SPOTLIGHT: Blackfire, Diné/Navajo Punk Rockers


Declared "fireball punk-rock" by the Godfather of Punk Joey Ramone, Navajo Punk band Blackfire serve traditions with fiery fury.

Jeneda, Clayson and Klee Benally are the sister and brothers punk-rock collective, Blackfire, from the Black Mesa in the Navajo Nation. Holding strong in their family unit, Blackfire has grown and gained international acclaim and a large grassroots following by staying true to their roots and traditions in music and Indigenous culture.

Blackfire's hard-driving sounds are accented with socio-political messages and sometimes mixed with traditional Navajo musical stylings. Their message speaks strongly to the genocide, eco-cide, government oppression, displacement of Indigenous peoples and other socially conscious struggles against violence and in support of human rights. Through their impassioned politically-driven sound, Blackfire translates high-energy into a fiery fury of intellectual, spiritual and musical medicine.

The family trio have been touring the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe since 1989, and at times have combined performances with their traditional family dance group "The Jones Benally Family". Blackfire was the first Native American group to be invited to play on the Vans Warped Tour and in 2007, they released their double-CD entitled [Silence] Is A Weapon, which was produced by Ed Stasium, who has produced high profile acts like The Ramones, Living Color and the Talking Heads.

While touring the world with major festivals, appearing on tribute albums to Punk legends the Ramones, Blackfire remains true to their message and roots by only playing all-ages venues at festivals, clubs and concerts. They also spend time with youth doing lectures, workshops and school residencies promoting respect for all cultures.

Their musical activism branches out into the world by touching audiences in Europe and beyond, but also in the fight for recognition of issues within their own homeland. Most recently the band has used their reverence to bring attention to the expansion of an artificial ski facility on a sacred mountain near Flagstaff, Arizona in which the 13 tribes in the area hold sacred. After the supreme court denied an appeal to two lawsuits against the Arizona Snowbowl's artificial snowmaking, Blackfire still holds their ground in bringing light to the situation on their sacred grounds that they and their ancestors have used for generations for ceremony and medicine gathering.

Proving that music is about more than money, power and fame, Blackfire shows us that we can make a difference if we choose to fight and bring the fire to system. For more about Blackfire's fight to save the sacred peaks, check out this article at

Check out more about Blackfire on their website.

This is the video for their song "Overwhelming" from their last album (Silence) Is A Weapon