- 8 months ago
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Jason Rivera of the Metal Band Gaytheist Interviewed by Christian Nightmares
Of course it was the name Gaytheist that first grabbed my attention—I’m not sure if I’ve ever come across a metal band (or any band, for that matter) with a name as clever, hilarious, and succinct. Then I browsed their album titles: Pentagrams Are Super!, Rainbows Have Nothing To Hide, and MANhattan, to name a few. But I was happy to find that even more captivating is the band’s music: Crushing and melodic metal that blends in power punk and pop laced with catchy riffs, hooks galore, high-pitched vocals, and lyrics that range from extremely sarcastic to incredibly sincere. I tracked down lead singer/guitarist Jason Rivera to find out more about the name and the band behind it.
How did you arrive at the name Gaytheist? Is it meant to be provocative?
We were brainstorming a band name with friends and I blurted out Gaytheist. It was universally agreed upon. It was just meant to sound cool and we love it. I’m always courting that fine line between clever and utterly stupid, but I consider this name on the clever side of things.
Are you all gay atheists? And do you come from religious backgrounds?
Tim and Nick have girlfriends. They believe in a form of Scientology that worships the film adaption of Battlefield Earth. Just kidding, they’re fellow atheists. I don’t think any of us have much of a religious background.
Do you consider yourselves to be a political band? Are issues such as same-sex marriage important to you? And if so, does that influence/play out in your music?
I consider politics to be a part of the music, but everything is on the table lyrically.
Same sex marriage is important to me, not that I’ll ever find the right guy to settle down with, but because two consenting people should be allowed to marry if they want, and should be protected when it comes time for things like hospital visitation rights and wills. I will never understand why some people want to have a say in complete strangers’ relationships.
Some of our songs are extremely political (“Spread Em”; “Into the Trap”) while others are just silliness (“Glory of Love, Part II”; “Poocano”). Band-wise we don’t have many political rules, other than “dont play with shitty bands full of assholes” (though sometimes you gotta play with a shitty asshole band to find out their assholes are indeed filled with hot nuggets of red neck douchebaggery).
If Gaytheist has a statement or message, what is it?
Listen to your heart, life is short and cruel.
What bands have influenced you the most? And what current bands do you consider to be your peers?
Biggest Band Influences: KARP, Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From The Crypt, The Minutemen, Slayer’s Reign in Blood, Crackerbash, Owen Pallett, Iron Maiden, Rush, Dead Kennedys, Man Man, Voivod, Neil Young.
Peers: (Don’t know if they would agree!) Rabbits, Monogamy Party, Drunk Dad… I feel like we are all after the same thing, and we know exactly what it isn’t.
Generally speaking, the metal scene can be über macho and sometimes homophobic. What’s the experience been like for Gaytheist?
Our homebase is Portland so it’s been a lot of “love you high fives.” The toughest, raddest bands in Portland are total sweethearts, like Red Fang, Lord Dying, Sons of Huns, Diesto, and Transient—some of the harshest, rocking noise comes from some very loving and beautiful people. Seattle has been nothing but hugs and kisses. We’ve played out as far east as Denver and as far south as Albuquerque and everyone we encountered was real supportive.
What’s on the horizon for the band?
More mini tours (October and February), maybe a new split record soon, a live album courtesy of the wonderful folks at Banana Stand, and more of the same—playing fun shows and writing lots of songs.
Last but not least: Do you have any Christian nightmares?
Yes. That we go to play someplace where homophobia is written into the law and get turned away, or worse, like Russia.
To listen to Gaytheist’s latest album, Hold Me… But Not So Tight, click here.
- 1 year ago