Ven’s Housecore Horror Fest Retrospective


Hope for the Future

Like the majority of Austin, Texas, I am in a band. We are a working band which means that I am extra broke so when we were invited to play Housecore Horror Fest – a festival I would not have been able to attend otherwise – the response was an obvious and resounding, “YES”. Luckily the rest of Dead Earth Politics were on board after I told them I confirmed. In any case, we were officially HHFF bound. Months passed but the waiting was, in a nutshell, worth it. More than worth it.
Ven & Phil at Housecore HHFF

So many things happened this weekend its hard to narrow down the coolest occurrences. Walking back to our merch booth that we set up for the weekend from Antone’s only to randomly run into Erik Rutan from Hate Eternal (who is the nicest dude I ever met – how the hell is he in a death metal band with all that smiling??). The fact that the aforementioned booth was set up next Down’s booth was pretty kick ass and Phil’s girl, Katie, was all over the place. Watching pro’s work and seeing them running into the same issues we run into was both heartening and worrisome at the same time; shouldn’t the elements know to leave the Anselmo clan a clear path?

Being introduced to Goblin! Holy crap, where the hell have I been? Friggin amazing band and I urge… nay… implore you to check these bad ass Italians out! You will thank me! Perhaps the highlight should go to nerding it up with Brett from Pallbearer in the artist HQ? Brutha honed in on my Star Trek shirt, the one I dared wear at a horror fest, and it was on. Not sure how long we argued about the alternate universes, Janeway versus Sisko, so on and so forth. All I know there is nerdy kinship I found with a broad metal embrace.

There was also the fact that I was totally surrounded by my metal brethren. Roll Call: Storey from Closed Hand Promise, Shaun from Course of Ruin, Aaron and Evan from Shrapnel, Trey – also of Shrapnel fame, Adam from By Any Means Necessary, Hunter from Death Will Tremble, Frog from Brink of Disaster, Kike from Headcrusher as well as Gus, Alejandro, David and Carlos. There was also Ryan from Scattered Remains and a ton more friends from the ATX metal scene (yes, goddammit we have a metal scene!) that I saw work for each other, with each other and because of each other to make this thing happen. I love you cats – Housecore Horror Fest is now synonymous with your hard work and your blood. I am sure many tears as well, but there is no crying in metal so none of that will go on record. Of course, there was the valkyrie of it all, Ms. Tammy Moore. La Metal Freaktress. Ever the advocate for red headed step child bands of the music industry, not only do I believe we would not have been offered the honor of playing this fest without her but I don’t believe the wheels would have turned as they did through the whole weekend. Thank you, Tamminator! ANd cheers to Corey Mitchell whose bestial war cry lead the charge! Thank you, brutha!
Ven and Connor

Maybe the most memorable moment was when I met Phil Anselmo himself! Outside the Emo’s complex, we were all taking a break from regular dousings of Oderus’ semen when I saw him hanging with a surprisingly small group. I took the opportunity to thank him for letting my band play at his fest. He asked me which band I was with and when I told him, he gave me a near-painful bear hug and thanked me. That was frakking awesome.

Now I have rockstar moments and fan boy moments; mostly the latter. I have NEVER had both at the same time. I was asked if we would be interested in playing a song with the Austin School of Rock. Of course! If you are unaware, the Austin School of Rock is where young kids go to learn how to be bad asses. Bad asses on keys, drums, vocals…. whatever. And bad asses these cats were. They opted to play one of our tunes, Dos Cuerpos. I had not rehearsed with them at all save for an unplugged run through before the performance. I was way more nervous about this than about our Sunday show. Tim and I were called out. I shouted at the crowd and they shouted back. Grayson clicked off and Connor and Bryan went full steam ahead. You have no idea. Check out the video. Watch it and know that when you are watching it, you are living through my very favorite moment of the weekend. You are also witnessing hope for the future of metal.