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Judast, Dustbloom, Visigoth

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This past Saturday marked the official release show for the Dustbloom and Huldra split-release show -- which has been a long time coming, seeing how the album has been out for two months. --- But nonetheless, the show was set for Burt's Tiki Lounge with Visigoth and Judast filling the bill to make this one of the best local rock shows of the month. Strangely enough, this is also the first show at Burt's that started before 10 p.m. Imagine my surprise to find out that once I got there, Judast had already played, which was a big shock to them, as well.

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So, aside from the profile picture you see with their interview, the only pics I have are courtesy of Troy Curtis. I interview them, as well as Visigoth and Dustbloom, and include what pics I did manage to get with my one working hand this weekend, which you can check out here.



Judast (Greg Wilson, Mark Wursten, Jarrett Miller and Brian Fell)

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Judast on Facebook



Gavin: Hey, guys. First off, tell us a little about yourselves.



Mark: Well, we are four nice guys who just really like jammin' heavy riffs.



Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?



Mark: Metallica and Pantera, for sure, since we were young, and lately, at least for me, it has been bands like Goatsnake, Sleep, Electric Wizard and High on Fire. As a band, though, we are all over the place as far as our musical tastes go. Jarrett is really into Motown because of his idol James Jamerson, who he has told me played bass on pretty much everything during his time in the Motown scene. Greg is into the classics lately -- Sabbath, Rush, Hendrix, Van Halen, Brian, our newest member, is really intotTapes of whales just singing to each other in the ocean; I don't get it, but he is an absolutely amazing drummer and all-around nice guy, so whatever.



Gavin: Most of you come from the band Jesust, but recently as a group, you had a bit of drama that led to kicking a member out and changing the name. What led to the fallout of the old band and the forming of Judast?



Mark: What it comes down to is that our band was no longer productive together. The environment had become harsh, and none of us were having fun anymore. If you can't do it for fun, then why continue? We wish our previous member, Bacon, who now holds the band's old name Jesust, nothing but the best. He plans to continue to use the name for his new project that includes Carl Ball (Clifton) Mike Doepner (Her Candane) Andy Baez Aka Poop's (Nine Worlds). We are sure it's gonna be fuckin' awesome and can't wait to hear it.



Gavin: How was it for all of you to formulate a harder kind of stoner metal for your sound?



Mark: I really don't think we have really formulated any harder sounds in the genres of stoner or metal, honestly. I like to think we just do what comes naturally and sounds good to us. There are a million metal bands and a million stoner bands that are heavier than us. I think we have achieved, without really trying to, an overall sound that is fairly listenable to different age groups and people who generally enjoy rock music as a whole.



Gavin: Being relatively new, in a sense, are you looking to create a new catalog of songs ,or will you continue with the old set with a new lineup?

Greg: Since I joined the band a little over a year ago, the idea has always been to create a new catalog. We love the older songs, but as musicians, as a band, we constantly want to progress. We enjoy writing new music, testing new writing formulas, pushing ourselves musically, and just creating in general. The plan has always been to progress and create new material, and having a new member with new input, we are excited to see how much further we can take our band. Older songs always stay on the back burner; we think it's great to keep them dusted off, and they can always use new twists to stay fresh, but our desire is to always press forward musically. With Brian recently joining, having such a strong, talented drummer with such a unique taste on playing only supports our growth musically.



Gavin: Prior to the reformation, you were working on a brand-new album on the way called Stealin' Thunder. What's the progress on that and what are you planning to do for the release?



Mark: It is finished! We recorded it this spring/summer with local badass Andy Patterson handling everything but the tracking of the vocals, which were handled by Joel Pack at his Rigby Road studios, and we are pretty stoked on how the album turned out, so BIG thanks, Joel and Andy. You can hear a track from it titled "Jail Riff" at ReverbNation. Stealin' Thunder will be released as a 7" single and a 12" LP as soon as we have the money to press it; also, we will be doing download cards in MP3 format and those should be available very soon. Also for anyone who wants it right now, just hit us up and ask and we will most likely just e-mail it to you for free as MP3s.

