Photo by Courtney Breen
Erika aka ‘The Saw’ is a DJ at WKNC and has also been the Chainsaw music director for over three years now. She’s worked multiple other positions including Content Creator and Content Manager. As NACC’s DJ of the month for June 2019, The Saw has also emceed the State Fair and introduced Between the Buried and in 2018. Also in 2019, she taught 2 workshops at the CBI convention! The Saw’s work is endless also including interviewing bands, writing blog posts for WKNC and a personal website, hosting ‘The Saw’s Electric Chair Heavy Metal Podcast’, and so much more.
In this episode, The Saw gives us insight into how she got into metal and how it set her on her current path. Both her parents are metalheads who met in a mosh pit, “it’s in my roots” she said. The DJ was also exposed to metal through her older brothers and cousins who were in local bands and was involved with the scene since she was 8. At age 14 she went to her first Carolina Rebellion. “This is where I’m supposed to be, this is where I belong,” she said she knew this as soon as the show started “it filled a void in my heart,” after this she said “metal was always there for me.”
As far as getting into working at WKNC the DJ says her father told her about the station and suggested she try out DJing Chainsaw. She said she had no idea before and when she checked she saw that no one was currently in the genre. This is where she decided to fill the gap and started her mission to share metal with more people and make sure people see how special the genre is.
This is where Erika’s mission comes in. “There’s a stigma that metalheads are mean and you can’t talk to them” she says. “The music might sound one way but the people are very kind.” Erika wants to show people the truth behind the genre and that there’s no need to stigmatize or judge based on how the music might sound. Since metal got her out of a rut, she wants to do anything she can to give back to the music. She says metal is an underground genre right now, so she wants to do all she can to shine some light on the genre and the bands in it, “I wouldn’t be here without the local bands.” This is why The Saw started ‘The Bone Cruncher,’ her local metal segment at WKNC. This helped ‘The Butcher Shop,’ gain another segment and that is when The Saw took off.
As I mentioned, The Saw has a website, attached below, this is where she showcases all of her work. She plans to use the site to continue her work after college, using it as a ground base. She soon realized “I can really do something with this website.” She considers all of these platforms a way to show off all the band’s hard work, and she enjoys her role in the community. Especially being able to support these bands. She said she loves “seeing the community come together” and that “the DIY scene in all genres, it’s all helping one another out.” She’s participated in many benefit shows (Crowdkill for Cancer and WKNC’s First Chainsaw Show where she emceed) and says seeing the people come together is really what makes it worth it and what keeps her going. She enjoys the friendship and commodity of the scene. “You can be happy, metal isn’t that sad to be honest.”
As The Saw says “I’ve been a metalhead my entire life, it’s a lifestyle for me,” “my blood type is type o-negative, (which is) a metal band… that’s not a coincidence.”
– “You can’t get rid of DJ Psyched and The Saw”