Rez Metal


Rez Metal

Inside the Navajo Nation Heavy Metal Scene

Ashkan Soltani Stone and Natale A. Zappia

108 pages
41 photographs


October 2020


$16.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2020


$16.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2020


$16.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Rez Metal captures the creative energy of Indigenous youth culture in the twenty-first century. Bridging communities from disparate corners of Indian Country and across generations, heavy metal has touched a collective nerve on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona in particular. Many cultural leaders—including former Navajo president Russell Begaye—have begun to recognize heavy metal’s ability to inspire Navajo communities facing chronic challenges such as poverty, depression, and addiction. Heavy metal music speaks to the frustrations, fears, trials, and hopes of living in Indian Country.

Rez Metal highlights a seminal moment in Indigenous heavy metal: when Kyle Felter, lead singer of the Navajo heavy metal band I Dont Konform, sent a demo tape to Flemming Rasmussen, the Grammy Award–winning producer of several Metallica albums, including Master of Puppets. A few months later, Rasmussen, captivated by the music, flew from Denmark to Window Rock, Arizona, to meet the band. Through a series of vivid images and interviews focused on the venues, bands, and fans of the Navajo Nation metal scene, Rez Metal provides a window into this fascinating world.


Author Bio

Ashkan Soltani Stone is the founding director of the Film Studies Program at Weber State University. He is a documentary filmmaker and producer and director of the films Rez Metal, Rock behind the Wall, I Know You Well, and King Coal. Natale A. Zappia, associate professor of history and director of the Institute for Sustainability at California State University, Northridge, is the author of Traders and Raiders: The Indigenous World of the Colorado Basin, 1540–1859.


"Rez Metal opens a path to filling a yawning hole in the literature on contemporary Indigenous musical activity, and understanding its cultural, political, and artistic history."—David Samuels, American Indian Culture and Research Journal

"An intriguing and enlightening read."—Kathy Sexton, Booklist

Rez Metal represents the creative genius of contemporary Indigenous popular culture. Set within the heart of the Navajo Nation and including the voices of elders, council members, and metalheads of all ages, Soltani Stone and Zappia demonstrate the importance of metal as a source of hope and inspiration for Indigenous youth and its prominence as an organic Indigenous expressive culture.”—Kyle T. Mays, author of Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: History of the Project and Arrangement of the Book
1. What is Rez Metal?
2. Venues
3. The Band
4. Industry, Audience, and the Next Generation
Sources and Further Reading

Also of Interest