This past December, Chicago’s WGN Channel 9 news show featured a new metal band called Earthen Grave. What makes this band so unique? The six piece ensemble includes renowned classical violinist Rachel Barton Pine. And she’s not just a guest artist. On the band’s bio sheet, guitarist Jason Muxlow says that this is first time that an electric violin will be woven into the DNA of band as a core instrument.
Rachel Barton Pine has performed as a classical solo violinist all over the world, winning numerous competitions and soloing with prestigious symphony orchestras. She is also a longtime metal fan and has playing metal on her acoustic violin for 15 years.
I should also mention that I have some personal memories of Barton Pine. As a child, I took violin lessons at the same school. I remember watching her perform Carmen Fantasy Op.25 by Pablo Sarasate (a professional level piece) with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on television when she was 10 years old. I was seven and still playing intermediate pieces in Suzuki Violin Book 3. I turned to my mother and asked, “Will I play like that when I’m 10?” When she got a little older, I remember seeing her walk through the school carrying her violin case covered with Metallica, Slayer, and Pantera patches. As the years have passed, it’s been wonderful to see her career blossom.
Check out these live performances by Earthen Grave:
Mommy, can I play in a metal band when I grow up?
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