worst week ever Spring is here, Harrisonburg, that much is official. Nevermind the snow, that’s just an anomaly, but instead focus on the signs that a new year of life, love, and abject misery is upon us. Listen to the returning birds singing over your head and honk at the hippie bro who chased his frisbee into the street, right in front of your car, and take in the fresh breath of spring! Of course, that means that Harrisonburg’s annual mark on the world of independent music is here. Ladies and gentlemen, MACROCK XVII is almost near, and we’ve got you covered. Worst Week Ever is proud to present our first MACROCK issue. See, we sent out a questionnaire to all 62 of the bands playing MACROCK, and 31 sent us one back. We got half. Ain’t bad. So, inside you’ll find information and some of the answers from our 31 favorite bands playing this year.
Artwork by Daniel Suter
Put away your parkas, put on your sunglasses, buy your tickets now, and what the hell, flip through this issue to prepare you for the Best MACROCK Ever.
Co-edited by Mike Arellano and Iain Oldman
Donâ€™t limit yourself to one dimension mannn, turn that shit sideways!
friday april 4th Artful Dodger Boogarins Kal Marx The Wives Snowy Owls Other Colors The Cales
Earthling Iron Reagan Occultist Yautja D.O.C Dendritic Arbor Enemy Insects Thrones of Deceit
Photo by Brandy Somers
7:50 – 8:20pm 7:00 – 7:30pm 6:10 – 6:40pm 5:30 – 5:50pm 4:50 – 5:10pm 4:10 – 4:30pm 11:10 – 11:50pm 10:10 – 10:50pm 9:20 – 9:50pm 8:30 – 9:00pm 7:40 – 8:10pm 6:50 – 7:20pm 6:10 – 6:30pm 5:30 – 5:50pm
macrockva.org Clementine Cafe Ex Hex Amanda X Charly Bliss Strange Relations
Court Square Theater
12:10 – 12:50am 11:10 – 11:50pm 10:20 – 10:50pm 9:30 – 10:00pm
Water Liars Low Branches Spandrel Humble Fire Clair Morgan Save The Arcadian My Darling Fury
9:20 – 10:00pm 8:30 – 9:00pm 7:40 – 8:10pm 6:50 – 7:20pm 6:00 – 6:30pm 5:20 – 5:40pm 4:40 – 5:00pm
Gnarwhal Whenskiesaregray Neck First Kaoru Nagisa
10:30 – 11:00pm 9:40 – 10:10pm 8:50 – 9:20pm 8:00 – 8:30pm
Little Grill Collective
saturday april 5th Artful Dodger Ovlov Disco Doom LVL UP Malatese Pachangacha Fluffer You’re Jovian Myrrh Myrrh
Diarrhea Planet Skating Polly Grass is Green Lizard Police Springtime Allvaret Left & Right Rozwell Kid Pissghetti Photo by Brandy Somers
8:10 – 8:50pm 7:10 – 7:50pm 6:10 – 6:40pm 5:10 – 5:40pm 4:15 – 4:45pm 3:20 – 3:50pm 2:40 – 3:00pm 2:00 – 2:20pm 10:50 – 11:30pm 10:00 – 10:40pm 9:10 – 9:40pm 8:20 – 8:50pm 7:30 – 8:00pm 6:40 – 7:10pm 5:50 – 6:20pm 5:10 – 5:30pm 4:20 – 4:40pm
macrockva.org Clementine Cafe
Ex-Cult Big Ups Ex-Breathers Psychic Teens
Court Square Theater
12:10 – 12:50am 11:10 – 11:50pm 10:20 – 10:50pm 9:30 – 10:00pm
Woodsman The Diamond Center PC Worship Fainting Spellss Candidate Demo Friend Roulette Chimes Dumb Waiter
7:20 – 8:00pm 6:30 – 7:00pm 5:40 – 6:10pm 4:50 – 5:20pm 4:00 – 4:30pm 3:20 – 3:40pm 2:40 – 3:00pm 2:00 – 2:20pm
Dead Professional Haints and the Holler Atoka Chase Gallows Bound
10:30 – 11:00pm 9:40 – 10:10pm 8:50 – 9:20pm 8:00 – 8:30pm
Little Grill Collective
friday april 4th After a crazy day of head bangin’, ear splittin’ heavy metal concludes at the Blue Nile on Friday night, Harrisonburg rock stars Crab Action take the stage to blow your brains out playing Metallica covers. Always a good show and top notch showmen, don’t miss these guys playing songs from your favorite Napster-suing metal gods. Fingers crossed for St. Anger!
Photo by Brandy Somers
The Snowy owls This dreary. fuzzy four piece from Richmond comes to Macrock for their third time, bringing lo-fi, chilled out, lets-get-high-and-watch-the-tide-come-in heavy riffs with them. Check out their newest EP â€œSummerâ€? and see them at the Artful Dodger on Friday at 5:30.
