The student news source of Iowa City West High

Metal music magic

January 20, 2022

To some, metal music is just screaming, loud noises with no real meaning, but to Lucy Abbas ’25 (he/she/they) it is part of who they are. 

Abbas defines themself as an avid metalhead. At school, they walk down the hallway: funky turquoise hair, combat boots, battle vest and all. They first found their love for music when listening to the band Rage Against the Machine on their dad’s CD. 

A battle vest showcasing all the things Abbas loves. (Sila Duran)

“That was my favorite music, and then I got older, grew out of it, then it was Taylor Swift all the way,” Abbas said. “Then in fourth grade, I started listening to that music again. It started with Twenty One Pilots, My Chemical Romance. And then over the years, it’s just gotten heavier and heavier.”

The stigma around metal music is something Abbas has noted over the years. Some may not be impressed by the genre, but Abbas values the technicality of the skill required to perform it. For example, Abbas admires the metal scream — a loud sound, similar to a growl — that can be done in one long cry or many short bursts. They can sometimes even take up entire melodies. 

“People think that metal screaming doesn’t take talent, but in reality, it could damage your vocal cords and make it so you never talk again,” Abbas said. “All the musicians take over 10 years just to learn how to scream.”

The music that surrounds Abbas also impacts how she dresses. She would describe her style as punk, which is usually DIY. One example of this style of clothing is the Battle Vest, which is extremely popular in metalhead and punk cultures. Battle Vests are usually sleeveless denim or leather jackets, they consist of many unwritten rules; typically, the patches you put on them should be homemade. 

“I took the sleeves off [the jacket] and hand spiked all of it. All the patches are going to be handmade. I’ll take a shirt, cut out some fabric [and] paint it with acrylic paint.” 

Creating outfits every morning is one thing Abbas looks forward to every day.

“The best thing is picking out my outfit. As someone who has an extreme style, something I do collect is clothes and shirts and stuff. It’s one of my things,” Abbas said. “I get to look at my closet and choose what I want to wear, and then I get to do my whole makeup look corresponding [to] it.” 

The best thing is picking out my outfit. As someone who has an extreme style, something I do collect is clothes and shirts and stuff. It’s one of my things.”

— Lucy Abbas ’25

While Abbas feels many at West may define his style as unconventional, Abbas believes that being himself is an essential value in his life. 

“After getting beaten down so many times, I remain to be who I am and decide how to live my own life.”

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