ION INDIE MAGAZINE September 2016, Volume 28 - Page 123

AUTOMATIK FIT, PRIMITIVE HARD DRIVE, F.I.L.T.H. (which is an Orlando area band that has been taken in by our scene and just one of the many bands that travel north from central Florida to be included into the scene), INNER DEMONS, SALEM HOLLOW (with their long awaited, much anticipated first show since forming), LOWRCASE G, BLEEDING IN STEREO (a past cover and feature of ION), and NEW DAY. The show was produced by THAT RIFF PROMOTIONS, with promotional sponsorship by TWISTERS MUSIC—two great supporters of the local music scene (yes, a cheap promotional plug for my radio site!). The show drew an estimated 300 people and was planned and produced in hope of catching the eyes of the promoters of "Welcome to Rockville"--to show that a LOCAL STAGE was wanted and needed in future years of the event. It was a great attendance at "VillainFest 2016", which was provided by a large number of the "RockVillains". The RockVillains are a group of great local music supporters that go to many of the shows here in the area, buy the music and merchandise, and generally help support the bands on their social network platform—“Rockvillian's--Den of Sin" on Facebook. This group of music lovers carefully select their members, and have no problem eradicating a “problem child” or “cancer” to the group. It's not about the number of members, but more about the quality of support to the scene. Another great aspect of “VillainFest 2016”, was the collection of monies for a great charity in the area, “K9's for Warriors”. This global charity teams up rescue dogs with Veterans that are struggling with the effects of PTSD and other life-altering injuries. New Day (a band that will be featured in a future article in this magazine by this writer) and That Riff Promotions donated money that was collected from the sales of special event “Locked and Loaded” T shirts--which is the new single title track of New Day's soon to be released CD. I’d also like to give a shout out to RICKY CARTER ART WORKS--who also donated money from a painting that was auctioned off at the event. A huge #PUHPOW goes out to these ladies and gentlemen for their contributions to the “K9'S For Warriors” charity! Lately there has been more of a push for #UNITY in the area--which is needed to have a flourishing music scene. Bands are helping each other with promoting shows, trading off shows, and actually showing up at other band’s shows in an effort to show their support. This is not a new idea by any means, but I believe there was definitely a decline of s upport for each other in the past. An old saying "strength in numbers" is true in this case. A huge #PUHPOW goes out to these bands! There are too many to mention, but I know who you are! Also, some bands have started their own music festivals and inviting up to 10 bands from the area to them. Last year, Bleeding in Stereo produced "A Not So Silent Night"--which was a huge success. They already have begun plans for the 2nd annual show, which is slated for later this year as a 2 day event with plans to include 10-15 local bands. So why haven't we had a band from the area make it to the BIG TIME lately? There was the statement by great Mr. Gene SIMMONS recently—where he had proclaimed that "Rock is Dead". I must admit, I myself took this statement personally-although I'm not a musician of any sort. At first I thought Simmons was talking about the quality of music being produced, but later, after thinking about it, I realized that he was more referring to the music industry itself and the illegal downloading of music. All I can say is that, when it comes to the musicians that encompass the Jacksonville area music scene—there is no shortage of both quality of music and rock hard determination. I wish I had the magic key, but all I can suggest is that if you’re a band/artist, don't give up the dream. And if you’re a C.E.O. or an A&R for a label and you’re looking for the next SKYNYRD or BIZKIT, come on down to where they were bred…ROCKVILLE U.S.A (A.K.A. Jacksonville, Florida)! For this is where stars are born--and given a fair chance, will soon be shooting across the Florida sky—and beyond—once again. Can I get a DUUVVVAAALLLLL?!!