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."
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