“Horrible Band of The Day: Hazardhead”

“Headliners don’t watch the opening bands”.

I’ll just leave that statement where it is for now. I’ll let you judge where it came from.

From what I’m told, these guys have a pretty strong affliction of “rock star” plaguing them at the forefront. I could comment about their sound, image, and presentation but that is strictly based on someone’s perception of what their tastes are. I will say this, though, from the way things appear here nobody in their right mind involved here should be demanding headlining slots. Oh, did I forget to mention that already? Yes, HH has been known to do that.

It’s completely absurd to me to think that people still act this way. We’ve all heard some sort of stories from back in the day about bands making outlandish requests simply because they are stars, right? News flash, Hazardhead. You aren’t rock stars.

 

None of us are. I’m not sure what rock you’ve been living on but the days where bands were once worshipped as gods is long gone, thankfully for a good reason. Who the hell do you think you are to be regarding yourselves as above anyone in this scene? Have you not noticed we’re all about doing the same fucking thing you are?

Now I’m not saying that a good band shouldn’t get what they deserve. When you put the time in earning and showing respect to your peers, sure you rightfully should get a few cookies for it. Hell, if you’re good and humble enough you just may impress some key people who can propel your band into an even bigger spotlight. Funny how that works, huh? Flat out, saying things like what I started this article off with it is a slap in the fucking face to people I know damn well put just as much work into their projects without having golden fucking vagina about it. Are you shitting baby-blue turds that hatch fucking swans, too? If not, guess what? You’re no fucking different than anyone else. Don’t like watching the opening bands you demanded to play over? Well, don’t go crying to daddy when they don’t give a shit about you.

Get the hairspray out of your ears, humble it up, and earn your respect just like the rest of us have to.

I’ve heard that there quite a few stories regarding this. Have one? Share it.

If people were expected to be given insane special privileges for being able to play a goddamn instrument, I’d have my own country by now.

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“We Play Blackened Brutal Technical Buttcore”

Ah…genres. Those useful little labels we use to describe what happens when enough bands coincide with a certain sound. We use them as tools to help zero in on finding more of the kind of music we love, to broaden our horizons, and…to compare the size of our cocks?

Yes. Cocks. That’s exactly what I think of people who constantly start these senseless genre wars. I see them every single fucking time I want to check out various promotional Facebook pages, YouTube videos, at shows, at stores, and even on statuses when a band is merely mentioned as something a cat’s fart away from its aptly named genre.

Shut the fuck up. All of you.

Shut.

The fuck.

Up.

What fucking difference does it make when these fucking arguments are brought up? What point are you trying to prove when you get all bent out of shape and screech “SACRILEGE!” every time someone says Meshuggah is a Djent band (on a side-note: Djent is pretty much a genre at this point. Suck it up like a big girl and deal with it). You seriously start a 97-reply thread with more of your kind throwing your dicks around like they aren’t all comparable to a baby dill.

Fucking assholes. All of you. Suck your ego up with a bendy straw, change your di-di, and get with the rest of the sensible world and let people figure this shit out on their own. 85% of the time bands leave themselves open to a number of different possibilities of classification, this is a good thing. They certainly don’t need you pounding your chest over your keyboard when somebody is the tiniest shred off in their interpretation of said band’s music. That’s what people use music for, to connect to in their own personal way. Everyone is exposed to different music at different times in their life, sometimes less than others. Just because someone does not possess the knowledge to know that Death’s influence is felt in massive loads of modern metal simply because they never had the opportunity to listen to them or were never told of them does not discredit them as fans. You people should be assisting these sheltered souls to find said bands to gain this knowledge and experience, not bashing them over the head with your egotistical ballsack.

You know what else they’ll gain? The good sense to not give a fuck so much about goddamn genres and just enjoy the music with people who can do the same.

“Shitty O’Toole’s” by Lil Michelle

      Understandably so, I’m always a bit apprehensive to book at a venue at which I’ve never booked before.  The vast majority of the venues at which I book, I’ve attended shows at before, and are run by friends of mine.  I’m not the type to insist on dealing with only people I know, or treat with great suspicion people I don’t know, as that would be making unfounded assumptions and greatly limit the resources with which I have to work.  However, it’s completely justified to have an amount of “stranger danger” with a venue, considering how much the show’s success depends on it, and especially when it is a new venue that has recently started booking shows.  I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, unless they give me compelling reason to not trust them.  Trust is a necessary element in booking, especially when it comes to a venue.  Once trust is broken, it can never be fully restored.

