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Cynic’s Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert Discuss What it’s Like to Be Gay and in Metal

  • Axl Rosenberg

reinert and masvidal

I don’t think it was a secret that Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert are gay. I mean, Masvidal has talked about his sexuality openly on Facebook. But the legendary duo — former members of Death and the collective brain trust behind Cynic — have never discussed their sexual preferences as openly as they do in this new piece from The L.A. Times. It’s an emotional read, and for those who assert that claims of homophobia in metal have been exaggerated, it should be a real eye-opener. Here’s an excerpt:

On Cynic’s first big national tour in the early ’90s, opening for the superstar death metal band Cannibal Corpse, the pair sometimes worried they’d get thrown offstage — or worse. Even if they weren’t publicly out, they still challenged audiences with an anti-macho stage presence.

“That tour was really traumatic for us,” Masvidal said, recalling anti-gay epithets being yelled at them. “We were wearing Indian garb and we had a girl keyboardist, and we were playing to this Paleolithic crowd throwing bottles and yelling ‘Get off the stage…’ It was our first big tour and all we could think was, ‘We don’t belong here.’”

The article goes on to say that even though this is “a much different era of metal,” Masvidal and Reinert still “can’t quite shake doubts that their careers in metal are still at risk,” and talk about their sexuality could overshadow their music. So why have they made the decision to be openly gay? Says Cynic bassist Sean Malone:

“What I’m proud of is that Paul and Sean know that this isn’t really about them — it’s about the kid out there who is struggling and suffering in silence, and that for him or her, this conversation might be a source of encouragement.”

So, just when you thought you couldn’t admire these guys any more than you already did, they go ahead and score a huge touchdown for progressive thinking in our too-often close-minded scene. Bravo, fellas. You can, and should, read the entire article here.

Speaking of not letting Masvidal and Reinert’s sexuality overshadow their work: The PRP reports that Cynic have now released an official stream of their song “Earth is My Witness,” which was previously available only as a bonus track on deluxe editions of their most recent album, Kindly Bent to Free Us. It’s a beautiful song, not just some throwaway that should have stayed on the proverbial editing room floor. So, for many if not most of us, this is like getting an incredible new Cynic song. High fives all around!

Kindly Bent to Free Us is out now on Season of Mist. Cynic will appear at the Heavy Montreal festival, which will take place at Parc Jean-Drapeau on August 9 and 10; other bands scheduled to appear include Lamb of God, Hatebreed, Whitechapel, Protest the Hero, and every Big Four band that isn’t Megadeth. 

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