Death Metal Group Gets Arts Grant, Pisses Off Talkback Radio Host

21 May 2012 | 3:05 pm | Daniel Crichton Rouse

Melbourne talkback radio host Neil Mitchell has nose put out of joint after Sydney death metal group Ouroboros receives $20,000 arts grant.

A death metal band receiving a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts has blown up today after a Melbourne talkback radio host lashed out at the genre.

As reported in the Australian early this morning, Sydney's Ouroboros are set receive a $20,000 grant, which will allow for the quartet to record with a symphony orchestra.

This is apparently something that grinds 3AW 693's Neil Mitchell's gears, however, as the radio announcer couldn't hold back from offering his thoughts on the matter on air this morning.

"It's awful stuff, and you're paying for it," he said.

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Triple M's Higgo, host of the metal show Distortion, defended the grant in a midday blog post, which opened with a damning statement: "So it seems in this day and age, where tolerance is expected of everyone and everything, some people think they are above bigotry?"

He continued: "I understand heavy metal isn't everyone's cup of tea, just like country music, just like hip hop, just like pop music, just like opera. But do those genres come under fire from Mitchell? No. And why is that?

"Could it be because Mitchell simply doesn't understand it? Could it be Mitchell thinks this is a waste of money because HE doesn't like it and is tapping into his demographic for populist support?

"Surely Mitchell, a broadcaster with years of success and experience, isn't being intolerant of something he doesn't understand?"

As most things do these days, the debate has taken to Twitter, with Triple M's executive digital producer Ben Wise announcing Higgo's intention of giving Neil Mitchell "a lesson in metal", to which Mitchell responded, "what the hell are you on about? Speak English".

With a massive influx of comments on 3AW's blog on the subject, it's likely we'll be hearing more on the matter over the coming days.

Arts funding has been a controversial subject recently, with classical label Melba the centre of a storm over their grants. They were told that their funding would be pulled shortly after the controversy.