Jason Koerner

Louisville Rock Lowdown
By Jason Koerner

The music of Dead End Asylum can best be described as "refined anger." The band members are Tom Petros (drums, vocals), Mike Grubb (bass, vocals) and Tony McGuire (guitar).

DEA has been together for about two years now and the musicians have been working diligently at developing their sound and chemistry. "There were a couple of months where we practiced almost everyday, and got so much work done." Tony said in a phone interview form the group's Bloomington, Indiana home.

Dead End Asylum

The band's influences as a whole include Tool, Pantera, Sepultura and Mr. Bungle. On an individual level, influences vary a lot more, but the end result is something angry, heavy, and yet it is almost refined in a way. You might get the wrong impression from the combination of the adjectives "refined" and "angry" and mistakenly visualize a fancy party with a guest list full of mass-murderers and steroid-consuming-professional wrestlers asking, "Pardon me, but do you have any Gray Poupon?" Not quite the same idea. All that should be implied by that statement is that the band does some very tight riffs with a few over-achiever drum beats. Most of the metal you hear has the same drum beats and guitar chunks to it. Dead End Asylum tries to go beyond cliché-metal.

Tony is a senior at IU and majors in telecommunications. He has big expectations about the usefulness of his degree, which is something I think all of us poor college students can admire. He has already produced a video for the group and will be instrumental in the band's promotional efforts. Mike was responsible for naming the group, after the database of three-letter government agencies was sorted through. Dead End Asylum was the acronym chosen for the infamous DEA.

The musical background of these guys dates back to childhood. Now in their early to mid-twenties, things are really coming together for them. The music was written as a group effort, and the band also produced their self-titled album, recorded at Speak Easy Studio. You can order a CD online at deadendasylum@WEBTV.NET for a low, low, $7! That includes shipping and handling! For booking, contact Janet Wolfe at Planetary Productions at (502) 244-4790.

The group has played Cheers in South Bend, Pierre's in Fort Wayne and they plan on playing here in Louisville in the near future. Shows are the band's self-proclaimed strong point, mainly due to their tightness and intensity. DEA has complaints about the music scene in Bloomington, claiming that it is one giant frat party in the bars, and that the only type of music anyone really wants to hear is mainstream radio covers and dance music, not hard-core originals. The ‘fear' of heavy music seems to be infectious. My only explanation to this is that people get the craving to sing when they are drunk! It is an on-going battle in our culture.

Other comments about the "cliques" present in the scene reinforce some of the same things I have been talking about in the past few issues. Punk bands are only gigging with other punk bands, metal bands are only gigging with other metal bands, etc... I think a little musical integration wouldn't hurt anyone at this point. (On a side note, I want to open up an invitation to the readers and get some feedback for a future article on how the local music scene could be improved. Send me your E-mail to JJKSLACKER@cs.com, letters to the LMN office {address is in the front}attn.: Jason Koerner, or phone calls at (502) 262-8728, and give your opinion on some of the things that can be done to help unite our music scene here and make it better for everyone.)

Check the band out next time you hear of an upcoming show, or order the CD online and have the disc delivered to you.

Damn the computers that crash while you are trying to sign on to it. (Sorry, personal interlude. My computers have not been "user-friendly" to me this month!)

As always, keep sending me your band info via E-mail, phone, snail-mail or otherwise. All the info you need is here in the article. Until next month...