Vitus Gertz

Vitus Gertz

Editor’s note: Vitus is the first high school student on Kodiak Island to accept the Kodiak Daily Mirror’s offer to write for this new column. KDM wants to create places — both digitally and in print — for our high schoolers to share their thoughts and feelings with the people of Kodiak. They need to be heard. They deserve to be heard. So here we go. If you know a Kodiak high schooler who would want to be a part of this experiment, they may contact KHS Principal Joyce Blair or KDM Publisher Kevin Bumgarner.


The thing about being a musician in my circumstances, it is difficult to obtain what you would like. First off, I am a 17-year-old metalhead in high school who lives on a remote island in the Gulf of Alaska.

The chances of having your ideal musical dream fulfilled here? Good luck.

Why is it so hard? For one, I am the only one here who openly expresses and has a true passion for heavy metal. It can be seen in my long hair, vest and jacket decorated with patches and pins — the band shirts and my guitar playing.

Unfortunately, you’re not going to find anyone quite like that. Of course, there are people here who do like heavy metal; they just don’t express it like me, and some of them might not even play the guitar. Some of them do, but it is literally miles different from what I play.

Most of the guitarists here are interested in the poppy, indie stuff like Ed Sheeran or Lana Del Ray, whoever she is. No, what I play is the child of bands like Bathory, Motorhead, Venom — all of the bands that have helped to define me in music.

With that, it is hard to find members for your band sometimes. There are a good amount of people who do play guitar and bass, hardly any drummers, but the two drummers that I know about here have zero interest in metal.

Ever since sixth grade, I’ve wanted to start a band. That dream is still with me. But I was done waiting and decided to go solo. I founded my metal project, called Koffinmoon.

As of today, I have three releases for that band. In November, I tried to start a band called Mortal Deity. I put up flyers around the school, but no one ever came up to me and said that they wanted to join. A few people did, but they were only joking.

That hurt deeply. So I just went around and took down all of the flyers I made and continued solo. So yes, it is very difficult being a musician like me. Especially in high school, you barely have enough free time.

I have a job later in the day and karate right after school. But that will never stop me from doing what I want to do. No matter how much discouragement I receive, it is only strength to keep going. I will show everyone who has wronged and doubted me what they could’ve become if they joined my band.

But, most importantly, I just want to give people a good time with music. 

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