During an appearance in the latest episode of “Landry.Audio”, CHOKING guitarist Terrance Hobbs discussed the relative lack of racial diversity among heavy metal musicians, with the genre dominated primarily by white men. Asked why he thinks there are no more black hard rock and heavy metal musicians, Terrance said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I do not know. I think they are out there – do not think they are not. I just think many of them have not had the time or chance or a band that people have noticed to say, “Hey, there’s a black guy in the band.” You look at old GRAVE – they had a black guy in the band. You’re watching HIRAX. Howard [Jones] from KILLSwitch [ENGAGE]. You’re watching CYCLON TEMPLE, another band from Chicago – they had a black guy. OCEAN have a black guy. LONG TCH’E have a black guy. So there are bands out there that have black guys. JESUS PIECE, another Philadelphia band out here – a black guy in the band. VULVODYNIA from South Africa – a black guy in the band. So the brothers are out there, man. They’re doing heavy shit – do not think they are not. They may not play hockey that much, but they’re still out there.
“I’m thinking for us [in SUFFOCATION], time and place, it was just a strange thing. I just happened to take a guitar when I was 10 or 11 years old, and as a 13-year-old, all I wanted was to just play the guitar. So I locked myself inside a room and just listened to things that had guitar; it was not dance music. And it was heavy. And then when we went to high school – me and Open [Mullen, vocals] and Mike Smith [drums] and Doug Cerrito [guitar] – we wanted to play ‘Battle Of The Bands’ and we all wanted to play heavy music. For us, that was just what we wanted to do; it was all about color or something. To [SUFFOCATION‘s first record label] Roadrunner, back then, Nuclear explosion, Relapse, I was glad they were paying attention to us, even though it was like that. For we never knew if it would be … Will we be signed and will they look at us as if we were shot? … You just never knew how anyone would take it. And we were very lucky that we did not really have any of those problems. “
In an interview in 2020 with High thread, GRAVE frontman Derrick Green, who is black, said that the topic of racism in the music industry can be difficult to understand if it is not something that directly affects you. “Unless you really experience it, then it’s hard for you to really imagine it happening,” he said. “But it happens constantly. It exists all over the world.” BAD WOLF guitarist Doc Coyle agreed and said, “Go to one GOD FORBID music video on Youtube and look at the comments and ask yourself if there is racism in metal. There is an idea that if I have not experienced it, then it must not exist. It talks a bit about this idea of the limitations of empathy. You can try to see the world through someone else’s eyes, but you just can not. And the truth is, if someone feels that it’s their experience, even though I’ve not experienced it, I need to give them room to express their experience. By saying that it does not exist – that is the definition of gas lighting. “
As previously reported, CHOKING will release a live album, “Stay in North America”, on November 12 via Records of nuclear explosions.
CHOKING created the template for the brutal death metal genre in the early 1990s. landmark albums such as “Effigy Of The Forgotten” and “Perced from within” also continued to inspire the birth of the tech-death and slam death metal genres.
CHOKING‘s latest studio LP, “… Of the dark light”, was published in 2017.
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