Kim Chakanetsa of the BBC World Service recently quizzed two heavy metal bass guitarists about their roles in their bands, how they learnt to headbang, and juggling the music with their day jobs. You can now listen to the program at BBC.co.uk.
Doris Yeh tours all over the world with best-selling Taiwanese metal band CHTHONIC. She says she only got into heavy metal by accident, but now loves it. Being the only woman in the band can have its downsides — at performances her male colleagues used to expect her to get changed in the toilet while they occupied the one dressing room! However, Doris learnt to assert herself, and says when she gets on stage and starts playing, she is just excited to be able to treasure that moment with the audience.
Slovenian Sasha Zagorc formed the heavy metal/hard rock band HELLCATS with her sister ten years ago. She's always been a metalhead so just wears her own black leather clothes in their videos and on stage. Initially the band had to deal with quite a lot of criticism as the first all-female band on the Slovenian metal scene, but they just kept going and now have fans all over the world. For Sasha, having a band provides much-needed relaxation, and she loves going on tour with her best friends.
Asked about the art of headbanging while performing with her bandmates, Sasha said: "For me, [it's about] just throwing myself into the music. But I know many bands, they have choreography maybe on the stage. But we don't. I just do whatever I love to do at the specific moment. I just don't care."
Doris said: "At the beginning, when I went on a stage, I was just like a static tree on a stage. I [didn't] know how to move; I [didn't] know how and where I should move to. But gradually I learned how to use your body and your head and your hair to be part of the performance. It's a very interesting thing for an artist, not just to perform to the audience, but in a way I also learned and I enjoy the feeling that the music brings to me. And I follow the feeling, and I know how to bang my head, and it just happened very naturally. So maybe I spent five years to know how to bang my head."