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Metallica to be first major rock band to make ASL videos for a full album

ASL interpreting has grown in visibility in recent years, with the interpreters for high-profile artists trending on social media.

WASHINGTON — Metallica has announced that every song on their new album, "72 Seasons," will be getting an accompanying video featuring ASL, so that deaf and hard of hearing fans can enjoy the music as well. 

The band announced the project on April 15, known as National American Sign Language Day. They said they were partnering with the Deaf Professional Arts Network, known as DPAN, as the first major rock artists to create ASL videos for an entire album.  

In a statement on their website, the music legends said they were working with Amber Galloway of AG Productions, who has signed for bands at major music festivals across the U.S. 

Galloway has been described by Vibe as "the most recognizable sign language interpreter in the country." 

"It’s been an honor to work with Amber and DPAN teams, and we hope that our fans in the deaf and hard of hearing community enjoy experiencing the album through these videos!" the statement from Metallica reads. 

The video for the title track, “72 Seasons,” has already been released, and the band promised the other 11 songs would get videos on April 25. 

In the video, Galloway signs the lyrics in a split-screen with the band's original music video for the song.

Sign language isn't a one-to-one visual copy of English. Instead, people who communicate using the language's hand gestures use them to create approximations of what a spoken sentence's meaning is. Because of the unique way the language is translated, interpreters for high-energy performances, such as Metallica songs, can add flare and drama, creating performances similar to what a musician would do on stage. 

ASL interpreting has risen in visibility in recent years, with the interpreters for high-profile artists trending on social media. 

Most recently, sign language interpreter Justina Miles started going viral on Twitter because of video showing her energetic interpretation of Rihanna's Super Bowl halftime show performance. 

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