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Deathscape Trolls Maryland Deathfest, MDF Attendees Troll Back

May 27, 2014

Photo by Josh Sisk

Over the weekend, near the gates of Maryland Deathfest’s Edison Lot, a few scantily clad women stood, holding signs that read, “Maryland Deathscape, 25 Bands, No Cover, $3 Beers, All Ages, Open Til 2AM, Sonar,” presumably making a few MDF attendees do a double take. Yes you read it correctly. That’s Deathscape, not Deathfest.

Deathscape it seems, is a quickly cobbled together knock-off festival at Paparazzi (the former site of MDF back when it was Sonar), rebranded for the weekend as “Sonar,” and if not exactly competing with MDF, most certainly glomming onto its domination of downtown over the weekend.

MDF-goers in the know immediately took issue with Paparazzi calling itself “Sonar” for Deathscape. Last year, Paparazzi (who took over Sonar in February of 2013) became Sonar for the weekend in

cooperation with MDF because MDF and the old Sonar have a long and healthy relationship. But MDF and “Sonar” ended their relationship after last year’s fest.

Issues with “Sonar” were documented briefly in the MDF documentary, Welcome To Deathfest, directed by Tom Grahsler and Alicia Lozano, and included Paparazzi management (different than Sonar management as it was previously known) allegedly creating problems for MDF-approved vendors, and failing to provide green rooms and safes for performers after promising to do so.

“Believe it or not this fest is now on auto pilot,” wrote Paul Dorin, “the sole organizer of Deathscape” on Saturday. He was emailing from Germany where he currently is for his “real job,” which he described as “a tour manager for a solo music artist.” Dorin has worked with the current management of Paparazzi/”Sonar” since installing a sound system there last year. “The management of Sonar was upset that MDF took their fest to the place that they suggested to MDF to park cars,” Dorin explains and they asked him “to book a high budget competing fest.”

Dorin says that he “said no on 20 occasions” because “no agent in their right mind would burn their MDF bridge.” Instead, Dorin suggested something smaller, which he assumed might upset people but wouldn’t truly compete with MDF. The only profit derived from Deathscape would come from “beer sales” and “each band [was] guaranteed $100 regardless.” His goal for Deathscape was simple: “a lighthearted excuse to drink beer for people who can’t afford MDF, or were bored with the Edison lot, or needed a bathroom or some A/C.”

A status update on the Deathscape Facebook page on May 23rd declared Deathscape Dorin’s “own personal waynestock,” a reference to the dream concert put on in ’90s comedy, Wayne’s World 2. Dorin also ended the message with, “Thanks for the free press!,” a nod to the dozens of jokes and insults that swarmed the Deathscape event page on Facebook.

Indeed, Deathscape seemed most relevant on Facebook. The event page was overloaded by people clowning the festival. You can take a look for yourself, though the general gist of the posts leaned towards easy jokes about Juggalos, Hot Topic, and other general cheap shots at white trash culture (or quips about foam parties and bottle service, stereotyping Paparazzi’s typical clientele). These Facebook jerks, some of whom cared about knocking Deathscape down a few pegs because they had a stake in MDF, some of whom were there just to pile-on with cheap, classist jokes because you know, the Internet, ultimately engendered some sympathy for Deathscape.

The kind of snobbery filling up the Facebook page made it apparent that the bands playing Deathscape were not the “right” kind of metal bands, which means there is a “right” kind of metal band and that’s, well, bullshit. Realistically, the bands that played Deathscape were never going to be taken seriously by the majority of MDF attendees and so, claims that they have now ostracized an arm of the metal scene by siding with Paparazzi are insincere. The scene wouldn’t have indulged most of these Deathscape bands anyway.

Deathscape’s existence is baffling, though. It was free, which means it was driven by spite rather than profit. And then there’s Dorin, booking bands he digs, vigorously defending his fest on Facebook, and ending up in another country the weekend of the fest and as a result, not even there to attend or lord over the thing. The only truly offensive element of Deathscape (unless you consider people liking different, less cool heavy music actually offensive) was that Paparazzi enabled a quasi-competing metal festival on the same weekend as MDF and called themselves “Sonar” to do it and that’s pretty inside baseball type shit to get pissed off about.

