Metal Yoga With André Foisy #4

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, tv, videos On: Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

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André Foisy plays guitar in Locrian and is a certified yoga instructor who teaches in Chicago, including a monthly candlelit yoga event set to dark ambient metal. You can find his yoga teaching schedule and more information about him on his website, Facebook page, and you can find past instructional videos on his YouTube channel.

This post is about a pose that feels like a massage that just about anyone can do just about anywhere: shoulder shrugs.

People that sit at desks a lot, drive a lot, or carry heavy amplifiers around often round the shoulders forward, which tends to weaken the upper and mid-back muscles. [If you look at metal band promo photos, then you’ll probably notice a lot of people that round their shoulders forward.] When the upper and mid-back muscles get weak, then people tend to get neck pain and tight shoulders.

Shoulder shrugs will gently strengthen the upper and mid-back muscles and help to to increase shoulder mobility and release tension in the shoulders, neck and back.

Watch this video to learn how to do the pose properly.

Tips:
• Don’t push the head forward; keep the back of your skull bones over your sacrum;
• Keep the chin parallel to the floor, so that the neck doesn’t strain;
• Keep the arms relaxed so that this pose isolates the upper back and shoulder muscles;
• Don’t round the shoulders forward between rounds

Do this a lot and notice how you feel. Specifically, if you do this frequently, then notice how your range of feeling and movement changes over time.

Sucker For Punishment: Tumbleweeds

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured On: Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

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It’s another light week for new releases, and mercifully so for yours truly, who is currently recovering from a hot and loud weekend at Heavy Montreal, where the likes of Metallica, Slayer, Twisted Sister (who totally ruled), Voivod, Municipal Waste, Exodus, and dozens more bands played to around 40,000 people over two days. Fellow Decibel contributor Kevin Stewart-Panko could not have disagreed more in regards to Babymetal’s performance – you can probably guess which one of us dug it – but we both agreed that the kids in Unlocking the Truth just might be the real deal after all. Anyway, be sure to catch his recap in Decibel the magazine soon.

In the meantime, although there are a few decent albums this week, they’re all eclipsed by my non-metal choice this week, which is a major Album of the Year contender. And besides, one of the best metal albums of 2014 comes out next week, so you might want to save your hard-earned cash for that one.

Abysmal Lord, Storms Of Unholy Black Mass (Hells Headbangers): The problem with this most primitive form of death metal is not the atmosphere, these Louisiana guys have that suffocating, dank atmosphere nailed. No, the real crux is the fact that the guitars sound so dense in this deliberately lo-fi production that the second the music kicks into blastbeat-driven sections, all sense of melody disappears. Contrast that with the band’s brilliant, Asphyx-style doom passages, and it becomes frustrating. Your mind subconsciously follows that melodic pattern, than the whole thing speeds up, all sense of melody vanishes, and you’re lost. I love you, Hells Headbangers, but I can’t fully recommend this one.

Atara / Miserable Failure, Hang Them (Kaotoxin): Personally I find Atara to be the more interesting of these two French bands on this split release, their form of grindcore is more controlled, disciplined and metal than the manic, punk-derived Miserable Failure, leaning more towards the crusty, old-timey Brutal Truth side of the genre. Still, though, these two bands complement each other very well on this release.

Evil United, Honored By Fire (MVD): Led by vocalist Jason McMaster, who us old-timers remember best as the leader of sleaze rockers Dangerous Toys, Evil United focuses more on classic speed metal, combining double-time tempos, thrashy rhythm riffs and flashy harmonies, and vocal histrionics like classic Exciter and Helstar. Aside from the odd regression into metalcore breakdowns, which are frankly beneath these guys, this is a surprisingly good, not to mention energetic release.

Funerary, Starless Aeon (Midnite Collective): This relatively new band from Phoenix focuses on the more outwardly horrific side of doom metal, with plenty of ultra-low notes and riffs plodding along like the most morbid of funeral processions. Interestingly, though, is a stateliness to the music that’s very reminiscent of Neurosis, bringing mournful gravitas to all the gimmickry, giving the music substance and depth. They’re not quite fully there yet, but a track like “Beneath the Black Veil” shows they’re well on their way. Listen and purchase via Bandcamp.

