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A whole new level of heavy metal

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‘METALLICA’  bassist makes stop

at Navajo Nation Metal Fest ‘Taa’

A sea of black donned attire, long hair thrashing about, and fist pumping in the air was the scene as headbangers came out to the Navajo Nation Metal Fest Taa’  “3.”

The heavy metal fest took place at the Navajo Nation fairgrounds in Window Rock, Ariz. Oct. 1, making its third comeback for a full day of rock ‘n’ roll and heavy metal music. Taa’” means the number three in the Dinè language.)

Primarily Native American bands came out in numbers from around the area as well as non-Native bands to play their music, meet old friends, and make some new ones, and just share the common thread – the love of heavy metal music.

According to promoter/organizer Randall Hoskie of Rancid-Savage Productions, bands came from all over the southwest area, so much so that a few had to be turned away.

Bands included those from the Navajo Nation and other Indigenous tribes such as the Tohono Oʼodham, San Carlos Apache, Jicarilla Apache, various Pueblos, and Cherokees.

One man not turned away was “Metallica” bassist Robert Trujillo. Hoskie said the rock legend assisted on many levels at the fest, including helping out backstage.

“He was like the ultimate stage hand running around and lending us a hand,” Hoskie said of Robert Trujillo. “As well as Max Cavalera of ‘Soulfly.’”

Hoskie said that the turnout only reinforces his idea for making it a two-day festival.

“This event is going to give us some clout in this business especially with the heavy hitters like Robert Trujillo and Max showing their support,” he said.

As Robert Trujillo helped backstage, during an interview with the Sun, he said he was also there to see his son Tye, who plays with the band “Ottto.”

“For my son to be here is really powerful because he’s been writing his own music, touring, and becoming an old pro at a young age,” Robert Trujillo said. “That’s a beautiful thing. I believe that in this day of age there are not enough platforms for the youth to do these sorts of things. So anything I can do  to help launch them and create a nice experience rather than a crappy experience so that they can enjoy this and hopefully carry the torch for the future, [I”m going to do that.]”

Being it Robert Trujillo’s first time in the area, he was not only amazed at the landscape, but the talent as well.

“Great energy, the landscape, the sky, everything is magic, I’m honored to be here,” he said. “Great bands too, all these bands are crushing, Navajo Nation Metal Fest has some of the best bands I’ve ever seen in a long time, seriously, the local talent is kicking ass.”

Another doting father was Max Cavalera, the vocalist for the heavy metal band Soulfly as well as long standing band Sepultura. Coming out to see his son, Igor Cavalera and his band “Healing Magic,” Max Cavalera joked that he wanted to help his son set-up for the performance but was told, “Dad I got this, I want to do my own thing.”

Cavalera said his son brings plenty of passion to his music and dedication. The proud father said his son truly shows great independence, but that he also needs to learn that rock ‘n’ roll is all about being on the road, even on the Navajo Nation.

“It’s about getting out there and facing situations, harsh times, good times and he has to learn all about that,” Cavalera said.

Cavalera said he loves the area and is friends with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, noting that the president is a “major metalhead.”

Finally, amidst the blaring music and frenzy backstage, this reporter caught up with the guys of the three-piece band “Ottto.”

Hailing from the Pacific Coast Highway in California, all three members were stoked to be a part of the metal fest. Members of the band include Bryan Ferretti (vocals and guitar), Tye Trujillo (bass), and Patrick “Triko” Chavez (drums).

“Man, everyone has been so welcoming and it is such a beautiful place to be, couldn’t be happier.” Ferretti said.

Tye Trujillo, a senior in high school, backed up what his bandmate said, praising the people of Window Rock and the landscape.

“It’s an honor being here and given the chance to play here,”  Tye Trujillo said. “This area is full of mystical beauty, the people – everybody. They love music and are ready to have a good time.”

Chavez complimented the other bands and showed appreciation for being a part of the fest.

“They’ve been great and kicked butt, just to be here is truly an honor,” Chavez said.

For more information on Rancid-Savage Productions, visit Facebook.

For more information on Ottto, visit www.otttoband.com and Facebook.

For more information on Metallica, visit www.metallica.com

For more information on Soulfly, visit www.soulfly.com

By Dee Velasco
For the Sun