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Izzie Haniya

"Kickass guitarist and singer of a kickass death metal band. Fuck yeah."

0 · 191 views · located in Society

a character in “A World of Sweet Noise”, as played by :Nagato:

Description

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Name: Her birth name is Isabelle Helene Alexander. And I feel the need to specify 'birth name' because she took an immediate dislike to the name, ostensibly for being far too feminine for her preference, and changed it as soon as possible. She is now known to the world as Izzie Haniya, with Haniya being the ancestral surname of her Mohawk Native American grandfather. When she was a child, he told her that it means 'Spirit Warrior', a name that their ancestor had gained for himself, and the name and its meaning was marked indelibly in her mind. As for 'Izzie'...well, it was always a nickname she absolutely insisted on being referred to by.

Age: Born on October 13, 1986; as such, she is twenty five years old. It was said that due to her height and build, as well as her physical features, even as a teenager she was able to pass for twenty one and obtain alcohol and, even earlier, cigarettes. Now, of course, she has no need to pass for being older than she is.

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Height: Izzie stands at full height at 6'1--which is very tall for a woman, and she knows it. It serves to augment the toughened, rough persona she maintains, even though as a child it made her insecure because she was always unusually tall, even in her youth.

Gender: Despite the fact some will attest that she has more testosterone than the average man, Izzie is indeed female.

Social Class: As far as what 'social group' she belongs to, Izzie is often sorted as a metalhead even though she also listens to a variety of other music, such as punk and jazz (that's right, jazz). She really doesn't give much of a shit what social group people try to sort her in, since she tries to reject that kind of thing. As far as her economic standing, Izzie lives completely off the earnings she gets from playing with her band. Even then, her money siphons out rather quickly; she never saves. She lives in a decent-quality apartment near the downtown section of the city; the apartment is completely trashed, with CDs stacked all over the place, one boot lying on her bed, the other, somehow, having managed to end up on the roof (she still can't remember what happened that night), a leather jacket tossed pell-mell across the floor. The one area that remains utterly devoid of clutter is the area where she keeps her guitar and stand--it's like an invisible field surrounds her instrument and prevents anything from getting near. Most of the money she gets from the band is immediately put to feeding her cavernous addiction to cigarettes; she routinely buys packs and packs every day, and the same applies to alcohol, which she keeps her fridge stocked with constantly. Alternatively, these really tend to be the only things she spends money on; otherwise, there isn't much she feels the need to buy except more CDs whenever her favourite artists release new materiel (she has just about all her favourite CDs already).

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Personality: Izzie comes off quite simply as a toughened woman who also manages to be wild and unpredictable at the same time. She has a love of the fast life and everything about it; from the alcohol to the drugs to the loud music, she does it all and never thinks of slowing down. Her persona is abrasive and aggressive--she tosses about swear words and curses as casually as adjectives and verbs, and she'll turn a verbal disagreement painfully physical before you have time to see it coming. She's very headstrong and stubborn, immensely protective of anyone she considers a friend, including her bandmates, for fear of losing them, as she has lost many friends previously. Her sense of humour is very dry and sarcastic--upon first meeting her it can be hard to tell if she's joking or if she's being fully serious, because she tends to say it with a straight tone and face before she breaks into a cunning, mischievous smile that lets you know it was indeed a joke.

Izzie tends to be quite cantankerous when she's near a bad mood, and her ill-tempered demeanour means it isn't difficult to get her to that point either. Even when she seems to be having a good day, it’s no guarantee she won’t completely blow her top the next second, because it doesn’t take much to put Izzie in a very bad mood; she has no qualms with kicking a drunk bum in the balls for muttering something perverse when she walks by, and gods help you if you actually insult her and get into a fight with her as a result. She loves having her way, and hates it when that doesn’t happen; she’s also markedly terrible at being anything but the leader, the person on top, because she loathes having to take orders and will make life difficult for those who try to get her to do things their way just for the hell of it. As such, most people find her behaviour off-putting, scary, sometimes offensive and violent. And her bandmates...well, they have their opinions on her and her way of going about things.

