Heavy Metal World Braces for Next Round of Sex Scandal Revelations

Music concert and crowd.

You might think the #metoo sexual misconduct/abuse/assault phenomenon sweeping the nation has largely bypassed the hard rock and heavy metal community. You’d be wrong. Allegations ranging from inappropriateness to criminality are surfacing in the world of groupies and headbangers. They just don’t get the mainstream coverage received by Hollywood celebrities and moguls and wayward politicos.

It’s out there, and, like with every other aspect of this watershed moment in the dynamic of power disparity and its manifestation as sexual coercion, the situation is liable to get worse before it gets better.

A search of “heavy metal sexual abuse scandals” doesn’t yet yield evidence of a pandemic of bad sexual behaviors, but considering a cultural milieu steeped in backstage sex and obsessive rock star worship, it’s probably fair to posit that we may be at the threshold of widespread allegations. Moreover, it is entirely possible that very few artists in the world of heaviosity would come up wholly innocent if held to the shifting standards currently applied to malefactors in Tinseltown and in elected offices across the land.

The case of death metal band Decapitation, arrested last September after two women accused members of a tour bus rape, offers a glimpse of what may be in store to one degree or another for hard-rocking perpetrators of sexual misadventures. Of course, everyone is ostensibly innocent until proven guilty, though you might wonder given the environment of accusation and de facto condemnation surfacing in recent weeks.

In late October, Marilyn Manson parted company with original bassist and longtime writing partner Twiggy Ramirez—the man responsible for holding down the bottom on Manson standards like “Coma White”--as a result of a 20-year-old rape allegation from Ramirez’s former girlfriend and fellow rock musician.

When Manson disassociates from a key player on the basis of unsubstantiated, decades-old spousal rape accusations, you know things are getting rough out there.

You know things have gone further into the nether-realms when KISS bassists Gene Simmons, a man who claims to have consensually bedded 4800 groupies, appears on Fox Business to offer counsel on the sex abuse allegation firestorm.

(Simmons was banned from Fox News for life following this appearance after some allegedly boorish and abusive behavior at a board meeting.)

#PsychoCircus?

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich has spoken out as well, castigating those who sexually mistreat, abuse, or assault woman, but the drummer dodged a blowback bullet after warning about the lynch mob mentality that has seized the jurisprudential tenet of the presumption of innocence and shaken it to its foundations.

Interestingly, the two most notable instances of heavy metal rockers and abusive behavior are accusations of violent physical abuse, not sexual misconduct. Unhappily, both involve members of the band known as the forefathers of metal, Black Sabbath.