When All That Remains singer Phil Labonte decided to speak with Revolver about his previous choice of words to describe the Black Veil Brides’ appearance, we knew it would spark debate. What we didn’t expect, though, was to find ourselves having a discussion about the matter with Chimaira frontman Mark Hunter via Twitter. Hunter made some interesting points in his tweets, so much so that we wanted to continue the conversation in a format that wasn’t limited to 140 characters.
While in the middle of preparing for the annual “Chimaira Christmas” show (taking place on December 29 in Cleveland), Hunter called us to further discuss Labonte’s comments and the general use of the offending word itself. In addition, Hunter spoke to us about the fruition of Chimaira’s Christmas tradition, the progress made on the group’s new album, and how 2012 was a year of rebuilding for Chimaira.
You responded to us regarding Phil Labonte’s comments via Twitter, but what your stance on using the word “faggot” in general? Are you ok with it? Are you against it?
I generally don’t use the word, and I guess I come from the school of thinking where if you give the word meaning or try to make a word taboo, you inadvertently give it meaning. I guess I don’t have a problem with it. I have quite a few gay friends and they use the word more so than anyone I know that’s not [laughs]. It’s just kind of interesting. I guess the reason I reached out in the first place is I see a lot of webzines kind of up in arms in it, and my confusion is we all know that Phil is not homophobic in the slightest. I don’t really see a difference between the correlation in how I feel about a Kevin Smith movie where he seems to be more like frat boy humor style and that kind of reminds me how, I mean you seriously can’t watch a Kevin Smith movie without hearing some sort of comment in that realm. That’s where we started. I mean, obviously if the person is intentionally being slandered, that’s one thing, but I don’t think that the person at question is referring to the term as some might be suggesting.
Of course. Let me just make it clear that we’re not accusing Phil of being homophobic. And it seems like you agree that it’s all in the use of context.
I think that’s with anything. If we go into the taboo of the “n-word,” would I ever use that word in a reference if I saw somebody and was like, “hey, that’s what you are” and call them that? No. And when you say that word, especially if I’m being “a wigger” with my friends [laughs], it’s not something …I think people like Dave Chappelle, when he had his show, really opened up boundaries of taking the power out of that word. Maybe right now it’s not the best time in our country… We have a lot of issues with gay rights at the moment, wanting the legalization of marriage and the whole Chick-fil-A incident this year. So it seems that maybe we’re on the brink of hopefully moving forward. Do I think we’ll ever fully move forward? Absolutely not. Do we need to have progress? Sure! Is it gonna take more time? Absolutely!