Grifter, Return Of The Bearded Brethren (Ripple): Swaggering, swinging, groovy heavy metal, much like Orange Goblin but featuring singing, which will endear these Brits to the Clutch crowd. It’s very good stuff, although if you ask me I will always prefer The Grifters to Grifter.

John 5, Careful With That Axe (60 Cycle Hum): Typical of most solo albums by metal shredders, this is all noodling all the time, but what separates John 5 from the rest is just how playful he makes it all sound. There plenty here to make Guitar World readers and Guitar Center loiterers salivate, but to folks who couldn’t care less about technique, this album manages to keep the mood light and fun, veering from style to style with a manic energy that often resembles that of Devin Townsend.

Rabbits, Untoward (Lamb Unlimited): The Portland noise band is at it again, churning about abrasive, often obnoxious compositions that bear an uncanny resemblance to Melvins and Harvey Milk. Sludgy, sloppy yet deceptively clever, and always, always ugly. So ugly, in fact, that you kind of want to come up for air afterwards, just go outside and enjoy some sun. The mood on this record is that sour, and in this band’s case, mission accomplished. They’ve come to ruin your day.

Slaughterday, Ravenous (FDA Rekotz): The likeable German band follow up last year’s fun Nightmare Vortex with an EP’s worth of, once again, no-frills death metal in the early-‘90s Swedish tradition, pulled off in very convincing fashion.

Upon a Burning Body, The World Is My Enemy Now (Sumerian): Kiddiecore as instantly forgettable as this band’s name.

Not metal, but totally worth hearing:

FKA Twigs, LP1 (XL): Sometimes it’s easy to cynically gauge hype as simply the product of a collective hive mind, but once in a rare while the buzz surrounding a new artist is simply because the level of talent on display is undeniable. Singer-songwriter Tahlia Barnett, whose work under the moniker FKA Twigs has been generating more and more interest over the last 12 months, has delivered on the promise of her early work with an astonishing debut album that combines the glitchy, poppy charm of Grimes with the murky sexuality of Tricky’s classic Maxinquaye, yet is so unconventional, “Pendulum”, “Lights Off”, “Closer”, and “Two Weeks” coming across as a wholly original product of a wicked, vivid imagination.

Follow me on Twitter at @basementgalaxy

VIDEO PREMIERE: Funeral Horse’s “Stoned and Furious”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: exclusive, featured, videos On: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

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Funeral Horse clearly watch the same terrible shot-on-VHS 80s movies that I do, because their video for “Stoned and Furious” captures them perfectly: the dead-on framing, the cheap sets, the “acting.” That’s enough reason to watch the video on its own, but hey, throw in some some quality stoner punk and you have yourself a winner. You don’t even have to break out your old VCR! Just click below and enjoy.

***Sinister Rites of the Master is out now courtesy of Artificial Head. You can order it here.

Alekhine’s Gun Fits Queens For A “Crown of Knives”

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: exclusive, featured, videos On: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

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Force of nature.

Is there a phrase that better encapsulates the pure transcendent fury actress/frontwoman/fool crusher Jessica Pimentel exudes during a performance by genre bending extreme metallers Alekhine’s Gun?

Maybe, maybe not. That sort of charisma and élan is admittedly difficult to bind up in words — as anyone privileged enough to have been on hand for the band’s roiling, perception-leveling set at Blackthorn in Queens a couple weeks back will no doubt attest.

By way of proof, Decibel presents exclusive video of Alekhine’s Gun performing “Crown of Knives (Tsoncha Korlo)” below…

The track is available for free download as part of the excellent compilation, NYC Sucks: Volume 4. The first Alekhine’s Gun EP, Meditations in Wrath, can be procured via Bandcamp. The brilliant Jeanne Fury dug into the juncture of metal and Pimentel’s role on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black here.