If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Pretty sure everyone would agree with the almighty Yuengling. Best house show story? We covered the Cure in Harrisonburg and people made out during the song Tupac or Biggie? Biggie, East Coast! Most listened to album on tour? Youâ€™d Prefer An Astronaut by Hum Favorite venue to play? Strange Matter What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Diamond Center, Clair Morgan, Ex Hex, Diarrhea Planet
Get ready to be punched in the throat by Occultist’s blazing speed and aggressive vocals, as these Richmond metal monsters are playing MACROCK for the first time this year. They come into town with a new album “Death Sigils”, and continue touring from here with fellow fest attendees Iron Reagan and then finish up on the West Coast with the masked freaks, GHOUL. See them at the Blue Nile’s heavy heavy heavy showcase on Friday at 9:20.
If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Hardywood How do you kill time on tour? Typical stuff: reading, being passed out, finding clever places to masturbate, pranking/annoying each other. Favorite venue to play? Probably Strange Matter in Richmond, VA or Belvedere’s in Pittsburgh, PA. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Pretty much everyone on the show we’re playing: Yautja, Earthling, Dendritic Arbor I’m especially curious about.
earthling These mighty Harrisonburg metal giants really need no introduction, though if you’re unfamiliar with them (unlikely!) you need to change that now. Creating their own unique blend of crossover metal, mixing any and all sounds of encyclopedic heaviness, Earthling is quickly rising in the ranks of American heavy metal bands, and they’ll be touring down south with their album “Dark Path” here soon. I would tell you to brace yourself for their set at the Blue Nile on Friday (11:10), but it would really be futile, as Earthling dazzles you into a comatose state with their technical mastery, then hits you with a trash can right in the nuts as they bury you in oppressive heaviness. For all of those unaware with Earthling, you simply have to make it a priority to see them at this year’s festival.
If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Arrogant Bastard Favorite pizza? Benny’s mostly because its a great deal. Favorite venue to play? There are a couple, one being Strange Matter, RVA. Good dudes running the joint. Generally a good line up, turn out, and overall good time playing in our “second hometown”. We have a lot good friends there, so after show parties are bad ass. What gear do you use? PRAVEEN - Gibson SG through Marshall jcm2000 DSL, ALAN - Gibson Flying V through Peavey 5150, JORDAN - Ibanez bass through SVT classic heritage BRENTLY - 1966 Ludwig Oyster Pearl. Most listened to album on tour? Mercyful Fate - Melissa What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Occultist, D.O.C, Iron Reagan, all of the Metal Punk showcase.
Dendritic Arbor Blacker than a nunâ€™s eyes and crusty as fuck, Denedritic Arbor, hailing from the Steel City, are here to blast your underwear off with their intense noise. Look for a new album from this refreshingly original black metal four piece later in the year, and follow them up the east coast in the summer if you dig â€˜em. Go see them play at 6:50 at the Blue Nile, and stick around afterwards for D.C. crust legends D.O.C.
Ever played in Harrisonburg before? Any story behind it? Oh yes, we played at the Blue Nile on our first large tour, No Souls No Minds with Haethen. It was incredible, we did pukers and hung out with some very odd people. Favorite band to tour with? Wrought Iron, just our hometown homies who are about to blow up. Best house show story? Playing a GG Allin birthday party where they were giving crusty tattoos with boiled needles, the designs you had to pick out of a plastic bag, 10 band members, only like 5 needles, pretty disgusting, and then they mentioned that there was no PA, so we used a toy megaphone and played to a bunch of drug addicts. Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Diarrhea planet, EX HEX, Enemy Insects, D.O.C., Thrones of Deceit
Thrones of Deceit Crushingly brutal, impressively dark, and never a boring act to watch, Harrisonburg’s own Thrones of Deceit opens the Blue Nile’s wickedly heavy Friday showcase with blasts of cruel noise so overwhelming, you’ll think you’re having a heart attack. That’s not to say the local quartet relies on noise, though. They construct heavy breaths of low chugs and powerful riffs, then blaze instantly into a whirlwind of crusty malevolence, changing rhythm and time with ease. Watching Thrones of Deceit live is like having your friend punch you in the ear, and turning around to find him offering you a joint, telling you to calm down. It’s awesome. Come see them tear it up at 5:30 in the Blue Nile basement on Friday.
Worst show/experience youâ€™ve ever played and why? There was a crayola show that we generally regard as our rock bottom. Intoxication was involved. Best house show story? We played with Suppression from RVA and Days of Hate from Brazil at Magnolia House in Charlottesville. We were fed an awesome home cooked meal and met a couple awesome guys living the dream and touring abroad. It was deathly hot and our former drummer played the entire set fully nude, not necessarily a highlight, but definitely memorable. Tupac or Biggie? Steele: No opinion Weber: No opinion Wilson: The Notorious Most listened to album on tour? Tragedy - Vengeance What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Occultist. D.O.C. Apparently Earthling is jammin a new song, stoked...all the heavy hitters.
