Archive: Pit Stories Columns
New Jersey’s Spider Rockets sent in a well-told story of traveling between gigs one foggy night while touring in upstate New York:
It was late, and we had finished our last night playing a festival in upstate New York. We were dirty and tired of hanging out with nature and decided to hit the road instead of camping out for another night. All around us were mountains and enough one-lane winding roads to make one uncomfortable driving in the daytime. Cell phone service was pretty much unavailable, too. Definitely no hotels. Also, as you can imagine, no nearby cities... The fog started coming in as we were leaving. We started driving and we realized how bad the visibility actually was.More...
Every week on Metal Underground, we receive stories of life on the road from metal bands all over the world. This week, we received a story from Denver based Pile Of Priests about the time watching a show went wrong:
"Hey Metal Underground! Evan from Pile of Priests here, we’ve got a wacky story for you. Back in 2010 we played the the Wichita Extreme Metal Festival, it was our first show out of state and we brought two roadies along with us to help out. After our set, we proceeded to have some beers and whiskey shots with the other bands.
"We were watching Stonehaven’s set, when some tweaker in the pit began fucking with our roadie (Dan) trying to shove him from behind. Dan is a tall dude so we aren’t sure why he decided to pick on him, and let me tell you, bad idea! Dan shrugged it off until this bozo threw a punch at the back of his head. It was on, and Dan began shoving him outside for a proper ass beating.
"By this time Stonehaven finished their set and EVERYONE from the show was outside watching Dan whoop this dude’s ass. Our other roadie (Nick) was pretty wasted by then and was heckling the shit outta this guy while Dan was giving him the beatdown. The fight ended and some of the tweaker's friends showed up, so it was time for us to split before it got nasty. As we were finishing loading up the trailer, Nick was getting into it with one of the other tweekers. He was just trying to piss the guy off, yelling “You want to fight a 16 year old!?” repeatedly (Nick was 21 at the time). We yanked him into the van, he continued yelling insults out the window as we peeled off into the night. Dan was thus dubbed “The Tweaker Beater” by the Wichita metal scene, they still ask about him to this day."
Pile Of Priests' new EP, "Tenebrous Labyrinth" is available now through their official bandcamp page
Every week on Metal Underground, we receive stories of life on the road from metal bands all over the world. This week, Warraxe, lead vocalist of eclectic Canadian group Nordheim shares a tale of Dungeons & Dragons with some surprising twists!
"So there was that time when we were going to Toronto... When we're driving to a venue, we usually play D&D in the tour van all ride long, yeah I know it's sounds geek as fuck but wait for it...
"We also have a habit of putting a big flashy sing with stupid shit written all over it so we can see the reaction of people driving by and it's always a good time. So this time we wrote on it : Show us your tits we're rockstars.
"We didn't know what to expect, we got lots of smiles, people laughing, angry old ladies... typical stuff. So we kept on playing D&D while keeping an eye on cars passing by, the occasional manboobs you know... We had a good laugh at the first hairy ass that we saw but things got cool when we saw a super classy Mercedes pass by. I don't know who she was or where she was going but this girl wasn't shy at all. She had I would say something like 36 DD at least and they where exactly how they look in porn movies, minus the jizz. Super tanned, gigantic shades and expensif clothing, the perfect stripper kit. We had a good laugh and threw her the horns and kept playing D&D feeling a little less geeky. Nothing like a big pair of dice to spice a game up hahahahaha."
Nordheim's latest studio album, "RapThor," is available now through Maple Metal Records.
Every week in Pit Stories, a band or musician tells us some of their most wild memories from shows they've performed or attended. This week, Koen ‘Vuurdichter’ Romeijn of Dutch folk metal band Heidevolk tells us of a show in Birmingham that was dangerously full and walking in on the promoter in the midst of a Silence of the Lambs routine:
"To be honest, in this so called ‘Folk & Pagan metalscene’ where we operate, most Pit
Stories tend to end with a smile. You simply cannot compare it to, let’s say, a mosh pit at a
Slayer concert. Now I’m not saying there aren’t any brutal moshpits at our shows, because
that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s always a lot of movement going on in the
crowd at our shows, but it tends to be more of a ‘drinking dance’, a celebration if you will,
with people clattering drinking horns and cheering along our tunes.
