There’s a NSFW image after the jump. You’ve been warned.

Angela Gossow in the 2006 edition of Revolver’s “Hottest Chicks in Metal”

I love masturbating as much as the next guy who spends most of his day at the computer, but there’s no getting around the fact that Revolver’s annual “Hottest Chicks in Metal” issue – and now, apparently, accompanying calendar – is completely ridiculous. It has nothing to do with music, and there’s no equivalent issue for “Hottest Dudes in Metal,” because, well, metal is mostly a sausage fest and I imagine that a “Hottest Dudes” issue wouldn’t sell very well.

Now Arch Enemy’s Angela Gossow – who has been featured in past “Hottest Chicks” issues – has spoken out against the concept… as if you needed another reason to love her. From a recent interview with KNAC:

KNAC.COM: A couple of years ago I was flipping through a metal magazine and there was a fold-out poster of you and Cristina [Scabbia] from Lacuna Coil representing their Hottest Chicks in Metal feature. To be considered as one of the hottest chicks in metal wasn’t a career goal of yours, right?

GOSSOW: It’s funny that you mentioned that, because I just had a huge clash with the editor of Revolver [Because the timeline of this conversation is unclear, we’re not sure if she means recently departed editor-in-chief Tom Beaujor or current editor-in-chief Brandon Geist. – Ed.] . He’s put me into the 2010 Hottest Chicks in Metal calendar with that picture in of 2004, so they keep kind of recycling that one. And, I’ve explained several times I don’t want to be featured in that—in that corner. If they want a picture of the band and it’s about the music, all cool. No problem. But if it’s about me being a woman… I don’t like the Hottest Chicks in Metal movement at all. I think it’s very counterproductive and kind of retro, you know? Going back in time and he said, “Of course. If you don’t want to be featured then I will make sure you won’t be featured in any of the other publications we have.” So I burned that bridge by saying, “I don’t want to be part of it. I’m not cool with it. You should have asked me.” So that’s what I got for it, and I don’t give a fuck. That’s so bad, Revolver magazine. It’s just all about highlighting the crap that’s going on backstage, highlighting a pair of tits, and all the crazy stories on tour. And then you look for the actual bits on music and you can’t even find them anymore. I don’t even know what kind of music these bands are playing that they are featuring, because it doesn’t come through in the articles, at all. We haven’t even had a feature in this magazine for the last three years, so I can very well live without the whole… I hate the Hottest Chicks in Metal! It’s an embarrassment for women, I think (laughs). It’s an embarrassment for female musicians, who actually are musicians. I don’t think we’re ever going to be popping up in Revolver magazine again, after my little e-mail conversation with the editor (laughs).

KNAC.COM: Maybe someday they’ll do a music-related piece on Arch Enemy!

GOSSOW: Yeah, that would be lovely! That would be a real turn of events.

It’s hard to disagree with anything Gossow is saying. Willfully agreeing to participate in stuff like this just gives assholes like me ammunition; if Marta from Bleeding Through had never done it, it would be much harder for me to ignore BT’s music and concentrate on her hotness, and I’m still not convinced that anyone would care about In This Moment if not for Maria Brink’s exploitation of some of her most obvious non-musical assets. When Cristina Scabbia poses for photos like these, she only makes it easier for naysayers to argue that Lacuna Coil wouldn’t be big if she weren’t so beautiful, and it would be a lot easier to take her seriously when she gets offended because I said I’d like to see her naked. And remember when then-Winds of Plague keyboardist Kristen Randall was so upset because sites like this one were circulating a picture of her boobs? Half of my argument against her protests was based in the fact that when you pose nude with a snake for a Revolver “Hottest Chicks” layout, you’re clearly trying to use your sexuality, and not your talent, to sell your music, and you forfeit the right to get pissy because fanboys want to see your breasts.

Vince and I actually had a debate about this once (which I believe Metal Injection captured on camera, although I don’t know when/if that footage will ever see the light of day): he argued that it was just another instance of men exploiting women, since these musicians might never be as well-known if they didn’t participate in these photo shoots, and while he’s right to an extent, at the end of the day, no one is holding a gun to these women’s heads and telling them they must pose for sexually suggestive pictures. I’ve never seen Kat from Salome or Amber Valentine from Jucifer or either of the women in Ludicra do photos like these (and if you say “Those women aren’t hot and no one would want to see them naked,” kill yourself, ’cause you a prick); if anyone wants to make an argument against their music, they have to concentrate on the music. And if any of those women ever felt they were being objectified, they’d actually have an argument that holds water.

And if Gossow is telling the truth and Revolver is denying Arch Enemy coverage because she doesn’t wanna do shit like this anymore, well, that obviously just makes the entire thing even worse, because it’s basically sexual harassment. It’s telling women “No, you must pose for these photos or you can’t be successful, because no one cares about female musicians for any reason other than their tits.” Now, Gossow is obviously at a point in her career where she can maintain her fanbase even without Revolver’s help, but what about women in younger up and coming bands, or more “indie” bands, like Salome or Ludicra? Obviously there’s nothing wrong with being a beautiful woman – unless Cristina Scabbia pours acid all over her face, there’s not much she can do to help but being gorgeous – but is it necessary to exploit that beauty to be taken seriously as a woman in the metal world?

I’ve been rambling for awhile now and I think I’ve made my point. So I’d like to end this blog by posting, in the interest of fairness (and for the second time), a photo of Lars’ little Ulrich. If there were a “Hottest Dudes in Metal” issue of Revolver, I don’t think he’d make the cut.


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