Posted by: Necci – Aug 14, 2012
Some Richmond institutions have left the gritty city in 2012. No more Slaughterama ("Sortarama" doesn't count), Best Friends Day, or RVA Music Fest. What did we do wrong? Well, first of all, Richmonders are too, too awesome. We get awesome, we multiply, and all of a sudden there are 600 crust kids at a house show. The great thing about RVA is that when venues close or festivals discontinue, someone or something is always there right away to challenge our community culturally, cropping up in the wake of things formerly great. The GWAR-B-Q is in its third year, and will be taking place this Saturday (8/18) at Hadad's hallowed waters. Get there early, wear sunscreen, and get awesome!
First of all this week, Sounds of RVA had the distinct privilege to dig a little deeper into the mysteries of Antietam 1862 by asking guitarist Robert E. Legion some questions. The band is about to play the Gwar-B-Q this Saturday (8/18).
How did Antietam 1862 form, and what is the idea behind the name?
Originally, there were four of us who really wanted to start a black metal band, but there were really no drummers around town that shared the same idea. By a chance meeting I was introduced to Chris Carr by a mutual friend and after discussing some music we both realized we were all on the same page. The band was formed on our first rehearsal date, January 13, 2008. It took us a while to settle on a name but Antietam was the one we all agreed on immediately. Since most black metal bands come from Scandinavia and have lyrical content that is closely related to their heritage, we really wanted to do something that was really true to us as Americans. A lot of bands in the black metal genre in the US typically rip off those foreign ideals. It really gives those bands a bad rap because they're singing about things they have no real experience with. Antietam was the bloodiest battle in American history. More Americans died on September 17, 1862 than any other battle in U.S. history. I don't think there could really be anything else more brutal in our past to relate to. We aren't a band specifically aimed at only Civil War songs, but basically things that I feel really personal about: religious oppression, tyranny, blood, darkness and death.
What excites you most about playing the GWAR-B-Q? Is this your first GWAR-B-Q?
What excites me the most about the event is being able to socialize with good people and a lot of familiar faces we don't always get to see too often. There's going to be a lot of good performances to watch as well. This will be A1862's first GBQ, although I have played others with different bands.
Do you have a favorite place to play in Richmond?
I really have to say Strange Matter is my favorite. It has a lot to do with the nostalgia surrounding the building. I got to see a lot of great bands come through there when it was Twisters well over a decade ago and that really had an impact on me. Since the death of that club and all ages shows, the face of the music community had drastically changed since I started playing. It does seem like with the resurrection of that venue and a strong presence of the DIY scene things have sort of made a comeback, but I don't think it will ever be the same. Not that I think the scene now is bad, but the unfortunate reality is that for younger people it is becoming increasingly harder for them to have a proper outlet for live music.
What have you been listening to lately?
Watain, Ghoul, Midnight, and another band I just heard recently that I really dig is Devil's Hand from here in Richmond.
What is one thing you want to do before the summer is over?
What's next for Antietam 1862?
Myself and Bonewall Jackson will be attending to other tour duties for the next few months, but afterwards we will be able to put together a short tour and record again in the Spring of next year.
Are you/were you guys in any other bands?
John Kelly and I play in U.S. BRASS, a speedrock band in the vein of Zeke, Ramones and Motorhead. I also play in Cannabis Corpse and I landed a lead guitar position in one of the bigger names surrounding GBQ. I cannot say what it is at the moment but there will be a press release regarding that position coming next month so be on the lookout for that. It is something I'm definitely excited about.
If you had a kid that started showing interest in metal, what is one album you'd make sure to play for them?
Well, I have two children and they get heavy doses of the music I grew up on. Pantera's Cowboys From Hell, Sepultura's Beneath the Remains, and Obituary's End Complete were the first real metal albums I was able to get my hands on. They have already heard all of those, so they're getting a much earlier start than I did. When my son was 8, I was able to get him to read the lyrics to Deicide's "Once Upon the Cross." Sure beats "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." Ha!
If they really show a genuine interest and want to start pulling through my old records, I would definitely start them off around some early Sepultura, Slayer, Pantera. Those were the bands that really inspired me to be where I am now.
What is your impression of the Richmond metal scene?
I think it's good. There are a lot of good people here and it has been nice to watch everything grow. I have been coming up with a lot of people that have worked really hard and some of them have been going on to do extraordinary things with their careers in music. It's great to see people really reap the rewards of their hard work and dedication. In the meantime there are still great bands here being hatched and refining their skills by slugging it out in the bar scene. I think the best way to experience this is through networking and simply just going to shows. There's something for everyone out there, you just have to dig for it.
photo by The Cheats Movement
Just Plain Sounds has just dropped a new work by most of the artists in the collective. Produced by MF Doom, conceived by James Dangle (pictured above), and featuring some of the chillest MCs in the neighborhood, Weekends in Latveria represents an emotional, textural journey. Here are the emcees who participated: Barcodez, BCMusic 1st, Black Liquid, Corey Starks, Dank D, Drano, Draztiq, DJ PHIL, Nyce, The Honorable Sleaze, The Legion Of Doom, Joey Ripps, James Dangle, Just Plain Ant , Mikemetic Kimetic, Rah Scrilla, RT, and Tesla!
photo by Diane Lawson Travis
About a month ago, K&B Music (Kindness and Balance Music) put out a mixtape featuring mostly Richmond bands and a couple other regional ones, including both K&B artists (like Road Kill Roy (pictured above), Dank D, Marionette, etc.) and friends (Photosynthesizers).
Radio Rubber Room is really busy lately. In addition to the weekly radio show (Thursday nights, 10pm-12am, 102.9 FM) and the monthly local music showcase at the Tobacco Company, the radio show is a sponsor of weekly Wednesday shows at The Republic. The night usually features up-and-coming bands as well as bands that already have a local following. Here are two recordings of two different shows, Russell Lacy (pictured above, of Grease Trigger) and Splendid Suns, recorded by Justin Lewis of Attick Boy Studios. Listen to Lacy's "Sweet Virginia," especially if you are a sweet Virginia girl or are in love with one. Splendid Suns' blues rock with a hint of ska will make you think about No Doubt.
Today (8/14) is Lacy's birthday, and tonight he plays a show @ The Camel, as part of their Singer/songwriter Showcase. 9pm, FREE.
Finally, here are a couple experimental shoegaze tracks by Red Temples, a band made up of Rob Horner and Bekah Lee Webster (pictured above). "Memphis in Furs" is a little bit psychedelic, electronic, mediatative and grimey. Hopefully these guys will make some more music soon.
"Memphis in Furs"
By Sarah Moore Lindsey (soundsofrva.tumblr.com)