"But since this item is called ‘Pit Stories’, I will give you a more genuine one.
Back in 2003 I was on tour in the UK with Detonation, a melodic Death metal band. This
particular tour was as ‘underground’ as they get. Tiny van, small stages in shitty venues,
poor turnouts, sleeping on peoples floors after the gig because we couldn’t afford hotels. The
works. But awesome, nevertheless. More...
Each week on Metal Underground, musicians tell us some of their craziest and strangest memories from shows they've performed or attended. This week, Roger Sjunnesson, guitar player in The Unguided, told us all about his love of "the wall of death."
"For most people moshing and crowd surfing at concerts are compared to chaos. For us, it's a beautiful work of art. It´s basically like ants going crazy for a potato chip, and that´s the big charm about it. For me moshing is a relief and it helps me get the anger out. If people fall we would stop the pit and help them up, and when the moshing is done, we always high five each other and shake hands. Honestly, if you plan to go to a metal concert just doing nothing. You might as well stay home and listen to the band on the computer or cd in my opinion.
"For a couple of years we were playing a festival show with The Unguided in Gothenburg (which happens to be the capital of heavy metal), which left us with some great mosh and circle pit memories. We played quite early so we had no expectations how big crowd would. But when we finally hit stage, the crowd were surprisingly big (a couple of thousand for sure) and they were going totally ape shit right from the start!! Sooner in the set, right in the middle of our last song our vocalist Richard told the crowd to split up into two teams. Which formed a gap bigger than a fu*king canyon! We were planning to do the "Brave Heart" named after the first battle scene of the movie Brave Heart (also more familiar known as a “Wall of death”).
"People were lined up and beyond ready to break legs and melt faces as I slowly counted down. As a final step, Richard throw his stage shoes out in the crowd and screamed GO! We started to play the last chorus of the song and people were running like crazy into each other. Wow I've always wanted to be in the front line of a wall of death because it looks absolutely insane!!"
The Unguided is a five piece metal band from Sweden who just released our fourth album "And the Battle Royale" through Napalm Records.
This week in Pit Stories, we heard from Fabio D'amore, bassist of Austrian symphonic power metal band Serenity, who told us all about the problems with finding somewhere to sleep when on tour.
"In 2012 we had a show in the Netherlands, in Utrecht, if don't remember wrong. The venue was pretty cool, sort of theater, and we've got a very good show. I remember I flew from Venice off Duesseldorf, together with our sound engineer, and reached the venue driven from a friend, but the other guys came from Austria, drove the whole night cause Georg had a show with his cover band, and as soon as he was off stage they drove like 13 h during the night to be able to be there in time, with the whole equipment.
"So after the show we were all visibly tired, especially the “Austrian gang” since they hadn't slept. We finally were about to go to a flat that has been organized for us, and we found out it was a sort of joke, there was nothing on that flat where we could have been able to sleep, the 8 of us. We were thinking of possibilities, we have been searching for hotels or cheap last minute accomodations, but everything seemed to be full or none of them had a 24h check in possibility. Literally nothing! And it was getting late...
"So, although almost collapsing and falling asleep, with decided to drive toward Germany, to be able to find maybe something nearby the airport in Duesseldorf, though very far away. But as soon as we entered the van, and we started the engine, we noticed we had 5 KM autonomy of gas! And as it was really late, and no gas station was open, we toured the city for 2/3 hours searching for a gas station having a 24 h automatic, but nothing, slowly we got to 0 KM autonomy and we drove this way for another hour or two!
"Finally around 4 am we found a gas station with automatic machine, but, believe or not, none of our credit cards were accepted!! Then we had to continue till 5am, when the first gas station opened,and luckily we didn't stop somewhere on the road without gas! We were really empty! We could finally fill-in the tank and we continued till Duesseldorf, where finally we found a hotel, and we could enter our room at 6.30 am!!"
Serenity's latest album, "Lionheart," is available now through Napalm Records.