If youâ€™re down in the dumps this MACROCK weekend, go see Charly Bliss, 10:20 at Clementine Cafe. Seriously, their music made us feel good, man. Poppy and fuzzy all at once, and fun to kick your feet to, this Connecticut four piece is gonna wail, so go check them out before they leave to tour the West Coast this year! If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Founders All Day IPA What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Big Ups and LVL UP and everybody!!! Favorite pizza? Cheezus H. Christ at Robertaâ€™s Tupac or Biggie? Tupac Guilty pleasures? Buffy the Vampire Slayer / masturbating / masturbating to Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Strange Relations Gracing us with their presence, coming all the way from Minneapolis, Strange Relations is one of the more unique groups weâ€™re looking forward to at MACROCK this year. Mixing funky drum beats with chilled out guitar licks and velvety vocals that seep into your stomach like warm milk, this is a three-piece you wonâ€™t want to miss, so see them at Clementine Cafe at 9:30 on Friday.
What’s your worst week ever? The first week of the zombie apocalypse will probably really suck Worst show/experience you’ve ever played and why? Once with our (Marisa + Casey) old band in Philly we had our van towed & a massive brawl spilled out into the street from the bars right across the street, so we were barricaded in the venue while a swarm of cops came and shut down the whole block till early in the morning. And it was Marisa’s 21st birthday! Best house show story? Years ago we played a festival in Philly and were approached by some kids in the crowd who asked us to play their house a few hours later, so we figured why not, and it turned out to be this crazy fun BBQ pool party situation in the burbs & we played on the front porch What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? All the bands on our showcase (Ex Hex [!], Amanda X, Charly Bliss), LVL Up, Ovlov, Diarrhea Planet, and we wish we weren’t playing the same time as Water Liars cos their live set is really great
humble fire Playing at 6:50 on Friday at Court Square Theater, these indie-rockers from just up the road in Washington D.C. have by far the catchiest hooks of any of the bands we’ve listened to playing MACROCK this year. We just couldn’t stop tapping our feet! Check them out before Water Liars play, and have a listen to their newest album, “The Great Resolve”. You won’t be disappointed!
If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? We would bring a case of Olde English 40s, have a great/ awful time for like a week, and then turn the bottles into a raft and get the fuck off that island. Favorite transformer? Soundwave, from the original cartoon. He transforms into a cassette player, and he shoots out cassettes that also turn into robot spies. Tupac or Biggie? Errâ€Ś Tiggie? Bupac? This is definitely the hardest question on here. (We later received this email from the band: Alright, one edit. Our drummer made an executive call for Biggie over Tupac. Biggie wins.) Whatâ€™s your worst week ever? As a band, a snow storm cancelling our Baltimore show with Mammoth Indigo. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Ex Hex and Diarrhea Planet.
Clair Morgan Visiting our happy mountain town for the first time, this gang of six is just a pleasure to listen to. They paint a beautiful orchestra with layers of vocals that compliment each other like tea and honey, while subtle guitar pangs climb around their compositions, wrapping up a complete sound that is somehow simultaneously deep and simple. We highly recommend checking out their newest album, “No Notes” before you go see them live on Friday, 6 o’clock sharp at Court Square Theatre.
If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Bells Oarsman, that hint of sour is awesome. Favorite transformer? Grimlock...dinosaurs are huge in my house. Favorite band to tour with? I’ve gotta list three: Snowy Owls, Way, Shape or Form and The Pauses. Favorite venue to play? Hardywood Park Brewery in Richmond, they are the best at beer and shows. How do you kill time on tour? Finding and using words that Ashley thinks are horrible. She hates when people pronounce “river” like “rivahh” Give it a go when you meet her! What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? I haven’t gotten the chance to see Iron Reagan yet, I’m looking forward to that., and I’m always excited to see my fellow co-worker Christina and our friends in The Low Branches. #FrontierProjectRepresent
Save The Arcadian These fellow native Virginians (Fredericksburg) bring with them to MACROCK a keen sense of song writing and a warm sound that makes you want to read just, like, a shit ton of classic books by a roaring fire, while admiring the snow outside. Sunny, poppy, and easily consumable, welcome this fun sextet to Harrisonburg for the first time by checking them out at Court Square Theater at 5:20 on Friday!
worst week ever va If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Old Brown Dog Rock, paper, scissors? Paper (Most every other band replied “Rock”, leaving Save the Arcadian the Worst Week Ever Rock, Paper, Scissors Champions) What’s your worst week ever? The sixth consecutive week we played at a hookah bar. Guilty pleasures? IHOP Worst show/experience you’ve ever played and why? We played at a restaurant in the middle of nowhere to a crowd of four people. Three of them were employees of the restaurant and the fourth was our merch girl. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Low Branches
My Darling Fury My Darling Fury blasts into Harrisonburg for the first time with an eerie, unique sound driven by their powerful vocals and a blend of guitar tones that mix into your brain by someone seemingly whispering their music into your ear. Listen to their newest album, â€œLicking Woundsâ€? and go soak them in as they open the Friday sets at Court Square Theater at 4:40.