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Gavin: Have you given any thought to touring out of state, or will you be sticking to home for now?



Mark: Our goal as a band is to play SXSW next year; we are doing everything in our power to make that happen.



Gavin: Moving on to statewide stuff, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?



Mark: The local music scene seems a little bit dead, or maybe I am just getting older and more out of touch. The bands that we have here playing to small crowds are honestly amazing and no one seems to care, which is really sad. I think we need to start rebuilding the scene from the ground up. I also think over-saturation is a factor, along with local promoters booking "big" shows and requiring an opening band to pre-sale an unrealistic amount of tickets to open the show. These promoters have it all wrong. They think that bands are supposed to write music, perform, promote, and beg their friends and family to come pay $15-20 to watch their band followed by some mediocre metalcore tour package. Which, in reality, just won't happen. Bottom line is local promoters are killing our music scene with their greed, nobody gives a shit about a metal or hardcore band playing a Tuesday night who were kind of a big deal 10 years ago; it's quality, not quantity -- get a fucking clue.



Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it more prominent?



Mark: We are in serious need of a "punk-rock"-style venue, which should be opening soon and it is called The Shred Shed. It is going to be run by our good friend Jesse Cassar. It is going to be the classic DIY-style venue and mentality; it will be somewhere that kids can take their young crappy bands, just like we did, where they don't need to sell 75 pre-sale tickets at $15 a piece. And it will fill a serious need here as one of two total, I believe, in the city all-ages venues.



Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?



Mark: Favorite bands here are in no special order: Gaza, INVDRS, Eagle Twin, Minerva, Settle Down, Dwellers, Old Timer, Oxcross, Huldra, Eons, and pretty much anything else Andy Patterson is doing because he is the best at everything!



Gavin: What's your opinion on the current airplay on community radio and how it affects local musicians?



Mark: I don't think I have ever had any of my bands on community radio, so I don't really know, and I don't think I have used any other functions on my car stereo except CD and iPod in about five years. But now that we know about your radio show, we will all try to tune in and catch it and see what you are playing



Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and as music lovers?



Mark: I'll download a band someone told me to check out; if I like it, I'll go scoop the album at Graywhale. As far as something I worked on and recorded, by all means go download it for free right now!



Gavin: What can we expect from you over the rest of the year?



Mark: Putting out Stealin' Thunder is the biggest priority. Other than that, just playing riffs and drinking beer with anyone who wants to party.



Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?



Mark: If you're looking to record, look up Andy Patterson -- The Wizard. His ears might be as great as his beard.





Dustbloom (Jeremy Moneypenny, Cole Burgess, Cameron Jorgensen and Ian Cooperstein)

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Dustbloom on Facebook



Gavin: Hey, guys. First off, tell us a little about yourselves.



Ian: Cameron, Cole, Jeremy, and I comprise this band known as Dustbloom. We tend to get grouped into the metal category although we play a blend of post-hardcore, alternative metal, hardcore, experimental rock, mathcore, blues and bossa nova. Cameron plays drums primarily, but also plays keys on some songs and writes a lot of the guitar riffs that we build the songs from. Cole plays mainly lead guitar and harmonica. Jeremy is our principle bass player and backup vocalist/percussionist, but also plays guitar on some songs and contributes guitar riffs. I sing/scream and play guitar, lap steel, bass, and keyboard.



Cameron: Also, people -- and SLUG, that’s printed our name wrong twice in show announcements -- always call us Deathbloom. If you are going to get our name wrong, call us Dustbroom ... it's closer and funny as hell. Deathbloom is way to intense.



Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?



Ian: Until I was an adolescent, I only knew what my%uFFFD -- much older -- brother introduced me to. My favorites were The Allan Parsons Project, Led Zeppelin and Journey. When I started discovering music on my own, my tastes got much more aggressive. I was always into tons of shit, from Satie to Big Daddy Kane, but Deftones, Refused, Snapcase, Tool, The Minor Times -- then called Inkling -- and Pantera were the bands that really shaped my taste and inspired me as a teenager.



Cameron: Nickelback. Just Nickelback. I always think “WWND?”



