Corsets and Grindcore: The Dudes Get It Right, the Bitches Own It
Once again I found myself writing a Metal Monday column on a plane with a glass of whiskey. I'm headed to Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio, to see Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Five Finger Death Punch, and about 30 other acts (stay tuned for that review next week). Most importantly, I'm sitting next to a sexy bitch wearing an Iron Maiden T-shirt. She's got me thinking about topics I'm used to thinking about: women and heavy metal. And saying so just earned me a kiss on the cheek from this iron maiden.
Ladies In Metal Gallhammer
I've talked written about ladies in metal -- be they MILFs competing in local metal station KUPD's Mother's Day contest or the hottest women in metal, but this time I want to discuss the kind of metal ladies who kick ass. Literally.
Metal isn't the boy's club that it used to be. Though they aren't in the majority -- as fans, musicians, or drinkers -- there are a couple of women in metal who have a lot more than good looks going for them.
Take Arch Enemy for example. Angela Gossow is a superb singer and frontwoman. From a technical standpoint, she's an amazing screamer. Landmine Marathon's Grace Perry excels at guttural growls and demonic screeches. Emma Anzai from the Sick Puppies is a killer bassist. Vocalist Simone Simons from symphonic metal band Epica, or Helena Iron Michaelson from Trail of Tears. All the chicks from extreme Japanese metal band Gallhammer, in general. Damn. Asian women are hot. But Asian women in metal? Smokin'.
For a long time, women were seen in metal and hard rock only as sex symbols, mainly because they presented themselves in that exact manner. Groupies are a huge part of the genre's pastime, and, trust me, they are truly entertaining to watch backstage at shows. But from a musical standpoint, when it comes to the fairer sex, metal musicians don't have to be seen as sex symbols anymore. The focus on visual appearance is still there, but it fades fast when it comes to brutal metal talent. Women have been able to scream grinding vocals just as well, if not better, than many dudes in heavy metal for years. They are showing the passion and love for metal instead of showing that they are cute little girls.
But in the testosterone-driven world of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, it's difficult to get street cred no matter how vulgar you are as a chick. It took forever for record companies to recognize how money that concept is. And really, most chicks don't wanna be the chick in the band -- they just wanna be in a good band.