Cynic - a name in heavy metal that represents a master class in extreme tech prog metal. They were way ahead of their time when they released Focus - which you should immediately listen to, unless you hate music. Founding members of this band, Sean Reinert - drummer extraordinaire and Paul Masvidal - guitar virtuoso madman. They influenced everybody who came after them and sought the title of prog metal musicians.
News broke a couple of days ago, that both Sean and Paul are gay and they have publicly come out as such and that their close one's had known for a long long time. And surely enough, long time fans welcomed this news and embraced it. Of course, what Masvidal and Reinert do on their own time is their business. From what I have read and seen, they are both classy people and of course, brilliant musicians.
The reason they came out so late (their first album, Focus, was released on 1993) was because they feared that they would not be accepted in the metal circles and would lose their fan following. And some of that might ring true, since they were touring with bands like the legendary Cannibal Corpse. Ultra macho, uber masculine death metal. And this made me think.
For starters, The Metal God, is gay. And us in the metal music community flocked to this music because we felt like outsiders. We could not really fit in, or we could not get into any other music. We fell to the charms of darkness and the Devil and the other worldly. We expected that our near and dear ones would try to understand us through this medium and see our love for this music as a positive. And us metalheads, who would like to think of ourselves as open minded and liberal, turn out to be such bigots that the stars of our world are afraid of being who they are in front of us? Does that not smack of hypocrisy?
It makes me sad, that us, the outsiders, the freaks - are just as bigoted as the "commoners" - those normal people. The music counts. That is it. I think, in this sense, pop music has done more to promote social justice and equality than metal. I hope we are better than that. I hope we prove that we are better than that.
To Sean Reinert and Paul Masvidal - we love your music and love you too. You've made us proud. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you live soon.