Southwest Terror Fest Brings Extreme Metal to Arizona

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Organized and hosted entirely by Tucson band members--Godhunter guitarist/vocalist David Rodgers, Great American Tragedy bassist Larry Horvath, and Diseased Reason guitarist Dave Carroll--Southwest Terror Fest 2013: Year of the Snake may have a long way before it becomes the West Coast's answer to Maryland Death Fest.

But after the festival's crushingly successful debut last year, it's clear that this event is bringing a one-of-a-kind, much-need extreme underground music gathering to the Southwestern quadrant of America. It's all ages and inexpensive, too--a ticket for the event, which takes place October 10-13 at The Rock, only costs $55.

"Metal and hardcore have always been more underground, so it needs more of a push to get that broader appeal," explains founder/musician David Rodgers. "So it was easy for me to direct my passion in that direction. I actually like all kinds of music--I mean, my favorite band is Radiohead--but a lot of music is already popular and doesn't need help, so to speak. I've lived in Tucson since 2006, and that's where my band Godhunter started. I guess it's a hobby, because you don't make a living off of it, but I love it. I can't think of doing anything better with my time."

The organizing founders/musicians knew from the start that creating a death metal music festival was going to be quite the undertaking. The idea for an Arizona extreme metal festival was born--"as I'm sure many great ideas in history probably come from," Rodgers laughs--one drunken night a few years back. It was right before Maryland Death Fest and right after L.A.'s MurderFest ended its run. After a night of beers and throwing around ideas, they woke up the next morning and decided to actually go for it.

The three founders had never been on a festival before, let alone organized one, so they brought on their friend Ryan Avery, who runs the kick-ass Los Angeles DIY metal booking agency Ear/Splitters, to help with a lot of the logistics, themes, and scheduling.

The debut was a crushing success, so much so that it has expanded to four days this year.

"The bigger this gets, the more of a pain in the ass it is," admits Rodgers. "But I love it."

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise