Q&A With Ironman Metal FestEVIL's Adrian Lugo
ARTIST PROMOTIONS LLC, subsidiary of IRONMAN CORPORATION LLC, is a promotions based company geared toward local/national bands & music events, who will be promoting top-rate metal events once per month, flip flopping between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Tomorrow on Nov 18th, 2006 will be the Ironman Metal FestEVIL held in Gibbstown, NJ. The bill will feature an assortment of underground's newest and brightest metal band talents, such as ADDER, TREMOR and Metal Blade records THE NETWORK, along with many other top New Jersey area acts. I caught up with the man behind it all, Adrian Lugo of Ironman Corp. LLC and I am pleased that I can help us all learn more about what he's got planned to help continue growing out the true underground heavy music scene we are all in love with.
Rocket: Where are you from originally?
Adrian: Originally, I from the same great state as Zakk, New Jersey. I was born & raised in Williamstown, NJ. However, I have been living in Delaware County, Pennsylvania for the last 4 years. It’s about 5-10 minutes outside of Philadelphia, depending on what part of Philadelphia you’re in.
Rocket: Now your business really has been more in dealing with Fitness training and promotions/merchandising, right?
Adrian: Yes, a little bit of everything. When I was in college, I started a screen printing & embroidery company. I would come up with different sayings & put them on t-shirts. Some were good, & yes, some were bad. I went to school for automotive repair & worked as a mechanic for 5 years before I went through an early mid-life crisis. That’s when I decided that I was in the gym so much, why not get paid to be there. I got a job as a personal trainer at Bally Total Fitness. I worked there for just over 2 years at 2 different clubs as a personal trainer & personal training director. I always wanted to have my own business, so I started training people on my own outside the club. When I worked at Bally Total Fitness, I designed my own business card & started designing & printing business cards for other people as well. Designing business cards has turned into designing just about everything. Fitness, clothing & printing, all of my hobbies rolled up into one. I can’t really call it work but I love what I do.
Rocket: Can you tell me briefly about your professional background in music and how you have now ultimately become involved with promoting underground metal?
Adrian: Like the human body & how it works, music fascinates me. When I was 13, I started doing yard work for a friend of my grand parents. Most of the time I would just hang out with their son, who was a quadropoleadric. He was a few years older than me & would tell me about the music that he listened to. “We sold our souls for rock & roll” was my intro to music 101. When I was in college, I became friends with the drummer for a local Philly band called All But Lost. I started hanging out with the band & became friends with everyone. The night before Ozzfest ’03, I got a call from another friend who was in a band called Cotton Mouth DN. He was offering All But Lost a show the following week. That night, I was informed that I was now the manager for All But Lost. They told me what I was supposed to do & just learned as I went along. I managed them for a year & a half before they broke up in Feb. 2005. Since then, I’ve been working with different bands as a sponsor for their merchandise & helping them to book shows.
Rocket: Not terribly imprortant. I'm more curious than anything, but have you ever played a musical instrument?
Adrian: Play, yes. Play properly, no.
Rocket: Haha. At least you're honest about it.
Adrian: In 7th or 8th grade we learned how to play the guitar, for a couple of days anyway. I even have a guitar that my Father gave me & my brother when we were little. I kind of took possession of it. One of these days, I’ll actually lean how to play it, properly.
Rocket: I know you have the Ironman Metal FestEVIL coming up tomorrow on Nov 18th in Gibbstown, NJ. Can you tell us about the lineup for this event and the other activities that are planned?
Adrian: Well, the line up is interesting on its own. IM3, Tremor, LaMora, Landmine, Undermind, Adder & recently added to the show Left to Vanish & the Network. IM3 is coming in from Indianapolis. They will be shooting a video for “Southern Vampire” at the show. Tremor, LaMora, Landmine, Undermind & Adder are all from South Jersey. Left to Vanish (End All Music) are from Philadelphia & The Network (Black Market Activities/Metal Blade Records) are from New Hampshire. I have to give Frank from Landmine credit for recruiting Left to Vanish & the Network. Along with the video for “Southern Vampire”, we will be filming the entire show for a DVD to be released in early 2007 with a compilation CD. For my 1st show, I decided to go all out. I don’t like doing things half assed.
