Brent Hinds, guitarist of 15-year-old prog-sludge legends Mastodon, has stated in a recent interview that he “hates metal”. Hinds, who is known worldwide for being one of the best lead guitarists in the genre, as well as a long-time screaming/growling vocalist, has let the whale out of the bag, addressed the whale in the room, and let slip the whales of war, so to speak.
Saying “I fucking hate heavy metal” and disregarding entirely that this is a genre to which he owes 100% of the livelihood of his adult life, the man with a face tattoo and a reputation for screaming about Moby Dick to scores of adoring fans has decided to let it out and say that he was never really interested in metal in the first place.
Hinds stated in an interview with Guitar Player:
“I never really liked heavy metal in the first place… I just went through a phase in my 20s where I thought it was rebellious to play heavy metal… ever since then, I’ve been trying to get Mastodon to not be such a heavy metal band, because I f**king hate heavy metal.”
The internationally touring musician, who has achieved the success and ability to make money off of his art that every musician desires based entirely on the strength of his ability to write and play heavy metal music, also the man whose band has been nominated for a Grammy and achieved widespread success without compromising on the integrity of their name as a metal group, something every group dreams of at some point or another, has let it be known that he cannot fucking stand the genre that has earned him such an incredible platform for his voice.
The 41-year-old man who not only has played metal for a decade and a half, but also has a series of metal concept albums upon which he yells about fire, death, and Rasputin (four albums that have reached incredible levels of fame), let it be known that he really just went through a rebellious phase in his 20s where he thought metal would be cool to play and then decided to stick with it for almost as long as I’ve been alive on this earth.
Real talk: I’m bitter about this. I figure that was obvious from the article, but it bears mentioning again. Mastodon, and Hinds by extension, has enormously inspired me as a musician and the first four Mastodon releases are among my favorite albums. To hear that one of the band’s four members was just never into the creative process is disheartening and upsetting, especially when he says it this bluntly and with this much disregard for fans. It’s a blow to those of us who love the band’s raw and incredibly heavy beginnings, and while it explains the stylistic shift over time, it does nothing to actually comfort those of us who have already had trouble dealing with it.
It says a lot about Hinds’s character as a person and as a musician to come out with this after 15 years, and while it’s no fault of his to pursue Mastodon as a form of livelihood, the way he stated this is, quite honestly, both insulting and crass to long-time fans of the band.
Later on in the interview, Hinds went on to say that he also hates doing interviews, so for all we know he was just being cranky and trolling all of us anyway. Either way looks like Guitar Player got exactly what they were looking for to generate a butt-ton of clicks.