Jeremy: Some of my favorites are Pink Floyd, Tool, Thrice, Alexisonfire and A Perfect Circle.



Cole: Music has always been an alternative outlet to board sports for me. I still rock the Dirty Hessian skatecrew badge on my Laney Pro-Tube 100mv Amplifier head. I got out of playing for a few years to do the grown-up thing but music beckoned me back.

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Gavin: How did you all come together as a group to form Dustbloom?



Ian: Cameron and I met while playing for a band called Arches in 2010. When the band split up over the younger band members’ decision to resist touring, we, being the older two, continued to make music together for many reasons -- the most important being that we clicked easily with writing and both had similar end-goals in terms of writing, recording, touring, and progressing, in addition to sharing a lot of common interests outside of just playing music together. He is my roommate now and we also play together in a newer experimental-alternative band called Visitors. Initially, after Arches disbanded, we began an acoustic project where we both played acoustic guitars and I sang to keep us busy while trying to solidify a lineup for the concept of Dustbloom. The first songs that we recorded under the Dustbloom moniker were demos we used to recruit people to try out, with that turning into songs off of our upcoming full-length. It was with those songs that we met Cole, who blew us away when he came to audition. After doing several practices and a couple of shows with a couple of other bass players, Cole brought in Jeremy, one of his longtime friends, to fill in for a show, and we were so impressed that we welcomed him to the band by spending his first official practice having him record lap steel and bass on the song “There Aren’t People To Unsee and Things To Undo” off of the Huldra split.



Gavin: What was it like for you guys hammering out the kind of experimental alt-metal sound that you have?



Jeremy: I'ts been fun, to say the least.



Ian: Not a whole lot of our songwriting or sound has been deliberate up until recently. We have a 55-minute, 10-song full-length recorded that we are getting ready to release this fall/winter that is just all over the place. I’m not even sure that every song on that album can even be described as even related to metal but there are definitely some brutal moments. Then again, there are songs where you can hear Muse, The Get Up Kids, Manchester Orchestra and even Muddy Waters being channeled. Everyone contributes a ton to the songwriting process, and I tend to act like a producer even outside of the recording studio trying to arrange everyone’s substantially different parts and ideas into a cohesive progression. All four of us have written and/or played major guitar riffs on the full-length. We also have 85% of the material written for an EP that we’d like to record with Andy Patterson this winter rather than self-produce. That material has been much more deliberately heavy and metal-influenced, as I’d like to distance my two projects’ sounds from each other. Playing loud, rowdy, and aggressive shows has a certain allure about it, though we really haven’t had the opportunity to do the underground hardcore scene-type shows that we’d really like to -- house and warehouse shows and whatnot. Whereas up to this point I try to keep a balance between screaming and singing, that EP is much more dark and screamy in the direction of bands like Every Time I Die and O’Brother. Up to this point, our songwriting process hasn’t been selective as to foster finding our collective voice between the four of us. I think at this point that rather than trying to pick up where Arches left off, Dustbloom has finally formed the basis for an identity to work off of. The songs on the split with Huldra are a great example of our signature sound or at least an accurate preview of what’s to come, moreso than our upcoming full-length would be.

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Gavin: You've been together less than a year but you've earned a strong following. How has it been for you playing around town and earning an audience?



Jeremy: It’s been a blast and a lot of work. We couldn’t do it without our fans -- it really means a lot just knowing someone is listening.



