Music journalist Laina Dawes has been a fan of heavy metal music since she first started listening to bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple as a kid in rural Ontario, Canada. But being a part of the metal scene as a fan, and later, as a journalist and photographer, hasn't always been easy, as she chronicles in her new book, What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal.
"The main intent was to show how heavy metal music can be used as a form of liberation for black women," Dawes explains. But the book eventually turned into a memoir of sorts: "I was always wondering why I was the only black person at a show. I thought it was important to [share] my journey into heavy metal."
Listen to Dawes' full conversation with host John Schaefer above.