You would not expect to see a 62-year-old Capuchin monk with a brown robe, sandals, and a long white beard at a heavy metal concert. But that's what you might see on stage in Italy.
Friar Cesare Bonizzi is no ordinary heavy metal rocker performed at his third "Gods of metal" festival last month with his band Fratello Metallo (Metal Brother), Reuters reports . (See a picture of him at the link.)
"About 14-15 years ago, I went to a Metallica concert and fell in love with heavy metal after I saw all the energy there," Bonizzi said after a rehearsal in a Milan recording studio. "I find (heavy metal) the most energetic, the most alive music."
Bonizzi performs about 100-150 concerts a year and has two heavy metal albums, including his most recent, "Misteri" (mysteries), with a song about Mary and living morally. He doesn't try to convert anybody and he says he's well accepted in the heavy metal community, except by extremists who claim to be Satanists.
Bandmate 38 year-old guitarist Cesare Zanotti says he was skeptical of playing with a monk at first: "But after two minutes with him, you forget he is a friar -- his age -- you forget everything and he becomes a member of the group. He gave me more energy than bandmates who are my age or younger are able to. When you play with him, there are smiles and a lot of energy which is fundamental for heavy metal."
Isn't it great to seek priests and religious with such diverse personalities?