We've got a new local hard rock band to talk about today at the SMS, and their name is Acention! Their online pages were only started this month, but they're already showing some promise thanks to their lineup and sound descriptions. Acention's current lineup includes singer Danielle Wierzbicki, guitarists Dalton Boissineau (formerly of These Sins of Time) and Josh Willet, former Suffacation bassist Konar Zayet, and Cherry Crush drummer Johnny Amendola, who you may remember from a campaign earlier this year to see him join a local metal band. Notably, Acention's Facebook page still lists an earlier lineup for the band, which featured Dalton & Josh alongside Caleb, Mikey, and Cayne Cachagee (I think they're brothers), and though I know Mikey was once on bass in 20 Pack of Marshmallows, full older lineup positions weren't listed. Acention has been together since October 2011, and their Facebook group says that their current lineup does covers from bands like Papa Roach, Evanescence, and Three Days Grace, with plans to write originals and start gigging this summer. Become a fan or group member at the above links for current updates!
I don't know a whole lot on Acention, but there's promise there! Johnny's a very talented young drummer, I know Danielle from high school and she has a good singing voice, and I haven't heard anything negative about the members of this new band! It'll also be nice to see another heavier local band with a female singer, which is scarce on the Sault Ontario side of things right now (aside from Turner Up & the increasingly inactive Sativa Rose.) Stay tuned for more from Acention as it rolls in, and they're now in our band listings on your left!
Next up, this is related to a campaign that has been all over many local metalheads' Facebook news feeds in the last while. On Thursday, Bear Hunters/Borderline Divine guitarist Mitch Sirie launched a Facebook group named "Bring Metal to the Rotary Fest Main Stage 2012!", which is about what the title implies. Mitch was hoping to instigate an effort to add metal bands to our local summer festival's main concert stage at Clergue Park over the July 19th weekend, which generally features mostly local cover bands, typically ones who frequent local bars on weekends. While bands like Turner Up & That's Chester have been seen in recent years, the aim was to get even heavier bands with original material to be featured equally with those of other genres, especially with the progression of the local metal scene in recent years. Mitch has since heard back from Rotaryfest higher-ups that the main stage is for cover bands only, but his influence and efforts may help lead to a metal element on the Tenaris Second Stage outside of The Grand Theater on Queen Street East. Though that stage has generally been focused around local & out of town indie rock bands, they're more open to original material and metal genres, and despite no heavier acts last year, bands like Garden of Bedlam, Gates of Winter, and Stillbroke have rocked the Second Stage in the past, so it's certainly not taboo there.
If all goes according to current plan, Mitch is hoping to get some booking control over a proposed third day of the Tenaris Second Stage at Rotaryfest this year, which would see bands who apply for consideration this year (applications should start on Monday) be considered on a more metal-friendly basis. If this doesn't fly, Mitch and related contributors would be looking into hosting some type of outdoor metal event concurrently with Rotaryfest, but nothing is final at present. Check the above links for the recent discussions! I'm all for increased metal integration this year, as compared to other local music festivals, metal and hard rock is definitely a lesser focus at Rotaryfest. If I booked the main stage, I'd integrate all genres and try and focus on original material, but I understand why they have the bands they do each year. The bands they get are unoffensive, family friendly, and play familiar music that a diverse local audience can enjoy. Plus, Rotaryfest is a family festival in many respects, and some people won't want to hear death growling or expose their young children to it. I'd still prefer a wider range of bands for genres, ages, and levels of original material, but what Rotaryfest is doing at Clergue Park works for what they do, and I'm sure they feel that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Maybe we'll at least get Caveman Morrison this year though?
The Second Stage is definitely an easier nut to crack, as they generally have supported original & heavier material more, but the dependence on indie rock & numerous out of town bands has turned off some metalheads that I know. I find that the organizers of the Second Stage do a great job for talent that they book (local or otherwise), but even if a full day can't be secured for metal/punk, just seeing more than just one heavier band on a day's lineup would be welcome. I'm certainly not the type to try and force metal on the unwilling, but if we could get a cross section of the best of every genre, everyone would be happy, and hopefully some steps can be taken down that road! Stay tuned on Monday (if all goes according to plan) for applications to play at this year's Rotaryfest, as the odds may be better than ever that your band gets on the bill!
And finally, here's three assorted shorter stories from the last little while, and as always, these are in alphabetical order by event or artist name:
- A review of April 5th's David Gold memorial concert/"Woods V" CD release party in Toronto has been posted online by Jonathan Millard-Smith of Hellbound.ca, so click here to check it out! Though I don't agree with his questioning of Kittie justifying why they were there (it may be how they grieved and got through it all), it's a nice and concise review of the night's proceedings, with solid photos by Adam Wills, so give it a read!
- I've moved Skull After Betrayal frontman Mike Vincent's solo project to our inactive band links due to a year's inactivity. Mike last updated his solo Reverbnation page last April with some original song postings, but I think he's mostly been focusing on band work since. Hopefully he revisits his solo work down the road, but stay tuned for updates from Mike's band projects!
- The Posted Around concert poster exhibition at the Circle of Creative Arts building near The Grand Theater has been extended until May 7th (one week from Monday) due to public interest, which is awesome to hear! Go check it out A.S.A.P. to see some awesome local concert posters and buy prints of them for as low as $5!