Rock music and annoying egos go hand-in-hand. In fact, the pairing is almost as guaranteed as headbanging and mosh pits. Groupies and tour buses. Dimebag and a Black Tooth Grin shots. Revolting disgust and the Kardashian clan.
You get the picture.
It doesn't matter whether you're a huge national act, or a local band just starting out - some musicians just feel entitled for some reason. Sure; you may be a talented musician who deserves some respect, but you gotta pay your dues and reciprocate that respect.
On that note, there's an upcoming event that deserves some recognition -- all because it strictly upholds that "put your ego aside" mentality. Every band is seen as a headliner -- there are more than 20 of them on the bill -- and all stipulations are put aside, like pay and timeslot.
Welcome to Desert Frostover, the local heavy metal highlight of the holiday season. Seriously, anyone who's a fan of the local metal scene should be at this two-day metal fest held at Joe's Grotto to hear all that embodies the Phoenix metal sound from some of the Valley's best metal bands.
Jeremy Jalowiec, drummer for Howitzer (he also organizes a lot of local shows), first put the event together in 2013.
A few years ago I asked six 'headliner' bands to play one night together ... for one night of music and camaraderie that could bring more to the community than one band standing alone," explains Jalowjec. "They all said yes, the event sold out, and so the idea was born. A few weeks after that event, I received a few emails and texts from different bands asking to be included in the event next year, so I decided to make it an annual event."
Between Friday and Saturday night, there's a veritable buffet of heavy metal goods to enjoy. Hey -- it's the holidays. Time to overindulge. It's hard to argue which night is the heavier lineup, so I won't even try.
On Friday night there's Virulent, While She Waits, Howitzer, Deathgrip, She Murdered Me, Lost in Lies, The Pattern Interrupt, Latency, Phoenix and Dragon, Weed out the Weak, Better Left Unsaid, Spades and Blades, and more.
Saturday's lineup includes Pelvic Meatloaf, Howitzer, Play for Blood, Something to Kill, We Steal Copper, Atom's Fall, Ruach, Diicordant, Sentenced to Burn, Jack Pistolero, Christopher Shayne and more.
A lot could be said about each act on the bill; in truth, a separate article could be written about each band's contribution to the local scene, distinctive style, and backgrounds. The weekend will truly give a taste of every type of heavy music Phoenix has to offer, which is why Jalowjec stands firm on how "the term 'headliner' does not exist at Desert Frostover."
"Each band selected is incredibly talented and stands apart individually, but it's the community that makes this equation work," he says. "As far as band selection goes, it starts with a band saying 'yes,' and then we go from there. If a band leads with, 'Well, what time do we play? How much will we make? Who else is playing?' That's usually where the offer ends. It's all about putting everything aside, coming together as a music loving community and closing out the year with a positive uplifting note."