PIC BY XSTILLCOLD
I get asked all the time: “Erika, how did you get so heavily into metal?” My parents are metalheads, and my whole life I have been raised on metal. But growing up, that was the music my parents listened to. My brothers and cousin were in bands when I was a child, and I would go to their shows to support them. At that time, metal music was a way that I supported my family. It didn’t become “my music” until my freshman year of high school.
In high school, I didn’t really fit into one particular crowd. I like basketball and football, but I’m not a “jock.” I like academics, but I’m not a “nerd.” I like the social life, but I am not a “prep.” I couldn’t find my identity in any of these cliques. It wasn’t until my second semester of freshman year that everything changed. My mom won tickets to the Carolina Rebellion. I have been to multiple shows, so I knew what to expect when going to these shows. When I got to the Carolina Rebellion something in me changed. The music filled a void in my heart where I was okay with being alone. The music had a different meaning to me, now. It became a part of my identity, changing me for the better. I felt surreal and complete in the rock and metal genre. The atmosphere, the music, the lyrics, and the vibe gave me a sense that I am not alone. The closest words to describe how I felt at my first Carolina Rebellion, and how I feel now anytime I’m listening to the music or at a show is serenity and solidarity. Within this music, and in going to the festivals, is where I found my true-self. After that experience at the Carolina Rebellion, I got into the metal culture heavily. I went back and researched bands, and listened to the music. The music sounded different to me, now. It had a meaning to that I could relate to. The metal scene saved my life (metaphorically speaking) and changed me for the better (realistically speaking). It made me into the person that I am today. I have no idea where I would be without this music. I owe everything to the music, it has done wonders for me.