If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Todd - Boddington Joel - Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar Clark - This might be one of the hardest questions you could ask! I’ll just say Goose Island Bourbon County for now so I don’t think about this for the next two hours, though I think it comes in a 4-pack. Guilty pleasures? We listened to “Genie In A Bottle” in its entirety on the way to Charlotte last week. The degree of pleasure received is still under review. Favorite venue to play? Clark - Hardywood Park Brewery in Richmond, but elsewhere, the Altar Bar in Pittsburgh. Joel - Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill, NC. Favorite pizza? Clark - Cheese pizza from 8 1/2 in Richmond. Joel - Leonardo’s Pizza in Richmond. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Diarrhea planet and Iron Reagan
whenskiesaregray The popular and ultra talented post-core trio whenskiesaregray return to MACROCK for the second year in a row, and personally, we couldnâ€™t be happier. Rough around the edges, beautiful when they need to be, and thoroughly unpredictable, these punks from Baltimore will be blowing the windows out of the Little Grill Collective at 9:40 on Friday. Weâ€™ll be there, make sure you are, too.
Ever played in Harrisonburg before? Any story behind it? We played Macrock last year. We hopped on last minute due to our friends band breaking up and we took their place. It smells like dog food! If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Flying Dog Raging Bitch if we can afford it….PBR if we can’t afford it. Where else are you touring this year? We’re heading down to Southern Florida and back as part of a two week tour. We will be hitting every state on the way and then some. Macrock 2014 is the first date of tour! Besides that, we plan to do a full US at some point this year. Best house show story? We set up/played a show for our friends in Au Revoir from New Jersey. We hosted the show in a barn that had a tin roof. It started to rain during their set. The sound of the rain on the tin roof really added a great ambient touch to their set. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Iron Reagan, Gnarwhal, Yautja, Neck First, Kaoru Nagisa, and Myrrh Myrrh.
neck first Following Kaoru Nagisa at the Little Grill on Friday (8:50), Neck First comes from Baltimore, bringing their fucking angry mathcore with them. Bouncy and dark, jazzy and coarse, check out their new EP â€œI Can Feel My Skin Crawlâ€? to preview their aggression.
How do you kill time on tour? Chain-watch episodes of the Simpsons in the van. Best house show story? We played an awesome show at our friendsâ€™ place in College Park, MD. A week later, the members of the house were robbed at gunpoint. The subsequent story in the local newspaper had two large pictures of us playing and multiple mentions about us over all the other way more popular bands that have played there. Very strange journalism for something that didnâ€™t really have anything to do with us. Favorite band to tour with? Feeding Frenzy Where else are you touring this year? Midwest in May! Favorite transformer? Voltron What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Yautja, WSAG, Diarrhea Planet, and Koaru.
Travelling all the way from Zurich, Switzerland (!) to play for us, Disco Doom delivers intelligent pysch rock that is just perfectly balanced. You can get lost in their music in the same way you get lost looking up at the sky on a summer night, lying on your back on the grass, as gentle and warm tones swaddle you. Check out their new album “Numerals” and don’t miss them at the Artful Dodger on Saturday at 7:10 ,while they’re still on our side of, you know, an ocean.
If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? TannenzĂ¤pfle Favorite band to tour with? Built To Spill so far. Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars Whatâ€™s your worst week ever? Will happen in 2027. Tupac or Biggie? Bob Ross Favorite venue to play? World Famous Kenton Club in Portland. Most listened to album on tour? Arvid Noe What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Absolutely all we can catch.
Among the local Harrisonburg talent on display at MACROCK XVII this year is the ultra-talented and seriously demented Malatese, delightfully sandwiched in the middle of the kick-ass Saturday showcase at the Artful Dodger. Sprung from psych-punk roots, Malatese’s music is a dripping display of innovation and ambition. Slow and brooding one moment and luscious and complex the next, Malatese is the kind of music you would hear over loud speakers if you shot heroin, passed out, and woke up in Wonderland. Give their new EP “Animal Relief ” a thorough listen and MAKE SURE to see them at the Artful Dodger at 5:10, because they are absolutely bonkers live.
Best house show story? We set up “Mayflower Fest” this year at Crayola, the name stemming from the slew of New England noise rockers that were playing. We had six bands playing and it was over in three hours- super efficient for a house show. Plus, many fireworks were launched inside and outside the house. Worst show/experience you’ve ever played and why? Worst experience at a show was when the sound guy got trashed as fuck and the venue used all $120 of the door money to pay this fucking guys tab. He drank Jameson all night. If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Jon: Country Club Malt Liquor, George: Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale, Travis: Barritts Ginger Beer, Graham: Keg of absinthe with a cough syrup chaser. Most listened to album on tour? Happy Mondays - “Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches” What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Big Ups, PC Worship, Kal Marks, CANDIDATE DEMO
Fluffer Fun and dirty, the Cincinnati trio Fluffer arrives at the Artful Dodger (3:20) with an exciting brand of bubble gum disco rock. It’s fun, undeniably dancy, but extremely well thought out music that blends the best parts of numerous genres and is a real pleasure to absorb. They bring their new album “Skopsi” with them, so check them out to kickstart your afternoon.
