In a new interview with Metal Hammer, Architects vocalist Sam Carter answered affirmatively when asked if gatekeeping and division among fans is a genuine concern in the rock and metal scenes, saying "There’s a lot of gatekeeping around artistic freedom." The question came on the heels of some reflection over Willow Smith's recent comments that metal was the province of "old, white men."
Asked if his experience was at all similar, "Yes," answered Carter resoundingly. "For years I wanted to wear a little bit of makeup, express myself and put on a show. But I didn’t do it for ages because I was like, ‘People are gonna take the piss out of me and I don’t want that.’ And then they did. Not only were people horrible, they were using homophobic slurs as an insult."
Not only was it hurtful, but also confusing for Carter, who admitted that "I felt like this scene, when I was growing up and when I was in school, was such an inclusive scene for the outcasts. How did it become this world where it’s like, ‘You can’t do that if you’re a woman… You can’t do that if you’re gay’. Like, what the fuck? There’s a lot of gatekeeping around artistic freedom."
Carter continued, saying that "I think these people are gonna be so annoyed when they start hearing about like Darkthrone and Mayhem and these black metal bands that have been wearing makeup for years, they're gonna be so annoyed about that. Or if they look at Ozzy Osbourne or any photos of him, they're gonna be really disappointed… Yeah, people are outraged by it, and I find it so funny.
"I just think it's such a silly thing to be annoyed by and it really, really does bring out the worst in people. After being in a band for nearly 16 years, people change and people want to try out new stuff and a lot of the bands and things like that — the music that I listened to — is different to when I was a kid."
Sadly this isn't the first time Carter has spoken out about fans being awful. In a 2022 interview, Carter spoke about people using now-deceased guitarist Tom Searle as a criticism toward the band as they evolve their sound.