Q&A with Pure Hell on Innovation, Evolution and the ’70s Punk Scene

By: Laina Dawes Posted in: featured On: Monday, August 11th, 2014

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Pure Hell are known for three things: 1) being the first all African-American punk band; 2) having a wickedly cool band name; and 3) being the focus of a very popular online photo from 1978, depicting the quartet with dyed, glow-in-the-dark, chemically-straightened hair and ill-advised face paint. Formed in Philadelphia in 1974, they were inspired by both the political and socially-charged climate and the musical rebellion they admired within the proto-punk scene. The band was never a commercial success in North America, but within New York City’s notorious ’70s glam/punk enclaves, they were well-respected and considered an inspiration, cultivating a following in England via their single, 1978’s cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” and the B-side, “No Rules.”

Legal and personal disputes caused Pure Hell’s debut album, 1980’s Noise Addiction, to be shelved for 28 years, and selected tracks from their second, 1992′s never-released The Black Box  (produced by Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister with contributions from members of Nine Inch Nails and LA Guns) were only recently made available online. The band initally broke up in 1980, but later regrouped in Los Angeles in 1990, and despite original drummer Michael “Spider” Sanders’ death in 2008, the band continues on, playing select dates around the New York/Philadelphia area and in Europe.

The Deciblog emailed  founder/vocalist Kenny “Stinker” Gordon, who is currently writing a book on Pure Hell, to get some background on this legendary band.

How did you meet the other members in Philadelphia? 

Michael [Sanders] moved into my house in 1972 and we formed a bass and drum rhythm section. By 1974, after playing a talent show at my college prep school as Pretty Poison, I renamed the band Pure Hell before venturing up to New York City that same year.

Philadelphia had a clique of musicians and recreational drug users that hung out around the Samson Street Village and went to concerts, but we grew up in the same vicinity. We had similar perceptions and taste in music, and leaned toward the musical innovations that certain bands and artists at that time were making. We had album collections comprised of Miles Davis’ Live Evil, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Pink Floyd’s Relics, the Stooges, and Hendrix. Being so close to New York, we had access to imports.

You are known as the “first black punk rock band.” I imagine that while all kids are influenced by the popular music of their generation, It must have been a bit odd because not too many African-American rock bands existed during that time. What was the reaction from your friends and family members when you started playing punk rock?

Actually, my mother bought the first bass and amplifier I had. It was during the Civil Rights era at the end of the 1960s and into the ’70s. It was obvious that people like Gil Scott-Heron and Alice Cooper were making statements. Punk rock was a movement, breaking the remaining restraints of convention after the “love and peace” thing of the ’60s. We were ahead of our time, and most people around us wanted to go come along for the ride.

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There is a pretty famous 1978 picture of the four members wearing makeup and various colored hair. Who was responsible for your look? 

This model named Charlotte from Switzerland and Rose Taylor [Mick Taylor's ex-wife].  When we were in London, she took us to Ricci Burns Salon on Kings Road to make us over, like their friends the Rolling Stones.

Were there any concerns that people would look at you as more of a novelty as an all-black punk band, not taking your musical talent into account?

At our peak, we were one of those bands that thrived on blistering an audience. Unfortunately the “cause” of that era simmered, and the original scene died with Sid [Vicious] by 1980. Some adapted to the radio-friendly industry; others came apart simply by burning both ends of the candle. We had the spotlight to display the musical substance of the band and, frankly, a couple of us decided not to take full advantage of the opportunity. I think it “concerned”some people because they couldn’t figure how we were involved in the very essence of punk, like Television and Johnny Thunders before he formed the Heartbreakers. Though the original Pure Hell lineup released one album before disbanding in 1980, Spider and I put the band back together for extended recordings [in 1990] before he died. I currently have prominent irons in the fire that don’t want to talk about, as I wouldn’t want to jinx it.

I thought the sound on the released tracks from The Black Box wasn’t specifically “punk,” but a hybrid of metal and punk. Did working with Lemmy , and/or your move from New York to L.A. have anything to do with the heavier, more muscular sound?

L.A. had character during the late ’80s through the mid-’90s. It is the American film and entertainment industry, right? Lemmy produced and played on some of those extended recordings because Motörhead was on [1977’s] Geef Voor New Wave compilation LP along with the Adverts, Generation X, the Sex Pistols and others. Lemmy played bass with the Damned under the name the Doomed in 1979. So, he worked with us, but the influence was our own.

