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May 1st, 2013 12:01 am WW Staff | Cover Story

Best New Band 2013

10 local acts that Portland’s music insiders think you should hear.

IMAGE: James Rexroad

9/10. (tie) Gaytheist

  • 31 points
  • Formed: 2011.
  • Sounds like: Clowns who got kicked out of the circus for being too radical, then banded together and started destroying eardrums.

In 2010, Gaytheist singer-guitarist Jason Rivera thought he might quit music forever.

“I had a moment where I couldn’t do music anymore,” he says. “So I tried to write the world’s worst science-fiction novel.” Of the four works he produced during his yearlong hiatus, one included the “new and improved Bible,” in which “an astronaut befriends a six-armed grizzly and then finds out he’s Jesus.” 

When he eventually found his way back to playing music again, forming Gaytheist with bassist Tim Hoff and Nick Parks in 2011, Rivera brought that absurd aesthetic with him. Metal at its core but bleeding into post-hardcore and punk, the band’s sonic onslaught is spiked with lyrics that mix political statements with biting sarcasm.

Last year’s Stealth Beats, the group’s third album, was its most refined yet. Pummeled immediately with opener “Stampede of Savings,” taken on a wild tour of an attorney’s nightmare in “Post-Apocalyptic Lawsuit” and indicted by the explosive and catchy closer “Condemn the Condemners,” listeners are advised to wear both earplugs and a jock strap. The follow-up, Hold Me…but Not So Tight, comes out May 21 on Seattle’s Good to Die Records. 

As heavy as the band’s instrumental attack is, with his uniform of suspenders, bow tie and neatly trimmed mustache—not to mention a vocal style inspired by Jarred Warren of Karp and Big Business—Rivera hardly looks or sounds like your average metal dude. And in a cred-obsessed genre, that can lead to some misperceptions. To set the record, um, straight, I asked Rivera how he’d like to be seen.

“I didn’t come out of the closet—I power-slid out on my knees with my dick in one hand and a guitar in the other,” he says. “I want to be the gay uncle of the music industry.” MITCH LILLIE. 


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