Death Metal Guitarist Who Relearned as Lefty Plays Elementary School Gig
Who says death metal has to be all doom and gloom? Certainly not these elementary school students, who headbanged and “moshed” ecstatically while watching their music teacher play his first gig as a left-handed guitarist following a car accident that put his career in jeopardy.
The performer is Philippe Drouin, who fronts Canadian technical death metal band Obvurt. Drouin sustained injuries during a 2016 car accident that left him unable to continue playing guitar right-handed. Rather than abandon his craft, Drouin simply taught himself how to play left-handed, enlisting the help of famously ambidextrous shredder Michael Angelo Batio, who attacks the fretboard from every angle on his iconic quadruple-neck guitar.
After practicing four hours a day for three years, Drouin got his lefty guitar chops up to his pre-accident levels. He celebrated last week by performing with Obvurt at Saint-Albert-Le-Grand Elementary School, where he works as a music teacher.
Footage from the gig shows Obvurt delivering a blistering performance on the track outside Saint-Albert-Le-Grand. Drouin serves up knotty riffs and guttural death growls as his pint-sized students jump for joy, pump their fists and run back and forth on the track. One student does the “Floss” dance from Fortnite during the metallic onslaught, because of course.
Earlier this year, Obvurt dropped a new EP titled The Beginning, which features bassist Olivier Pinard (Cattle Decapitation, Cryptopsy, Neuraxis) and drummer Samuel Santiago (ex-Gorod, ex-Black Crown Initiate, ex-Melechesh). Of the song “Scars of War,” Drouin told MetalSucks, “This song speaks about perseverance. No matter the roadblock you hit throughout your life, everything is possible when you put in your 100%. It’s talking about a new life, a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Kudos to Drouin for triumphing over adversity, to Obvurt for the awesome makeshift gig and to the students of Saint-Albert-Le-Grand Elementary School for knowing face-melting death metal when they hear it.