We were just flexing our weight and clout of our friends that we were working with. Different genres of music had risen since the birth of punk. The sound is what it is. The [Los Angeles] riots were happening between some of those sessions.

There were some legal issues pertaining to the delayed release of Noise Addiction. How was it received when it finally saw the light?

Better than I would have imagined. It was surprising for Henry Rollins to be so enthused [that] he placed it on his playlist at Indie 103.1 FM in Los Angeles, and the units moved within European markets. It’s a shame such a fiasco took place early on during our Holland and England debut tour in 1978.  Back then, there were too many irons in the fire of the negative kind that had to be gotten rid of.

Where did you find the most acceptance of your music, and besides the upcoming book project, what are your future plans?

Europe was where we had the largest platform, so the prominent irons currently in the fire include a possible return there after many years, and the same for California.

 

John Browne (Monuments) interviewed

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, August 11th, 2014

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** UK/US prog metallers—the ‘djent’ tag is now deprecated—Monuments have a new album out, The Amanuensis. If you can’t pronounce ‘amanuensis’ or don’t know what it means, well, guitarist/songwriter John Browne provides an explanation below. Now joined by ex-Periphery vocalist Chris Barretto, Monuments are stronger than ever. The Amanuensis is a more straight-forward effort, but it’s no less impressive—technically speaking for the eggheads in attendance—than predecessor Gnosis. Read on as Browne details The Amanuensis, Barretto’s praise-worthy traits, and what his mum likes about Monuments.

Some have labeled Monuments ‘djent’. What do you make of genres or classifications of your music?
John Browne: Music is music. It has the same 12 notes as any other music, the only difference is the way it’s expressed, so we use pretty silly words to try and explain the sound. The word ‘djent’ makes no sense whatsoever to describe a genre, the tone that it references isn’t really utilized by many bands that are classed as it. I feel progressive metal is a much better reference to our music, with a huge dose of groove.

How is The Amanuensis a different record from its predecessors?
John Browne: The most obvious difference is the change of vocalist. We enlisted Chris Barretto (ex-Periphery, Ever Forthright, Sexamaphone) to take over vocal duties. So, automatically that’s made this record sound notably different. It’s definitely focusing on big groovy hooks. Instrumentally, the music is more traditionally structured. However, the riffs are still as crazy as the Gnosis.

What’s your favorite moment or song on The Amanuensis? Something you’d tell your mum about maybe.
John Browne: I really like the chorus of “The Alchemist”. It’s really simplistic, but I think that part will sound big and open when we play it live. I also dig the “End of the world” ending of “I, The Destroyer”. I can’t really focus on one part or song. All of the songs I’m happy with how they all turned out. I know my mum will blast this out of her car like she did with Gnosis. She loves groove.

What is an amanuensis?
John Browne: The word ‘amanuensis’ means script writer. Someone who will write down something they are dictated, I guess like an audit.

Lyrically, what are you going after?
John Browne: The album is about the Samsara cycle, the cyclical existence of life that we are all bound to. Chris has written an entire story around the lyrics. Maybe that will see the light one day! It’s the story of Samsara.

Any guests that help you destroy on The Amanuensis?
John Browne: No guests on this album. As it’s Chris’ first album, we wanted the focus on him.

What’s it like with Chris Barretto up front?
John Browne: Amazing. It’s such a relief to not have to worry if he will sing his parts in tune and time. He’s a musician and it’s really easy to bounce ideas off of him.

How is this lineup different from previous iterations? I gather it was more of a side-project when Monuments originally kicked off.
John Browne: Monuments was originally a side-project with myself and Joshua Travis (Glass Cloud, ex-Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza). We had one of our tracks played on Radio 1 in 2007 as track of the week.