Rocket: I imagine you go out to shows in your local area. Have there been any standout performances from a band that has left a lasting impression with you this year, besides names that you're already involved with?
Adrian: Unfortunately, I don’t get to go out that much. I’m always busy doing something. One band that I have been impressed by was a band call Dark Disco Club. They are from the Delaware County area & are kind of like Manson & NIN. They have this little guy on keyboard that can scream like he’s possessed by something resembling Satan himself. I guess there are a few other bands but this is the one that comes to mind.
Rocket: Let's go back to when you yourself first started listening to heavy metal, brother. Who are some of your early favorites?
Adrian: Black Sabbath! I’m an OZZY freak. My friends make fun of me for knowing so much about him. I played Ironman over & over until I knew all the words to the song. Hence the name. I’m a big KISS fan, the music, not so much the band. I lost some respect for them when they did the reunion tour without their drummer. I remember Ozzfest 2000, when Pantera almost played “Over the Mountain”. That was interesting. My mom once asked me how I went from listening to the Beach Boys to Slipknot; I was wearing a Slipknot t-shirt at the time. I told her that I grew up. I’m older & wiser now. When I was little, someone gave me a Beach Boys tape. When I workout, I like to listen to Slayer. If that doesn’t get you pumped, you don’t have a pulse.
Rocket: There's been a lot of killer metal released in 2006. What's your personal favorite up to this point?
Adrian: I’m not really sure. I was waiting for BLS “Shot to Hell”. I think I like Mafia better, though. It’s a toss up. I haven’t heard all of Slayer’s new one yet, but what I have heard is awesome. I also like how they offended, pissed off, people in India, or somewhere over there, with the cover art. When you can do that, you’re good. Stone Sour “Come what ever may”, is pretty good. I read your review on Lamb of God’s “Sacrament” … I think the Redneck video is hilarious.
Rocket: Now with this being your first serious undertaking in promoting underground metal, can you talk about some of the other future projects Ironman has in the works? Will you do more of these type of events and if so, how can bands submit to be a part of them?
Adrian: Definitely, 2007 is going to explode! I will be promoting a show once a month throughout the year in NJ & PA. I’m hoping to have all the dates confirmed by the end of this month. I’m planning a huge show in Philly in late spring, early summer, probably around June. I’m looking to book not only local bands but some national bands as well. Like I said, I don’t like to do things half assed. For more information on any of these shows or on the Ironman himself, go to www.IronmanInc.com or MySpace.com/ArtistPromotionsLLC2006. I do have some other things in the works right now. However, I’m still trying to iron out all the details at this point. You’ll have to check the website for those details.
Rocket: Great. Are you looking for any types of employees or street team members to be a part of your new metal promotions effort? If so, how should they go about getting in touch with you?
Adrian: I am always looking to expand. I start with an idea & it just evolves. If anyone would like to help out or is looking for a job, send an email to IronmanTees@aol.com. I’d be more that happy to talk to you.
Rocket: Now with the Metal FestEVIL coming up tomorrow, what kind of size crowd are you expecting for it?
Adrian: The bigger the better. I’m shooting for between 200 & 300 people. I’m shooting a DVD for this one. That’s between 200 & 300 potential movie stars.
Rocket: I'm going to give you one chance to sell the people with your best pitch on your Metal FestEVIL, Adrian. With all the other clubs and cool metal bills that are going on at the same time, why should a metal fan in that area come out and be part of this one?
Adrian: That’s easy. Not only will you get to see 8 KICK ASS METAL BANDS, while watching your girlfriend shake her ass in the “Southern Vampire” video … you’ll get to meet ME … the IRONMAN.
Rocket: Thanks so much for your time on this, Adrian. Give a shout out to your biggest supporters.
Adrian: My biggest supporters are the ones who doubted me. They make me work that much harder. I would like to thank all the bands that have allowed me to sponsor them … Level Zero, IM3, Landmine & all the bands that I get to work with on the 18th … Undermind, Adder, LaMora, Tremor, The Network & Left to Vanish. My friends & family who put up with all my crazy ideas, & everyone at Long Marmero & Mayer LLP. They have been a big help to me in the past year. Last but not least, I’d like to give a special thanks to Rocket for letting me ramble on with this interview. THANK YOU.
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