Stop whatever you’re doing right now and buy Metal Cats by Alexandra Crockett. OK, read this first and then buy it. The book features original photos of men who are musicians who play heavy metal (including members of the bands Black Goat, Thrones, Isis, Lightning Swords of Death, Book of Black Earth, Skarp, Harassor, Akimbo, Aldebaran, Atriarch, Oak, Ghoul, Ludicra, Holy Grail, Xasthur, Cattle Decapitation, Murder Construct, Exhumed, Morbid Angel, Municipal Waste, Skeletonwitch, Gypsyhawk, Nausea, Phobia, and Napalm Death) and love cats. Men and Cats was lucky enough to talk to Alexandra about her book.
Alexandra has been in the metal scene for about 15 years, and has been taking photographs during that time as well, including album photos, promo shots, band photos, and portraits. She says her favorite sub-genres of metal include “Swedish death metal, early Norwegian black metal, Pacific Northwest metal, and Doom metal.” She’s also a cat lover, of course.
Alexandra’s been working on her book since 2010. She started off taking photos of about 30 of her metal-and-cat-loving friends. She then created a Facebook page and quickly got about 1,000 followers within the first month, and many people wanted to be a part of her project. She whittled down the requests to those on the West coast (Alexandra currently lives in California, but grew up in Seattle and New Jersey – all places with great metal, punk, rock, and hardcore scenes). Alexandra says, “I got about 700 submissions, from all over the world – maybe 18 countries represented total, maybe every continent, actually, besides Antarctica.” All the (human) subjects in the book are men/identify as male.
One memorable photo shoot included a cat who would just not cooperate. “The poor guy’s cat was biting him the entire time. I probably took 350 frames, and only one of them included the cat not biting him!” Alexandra met over 100 people and cats in their own homes, keeping up friendships with many after meeting them. Her Facebook page now has over 5,000 followers.
Alexandra has set up some benefit shows to promote the book, which will also support local animal shelters. Upcoming shows include May 10th in Seattle at High Line (supporting Motley Zoo rescue), May 17th in Brooklyn at Union Pool (supporting Bobbi and the Strays) and May 24th in Oakland at Eli’s Mile High supporting Nine Lives Foundation. A portion of the proceeds from the book will also go towards no-kill animal shelters.