You produced The Amanuensis at a few different studios with a few different producers. What was it like to work through and finalize the new record?
John Browne: We produced the drums at Monnow Valley studio in Wales with Romesh Dodangoda. It sounds great, all natural and fun! Vocals were produced by Eyal Levi at Audiohammer Studios. They also sound incredible. I handled the guitars, bass, mixing and mastering myself at my studio, Bear Noize Studio. We did the drums in four days, guitars/bass in about 30 days and vocals took a whooping 43 days (sorry, Eyal). We stripped back for this record feel metal has lost the ‘live’ element of production. All bands sound too perfect and albums aren’t really a true representation of what the band actually sound like in a live setting. We stripped it back. We wanted to give everyone what we actually sound like, with us actually playing the instruments. We didn’t use one drum trigger on the album. The final result is great!

What do you want fans to walk away with after listening to The Amanuensis?
John Browne: Hopefully, they feel like they had the journey that was intended. It’s a pretty relentless record, but with some huge vocal hooks. We’re hoping this album will get stuck in peoples heads. It was a lot of fun to write.

** Monuments’ new album, The Amanuensis, is out now on CD and vinyl. It’s available HERE in a few cool configurations.

STREAMING: Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats “Runaway Girls”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Friday, August 8th, 2014

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One of the coolest bands on the planet are UK psych-rock-doom outfit Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats. Having come off a strong third album in 2013′s Mind Control, Uncle A is poking their tweed ‘n’ weed heads out of the bong water long enough for the lucky among us to hear new tune, “Runaway Girls”. Pivoted off the same early ’70s Sabbath/fuzzball vibe, “Runaway Girls” sounds like a true late summer winner. It has that slow August feel, where the days are long and the sun burns a warm amber.

“My approach to writing is pretty much the same every time,” Kevin “K.R.” Starrs revealed to the Quietus. “We recorded Mind Control slightly differently from the other albums in that we went into a studio for two weeks solid and did everything at once. It was pretty intense and I’m not sure if I’d want to do it in that way again. I think the best way is to break it up over the space of a few months, live with the recordings for a bit until you start hearing it differently and then work on them again. I like the idea of going into the studio for a few days at a time and then taking a break from it all.”

Sit back, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, and roll into the weekend cool-like with Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats. “Runaway Girls”.

Catch Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats on tour:
9/24: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
9/25: Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
9/26: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
9/27: Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
9/28: Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
9/30: Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
10/1: Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
10/3: Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
10/4: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
10/6: Seattle, WA @ Neumos
10/7: Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw
10/8: Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
10/10: San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
10/11: Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theater – SOLD OUT
10/12: Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theater

** Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats’ new 7″ Runaway Girls is out soon on Rise Above Records. While the pre-order for Runaway Girls isn’t available yet, check out these super products from Uncle A. Click HERE.

Infected Or Infectious? Exclusive Oozing Wound Premiere!

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: exclusive, featured On: Friday, August 8th, 2014

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No need to ponder the true secret of the ooze any longer: We’ve got an exclusive stream of a ultra sick new track from Chicago thrash mavens Oozing Wound. It’s entitled “Drug Reference” and will, moments from now, commence fucking with your head…

“Drug Reference” is an entry in the excellent Adult Swim Singles Program and will be available for free download come Monday here. (A complete Singles schedule can be found after the jump…) The upcoming Oozing Wound record Earth Suck is now available for preorder. Get into it.

STREAMING: Horrendous “Nepenthe”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Friday, August 8th, 2014

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“Traditional, classic death metal,” is how guitarist/vocalist Damian Herring describes Horrendous. “Thrashing, ripping, yet melodic and churning with the weight of a thousand corpses; ready your minds for an aural assault that will twist your brain in the vat. You’ll be tossed into the pits of depression, quartered between the subterranean watchtowers of hell and the jaws of Charybdis, and sacrificed at the altar.”

If that sounds intense then wait until you hear Horrendous’ new album, Ecdysis. Born in the fires of classic death metal—we’re specifically thinking Dismember’s Like an Ever Flowing Stream—but energized with youthful enthusiasm, Horrendous take the New Wave of Old-School Death Metal back from pretenders and never-weres.

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And if we must note, while new track “Nepenthe” rips our skulls open and plays brutal with our brains, the cover art to Ecdysis is tops. Possibly a classic in the making. Very Beksinski-esque. Painted by Brian Smith, the cover art gives weight—as Herring says above “of a thousand corpses”—to the music. It connects the aural with the visual. Killer!

