Debauchery vocalist Thomas "The Bloodbeast" Gurrath was sacked from his position as a philosophy trainee teacher at a high school in Stuttgart in Germany due to the "violent" content of his music. Gurrath was given the choice by the educational authorities between continuing his job teaching ethics to 14-year-old students and maintaining his career as a death metal vocalist. Gurrath, however, refused to give up Debauchery, which caused him not only to lose his job at his school, but also to be banned from teaching anywhere in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg as long as he continues to be a member of a death metal band.
The school governors were apparently not aware of his links to death metal when they hired him. However, one supervisor at the school discovered the band's website and informed the authorities. The parents and the school officials were horrified when they saw some of the band's promotional materials which feature naked women covered with blood and sado-masochistic equipment. The officials described the band's live shows as signs of "mental disability" and decided that it is not safe for children to be in the same classroom with Gurrath.
Saxon Vocalist Peter "Biff" Byford has teamed up with Metal Hammer Magazine for a campaign to call heavy metal fans in the UK to register their religion as 'heavy metal' in the 2011 census in the UK. In this case, heavy metal would be recognised as a religion in the UK along with other religions such as Christianity and Islam.
At the last census nine years ago, more than 400 thousand people in the UK stated 'Jedi', the fictional characters from the Star Wars series, as their religion thanks to a massive internet campaign. Jedi was ultimately ranked as the fourth most popular religion in the UK behind Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, although it is considered to be a joke, rather than a real reflection of the religious beliefs of people concerned. In 2011, it may be heavy metal's turn, the campaigners hope.
Cesare "Fratello Metallo" Bonizzi (born 1946), a monk from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin who has been performing in recent years as a heavy metal singer, has decided to retire. Fratello Metallo ("Brother Metal"), which is also the name of his band, felt that being in a heavy metal band has made him a celebrity and taken him down the Devil's path. The Devil, he says, has turned him away from his fellow monks and managers, so he had "to kill him." However, Bonizzi asserts that he will maintain his interest in heavy metal.
Since 1990 he has released numerous albums in various styles from new age to rock. After seeing Metallica in concert, however, his passion turned to heavy metal. "Metal is the most energetic, vital, deep and true musical language that I know," says Fratello Metallo. In 2008 he released a heavy metal album under the title Misteri. He cites Megadeth and Metallica as major inspirations on his transformation to metal. His band was the opening act at 2008's Gods of Metal, Italy's largest heavy metal festival.
Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against The Machine have joined efforts with some other rock and pop artists (such as Pearl Jam, Jackson Browne and R.E.M.) to campaign against the use of their music in Guantanamo Bay to torture the detainees. The National Security Archive, an independent research institute that is based in Washington, have uncovered under the Freedom of Information Act about 20 classified documents that detail the use of loud music as "an interrogation device" to "create futility" in uncooperative detainees.
Terror suspects have been tortured with songs by Rage Against the Machine, Deicide ("Fuck Your God"), Metallica ("Enter Sandman"), Britney Spears, the theme tune to Sesame Street, Barney the Dinosaur's title song and a number of tracks by shock rocker Marilyn Manson. One detainee spent hours being forced to listen to Drowning Pool's "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor". Some inmates also complained of being subjected to the work of Eminem, Bruce Springsteen ("Born in the U.S.A.") and the Bee Gees in order to prevent them sleeping.