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Watch Albuquerque’s Metalhead Mayor Join Anthrax Onstage

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Tim Keller, the 30th mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a proud metal fan who believes in the “empowerment potential” of heavy metal. Since his inauguration in December 2017, he’s made several on-stage appearances to introduce some of his favorite metal bands. The day after he was sworn in to office, he introduced Trivium in front of a roaring crowd, and more recently, he welcomed Anthrax to the city, proclaiming “I believe in the power of metal!” Watch the video below.

Mr. Keller is a Democrat focusing on urgent issues like improved public transit as well as long-term changes including a bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. He values the capacity for metal to bring people of different backgrounds together and encourages those in marginalized communities, especially in the Southwest, where subgenres like “Rez Metal” thrive, to participate. Albuquerque’s music community already favors Keller much more highly than his predecessor, Martin Chávez, who attempted to fight underage drinking and violent crime by cracking down on downtown all-ages concerts. Oops.

Tim Keller’s fusing of metal and politics is exciting, though he’s not the first headbanger to be politically active. You might remeber Danica Roem, the transgender vocalist for Cab Ride Home who was elected to Virginia’s house of delegates last year. Or the time that Fenriz got elected to his city council after he posted a picture of himself and his cat with the caption “Don’t Vote For Me.” There’s clearly some kind of trend going on here, though cultural scholar Jeremy Wallach says “it’s not that surprising, since the first generation of die-hard metal fans is entering their 40s and 50s, rising to positions of power and obtaining political influence.” Maybe we’re about to see a Metalocalypse-style uprising? Brace yourselves.

[via New York Times]

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