Alright buttercups. Ready your minds for Horrendous’ “Nepenthe”.

** Horrendous’ new album, Ecdysis, is out October 14th, 2014 on Dark Descent Records in CD, vinyl, and digital formats. Pre-orders will be available HERE. Fall just got brutal.

Fest or No Fest, Don’t Call it a Fest Promises to be Pretty Awesome

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: exclusive, featured, interviews On: Thursday, August 7th, 2014

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Next Friday the 15th, the inaugural Don’t Call it a Fest slams into the Motor City with all the impact of a severely downgraded credit rating and an avalanche of housing foreclosures. Even during the best of times, Detroit has always had a negative air surrounding it; some of that civic black eye has been all too entirely justified, some has had its fires flamed due to a long-standing international game of telephone. Either way, Don’t Call it a Fest hopes to spread some positive vibes to a hurting metropolis via the local (and beyond) extreme music community by bringing Magrudergrind, Young and in the Way, Dangers, the Banner, Full of Hell, Homewrecker, Architect, Graf Orlock, Cloud Rat, Holy and more to the Tangent Gallery for what promises to be a grand old time all of the low, low price of $15 advance/$20 at the door! We recently caught up with Maxwell, one half of the team putting this shindig together, for a little background on the fest and to help put the pieces of the city’s true nature together.

What can you tell us about your history as promoter and Don’t Call it a Fest?
This is the first year for the festival. My roommate and myself, we decided to put it together. I’ve been booking shows for about 14-15 years. Originally, I started in Iowa because that’s where I grew up. I was just playing in bands, then I started booking stuff. Then, all of a sudden one band from out of town will come in to play, then they spread word to so-and-so and then I had booking agents hitting me up. When you have a small enough market where kids are desperate for music, it was pretty easy to get bigger crowds. I was 15 years-old and having bigger packages come in and was able to get the band $2000 on a weekday because there’s nothing else happening; who wouldn’t want to go to those markets? That’s pretty much how it started. I moved to Detroit three years ago and just kind of started booking up here because I’d been touring through here for a couple years at that point and had made a lot of friends here.

That begs the next question: you voluntarily moved to Detroit? Why?
Yeah, I’ve heard that a lot [laughs]. Essentially, how it started was that I came up here for the first time in 2006 and I played the scariest club ever. It was literally in the worst neighbourhood you could find anywhere, but I made a few friends that night, despite everything which is a whole story in itself. From there, I ended up meeting a few people who would end up becoming band mates a couple years down the line. It was kind of the right time and I needed to do something new, so I came up here so I could continue playing music and make it more frequent. This was the best way to go about it.

Time for some self-promotion: what bands are you playing in?
Sender Receiver, Sawchuk and Deadchurch.

What was the impetus for the fest? Was there a particular reason you made the leap from doing shows to doing the fest?
It was more that we wanted to do something that was substantial here in Detroit. There are a lot of people who do shows now that have 12 bands on them that are almost all local with maybe one out of town band from maybe two hours away and they call it a fest with some big elaborate hokey name. We wanted to showcase bands from around the country and some from out of the country and kind of bring something cool like that here. There used to be a lot of sweet fests up here in Michigan, but not really anymore. So I guess it was kind of an anti-fest fest, stabbing at the all-local thing and trying to bring some cool bands in.

Being that this is your first year doing it, how has it been in terms of organisation?
There have definitely been some difficulties coming in. There aren’t really many big venues here willing to work with people without wanting more money than they’re worth. There’s no reason to be paying $1400 for a 500 capacity room; that’s just not cost effective for anyone. These places have their own in-house agents. I won’t say the name of the company, but they’re around the country, they own multiple venues and they only care about having people work with them directly so they’re going to try and have everybody charge a lot. There was that, but there’s a really cool space we’re using. It’s got two rooms in it so we’re able to go with two different stages, back-to-back with a five minute turnover. That was pretty much the main difficulty. I guess also having people and bands outside of friends and personal contacts wanting to take a chance and come out to Detroit because the city has its own reputation.