If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? The Champagne of Beers, for itâ€™s hydrating qualities. Where else are you touring this year? Asheville, Tennessee, Georgia, Chicago, Toronto, New York, DC, The Midwest and hopefully the real West. Favorite band to tour with? Silent Lions (Hall and Oates stoner rock from Detroit, MI), Charlie Pattonâ€™s War (ultra-loud bluesmen from Bloomington, IN), and Fingers (heavy-lounge from Columbus, OH). Tupac or Biggie? Hologram Tupac Best house show story? A Cowboy/Pirate/Ninja house devolved into the cowboys being arrested for impersonating sheriffs. Rock, paper, scissors? This is an art/record store in Cincinnati, check them out online. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Malatese, Disco Doom, Diarrhea Planet, Ovlov
Playing MACROCK for the second year in a row, You’re Jovian hits the stage with the commanding presence of deep, intense angst and antipathy. Extremely lo-fi, the Virginia Beach-based avant garde hits you like a fuzzy nightmare, mixing droney tones with washed out guitars and dreary vocals. Bucking the recent “beach music” trend of coastal bands, these guys elicit images of the BP oil spill more than a raucous summer vacation. Check them out Saturday at the Artful Dodger, 2:40, and check your smiles at the door.
Favorite venue to play? In VA, Strange Matter hands down. Always a decent sound and the buffalo tofu is pure bliss. Worst show/experience you’ve ever played and why? The worst show I think we’ve played was when I put together this local show that I put a lot of time into. I mean the most effort I ever put into a show. I was so excited annnddd no one showed up, but the very next night was our best show ever and I didn’t even promote it. The universe is funky. Star Wars or Star Trek? Neither, both are tacky and over-rated. Most recent album? Christan Death - “Only Theater Of Pain” What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Probably Fridays showcase at the Artful Dodger. Snowy owls are pretty tight. Wish Speedy Ortiz was playing again.
worst week ever va
left and right
Left and Right comes down from Philly packed with headbobbing, thigh tapping gusto. Pulsing, heavy guitar riffs drive the band, bringing up that old 90â€™s college indie lowend-of-the-dial sound that everybody loves. They also have the best bandcamp weâ€™ve ever seen, so go to there and give them a solid listen, and you can catch them at the Blue Nile on Saturday at 5:50.
Favorite venue in Harrisonburg? MyMansion. How do you kill time on tour? Looking for dogs to hang out with. Best house show story? One time we watched a girl in a band eat an entire key lime pie and throw it up in a bucket while she rubbed her guitar on her crotch. Favorite venue to play? Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, Charlottesville, VA Ever played in Harrisonburg before? Any story behind it? We played MyMansion a couple of months ago with Lilâ€™ Huffy. Our drummer went through about $40 worth of sticks that show. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Myrrh Myrrh, Pachangacha, Ovlov, Diarrhea Planet, Lizard Police, Grass is Green, Big Ups, Disco Doom
Pissghetti Among the number of bands who are gracing MACROCK this year that hail from Virginia Beach, Pissghetti is one of those bands that you just know still practices in someone’s parents’ garage, whether the old folks know or not. If you want to feel like hopping on your skateboard and surfing through the halls of your high school while reminiscing about the classic pop punk and emo bands of yore, Pissghetti is just for you. See them at 4:20 on Saturday at the Blue Nile after the label expo, and check out their new album “So Much for My Happy Ending”.
Favorite venue in Harrisonburg? Taylor Down Under Favorite venue to play? Ana’s Banana (New DIY space in VB) Worst show/experience you’ve ever played and why? One time we played a show with Human Fly from Harrisonburg. They were complete garbage. Robert was annoying. What’s your worst week ever? One time Pissghetti got dumped by a super hot babe and stepped in dog shit all in the same week. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Rozwell Kid
worst week ever va
Playing before Ex-Hex at the excellent lineup at Clementine Cafe this year, the Brooklyn-based quartet Big Ups play with a punk-fueled edgy intensity that’s as smart as it is raw. When you listen to this band, you feel like there’s always an artsy ulterior meaning that’s just out of your reach, and that may be for the better. I’m betting these are the type of people that you just don’t want to see inside their brain. However, if you want to listen to them (and you do) check out their new album “Eighteen Hours of Static” and watch them live at 11:10 at Clementine.
