By Sarah Weiss
Heavy metal musicians are often defined by their masculinity, aggression, and down-the-back long hair, but catch a headbanger on his day off and expect a different type of shock all together.
Metal Cats, a new book by Alexandra Crockett, illustrates a softer side to metal musicians, revealing the hardcore affection they have for their feline pets. Crockett photographs metal musicians swapping fake blood and corpse paint for kitty purrs and fuzzy whiskers. The photos display the musicians lovingly posing with their feline companions in their homes and studios.
Crockett, who grew up on the Pacific Northwest and has been a part of the metal scene since she was 15 years old, is currently a doctoral student in the San Francisco Bay Area. While doing promotional photos for bands, she noticed the unique connection between metal heads and their cats. From there she was able to combine her love of animal rights and metal in her book by bringing attention to both no-kill shelters and the local musicians and artists involved in the metal scene.
The book features portraits of metalheads from bands including Black Goat, Thrones, Isis, Lightning Swords of Death, Book of Black Earth, Skarp, Harassor, Akimbo, Aldebaran, Atriarch, Oak, Ghoul, Ludicra, Holy Grail, Xasthur, Cattle Decapitation, Murder Construct, Exhumed, Morbid Angel, Municipal Waste, Skeletonwitch, Gypsyhawk, Nausea, Phobia, and Napalm Death.
“Metal isn’t all dark and disturbing, violent and misanthropic,” a synopsis by the publisher reads. “Metal Cats is proof that while the music may be brutal, the people in the scene are softies for their pets, just like you and me.”
Need one more reason to melt? A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Metal Cats as well as proceeds from benefit shows held on the West Coast will go toward funding no-kill shelters. The book is due out May 6.