Have we just witnessed one of the greatest political trollings of all time? Aria DiMezzo, a Satanic High Priestess and anarchist, recently won the preliminary Republican nomination for sheriff of Cheshire County in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. She ran under the campaign slogan ‘F*** the police’ and won by 4,211 votes without any backing from the county or the Republican office.
Is DiMezzo just trolling or does she have bigger plans for the U.S. police force?
You’re getting a lot of media coverage at the moment and the main story seems to be: ‘trans Satanist anarchist metalhead trolls Republican Party’. How much of that is actually true?
It’s not strictly true. I mean, I am trolling the Republicans but there's more to it than that. I didn't just get the nomination and go ‘haha I'm good now’, I actually plan to run for sheriff and trolling the Republicans was a means to that end.
What’s the story behind your decision to run?
I ran in 2018 as a Libertarian. It didn’t go very well, and the governor candidate failed to get the required number of votes for the Libertarian Party to maintain ballot access.
Instead of running around petitioning and collecting signatures, we decided ‘well let's just join one of the other two political parties and run under their banner’. And the most obvious one here in Cheshire County are the Republicans because they're hurting — their numbers are extremely low.
So, this is a genuine attempt to bring a radically different approach to a traditional system?
Yes. The current system we have does not serve the will of the people. Police don't serve the people, they serve the state. We need someone to actually hold the police accountable. To get out there and police the police. The sheriff, as the highest law enforcement official within any given county, is the best suited for that role.
The Heart From Your Hate is your campaign song; do Trivium know and have they reached out?
Yes, they are aware of it. In fact, Matt [Heafy] and Paolo [Gregoletto] have both endorsed me. I grew up listening to Trivium and I never would have expected to have their support in something like this, because I've always idolised them.
What's your take on the relationship between metal and politics?
Metal and rock in general have always been about rebelling, going all the way back to its roots with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. It was all about rebelling against the cultural norms of the time. To shock people, to jar people, to make them face the world they actually live in. So, rebelling against authority has always been a critical part of rock and acceptance and tolerance of people has, in my experience, always been a critical part of rock.
Could Satanic or anarchistic ideals actually work in politics?
The ideology of Satanism is ultimately individualism and humanism; treat others with respect and compassion. Be kind. Be a good person. And those are awesome things to live by. I think the world would be a better place if we had more elected officials who were Satanists or who listened to rock music.
If you win the vote on November 3rd, what will your first act as sheriff be?
To give the deputies new instructions. That they're no longer allowed to act upon any crime where there isn't a victim. They are required to respond to crimes where there are victims, and they can sit in the office and play video games or listen to In This Moment or whatever all day every day until one of those calls come in. Or they can go out and police the police. That would be the first thing I did. Redefine what their job is.
If this election goes well, what are the chances we'll see you as President one day?
I have never given any thought whatsoever to running for anything higher. I was going to run for state rep this year, but the sheriff opportunity presented itself and I'm better suited for that than I am for state representative, so that was the one I picked. But who knows what the future will bring! If I become sheriff, and people approve of me, then maybe I will run for something higher...