Naming your kids Metallica, Slayer & Pantera

"It’s not easy raising three of the heaviest bands", a crossbow-wielding mother tells me


Some of you may not know, but I am partial to a bit of metal. Some of my favourite shows have seen me in the pit at Slayer and Slipknot, Metallica and Motorhead. Moshpits are the only time you’ll see me replacing glasses for contact lenses, or just going in blind.

In my previous life as an entertainment reporter in New Zealand, I’d use my position as an excuse to meet musicians I was a fan of. And that was mostly members of touring metal bands.

Playing Guitar Hero with DragonForce’s Herman Li was epic. Backstage in Melbourne with Motörhead’s Lemmy was a life highlight (RIP, Lemmy). Slayer’s Kerry King was a giant teddybear, and Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine and Metallica’s James Hetfield are conversations I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

I guess what I am saying is, despite metal no longer being the height of fashion, I was (and continue to be) a big metal fan.

But I am not a bigger metal fan than the woman who has named her kids “Pantera”, “Metallica” and “Slayer”.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the birth certificate for Pantera:

I’ve chosen to keep the woman’s name private, because it’s not really vital to the story, and I don’t want anyone trying to track her down if this goes viral. She’s a kiwi, and the country is small. I guarantee someone in New Zealand reading this newsletter will know her!

All you need to know is that she is a very metal mother, as proven by this photo of her with a crossbow. You don’t get more metal than a crossbow.

When I contacted her to tell her I was writing this story for Webworm, she simply said “Thankyou, it’s not easy raising three of the heaviest bands.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with Pantera:

“Pantera was an American heavy metal band from Arlington, Texas, formed in 1981. Pantera is regarded as one of the most successful and influential bands in heavy metal history, having sold around 40 million records worldwide, and being nominated four times at the Grammys.”

They’re big, and their records Far Beyond Driven and Vulgar Displays of Power are must-haves on any metal fan’s list.

I actually interviewed Pantera’s former drummer Vinnie Paul about a decade ago (the clip is embarrassing, but here you go). I couldn’t interview their guitarist Dimebag Darrell because he was shot and killed by a deranged fan during a gig in 2004.

That was a very sad day for metal fans.

But a kid being named Pantera? That was an excellent day for metal fans.

Look — one could argue that the kid wasn’t named after the metal band, but after a number of other things. I mean, the name “Pantera” goes way back, originally in the form of Panthera:

But I suspect the child is named after the metal band, because their sister is named after another great metal band:


You may notice their first name is not simply “Metallica”, but also includes the name of Metallica record …And Justice For All.

The icing on the cake? Metal mom also has a new arrival called “Slayer”.

Well, allegedly. I say allegedly as I have not cited that birth certificate yet.

Slayer has a special place in my heart as one of the biggest thrash metal bands of all time. I hold Reign in Blood close to my heart. Plus Slayer’s Tom Araya has always been nice to me whenever I’ve bumped into him at metal festivals.

So, there you have it. Three perfect sibling names: Pantera, Metallica and Slayer.

For the record, I am in full support of these truly metal names.

It did make me curious however if any names were out of bounds in New Zealand. I found this piece from Radio New Zealand in 2019:

Births, Deaths and Marriages, registrar-general Jeff Montgomery said although there were no banned names in New Zealand, there were boundaries in place to ensure names did not cause offence or resemble a title or rank.

“For example, you'll need to rethink swear words, names of more than 70 characters, numerals or anything unpronounceable, like a backslash or a punctuation mark.”

In other words Elon Musk and Grimes would be shit out of luck with “X Æ A-12”.

Still curious, I reached out to the Registrar-General himself, asking if there are any restrictions on naming babies after bands, or albums like Metallica’s best record, …And Justice For All.

Jeff Montgomery replied:

“There are no restrictions on naming babies after bands or albums as long as the word used is not generally considered to be offensive and does not resemble an official rank or title.

This particular baby was registered in 2009 by the previous Registrar-General.  A similar application made today is likely to also be approved.”

So there you have it.

What do you think of baby names? God, there’s a broad question.

In my book, anything more interesting than “David” is a big win. Also, I can’t wait to name my kid “Pig Destroyer”.


PS: There are a few Webworm t-shirts left, from XS - 3XL. Sorry a few sizes have already sold out since their release last week! I look forward to sending them out to their new homes!