"Liberty is what we're missing more than anything," says a young Cuban metal-head at the end of the clip (below).
On the margins of Cuba, an isolated country better known for cigars and Castro, a vibrant heavy metal scene flourishes.
Flocking to concerts around the communist-controlled island, tattooed fans wearing black METALLICA t-shirts listen to the screaming shouts of the country's metal bands.
The celebrities in this scene are the members of ZEUS, the country's oldest heavy metal band. They've performed in Havana since the 1980s, when this American-influenced music was officially banned by the Castro government. The long-haired rockers — called "freakies" — were thrown in jail and concerts were broken up by state police.
Thirty years later, rock music is tolerated, but barely. A government bureaucracy called the Agency Of Rock controls Cuba's heavy metal scene. Every concert and every record must be cleared with the Agency's director of rock.
It's a sign of the changing situation in Cuba, but it's also an absurd position for the country's heavy metal musicians. To play their music, ZEUS and their diehard fans must fight to be true to themselves within the confines set by the Cuban government.
"People always listen to the hardest music because it is a way of reaffirming their passion and liberty against everything that is imposed on them," says Ivan Vera, the guitarist for ZEUS. "That, I believe, is the reason for heavy metal."
American filmmaker Nicholas Brennan has spent the past four years capturing ZEUS's story and the broader history of heavy metal in Cuba in the feature-length documentary film "Hard Rock Havana".
With over 120 hours of footage filmed in Cuba, Brennan has launched a Kickstarter campaign to edit the film and share this band's story. The campaign runs through December 18.
The film is executive produced by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney, with Dave Lombardo, Cuban-born former drummer of SLAYER, serving as the music advisor.
- ► 2016 (651)
- ► 2015 (1080)
- ► 2014 (1177)
12/01 - 12/08
- Check Out "Hard Rock Havana"
- Socialism in the Time of Cholera
- North Korea Releases Hostage, Cuba Keeps Hostage
- Castro Continues to Subvert Democracy in Venezuela...
- Image of the Week: From the Ukraine
- On Mandela and Fidel Castro
- On Nelson Mandela's Life and Legacy
- Tweet of the Day
- Must-Read: Welcome to (the Real) Havana
- Struggle for Freedom Vibrant Among Cubans
- Does Anyone Still Think Alan Gross is NOT a Hostag...
- National Security Advisor Susan Rice Talks Cuba, H...
- From The White House
- Are Cuban-Americans Responsible for Iran and North...
- Leahy Prolonging Castro's Hostage-Taking
- From The State Department
- Elian: Fidel is My God
- Tweet of the Day
- A Test Case for Alan Gross's Release
- State Department: On 4th Anniversary of Alan Gross...
- Leahy and WaPo Misrepresent Senator's Views
- Over 761 Political Arrests in November
- Kim and Castro's Hostage Mea Culpas
- Castro Lies and Misleading News Reports
- Dissident Awareness Campaign: Berta Soler
- Quote of the Week
- Tweet of the Week
- ▼ 12/01 - 12/08 (27)
- ► 2012 (1158)
- ► 2011 (1031)
- ► 2010 (1042)
- ► 2009 (933)