For the past four years, Lisa Mettler has organized Rancho Buena Vista High's annual battle-of-the-bands contest. Over the past eight years, the spring concerts have raised more than $20,000 for the Vista school's annual on-campus grad-night event. Mettler, a volunteer and mother of an RBVHS student, recently found out that 2009's contest has been canceled.
"I spoke to the head of the grad-night committee, and she told me that the administration wanted it canceled," says Mettler.
The secretary for RBVHS assistant principal Eileen Hermansen said that she would try to have her boss respond to questions about the cancellation. Hermansen and principal Varda Levy did not respond before press time.
"[School officials] weren't happy with the kind of music [last year]," says Mettler, noting that all five of the participating bands played heavy metal.
Two years ago, says Mettler, there was a problem with a mosh pit.
"[It was] dealt with really quickly. The band was disqualified because they egged the crowd on." Also that year, a "drunken mom started fights with kids."
Mettler says there were no problems last year and $2500 was raised.
"We didn't do as well last year as in previous years. We usually raise $5000. Our biggest year ever was $8500."
Regarding the fact that all of last year's bands played metal, Mettler says she wished there would have been more diversity, "…but I can't tell the kids what they like. I don't turn [would-be performers] down."
Over the years, the RBVHS battle of the bands has exposed local bands such as Subliminal Trip, Line Your Dead, Aphotic Murder, and Vietnam Hardcore.
"I'm 40, and it's been the same way since I was in high school," says Mettler. "It's the same prejudice against this type of music. It's never changed. It's what the kids like to do.…
"When I heard they were replacing [the concert] with 'air bands,' I said, 'Are you kidding me?' Why watch your favorite band lip-synch when you can hear the real thing live on stage? They asked me to organize that instead. I said, 'I decline that offer. No thanks.