Iron Thrones Guitarist: Video Games Are Our Real Competition
Minnesota's Iron Thrones have been riding high since winning Scion and Metal Insider's No Label Needed contest, but the symphonic post-metallars admit to having struggles booking their current tour. "It's difficult in the Midwest, especially Minnesota and anywhere around us," guitarist Steve Henningsgard told Noisecreep, pointing out in his home city even the biggest bands face the same problems. "Show attendance for everyone is dropping horribly. We're talking about a city five, six years ago that Metallica played three days in a row at the same venue and sold it out in 20 minutes. And now they don't even stop by on their tours."
It's easy to blame climbing ticket prices as the reason people opt to stay home, but Henningsgard looks at something else as the true competition for a band these days. "The biggest deal is we're competing with a video game system where connection isn't an issue anymore and graphics are incredibly good. You have to make a show that is more seductive than getting high, eating pizza and not wearing pants while you play 'Modern Warfare' all night."
Henningsgard believes the bar for how most people support a band has gotten low: listening to an album while they play video games. "And people wonder why their favorite bands that aren't very big break up," he laughs in a frustrated breath.
But the guitarist and producer isn't accepting this as defeat, disappearing into an ampless sunset. He wants music to be an experience again; something he's imposing on his own listening habits.
"I've been forcing myself to ignore certain records and then give myself time to listen to it." The last record he did this with was Mastodon's 'Crack the Skye,' downloading it from iTunes and giving it his needed and undivided attention.
Iron Thrones' goal is to have their shows be that kind of encompassing experience. Some ideas include burning specific incense during sets, so fans could remember the show the next time they smell that flavor. "You should have a show a deaf person would enjoy."