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What differences have you noticed in putting this together versus a regular show?
I guess there’s a lot of excitement around here, but we’ve noticed a lot of excitement and interest from out of state. There are so many shows always going on in Detroit. It seems like somebody is always doing something that everybody’s kind of spoiled here, I guess is a way of putting it. We’ve had a good reception, it’s just that people are sort of like, “oh, cool. It’s another cool thing that’s happening.” People are kind of used to it. But, I’m noticing from the surrounding areas, like the other side of the state, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and parts of southern Ontario, that people are super-excited because it’s a cheap festival with a lot of bands people want to see coming together. But, like I said, here in Detroit, there are literally five or six shows going on every night of the week.

Ok, so here’s your chance to dispel any of the myths surrounding the city of Detroit. I spent some unavoidable time wandering the city for a day when I went to see Raw Power there last year and it was pretty barren and sort of post-apocalyptic. Most people have heard about the city bankruptcy, the auto industry troubles, the former mayor being in jail, the water being shut off recently…Is it a case of the arts community thriving in light of – or because of – all the shit going on in mainstream business, government and politics?
Oh yeah! I mean, right here it’s almost like a cesspool of almost every type of culture and art. Probably one of the main things that drew me here, aside from music, was that you can come here with nothing and create something. Everybody is kind of almost in it together in the sense that we’re all not doing so hot, but for the people who are, like you said, into art of any type of medium, you don’t need a ton of money to have a studio space. Generally, in most cities, it’s going to cost you a couple grand and you’re going to have to split a space with other people. Here, you can rent or get a facility for next to nothing because people will take that. Plus, when everybody around is kind of a little bit down or depressed, that breeds a lot of creativity and a lot of people are trying to do really cool things. We all get it, but it’s hard to explain unless you’re here.

In booking shows and tour stops, do you have to often convince bands that it’s worth it stopping in Detroit? I’m sure the farther away you are from the city, the more outlandish the stories about how decrepit the city is are.
That’s for sure. In terms of crime or at least feeling you’re going to get mugged or something, it’s not really worse here than any other major city. I’ve had worse experiences elsewhere in the country, I’ll say that much. Since I’ve moved here, I personally haven’t had too much happen, but I’ve had way worse happen everywhere else. You’d be surprised how many people want to play Detroit, if only to just say they played here [laughs]. I guess it’s the rougher areas, like here and Oakland or something, that have their own thing about them. A lot of people want to play Detroit, especially Detroit house shows and that’s the mainly what I like to do because I’ve run a couple different houses since I’ve moved here and we do a lot of different stuff from smaller to bigger bands. This year alone we’ve had the Banner, Shai Hulud, the last Mongoloids show was in my basement, so I mean there have been a lot of pretty large events. People will literally go, “oh, we’re playing Detroit, at a house” and in many minds it’s cool because it’s where punk rock was pretty much created. It feels right, so a lot of people are really open to the idea when they see that, on a weeknight kids are willing to cram into a basement, go nuts, buy merch and hang out. There’s a pretty cool community going on here.

Tell us about the venue the fest is being held in. It looks like a multi-use sort of place, but did you have to do any amount of convincing to let them use their space?
They were pretty open about it and really excited when they heard what we wanted to do with the multiple room, all-day thing. They’ve done a lot shows there; surprisingly, there have been a lot of black metal shows there, but they also do a lot of community art shows and people do book signings and stuff. They’re pretty open to just about anything.

Is it your intention to do this annually?
We would like to. Both me and my roommate Nick are both going full force on it and we’d like to make that happen if we could. If people are into it we’ll definitely do it again.

If it is a success – however you define success – what do you think you’d in the future? Have you even thought about the future beyond getting through year one?
We’ve definitely thought about it as there has been a good response and a lot of support. People who couldn’t commit this year – it wasn’t a last minute thing, but we only had a couple months to organise this in comparison to other people or fests who plan six months to a year ahead – have talked about wanting to play next year. Hopefully maybe we can make it a two-day thing and fly out some more friends from the west coast or bands from the southeast and Florida.

For more info and to order tickets, check out www.dontcallitafest.com