Italian symphonic metal band Sleeping Romance sent us a story not from the pit, but from the road, or rather hotel in Slovakia while on tour:
In 2015 we went to play in a nice Bratislava club. The evening went pretty well, so late at night we reached the hotel where we would stay: a 4 star hotel, gorgeous, never seen so much luxury. They put us in the last 3 rooms of the most remote corner of the hotel's sixth and last floor. After a quiet night, we wake up to have breakfast. We felt a great smell of abrasive bread, and we were on the sixth floor, so who knows what they were cooking in the ground floor kitchen?!? At one point, Lorenzo and Federico who had slept in the same room felt knocking at the door: "guys, out, fast, there is a fire!" Federico, believing in a joke of Francesco, says to Lorenzo: let him enter. Federico was pointing his ass to the door. Well, Lorenzo opened the door and here was a huge firefighter who, with a disgruntled face, invited us to leave as the hotel was on fire. In the most panic we took what we could and ran down hard, with the firefighter who kept yelling at us running and the black smoke that was poisoning us. But the fireman's horrible face, which we believe remains suspicious about what was happening in Lorenzo and Federico's room, is one of the most precious memories we keep.
Sleeping Romance's new album "Alba," was released on November 3rd via Napalm Records. The band will tour Europe in February with Visions of Atlantis and Serenity as part of the Symphonic Metal Nights Tour. Tour dates are as follows: More...
We have practically seen it all in our expanding collection of Pit Stories - whether it finds us crowd surfing like legends, moshing in totally unexpected places or even attacks from psychotic large chested woman. You can find it all on Pit Stories.
Today, Jöe Anus - guitarist and vocalist of Belgian thrash act Evil Invaders - tells us about a gig in Brazil where the backline looked more hopeless than the venue itself. As things fell apart, the band continued to rage the audience and.....oh hell, let Jöe tell you about it: More...
In the world of crowd surfing like legends, moshing in totally unexpected places, attacks from large chested woman...we have practically seen it all in our expanding collection of Pit Stories.
Today, Mark Briody - guitarist of Jag Panzer - recalls a mosh pit of two, where he and his bassist were having the time of their lives in the pit, unaware as to what was happening...
Here, Mark explains:
Many many years ago my bass player and I were at a punk gig. There was a massive pit going on. We were right in the middle, tossing elbows and going crazy. Soon we found ourselves are the only ones out there. We thought everyone else had enough so we high-fived each other. We soon found out the last song was a dedication to a deceased person, which no one moshed to. We were clueless.More...
This week's edition of Pit Stories comes from U.K.'s Dirty Thrills...who had a bit of "dirty thrills" themselves when they got the call to support Europe in 2015.
It seems the now notorious "Captain Big Boobs" made overtures and then attacked vocalist Louis James at a gig. Here, let the band tell you all about it:
We were honoured when we recieved the call from Europe, that we would be supporting them on several European dates back in late 2015. The shows were absoloutely incredible, with every show finishing on a massive high, the usual antics would take place, massive amounts of drinking and whatever else was done right after performing, and hotel mischief are all a given. But there was one particular show that stood out (as far as mad fans go anyway). Tt started off a normal morning, get up hungover and nurse it with the warm beer from the night before, then head down for some breakfast with the rest of the band and team. While tucking into mountains of bacon, eggs and beans we received a large number of picture messages on our band page. We opened them up and were greeted with a shit load of topless pics from this lady who was apparently staying in the same hotel. More...
Extreme crowd surfing, moshing in totally unexpected places, throwdowns between beer throwers, shows in outhouses, goat's blood, terrible venue managers, awesome venue managers, and even naked fans trying to drunkenly "salute" their favorite bands... we've seen a whole lot over the years with our expanding collection of Pit Stories!
Today we've got Jay “Beard” Sarrazin from Toronto-based metal group Decatur sharing the latest Pit Story entry. For those wondering, Decatur has a new album titled "Badder Than Brooklyn" coming October 6th, so keep an eye out for it!
This week, Jay looks back at meeting some of his favorite musicians over the years, with some of those encounters more uncomfortable than others:
It’s hard to choose just one story of a backstage encounter for me. I have been so lucky when it comes to meeting some of the greatest musicians in my time in the music industry. I was fortunate enough to be a guitar tech/merch guy/stagehand for Anvil for a couple tours throughout the years. I got to meet Alice Cooper during one of his tours and he was so nice and humble that he even did a video promo shout out to my old band.
I have woken up on the floor of Silver Cord Studios while recording my band Decatur’s debut record to have Mario Duplantier of Gojira practicing drum licks as my alarm clock. I have partied into the night with Bullet For My Valentine while they were touring through Canada. I even got to meet Bill Killiher from Mastodon and deliver one of his personal guitars to a close friend of his and mine.
But one story that always stuck with me would have to be during the first tour that I was on while working for Anvil. We were touring through the U.S.A on a 4 week tour supporting Anvil’s "Juggernaut of Justice" album. As we were touring we got word that Jason Newstead wanted to open for Anvil when they were to go through San Francisco with his project called Papa Wheelie. As a huge Metallica fan throughout my life I got super excited about it. For days I thought about it and I got more nervous as the gig got closer.
When we finally arrived in San Francisco we got to meet him at the venue and he was such a nice dude. My first encounter with him was as I was setting up the merch table for Anvil’s show that night. One of his buddies was putting out a couple shirts for Jason as well and we got to talking about all things including my love for Metallica and Jason. I even showed him one of my two Metallica tattoos.
Once he found out how big of a Metallica fan I was he immediately called Jason over and made me show him my tattoo at which point Jason put his hand on my forehead to check my temperature and asked if I was alright. I kinda laughed it off because his split with Metallica and I guess I got nervous. I then told Jason that I loved his work in Metallica and he would always be my favorite bass player. Not because I didn’t love Cliff Burton, but because I grew up with Jason as the guy in that spot. He responded by telling me Cliff was his favorite. Again I got nervous.
I went back to working and he came back over to me and gave me some merch of his band Papa Wheelie and asked me to man his merch table for the night which I happily did. About an hour or so before the venue opened for the show all the work was done so everyone piled backstage. We sat and drank some beers together and smoked some joints and Jason sat with us telling us stories of the road while playing with Metallica. From the Justice days, all the way up until his departure. As a huge Metallica fan it was so amazing to sit there listening to these stories straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak. I felt so blessed to be there at that moment. It’s a memory I’ll always keep and love.
For those who have had the pleasure (or in some cases, terror) of meeting their favorite musicians -- be sure to let us know your story in the comments!
Ready for a new Pit Story metal fans? This week's tale comes from the land of fire and ice: Iceland's Legend.
There is your typical crowdsurfing and then there is legendary crowdsurfing - the one that seems like it was planned all along with interactions from the band on stage and a passing of the torch (mic) while riding the hands of the crowd.
Vocalist Krummi Bjorgvinsson recalls the epic tale of drummer Frosti's adventure at an Iggy Pop performance: More...
In recent weeks we've had completely unexpected mosh pits and gothic throw downs where punches land on the wrong fans, but there's still plenty more Pit Stories to come this month!
Today Mick McCullagh from the Frontiers Music-signed, U.K. chug rock outfit Bigfoot checked in with us to share a tale of an epic home town show.
Mick recalls this tale of a completely stuffed venue and an overly intoxicated fan who managed to mess up the equipment:
Our hometown gigs at The Boulevard in Wigan were always eventful to put it lightly... this one time in particular it was packed to the rafters. You couldn't even move in there and they sold out of most beers before we even hit the stage. As soon as we came on the crowd blew up which we love, but being so intimate and the crowd literally breathing in our ball sack juice we just knew something was gonna happen.
A let's just say extremely intoxicated lady who was right at the front tumbled on my pedal board and completely cut my guitar sound out. I laughed but wanted to murder her deep inside. Sweating serious ball sack (as she decided to aim the fan at her also) I just about managed to get my rig working again after what seemed like millennia but was only a small portion of the song in Einstein's theory of general relativity. The show went on very successfully thank god.
Bigfoot's self-titled album is due to drop October 13th, 2017 via Frontiers Music Srl. Check out a music video for album track "The Fear" below. More...
Mosh pit Monday is over, which means its time for another weekly edition of Pit Story Tuesday!
