.

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