Something a bit different at the Mill

BY RYAN FOSMARK | JUNE 23, 2009 7:21 AM

The Mill has always been a venue for eclectic, down-home music, but tonight, the local venue is housing a gig of a different breed when it plays host to three bands.

Gypsy Nomads, Acoustic Guillotine, and Snow Demon will play the Tuesday Night Social Club at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., today at 9 p.m.

“This is definitely different,” said Andre Perry, the booking agent at the Mill. “We haven’t gone this hard-core with any of our [Tuesday Night Social Club] shows before. The show coming up this Tuesday is probably the most in your face, hard-core, slightly metal thing we’ve ever done.”

While the Mill has yet to venture into the land of sacrificial pigs and inverted crosses, there is definitely a bit more edge to this lineup. Pete Guillotine, the drummer for two-piece Acoustic Guillotine, described his band’s sound as purely metal without the guitars.

“Guitar players are meek people, and we decided we could do without them,” he said.

Local band Snow Demon is no stranger to the metal show. With its local patronage coming from the Picador, where it can get roughly a show per month, rhythm guitarist Matt Cooper said he thought a show at the Mill would be a long shot because of the band’s hard-rock vibe.

“I’ve heard our sound described as a combination of Clutch meets Thin Lizzy,” he said. “We’re sick.”

While the Mill’s generally smooth-sounding lineup seems to clash with the raunchy distortion of Snow Demon, Cooper said he was pleasantly surprised about the booking.

“I think it’s also a blessing because we can kind of branch out from where we have been playing,” he said.

If rock ’n’ roll with metal edges wasn’t enough for the uncommonly abrasive show tonight, the Mill also booked self-proclaimed gypsy-Celtic-cabaret-rock duo the Gypsy Nomads, which has been touring nationally for four years. Having played shows ranging from standard bar gigs to goth shows as well as fairy and belly-dance festivals, Scott Helland, guitarist/percussionist for Gypsy Nomads, is used to diverse lineups.

“It’s definitely a little bit different for us, but we always dig totally different styles of bands,” he said.
As far as the sound of its music, Gypsy Nomads’ influences range just as widely as the band’s performance experience.

“The singer is from France, and she sings in French — that’s where that gypsy-cabaret thing comes in,” Helland said. “I grew up playing punk rock and metal in the ’80s and ’90s, so I guess that’s where the Celtic and rock thing comes in.”

Helland, it seems, was destined for the eccentric type of music that Gypsy Nomads typically plays.

“I’ve been kind of playing and listening to more eclectic stuff my whole life,” Helland said. “When I was younger and everyone else was listening to the Doors and stuff, I was listening to more hard-core punk rock like Black Flag. I’ve always gravitated to slightly different music, and it all just kind of blossomed into what we’re doing now.”

While it might seem that Gypsy Nomads would be the sort of nerdy kid with a cape at this Tuesday’s show, the lineup has been overwhelmingly well-received by the bands playing. Snow Demon’s Cooper is always up for an unconventional show.

“I think it’ll be fun, but, then again, I’m kind of into the carnival, gypsy music just on my own personal listening tastes,” he said. “I’m always a fan of throwing diverse shows. I love doing metal and hip hop and folk together. I love throwing something like that, because you get so many different kinds of crowds coming, and it basically just broadens people’s horizons.”

Perry promises to don the necessary safety equipment at tonight’s speaker-ravaging show.

“I’ll bring my ear plugs,” he said.


Gypsy Nomads, Acoustic Guillotine, and Snow Demon
When: 9 p.m. today
Where: Mill, 120 E. Burlington
Admission: Free

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