Everyone knows that pizza and beer go well together. But you know what else goes really well with beer (and also pizza)? Metal.
Not the hard metal chromium, but thrash, doom, death, black, crushing metal music. I can’t tell you how many times I have banged my head with a beer sloshing around in my cup or slightly splashing onto the person standing next to me.Get Savannah arts and culture news delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our morning, afternoon and Dine newsletters
Since the craft beer explosion in the U.S., many breweries have hosted live music events with varied themes and genres. As a result of this general love affair with music and beer, a bunch of metal-themed beer festivals have emerged across the country over the past few years. It’s high time (or tide?) that local brewers Two Tides celebrated the holy communion as well. Two Tides' Liz Massey said they began talking about a metal festival last year as a great way to spin “Black Friday”. Whether you like metal music or not, Savannah has a fairly rich history with metal (Damad, Kylesa, Baroness, Black Tusk, Unpersons, Circle Takes The Square) and all aforementioned bands have played Desoto Row or Starland many years before the spot was developed and deemed “hip”.
Two Tides has five new release brews planned for the event: four stouts and one sour. The boysenberry sour, Spread The Jam, will be a larger batch that will be canned and placed on the menu later. The smaller batches will be stouts and will likely be limited to this event only — all with metal-themed names, of course, according to Massey (hmm maybe “Taste The Sin” by Black Tusk would be a good one). Along with the limited beer, the folks at Two Tides will produce limited pint glasses, which will include some sort of discount.
The bands will play outside on Desoto Row and neighbors Graveface Records will have a metal-centric record booth while the aptly branded Titty Bats will be setting up shop as well. Krazian will be providing some thrash-tastic bites to eat. Among the bands performing at the festival are Black Tusk, who talked with Do Savannah about their latest tour and getting to come home to play at this particular festival. Along with Black Tusk at the Two Tides Metal Fest will be Sins of Godless Men, Hotplate, Knightsquatch & All Black Everything.
Do: Have you played any other beer related metal fests in the U.S. prior to this one?
Andrew Fidler: We’ve played a festival in Pittsburgh called the Brutal Beer and Metal Fest and we played a metal showcase for Coppertail Brewing in Tampa, Fla.
Do: Did you get to taste the metallic beverages while you were there?
Fidler: We did. The festival in Pittsburgh had all the brewers make a beer for each band. Bone Up Brewing in Boston made a beer for us as well.
Do: When was the last time you played Desoto Row?
Fidler: The last time we played Desoto Row was before it had been redeveloped, before Graveface was there… there was a wine shop there and maybe a frame shop and that was about it. There used to be a parking lot where the Starland Yard is… maybe a loading dock of some kind or an old foundation to a house...that’s where the shows would be. I don’t remember where the power came from… there were a lot of extension cords. The cops usually came every time.
Do: I remember watching bands play outside there in the early 2000s… Catharsis, Circle Takes The Square, Unpersons… Kylesa played there with Municipal Waste and Baroness one time. I think I asked you guys to play with To What End? from Sweden there in 2004.
Fidler: The small businesses who have moved in have done wonders for the area and it’s cool that they’re having things where local bands can come play outside, especially all ages shows, because this town really lacks an all-ages venue and it’s really hard to do - especially for metal bands to play for people who are under-21. It’s great that there is a spot for us to play especially on Black Friday when everyone has their family in town; they can come out and it’s early, and they can bring their kids.
Do: When was the last time you played in Savannah?
Corey Barhorst: It would have been May of this past year at El Rocko. It was their anniversary show.
Fidler: And it was our kick–off show before our European tour.
Do: What’s up next for you guys? Anything immediate?
Fidler: The (non-hurricane) hurricane wrecked a tour for us so we are going out in January to make up all of those dates. It’s a southeast U.S. tour.
Do: Your latest record (TCBT) is available here in town at Graveface Records, and will you have records and other merch items for sale at the Two Tides show?
Fidler: Yes. We dropped off a small batch of some really rare Black Tusk stuff recently at Graveface for them to sell so Ryan (Graveface) has a bunch. And we’ll have a few older titles to sell but mainly the new record. We’ll have an “end of tour blowout” sale on shirts…We’ll be home to the $10 shirt!
Do: You all wrote a song for the Graveface Compilation Beyond Human, which is not out yet, but showcases a ton of Savannah bands from all genres. I know that all the bands were asked to write about true crime, serial killers, or cult leaders. The title references the cult, Heaven’s Gate. What did you all write about?
Fidler: It’s about the Salem witch trials. It’s called Gallow’s Hill. It was the first song that we recorded with Scary on second guitar and he recorded it as well.
Do: That’s great. Hopefully Graveface will have a bunch of those because Savannah is fully represented on that LP.