This week we have Napalm Records hard rock / heavy metal crossover group Kobra And The Lotus on tap to discuss favorite live show pit memories.
Less on the extreme end than our typical Pit Story band, Kobra And The Lotus shares a tale of when moshing broke out quite unexpectedly, to delighted results.
The band had this to say about a Los Angeles show with some very enthusiastic fans:
Here’s the thing, we aren’t exactly a mosh pit inducing kind of band… or so you would think. Some of our tracks like "I Am, I Am" could foreseeably start something but for some reason that never happens. Instead, the most inconspicuous tracks off the album get the serious action. Just recently at our show in LA, a mosh pit broke out during the verse of our latest single “You Don’t Know." A few of us actually burst out laughing on stage but mostly out of sheer enjoyment.
The verse in that song is one of the most chilled out moments of our entire set so it was completely unexpected. Those people were champions though and we salute them for having a good time!! Go check out our latest music video for “You Don’t Know” and listen to the verses. You’ll see what I’m saying!
What's the oddest time and place you've seen a mosh pit break out? Let us know in the comments section below!
Kobra And The Lotus wrapped up a tour with Xandria earlier this year and the band's latest album "Prevail I" was released on May 12th via Napalm Records. Check out the music video for "You Don't Know" in the YouTube player below. More...
Today we've got a midweek Pit Story for you all about the mosh!
Vocalist Raf Salazar from Century Media rock band Loaded Guns recalls this story about learning your place in the pit:
I remember being at a Marilyn Manson concert in the pit & going absolutely nuts (how you're supposed to) but this one tough looking dude wearing a pentagram on his a back is looking very annoyed & trying to protect his girlfriend from us maniacs.
Anyway the pit is super crowded (It's Marilyn fucking Manson) & you can tell he is getting increasingly annoyed with the pushing / moving crowd. Anyway, I accidentally fall on him & he picks me up & tries to punch me, I duck & instead he punches another really big gothic guy & they go at it. Anyway pentagram dude gets beat up & when security came they escorted only him out. Was definitely a fun time & hopefully he learned a lesson.
Loaded Guns just released debut EP "Unstoppable" this past Friday, August 25th through Century Media Record. Check out a music video for "Bring Us Down," produced and directed by Matt Akana, in the player below. More...
Guys, guys, I don't even know where to start with this one guys. The fact that this really apparently happened is as horrifyingly hilarious to me as that time a naked dude tried, and failed, to jack off in front of Behemoth.
This week's pit story comes courtesy of vocalist / bassist Eric Bluebaum from Ohio sludge band Maharaja, who had the misfortune to catch the end of a Five Finger Death Punch festival set. Eric recalls the life-altering F5DP experience at Rock On The Range:
Somehow each year I manage to get a free ticket into Ohio's largest rock and metal concert: Rock on the Range. A carnival of trailer fashion, Bud Light, and indiscernible male/female nipples. This particular year I got a pass for the day Rob Zombie headlined. My friend and I didn't have field passes so we strategized on a way to sneak in. As we were faking up a backstage lanyard a cop comes up to us and asks us if we're trying to get into the field. We both reply "Yeeeea?" and the cop reaches into his pocket and gives us two field passes. I try to cheers him but he didn't fall for it. I'm glad he didn't kill me about it.
As most festival goers know, if you want to get a good spot for the band you want to see then you have to watch the tail end of the band before them. In my unfortunate case it was none other than Five Finger Death Punch AKA Bizarro Limp Bizkit that decided to stretch Wes Borland's look across three band members and dip Fred Durst in a Kentucky Waterfall by the ankle. It was the monkey at the zoo eating its own shit that you cant stop watching. Especially for their final song.
As Ivan Durst tells the crowd its their last song he makes a motion to the stage hands and tells the crowd they're doing something very special tonight. He says "Tonight we're gonna bring out our biggest fans to help sing along to this last tune" as he brings on stage twenty eight year olds. I don't know if this was their sick play on the old dead baby joke "whats the best thing about 28 year olds?/Theres 20 of them" but they literally brought out 20 8-year-olds on stage. I'm stricken with horror as the lead singer says "This last song is called...BURN MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!"
