Deicide’s Glen Benton doesn’t know why he burnt an inverted cross into his forehead either: “To this day, I don’t know what I was thinking!”

(Image credit: Roadrunner)

Deicide leader and death metal icon Glen Benton has tried to explain why he burnt an inverted cross into his forehead in a new interview.

Talking exclusively in the current issue of Metal Hammer, the 56-year-old singer/bassist rationalised the drastic and infamous makeover as a protest against his own christening, but conceded, “To this day, I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking.”

“I think I was only 22 when I burned the inverted cross into my forehead,” Benton told Hammer’s Perran Helyes. “The spirit moved me, man!

“To this day, I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking, but I knew that I had been christened Catholic as a child, and I felt that the best way to take care of that would be my symbolic way of taking that Catholic mark off of my skin.

“I’ve always been that kid in the picture who’s got that twisted look and the smile on his face, and when I got to an age where I could start being me, I just started being me.

“Now that my two sons are both grown and off in the world, I find myself back to being that guy again, that guy that branded a cross on his forehead.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Benton elaborated on his childhood in a religious household, saying his anti-Christian stance was informed by his upbringing from a Lutheran mother and Catholic father.

“When I was eight years old and forced against my will to participate in the Christmas play at the church my mother was a Sunday school teacher at, I was singing at the front of the church thinking, ‘How did I get myself into this shit?’,” the musician said.

“My father’s side of the family were Catholic and my mother’s Lutheran, so I got the worst of both worlds. It’s beaten into me, so I can’t sing about anything else.

“If I try to sing about other things, I draw a complete blank. I let the universe speak through me, and if I have to force it, it just won’t come.”

Benton founded Deicide in 1987 and, along with drummer Steve Asheim, has stayed with the band ever since.

They released their 13th studio album, Banished By Sin, on April 26.

Read the full interview with Benton in the new issue of Metal Hammer, which also unravels the stories of classic songs by Iron Maiden, Metallica, Babymetal, Korn, Body Count, Within Temptation, Napalm Death, Bad Brains, Venom, Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Refused and many more. Order now and get it delivered directly to your doorstep.

Metal Hammer issue 388 cover

(Image credit: Future)
Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.