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Expressions

The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School

Expressions

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Meet SLOHS Metalhead and sophomore Aidan Cheetah

Meet+SLOHS+Metalhead+and+sophomore+Aidan+Cheetah

Photo courtesy of Cheetah Photography at djcheetah.com

  Music is a form of expression that expands into endless genres and categories such as classical music, rap, jazz, blues, and metal. One San Luis Obispo High School student, sophomore Aidan Cheetah, is especially inspired by metal music and its defining sound. Expressions interviewed Cheetah about his interest in this music and what it’s like to be one of the only metalheads at SLOHS. 

Expressions: What first got you interested in metal music?

Sophomore Aidan Cheetah: Music has been a part of my life since an early age. My mom used to play music for me while she was pregnant with me. The first bands I listened to were Led Zeppelin, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, and Depeche Mode. I wasn’t even born yet and I was already exposed to a lot of bands. The exposure continued after my birth. Both my parents have different tastes in music. My mom is into rock and my dad is into house music since he is a DJ. I took a liking towards electronic music and house music for a while. However, things changed when I was in sixth grade. I started listening to rock music. It all began with David Bowie. I was sad to hear that he had died since I used to listen to his music as a baby. My mom noticed my taste in music was changing so she introduced me to acts such as Nirvana, Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne, Rage Against the Machine, and Marilyn Manson. When I was in seventh grade my mom introduced me to KoЯn by playing their CDs in the car on the way to school. The two albums she had from KoЯn were “Follow the Leader” and “Issues”. KoЯn’s sound amazed me; I had never heard anything like them. KoЯn piqued my interest a lot with their unique sound. Throughout my middle school years I mainly listened to KoЯn, but late in my eighth grade year I was finding bands on my own. I was getting into more extreme bands such as Bloodbath, Immortal, Behemoth, Cradle of Filth, Slayer, and Dimmu Borgir. Those bands defined the summer of 2018 for me. Fast forward to present day and I’m mainly into underground Black Metal music.

Expressions: What are your favorite bands?

Cheetah: My favorite bands as of now include Xasthur, Leviathan, Striborg, Burzum, Mayhem, Bathory, Venom, Bethlehem, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, Dark Funeral, Gorgoroth, Graveland, Inquisition, 1349, Satyricon, Marduk, Nargaroth, Tsjuder, Ulver, Watain, Immortal, Darkthrone, Emperor, and Carpathian Forest. 

Expressions: What is your favorite thing about metal?

Cheetah: My favorite thing about metal is the variety. There are many types of genres such as Death Metal, Black Metal, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, Power Metal, Grindcore, Progressive Metal, Speed Metal, and so many more. There’s even subgenres of subgenres of metal. For example, Blackened Death Metal. It’s basically Black Metal and Death Metal combined. What I also enjoy about metal is the atmospheres that are created by all the instruments and lyrical content. Raw emotions are expressed through the music and lyrics.  It’s refreshing to see that there are people out there who feel and think like me. It makes me glad. 

Expressions: What is it like being the only metalhead at school?

Cheetah: It’s extremely lonely. It’s impossible to make a friendship based on music for me since no one but me listens to the music I do. I used to hang out with a few people in the past who knew a few popular bands I liked such as System of a Down. 

Expressions: Do people make assumptions about what metalheads are like?

Cheetah: There are a few assumptions about metalheads, one of them being that we are emo. I’m not sure why we get categorized as emos. Maybe it’s a silly reason such as we all wear black. It’s not hard to find out that emo and metalhead are both different and have nothing to do with each other. We do not have respect for people who yell “Hail Satan” and draw pentagrams on themselves with sharpies. Another assumption about metalheads is that we worship the devil. Satanic references and imagery are used a lot in metal, especially in Black Metal. The satanic references in metal are only used for shock value and do not hold any meaning towards the bands and their fans.

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    Nina RamezaniApr 27, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Photo credits: Cheetah Photography at djcheetah.com.

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