Notorious Native Noise

I recently had the great pleasure of sitting in on an episode of CHUO’s The Circle to talk about Indigenous heavy metal from around the world. The Circle is a weekly hour-long show on the University of Ottawa’s campus radio station that features Indigenous music, arts, and current affairs. Airing every Tuesday at 9PM, it’s a great show that’s an integral part of Ottawa’s First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities. I’ve been a guest in the past with regular host Jocelyn Formsma, and summer host Darren Sutherland invited me back for a special all-metal edition.

I’m generally a fan of all kinds of music, and I’ve been into heavy metal since I was about 12 years old. It’s a diverse genre that embodies loud, passionate, and complex music that transcends cultures. Naturally, Indigenous people from around the world have embraced it as a way to showcase their traditions and stories with sheer force. While country and rap music are widely known as the most popular genres on the rez, Native people have been making compelling heavy music for decades. Darren had the idea of showcasing some of that talent for The Circle’s listeners, and asked me to come on the show to play some of my favourites. I was really stoked about the opportunity, and joined him on the air on August 27. Here’s what we played:

X-Status – “Warpath”
Sepultura – “Roots Bloody Roots”
Breach of Trust – “Who Am I?”
Biipiigwan – “Kingmaker”
Ethnic De Generation – “Blood Land”
Garden of Bedlam – “Sovereignty”
Rage Against the Machine – “People of the Sun”
Bruthers of Different Muthers – “Bows and Arrows”
Northern Cree – “Stay Red”

For more on the bands, their songs, and the importance of heavy metal in Indigenous communities, listen to the entire hour-long episode here:

Chi-miigwech to Darren and Jocelyn for having me on!


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