Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert have spoken about many things since they first cofounded the metal band Cynic in the early ‘90s, but the two men — half of the four-man group that's been influencing the genre for two decades — have remained silent about their sexuality until now.
In today's interview with the Los Angeles Times, the artists spoke candidly about their experience navigating music’s masculine metal scene. Though the two have been out in their personal lives for several years, they said they are now ready to challenge gay stereotypes by being out, proud, and as always, loud.
"I see all those old dudes out there just banging their heads to our records," drummer Reinert told the Times. "And I have to think — 'That stuff you're banging your head to? That is some gay, gay metal, man.'"
The two also spoke about the fear they felt during Cynic’s early days, as they were repeatedly heckled on stage for what audience members considered their anti-macho stage presence. "That [first] tour was really traumatic for us," lead singer Masvidal told the Times. "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.'"
But Masvidal said that the acceptance the band is receiving today when they perform live is a welcome change, explaining that "to finally hear thousands of people singing our lyrics back at us [is] really emotional."
With a new tour on the horizon, the two artists said they're happy to be coming out at a time when metal fans are “more open and experimental,” and the pair are optimistic about the future of Cynic.
"Gay people are everywhere, doing every job, playing every kind of music and we always have been," Reinert told the Times. "It's taken me years to finally be brave enough to say, 'If you have a problem with that, then throw out our records. That's your problem, not mine.'"