Heavy metal bands prepare to converge at The Surge

Several heavy metal acts from across the four-states will be gathering at The Surge this Saturday for the Battle of the Bands.

The Surge co-owner Shane Nickerson put together the event after playing in several battle of the bands events that did not meet his expectations.

“I wanted to put together a battle that I would want to be involved with,” Nickerson said. “I think I’ve done that here.”

Of 13 possible openings, eight bands solidified their spots in the battle. The lineup is: Closely Knitted Machine, The Third Apparition, Sardis, Spirits of Abomination, Suck Puppet, SeVeRhEdD, Every Day Chaos and I Don’t Want To Die In Texas.

“I think it’s going to be a hard time,” said Garrett James, vocalist and guitarist of Closely Knitted Machine. “There’s going to be a lot of good bands.”

The bands will be competing in 25-minute sets for a $500 first prize, a $250 second prize and a $100 third prize.

“I’m not going to do it so that the bands move on to the next round and the next,” Nickerson said. “They will be paid, in full, on stage.”

Nickerson said bands that do not win will be compensated for their time and efforts.

“Every band on board is excellent,” he said. “They’re all going to do well and they’re all going to have fun. A percentage of all ticket sales will go out to each band so every band will walk out of here with something.”

For attendees, there will be a door prize of an electric guitar with a hard case, picks, strap, stand and cables. The prize is only available to ticket holders still in attendance after the final performance and is worth approximately $400. The bands have also been promoting the event to increase ticket sales and to bring in a bigger crowd.

“I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t invite a lot of people to their shows anymore,” said Colt “Kill Joy” Scott, percussionist for black and death metal hybrid band Spirits of Abomination. “They start expecting people to know that they have a show and people just don’t show up.”

Scott looks forward to exposure to a new fan base and hopes to gain fans from other bands’ fan bases as well.

“I have a feeling that I Don’t Want to Die in Texas, Closely Knitted Machine and SeVeRhEdD will bring in a big fan base,” Scott said. “I know that Closely Knitted Machine usually does whenever I come to see them and I Don’t Want to Die in Texas is really big around here because of the whole grindcore scene.”

While some bands prepare to gather more fans, others are deciding which elements of the show to focus on in order to win the event. Judging will be based on six categories: originality, crowd response, stage presence, demeanor before the show and demeanor during the performance. SeVeRhEdD hopes its “balls-to-the-wall” shows will give them a high stage presence score and get the crowd response needed to win.

“The main thing about our music is the energy,” said Mike Allan, vocalist for SeVeRhEdD. “We practice it the same way all the time, so the main thing is to keep up the energy.”

The battle starts at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Surge is at 1204 S. Wall Ave. For information please visit myspace.com/thesurgenightclub or e-mail [email protected].