Metal Musicians Paul Masvidal & Sean Reinert Of Cynic Come Out As Gay
Last Friday at 3 a.m. the Los Angles Times dropped a story that had a resounding impact on the metal community: Cynic’s Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert have come out as gay.
The long-running progressive metal act, which received widespread acclaim for its 1993 debut, Focus, broke up in 1994 but returned to action in 2006. Since then, the band has released two EPs and two full-length albums. Their most recent is Kindly Bent To Free Us, which was released in February.
“I see all those old dudes out there just banging their heads to our records, and I have to think — ‘That stuff you’re banging your head to? That is some gay, gay metal, man,’” Reinert told the L.A. Times.
The Times also reported that Masvidal came out to family and friends in ’91 and soon started checking out drag bars and gay nightclubs on tour. Reinert told the Times that it took longer for him to come out because he didn’t have any masculine, gay, metal role-models to looks up to.
The first renowned openly gay metalhead was Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and that wasn’t until ’98.
“I think it’s true, when you become successful in the music world, you probably go more in the closet,” Halford said in his 1998 coming-out interview with the Advocate. “You get under the rug in the closet because of the phobia that still exists in rock music. You could lose a record deal, a fan base. It’s really difficult for any musician to come out.”
Reinert explained to the Times that this era for metal is different, however.
“There’s much more bandwidth now. Fans are so much more open and experimental,” Reinert, who lives with his long-time boyfriend, said in his interview with the Times.
His sentiment seems to ring true in light of reaction to the public announcement. While it was met with some criticism, for instance from prominent metal luthier Vik Kuletski, who posted a jabbing Facebook status that railed on Masvidal’s headless guitars and sexuality, Kuletski’s proclamation was largely met with disgust from the metal community, and even led to several artists withdrawing contracts and publicly denouncing his opinions. Scar Symmetry guitarist Per Nilsson, Periphery’s Adam “Nolly” Getgood and Misha Mansoor, and Intervals’ Aaron Marshall and Keith Marrow all publicly condemned Kuletski’s homophobic remarks.
“There’s definitely going to be a reaction, but it’s important that we be truthful,” Masvidal told the Times.
Masvidal, Reinert and Halford aren’t the genre’s first openly gay icons, however. Roddy Bottum, the keyboardist for Faith No More, came out in ’93, and Halford in a ’98 interview with MTV. Gaahl, the former frontman for Gorgoroth, came out in Rock Hard’s Nov. 2008 issue, only about a year after serving nine months in prison for torturing a man for six hours and threatening to make him drink his own blood.
“My idea of art, and black metal especially, is the depiction of honesty without compromise. I really don’t care how other people react to it or the feelings it might provoke,” Gaahl said in his interview with Rock Hard.
“Gay people are everywhere, doing every job, playing every kind of music, and we always have been,” Reinert told the Times. “It’s taken me years to finally be brave enough to say, ‘If you have a problem with that, then throw out our records. That’s your problem, not mine.’”
The largest paper in the city, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, honored one stand out citizen from RVA for the second year in a row today, and while mayor elect Levar Stoney took the big prize, Diversity Richmond’s President Bill Harrison was among those nominated. “I’m quite humbled I am one of the most blessed people I [...]December 8, 2016
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