Flourishing Break Down New York City’s Metal Scene
New York City band Flourishing – featuring Wetnurse's Garett Bussanick- are one of those bands coming up in the seedy underbelly of N.Y.C., and Bussanick was happy to dissect the metal scene for us, from its hipster locales to show series to general jadedness by the locals.
"A pretty typical situation in N.Y.C. is that you'll get a few hundred -- or even a thousand -- people at whatever 'big' metal show that comes through," Bussanick told Noisecreep. "But in another part of town, there are 20 people watching a lesser known band -- either local or on tour -- who's just as worthy. There have been nights where there are three or four shows going on at once. I seem to remember some years ago having to choose between seeing Phobia or Botch. I chose Phobia."
It's true that there is always something going on in New York when you're a metalhead, and it's an embarrassment of riches. Bussanick's Wetnurse bandmate Curran Reynolds puts on a successful, weekly Precious Metal event at Lit every Monday, as well. "People here are spoiled and often jaded," Bussanick said. "You can see a metal/hardcore/whatever show nearly every night of the week. While that's cool in some ways, it yields a very over-saturated scene. I sometimes joke and say that it's more of a conversation starter to tell someone here that you're not in a band.
"It's nearly impossible to get anyone to care about what you're doing, considering the sea of bands. I suppose the same can be said for playing in a heavy band wherever you are. But as far as shows, you pretty much won't get anyone interested unless you've got some kind of notoriety, lots of friends or bartend at a notable spot where the word of your musical endeavors will often spread among the nightlife, equaling show attendance."
Black metal and its offshoots, which are often more experimental, are also coming to more prominence in N.Y.C., something that Bussanick notices and likes. "I hear of people who are really into analyzing and exploring the intellectual side of black metal," he said. "Then there are the metal elitist types, who might look down on a person for liking a certain band or record, or might strictly be into socializing with metal enthusiasts that are in their social circle or that only share the same tastes. There are also sometimes people not too into metal who wind up at shows because of general open-mindedness."
Bussanick reminded us that there's another burgeoning scene, the party/loft space scene, like ABC No Rio, which doubles as an art gallery when not hosting matinee shows. He dubbed Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Williamsburg neighborhood as "polarizing," since it supposedly churns out false metal for hipsters, but he also claimed to be unable to quantify such statements.