The Soft Pink Truth is an experimental side project from Drew Daniel, known for his work in electronic duo Matmos. Drew loves black metal and he happens to be gay, which might initially seem contradictory based on some black metal ideology leaning towards being homophobic.
Yesterday, Decibel released a music video for the lead single, a complete reimagining of Venom's "Black Metal," if you didn't already know the lyrics to the song you would've never guessed this used to be a Venom song:
He explained dealing with the dichotomy of the project in a recent interview with Pitchfork:
I wanted to make a queer take back to this culture was I went to the [black metal] documentary Until the Light Takes Us, there was a Q&A with the directors afterwards, and I asked them about how they were giving people a chance to call Magne Andreassen a faggot and just letting them use that word as if that's cool. And their answer was, "Well, this is not about politics. This is just about aesthetics. We're fans." And I have to say: Fuck you! That's not good enough. I felt angry at them because I felt like they were being, at best, naïve. But at worst, dishonest about what we do when we like things. It doesn't mean we have a free pass to just bracket that kind of crime. And the ease with which people talk about that murder, as if somehow it was self-defense—I'm sorry, but you don't go to a gay cruising park with a knife and then claim that you killed this gay man out of self-defense. I just don't buy it. People totally look the other way, and as a gay man I feel like that defines black metal subculture as if it's the subculture that's cool with killing gay people and homophobia.
So I went and saw [Faust’s band] Emperor live, and they are fucking awesome. It was my birthday and I remember the drummer threw out a drumstick and I caught it. But the whole time I thought, “I'm a kind of Uncle Tom motherfucker if I'm going to see Emperor and support what they're about. They killed a gay man.” My record can't redress that kind of a crime, but it's part of a queer response to that subculture. I've also embroidered my Emperor shirt with "Rest in Peace Magne Andreassen." When I wear that, people are like, "What does it mean?" Whatever. This is my self-important indie craft project.
Personally, I think this is fantastic. Drew wants to make it clear that while the video has much satire, he has a sincere passion for black metal, and this project was a way to cope with the irony of liking a genre of music that was not so kind to gay people in the past. One thing black metal usually lacks is fun even though it's, on it's surface, such a ridiculously theatrical concept and it's always great to see some humor injected (no pun intended) into metal.
Why Do the Heathen Rage? will be released June 17 via Thrill Jockey.