The crowd at Cook's for Kali Ma and Cyperna's joint CD release show, Cook's Cafe 3/29.


It’s official…. Connecticut’s metal scene has been pronounced dead. D-E-D.  Dead.  And there are two main reasons: bad shows and chicks.

These days, it’s practically impossible to find decent original bands.   Any venue that’s willing to take a chance on them is just going to have an empty bar, as Mark Cook learned this Saturday night.   The owner and namesake of Cook’s Café in Naugatuck made the mistake of booking six local metal bands and ended up with barely twenty people coming in the door.  One of those poor suckers, Josh Lapinski, felt like he’d really wasted his night.  “Local music is the fucking worst,” he said.  “It’s all a bunch of breakdowns and unintelligible screaming.  Sounds like a fucking pig dying, if you ask me.  I’m never supporting the scene again.”

The crowd at Cook's for Kali Ma and Cyperna's joint CD release show, Cook's Cafe 3/29.

Internet radio personality Bob Marino shared Lapinski’s sentiments.  “I brought all my equipment to Cook’s to broadcast the show, but once I heard the first band I just put my board and mics back in the car.  Let’s face it, no one wants to listen to this shit.  I think the only reason anyone showed up is because Walking Dead isn’t on ‘til Sunday night and they needed something to do.”

But Bethel keyboardist Mark Bellofatto put it best: “You know where I was Saturday night?  Singing karaoke in Danbury.  Why would I ever go to a local metal show?”

EOTD's most recent album, Stabbing Chicks with Knives

If Bellofatto wasn’t recently married, maybe he’d go to a metal show to score chicks – because other than Lapinski and Marino, the scant Saturday night crowd at Cook’s was pretty much all hot young women in yoga pants.  That’s actually a problem, though – everybody knows that chicks just go to metal shows to try to sleep with the band members.  “These girls are really degrading the scene,” said Eyes of the Dead vocalist Frank Connors.  “I mean, you used to be able to write a whole album about sawing prostitutes in half with chainsaws.  Now you have one or two torture-and-murder songs and everybody gets all up in arms.  To tell you the truth, I think that’s why Kali Ma songs don’t have lyrics – they’re just trying to attract women to their shows!”

"You told me there'd be more dudes here, what is this?"

But Connors isn’t the only one who sees this trend with women in the scene.  Continuum vocalist Brenda St. Amant admitted that she wasn’t really into metal and only joined the band as a way to meet more guys.  But now that she’s married with a kid and Continuum can’t seem to get a gig anywhere, she’s thinking about throwing in the towel.  “No one will book us,” said St. Amant, who is a hairstylist by day.  “I just don’t understand why.”

Jessie May, another female musician in the scene, said she was on the same page.  “I started playing bass in bands so I could find dudes to bang.  First I was banging one guitar player, then I was banging the other… And then I married that one, so now I’m really not banging anyone anymore.  I may as well quit Jimmy Junk Bird, it’s not like I’m doing any of those guys.”  Rival bassist Adam Rushka of Into the Coven thought that wasn’t a bad idea – “I mean, Jessie doesn’t even know what kind of bass she has,” he said.  “How can you expect a scene to thrive with that level of ignorance?”

Jimmy Junk Bird and the Stiffs: is ANYONE getting laid around here?

So there you have it.  Shitty bands and stupid girls equals one metal scene that’s belly up, dead in the water.  If you want good local metal, you’re just going to have to move to Denver or Portland or just about any other fucking place aside from Connecticut.  But if that’s not in the cards, go find some karaoke or cover bands – it’s really your only hope for decent live music!

Photo of Cook’s stage by Bob Marino.

Photo of Brenda St. Amant by S.A.E. Photography.

Group photo by Victor Velez.

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  1. I moved to Cincinnati recently. The metal scene here is huge as are the other scenes; huge alt-country scene too. Besides having trouble finding a bassist, everything is moving well. I am in a prog band and we have booked shows without even having a demo recorded. There are at least 20 dedicated music bars here and that is not even counting the shitty wannabe bars. I loved Connecticut, but it is obvious that there is no conducive help or true venues for shows. The venues that are still open I hope can hold it together. Economics is another issue for Connecticut. If the economics are bad, then people do not have disposable money for seeing shows. They save it for the one national act they have been longing to see that will cost them an arm and a leg. For an entire state to have maybe 5-10 clubs willing to have local, original music is rather pathetic. 

  2. Pretty scathing write-up. There are still great original bands out there. Check out Straight to VHS out of New London, and many others in that scene. 

    1. Check the date.  😉  Actually a spoof of a very well-attended show that happened this past weekend, where the scene was awesome!