A zippy tune blazoned with lyrically prowess such as "I just don't give a shit, you need to feel it or you'll never fucking know it." The crowd goes wild, the kids are amped as fuck, and I'm losing consciousness. The caucasity. Its like a Kids Bop ad but its just the actual band with a bunch of kids behind them and Mickey Mouse is snorting meth off Minnie's mouse tits in a port-o-john back stage.
As the song is coming to a close the singer walks down the line of children and gives each one a turn to scream "BURN!" as he intervenes and says "MOTHERFUCKER!" as to somehow edit the song for the kids, or some shit, while also effectively screaming "MOTHERFUCKER!!" in the face of 20 eight year olds as a mom stuffed into a tube top films it all for Facebook later. The set ends, the kids get back in Ms. Frizzle's Fucked Up School Bus, and no one questioned any of it. Thirty minutes later Rob Zombie is setting off fireworks to "We're an American Band" in between his many cowboy hat changes. My life was never the same.
I managed to find some fan-filmed footage of the event in question (unless this is something the band just does regularly....) in a YouTube clip. It starts with one kid, but sure enough, soon there's a gaggle of 'em up there shouting away.
Guess I'm getting forgetful in my old age, because I somehow completely missed that yesterday was Tuesday. Your regularly scheduled Pit Story will arrive today instead!
This week we've got Devin Doucette from Toronto outfit Centuries Of Decay sharing a tale of when your band doesn't quite fit into the show.
Devin recalls this tale of being the only band not sporting robes and candles at a Satanic Black Mass:
I guess the most interesting live story is about a show we played sometime in December of 2015. We had just finished playing a gig at the Velvet Underground in downtown Toronto in what was supposed to be the venue's final gig before it closed (was bought and reopened under the same name). The show went well for us and we played like a well oiled machine. Afterwards, a promoter approached our bassist Anthony and asked if we would be interested in playing a black metal gig that was being held in downtown Toronto. Now, we have some elements to our music that derive from black metal, but we are certainly not a black metal band (I mean, Anthony had a long sleeved, striped maroon shirt on for the show). The one final detail is that the show was being put on by true Satanists.
It's December and we are loading into the event. We are greeted by the promoter with open arms and a Jim Beam gift set (very thoughtful). We were opening the event, but before the party got started, candles were being set up on stage and shortly afterwards a Satanic mass began. (Before I go further, I would like to state that I don't judge anyone for what they believe or think. Everyone has a right to their own opinions etc.) We were 4 dudes wearing mostly black street cloths, and there were people here with capes and corpse paint, cloaks and masks, taking part in a straight up satanic ritual.
The ceremony began with an incantation read from the Satanic Bible (presumably) by a young man, also donning a cape and extremely nervous. Despite the packed venue, it was super quiet, so quiet that we could hear someone entering the bathroom stall and fire up the hand dryer during the reading.
Despite us being 'visually' out of place, everyone at our show had a great time. We met some great bands and were paid in advance, more than any other show at the time. The promoter was amazing and generous and everyone had a blast. It was one of the best shows we ever played. Lesson is that music can transcend boundaries, and making those connections in turn makes the music community stronger.
Pro tip -- if you'd bring a bottle of wine when going to a dinner with new friends, the least you can do when meeting new black metal bands is bring a flagon of goat's blood to spill. Anything else is just a plain old social faux pas.
Last week we had a harrowing tale of out an out of control venue manager, and this week we're diving straight back into the mosh pit for some body slamming mayhem!
For our second Pit Story of August 2017 we got in touch with melodic metal group Counterfeit Culture.
Bassist Elijah Pagan recalls the following story of nearly getting laid out flat during a Lorna Shore show in New Jersey:
I'll never forget this one show I went to around 4 years back at Gamechanger World, in NJ. Lorna Shore was headlining the show and it was just after they had released the EP titled "Maleficium." I had been a Lorna Shore fan for awhile at that point and I was pretty excited to see them play the songs off that EP. It was super heavy. So myself and a couple of my friends drove down to the venue to watch them play. Some sick local bands played, and then when Lorna was setting up on stage more people started rolling in. The crowd ended up being pretty big. My friends and I moved up to the barrier closest to the stage thinking that would be a decent place for safety. Let me tell you... it wasn't.
