On April 15, Metallica marked National ASL Day with the announcement of a partnership with the Deaf Professional Arts Network (DPAN) and Amber G Productions teams to release every music video for every song from the band’s new 72 Seasons album in American Sign Language. The news was accompanied by the first of these ASL videos, for the title track, “72 Seasons.”
Today, April 25, with the posting of the 11 remaining songs from 72 Seasons on video with lyrics and ASL, Metallica becomes not only first rock band to release an entire album in ASL, but the first band to release official videos side by side with an ASL interpreter.
The 72 Seasons full album ASL video release is the result of Metallica’s connecting with Amber Galloway of AG Productions, whose team is known for signing at several music festivals the band has headlined, including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, and The Deaf Professional Arts Network (DPAN), a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2006 by deaf musician Sean Forbes and music producer Joel Martin to make music accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing community.
“As a deaf musician, who has been a huge fan of Metallica my entire life, it is an absolute honor to work with the band and Amber G Productions to make an entire album of their songs accessible in American Sign Language,” said Sean Forbes. “It is our hope that more bands, artists, performers, will follow the example set by Metallica and make their music accessible in American Sign Language. There is an entire community of deaf music fans that are ready to experience more music and Metallica doing this speaks volumes to the deaf and signing communities.”
“Metallica has shown the world what access and inclusiveness can look like,” said Amber Galloway. “Often times hearing individuals think that captioning a music video is sufficient. Sadly, text does not show intonations, it doesn’t show the emotional connection that ASL does. These videos also capture the voices of the instruments.”