Is Metal Gatekept? Architects’ Sam Carter Says Yes – Here’s Why
In a new interview, Architects singer Sam Carter says that not only is metal music gatekept, but the gatekeepers are homophobic. Carter shares that this kind of behavior kept him from expressing himself for "years."
Carter answered reader questions in a LouderSound piece recently, and one of the questions surrounded a popular quote from Willow Smith about gatekeeping in the metal community. Smith said in the fall of last year that metal is mostly the domain of "old, white men," because those are the people who are gatekeeping it ("gatekeeping – the act of keeping others away from something you like.") The reader wanted to know if Carter agreed with Willow.
Carter responds, “Yes. For years I wanted to wear a little bit of make-up, express myself and put on a show. But I didn’t do it for ages because I was like, ‘People are gonna take the piss out of me and I don’t want that.’ And then they did. Not only were people horrible, they were using homophobic slurs as an insult. I felt like this scene when I was growing up and when I was in school was such an inclusive scene for the outcasts. How did it become this world where it’s like, ‘You can’t do that if you’re a woman… You can’t do that if you’re gay’. Like, what the fuck? There’s a lot of gatekeeping around artistic freedom.”
Carter, BTW, is not gay. (As a matter of fact, he and his fiancée, Abby, recently wrote a children's book together.) But he's been quite vocal about how "annoying" stereotypes surrounding homosexuality in the metal community have affected him. He told Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzales that "fans" seemed to be upset with him for wearing eyeliner in the video for the song "Deep Fake."
"I think these people are gonna be so annoyed when they start hearing about like Darkthrone and Mayhem and these black metal bands that have been wearing makeup for years, they're gonna be so annoyed about that. Or if they look at Ozzy Osbourne or any photos of him, they're gonna be really disappointed," Carter told Gonzales.
"Yeah, people are outraged by it, and I find it so funny. I just think it's such a silly thing to be annoyed by and it really, really does bring out the worst in people. After being in a band for nearly 16 years, people change and people want to try out new stuff and a lot of the bands and things like that — the music that I listened to — is different to when I was a kid."
"I'm really enjoying being able to wear different things and try out things that maybe I've wanted to wear for a while and was too nervous. And trying things like wearing makeup and a bit of eyeliner is really not the end of the world. I think if you look at most metal bands they do it. Yeah, I was surprised that people were so annoyed. But I think if you're not annoying people, you're not doing anything, right? You've got to wind people up."
Not everyone is as closed minded as these gatekeepers, fully diving into the band's music. In a mind boggling story, one Architects fan listened to a song of theirs over 32,000 times in 2022, just to confound their Spotify Wrapped playlist. And streaming service Pandora recently named Architects as a band expected to break big in 2023.