Suicide Silence guitarist Mark Heylmun doesn't mind gatekeeping in metal, but not for the reasons you might think.
In an interview with Guitar.com, Heylmun said he feels that gatekeeping makes the scene stronger because of the conversation it creates. Or basically that by one side trying to define what a genre is and isn't, there's always another side pushing back for the boundaries to be expanded.
"My hot take is that gatekeeping makes the scene stronger," said Heylmun. "I know that that sounds weird but – if you don't have people talking shit and saying, 'This isn't this or that' – you don't have the other side saying, 'Yes it is!' or 'Fuck you for even saying that!' It creates the conversation that makes scenes stronger. I've seen that since I was young and I've been a part of that."
Makes sense! Though if you're gonna gatekeep, don't be a dick about it. Elsewhere in the interview, Heylmun talked a little about Suicide Silence not quite fitting and never being "death metal" enough for the death metal crowd.
"Where we're from, there was the Orange County scene, with Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold and Bleeding Through. They didn't like us and we felt like we had to not like them back. It was adversarial but, when you're in Baton Rouge and playing to 450 people on a Wednesday night, you're like, 'Fuck them! It doesn't matter.'"
"We didn't look 'death metal' enough either, and our breakdowns weren't really things that death metalheads wanted to hear. That was the linchpin of all the heckling that happened when we toured with Nile, Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse. We did all those tours and that's what you'd hear: people talking shit about your breakdowns."
8/25 – Las Vegas, NV – Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort
8/27 – Riverside, CA – Riverside Municipal Auditorium