If there’s a select group of people responsible for Decibel becoming the magazine it is today, one of those people is undoubtedly Katherine Ludwig. Why? Because as the founding editor of Metal Maniacs magazine, she helped spearhead extreme-music journalism. Unlike the more popular Metal Edge, a sort of US Weekly of hair metal bands, Metal Maniacs saw extreme music and bands as topics just as worthy of insightful discourse as whatever acts were in the pages of Rolling Stone. “A lot of people tell me that by Metal Maniacs not being one-dimensional, it made them feel less alone,” she told me in 2012, for Decibel’s Women in Metal issue. “Like they weren’t the only metalhead in the world who wasn’t sexist, and read books, and actually questioned authority instead of just complaining about it. People have told me they became vegetarian, or vegan, or a feminist, or started voting because of the magazine. All of this floors me, stuns me, slays me. I still can’t believe it.”
Katherine’s stance made a profound impact on many Decibel writers, and now she needs a little help. She was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and friends set up a Facebook page to help boost her spirits and raise money. Click here to join the LymphoManiac: Help Katherine Ludwig Annihilate Her Cancer Facebook page. There’s also a YouCaring page where you can donate toward her care.
Look for an interview with Katherine in an upcoming issue of Decibel. Meanwhile, throw your support behind this trailblazing badass as she pummels her NHL into remission.