If the only women you know in metal are the type that wears corsets and flowing skirts and sings Paramore and Evanescence covers, prepare to have your mind blown. Vexed are the newest metal band on the scene, and they’re like nothing that’s come before. Led by singer Megan Targett, they’re bucking the trend for how metal looks and sounds, and making some huge waves in the process. Their first album, ‘Culling Culture,’ dropped this May. Simmering with rage and conflicted emotions, it’s an incendiary debut, with Targett’s stunning vocals and chilling screams shining through on each and every head banging track. Discover more about metal’s most exciting new prospect as we uncover 10 things you didn’t know about Megan Targett.
1. She’s from Stevenage
When you think of heavy metal bands, you don’t necessarily think of the home counties of southern England. But Targett is a Herts girl through and through, having been born and raised on a council estate just outside the town of Stevenage, Hertfordshire. She still lives in the same house she grew up in, although with Vexed all set to be the next big thing in metal, it’s questionable if she will for much longer.
2. She honed her craft in her mother’s car
Most of us are guilty of belting out a tune or two in the shower, but growing up, Targett had to resort to some unusual means to practice her craft. Singing at home was off-limits. For a start, there was the embarrassment of singing in front of her siblings. Then there was the constant threat of having one of the family’s neighbors call the police, who, at the time, were an almost permanent presence on the council estate. Instead, she and her mother would set off at 10 pm every night in the car, Slipknot blasting on the stereo and Targett screaming her lungs out in the back seat.
3. Bring Me The Horizon were her metal awakening
At the age of 14, Targett was introduced to the heavy metal world by way of ‘Sleep With One Eye Open’ from Bring Me The Horizon’s 2008 album, ‘Suicide Season’. After hearing a boy playing it at school at break time, she immediately became enthralled. “It absolutely brought me into this world,” she’s since told Knotfest. “(Bring Me The Horizon) were despised by a lot of people. But I think that’s what drew me to them more, because I am a sucker for a band that’s hated.”
4. She was bullied at school
Targett, who’s never had any contact with her father, was raised in a single-parent family. At the age of ten, her mother’s twin sister, who’d helped raise Targett from birth, died at their home. The experience left Targett traumatized, destroying her self-confidence and leaving her feeling vulnerable and alone. Too depressed to do anything but sit alone and listen to music, she became a prime target for bullies. In the end, the bullying became so bad her mother withdrew her from the school and sent her to a specialist unit for kids that have been severely bullied, a place she now credits with inspiring her love for metal.
5. She’s scared of spiders
Vexed have already proved themselves masters of the promo video, but while Targett is open to pretty much any concept, there’s one thing you’ll never see her appear alongside – spiders. Maggots, as she’s already shown on ‘Fake,’ are fine. Spiders, on the other hand, will send her running for the hills.
6. She’s motivated by pain
Every track on ‘Culling Culture’ has been inspired by someone that Targett has cut from her life because of the way they’ve treated her. Speaking to heavymusichq.com, she revealed how she believes in setting standards of what she will and won’t tolerate from others, and how she finds inspiration and motivation in pain: “Pain can either destroy you or be a huge motivator to better your own life in a positive way and that’s where I get my lyrical inspiration from. All of the pain I have endured whilst going through the traumas in these songs has left me quite fragile at times and I wanted people to know that.”
7. She’s a vegetarian
Vexed may be about more than just Targett’s vocals, but no one’s going to deny that she can sing… really sing. Asked by devilsgatemusic.co.uk how she maintains her incredible voice, she explained that good food, a vegetarian diet, plenty of water, and warming up her voice before and after every performance help keep her vocals in tip-top shape.
8. She’s worked with her hero
Vexed may only have dropped their first album in May this year, but they’ve already made big waves on the metal scene. They’ve done it on the strength of their own merits, but having CJ from Thy Art Is Murder perform on their first single definitely didn’t hurt their profile one little bit. Speaking to therockfix.com about what it was like to work with one of her biggest heroes, Targett said it still hadn’t completely sunk in: “CJ is one of my ultimate vocalist heroes so to be able to get the chance to work with him, It still hasn’t sunk in. I still can’t believe it. I’m still pinching myself nearly every day about that.”
9. She’s a big Halsey fan
Although rap, grime, and metal are her big loves, Targett can’t resist a bit of pop, especially if that pop comes with a catchy melody, a big voice, and, if at all possible, from Halsey, who Targett cites as one of her biggest inspirations. She’s also a huge fan of Emmure, Thy Art Is Murder, KING 810, Cardi B, And Gwen Stefani.
10. Vexed isn’t her first band
Vexed may be the band that’s thrust Targett into the limelight, but it’s not her first rodeo. Before Vexed, she played in countless other bands but never found one that fit. Most of the problem lay in being told by other bandmates that she couldn’t cover bands with male vocalists or scream. Determined to show she could do both, she joined Vexed, an experience she says has been “cathartic” and “incredibly freeing.”