Local Wire


When music fans utter the phrase "gay metalhead," it's usually in derision of some aging, teased-hair '80s throwback. But with Ben Aqua, the 23-year-old Austin, Texas, headbanger behind the one-man thrash/noise/metal act Assacre, it's the literal truth. For most of the past two years, the openly homosexual guitarist has spewed forth scorching rapid-fire chords of guitar thunder blasted out in staccato fashion, which he describes in an e-mail to New Times as "an extreme fantasy of speed and impulse, noises collaged together and interacting like an all-male church choir [that's] kind of a cuter, more homoerotic version of Italian futurism." Besides wearing a Godzilla mask and 3-D glasses during his animated performances, Aqua says he enjoys "running around a lot -- à la Yngwie Malmsteen -- staring at people, trying not to blink, doing jumpkicks, covering myself with fabric, hiding, playing guitar solos for nice looking men, [and] maybe touching their muscles while doing so." Rob Halford, eat your heart out.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.