Posts Tagged ‘music’

here are the tour videos from our Summer 2011 Tour with our bros in Copernicus.  http://www.facebook.com/copernicustheband

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“I think my elbow just hit someone’s face,” I thought as I moved to the outside of the pit.  It had been weeks since I’d been to a show and I was desperate to get out there and angrily flail my arms around.  I looked back and saw a large football player sized guy holding onto his face.  I felt really bad so I went up to apologize.  I’m a pretty skinny guy so he was totally alright and I would assume he experienced heavier blows during a high school football game.  He chose to express his love for heavy music with a large, full bodied head-bang while others chose to “slam dance” in the tiny pit.  The two worlds collided, which unfortunately sometimes ends up in a high energy contact.  The kids that go to the shows understand though, if you don’t want to get hit, stay out of the pit.  Keep things positive, don’t start fights, and encourage the people around you.  In fact, that’s why they go to the shows.  They want to be around positive people who won’t judge them.  It’s a place where they can be themselves.  They’re misunderstood by their teachers, parents and peers for the way they dress or the type of music they listen to, so a hardcore show represents that place to be free.  A place for you to be you and not be bothered, judged or interrupted.

It’s this sort of environment for a hardcore show that occurred on August 8th at the Skies CD release show.  It was like a big family gathering, but for people who like heavy music.  The show was also a final hurrah for Central Kansas metal veteran Knik Woods, former guitarist of For the Love of God and more recently, Copernicus.  No single person has effected the Central Kansas metal scene more positively than Knik.  He was a brother in Christ to some, a sort of father figure to others and still someone who gave great advice and always listened to you during a conversation.  Knik is a passionate believer, someone who loves the Gospel of Jesus and how it can transform and restore us.  You can read my interview with Knik at the end of the story as he reflects on some of his favorite moments in For the Love of God and Copernicus.

The show started around 6:30pm with kids showing up in packs of 4 and 5, with energy drinks in hand.  Kids have been showing up like this to the Indian Rock Lodge in Salina for over ten years.  It’s a place for kids to host their own shows, with no ulterior motives, right in their own town.  Usually 60 to 100 kids show up to hear their favorite local pop-punk or death-core band.  Opening at the CD release show was Call Your Own, a pop-punk band from McPherson that continues to improve show after show.  Lots of energy from the drums and vocals with singable anthems for everyone to get stoked on.  After that was Dead Ends, a heavy hardcore band from Wichita.  Pretty straight forward brutal stuff here.  There wasn’t much movement in the pit yet.  There’s always that moment earlier on in the show, no one wants to go in alone.  These guys are still pretty new, it’s going to be great to see them play again, awesome riff writing and drumming.  Up next was In the Trenches, another heavy-hitting outfit, but from Hutchinson.  Most bands just have CDs, stickers and T-shirts, Trenches has “coozies.”  This makes sense for the self-proclaimed band that just “likes to party and have a good time.”  These guys were awesome to watch, I’d love to see them on their own turf.

A Sequence of Ghosts made a generous appearance at the show, wrapping up their long tour with one final show in Salina.  These guys are great people to be around, always super nice and helpful to other bands that want to be as awesome as them.  Their set was phenomenal and passion-filled!  I really hope they can come back and play a longer set next time they’re in Central Kansas.

Copernicus played second to last sound checking to “Disease” by Skies.  It was hilarious and everyone had a good laugh.  When they launched into their set people were finally loosened up enough and able to move around the room.  It was during their first song when I had my collision with the innocent head-banger.  After seeing Copernicus over a dozen times on the road, their set still sounded fresh and heavy-hitting.  They did a few things different from before and overall people had a blast jamming out to them.  They need a new van, so make sure you come out to the August 26th Copernicus benefit show at Indian Rock.  When it was time for Skies to play, the energy in the room was at its fullest as the crowd waited to hear “Disease” drop.  The band has undergone two member changes and had to run backing guitar tracks to make up for the lack of a second guitar player.  There are numerous bands that are doing this now as they either wait to make a decision on a new member or just prefer to have less members in the band.  It was Skies‘ first run at this and they handled it well pleasing the crowd with the full sound of two guitarists.

After the band finished up and started tearing down their gear people stayed to chat with the band members, grab a T-shirt and figure out where everyone is going for late night food.  It was another successful show at Indian Rock.  The kids got to see some great bands for a fair price and the bands got to do their thing in an environment of freedom.  There’s been talk about the scene dying, but if things keep going this way, there’s clearly no end in sight.  There’s always going to be misunderstood young people looking for a place to vent.  And its always music that brings people together more than anything else.

Knik Woods interview

I gave my friend Knik a call on a rainy Friday afternoon.  He’s really the person that encouraged me to move down to Kansas.  Maybe it was the great bands and the tight-knit groups of kids that actually go to shows, but it was really Knik’s passion for reaching out to kids that inspired me to seriously consider moving here.  And now that I’m here, he’s moving on and passing the torch to the next group of people that want to water the seeds he planted.  It’s sad, but he’s got to move to the next place in his life.  I’ll do my best to paraphrase this well spoken man.

When did you start “Metal Church?”

Knik: “Metal Church was actually started by Richie Wolf in the Summer of 2008.  Initially it was a ministry/outreach event at the Salvation Army (in Salina) but it had the potential to become something that would be taken over by the kids in the scene.  Something that was living and breathing.  We shared the gospel.”

At one point Knik’s band was able to play with Impending Doom and some other great acts like Your Memorial and Hands.  Knik told me that people were able to discuss the negative and positive aspects of the scene.  Apparently a girl got injured at a show and they were able to express their discontent and ways to take action so this didn’t happen again.

What was the most exciting time or event during your experiences in Salina?

Knik: “It’s hard for me to pick just one time but it’s probably the first ‘good’ Metal Church that we had with Hands and Your Memorial.  The gospel message that I shared was backed up by the music and lyrics of the bands.  Some of the kids were able to have an awesome spiritual experience and meet Jesus.  The Spirit was really moving that night, it was great.”

“The second was probably ‘FTLOG Fest’ because I was able to reconcile myself with our singer Josh.  We showed the kids that there could be restoration between two people by proving it to them.  It was a great moment.  That show was also at Indian Rock.”

What were your hopes for the kids in the scene?

Knik: “What I really hoped for was that the kids that were ministered to would begin to reach out to those around them and take ownership of the scene.  That they would share their experiences that they had with the Lord with each other.  Unfortunately this never really came to fruition and after FTLOG ended we didn’t have as many kids getting stoked about Jesus.”

Knik really hopes that what was started by him and his peers will be continued and advanced in the local scene.  To keep the message of the Gospel alive in heavy music.  Knik is going to be missed and he will always be remember by those that he impacted.  Best of luck to you brother!