It's a generally very well-known act that Izzie acts entirely on her whims regardless of what anyone tries to tell her, no matter of what she's about to do is entirely foolish and regardless of how much anyone else, even her bandmates, may caution her against it; once she sets her mind to doing something and she's decided she wants to do it, there's literally nearly nothing in the world that can stop her short of everyone present grabbing her and keeping her from moving, and even then she'd put up such a vicious fight that it's probably not even worth it to bother with stopping her. Izzie also doesn't seem to put much stock in what other people around her think or want--as her unfortunate neighbours will attest to when they are awoken yet again at two in the morning to the thunderous sound of Izzie's guitar.

Under these layers of careless living, casual drug abuse, and apparent joy in the fast life is a very different sort of person--a much more conflicted and vulnerable person. Izzie knows that with the way she's living her life she's probably going to end up dead in her bedroom with a syringe in her arm at age twenty five, but by this time it's like being on a high speed roller coaster where the track eventually cuts off--there's no getting off of it at this speed without the risk of suffering just as much, in her mind. She's headed straight for self-destruction and subconsciously she knows it. Izzie is plagued with fears, sorrows, despairs and anger exacerbated by her use of drugs and lack of true connection to others. They have festered within her, as she has never truly had an outlet for them besides music, refusing to grant her peace and calm for a moment. At this point, she hardly remembers the pain that first drove her to begin using drugs because it has become mired with many other pains that are only intensified by the drugs that she previously used as an escape from reality, a way of dealing with stress and sadness. And she's afraid to lean on anybody for support because she is afraid they'll just see her as a bother and abandon her--it's something she's come to expect, almost like a pattern. She doesn't want to lean on her bandmates because she is actually, genuinely convinced they'll get annoyed with her and quit the band. (what paranoid why no I can't believe you would say such a thing she is certainly not paranoid no not at all no)

Her abrasive and wholly unpredictable personality mirrors her fear of personal pain and abandonment--Izzie has convinced herself that if she keeps others at arms length with her wild and aggressive attitude, she can avoid making connections, and thereby the pain of the inevitable severance of those connections. She has come to fear the pain of losing those she loves and cherishes, and believes that by avoiding true friendship and love she can remain untouched by this grief. Her bandmates are really her only friends, and she constantly lives with a fear, in the background of her mind, that they might someday abandon her as well.

Izzie has had several relationships--with both men and women--over the years. However, her 'intimate romances' tend to have more in the way of intimacy, and less in the way of actual romance. As she says it, "A good relationship is like fireworks: loud, explosive, and liable to maim you if you hold on too long". In other words, the majority of her relationships last for a month or so at the maximum, and exist mostly for the temporary, fleeting pleasure of sex rather than the actual, true happiness of love. Again, this is because of her fear of losing those whom she loves--instead of risking that pain, she would rather just accept momentary, fleeting happiness. She's long since forgotten what it feels like to be with someone because she genuinely loved and enjoyed being with them on a personal level rather than simply physical pleasure...she isn't sure she remembers what it was like to actually fall in love without being afraid of the consequences of it.

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Mental State: Izzie is known to have inherited from her mother a genetic proclivity towards major depressive disorder and passive-aggressive behavioural disorder; at a young age she began to display symptoms of both disorders and was diagnosed as having both. Though she is prone to depressive episodes, it is not particularly severe in most cases, though she is known to become rapidly more depressed in times of great personal stress and will typically turn to cigarettes and alcohol in large quantities in ameliorate the depression.

She has severe issues with abandonment and a debilitating fear of losing her loved ones and friends, and as such she, unconsciously or consciously, attempts to keep herself from caring about others; she tries to prevent herself from building a vulnerable, all-too-easily shattered connection to anyone else. As a result, she only makes herself all the more lonely and pained; her own fears and delusions have forced her into a self-inflicted prison. The door of her cell leading out of the prison and into a place of happiness and warmth is wide open, but she refuses to step forward and only retreats further back into her cell, fearing the risks of daring to step out into the open again.

