There is no such thing as goodbye, only “until we meet again.”
If anyone has followed my previous works, you may have noticed that I reported on the musical portion of this still fledgling news publication.
It was – mostly – about the little guy. The artists that people don’t understand, or rather, just don’t know.
From my first interview with Values, a group of crazy yet kind gentlemen that I now like to call close friends, to interviewing popular artists like Jesse Leach of Killswitch Engage, there hasn’t been a doubt in my mind that I have had a successful stint covering the local music scene for the Amherst Wire.
However, I don’t want to make this a story about me leaving an impression on the organization. Instead, this is a thank you to every local band that gave this amateur journalist a chance to tell their story.
My biggest focus coming into the 2014-2015 year as the entertainment editor was to shine a light on local music, and bring more attention to the New England metal and hardcore scene. These local bands are the lifeblood of a misunderstood culture. They are the successors to pioneers to include Sam Black Church, Killswitch Engage, Hatebreed, and Shadows Fall.
I attended my first ever local show last year at the Waterfront Tavern in Holyoke, Mass. From there on out, I covered and photographed almost every local show that I could attend. I felt that the absolute best way to support this scene is through my physical presence and my photography.
Although I covered this scene for a short period of time, I have grown a healthy and positive relationship with a number of bands in the New England area. These musicians do it for the love of the music and nothing else. Even if the turnout for a show is 20 or 200, these musicians will play their absolute hearts out. For some, this scene is their life.
And the crowds are by far the most interesting of people I have ever met. From eccentric teenagers to adults as old as my parents, there is no definitive image for how to describe someone who loves metal and/or hardcore music.
It is a group of misunderstood people who use this music as an escape from the stresses of reality. A group of like-minded individuals that go to these shows because they all understand that life can be difficult and unforgiving.
They need this scene as a space to release all of their anger, frustration, and anxiety.
For me, I have an issue with being a part of large crowds. If I am at McMurphy’s on North Pleasant Street on a busy Saturday night or at any other collegiate social gathering, I tend to be extremely overwhelmed by the amount of people around me. Yet, when I am at these shows, I am the polar opposite. I am comfortable. I feel a form of safety around these crazy kids and I can accurately express who I am as an individual. I feel happy.
If I have to leave everyone with a piece of advice, then it would be to support your local music scene. These artists spend an egregious amount of time, money, and energy in order to give willing ears a moment of Zen. So go to to the next performance you hear about, buy a t-shirt or their new EP, or just be up by the stage and cheer them on as they are performing.
I can guarantee you that doing these simple things will help push them further in their quest to improve their art. Without a support system, the scene dies.
So to all of the bands that I have covered throughout my short time here at the Amherst Wire, thank you.
Thank you for giving me a chance. Thank you for being candid in your interviews with me. Thank you for letting me take pictures of you and being supportive of my work.
If I could leave readers who followed my coverage with anything, it would be not to give up on your passion.
From one artist to another, always remember : don’t let anyone ever dictate to you on what you should or should not play. Don’t let anyone tell you that your art should never see the light of day. When you go out onto that stage and perform, I can assure you that you are making a positive impact on someone’s life.
Don’t let the local scene die.
Below are some photos I took while attending some of these shows. Just click on the arrows to view more! If you want to see additional photos, I have them on my photography page at A.J. Lindsay Photography.
Alex Lindsay can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter at @thatjournalist1