Q: Why do you love heavy metal?
A: I love Heavy Metal because it the sound of the underrepresented groups in society. We are the outcasts that are never looked upon as being smart because of how some of us put on leather and enjoy a sound that is full of aggression or bitter sadness. But for me, Metal is not just music it was an escape from the cultural oppression that I face everyday.
Q: Why is it important to you that black metal heads are acknowledged?
A: We are just as valid to the Metal community as White, Latino, or even Asian fans(yes they do exist as well lol) every time for example I go to a Hard Rock or Metal show I get stared at. It makes me feel like I don’t belong but at the same time we are all there to enjoy the artists and let out pure aggression. I feel that if people of color start getting the same acknowledgement as their White counterparts then more people of color will start to feel comfortable and know that there is nothing wrong liking metal.
Q: You say on your blog that a lot of black people said you were “crazy”, for liking heavy metal. Why do you think they feel this way?
A: When you look at the origins of Rock and Roll there were many people of color such as bands like Black Death(who should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) that first were viewed as crazy because they were not in the “R&B” or “Soul music” category. If you are a person of color you are automatically placed into those genres because of the majority of people of color who perform music in those genres are Black.
My own people said that I was crazy because I refuse to be a stereotype. When you don’t follow what stereotypical Black people follow then you become an outcast. Even in Hip-Hop, if you don’t dress a certain way then you are not a part of the culture. I am used it and I will continue to be myself because I want the next generation of Black people to be comfortable with themselves. And to know that you can be a person of color and shop at Hot Topic.
Q: Who are some of your favorite metal bands and why?
A: One of my all-time favorite bands is Kittie. When I heard their debut album Spit I did not know that women could kick as much ass or even play better then their male counterparts. Most of my favorite singers are in the Hard Rock category or Rockcore such as Rage Against The Machine, who taught me that you can be an activist in your music without being an asshole about it. But a person that I hope that I would love to work with someday would be Bif Naked. The Donnas are pretty cool. Bif lived a crazy Rock and Roll life but she was able to find true love and balance being a Rock princess so to me she is really a true role model for all women out there. Currently, I am obsessed with a quartet from Australia called Springfield they are taking Rock to a whole new level.
Q: What’s your strangest Metal fan story?
A: Most of my fans are strange by default but I love them for it. One of my friends described me as Lady GaGa with sunburn lol. The strangest Metal fan story is pretty much non-existent my fans are some of the most coolest people from around the world and they are cool with me. However, I will admit that some of my fans want to be super-nosey and can me ask questions that make me blush on the inside such as what is my bra size lol.
Q: What motivated you to start vlogging?
A: My motivation came from the lack of proper diversity and opinions of people of color on YouTube. If we are not acting ghetto then our voices are not being heard properly especially in the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal communities. As a plus-size woman of color I was an outcast and decided that I wanted to make a difference so I put myself out there with no regrets.
Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your vlogging?
A: My day job is that of being a customer service agent. What many people don’t realize that many people in the beginning of their entertainment career work side jobs in order to make money to help their career out independently. There are times that I don’t sleep because I am making videos. Being customer service agent allows me to have thick skin when I vlog. YouTube is a brutal place so when you are dealing with angry customers is nothing in comparison to people’s comments on YouTube.
Q: What is your heavy metal theme song and (why)?
A: My theme song would have to be Raven by Kittie’s debut Spit. I love the endless aggression of the song from start to finish. I love women who can growl and sing at the same time and Morgan Lander is a beast!
A: That is interesting question because I love them both. But I would have to say Gene Simmons because I would never leave the car with that amazing tongue of his lol. Plus being in a band like Kiss he would have so many crazy and amazing stories to tell about the women he has been with and his career of having a lizard tongue.
Q: What would you like to say to Eddie Trunk?
A: Thank you for asking me this because where do I even begin. I have watched That Metal Show (which I highly recommend) however I noticed that there was a huge lack of cultural diversity on the show. So I decided to put it upon myself to contact him personally through Twitter and asked him why there was a lack of diversity on the show and even suggested that they should have more artists of color on the program. Guess what? He never got back to me so that tells me we still have a long way in regards to racial acceptance in the Metal community.
Although his program does talk about the Metal scene internationally it also excludes topics such as Japanese Rock and Metal and also that female artists are just as influential to the industry than ever before. I hope that over time that Eddie becomes more open to cultural diversity that outside of the realms that he describes in his books and his show. One of the reasons I started Twisted Riot Grrl was I wanted to be the female alternative to That Metal Show.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)