Jason Koerner

Louisville Rock Lowdown
By Jason Koerner


Quite possibly one of the hardest working bands here in the scene is ((downSIDE)). The group is composed of Kevin Metcalf (drums), John Metcalf (guitar), Shane O' Bryan (bass) and Daniel Finley (vocals). Metal with a great sense of humor. This is ((downSIDE)). Time to give a little credit where credit is due...


You may have already questioned the way the name "downside" is written, with the parenthesis and upper/lower case letters and all that, so let's start with that explanation. That way, I can quit typing it that way from here on out.

The unusually typed name comes from Kevin's constant references to his band via email. He would always say "my band (Downside)," as to specify to someone the name of his group. One day, he accidentally put two parentheses around it and thought it looked "kind of like a butt" and it stuck. In high school, Kevin started a pseudo-gang with a trademark of the members' belt buckles pushed to the left. They were complete with gang signs and other assorted "gang stuff" and announced themselves in the halls by hollering "left side!" This came together with the "butt-parenthesis thing" and Downside was born. Kevin said that he wished he had a cooler story to tell about the origins of the stylistic writing of the name.

The predecessor to Downside, "God Awful," was a cover band composed of founders John and Kevin, along with Wild Bug (bass) and Travor Maynor (vocals). The bad covered the usual favorites: Nirvana, Korn, Green Day, Jimi Hendrix and the Doors. As their biography quotes, "one can only play "Blind" so many times." The band went through changes in members and adopted the new name. The current four-man lineup began in September of 2000 and had their first show together at Pandemonium in December 2001. The shift to writing original material was a move in the right direction. The band's recent single "Behind" is currently #5 on the charts at Underground.lou.com, so go vote and help the guys make it even higher.

Speaking of their music, let's discuss it. For starters, it's fast, and it scares rednecks. Secondly, it's heavy, and it scares rednecks. Oh yeah, and the guys say girls don't like it either because they can't sway their hips to it. So who likes it? Well, I do, Downside does, as well as a host of others in the scene who are not concerned with Lynyrd Skynyrd or swinging their hips to it. Actually, the band does not give themselves enough credit for their audience response, as I have seen it firsthand several times, most recently at the Core Report Award show at Tek World. The music is very aggressive, yet melodic at times. John likes to write in less common time signatures, some of which John is still trying to figure out! The music moves audiences to get up on their feet; so the Downside pits can get pretty intense. Daniel's vocals are raspy, disgruntled, and angry. Kevin's drumming is very heavy and precise, especially for using a single kick drum pedal. John's guitar work is just as insane as he is, which says a lot. Shane's bass tone is loud, slightly, distorted, and in your face. The band is not afraid to turn up to "11."

During a performance at Sharkey's Pool Hall in Eminence, Kentucky (12-15 miles outside of Shelbyville), Downside continued their recent saga of breaking things onstage. The drums were the victims after this set.

Look for ((Downside)) at shows in May. To book the band, call Kevin at 724-2801.