Sometimes, you just need to point to someone else’s work because it is so freaking awesome.
Last month, Revolver published a short, but powerful documentary about the metal scene on Navajo reservations. I highly recommend it.
“There’s a lot of bands, heavy-metal bands, on the Navajo reservation. And for some reason this music, this subculture, seems to permeate with the youth,” says Jerold Cecil, manager of Arizona act I Dont Konform. “What Rez Metal is — ‘rez’ is sort of an inside word for ‘reservation.’ Our brand of metal is different than anybody else … it’s blowing up.” For one week this summer the Everything Is Stories creative team traveled to the Southwest United States, and Navajo Nation territory, to document the originators of the DIY Rez Metal scene, and the bands that are now carrying the torch, including I Dont Konform, Mutilated Tyrant and Born of Winter. From a generator-powered show in the Arizona desert to a band practicing in a traditional Navajo dwelling called a Hogan, this story — told by Navajo (“Diné”) bands and individuals involved in the scene — explores the creation of Rez Metal in the Eighties, the juxtaposition of old and new Navajo traditions and the link between heavy metal and native pride.
Revolver, “Metal From the Dirt”
It’s well worth the thirteen minutes of your time, whether you’re a metal fan or not. And if you are, you can help support the scene by buying music via CDBABY (I Dont Konform) or through some compilation albums on Bandcamp (here and here). Any additional info someone might have about these bands and the scene is highly sought after by me and one of my girlfriends (who introduced me to this documentary).