Last year the first annual Distorted Roots: Niagara Metal Festival took place at the Warehouse. The one-day event was organized by Chris Chaperon in collaboration with Indoor Shoes to celebrate the heavy metal music in both Niagara and Ontario. The first incarnation featured Chaperon’s band Eaten By Sharks, No Orphans, Dorian Gray, Grindstone, Sunnycide, Occultic & Occular Trauma.
For this years event, Chaperon and Indoor Shoes also teamed up with Tyler Dupuis of Meltdown Niagara, a Facebook-based extreme music blog, to help with the bookings and promotions of the event. Last November, Meltdown Niagara hosted their Meltdown Fest Year One, and instead of the two each hosting festivals, it only made sense for the two to join forces.
“We both book shows here in Niagara. Maybe we can start seeing a little bit more crossover in the people that we’re seeing at these shows and help build more of a community. I see this as an opportunity to kind of open people up to some things that maybe they might really like,” said Dupuis.
“My band Grindstone played last year’s festival and it was a mixed bag of artists. Basically, there’s a divided scene in Niagara when it comes to heavy music. There’s people that are more into just straight-forward heavy metal, black and death metal and things like that, and then there’s the punk-rock influence on metal, with the hardcore, power violence, grind music, noise music, which is all very similar in a sense.”
What Dupuis and Chaperon decided to do, was to combine these two varying scenes into one, in order to create a more cohesive whole. They decided to follow the way of thinking that suggests, if more people are exposed to one thing to another and vice versa, in general, more people will go to shows and support other artists.
“It’s just a matter of opening people up to something. There are a lot of bands that crossover to metal fans at large. I feel like some people don’t understand that there’s a metal scene that is so varied, there are so many alternative things happening that work within that same sub-genre that you may be a fan of,” said Chaperon.
“We just want to bring people together to enjoy a celebration of the diversity of extreme music. Sure they’re kind of disparate styles, but it’s all heavy,” added Dupuis. “We want to bring bands that showcase what we bring to the table and create a unique experience for people. The bottom line is that we just want to grow the scene as much as we can, and this is a great way to bring everyone together.”