We’ve all heard that it’s never too late to change the course of your life. And in case you’re looking for some inspiration to do just that – meet Inge Ginsberg, a now 96-year-old Austrian-born woman who became the lead singer for a death metal band three years ago. Inge has been a writer all of her life. So why death metal? “I can’t sing. I can’t carry a tune. So heavy metal works because I just have to say the words,” she said. At one point, Inge remembers, that she felt like nobody wanted to hear her out and that society was not interested in hearing from the elderly, as she mentioned in a New York Times short documentary. So, her younger friends came up with the idea to spread what she had to say – they convinced her to try to convey her poems with the help of death metal tunes. And Inge delivered big time.

This 96-year-old Holocaust survivor is the front woman for the death metal band Inge & the TritoneKings

Image credits: Manhattan Camerata

The world quickly came to love this Jewish grandma who shouts her poetry in English and German, while accompanied by metal music. As a writer, Inge writes the lyrics herself and always comes up with new and fresh ideas for their material. Her main topics are humanity, environment, love, hatred and staying true to yourself.. “Heavy metal is not really poems, it’s messages,” Inge says.

But if you think that being the lead singer of death metal band is the most exciting thing about Inge’s life, think again

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Inge Ginsberg was born in Austria, Vienna, in 1922 to an affluent Jewish family. “We grew up very well-to-do. We had employees. We lived in the city, and we also had a weekend villa. I went to a normal high school,” Inge recalls.

“It’s important to stay active and surround yourself with young people and keep doing things you’ve never done before”

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Then, came the Nazis. “Nobody could believe it could happen,” Ginsberg remembers. Her father managed to escape to England. In 1942, Inge’s mother turned to a family friend, who, in return for all her jewels, smuggled the family into Switzerland where they ended up in a refugee camp. Later, Inge looked after a spy villa for the US Secret Service, which was set up to spy on Nazis and coordinate operations of groups fighting the Germans.

“Freedom is really there. But you have to be strong. To be free you can’t blame anybody else for your decisions and that takes both shoulders”

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Several years after the war, Inge and her first husband musical composer Otto Kollman, moved to the States and settled in Los Angeles. The couple worked in Hollywood – Inge had studied piano before, so she worked with her husband composing songs for such stars as Nat King Cole and Dean Martin. However, by the late 1950s, Inge says she became tired of Hollywood life and described it as “all fake.” She parted with Los Angeles and her husband, with whom she shared a daughter.

“I’m a very moral person, but I have my own moral laws. I never hurt anybody. I don’t think I have done any injustice to anybody”

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Inge says that the thing that she values the most in her life is freedom. And as she approaches 97, she says she has no regrets, and doesn’t think about what others think of her pursuits. “Frankly, my dear I don’t give a damn. I don’t care,” Inge says.

Watch and listen to the ‘death metal grandma’ yourself

Image credits: Manhattan Camerata