The lights on the stage dimmed and Lorna was going on. Don't get me wrong I was super excited to see them, but I wasn't excited for how rowdy the crowd was going to be. So Lorna's set starts everything seemed to be alright. The pit was behind me, and I figured I was alright where I was. Next thing I knew, during one of the breakdowns in the song "Cre(h)ate," a much bigger man then myself climbed on the stage and I knew exactly what was about to go down.
The dude must've been like 300 lbs and I saw him climb up on the stage from the side and start running towards the end of the stage in my direction. The dude ran and belly flopped off of the stage swinging his arms and legs in every direction. I looked up and saw his whole body extended above me in the air. At that point, I just closed my eyes, held on to the barrier for dear life, and waited to be made into a human pancake. After a couple seconds of nothing I preceded to open my eyes to then see the people standing directly behind me, knocked over and on the floor with that big dude on top of them trying to get up as fast as possible. That was hands down one of the craziest pit experiences of my life.
Counterfeit Culture just released the "Deathwish" EP earlier this month, which can be picked up over here. Latest single "Apothecary" (featuring Ricky Armellino from This Or The Apocalypse) can also be heard below. For the latest on Counterfeit Culture, head over to the group's Facebook profile. More...
Man, the summer's almost over already and we're in our first August Pit Story somehow! Where did the time go?
This week we've got Chicago hard rock crew Aeraco on tap to dispense a new tale of pit hijinks, this time with a wrench thrown in the works not by an unruly fan, but rather by a venue manager who just wasn't feeling the music...
Aeraco bassist Beast recalls the harrowing experience like this:
My first gig with Aeraco was at a local bar in the western suburbs of Chicago. Nothing too crazy to brag about, but it was a good size bar with a good atmosphere. These were the thoughts that ran through my head the night prior to the gig as the whole band went out to scout the place. A local talent known for their profane titles and lyrics was playing that night. There was a pretty good crowd that evening, which set an expectation for the following night.
The next night, Saturday, we load all our gear in to find out that the venue only provides a very small and outdated PA. No mics, no cables, no stands. Good thing we came prepared, but that was about as good as it gets. We were able to salvage the gig by providing our traditional 3 vocal mic setup across the front of the "stage" (most likely recognized as a corner to most people). Not having any other mics or inputs for the PA, we dialed our amp volume levels to the drummer and then dialed the PA over everything else. I was actually pretty impressed at how it sounded considering the conditions.
An hour later, we began rocking out some of the greatest tunes to ever hit the radio. Some of the people that came out to see the gig were digging it, but nowhere near the amount that was there the night before. We had 3 hours or so of set time, so I was in it for the long haul. After about 2 or 3 songs, we had a woman approach us. I'm thinking alright we are doing pretty good and now our first request of the night. But she quickly changed that perception after she snarled at us, "Turn down! You guys are too loud!" Our contract says Hard Rock Band, what else would you expect? So we turn down our amps a little bit and the PA as well. Still a good balance overall, just less in your face.
After another song and a half, she comes storming in again, but we keep chugging along thinking she'll have to wait till we're done to speak to us. Instead, she B-lines it towards the PA and just starts turning knobs. Being the one that setup the PA and being the closest at the time, I noticed the knobs she was turning were for the vocals effects type and volume. I started chuckling as I watched her try to figure it out and becoming increasingly frustrated with no noticeable results. The rest of the band wound up stopping the song after noticing her struggled effort. She proceeds to tell us that she is the manager (who we had been looking for earlier in the day so we could get paid), and that we were still too loud. So reluctantly, we turned down even more, both the amps and the PA till we got her approval.
At this point, the drums are now the loudest thing, I can barely hear myself through the amp, and the PA isn't producing enough sound in the room to hear the vocal cues. What a nightmare! We make it through another song. Woo! We must be quiet enough to play the rest of the night. Finally!
We continue rocking out despite the low volumes and not being able to hear ourselves. After making it 75% of the way through the next song and are about to bring it home, when you guessed it! The Manager of the Year stomps her ass all the way to the stage. I was thinking she was going for the PA again. But she's full of surprises, and this was no exception. She starts waving her arms in the air like she's trying to signal for help as if she was Tom Hanks in Cast Away. She yells for us to stop! Stop Playing! We finally settle our instruments and roll our eyes as she begins to open her trap again.