Appearance: Izzie in appearance, as in personality, is the antithesis of everything stereotypically feminine and girly. Most of her physical characteristics are almost unilaterally inherited from her mother, though her Native American heritage does show through in some places. She stands at six feet one inch tall--which is rather impressive a height for a woman her age, and she knows it. Though she used to have insecurities about her height (she's always been particularly tall), it eventually became a part of what led Izzie to adopt such toughened, masculine characteristics, and it now only enhances her confidence. In terms of body build, she has a strong, lean, and firm build, with lean, rippling muscles clearly visible in the dark, tan skin of her arms and abdomen; her strength has been built over the years through sports, working out, and various physical activity throughout her life and youth. When she isn't wearing the stage make up she is so fond of, her face possesses sharp, attractive features, with high, prominent cheekbones (a definite heirloom of her Mohawk heritage) and thin, vaguely pale lips, though her frequent use of cigarettes and alcohol (as well as, less frequently, harder drugs) has begun to have a deteriorating effect on her features. Her natural hair colour and state is a faded black colour, entirely straight and with a slightly frizzy texture to it; however, Izzie has never really let it be the way it is naturally, and for the past few years it has been a wavy mixture of faded black, red, and orange highlights, with her hair styled into wild dreadlocks. Her eyes, on the other hand, are a peculiarly dark shade of brown, and when framed with the darkening she is fond of putting around them, her eyes can seem to be the same shade of ashen black. Izzie has a number of scars on her body from various 'accidents' over the years...most of which were either because she was doing something foolish or got into a fight, which was and is a rather common occurrence.

Izzie possesses many tattoos on her body as well as piercings. To name a few - coiling, hissing cobras are tattooed running up both hands and arms, while, tattooed over the snakes on her left bicep is a large, flaming ankh; on the right bicep, an Uraeus. Across her collarbone are tattooed thorned, coiling vines; directly above them, in the centre, is a tyet, directly below her throat. On the very back of her neck, where the spine ends, the symbol of a wedja, symbolising wholeness, is found; under it, across her entire back, are two guitars crossed against a backdrop of flames. Finally, tattooed on the back of each hand is an Eye of Horus; across the knuckles of her left hand, the letters IZZY, and across the knuckles of the right, the letters ZOSO, the sigil of Jimmy Page. Her lip is pierced with a single lip ring, she has two studs pierced into her left eyebrow and a ring around the right; from each ear hangs a single ankh earring. Some of these tattoos she's had since she was a teenager--the 'IZZY' tattoo she actually did herself, when she was fourteen years old. Note: most of the tattoos and piercings are, obviously, not shown in the images given. You have an imagination, right? Make use of it :D)

Izzie is a stickler for all the stereotypical, traditional clothing of metal. She can most often be seen with a tight tanktop or t-shirt, usually showcasing any of her favourite bands, from Judas Priest to Motörhead to Atheist, to the t-shirt of her own band. This is followed by a pair of regular-fit, often slightly torn jeans, and finally, the outfit is topped off by a pair of knee-high leather harness boots, adorned with metal buckles on either side that make a metallic clink as she walks. She will often don her beloved black leather jacket as well. Izzie typically wears a number of accessories to top the image off; she will often wear a copper bullet belt, as well as various spiked bands and gauntlets around her wrists and forearms. She loathes girly clothing, especially anything 'cute' or frilly, and has literally never worn a dress in her life--and that's not an exaggeration. She is also known to be exceptionally fond of stage make-up when she's playing; it consists largely of heavy darkening around both eyes. Hell, oftentimes she'll wear it even in casual settings, just because of how fond she is of it. Outside of this, she wears no make-up like lipstick or blush. Too much trouble, and it actually makes her look worse as opposed to better.

History: Izzie's birth was of rather unusual circumstances. For one thing, the origins of her parents and their union was already a peculiar sort of thing--her father was a man of Mohawk Native ancestry, born and raised in the Ganienkeh Mohawk community, whereas her mother was of Japanese origins. It was a most unusual union, one which both families frowned upon severely--but which came about regardless. Both her parents were exceptionally young when they were married and, very shortly after, when her mother gave birth to Isabelle Helene Alexander; both were eighteen at the time, and drastically unprepared for the stress of the outside world and raising a child.

Especially when that child was Izzie.