Ian: Hah! Well, I wouldn’t say we’ve got a big following in the traditional sense but people know us or have heard OF us, at least. To be blunt, it’s been a learning experience. We have tried to take almost every opportunity that we have been given, which doesn’t always end up with positive results. One instance that comes to mind is how we were denied to play Crucialfest II -- told that we didn’t “fit” -- although Cameron and I were asked to play Crucialfest I with Arches the year before. I suspect that it is because the song that we had available for public consumption at the time was a very very poppy -- nothing like us -- mainstream collaboration we did with YYBS for a holiday fundraiser for the homeless. It has been really difficult to get in front of the right crowd for our music, which is why not getting to play CR2 was such a bummer. Our songs are generally long and super-dynamic, straddling many genres, so finding the right shows is very difficult especially when some notoriously shitty promoters want you to pre-sale 50-75 tickets just to get onto a show, no matter how new that you are. Those promoters tend to hijack a good portion of the all-ages shows that would expose us to a new and right audience, which is why we are so stoked on 21-plus shows and stuff like the reopening of the Shred Shed -- a venue that books and helps out bands that fit awesome with us and do what they do for the love of music rather than trying to bilk desperate young bands out of every dollar so they can avoid getting a day job. It isn’t like there aren’t people out there that would like us, but getting traction is so hard. Even relatively big local bands in that alt-metal experimental genre don’t draw local support like I used to see back East. I’ve seen impressive crowds repeatedly show up for similar touring bands like Every Time I Die, The Bronx, Deftones, O’Brother, Far, A Place To Bury Strangers, Dredg, etc., but they either don’t hear about us or just aren’t interested in showing up to smaller local shows to see bands like us. It blows my mind to see some of the touring bands that have huge followings here but see insanely talented established local bands like Loom, Eagle Twin, and I Am The Ocean barely pull a fraction of that crowd regardless of if the show is 21+ or all-ages, weekday or weekend. When I first moved here, the guys from Steady Machete told me that people at local shows weren’t fans, just friends of the band that were convinced to show up for. That being said, none of us are native to Salt Lake City, so we really cherish the people that do show up to see us because they are coming purely to see our music. There are a few core people that come regularly, and we always enjoy kicking it with the local bands that we play with on a frequent basis, even if attendance is light. Surprisingly, Ogden has been exceptionally good to us -- maybe it’s because the mellow indie scene hasn’t overtaken the more aggressive type acts like it seems to in Salt Lake. I’d be angrier if I was from Ogden, too. There is a tremendous response to indie rock here as well as ska, oddly enough. Whatever the promoters of those shows are doing for that scene needs to be adopted toward this experimental alt-metal genre we are in. A big part of why Arches experienced turmoil was that every show became a source of anxiety because of ridiculous “pay-to-play” promoters. It wasn’t fun trying to sell 75 tickets by hand just to be able to play a 25-minute set at Kilby Court to a roomful of people that you already know because you were the one that sold them the ticket in the first place. Hopefully, the rebirth of the Shred Shed will be the catalyst to revamp the aggressive music scene back to what it was five years ago. It would really make my night to see more people that show up for opening bands stay for the later bands and vice-versa. I miss that.

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Gavin: You've just released a self-titled split with Huldra. What was it like recording this album, and what issues did you deal with along the way?



Ian: First of all, we are super-honored to have been asked to take part in that split. We were barely a band when they asked us to do that. I’ve known of them for quite sometime through Scott, and when my friends Ominous Black, from my hometown of Philadelphia, played out here, Huldra and Dustbloom opened the show. At the time, Dustbloom had just recorded the three songs we contributed to the split on our own to get some material out that wasn’t just Cameron and I. Since the songs were ostensibly ready to go we just passed them off to Andy Patterson, who remixed the drums on them and tweaked a couple of things to help blend the two bands' sounds on the album. Things went pretty smoothly overall with recording as we did all the tracking and most of the mixing at my house without having to worry about time and money. I took a very passive approach from a production stand-point, just letting everyone do their own thing, and it worked well -- even on the track that we share with Huldra that has eight of us on it. Besides being largely unrehearsed going into the process, it went swimmingly.



Gavin: The album has been online for a while, but this show marks the official release. How has the reaction to it been?



Ian: This is where it would help if we knew what we were doing on the business end or had someone like a label to take care of things. Since we produced and recorded most of it ourselves, there wasn’t a ton of overhead so we put it up for free but with the option to donate. There were a couple of dozen downloads, a few donations, and a handful of physical copies purchased so far --%uFFFD pre-release show. The bottom line is that we aren’t salespeople. It's been hard to ask for money for anything, much less post online frequently about heading over to the website to buy the album. We should probably get on that or employ someone to do it for us for a percentage or something. After dealing with having to pre-sale shows for several years, I just abhor the idea of pushing my music on someone, even if I think that they will dig it. We’ve definitely appreciated Maximum Distortion on KRCL for playing two of our tracks on their show especially in the absence of our self-promotion.

