Metalhead mayor reps Soulfly at the ballot box

A picture of Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller wearing a Soulfly t-shirt
(Image credit: Soulfly)

The mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was spotted voting this week while wearing a Soulfly shirt.

Tim Keller is a proud metalhead and is often seen wearing the merch of his favourite bands.

Soulfly shared a picture of Keller casting his ballot in the U.S. 2022 midterm election. The Instagram post included the message: "Albuquerque’s mayor Tim Keller sporting his Soulfly gear while voting yesterday! Rock the vote!"

Democrat Keller has previously worn Machine Head and Pantera merch while voting or carrying out his duties as mayor. And he has introduced Anthrax and Trivium from the stage at live shows.

In an interview with Loudwire, Keller once explained that his love of heavy metal has played a part in his political work. He said: "It’s played a significant role in terms of a couple of things. One, just the notion of challenging the system, I think, is fundamentally metal and also fundamental to the reason why I’m even in public service, in politics.

"I’ve always tended to be a little bit of a maverick and not someone who fits in a particular political arena. Bands that are somewhat more political than others, like Sepultura or even System of a Down, have taught me to be my own person and not take the status quo as acceptable."

Keller acknowledged that metal musicians are often critical or suspicious of politicians, but he said they usually lower their guard when they realise he's a genuine fan.

He added: "Rebelling against politics is kind of fundamental to metal. But when people have a conversation and realise that you’re actually a real metal fan, they really think it’s cool.

"But I do think some of them, they Google me, they do a little spot check to see if there’s something that they don’t like. But with a lot of them, I’ve been to several of their shows before. So it’s easy to be like, 'Oh man, I saw you guys two years ago, what a great set,' and that kind of thing.

"Then they know you’re legitimate. So I think once they realise that you’re an authentic dude, it’s cool. So they just wanna screen for that first."

Keller is not the only political figure with a love for metal. In the UK, East Leeds MP Richard Burgon is a regular at metal gigs.

And in 2014, metalhead Joko Widodo was elected President of Indonesia.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.