Even in her youth, Izzie was standoffish and reserved, and behaved very strangely. When she was dropped off at school on the first day of kindergarten, she cried because she believed her parents were trying to get rid of her and that they were going to leave her there forever. After that, the phone calls started coming in--Izzie was refusing to do assignments, blatantly flouted the rules and teachers' instructions, and reacted with sheer antagonism to attempts to exercise control over her, or to attempts to socialise with her. Later, teachers started telling her parents that Izzie was bullying the other kids when they tried to get her to play with them, and was known to shove and punch kids she 'didn't like' in her words. Her grades failed, not necessarily because she was stupid, but because she often either refused to do the assignments, or just didn't give a fuck enough to really try.

It was this way for years. Even in the beginning, things were beginning to sour. Her parents, young and inexperienced as they were, began to bicker. Why was their daughter so difficult? Why was she always getting into trouble? Whose fault was it? It went from bickering to heated argument, and then to yelling and shouting that filled the house. Deep down, Izzie, even as a child, knew she was the cause of it, locked in her room because she hoped that if her parents didn't see her they'd forget about what was happening and maybe things would get better. But she couldn't stop being the belligerent, violent, antagonistic delinquent she had already become even as a child--in fact, the domestic troubles made it only all the worse. It was uncommon that the yelling would turn towards her, but it did happen at times--but most of all it was her parents yelling at one another that truly made a mark on the child, because she knew she had started it all off.

When Izzie was twelve years old, her father decided he had had enough. She still isn't clear on what exactly happened and the details of it all, but one day, she came back home and found her mother alone, sobbing with an empty bottle of beer. Her father had, according to her mother, up and left without a word. Izzie never learnt about all the things that had been happening that she had been blind to, the legal battles and arguments that ended in divorce--she only knew that her father had abandoned her and her mother. She grew up hating him, thinking he had simply decided to abandon her forever, the very same fear she had held within her that first day of kindergarten.

From then on, life was no better. Their home was lost, and the two were forced to move into a tiny, rundown apartment. Her mother turned to alcohol and drugs, and became verbally and sometimes physically abusive towards her daughter, who often came home to find her mother passed out with a bottle lying on the ground near her. Izzie in turn did the same--by age thirteen she was travelling with at least one pack of cigarettes on her at all times, and soon after, she was turning to alcohol as well. Her mother was never in any state to work, so Izzie had to find money any way she could, often through thievery and stealing. She tried running away from home several times, but she always came back, because her mother, no matter how she behaved or treated her daughter, was the last true connection Izzie had to others. The thought of losing that was what brought Izzie back home every day with money to buy food for her mother, or cigarettes, or alcohol, or whatever drug she was craving. At the same time, Izzie sank into the poverty-stricken, destitute underworld that existed in the slums their apartment was located in, getting into fights constantly, and in general making life all the worse for herself.

It was around this time, or shortly before, Izzie began to discover music--specifically, rock music, and then metal. She can't remember how it was she got that first CD--Motörhead's 'Overkill'. But she does remember that from the second the double bass drums kicked in, and then the bass, and the guitars, Izzie had found something she'd never had before--a feeling she couldn't describe. But for a moment, while, as Lemmy Kilmister sang in the song, "when the music's good and loud", everything that was going on in the world around her just didn't matter. From there, it was just a matter of going through more and more CDs, more and more bands, more and more styles. She went from Judas Priest, to Megadeth, to Deicide, to Nile, to Carcass--from heavy metal, to thrash, to death metal, to grindcore, to crust punk, and beyond, her musical taste evolving and giving her something to feel beyond the desperation of the situation. The abrasive, distorted guitars, heavy assault of bass drum beats, and furious, vicious vocals, they all appealed to Izzie; it was like all the rage, sorrow, anguish, and fear she had been feeling all those years suddenly was put into a form she could hear, understand, relate to.

It became a lifeline. If not for that one Motörhead CD, all those years ago, maybe she would have lost hope and perished long before she had a chance to make it out of that life. Maybe she would have become like her mother--a hollow, lifeless shell, a mere reflection of what might have once been a human being, driven not by soul and feeling but by alcohol and drugs. The music gave her a soul, a voice, a breathe, and she never stopped listening from that day on.

