Asked what makes a ‘metal’ movie, Greg brings up that tough-to-articulate concept applied by fans to everything from classical art to pro-wrestling. “There’s that thing that metalheads have,” he says, “where you can just see something and go, ‘Yep, that’s metal.’ It translates to film, too – you pull the same face you would when you hear a really disgusting riff.” Between the vulgar displays in Green Room and Kiwi splatter comedy Deathgasm, Mosh should slap stank faces on everyone in attendance.
Alongside docs old (1988’s The Decline of Western Civilisation Part II: The Metal Years) and new (2019’s Murder In The Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story), Greg has put together a free-to-attend series of shorts designed to convey the diversity of global metal, including 2018’s Metal From The Dirt: Inside The Navajo Reservation’s DIY Heavy-Metal Scene, and Noisey’s 2013 two-parter Heavy Metal Gangs Of Wadeye.
“We want to show the breadth of people who are into metal,” says the University of Salford film graduate. “But that isn’t as well represented in feature films. We want to paint a picture of how modern metal is and show that it’s gradually getting more inclusive.”
Part of that inclusivity includes embracing metal’s queer leather-and-denim roots. Mosh’s free shorts series also includes Angry Queer Gloom Cult: How Queer Metal Bands Built Their Own Scene, an episode of Sam Sutherland’s YouTube series Extremely Online.
“As much as some macho metal fans might not want to admit it, queer culture has had a huge influence on metal’s identity,” says Greg, who cites Vile Creature as one of his favourite queer metal vanguards. “We want to spotlight the bands leading that charge in bringing queer metal to new audiences.”
The diversity of any scene is best represented not by the charts but in grassroots, often fan-made documentaries. Nobody knows a scene like its lifers, and Greg is “searching extra-hard to find films about more diverse relationships with metal than just the white, western ones”. Given the knife-edge state of the world, who better to fly the flag for heavy music than “fucking awesome” acts like Bob Vylan, Liturgy and Bloodywood? “Metal is an aggressive artform,” says Greg, “and who has more to be angry about than people facing racial injustice, queer communities, and disabled people?”