Second incarnation of Anti Music Fest roars into town(s)
By Allyson B. Crawford
Photo: Greasy Mike (left) and Trashcan of Lima’s Pizza Hi Five will deliver their ‘grooviest mincing goregrind’ this weeken
Fans of local music know Dayton has a proud metal scene.
Multi-day music festivals are hardly new. Splitting fests between two cities and 75 miles is certainly less common and definitely edgy. On Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5, Anti Music Fest 2 roars into town(s). Friday’s shows will take place at the Leathershop in Lima, and Saturday’s shows, The Rear Door in downtown Dayton.
“Originally, the fest was supposed to be in Dayton the first night, but the venue we were looking to book shut down, and our friends up in Lima helped us out with the first night,” explains Anti Music Fest promoter Isaac Horne. “There’s a lot of relationships with people from Dayton and Lima, so it felt kind of natural to split it between those two cities.”
The Anti Music Fest promises a plethora of grindcore, fastcore, and death metal bands from all over the U.S. and Canada, and you don’t have to be a diehard fan to have fun, Horne promises. But why name a festival dedicated to music Anti Music?
“A lot of people would debate [grindcore] isn’t music if you’re not versed in it, so after a while, we started to embrace it and call it anti music,” Horne explains. “Grindcore eschews traditional ideas like strong structure, length, and style.”
Grindcore is a form of metal that mixes elements of hardcore punk, thrash, and industrial rock.
“People should come out to see bands from all over the country throwing down,” adds Mike Kerby, vocalist and guitarist for the band Girth. “You’re not going to see this group of bands maybe ever again play in Dayton. If you’re not into grindcore [but] you like rock or punk, you’d probably enjoy this. too. We have a good time; we’re not a cliquey community. Everyone’s open.”
Girth will play the fest on Saturday.
This is the second year for Anti Music Fest and the event is put on by a small group of people including Horne, who are part of the Dayton music scene.
“I’ve been putting on shows for years all over the place… the Midwest is easier to book shows,” Horne admits. “There’s an abundance of amazing bands here and within a couple hours from Dayton.”
Girth is just a few hours north, based in Michigan. A two-piece band, Kerby says that these days, it’s just easier to make music with fewer people.
“I know a lot of other two-piece bands coming out these days because it’s doable and you can still make everything sound good and have less people to work with,” Kerby says. “So, it’s easier to match up schedules, which helps with touring and playing more shows. You can be minimalistic with it and still do a really good job.”
But how does a two-piece band like Girth go about getting a heavy and large sound required for a live metal show? For Kerby, the answer is technology and pedals.
“I have bass equipment that I put my guitar through, along with my guitar equipment, and that helps fill out the sound a lot better. The down-tuning helps a lot, as well, so you get a good heavy sound without needing a bass player. Bass players in grind can really help a band and be cool, but it’s definitely possible to do it without. We, and other bands like us, can prove that.”
Anti Music won’t be Girth’s first time in Dayton. The duo played here about six months ago and loved the vibe of the Gem City. Kerby runs a business with his father, which takes between 60-80 hours a week of his time. Still, he works around his schedule to make Girth and touring a priority. He says he isn’t unique in this dedication, as most metal musicians are not only slogging it out at a 9-to-5 but also at night on the road.
“There’s certain bands that can get away with touring all the time and live off of it, but specifically in our genre, it’s really hard to do that. Even the biggest of bands still have day jobs. They work more than full time and bust their butts to keep doing what they love. When we go on tour, it’s vacation for us. We get to see our friends and playing shows isn’t a job to us. It’s a way to break away from working a 9-to-5. It’s all about having fun.”
For Horne, planning Anti Music Fest is just another way to stay busy, while also working and playing in two bands:
“It’s tough to balance it all, but it’s worth the extra effort in the long run. My hope is the fest will grow.”
Anti Music Fest 2 takes place Friday, Nov. 4 at The Leathershop in Lima at 10 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Rear Door on Third Street at 5 p.m. Tickets for Friday cost $8, Saturday, $15, and $20 for a weekend pass. For more information, please search for ‘Anti Music 2’ on Facebook.