Previously known to documentary film buffs as the guys in "Heavy Metal in Baghdad", the Iraqi heavy metal band Acrassicauda has managed to escape the dangerous confines of Baghdad, Iraq for the safety of the United States, settling down in Elizabeth, New Jersey just this past week.
The band members were accepted by the UNHCR as Iraqi refugees, four of just 13,000 that were admitted to the US in 2008 out of an approximated two million applicants. Vice, the Brooklyn-based media company known most for their humorous if not offensive editorials in Vice Magazine, were a driving force behind the band's survival. After all, it was their "responsibility," as Vice founder Suroosh Alvi notes, because the film "had outed them and endangered their lives."
The New York Times reports that Vice has "kept them afloat with cash," ever since, estimated at $40,000, through their own "coffers, sponsors and donations collected online".
This past Sunday night, at the Prudential Center in Newark, the newly relocated metal band had an experience most rockers could only dream of - they got to meet the four members of Metallica after a concert. James Hatfield, the band's lead singer, welcomed the group by gifting a black ESP, one of his guitars, and saying, "That's for keeping the faith. Write some good riffs."
After that, Vice writes "the band jokingly announced that they’d achieved their dreams and could go back to Baghdad now." They then add, "But ... no, you're staying."