SEATTLE METAL ONLINE ANNIVERSARY PARTY
Planet Hot Rod, 7403 Pacific Highway, Fife, 253-926-3599, free, all ages noon-1 a.m. Sat., Aug. 25
"MY NAME is Terry, and we're Drunk as Usual."
The feeling is that of an AA meeting, except for the fact that everyone's got a beer in hand, Drunk as Usual is a metal band, and the only 12-step programs on the agenda are the 12 steps it takes to make it to the bathroom at Planet Hot Rod, the club in Fife where these cretins gather the first Sunday of every month to talk shop and play music.
The meeting is an organizational one for Seattle Metal Online, a Web site for Puget Sound metal bands started by Carrie Schuman and Joe Jauregui in August of 2000. "When we had the idea for it," Carrie says, "we couldn't believe that the name was still available. We registered seattlemetal.com right away, and we were off." What started with a mere two acts now features 147 area metal bands from Bellingham to Olympia.
To celebrate their one-year anniversary, Seattle Metal Online is throwing a shitstorm of a party at their favorite meeting place. Fifteen metal bands— Symptom, Drunk as Usual, Church of Hate, Agony of Deceit, Hatefist, SBI, Fury 161, Drawn & Quartered, Myiasis, Barbie Car, The Braindead, Cripple, Seatown Manglers, Aggression Core, and Suffergauge—make up the bill. The event also features a barbecue, a beer garden, body mutilation stations, a used gear swap meet, and plenty of booths stocked by the bands in attendance. "It'll start at noon and go on until 1 a.m. or so," says Carrie. "It's going to be a blast."
When co-founder Jauregui talks about Seattle Metal Online, it's clear the site was founded with mainly local pride in mind. "What we provide," he says, "is a community for bands and fans who didn't previously know about each other. We can swap gear, show up at each other's gigs, find bands to fill-in for last minute cancellations, and throw great parties. We've even planned camping trips over it. You don't get an idea of how big Seattle's metal scene is until you start adding up all the parts. It's huge, and we're hoping Seattle Metal Online will help put it on the map."
"The only thing we've gotten financially from this site is a pair of tickets to the Pantera show," says Schuman, "so unless you consider $24 a big sellout, it's pretty obvious what we're about. We're letting people know that there's more to Seattle rock than some scene that was happening 10 years ago. There's great stuff happening now, and people need to sit up and take notice of it."
"Aside from a resource for Seattle metal bands and metal fans," adds Jauregui, who also plays guitar for Fury 161 and Aggression Core, "we also want to show clubs and labels that the Seattle metal scene is a viable thing—that there's tons of support for this type of music in the region, that if you book SMO bands to play your club, there's going to be a bunch of people who show up, buy merch, and spend serious amounts of money on beer. You should see how much beer gets drunk at the SMO meetings alone. If these people are motivated by business, they should be paying more attention to metal."
It's true that, flipping through Seattle's weekly listings, one would think that Seattle has few to no metal bands. Jauregui says, "It's the people who make the decisions that are turned off by it. Radio programmers, video programmers, label heads, music critics, all those people hear that heavy guitar and instantly tune it out. But the people who go to shows and buy records, they fucking love it. When they hear it, there's a power and an aggression that they get; it speaks to them. Not enough people are exposed to it. This city is full of people who love metal and don't even know it."
As far as the future of SMO goes, Carrie says they plan to release a compilation CD soon, maybe in time for the Aug. 25 show. They hope to start selling band merchandise online and may take on sponsors. "We just want to keep getting bigger and bigger. And we're sure we will. If it continues to expand at the rate it's going, SMO is gonna explode."