Spring Metal Meltdown Fest
It’s festival season again, and with it comes the veritable onslaught of multi-band bills with abbreviated sets and a flurry of activity for those working the event. Josh Lease of Tahoe-based Born Dead Productions, along with his partners in crime, have put together this year’s ninth annual Spring Metal Meltdown Fest, taking place May 1 and 2 at Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor in Reno.
Friday night will feature 17 bands beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday will feature a barbecue from noon to 1 p.m., which is when the first of 26 bands will kick off.
“We will have 25-minute set changes between sets,” said Lease. “I’ve held events similar to this a few times in Jub Jub’s before and it works out really well. Our Born Dead crew really help a lot as well by having a ton of experience running smaller tours to really large festivals.”
The festival includes a bevy of regional, national and local metal acts focusing on the extreme and thrash side of things. From Ghoul to Warbringer, Purification by Fire—Lease’s own band—to Conducting From The Grave, Embryonic Devourment to Blasphemous Creation, Awaiting the Apocalypse to Solitary Priapism, and Oden Sun to Symbolik, there’s something for every metalhead.
Because thrash veterans like Warbringer get larger guarantees, most of the opening acts have an understanding that there will be little money to go around after covering operating expenses like sound, lights, security, and all the necessary hospitality demanded—and deserved?—by the bigger acts.
“I take care of the bands that have been consistently promoting my shows and not griping,” said Lease. “Of course, touring bands that have driven are the first bands to be reimbursed. All of the bands that play with me know the deal.”
Lease’s main focus is Purification By Fire, an extreme metal band based in Grass Valley. He will also play in Idekay, which broke up in 2011, but will reunite for this show and another in South Lake Tahoe at Whiskey Dick’s Saloon.
“Purification By Fire just got done tracking drums for our yet-to-be-released new album, and we’re recording in Nevada City,” said Lease. “The song topics and lyrics are all over the map with some about fantasy, some about [history], and some just being gruesome. We do have one song called ’Dinner With The Donners.’ That talks about the history of the area, that’s pretty cool.”
And while there are only 450 tickets available for the two-day event, Lease aspires to a much larger event.
“I’m hoping that this year’s event actually grabs the attention of the industry folk or perhaps an investor or two to really take this thing to a whole new level for 2016,” he said. “Ideally, I’d love to turn Spring Meltdown Metal Festival into a European-style, open-air festival with camping. Since I’m an adrenaline junkie myself, it would be cool to add a big-air snowboarding event or rail jam someday down the road with some BMX jumps or maybe even some freestyle motocross in there.”