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Gavin: Are there any plans this year to record an album of your own, or will you let this one ride for a while before going back into the studio?



Jeremy: New music is on its way!



Ian: Actually, I’m answering these questions as I await Cole to show up and finish tracking the last of his guitars for our full-length with 10 songs, 1 intro and a total run time at about 55 minutes. Hopefully, it will be ready to go in the next two months. The songs on there are extremely diverse. We have another 5-6 songs that are much heavier and darker that we plan on throwing onto an EP that we’d like to record this fall with Andy Patterson. I’m more stoked on those as they are definitely my favorite Dustbloom songs to play live and get rowdy with.



Gavin: Are you thinking about touring in the future, or are you sticking to home for now?



Ian: We’d love to tour, no doubt. However, as a band we lack the resources to even get out and start small. The economy has especially been unkind to our Davis County members -- even more reason we should probably push selling our merch a little harder. We’ve had to turn down a coupleof%uFFFD show offers in Las Vegas because of the same issues. Hopefully, we’ll figure out how to make it work before we end up releasing another full-length.



Cameron: We’d just feel more comfortable to be as prepared as possible for a tour since it can be detrimental to a band. I don’t see trial and error as a feasible method for something as fragile and potentially volatile as touring. The other band that Ian and I play in, Visitors, may end up hitting the road first -- if that is the case, hopefully, it might make setting up a Dustbloom tour easier as we don’t have much for contacts in putting that together.

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Gavin: Moving on to statewide stuff, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?



Ian: It has its ups and downs. Coming from Philadelphia, it is definitely friendlier and less violent in the aggressive music scene but that sacrifice comes at the cost of attendance. Weird, right? With all-ages venues here, promoters have largely fucked up creating a positive environment for local bands. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, like The Basement, Mojos, Austere, Sartain and Shred Shed, but the “pay to play” shit here with certain promoters has gotten out of control. I know a lot of incredible musicians who are feeling the same kind of “stuck” that we do. That being said, it does seem to be headed in the right direction in 2012. There is indeed immense talent in the local scene and relatively unknown bands here constantly impress me.



Cameron: It's definitely difficult for us to get a following through the “house show” scene because we are just so loud. There is a good following for those types of shows but they tend not to cater to bands like Dustbloom. The indie bands that I play with, like Bear Clause and RaeRe, seem to have a good draw when there has been substantial time between shows, but it is difficult to bring people out if the shows are at all close together. It would help Dustbloom if we could find some house shows to gather a new audience.



Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it more prominent?



Ian: Cross our fingers and hope that the next era of promoters in the area aren’t as shitty as the people currently putting seven local opening bands at 20 minutes per set on a touring band's bill. It's really gotten to the point where a lot of bands would rather not play shows with touring bands than whore themselves out to their friends for 15 bucks a ticket just so they can see their buds play four songs. I understand that promoters have bills to pay and need to make the work worth their while, but I just see that a whole lot of ground-up promotion and spamming people on Facebook/Twitter is becoming less and less effective as that site runs its course. I’m banking on the Shred Shed ushering in a new era that other people follow. Unfortunately, promoters of small shows here have to do it because they love the music and treat anything else as just a perk. The ska and hardcore shows down in the south end of the valley at places like The Underground have the right idea by creating an environment that people want to be. Those shows feel so chill no matter how aggressive the music is.



Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?



Dustbloom: Huldra, Rocky Mountain District%uFFFD -- formerly WeDropLikeBombs, The Chevalier, Bone Dance, Day Hymns, Gaza, Loom, Cicadas, Top Dead Celebrity, The Sam Smith Band -- seriously!, Machines Of Man, Mason Jones & The Get-Togethers, Settle Down, Invdrs, Eagle Twin, Ursa, I Am The Ocean, The North Valley, Traveler’s Cold, The Saintanne, Rainbow Black, Subrosa, Judast -- formerly Jesust, Gunfight Fever, Handicapitalist, Antics, Starvist, Wires, The Stranger Beside Me, Twinplus, Jesust%uFFFD -- the new lineup sounds tits!, The Suicycles, Totem & Taboo, Form Of Rocket, Accidente, Visigoth, Burn Your World, Hypernova Holocaust, I Hear Sirens, Cornered By Zombie, Bone Dance and Danny The Skeleton Horse, if we are counting bands that play here a lot from nearby states.

