Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a band playing a festival? What do they do backstage? What does an “All Access” pass give you? I’ve always thought about this ever since I was a kid. I’ve gone to plenty of shows and festivals (Carolina Rebellion and Warped Tour, I miss you), and I’ve only had the experience of being a fan at a show. Well, I did get an Amon Amarth laminate “All Access” pass when I was little, but I was a baby Saw! I didn’t know what to do with it! And sure, I’ve had the honor of interviewing some amazing musicians like Myke Terry, Dee Snider, Trever Peres, and more. But what do the bands experience backstage when they are waiting until their set?
Well, I had the honor of traveling with Curses to Summit Fest in Akron, Ohio, and I finally found the answers to my burning questions and curiosity.
Curses is a metal band from West Virginia, and their combination of melodic riffs, powerhouse grooves, beautiful and captivating cleans, and head crushing lows gives the band an edge. They captivate every audience they play in front of and you can tell they love being on stage and performing. Best of all, they are some of the nicest guys!
I know what you’re thinking — how did I meet Curses and end up going to Summit Fest with them? I met Curses back in July when they played a show in Roanoke, VA with my Local Butchers in Fractured Frames. A couple of months before that show, the band went to Facebook and announced that they were looking for a drummer to play a couple of live gigs with them. Now, I am no musician — I can’t sing, play guitar, or bang drums! But I know someone who does. The Mechanic (of the Butcher Shop), the one who ensures that my torture devices are all in working order, making modifications for maximum brutality and ready to hack some bodies, Cody. Not only does he help me in the Butcher Shop and is an amazing drummer, he’s also my boyfriend.
So, Cody began talking with the Curses boys, and next thing you know, he is playing a couple of shows with them! I’ve gotten to experience a lot of different behind the scenes things because of Cody. From seeing the amount of work and preparation that goes into creating music, what goes on backstage at a show, and what the rockstar life is all about. We were about 6 hours away from Summit Fest, so I got a glimpse of what life is like on the road. The biggest thing I learned is how to do my hair and makeup in the car at 5 a.m. traveling to a venue. I’m still getting used to life on the road, okay?
Anyway, I was excited to see the bands at Summit Fest, but I was curious about what happens behind the scenes. What do the bands do when they aren’t on stage? As soon as we got to the fairgrounds, we immediately started unloading Cody’s drums. Every show I go to with him, I always help him load and unload — I’m the best girlfriend ever, I know.
Every band had a designated area to put their equipment. Just imagine 15 bands in one room and all of them bringing in their gear and setting it up. For the first hour and a half before the festival, this is what every band did. Then, once the festival started many of them hung around outside in the back in their vans or with other bands. Some went to show support for the bands playing, while others sat at their merch booths. You wanna know what I did? I saw the bands of course!
The only thing an “All Access” pass really gives you is the freedom to roam around the entire festival. But I’m going to be honest with you, nothing really exciting happens backstage. Now on some of these band’s vans or buses is another story.
Overall, I discovered that being behind the scenes at a festival isn’t really that different than being in general admission. Everyone just wanted to have a good time, catch up with friends and make new ones, relax, and see some great music. It was a great experience, although I was dead tired for the next two days — I didn’t choose the rockstar life, it chose me.
Thank you, Curses, for allowing me to tag along with you guys for a few shows. I can’t wait to hear the new music you guys have in store for us.
Until next time, Butcher Crew…
P.S. Here’s a picture of The Saw and The Mechanic! If we’re not in the Butcher Shop, you can always find us at a show.