Machine Gun Kelly and Oli Sykes take aim at elitists: "the gatekeepers always lose"

Oli Sykes and Machine Gun Kelly
(Image credit: Getty)

Machine Gun Kelly and Oli Sykes have laughed off rock and metal elitists who continue to insist that neither artist belong in their respective scenes. The duo, making an appearance on BBC Radio 1's Future Sounds with Clara Amfo to promote new MGK/Bring Me The Horizon collaboration Maybe, discussed the trolling that has impacted of both their careers. Or hasn't, as the case seems to be.

When asked about giving his new album a provocative title in Mainstream Sellout, MGK notes: "It feels brave because, when I said the name originally after I changed it [from its original title, Born With Horns], everyone was kinda like, 'Oh, are you sure you wanna almost, like, call it like it is?' I'm like, 'Yeah, absolutely'.

"It feels like taking the power back," he continues. "There’s such an epidemic, and has been for years, of rock ’n’ roll gatekeeping, or punk rock gatekeeping or hip hop gatekeeping...and you know what I realised? The gatekeepers always lose."

"We obviously relate on a massive scale as well," adds Oli. "We started off as a death metal band but we were ‘never death metal’, we’ve never been ‘metal’ enough for the metal community, we’ve never been ‘rock enough’. We’ve gone through this whole thing, so we completely get it and vibe. To me, it’s like, gatekeeping is quite a funny thing. With everything that goes on in the world, I like how some people’s biggest cry is that they think someone shouldn’t be in a certain scene…it’s just a mad thing for people to get upset about. But it’s fun to poke fun at that."

Listen to the full interview here

Bring Me The Horizon have spent their entire career attracting vitriol from certain corners of the metal scene, while Machine Gun Kelly, who made his name in hip hop, provoked the ire of some rock fans when he made a surprising creative 180 to produce a pop punk album with 2020's Tickets To My Downfall.

While most of Mainstream Sellout's singles thus far have suggested that MGK is nowhere near done with rock music, the full guestlist for the album is a real smorgasbord of artists, boasting contributions from everyone from Travis Barker and Willow to Lil Wayne, Young Thug and even comedian Pete Davidson. 

Mainstream Sellout lands on March 25

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.