Friday, January 24, 2014

Prelude to a Berserker

"...I'm pretty sure it will be totally insane in there..."

"...over time I've collected ideas from various fests that I've attended and/or performed at. Local and national, big and small. Eventually it seemed like something I could pull off..."

Shawn Knight is getting ready to helm his first Music Fest.
The singer/guitarist/keyboardist of Detroit's own preeminent metal-inspired, groove-tempered, noise-rock-maximalists curated four days of live music, hosted by the W.A.B./Loving Touch complex. 

"I'm imagining these 3 stages as a mini Majestic/Magic Stick/Garden Bowl. The venue size is proportionate to the types of bands that I wanted."

In terms of the size of the venue, the spreading of stages, he's kept things considerably small - or more so, manageable. The acts invited to play though... In terms of style, volume (and in most of the cases, performance) are nary small nor manageable. 
Wolf EyesMacabreRingworm(Yes, Child Bite, too)Terrible TwosOld GodsGolden TorsoOozing Woundmany...many...more

"I guess, over time," said Knight, "I've collected ideas from various fests that I've attended or I've performed-at, be they local, national, big or small. Eventually it seemed like something I could pull off.
BERSERKER! Feb. 5-8th 2014. All ages, 50 bands, advance passes only $20. Tickets available at the WAB, UHF, Found Sound, and Stormy Records.

"I'm hoping to fill the gap left...about 10 years Michiganfest" says Knight. "That being, a collection of national and local underground bands within the punk and metal genres (and sub-genres)."

Asked of the inevitable/unfortunate misconceptions of -or aversions towards a live music event prominently featuring acts of an "avant-garde" nature..... Knight says:
"It's definitely not for everyone. For fans of the genres that are represented, it's not a hard sell. But, for's cheap enough cover for them to take a chance on."

I'd recommend it... If my word as a blogger's worth anything: Live a little! When's the last time you went berserk? Certifiably berserk? Berzerkers have teeth, man. They are inherently exciting, savage and bracing biters, man. It is, if nothing else, an engaging format of music...

Knight said he's not going for the local-only angle, for this event, mostly because there's enough of those happening already. "I wanted to make something a bit bigger. Child Bite tours a lot, so I've met a bunch of great bands that way. I also wanted to have regional headliners that would get people excited (Old Gods, Wolf Eyes...) Obviously lots of the performing bands are from the Detroit area and I'me excited to celebrate the local scene, too."

More from Knight, as he reviews the line-up....
"Oozing Wound is a great new thrash band on Thrill Jockey records. Sean Clancy (Child Bite bassist) turned me on to them, and I'm excited to have them on board. Young Widows are buddies of Child Bite; we generally book their Detroit shows for them. This will be a one-off performance for them, and I believe they will be playing new tunes off of their upcoming full length."

"I haven't played extreme-metal since high school," says Knight (who is also an outstanding graphic artist and CCS graduate). "But, I do still listen to that stuff and I'm excited to have it well represented at this fest."

There will be ten bands consolidated into the Loving Touch on the Fest's final day (the result of a "scheduling snafu"). "This is the day Ringworm plays, as well as Beast in the Field and Child Bite," Knight points out. "So, I'm pretty sure it will be totally insane in there. I can't imagine a more appropriate climax."

More info

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