Jan 26, 2013

Thanks to King's Barcade and Everyone Who Came Out!

Damn!  What a great show!  We all had a blast at Kings last Saturday night during Loincloth's first show in Raleigh. It was our home town maiden voyage and a homecoming all wrapped into one.  Old faces and new faces were grinning from ear to ear as we unleashed our metal mayhem onto the streets of Raleigh's bustling party district just off of Fayettville Street Mall.  It was nice to see so many loved ones in the audience as we brutalized their beloved little tushies from the stage.  Demon Eye and Solar Halos got things off to a great start with their very well oiled rock machine sets, and everyone in attendance was primed for Loincloth by the time we took the stage.  It was great to be able to feel the anticipation filling the room! The place just kept getting more and more packed throughout the night and we were definitely ready to rock the joint.  It was on!

There was something about the show at King's last weekend and our show in Brooklyn back in November that made them both very special.  In both instances there were enough people who were familiar with the band, who had wondered if we would ever play live and wanted very much to be there if we ever did, that there was a sort of emotional investment on the part of the crowd.  Someone at the Brooklyn show put it very well when he explained that there was a certain "sense of ownership" about the show.  The same seemed to be true at King's.  We have had a lot of interesting people "pulling" for us, rooting for us to be able to get out there for all of these years.  The buzz that Loincloth generated when we first started playing together was pretty amazing.  Since we never could play out ( until recently ) the people who knew about us and loved what we did had their own secret gem to hang onto, but we were just that to many people... a secret.  For years people have seen that we offer something very different, that we draw our inspiration from things that seem to have been all but forgot in the world of metal.  There were enough people who knew us well both in Raleigh, and in New York that the shows were a kind of validation for their own interests in heavy music.  They persevered, and we did too.  The reward for everyone was that we finally were able to celebrate what we all love about metal together, and the shows had a kind of bonding chemistry that we could feel on stage.  

I spoke to members of both Demon Eye and Solar Halos after the show and they were very glad to have been a part of the bill.  The show was a great experience for everyone involved and I think it put them in front of a good sized crowd.  Hopefully they will be able to draw some new people to their own shows.  People were asking about both bands at the merchandise table pretty consistently, so I know they turned some heads.  Thomas created a lot of interest as well with his 25 minute set of creepy, ambient, minimalist soundscapes. Monica said that several people asked which of the recordings he had at the merch table was the piece he had performed just before we went on.  Thomas has a way of making his compositions more sinister than others I've heard.  I'm fortunate to have many of his cd's, and they all create a kind of blank space that eventually fills with dread.  I love those artists who satisfy a certain mood which no one else seems to be able to get right.  Thomas and I originally spoke of using Loincloth music as a recurring accompaniment or something almost textural in a key way in one of his compositions.  That was well before we asked him if he'd like to play bass with us.  I'm still hopeful about a kind of collaborative piece.  He used "Church Burntings" in a similar way a few years ago for a release of his called "Lac Simmel". Look him up, and see how lazy we all are by comparison!

A few tracks from the first King Diamond record set the mood before a brief intro Thomas put together, and there we were... on stage for the first time as Loincloth in our own home town! Well over half of the people I could see at the front of the stage were people who have meant the world to me for over half of my life!  Hell, you could say that about the band too!  I've only recently gotten to know Craig, but I've known Thomas for 30 years and I met Tannon at a Motorhead show in DC back in 1986 at The Warner Theater, and then again at the same club the next weekend when we saw Slayer on the Reign In Blood Tour.  Monica, Cary and Chris were all front and center in the audience.  Graham and Brian were out there somewhere too, as well as other lifelong friends and some people I've known since my early twenties.  Shows have become a sort of "second family" reunion, and I love feeling like we have all shared in this ride together.  It's satisfying in a way that I never thought about when envisioning my life in music.  It's a different kind of celebration that goes deeper than "Man!  You guys kicked ass!"

We played as well as ever last Saturday, and the roar between songs was music to my ears!  I think that the show in Los Angeles was as good for us, as far as our performance goes, but without people there who knew our music there was none of the I've-been-waiting-for-years-to-hear-this kind of release from the audience that there was at King's.  It was nice to be able to really deliver for our friends last weekend.  I'm a recovering perfectionist, so I'm a much harsher critic of my own playing then anyone else.  I'm learning to accept the fact that other people can be blown away by something I'm a little embarrassed by, and that it's okay.  By that, I mean that my playing is abstract enough that people are often reacting to my approach without hearing the little mistakes that I could point out all day long.  There are millions of drummers who are far better than I will ever be, but my unconventional rhythms and accents are the things in my playing that people find compelling.  There were some old school guys who were truly impressed by our set, and given that they had been waiting a long time to hear us live I think that it's a real feat to have been able to live up to their expectations.  Greg Elkins, who recorded and produced Iron Balls of Steel was completely blown away!  I saw him running to congratulate us backstage and he looked rattled and giddy at the same time.  It was a priceless moment to share with him.  He was genuinely moved, and he's such a great guy who has seen hundreds, if not thousands of bands.  To have hit him so hard was an honor!  

Our next show in the area will be during Hopscotch in mid to late summer.  I don't know which night we'll get, or where we will play but I will post the information as soon as I receive it.  I'd like to thank everyone who came out and made our show at King's such a special night for all of us!  It's always great to feel like we've contributed something unique to the lives of people for whom we have such admiration and affection.  It was wonderful to see everyone, and we cannot thank you all enough for your support and continued interest over the years. Our road has been a "non-traditional" one to say the least!  Thanks for being part of the ride! Much love to everyone!

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