Eagles hosts a heavy metal Halloween
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” If you have an image an “average” heavy metal rocker in your mind, Matt Eastland probably wouldn’t be it. In the photo for his band, Would, the 35-year-old IT consultant is wearing a sharp, button-down blue shirt and a tie, and his blond hair is short and only a bit ruffled.
He doesn’t look like a man who would describe his music as “doom-core-speed-death-groove.”
“We try to give the listener a reason to be angry, rather than just standing and listening to loud music,” said the singer and guitarist, in his low, articulate voice.
That’s the crazy thing about metal. It attracts all kinds of people you’d never expect.
Tonight, you can meet a whole mess of them, too.
For the first time ever, the Glenwood Springs Eagles Club is hosting a Halloween night of all-ages heavy metal. Eastland’s Grand Junction group is just one of seven bands from across the Western Slope that will be there. While each one has a different take on metal and a different reason for doing it, their dedication to it sounds strikingly similar. All of them are undeniably hard-core about it.
“I would say it is an outlet for frustration and an exploration of the darker sides of humanity,” said Eastland, adding a beat later, “It fulfills a need, as far as I’m concerned.”
To him, that means he gets to shrug off his natural shyness and take on a whole new persona. There’s just something about being a geek, he feels, that fills you with pent-up rage. On and off for the last 10 years, metal’s given him a place to get loud and angry and bent out of shape, without a shred of consequence.
“The energy is insane,” he said. “I really get into character, more or less, at least emotionally. And the adrenaline ” it’s definitely a rush.”
That’s an excitement all heavy-metal fans understand, at least in this show. Guitarist Matt Bugielski, 20, from Rifle’s Cryptic Hour, for example, tries to put everything important he feels in his life into his music. He didn’t even know how to describe his stuff, except that it’s combination of everything he loves to listen to and play ” and it’s full of emotion.
“I want every song you listen to be a roller coaster ride,” he said, intently.
For Angelic Deficiency’s Rick Christensen, 19, metal is where he gets to do exactly what he wants to. While the Delta-area guitarist spends most his time working construction, during a metal show, he can let that all go. He doesn’t have to be anyone but himself.
“It’s definitely a release,” he said, “as we all work 40-hour-a-week jobs, and then we get to go practice and make music we like, not what other people like. And hopefully, people like [the music], too.”
Silt’s Tim Richards, 23, singer for Da Bean Bag, can’t even explain his love for music, except to call it “exhilarating.”
“I just know that the first time I played in front of people it was amazing, and I knew I had to keep doing it,” he said.
Sam Wizer, bass player for the Glenwood and Rifle-based Crowd the Fire, thinks music “shouldn’t be like wallpaper.”
“It shouldn’t be boring and in the background,” he stressed. “It should engage you.”
He just hopes people who listen to his band’s heavy, wordless sound get the same feeling he does playing it. For him, it’s like a meditation.
While Eastland didn’t hear all these various explanations of metal, he probably wouldn’t have been surprised by them. Often, after he plays, he’s amazed at the all the different kinds of people who rave about the show. Though it might touch them all in a different way, it’s the emotional impact that they’re all responding to. Eastland is no different. Like any metal-head, like any music lover, he just wants to feel something real.
And tonight, he’ll be surrounded by all types of people who feel the same.
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