Opeth Frontman: 'Music of Female Metal Bands Is Weak, Bands Get Recognition For Being Women'

"Still the whole sexist thing, which is sad," Mikael Akerfeldt says.

Ultimate Guitar
Opeth frontman Mikael Akerfeldt recently touched on the subject of female metal bands, describing most such acts as "weak" and stressing that their gender brings undeserved attention. "When it comes to music, I think it's still pretty weak, there's not a lot of female bands out there," Mikael told the Fight Network. "Some of those bands get a lot of recognition because of the fact that they're women, as opposed to whether the music is good or not. Still the whole kind of sexist thing - which is sad I guess. "Obviously there's a lot of talented musicians out there - women just as many as men. Just happens to be that metal is still male-dominated. Maybe it's gonna catch on, I'm not sure. But women in the metal scene have our collective support, of course. I certainly don't have anything against it." During the rest of the chat, Akerfeldt discussed the early days of Opeth, his death rumors, as well as music censorship, which he finds pointless for the most part. "Doesn't make any sense to me," he said. "People and authorities have blamed music, especially metal music, for all sorts of bad things for years. People forget of this Tipper Gore [PMRC] thing that's resulted in these advisory stickers because of 'filthy lyrics,' she said. We even have those - on an album like 'Damnation.'" The latest Opeth record, "Heritage," saw its release in September 2011 via Roadrunner Records as the band's tenth studio effort.

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    For ****s sake UG... He didn't describe "most such acts as "weak"". He meant that female bands are still a weak portion of the metal/music scene, and that there is not a lot of them. I don't know if you're just stupid or if you misinterpreted that on purpose...
    i agree in some way, i mean, there are great female artists out there but some felamel bands do get attention just because they are girls
    I'm in high school right now, and I can say, it's not just metal. It's any genre. Give a girl an instrument, let her half-ass it, and she's the best musician on the effin' planet. These girls playing the guitar. They ccan play a few variants of an E chord, and they're praised like they're the next Van Halen. I ACTUALLY PLAY Van Halen, and I'm called "moderate". Doesn't make sense.
    Yeah, there are videos on Youtube where the title is "FEMALE guitarist covers Metallica - One" or something like that. If it was played by a man, everybody would be like "that's not really that impressive". But when it's a woman playing the song, everybody's like "that's so impressive" or "marry me". It's like people assume that women can't play the guitar. Or actually people assume that women can't do anything and it's really special if a woman can do something well. I mean, what does it matter if it's a woman or a man playing the song? If it sounds good, it sounds good and if it doesn't sound good, it doesn't sound good. It has nothing to do with the gender.
    I'm a girl, and I even agree with this. I play the guitar and have for six years. If I was a guy, all my friends and family would laugh at how bad I was, but since I'm a girl, everyone's like "wow, you're so good at guitar!" I'm not good, by any means. I can play a few a7x songs, and that's at the upper boundaries of my limits. I stick to stuff with a good rythym part and leave it at that. But I'm trying to improve every day, and as long as I keep practicing and I'm having fun, then I don't care what anyone else thinks of my playing.
    Wata, say what you want about her tone and the noisy tendencies of her band, but she sure can play.
    I agree 100% with this. Not discrediting women as musicians, but as far as metal is concerned they pretty much all get the recognition they get just for being women.
    Oh seriously now, censoring bad words are we? Yeah i'm sure someone would get really hurt otherwise. Let's see here... Shit piss **** **** cocksucker mother****er tits fart turd and twat. Oh i see only F U C K and C U N T are the words that are dangerous, thanks UG! Now i know how to live my life without hurting anybody!
    Someone's knickers are in a knot. They've been censored for as long as I can remember.
    Doesn't make it any more valid. Censorship (especially in language) is laughable and F U C K I N G stupid in my opinion.
    Majin Gaara
    Nice blink 182 refrence.
    Well i was actually referring to the original 7 dirty words by George Carlin. I suggest you check him out if you haven't already. Gotta admit i heard the 7 dirty words in the Blink 182 song first though..
    He does have a point, I don't care who fronts a band as long as the band itself is good. You have some bands like Butcher Babes and Huntress who are just awful (in my opinion), yet a lot of the focus is on the women and I believe that's why they're so popular, if they were fronted by men then no one would care about them. However, there are also some female fronted bands that are amazing, like Arch Enemy, Landmine Marathon and Blood Ceremony.
    Vicryl 2.0
    so far I like all songs ive heard from Huntress. Although the singer's image is overly sexualized though..
    Personally I find that Huntress just sound like a second rate 3 Inches of Blood. Janus is a good vocalist, but she's so overly sexualised and the music itself is derivative, if that was a male vocalist no one would care about the band.
    saw huntress and butcher babies on mayhem this year. huntress totally slayed. they come in more on the nwobhm side of the equation, but i think they're talented, and her skills add to what the group does. she actually sounds significantly better live than on album. Butcher Babies though are a boring side-piece that will probably not last through a second album, no worse than any trend-seeking band riding what ever nu-post-core wave is current.
    Nightwish, Lacuna Coil (especially the latter), In This Moment.... I think there are good female FRONTED Metal bands, but any time I see a band where the musicians themselves are female, I do think that *for the most part*, there's something testosterone-driven that's just not there in the music. I'm sure there are exceptions, its just that TO ME that's true whenver the whole band is female. Of course, the point of the article was "there aren't as many chicks in metal", not "chicks suck at metal", as the headline mis-lead us. That's what sucked us in to read it in the first place
    You have probably never heard of this band (so hipster haha), they are from Argentina, these girls kick serious ass
    Nero Galon
    That was..... Bloody refreshing. Going to look into these some more. Thanks for posting!
    There are a lot of metal bands with female singers that get recognition just because they're female. But I've noticed that especially when it comes to folk metal, Female members are just as important. Eluveitie, Ensiferum and in the past Turisas all have/had awesome female members of the band. Although there are cases of s*** bands getting popular because of attractive female singers, such as Butcher Babies
    Actually, I think that Metal Bands with Women it are always so badm because the fact that they're women is used for commercial purposes. The most Bands really mostly reduce themselves to the fact for being female, so that good bands are very rare (I don't know a single descent one).
    2013 Misleading headlining champion right here. Gotta respect what Mikael is saying here though. And a lot of female fronted music is very weak (ex. Butcher Babies) but its good to see some male support for the good stuff.
    Wow UG! Way to do it again! I do agree to an extent, but I would like to share a female fronted band that has an extreme amount of talent. I've shared the stage with them, and they kick ass!A Sound of Thunder
    I agree. I can't think of a single good female fronted metal band.
    The Agonist, Arch Enemy, Within Temptation, the Dirty Youth, Nightwish....
    I think Arch Enemy has been worse with Angela. Not because she's not talented, but I preferred their prior vocalist.
    Hate expected here... But Halestorm.
    Halestorm are pretty damn good. Wouldn't be nearly as famous if they had a guy singer, but at least they are actually good enough to support the hype. Same as Paramore really(even though they aren't metal). Back into the downvote bunker I go.
    Halestorm, and also Tonight Alive who are pretty great - saw them live at the beginning of their first album tour in a small sh*t-hole of a venue and they just blew the roof off the place.