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Gavin: What's your opinion on the current airplay on community radio and how it affects local musicians?



Cole: It's very cool how easy it is to get local radio to get to play us. We didn’t have to do shit%uFFFD -- kiss ass/grease palms -- to get played with the split or when we did the song with YYBS for charity during the holidays.



Ian: I love that there are radio shows that support our style of music. However, I can tell you that after both times KRCL played the Dustbloom material off of the split that the only people that added us were the hosts of the show. Maybe we are just way less palatable then I’d like to think. I still love that they played us and continue to do so. “Metal” is such a broad category, so Maximum Distortion on KRCL really has their hands full developing eclectic playlists to cover a shitload of ground. KRCL is paramount here. The fact that they will do in-studio performances that are 30 minutes-plus with small and somewhat unknown bands is uber-respectable.



Cameron: Having played two shows with an indie band -- Bear Clause -- on live radio, I can say that community-radio audiences here definitely appreciate the lighter side of music. Heavier music gets pushed back to pretty late and only a few nights a week.



Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and a music lovers?



Ian: It definitely sucks when you are a band in the middle of the industry i.e., touring but playing medium-sized venues and getting some regular airplay. Obviously, that isn’t where we are right now. Several of my friends’ bands from Philadelphia have found success in the traditional sense -- Billboard top 20, major label deals, etc. -- but definitely don’t get paid what they would have if file sharing hadn’t come to prevalence. A lot of people would be surprised to hear how little well-known bands make and how there is a huge difference between the band that is #10 on Billboard compared to #3 -- it's an exponential difference. File sharing might make it particularly hard for us because we don’t have an image as much as other bands, so selling our “brand” on merch and the like isn’t as much of a potential source of revenue for the band. Music is just about the only thing that we have to sell, but we have a really hard time not giving it away -- socialism in music, I guess.



Jeremy: It is what it is.



Cole: As for right now, I want as many people to share our music as possible. I hope everyone shares it with their friends who share it with their friends who share it with their animals.

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Gavin: What can we expect from all of you over the rest of this year?



Ian: A lot of already-written Dustbloom material getting finished and released. An EP or two from Visitors. Probably a couple of tracks from Guides & Braves if there is time, which there probably won’t be. Oh, and an EP from Rocky Mountain District that I’m producing/engineering in conjunction with Bryan Lee from my other band, Visitors.



Jeremy: Hopefully stay outta da clink.



Cameron: Other than HIV -- a full-length, an EP, and, Allah-willing, a tour.



Cole: Fucking music. Heavy fucking music.



Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?



Dustbloom: We’d all like to encourage anyone remotely interested in us to download the split album at our Bandcamp for free. Add us on Facebook -- it means a lot to see that “likes” number slowly climb, and it allows us to get the word out about shows, as well as other local music and art events that we support. As of right now, every fan and every dollar counts, as it will be us paying to do the recording and manufacturing of our music. Supply and demand has made good production accessible and affordable but rehearsal spaces are expensive! The less that we have to worry about recording and producing our own music, the more we can focus on writing and rehearsing. Come to a show, burn your friends a CD, buy a T-shirt, or at least tell us that what you heard meant something to you, even in the smallest sense. Shit, even if you don’t like us, go find another local band that you like and support them while talking about how bad Dustbloom sucks. The local music scene needs everyone it can get. The next show for us is Totem & Taboo's album release at The Woodshed on September 1 with the Suicycles. I think that it is their farewell show.





Visigoth (Jake Rogers, Mikey T., Leeland Campana, Matt Brotherton and Jamison Palmer.)

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Visigoth on Facebook



Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?