Perhaps, if animosity between MDF and Paparazzi wasn’t so fractious, and if Pap had any sincere interest in providing more metal to the city this past weekend, then Deathscape could’ve been seen as a free unofficial satellite show, instead of something trying to ride MDF’s success, “mockbuster”-style.

As to whether there will be a Deathscape next year? “If I get a budget, I’d love to,” Dorin writes. Let’s hope he’s in the country for the second installment of his supposed dream fest, if it happens. As for the Facebook peanut gallery, well they’ve got a whole year to come up with some better Juggalo jokes. Meanwhile, Maryland Deathfest was by all accounts, a resounding success.

  • Future The Sun Employee

    I’m sorry our jokes aren’t up to the high standard of the city paper. Maybe if The Sun could buy us out, we’d have much better material….

  • DS a fest in name only

    While the author is entitled to his point of view re: the Facebook peanut gallery, he shouldn’t devalue their valid point of view just because many have pointed out the Juggalo-ness of many of the bands who chose to play the psuedo-fest at Sonarazzi. The Metal scene, by rule and history, has always been a haven for the misfits and outcasts to find solace and a welcoming atmosphere. I’d humbly suggest that if a majority of the self-identified ‘metal’ bands who participated in DeathScape actually understood anything about the scene they profess to be a part of, they would have recognized the ruse that DS was and would have refused to take part in that debacle. Instead, they want to re-live their Noise In the Basement dreams in a different venue while making a mockery of themselves by participating in this trumped up ‘fest’ at a venue which is no friend to ANY form of Metal anymore. While snobbery may be found in any scene, I don’t think that label is fair to hang on the defenders of MDF. Indeed, when looking at the roster of bands year to year, every form if Metal in all its shades and offshoots are represented, including many bands from MD/DC/VA. So, there isn’t a so-called ‘right or wrong kind of metal’. Quite frankly, many of these NITB ‘metal’ bands never take part in the world-wide Metal scene at large, instead being content to exist on their own islands of relative anonymity except for their local family and friends who support them. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I’d maintain that if you want to be included, then utilize the extensive networks that have been created over the previous decades in order to get your music to the masses: trade cds, sign with overseas labels, trade shows with out of town bands, book tours, utilize the internet to communicate with people and bands far and wide, etc. Every MDF band has and will continue to do these things to bring their music to the masses. Unfortunately, it would appear that some of the DS bands will not learn these examples from their MDF brethren and will continue on their path to being local heroes. Sorry to paint all the DS bands with a broad brush, but, as we know, life is unfair and we are all judged by the company we keep. Kudos to the MDF organizers for, against the odds and all haters, continuing to build the fest from meager beginnings into the world reknown festival that it has become. And to DeathScape? Well, there will always be bands who ‘don’t get it’ to fill the ranks of the pretender entries into the ‘fest’ world. Cheers!

  • journalismlol

    the headline should read “baltimore sun asks city paper “why did we buy you so you could write an in-depth report on a funny facebook account populated by 30 20-somethings when there are real issues going on in baltimore?” city responds with “*inaudible muttering to be heard from inside of it’s own ass*”" details in the “who cares” section

  • Kyle Byington

    Shame on people for questioning the legitimacy of Deathscape! In no way was this a blatant attempt to capitalize on the success of a D.I.Y. metal festival that just so happened
    to once take place at the time in the same location for the past 7 years! You can’t get mad at that coincidence! Also, why would any band pass up a $100 guarantee to play this legitimate metal festival, and why would that make them not the “right” kind of metal? Who would ever question their integrity as artists? The bands at Deathfest get guarantees, too! Kudos for using the venue’s former name and getting some scantily-clad women to advertise for it, because that just drove home its legitimacy as a metal festival!

    Oh wait, the Internet.

  • Humor is the elixir

    Your sarcasm is very welcome in these trying times. Bravo good sir!

  • Signature Riff

    in the immortal words of Dave Mustaine, “just not your kind”

  • Mr. D

    Every picture I saw the whole club was empty. Tell your buddy he needs to up his game when he gets back from Germany

  • Jason T. Corpse

    A perfect response and couldn’t agree more.

    I passed by the old “Sonar” at various times on my way to Ram’s Head and back again to Edison (as I’m sure most, if not all of us did) and not once was I curious as to what was happening in the old venue.