A recent show I booked was originally supposed to be at a venue at which I’ve booked numerous times and am friends with the booking agent, owner, and employees.  I was informed that there was a miscommunication leading to double-booking on that date.  I don’t hold it against them, they are very good to me.  Therefore, that necessitated finding a new venue.  I was having trouble finding another venue that was appropriate for the show and had the date available.  Therefore, I tried a new venue that a friend had told me about, at which friends’ bands had an upcoming show: Sporty O’Toole’s in Warren.

It took considerable effort to get in contact with the booking agent, and after numerous emails and phone calls to multiple people, I finally reached him.  He confirmed the date, stated the venue had a PA, although not a great one, and a sound person, and everything was looking good.  Two weeks later, I received an email from him stating that they would not have a PA, and that we would need to provide one.  This was a few days before my friends’ show, so I immediately called one of my friends and informed him of this.  Turns out, the booking agent had never contacted anybody involved with that show and let them know.  The information somehow didn’t get communicated to the bands, who had to go out the night of the show and rent a PA.  I wasn’t able to attend the show due to heavy snow that night, but my friends in the bands advised me the show went well, with the exception of the PA situation.

Therefore, I wasn’t worried.  I had already asked the bands to bring a backup PA in case the venue’s really sucked, and had gotten that taken care of.  The day of the show, numerous other issues not related to the venue came up: first, the out-of-town band cancelled.  I was able to find a local band to replace them.  My door person cancelled two hours before the show.  I figured I could find somebody to fill in, or do door myself, and that issue ended up working out.  I had emailed the booking agent earlier in the week to follow up as to whether he would have someone to help with sound.  No response.

Once at the venue, the first band ended up arriving a bit late, then realized one member had forgotten his equipment, and had to drive a bit of a distance to retrieve it.  The second band arrived shortly after, but they had some equipment issues and needed to use the first band’s mic, part of the equipment that was left behind.  That left the headlining local band, who were playing their first show after a year’s hiatus, I was not moving their spot.  The fill-in local band hadn’t all arrived yet, I didn’t expect them to, as I had told them it was ok to show up a bit later, as they were scheduled to play third.

I had been advised ahead of time that the owner was a jerk who didn’t like to have any sort of live music at his bar.  For that reason alone, why they even have live music there, I have no idea.  I had several questions for him once I got to the venue, he was cool at first, but as the place began to get packed and he was the only bartender, he became pissy with me about asking questions and obtaining smaller bills for the door.  It got to the point at which I had to send other people to ask questions and get change on my behalf.  His service as a bartender was horrible, and it took a wait at the bar on average about 15 minutes to get a drink.  The show started 45 minutes late due to the aforementioned problems, but I wasn’t worried because I had been advised previously as long as we were done before 2, it would be ok.  I sent a band member to ask the owner, to verify.  He stated the owner said the show had to be over before 1!!!  Not what I was told previously.

So, in short, sound was pretty bad due to the PA’s we had, which were never promised to be great.  We switched the second band to be first, which didn’t make much of a difference due to their equipment concerns, and the headlining band to be third, to make sure they got to play.  The fill-in band didn’t get to play due to time constraints, but I paid them just the same, we had a large turnout, so the bands and the door person were paid generously and to their satisfaction.

However, the headlining band was unhappy with the sound, there was a lot of talk on the internet, and I had to do a lot of peacemaking and damage control.  I make the best decisions I can as a promoter, with the resources I have and the circumstances that exist, and am very smart and strategic in running a show.  I don’t hold the issues with the bands against them, shit happens, it’s part of booking shows.  They’re good dudes, and I’m sure if it could have been prevented, it would have been.  When a clusterfuck of problems arise and the venue doesn’t hold up to its promises, I have to think fast and act quickly.  Though if there’s anything anybody doesn’t like, I get blamed and have to deal with harm to my reputation as a promoter.

So, please learn from my experience: don’t book at a venue that doesn’t provide a PA, *ever.*  In order to make money, one has to spend money, and a PA is a necessary investment in order to get people to come into one’s establishment for live music and spend money at the bar.  The bar profited handsomely from the turnout the bands and I brought in, though we were used and made to look like fools.  Anybody who promises something and doesn’t deliver, when they knew from the beginning that they couldn’t, and tells somebody one thing and then the opposite later, when he knew all along, is a fucking liar, plain and simple.  The bands and I have been doing what we do for many years and have a large amount of knowledge and experience, don’t make us suffer because you are new to this and don’t have a fucking clue about anything.  Show respect to the people who help you.  Anybody who doesn’t respond to someone or convey important information just because they have bad news to give, is a coward and a little bitch.  I say whatever I have to say, regardless of whether it’s good or bad.  And that’s why I’m making this situation known, I don’t want to see anybody get burned as badly as the bands on that show and I did.

“Arise The Titan”

I’m pretty sure at this point that Ohio is pissing a lot of people off to be producing this kind of curb-stomping metal.

Hailing from the middle of the armpit of Columbus, Arise The Titan is exactly what happens when you combine that feeling of wanting to go Super Saiyan on a small animal after spending an hour in a Wal-Mart with the self-respect of wanting to hear a solid, musically inclined band to provide the soundtrack to your Call of Duty campaign.

While not directly described as such, their music is essentially a grander form of deathcore. Before you get all up-the-butt about me saying so, I’m not talking about music that can’t stop a breakdown once it’s started. No, Arise The Titan is a different breed. With many artists in the genre sonically shitting the bed these days, these guys are giving them a reason to fill their loins in fear.

So what can Arise The Titan do for you? Well, for starters their ultra-intensified approach can clear every last stick of butter out of your arteries in a matter of 2 minutes of the first track off their newest release “Our Collective Destroyer”. If that chest-bursting attitude over the entire EP isn’t enough for you, they will neuter you. With any number of sledgehammers they can deliver. These aren’t your grandma’s breakdowns, either. These things are rarely boring and almost always leave your head bobbing as if you just went on a date with Jack The Ripper.

“What about me and my soft, supple eardrums?”

Well my boy, we’ve got plenty of knives for those. The guitar work laden throughout is enough to satisfy any flavor of metaller out there. Not only are they massive in tone, the melodies and ambiance is enough to send you running to the “repeat” button plenty of times over whatever other straight deathcore bands are limping to the barn with.

Whether you’re a fan of what I gather is called “brutal” or not, Arise The Titan should be A-Numero-Uno on your list to check out. If you’re in the mood to “Grand Theft Auto” on your town, get to one of their shows or better yet, get them in your venue. I just hope your insurance is up to date.

“36th Street Is Hood To The Core, Duh”

I don’t know how much more Dirty Duh Productions could live up to their name. It’s almost frightening.

If that’s the only name you can come up with, I can only imagine what would be in store for a show booked through them. Turns out, exactly as I imagined.

Come showtime Saturday night, the 36th Street Lounge, Dirty Duh Productions, and Hood Core all dropped the ball. Big time. Between a massive lack of communication, no sound system, from what I can tell hardly any promo, no pay, no drinks, and absent organizers, it looks one big pile of fuck for whatever band decided to stay for this garbage example of professionalism. Oh yea, that’s right. Only two did. Bravo for having the patience for such idiocy. One band decided to no-call/no-show that shit (Chip Fundy…wtf kind of name is that?). Eye Remain skedaddled before a single song was ever played. Shame on you both, get a tin can on a string if you can’t call ahead or get a pencil and paper if for some reason your mouthholes are too broken to tell anyone you’re ditching.

That’s two of the dumbest fucking things to do at a show I can think of. What’s the goddamn point of booking if you’re just going to completely bail or show up for 5 seconds and leave? If you wanted to waste your own time and gas, you should have just drove the van off a damn cliff for a while.

Hood Core, if your bands are on the bill at least have one person there to help out. Otherwise, they are just bands there on their own time and dime. Also, that name is just…ugh, nevermind.

As for DD and 36th Street, either stay out of the game or straighten the fuck up. Shit like what happened Saturday night is about the worst example of a Michigan metal scene at work and you should be entirely ashamed of yourselves for being too incompetent to know better. I could have had a better show in my bathroom from what I’m being told of the mockery you tried to pull off. Don’t have cash to pay the bands? Then don’t twist their nipples about it and tell them that up front. At least offer them a few beers! Oh wait, someone did until you went all McDuck and pulled that offer out of their hands. Real classy move there.

