Written by Mike Deitzman*
What a difference 15 years makes in a scene.
I had off from the day job today, so I spent it checking out local bands I had yet to give the proper amount of attention to. I also looked at about 30-40 show fliers from the last year, some of which, were shows I went to. Some, were ones I had to miss and others I had no idea they even happened. I looked outside my designated area of metal expertise and also looked at a ton of “deathcore” and “metalcore” show fliers from the last year, and checked out those bands as well. Some bands I liked, others not so much. So really, it wasn’t much different than listening to some of the death metal/ groove metal/hardcore etc stuff that I’m currently into. But almost every show was identical, meaning, it’s the same couple of bands opening for touring bands that sound exactly like them. I miss the scene 15 years ago where you could go to a show and see a black metal band, a hardcore band, a death metal band etc… under one bill, and it was fucking awesome. Sure, maybe some just want to hear the same exact style 5 bands in a row, but FUCK MAN, I once saw a tour that went Candiria (headliner) Burnt By The Sun (coheadliner) and Killswitch Engage in the middle. It still ranks up there for me as one of the most exciting shows I have ever seen. I never got bored. I watched every band. I had fucking fun.
I highly suggest (and I’m going to practice what I preach on my own shows) that we rock a little diversity in our shows. Let’s integrate some of these younger bands. Let’s reach out to them and unite a bit here. Our shows even in our own scene can seem a little stagnant at times. There’re not a million bands here, so we end up having to reuse the same locals to fill out shows. For people my age group, (30-40, hell even mid-late 20s) we’ve been here before… Only we were the ones reached out to by scene veterans. Bands like Hatescar, Avulsion, Threebelow, Herod, STEMM, and many others, they all brought us under their wing and worked with us. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I feel like they needed us as much we needed them. We offered newer, younger crowds, they offered expertise, they took care of us and showed us a better way. Now we all kind of stick with similar like minded bands and friends. A lot has changed in 15 years, so let’s all attempt to be a little more tolerant with each other. No one’s forcing you to buy every shitty band’s merch. No one is asking you to to “throw down”. (Jesus, I threw my back out just thinking about doing that.) I’m just asking you to come be a part of it and keep an open mind.
At one time, 50 to 80 people paying to get into a show was considered a failure. Now, it’s considered the show of the goddamn year. We can no longer afford to avoid these younger cats’ audiences. We need to be combining crowds. We’re getting older, most of us are married, a lot of us have kids, and we lose more and more people every year, because the sad fact is the older you get, the busier you get and the less time you have for shows. We can do what the Avulsions, and the Threebelows did for us in the early 2000s.
Anybody actually with me on this or do you not give a shit?