Could Amy Can Flyy's Gay Nuzzle Signal The Start Of Gay Pop Bands?
The new video for the British pop-rock band Amy Can Flyy is exceptional, not only because it features a single continuous shot of a rock concert finale played entirely in reverse, but also because of a small moment at its start.
Just 38 seconds into it, Chris Smith—the brunette guitarist dressed head-to-toe in emo-black—leans his face against the cheek of Ben Elkins-Green—the scruffy blond vocalist in the denim vest.
Smith nuzzles his nose against Elkins-Green' ear as Elkins-Green draws him closer, his hand running through the back of Smith's long hair.
It's a small caress, barely a few seconds long, but an intimate one—one that suggests that these fellas are well acquainted; perhaps they've even kissed in the past.
Granted, less than a minute later, Elkins-Green is engulfed by a gaggle of sunglassed chippies, rubbing and grasping him with their lusty hands. But still, the affectionate gay nuzzle at the intro is a nod to gay fans (or at least physical male affection) that most all-male music acts never bother with.
Individual male rock stars have long used sex to sell their tunes—think of Elvis Presley's swiveling hips and Jim Morrison's shirtless fits of ecstasy—but most have used vampy women to sell their videos to a largely hetero audience.
While all-male bands typically have cute and totally bang-able individual members—I mean, have you seen Nick Jonas' butt?!—put together, they rarely get homo-physical with one another.
Instead they exude a brotherly charm that's tender and emotional, but on the rare occasional they do get physical, they do so with a manly high five or a reassuringly hetero "bro grab."
Meanwhile, all-male bands that are regularly physically affectionate—like One Direction—end up with people wondering if they're gay; as if that's the only possible explanation for such behavior.
We asked Ben Elkins-Green, lead vocalist for Amy Can Flyy, about his moment of male affection, and he explained the man-on-man nuzzle this way: "Over the past four years, we have spent just as much time with one another as we have our families, which results in us all being very tight-knit. I think small moments like that are just us being comfortable enough to have some fun on screen as well as off and be the good friends we are."
The band has just started hawking merch online and spent the summer touring across the UK for fans before their newest EP hits in mid-October—but they're still relatively unexposed to American audiences.
Since civil partnerships have been legal in England since 2005, Amy Can Flyy's home audiences have had longer to warm up to the idea of same-sex affection. And while only six U.S. states have legalized same-sex marriages, the young Americans who would appreciate ACF's music are increasingly okay with gay people and couples anyway—so some brotherly love between them isn't likely to turn any potential fans away.
Yes, the affectionate nuzzle in Amy Can Flyy's video lasts only a few seconds, but it signals something deeper on the musical horizon—that all men, gay or straight, expressing an honest, open display of physical affection with other close male friends.
It's a fine line—get too touchy, and all of a sudden you're "that gay band." But just a small nuzzle, a graze or a look here and there can subtly suggest that maybe, just maybe, boys can like other boys and still rock out too.