THE PRESS RELEASE: “I love neofolk and I love black metal, but I absolutely despise how both have become breeding grounds for hateful ideologies.” Those are the words of Richard Weeks, the man behind the confrontational underground force that is Gaylord. Unafraid, unapologetic Weeks has been taking the fight to the fascist infiltrators of underground music since 2015. Gaylord’s debut album, The Black Metal Scene Needs To Be Destroyed, was a viral hit but as Weeks freely admits the message and biting humour came first, with the actual music something of an afterthought. With new album, Wings Of The Joyful, things have changed dramatically. The music now possesses a formidable, convincing power that stands tall in its own right. And if you’re still struggling with that band name, well you’re just going to have to get over it because it’s not going to change. Taken from a once commonplace schoolyard insult, the Gaylord name is Weeks’ way of showing his support for LGBTQ metal fans and if it happens to upset the very people he’s fighting against then so much the better. So, while the music has reached new levels of power and potency and the lyrics have become more serious and focused, the Gaylord message remains essentially the same: “Heavy metal is for everyone regardless of social caste, skin colour, religious affiliation, or gender. Heavy metal is about feeling strong. Heavy metal is not about disparaging those different from yourself. We are in this together, those who would divide this scene can fuck off!”
MY TWO CENTS: You have to give Richard Weeks for fighting the good fight and taking a stand against the homophobia and hatred in heavy metal. And you have to give this musical activist more credit for going it alone — and singlehandedly making an album is both fearsomely heavy and fearlessly outspoken.