    And in addition to what you said, most everyone paid for MDF tickets well in advance. Those of us traveling to Baltimore from other states or countries have no interest in wasting valuable time to see whatever yokels were playing at DS. When I’m already juggling between wanting to see War Master, Unleashed, or Noothgrush which I paid several hundred dollars to see, a local free show isn’t even worth my time.

  • Ass Dan

    When did Armond White start writing for CP?

  • huggy bear of facebook

    Hey city paper! My friend just posted a humorous quip about how he didn’t enjoy the new Godzilla, would you like a link to it so that you can write a “news” article about it?

  • DSM

    I’m sure I speak for most of us when I say,,, thank you for calling us 20-somethings!

  • journalismlol

    i figured 20′s-50′s but for the sake of a short response just kept it at 20 somethings. either way it’s total shit journalism.

  • More Metal Than You Wimps

    ” I’d humbly suggest that if a majority of the self-identified ‘metal’ bands who participated in DeathScape actually understood anything about the scene they profess to be a part of, they would have recognized the ruse that DS was and would have refused to take part in that debacle. Instead, they want to re-live their Noise In the Basement dreams in a different venue while making a mockery of themselves by participating in this trumped up ‘fest’ at a venue which is no friend to ANY form of Metal anymore. ”

    “Quite frankly, many of these NITB ‘metal’ bands never take part in the world-wide Metal scene at large, instead being content to exist on their own islands of relative anonymity except for their local family and friends who support them.”

    So while speaking out against an article decrying snobbery you clearly demonstrate yourself to be a delusional snob, not only judging people based upon some imaginary bullshit standard, but imagining you have any idea what they are all about. I’d humbly suggest you are a fucking idiot. You are not a friend to metal, you fucking loser poser.

  • Michael Lunz

    That’s funny

  • Quit frontin poser bitch.

    Nickleback ain’t metal, fuck face.

  • Scott Ambrose

    YOU STUPID WHORES! this is the wrong story! what about Ray Crouse? what about:

  • julianna

    Citypaper, you are a scene of your own. you are a once socially knitted scene built out of the baltimore music scene, but now that you have been hacked up and injected by other employees by the Sun, you are something different. And it shows in this article. 5 years ago you’d have people whod be able to inform you about how paparazzi failed terribly in other ways than just providing for green rooms for bands but also how they extorted money and assalted people at deathfest. They nearly ruined deathfest for people. This whole “deathscape” bullshit IS out of spite. Theyre mad they cant make money off of the scene anymore and thats how everyone who gave that business money the last few deathfests reads it. They think they can take two skimpy dressed girls with blue hair and cheap beers that thats what sells a deathfest crowd – its not! Yes, we’re picky, we spend hundreds of dollars to see virtuosos. And if you’re really trying to say that us making humorous jokes on their benefit isnt fair…. well then you’re definitely not the citypaper I know. Come on…. get the good story…. the right story! Dont just piece a bunch of bullshit together that you know nothing about!

  • More Metal Than You Wimps

    Never mention that band in the presence of decent human beings like myself. LEAVE THE HALL, POSER!!!!

  • The Plain Truth

    Ray Crouse? Who cares about that dog murdering racist or anything he does with his worthless life?

  • Scott Ambrose

    do elaborate

  • Pingback: Maryland Deathfest 2014 is a wrap (our highlights, Taake, Bolzer, Dark Angel, the Crowbar kick incident & more) | Seventh Dimension

  • Leah Bell

    Glad your name isn’t on here ’cause I’d happily sic Ray’s very-much-alive dog on your pathetic ass for him. Talk all the shit you want behind the safety of your computer screen, you fucking coward. How ’bout you come here and do something about it instead ’cause I have a few more choice words I’d like express to you.

  • The Plain Truth

    I’m sure Ray’s very-much-alive current dog will probably end up just as dead as the one he had put down a few years ago, solely because it was an inconvenience for him. Call me a coward all you like, I’ll still never be a racist dog murderer. How ’bout you stop defending shitbags and examine your bad choices in selecting friends.

  • orangeoctober

    I’m not sure how much of a fuck I give about this since I’m not really a fan of the music or anything. But I do know Deathfest has been around for a while, and I can guess that people are pissed off because Paparazzi hosted the event last year and basically fucked it all up for people, now this year since they aren’t hosting it anymore, they’re having another concert basically out of spite. I guess since apparently no one went, we won’t have to read this article again next year.