Worst show/experience you’ve ever played and why? The one where we forgot it was Superbowl Sunday. Lesson learned. Best house show story? An epic round robin of ~15 bands in one of the nicest houses/basements I’ve ever been too in Baltimore where the parents were around and drinking wine and having a great time. Thank you, McQuestion family! Favorite band to tour with? We just finished a US tour with Speedy Ortiz and Pile, both of which are doing, and have been doing, the thing better than anyone else. If you haven’t heard them to them do yourself a favor and stop reading my stupid words right now and go listen to “Sports EP” or “Dripping” instead. What venue and time are you playing? Clementine Cafe sometime after the sun goes down. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Diarrhea Planet, OVLOV, any of the Exploding In Sound bands we can see.
ex-breathers Punching out of the dirty, brutal punk scene that Florida has been brewing up recently, Ex-Breathers promises to put on one of the crazier sets at MACROCK this year. The trio creates an impressive depth of noise that is all at once classic fucking punk and more modern, composed and deliberate, and their energy is unstoppable. Hell, we broke a sweat just listening to their LP “Collision”. Don’t miss them at Clementine Cafe on Saturday night (10:20), we promise you it’s gonna get rowdy.
Favorite band to tour with? We spent a few weeks last year on the road with Direct Effect and that was something I would absolutely love to do again. Favorite venue to play? We always loved going to The Apothecary in Asheville, NC, but it just recently closed :( RIP! What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Ex-Hex, Ovlov, Disco Doom, Yautja, DOC, Gnarwhal, Grass is Green, Springtime, Ex-Cult. Those are the bands that I already know I’m going to make an effort to see, but I am super excited to listen to a ton of bands that I haven’t heard before! Favorite venue in Harrisonburg? The food at Blue Nile is so good that even though I have never been to a show there, it is my favorite venue. Most listened to album on tour? Usually its Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” but I think that “Am” by Ovlov might be taking that coveted place very soon.
Best house show story? At the end of our tour with Direct Effect, we played a super tiny apartment in Orlando. It was a tour homecoming show for DE and there were probably 50x more people there than could fit into the living room. It was also an underwear party, so everyone was half naked. It was hot as fuck and just totally wild inside, so...
I got a little carried away in the moment. During our last song, I decided to jump off the kick drum into the crowd. I started getting surfed around by people and next thing I know, BOOM, I feel a knock on my head followed by a warm sensation spreading down my face. I had a gnarly run in with a ceiling fan that I failed to realize was even there, and I was quickly a bloody mess...on top of everyone...in my underwear. Somehow I finished playing the song during all this without messing up. Thankfully someone was taking pictures and we got a cool new cover photo for our Facebook!
Psychic Teens Okay, so Psychic Teens is weird, like, really weird, but that’s a good thing! This Philly trio will leave you standing wondering how in the hell they are producing the wall of sound they are assaulting you with, and also, why are your palms so sweaty all of a sudden? Backed by industriously busy drums, Psychic Teens weaves droll vocals with washed out, fuzzy guitar licks that would make vultures weep. Long but never laborious to listen to, check out their newest album “COME” before you see them open up Clementine Cafe’s totally badass Saturday night showcase at 9:30. Don’t miss it!
worst week ever va Ever played in Harrisonburg before? Any story behind it? Weâ€™ve been to Harrisonburg twice before. We played Macrock in 2012 with Hunx and His Punx and an afterparty with Creepoid. We also played Blue Nile in 2013 while on tour. If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Brooklyn Lager What gear do you use? White guitars and clear drums. Star Wars or Star Trek? The Twilight Zone Favorite venue to play? Strange Matter in Richmond or Boot and Saddle in Philly. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Amanda X, Ex Cult, Big Ups, Diamond Center, PC Worship, Malatese, Dendritic Arbor, and if we can somehow swing it timewise, Ovlov.
Travelling all the way from the Mile High City to play at MACROCK this year, Woodsman (headlining Court Square Theaterâ€™s Saturday showcase at 7:20) promise to be one of the most unique bands youâ€™ll see at the festival over the weekend. Layering swooping guitars that cut the air with rich, beautiful tones with simple drums, the end result is a landscape of sound that leaves the hair standing on your body. Powerful and delightful, Woodsman create wave after wave of pleasant ambience that seems to drift off over your head, only to be forever lost in space. Their new self-titled album deserves at least one listen, and their live show will seem like a piece of art, so stick around for them at Court Square Theater this year.
Ever played in Harrisonburg before? Any story behind it? Played Harrisonburg this time last year at a spot called Blue Nile. We were on tour with Gary War at the time and we showed up early, loaded in, and no sign of Gary. After mixing in, grabbing drinks and chilling we started to wonder if he was even gonna show up, then we got a phone call about an hour before his set time; he had taken a wrong turn in the mountains somewhere and was lost in the middle of nowhere. We ended up playing that show without him, met some rad kids, and stayed in a legendary house show house that I forget the name of now. I’m sure y’all know where I’m talking about. Most listened to album on tour? Depends on the trip, probably a Spacemen 3 album or Tortoise “TNT”. Favorite venue to play? I have always liked playing this spot called Rhinoceropolis in Denver or the now defunct Zebulon that used to be on Wythe in Brooklyn. Now I would have to say our friend Steve’s loft in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Sick party vibes and real listeners show up. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? PC Worship for sure.
the diamond center MACROCK vets The Diamond Center swing through Harrisonburg again to gift us with their off-kilter blend of 60’s era psych nostalgia and a Mike Moya-esque dedication to making everyone unsettled with guitar tone. As Brandi Price’s sleepy vocals drag you into a deep unknown, the rest of the Richmond quintet keeps you alert and entranced with cosmic lines of guitar and vocal melodies. One of our favorite bands to play MACROCK this year, the Diamond Center is truly a special, one of a kind band. Listen to their album “My Only Companion” before swinging over to Court Square Theater at 6:30 to get blown away by them live.