She says, "I'll give you $200 to pack up and leave right now." We all were perplexed. We couldn't believe what we were hearing. We bickered for a little while, but eventually gave up as it was quite clear we were not wanted there. We had a contract to play for 3 hours for way more than 200 bucks, but apparently they weren't willing to uphold their end of the deal. Kind of a shitty first gig after a killer audition for me. After all that, I definitely had some second thoughts on whether or not I made a good decision to play with this band. But in the end, I stuck it out and now we have our brand new album titled "Baptized By Fire" which was inspired by experiences like these. Always keep Rockin!
A music video for the title track off that album can be found below, and you can hear more from Aeraco by heading over to SoundCloud here. To follow the latest on Aeraco, check out the group's Facebook profile. More...
Ready for a killer addition to the ever-expanding Pit Story collection?
This week we've got some crazy tales of a venue that was a little too close to a mental hospital for comfort, but the most outlandish shenanigans to go down there were frequently enacted by the punk and metal kids rather than the escaped patients!
Today's story comes courtesy of incendiary and apocalyptic heavy group Integrity, which just released new album "Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume" earlier this month via Relapse Records. The band recalls:
I’m not much for the pit. I always liked watching bands / observing what was going on more than I liked being jostled around a wet slippery floor. I have a lot of great memories of going to see bands play in Toronto when I was growing up. Every weekend my friends and I would take the bus and train downtown to spend the day eating food and buying records before ending up at a show that night. Back then our interests were contained within the more civilized part of the City, but if you were so inclined to travel a few subway stops down the line you would end up in a far more depraved environment. There was only one real reason for us to go there: The Generator.
The Generator was a dive-bar located on the corner of Queen and Ossington that hosted awesome metal / punk / hardcore shows. Also located on the corner of Queen and Ossington was an old mental asylum that never seemed to be able to keep their patients locked in at night. On any given night if you were going to The Generator, you’d be guaranteed to see a mishmash of punks, metalheads, junkies and escaped mental patients. It often made for an interesting time.
Anyways I’ve seen some pretty crazy shows over the years. Whether it’s a barrage of fireworks / burning items flying around, to dudes moshing with a deer carcass ala Tom Green’s get inside the animal skit. I’ve watched shows explode into all-out prison riots ridden with drugs, sex and violence… .you name it. But the most memorable experience to me was seeing Canadian punk legends Dayglo Abortions perform at The Generator.
The club was jammed with a smelly and extremely wasted hybrid of crust-punks, metalheads, and escapees from the Asylum across the street. When Dayglos hit the stage, I wanna say they started with "Fuck My Shit Stinks" and all hell just broke loose. Everyone started pitching their beer bottles at the ceiling so it was constantly raining glass on this uncomfortably packed and hot mess of human bodies. By the time they were done playing, the pit was a mess blood, beer, dirt and drool peppered with tons of broken glass and who knows what else.
When the club let out, it looked like a scene from "Death Wish 3" crossed with "Night Of The Living Dead." A dude with a road-warrior Mohawk-mullet was boning a similar looking girl on the hood of someone’s car. When the poor owner of said vehicle tried to get into his car and go home, the ‘boner’ (or it might have been the ‘bonee’ in an equally gruff / terrifying voice) growled ‘You just keep walking if you know what’s good for ya.'
Many years later, Integrity played in Toronto at a venue that was in the same part of town, and I couldn’t believe the amount of gentrification that took place over the years. It was all boutiques, fancy bars and bistros. My mom and siblings came to the show, and we were eating together at a restaurant that years ago could have been in The Generator’s backyard. I couldn’t help but wonder to myself what the growling car-bone guy was doing at this exact moment years later. I hope it’s something equally as awesome.
Integrity's freshly released album "Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume" was recorded and mixed at Developing Nations Studio in Baltimore with mastering handled by Brad Boatright. The band will kick off a Japanese tour in October, and below you can check out a video for album track "Hymn For The Children Of The Black Flame." More...