  3. Although I do agree with most of this article, it would help if bands actually knew how to write appealing music, as opposed to just whatever the fuck they want. I can’t stress enough, as much as someone is against “selling out”, if you truly want a draw to your band or music, you have to go with the flow. If you don’t want to, have fun playing to empty venues. My band, A Fury Divine has a lot of shit talked about us…but, we have people at shows. We are offered spots left and right, to the point where most of them we need to turn down. Connecticut is not the place for metal right now, but there are some decent surrounding areas that are local music goldmines. Remember, your favorite band in the whole world started off as a local act, and without the support of the people in the home area, would be nothing. Let that sink in a bit. Because, if the scene is dead for any reason, it’s because of you. Bands in CT have shitty attitudes. They think it’s all a competition, when in reality, it’s the furthest from it. This is a family, a faction, and without support, foundations crumble. Bands show up, play, then leave. What is that shit? Who’s gonna wanna come to a show and stay the whole time to support all the bands if they see the band themselves not supporting their own fucking scene. In all honesty, if this places wasn’t full of hypocritical, egotistical, douche bags, we should probably still be enjoying the sold out local shows of 2005. Again, we have no problem finding shows, and places like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and many more, know what support really is, which is why they still have a somewhat, decently thriving scene. Remember, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. 

  4. While this article was WAY better written (way better written?) than the Pepe’s one (which didn’t have a whiff of humor) I call for an end to April Fool’s Day. I think The Onion has changed the landscape of humor too much for it to work. April Fools was okay in school when someone showed up with a fake cast (not really, always hated it) but now that we don’t know what to take seriously anymore the holiday has lost it’s oomph. 

    1. I respectfully disagree — it’s so fun! I remember I used to love the Echo’s April Fool’s issue, with the Ronnie James Dio album reviews, etc. (He REALLY liked Tori Amos!) And even with this article, I feel like I got a chance to poke fun at some true things that I normally wouldn’t go near in a serious piece. It’s good to have that opportunity, at least once a year.

  5. Everyone is so earnest on the internet. It’s precious. THE INTERNET IS FAKE, YOU GUYS. Your THK declares Jesse May to be satirist extraordinaire!!!

  6. Swotd plays ct all of the time and there’s always a great environment and scene. Whoever wrote this letter is a complete moron. And why you join a band just to bang your own members? Everyone knows once u mix business with pleasure it never ends well. If the club’s are complaining of no customers then maybe they should go back in time like 25 yrs and start promoting their clubs again and not rely on just the bands to promote themselves. It’s insane how people only use social media to promote their clubs or bands. 
    Go back to the old school way of doing things and you will have a real scene again and not tribute bands flooding up the clubs and bands who are playing the same night just to pat each other on the backs.. FLYERS!!!! HARD WORK PAYS OFF!!!! LAZY SOCIETY KILLS A SCENE!!!!

  7. Metal was declared dead 40 years ago 30 years ago twenty years ago and it seems has died again.

    Yoga pants???
    what’s wrong with yoga pants? that shows the chicks butts pretty least ya get the eye candy.last time i checked in and its been a long while the chics were always after the band. typically you had to have some serious game if you wanted to bang a metal goddess. but it wasn’t about the chicks it was the music. back in the day we had to BUILD a scene. it was never easy the bars hated the idea of paying us, , dance dj’s remember when they were dance DJ’s were alot cheaper and loaded out alot faster. so we got creative. we’d lie about our following find the best local guys to open and generally demand everyone we knew show up.
    if we got lucky we’d get twenty people the first few night doing metal at a “club” but we didn’t whine or bitch we just worked harder.
    connect with the people get good bands and shreaking in a mike going baraowow just ain’t getting it.write songs about something remember when music had a message. and we always had a plan mostly how to get the chics now in yoga pants. so either you were in a band or lied about being in a band. getting chicks was the idea because face it most band guys aren’t exactly type one choice in the real world.on the music learn to play your axe run scales keep a don’t need much but missing simple beats and scales just hurts the ears. and play covers. i don’t know what moron decided playing covers is stupid EVERY band that has every got the gold ring paid their dues playing covers. face it you ain’t famous NOBODY knows your material so when they hear notheng but new it becomes a wall of sound. playing covers even in your own way gives the crowd something they know enough to decide if you even have chops. plus it’s easier when you first start out,maybe a cover then original best combe always was two covers one original. some of the best covers of old songs i ever heard worldwide was right here in ct. at agora ballroon,keghouse,tune in,god forbid even toads place. CARE about what you’re’re never gonna be famous i told opus that over twenty years ago,not because of no talent just cause ct. has always sucked the life outta fun. but if you make a living and get to make music doing it that should be enough.

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