Worst show/experience you’ve ever played and why? Every band has bunk shows now and again, but mostly the worst show is still better than staying home. Although, there was that one time in Charlottesville…got urinated on from the roof during load out. It was probably our fault, carrying heavy gear and all, it’s hard to watch for falling peepee. If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? We’ll need more than a six pack. For me, Stella Artois. For Brandi, Abita Turbodog. Assuming there is some sort of fruit on the island, we’d probably start sour mashing mangoes. Ever played in Harrisonburg before? Any story behind it? YES. Maybe a half-dozen times. They’ve always been fantastic. True story. Blue Nile, Clementines, Artful Dodger, and a couple of Macrocks. Always warm and receptive. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Boogarins, Woodsmen, and Psychic Teens, but my favorite thing about Macrock is getting turned on by bands I’ve never heard.
Creeping out of the ocean, sludgy and horrifying, the Virginia Beach art house power group PC Worship comes to the Court Square Theater stage on Saturday to haunt your brain. Ambitious and original, PC Worship has a fanatic obsession with their refusal to adhere to a rigid definition of any musical genre: call them psychedelic, avant garde, noise rock, or give them any label you want, and youâ€™d be wrong no matter what. Their music has a definite ebb and flow at times and breaths like each song has a life of its own. Playing at 5:40, after the Maryland duo Fainting Spellss, PC Worship is a band you have to see to truly appreciate, so make sure youâ€™re there.
worst week ever va If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Coronitas Best house show story? Crayola House, left our bass there. How do you kill time on tour? Basketball Most listened to album on tour?
Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer 1992 Full Album Worst show/experience youâ€™ve ever played and why? Meatball fest, no meatballs. Tupac or Biggie? Biggie What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? All of emâ€™
Friend Roulette Coming down from Brooklyn to perform in MACROCK for the first time, the atmospheric group Friend Roulette blends guitar, violin, EWI, piano, and I guess any other instrument just laying around to orchestrate a beautiful scene of symmetric wonder. You sort of glide through their music, like they’re holding your hand the whole time while you soak it in. Like, we literally felt it soaking into our skin. Remarkable and unforgettable, be sure to see them at Court Square Theater at 3:20, after you check out their new album “Grow Younger”.
Ever played in Harrisonburg before? Any story behind it? We’ve played twice in Harrisonburg it’s usually our last stop on tour. Last time was a bit rocky - at my mansion - we may have partied a lil’ too hard the night before in Richmond and then had some bad food on the road and someone may have been puking before the show. It was like that brutal scene in Bridesmaids. Shout out to Emigdio for dealing with us and throwing a rad show for us sick dogs. Favorite venue in Harrisonburg? We’ve played MyMansion and Crayola and they both provided us with magical evenings. Tupac or Biggie? You almost broke up our band with that question. What gear do you use? The only thing worth talking about is the EWI - it’s a magical instrument. It stands for “electronic wind instrument”, otherwise known as the space flute played by hot Juan who plays for lovers. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Our pals, PC worship.
Candidate demo Drums, a guitar, and machines: that’s all Candidate Demo needs to get it done. These Harrisonburg natives get the most out of their instruments, crafting powerful clouds of sound that hang over you while they get the crowd’s heads bangin’, and their song 665+1 might be the best tune we’ve ever heard. This duo is straight up fun to see live, so swing by Court Square Theater on Saturday (4:00) to see these guys out-weird everyone.
Favorite venue in Harrisonburg? Give it up for the Blue Nile, a very good venue by all standards. If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Some kind of craft shit (this is Billy speaking for John). Worst show/experience you’ve ever played and why? Candidate Demo’s worst show surely was the time we played in this dungeon in Philly wallpapered with gay porn and smelling of bleach. Two people watched us as 40ish fuckers hung out upstairs and smoked. We played 3 songs, packed up our stuff and drove home to HTURD in a snowstorm at 11pm, arriving in town around 4am. Star Wars or Star Trek? Trek – purer. Favorite band to tour with? Frank Hurricane What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? PC Worship, Earthling, and Malatese.
dumb waiter Of all the bands that we checked out for this year’s MACROCK festival, none stood out more than the quartet from Richmond, Dumb Waiter. Playing a sexy jazzmathrock hybrid (we know!) these guys have a new twist on every song, keeping everything fresh and unbelievably catchy, to the point where you can’t help but vigorously tap your feet on the ground. Sharp guitar notes slice through a saxophone that is constantly crying out with renewed energy, while the bass slides in under it all, giving their compositions a warm, funky style. We will definitely be there on Saturday at Court Square Theater to see them open the showcase (2:00), and you should be there, too, if you don’t want to miss out on the band everyone will be talking about when the fest is over.