Better yet, if you don’t have a fucking sound system, then don’t have motherfucking shows! How hard is that to figure out?

My best idea yet. When you fuck up, don’t blame anyone but yourselves.

Then don’t repeat your mistakes.

“Hilldale” by Marty McFly

I rarely write articles anymore so I figured it was time I bust out a new one. Today’s topic: GROWTH. Over the past year we have been consistently calling out, and grilling any band, or person who has tried fucking up our Michigan scene. We have been doing this in order to try to bring back the family that once was. In the last year here has been many arguments, lots of hatred, and hell even a few death threats but I am proud to say that our scene has grown exponentially.. More kids are coming to shows, more good tours are coming to our fine state, and many up and coming bands are actually putting in work to become successful. Yes there are still a few bands with egos, yes some kids are just fucking idiots and will never learn, but the majority has really starting to mature and it is something I really enjoy seeing. I am proud to see many bands in all different realms of metal starting to be recognized for the hard work. So for anyone hating on us for calling people out, and stirring the pot, remember we are being negative in order for the positive to come out!

“How To Promote Your Band Without Being Annoying” by Lil Michelle – Heart Like a Lion Booking

Any band that promotes themselves and their shows, I give credit to.  They could just not give a shit and expect the things they want to fall into their laps.  Bands that hit me up periodically and ask if I’m booking anything they might fit on, have a much more favorable opinion of mine, as opposed to bands that don’t contact me for months then say “WAAAAAAAAAAH DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ME, YOU HAVEN’T OFFERED ME ANY SHOWS.”  Self-promotion matters a lot for bands, but doing anything in a manner that’s too aggressive can turn people off and have the opposite effect of what’s desired.  Here are some examples of how NOT to promote:

  1. Promising to post something new once you reach such-and-such number of “likes.”  Yes, it’s important for your page to have a decent number of “likes” so you can reach a wide audience.  Ideally though, you want the majority of those “likes” to be people who will listen to your music, attend your shows, buy your merch, actively support your band and participate in posting on your page.  Some bands seem to think Facebook pages are a popularity contest and he with the most “likes” is automatically the most successful.  If you don’t post new material until you reach a certain number, you will start to make people feel “used” and like just a number to you.  It will also cause people to lose interest from lack of new things posted.  Don’t make your fans feel like they’re your whores, treat them with respect.  Appreciate people “liking” your page because they chose to, not because they felt pressured to do so.
  2. Trying to pimp out your friends to promote for you.  I’m not talking about street teams, people join those of their own accord, and there’s usually some type of incentive or reward in exchange for their promotional work.  I’m talking about hitting up a friend and asking him to make a Facebook post or send a mass text on behalf of your band.  Unless it’s a really good friend or a band I really like, my thought is usually “Fuck you!  You don’t promote my booking agency for me, why should I promote your band when I get nothing out of it?”  The exception, of course, is if the band member has promoted a lot for me already, I will always show support for those who have helped me out but again, don’t treat your friends as tools to use to accomplish things, be such a good band and cool people that people want to spread the word without being asked.
  3. Too much direct marketing.  Yes, I know you’re playing at Harpo’s and you’re selling tickets, if I want to go, I will definitely get one from you, so stop texting me several times a week about it, and stop posting it on my Facebook repeatedly.  Again, contacting someone personally is appropriate for close friends or people that you know would for sure be interested but for an acquaintance who’s come to your show maybe once, it’s just way too pushy.  Send out event invites, post shit on your page, let people come to you.  I agree that everybody needs to be aware, but reminding people about it too much is overkill.  I have merch to sell right now, do you think I’ll get anybody to buy it by bothering my friends about it every second and shoving the merch in their faces every time I talk to them?  Probably not.  They will buy it if they want to.  Same logic applies to going to shows, buying tickets, voting for your band on a site, etc.

You think your band is great, so why shouldn’t everybody else look at it the same way you see it?  Some people might not be very into your band, some might not be into going to shows, there are a million possible reasons.  Letting people know what’s going on and letting them make their own decisions is a much better strategy.  A good sound, good friends, and a good attitude are the best assets to have in building a following for your band.