Late last week the last of the four members of Acrassicauda, the Iraqi metal band we’ve been profiling for half a decade, settled in New Jersey on refugee status. The New York Times will fill you in on all those details, but we hung out with them over the weekend and they’re probably the only metalheads in that state who were excited to be in it.
Friday Brian, a producer of that ol' documentary we made about them, Heavy Metal in Baghdad (he’s also the guy in charge of their relocation case), got an enormous Acrassicauda tattoo and walked around the office like he was wounded in battle. Saturday he took Marwan, the drummer, out to the Mercury Lounge, his first time into the city, where Marwan gobbled pizza while walking down the street—hey, when your practice space has been bombed and extremists threaten you for headbanging, your dreams become very simple and very beautiful.
Sunday the band—minus Tony, the guitarist, who was in Michigan working on getting his family over here—went to see Metallica, and when James Hetfield bequeathed to them a hesher's dream, a black ESP, along with the holy mandate to write sweet riffs, the band jokingly announced that they’d achieved their dreams and could go back to Baghdad now. Ha ha, guys. But fuck no, you're staying.
(Photos by Monica Hampton/VBS.TV & VICE Films)