If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Iâ€™m pretty sure weâ€™d all go for a six pack of Loose Cannon Triple Hopped IPA. Favorite pizza? Free kind Guilty pleasures? Waffle House How do you kill time on tour? Linked Gameboys for TETRIS. Favorite venue to play? The Double Wide (Dallas) Where else are you touring this year? We just got back from a circuit to and from SXSW and we are headed North East in the summer. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Yautja!!!
Virginia native Dead Professional brings to MACROCK that much desired, all too often forgotten about sound of pure rock nâ€™ roll. A one man band operating off of a guitar, loop pedals, and vocal effects, he builds a full sound rife with twang, aided by the natural bounce found in each of his songs. That old time hop is there, and it makes you want to drive through college campuses with your top down, smiling and winking at all the pretty young things. Luckily, heâ€™ll be all over town on MACROCK weekend, playing acoustic sets at Larkin Arts on Friday and the Blue Nile on Saturday during the label expo, in addition to his full set at the Little Grill Collective starting at 10:30. With so many chances to catch him, you have no excuse to let this awesome rocker slip through your fingers.
How long have you been been playing together as a band? One year as a solo artist under this name. I did similar things in the Cinnamon Band with my buddy Neil on drums for a few years before that. Favorite venue to play? Johnny Brendas in Philadelphia is such an intimate space, it makes the crowds there really excitable. Favorite venue in Harrisonburg? I don’t know what my life would be like without the Blue Nile. Best house show story? There was a MACRoCk after party a couple years ago on Old South High where the sing along kind of took on a life of it’s own. That’s the best. How do you kill time on tour? I walk all over town taking in the sights. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? I hope to be surprised by one of the many bands that I haven’t heard yet, but either way I’m going to enjoy catching up with friends’ bands, like Low Branches and Snowy Owls.
Haints in the Holler Is there anything more enjoyable than taking in a great folk band at the Little Grill? We donâ€™t think so, either, which is why weâ€™re super excited about Haints in the Holler, an acoustic folk band birthed from Richmondâ€™s southern impressions. Tinted with just the right amount of indie influence, this stringed quartet churns out the type of music that sounds even better when you hear it in the mountains, trading off acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, and fiddle, with vocal harmonies that melt your heart, leaving you in a pool on the floor. Make the hike to the Little Grill on Saturday (9:40) to catch these folks before they head back to the city.
If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? Northern Lights IPA Favorite transformer? The Dinobots Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars!!! Guilty pleasures? Getting snuggly with cats Worst show/experience youâ€™ve ever played and why? We played a show in Mechanicsville, VA where we mentioned Satan and people started leaving and asking for their money back. Then some guys at the bar started harassing the touring band we were playing with. Favorite venue to play? Greenwood Manor What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? Diarrhea Planet, Dead Professional, The Diamond Center
Gallows Bound Continuing a great Harrisonburg tradition of hosting raucous, hoopin’ and hollerin’ bluegrass-folk bands, the Little Grill’s Saturday showcase this year is getting started with the fun, intoxicating Gallows Bound, from Winchester. Reminiscent of depression era vaudeville troupes, this sextet wails out haunting, raspy vocals that roar over guitars, banjo, and bass. Throw in very simple drums that complement the rustic aesthetic of the band very well, and a harmony, and what the hell, a little hooch too, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a time. They kick off the Little Grill’s showcase at 8:00, and it should be loads of fun, so check out their album “Empty Flask, Empty Heart” and go see them live.
If stranded on an island, what six pack of beer would you bring? If we were stranded on an island, we would bring a hell of a lot more than six beers. Otherwise weâ€™re going Lord of the Flies on each other. Where else are you touring this year? We are heading to NY, PA, NJ, MA, and CT in June. We also have a lot of dates coming up in Northern Virginia. Best house show story? Once we played in an antique shop attached to someoneâ€™s house. Everyone was wasted, crowd surfing ensued, and lots of old and bizarre items got covered in beer. How do you kill time on tour? Our drummer Rob likes to tell fantastic tales that can take hours...about the last shit he took. Seriously, no detail is left unknown. Guilty pleasures? Ace of Base, jelly beans, too much Lord of the Rings, and Miss New Booty. What bands playing Macrock are you excited to see? IRON REAGAN!
worst week ever va
weâ€™ll see you there! Photo by Brandy Somers
Photo by Brandy Somers
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Co-edited by Mike Arellano and Iain Oldman
thank you to all the bands that participated
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