Cats and the Metalheads Who Love Them

The Photo Blog
April 25 2014 12:24 PM

Cats and the Metalheads Who Love Them

Dino Sommese of Ghoul, Dystopia, Splatterhouse, and Fall of the Bastards with Short Bus

Alexandra Crockett

As a teenager, Alexandra Crockett was a fan of metal music. She said she originally got into Swedish death metal, Norwegian black metal, and East Coast death metal because “it was fast and extreme,” as well as some doom metal and thrash from the Pacific Northwest.  Today, she’s getting a doctorate at a clinical psychology program in the San Francisco Bay Area with an emphasis on social justice and advocating. Sandwiched in between her studies she photographed 115 metalheads with their cats for a book titled Metal Cats, published by Powerhouse with a release date of May 6.

Crockett took the photographs between 2010 and 2012. She drove up and down the West Coast to each person’s home, armed mostly with printed-out directions since she didn’t have a smartphone. From Seattle to San Diego, Crockett would spend a couple of hours with the men she either already knew or met through friends or from her Facebook page for the project. Getting to the shoots turned out to be the easy part; making the pictures was another thing. “It was crazy,” Crockett said. “It wasn’t organized, it was out of control and it was just full on movement.”

Left: Eddie Pedereson of Thou Shall Kill with Squirrel. Right: Black Metal Comedian with Alair.

Alexandra Crocket

Tony Stark

Alexandra Crockett

This seems hardly surprising, since she was working with cats. Fortunately, Crockett is a patient person, and although she has plenty of outtakes from the project, she was able to achieve her own decisive moments for the book. “Most of the images used for the book are at a place when the cat has a split second of just looking at the light or looking at my camera like ‘What is that?’ and I have to snap it at that exact second.”


Metal Cats also shows a softer side of the men involved in the metal community. Crockett said that most of the men she photographed had rescued their cats from shelters; a portion of the proceeds from the book will benefit no-kill shelters in four of the cities she visited. “The book speaks to the fact that a lot of people in the [metal] scene rescue animals instead of getting them from breeders,” Crockett said. “You go into a shelter, and I think [the cats] choose you; you will see in the photos that they match their owners and personalities. That’s the one that that ties them together: They have a cat that matches them.”

Metal Cats will be released on May 6.

Jason Roberts of Night Nurse, Burning Leather, Splatterhouse, and Fall of the Bastards with Oliver

Alexandra Crocket

Brooks Blackhawk of Atriarch and DJ Blackhawk with Fred

Alexandra Crockett

Left: Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation and Murder Construct with Nico, "the Neeks." Right: Aub Driver of Jahai and Darkhorse Comics with Freya.

Alexandra Crocket



Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Learns That Breaking Up a Country Is Hard to Do

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola: It Preys on the Compassionate

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!


Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 19 2014 12:33 PM The Precarious Predicament of Russia’s Neighbors
Sept. 19 2014 12:09 PM How Accelerators Have Changed Startup Funding
The Eye
Sept. 19 2014 12:50 PM This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 12:10 PM Watch the Trailer for Big Eyes, a Tim Burton Movie About People With Normal-Sized Eyes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 12:38 PM Forward, March! Nine leading climate scientists urge you to attend the People’s Climate March.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM The Curious Incident of the Supernova in the Nighttime
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.