Jake: Well, what got me interested in music was my dad. He had this huge CD collection that he would let me pick through so I could look at the cover art and pick what music we’d listen to on the stereo. He brought me up on Led Zeppelin, Cream, Black Sabbath, and the like. In fifth grade, I took up playing the flute, and that helped to increase my hunger for new music. I spent much of my formative years listening to classic rock, metal, orchestral/film score music, electronic music, and European folk music, and still do, to this day. But it was discovering heavy metal that really made my passion for music take off.

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Gavin: Considering this history all of you have in the music scene, how was it for all of you to form Visigoth?



Jake: Forming Visigoth was very natural; it was a rather short conversation. I called up Lee one night and said, "Hey, let’s start a heavy metal band and be serious about it," and he agreed without hesitation that it was something we should do. Simple as that.



Gavin: As a metal band, what made you decide to go with more traditional heavy metal for your sound?



Jake: We have a more traditional sound because that’s just what we gravitate toward. It’s what we love to play, so we play it. The more fun we’re having, the better the music will be, you know?

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Gavin: You released the Vengeance demo back in the fall of 2010. What was it like for you recording those tracks, and what issues did you deal with along the way?



Jake: Recording Vengeance was a lot of fun. It was a very, very bare-bones recording. We did almost all of it in Lee’s dorm room. The entire thing was self-produced and self-financed. Any and all issues that we ran into arose from nothing other than our own inexperience with the recording, mixing, and mastering process.



Gavin: What did you think of the public reaction to it when it came out?



Jake: We were surprised at how well it was received. For being such a low-budget -- or, more accurately, no-budget -- recording, we were kind of viewing it as more of a learning experience for ourselves, but it ended up garnering a couple of very positive reviews and was received pretty well by the local scene.

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Gavin: You've become known as one of the more frequently playing bands, almost with a gig every weekend. What made you decide to play so frequently?



Jake: Haha, have we? Well, I think it’s just because we get offered a lot of shows and then accept them without checking our calendar. At practice, we’ll get together to write down all of our upcoming shows and realize that we have one nearly every weekend each month. We actually need to slow things down so that we have more time to prepare new material; we have a lot of songs written that we’ve been intending to play live, but our gigging schedule has made it somewhat difficult to polish them enough for performance.



Gavin: You recently recorded and released your first official EP, Final Spell. What was it like putting this one together compared to the demo, and what's the reaction been like so far?



Jake: Recording Final Spell was a completely different world from recording the Vengeance demo. We laid down the drums with local mainstay Andy Patterson, and Ryan Hunter, a local professional music engineer, handled the rest of the tracking and production. The resulting sound was much better than our demo material. It was a lot of fun recording in a professional setting and hearing everything come together the way it did.

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Gavin: Are you looking to tour anytime soon, or will you be staying in Utah for now?



Jake: We would absolutely love to tour, but with all of us working jobs and half of us being students, it’s difficult to work touring into our "real-life" schedules. We are, however, playing in Denver this October, which will, hopefully, be a blast.



Gavin: Moving on to statewide stuff, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?



Jake: The local scene has some killer music to offer. We have a small but tight-knit and dedicated community of bands who love what they do and bring energy and honesty to the stage every time they play. The big drawback to our scene is the lack of diversity in venues, particularly when it comes to all-ages shows. It’s very difficult to set up decent all-ages metal shows, which is really a shame because it would really help to create a platform for kids to come see local acts and meet other like-minded musicians with whom to start bands of their own.

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Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and a music lovers?



Jake: You know, that’s a difficult topic to approach. On one hand, downloading has the potential to hurt artists by lowering sales and thus providing labels less incentive to reward bands for creating good music. On the other hand, downloading is the single greatest promotional tool to ever hit the music industry. Personally, I think it’s great that anybody can find our music and download it. And if they want to support us financially, great, grab a T-shirt or something, you know? It’s really just about enjoying the music. It’s not like we decided to start a metal band to get rich. It’s metal. It’s about music, not being a rock star.

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Gavin: What can we expect from all of you over the rest of this year?



Jake: Well, we’ll be playing some new tunes in our live set, and we’ve got some big gigs coming up, including opening for Moonsorrow in September. Should be a killer autumn.


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