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Sex After SA: Why RedHook’s Emmy Mack Wrote a Kinky Metal Song About Oral Sex

Read Mack’s powerful essay about RedHook and Alpha Wolf’s new collaboration ‘Cannibal’, which arrives this Friday

RedHook's Emmy Mack


Content Warning: This article contains a personal account of sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

Even if one is new to the music of Sydney alternative rockers RedHook, a song that’s described as sounding like “Nine Inch Nails meets ‘WAP'” is going to make anyone sit up and listen.

That’s exactly the sound and style RedHook have nailed on their new single “Cannibal”, a collaboration with Melbourne metalcore outfit Alpha Wolf that arrives this Friday, June 14th.

But there’s a deeper, serious meaning behind RedHook’s new kinky metal song, which the band’s lead vocalist Emmy Mack explains below.

RedHook’s “Cannibal” (ft. Alpha Wolf) is out Friday, June 14th (pre-save/pre-add here). Ticket information about RedHook’s August-September Australian tour can be found here.

Let’s talk about sex after SA.

The fear. The shame. The discomfort. The awkwardness. The STIGMA. 

Back in 2022, my band RedHook released “Jabberwocky”, a song that gave voice to my story of being violently sexually assaulted in the midst of our debut international tour, and of grappling with the trauma of that experience. To this day, I still feel like releasing that song was the single most important thing I’ve ever done in my life.

I swear the positive impact that “Jabberwocky” continues to have on others who’ve experienced similar horrors almost makes my trauma feel worthwhile, and every time I’m standing up onstage watching a crowd scream along to that final chorus, I still have to fight back tears.

The only discomfort that came from releasing ‘”Jabberwocky” was that certain people in my life started treating me, well, differently. As if I was fragile somehow? More delicate suddenly? Wounded, I suppose. A victim. Not with any ill-will, of course – I imagine they were just trying to be respectful of what I’d been through. 

But when I started copping a lot of unnecessary apologies for dirty jokes, and noticed that certain mates suddenly began avoiding discussions about sexy topics at all costs, it was a bit of a shit feeling. And one that only served to deepen the sting of my shame hangover. 

It almost felt as if surviving SA had robbed me of the right to talk about enjoying sex like a regular person? And a voice in my head told me that perhaps I shouldn’t, lest it make folks feel uncomfortable?

But here’s a shock plot twist: I love sex.

I did prior to being assaulted, and I learned to fall back in love with it again post-trauma. Sex between two (or more) consenting adult humans is one of the most awesome things in life! Name one thing more fun than mutual cummies!

I have no idea what other survivors’ journeys to reclaiming their sexual power have been like following SA. I imagine that path is very different, and also overwhelmingly difficult in a clusterfuck of unique ways for each of us. But I do think it’s an issue that we don’t talk about enough in general, let alone in the heavy music community.

I really wanted to help change that, so I did the only thing I knew how to do: I wrote a song about it.

So here we go (don’t read this mum). What was key to me reclaiming my positive relationship with sex after SA? One word for you: blowjobs. 

I’m aware how crazy this might sound to some, but I came to find the act of giving a truly biblical blowjob incredibly empowering. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that there was no element of oral violation in what happened to me, so therefore BJs were off the “trigger” menu? Or maybe I just had some innate oral fixation that had yet to be fully realised?

Breaking it down for you (on a VERY personal level – sorry in advance), I don’t think there’s a sex act that makes me feel more powerful or in control than when I have a cock in my mouth. It requires such a monumental level of trust from the other person. So much willing vulnerability. It’s like they’re handing me the keys to their body. And that’s pretty fucking hot. 

So, when I decided that I wanted to write my own heavy version of “WAP”, a horny metal song that celebrated sexual empowerment, the first place my brain went to was, well, sucking dick.

And that’s exactly what RedHook’s new single “Cannibal” is all about. It’s a sexy industrial metal slammer that revels in the joys of giving good head. The lyrics you hear delivered from my perspective also playfully toy with a dom-sub dynamic to celebrate the power inherent in both roles.

And I honestly can’t thank the legends in Alpha Wolf enough for throwing the weight of their talent behind this unconventionally kinky bit of metal art.

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To be dead honest with you though, I’m still scared to release “Cannibal”. I’m really not sure if this song will be received positively. I’m mentally preparing myself to be judged and slut-shamed by factions of conservative metalheads, or else shunned and reviled by my fellow survivors. Or maybe both.

I’m scared this song will rub people the wrong way (not intended as an innuendo), or leave a bad taste in their mouths (also not intended as an innuendo). Basically, I’m just scared it’ll bring the shame-hangover hammering home harder than ever before.

But ahhhhhh, fuck it. 

At the very least, maybe we can start a conversation. 

If you have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment and feel you would like to speak to someone for support or information, 1800RESPECT (Phone: 1800 737 732) can provide counselling 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Australian music industry workers can contact the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline. It is staffed by professional counsellors who offer expertise in all areas related to mental health. It is free, confidential and open to anyone in music or the arts. Call 1800 959 500, 24/7, 365 days a year.