Serving as one of the 24 delegates to the Navajo Nation Council, 46-year-old Edmund Yazzie is not your typical heavy metal rock band member. Nonetheless, this drummer formed a band named Testify to inspire youth in the Navajo reservation. Following the suicides of 15 young adults in his district, Yazzie felt he had to find a source of encouragement for them. Playing for audiences half his age, “the rocker delegate” plays alongside his 22-year-old son and two other musicians.
Just as Casuse fought to eradicate poverty, violence, and alcoholism, this four-man band uses their lyrics to convey a message of hope to those living in a region where depression is very prevalent. Going beyond the common stereotype that “Rez Metal”, several bands who play across the reservation, Yazzie’s music is not about encouraging the use of alcohol and drugs that he takes a stand against. With songs like “Move On” and “Live for Something, Die for Nothing”, one pastor was so moved that he invited the band to his church. While Yazzie lives out his life-long dream in hopes of making it big, he continues to create laws and tunes and “fight the good fight”
To read more about Testify, click here.
Erica Marshall, Winter Intern