The Athiarchists Crashed Mayhem Festival Parking Lots
Sure, the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is over for this year. But if you were lucky enough to go, there's a chance you saw a band ride into the parking lot, playing from a mobile stage with gear bolted down to it. That band was the Athiarchists.
What drove the Oregon duo of drummer Dano Lemm and guitarist Aaron Tunnell to not only build a stage they could travel with and live in is simple: They don't take no for an answer.
"We would want to play a show, whether it be in our hometown or anywhere else, with a bigger headlining band, and either the promoter, venue or band would not let us open up," Tunnell told Noisecreep of this DIY adventure's origin. "So we started playing in the parking lots with generators in front of shows."
Tunnell points out the early problems were involved set up and break down time, occasionally being forced to leave before a single song was played. "We have always talked about having a mobile stage so we could just open the door and start raging it with no set up time. We didn't know that we would ever pull it off until we saw the lineup for Mayhem this year. We knew it was time to do it"
Hatebreed, always a huge supporter of the trash hardcore two-piece, actually tried getting the band on the tour's roster. "From day one of this tour, they have been telling all the bands/roadies/managers about what we're doing.
"None of the other bands had any idea what was going on until the fifth show in Phoenix. We pulled up while Korn was playing to the [Jägermeister] stage/Silverstar stage band parking lot," he recalled. "We crawled into the back and were raging it in about 15 seconds. About 30 seconds after the door opened, every single person in every tour bus was standing out in the parking lot scratching their heads with a smile on their face, saying, 'What the f--- is this?'"
Soon after that one show, the support came in. "Bands that we grew up listening to were buying our shirts. We were trying to give them shirts, and they were buying them because they knew we needed the support. We ended up with multiple cases of beer and bottles of liquor by the end," Tunnell admitted, admitting being humbled by everything.
Midway through, the Athiarchists were given the official go ahead to play outside of the venues fences. Tunnell wouldn't have had it any other way.
Sadly, the band suffered many breakdowns, even being stuck in New Mexico for ten days, but a new traveling stage that won't suffer the same issues is in the works. "This winter, we are going to build a bigger diesel powered mobile stage that will be more reliable as far as the truck engine goes. It will essentially be our own tour bus, that we don't have to lease, that has living quarters and a shower, a mobile stage with everything bolted down so we can play anywhere, extra equipment to play venue shows, complete with a screen printer so we can make more shirts on the road. We have created a monster, and we want to change the way smaller bands tour and play live shows. "
Tunnell continued, "I'll say it again: The bar scene is dying right now. Half of our last West Coast tour was canceled because either the venue closed down or the bar booking person double-booked. The possibilities are endless with this, but nothing could have prepared us for what is happening with it now. It honestly brings tears to my eyes. It is f---ing crazy."