At the beginning of 2014, two music enthusiasts were casually chatting about the local music scene and its lack of diversity when it came to catering for the large alternative music fans in the islands.
They vented their frustrations that there were many local acts that were unable to get the exposure to share their preferred genres and sighed when they discussed the unrealistic costs of being able to attend shows featuring established bands playing in the UK. With Twice Dead Records already in existence as an alternative music production company/independent label, the two decided to grow this into an events organisation and thus ‘To the Depths’ was born!
Twice Dead Records is run locally by Chris Day and Soraya Zadal, both of whom share a passion for live music. Chris says ‘We were really frustrated that there is so much local talent between the islands that just wasn’t being heard. We wanted to do something about it!’
Following the closure of some of the last local music venues that openly hosted gigs of a heavy or alternative genre (Live Lounge, Foresters Arms etc), it has become increasingly more difficult to find places for local bands to play. Unfortunately, in addition to this, most of the remaining venue owners and gig organisers believe in the completely unjust stereotype of heavy music generating an air of disturbance, violence and other negative connotations that come with it, making it harder and harder to book shows. Soraya tells us that ‘we wanted to be able to help local music acts to get the exposure of their preferred genre that they deserve, as well as giving people a chance to see well established bands come over and play in an intimate, affordable environment’. Chris added ‘Currently, if you want to see a band in the UK, although the ticket may only cost £20, you still have to factor in flights, hotels and expenses which just aren’t viable to everyone’. The other big issue that the Twice Dead crew came across, was that there had been little interest from current event organisers to entice established alternative bands to come over and play for the growing fan base. With both Soraya and Chris being fans of heavy music and Chris being the drummer for local band Whitechapel Murders, they shared the frustrations of many fans with having to go off island every time you want to see an established band play, costing literally hundreds of pounds each time. They both agreed that Jersey Live caters extremely well for fans of pop, indie, dance etc, but nothing on the heavier side of the spectrum. This is where To The Depths began to take shape. Soraya said ‘Having organised a few gigs between us over the years and having contacts with some big bands and agents in the UK, we figured if we didn’t do it, then no one else was going to’.
Taking all this into account, Twice Dead Records hosted their first live gig in November 2014, sponsored by local companies Monster Ink Tattoo and Wilson Nash Recording, as a warm up to their main event due to be held in February at the Town House. The warm up show was a huge success, seeing over 100 people through the door and featuring a multitude of local acts, including Hank Chinaski, Bulletproof, Chaos Theory, Whitechapel Murders and Brunt from Guernsey. With UK caveman battle doom pioneers CONAN headlining the main event in February, it’s set to be a gig not to be missed! Supporting Conan will be Jersey death metallers Masticated, Guernsey doom beard monsters Byzanthian Neckbeard, and Jersey experimental noise/stoner/doom outfit Whitechapel Murders.
Soraya and Chris are really excited about what the future holds for the alternative music scene and are keen to give local bands the chance to experience sharing a stage with large acts such as Conan. Chris says he hopes ‘that the bands can learn from Conan and absorb the professional atmosphere. I’m hoping that with this first event’s success, we will be able to host more of a similar nature and we are already in talks with other bands to come over and play going forward. There is not another event like this in the island and I know from having spoken to people at local gigs and amongst the community, that they would welcome the chance to see more live bands play in Jersey. This would have an overwhelming benefit to the local music scene, and will no doubt increase interest massively.’
Tickets for To The Depths are now on sale for £15 plus booking fee from Monsters Ink Tattoo and Whitelabel Records in Jersey, and Black Star Tattoo in Guernsey. The event takes place on February 28th 2015 at The Town House, Jersey.