Of course, I'm sure you're all expecting the all-too-cliche 'BUT ONE DAY...'. Sadly, I must indulge this cliche--but read on.

One day, listening to the vicious assault of Carcass's 'Corporal Jigsore Quandary' through an old CD player she had managed to scrape money together for, she returned home. She was seventeen, a third year in high school (when she felt compelled to attend, anyway), at the time. She walked into the apartment, the lights dim, casting the rooms in an ominous shadow.

That wasn't altogether unusual. Her mother didn't tend to bother with lights when she was too busy drinking, smoking, or injecting herself into a mindless stupor.

Her mother wasn't in the main room, so Izzie called out--when she got no reply, she knew it already. Her mother was passed out. Probably on the floor again. Which meant Izzie would have to pick her up out of another pool of alcohol and rest her on her bed so that she wouldn't seem completely lacking in...any kind of dignity at all.

She walked into her mother's bedroom--it was just as dark as the rest of the apartment, of course. The reek of alcohol and smoke was heavy in the air. She flipped a lightswitch, and was greeted with a familiar sight. Her mother was sprawled across the bed (for once, Izzie noted irately), surrounded by bottles of beer and cigarette butts that had been tossed aside. A syringe was sticking out of her arm--apparently, Izzie thought with annoyance, she had passed out before removing the goddamn thing again. Figures.

She walked towards her mother, and then stopped. There was something wrong this time. The body was ashen, the skin pale and colourless, and, to the touch, so cold it was like all the frigid air of the underworld had been forced into one human shell. When Izzie pressed her hand to her neck and felt no sign of the familiar faint but present pulsing of blood, she realised her mother had overdosed and died hours ago, alone and in pain.

Her immediate thoughts afterwards, Izzie can't really remember, because she doesn't try to. She remembers being violently sick, and soon after, the blaring of police sirens, flashing red and blue lights, being led away by people she didn't know...it was all like some sort of surrealist movie, a blurry dream that one wakes up from and only remembers bits and pieces of. Except she never woke up from it, and she remembered it all, no matter how much she forced it out of her mind.

When she finally snapped out of her reverie and became fully attuned again to reality, she was living alone. The apartment was gone, but the new one was just as ratty and dishevelled. She didn't remember bringing anything here, but her CDs were stacked, almost strangely, in a neat manner, her clothes were laid out just as nicely, and there was some sparse food in the refrigerator. Her cigarettes and alcohol were gone--presumably, since she was of age to be emancipated, she had been given the choice to live on her own, and Izzie could only assume she had taken that choice over the prospect of foster families. The last few days were a blur to her. Somehow, she had gone from the room with her mother's corpse in it to this unfamiliar place; somehow, she had gone from feeling horrifically sick to almost hopelessly empty.

Piecing her life and her self back together after that became Izzie's priority. She was dangerously close to devolving into what her mother had become in her last few years of...not life, but existence: a shell. But she had music; she had something her mother had never had, and she could feel that feeling that her mother had never felt in time to save herself. That made all the difference. Because Izzie never again felt that empty feeling. All she had to do was turn on the music. Even if it became overwhelming sadness, despair, sorrow, rage, angst, it never again became that overbearing, crushing emptiness that Izzie had felt for one moment--and which her mother had felt for years before succumbing to it.

After a while, Izzie decided to start learning guitar, thinking it might help her get past everything. She never expected it to become anything more than escapism because she never expected herself to ever be able to play maybe a few power chords, but certainly nothing like the records she listened to and longed to replicate. She went and bought a rather cheap electric guitar with a little amplifier, and brought it back home, and began to play.

From the moment her pick hit the strings (well, the second time, because the first time all she did was drop the pick and make a weird noise) she knew something was about to happen. All she had done was play an open E, and even then she hit the note rather incorrectly, being an amateur, so the sound produced wasn't that good--but it reverberated within her like nothing else.

