Thursday, February 28, A Sense of Place The Bloggers of the World Award, originally awarded by Cojito at the blog, Life, way back at the turn of the year, has made its way around the globe to little old me, by way of wonderful Cathy at A Bit of the Blarney! I apologize to Cathy for taking so long to post this honor.
These are the States of Metal. The huge and varied natural wilderness throughout the state — most notably the ancient wall of the Rockies in the west — gives it a sense of vast possibility.
A combination of creative liberty and solid work ethic has resulted in an incredible selection of bands that, in the past five years, have made Denver one of the most watched American cities in terms of up-and-coming metal.
But as new industries and gentrification creep in, the room and resources to be creative are growing sparse. Onstage as the frontman of unsettling sludge outfit Primitive ManEthan is intimidating to say the least.
For musicians growing up in this scene, Denver will always be a city way out in the middle of the country. On the one hand, this meant that historically, getting dates on big tours was hard.
The real shift came when Metallica came through on the Ride The Lightning tour. They played the same club we started at, and it was packed.
Sure, a Denver show might mean little more than gas money, but it was worth it to cool your heels. DIY venues like Rhinoceropolis and Glob sprouted up, hosting diverse bills where no two bands sounded the same. Born in Memphis, Ben knew Denver was for him the minute he moved there.
Bands push each other to be better without competing. Look at a band like Spectral Voice — they play with all the fucking lights off!
You want to see them keep being successful, and kicking ass, but you want to do that as well. This has brought in young professionals looking for work, cannabis tourists, and entrepreneurs interested in snapping up all of the warehouse properties that hosted DIY metal shows for the last ten years.
And the industry has messed up economic stuff in the state. Budtenders make minimum wage. And when economic development happens, space becomes a commodity, and after the Ghost Ship Firethe city started cracking down on DIY spaces.
Where are the kids going to find the music? As one band from Denver gets noticed, another finally gets some press, even if they sound different.
The result is an attempt to imitate the Colorado tradition — not to bite off any specific style, but to try and create something that sounds personal and different. Bands just want to sound like a band, live and recorded.
The death metal scene has really gone in that direction.
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