From then on, it was playing guitar, from the moment she woke up to the moment, her eyes underlined with the strains of lack of sleep and her entire body screaming for rest, she reluctantly lowered her guitar and dragged herself to bed. It was an addiction stronger than any cigarette she'd ever smoked and any alcohol she'd ever drank. And she got to be quite good at it, in her own way--having never received lessons and learnt purely on her own and by observing guitarists at concerts she went to, Izzie learnt several things, like how to hold a pick, completely wrong, but she got used to it, and figured out her own way to make it work.

Eventually, Izzie realised she could take this skill, and do something with it. Do something besides infuriate the neighbours, that is, entertaining though that was.

She put out advertisements in the local music section of the paper, and put up pamphlets in the local music store's billboard; a band was being formed. The genre was death metal (what else?) and she wanted good musicians to come and audition. The whole time she had no idea what was going to happen--or if she was even doing it right. Maybe no one would show up. Maybe no one would even take the little tags with her phone number on it, maybe no one would show any interest at all. Then it'd be back to irritating the shit out of the neighbours. Good times.

But then, people did start to respond. She was getting people eager to audition, eager for a chance to be in a band--just as eager as she was to lead a band of her own. In the end, she chose those whom she deemed most technically skilled, those whom she thought could play the fastest, the roughest, the most viciously, and yet be capable of sophisticated, skilled playing as well. Each person was, in essence, a prodigy in their own right. Izzie chose to take up the mantle of singing as well, though she had very little experience with it; she adopted her own unique style that makes her sound...well, you'll read below. She christened the completed product, Spirit. Because in creating this music, she was creating an outlet for her spirit.

That was...maybe two years ago, maybe less, maybe more. Since then the band has become more than just a chance for Izzie to make the guitar more than a method of escapism. It became more than her. They were playing shows, writing materiel, signing a deal with a record label, writing an album, getting fans, getting people who actually liked their music. They have become one of the premier death metal bands of their region, and every good metalhead around knows the name of Spirit.

And for the first time in years, Izzie was feeling what she thought it felt like to live and truly enjoy living.

Other: She is rather fluent in the Japanese language (she still has an unusual accent when she speaks that she could never get rid of) and has some skill with the Mohawk dialect as well. She has an accent when she speaks English as well simply due to her unusual heritage; it is subtle, but present, and pretty much impossible to place.

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Playing Style: Playing Style: Izzie is a surprisingly technical player, relying less on emotion and speed in her playing than on using various different techniques such as pinch harmonics, tremolo and hybrid picking (which she has adapted to a heavier, more rock-like sound than it is usually used for), as well as sweep picking, and pick tapping. In terms of musical style, Izzie often employs a very harsh, overdriven guitar sound, enabling each note to be heard clearly while maintaining a (in her words) 'hardcore' sound. Her style often utilises chromatic, atonal scale soloing, changes in time signature that can be either abrupt or very subtle, high-speed, palm-muted chord progressions, and minor-key shredding; at times, she will also break this norm by leading into a jazz-like jam or a blues-style scale progression.

This is not, however, to say Izzie is a purely technical player whose playing, while intricate and masterful, is empty and devoid of feeling. Au contraire. Izzie can make her guitar cry, laugh, shriek, sigh, moan, cackle and weep, express the darkest of emotions and the lightest of emotions, she can use the instrument to channel whatever image or invocation she wants it to...she just does it with a lot more techniques than most would.

Izzie sings for Spirit as well. Her style of singing is...well, not entirely conventional, even for death metal of all things. Izzieforgoes the usual ridiculously deep growls of most death metal in favour of an even more vicious, bestial snarl that makes her sound like a rabid creature, some sort of beast fresh out of a Lovecraft horror tale. She will sometimes sink lower to around the level of conventional death metal growls, or raise her voice to rasped, animalistic shrieks as well. Because she learnt how to do this on her own, however, rather than learn any techniques, she ended up damaging her voice some, and in addition to her cigarette and alcohol abuse, it has caused her voice to become deeper, raspy, and a bit scratchy.

Instrument: Izzie plays a custom Neal Moser Morpheus, with walnut wings, maple centre, and maple neck with rosewood fingerboard; she plays through a Marshall JVM410H fullstack combo amplifier. She utilises various distortion pedals as well, and tunes down two full steps for maximum heaviness.

So begins...

Izzie Haniya's Story