I say "metal," you say "philanthropy!" Right?
Well, maybe you don't, but Matt Day sure does, so this weekend the founder of Spread the Metal Records presents the second annual Spread the Metal Festival, with all proceeds raised by the two day event going to national and international charities. While a heavy metal label might not seem like a natural partner for, say, Doctors Without Borders or the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Halifax-based company is a passion project for Day, and marrying his two loves makes perfect sense to him. A lifelong music fan, Day founded the label out of a desire to be involved in the heavy metal music industry, despite possessing, he admits, "no musical talent whatsoever." "My belief is that businesses and individuals can and should use what they have, in order to make the world a better place in which to live. To be successful, you need to add value to the world."
Local favourites Hitman, Cottus and Black Moor join Toronto's Skull Fist and death metal stalwarts Deicide as part of a 20-band lineup over two days at the Marquee Ballroom. While a number of bands (Deathpoint, Sanktuary) are represented by Spread the Metal Records, Day wanted to move away from the label-showcase model and feature more locals. The desire to showcase the best of metal and provide fans with an unforgettable experience is what drives Day. After advertising last year, Mettalworx Music Group founder Bill Arsenault jumped at the chance to get involved again---in addition to interviewing bands, Arsenault's band Doom Machine will be on the bill.
Building on the success of last year's inaugural event, this year's festival will feature significantly less expensive ticket prices, and will kick off what Day hopes will be a growing number of Spread the Metal events. The Halifax festival is the first of two planned in the next month; on September 7 and 8, Toronto's Opera House will host another Spread the Metal, featuring a few bands also performing this weekend, along with a host of other acts. Profits from the Halifax show will be going to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and profits from the Toronto show will be going to Kiva Microfunds, an organization dedicated to facilitating microloans.
Day's philosophy of philanthropy is one shared by many of the acts performing at the festival which, given how difficult it can be to eke out a living in the music industry, is an impressive and heartening fact. For many of the bands involved this year, the desire to be part of such a heavy-hitter packed line-up of bands they love is payment enough, but the label's dedication to charitable causes serves as even more of a motivator. "The amount of work and dedication that goes into helping out a good cause is second to none," says Sanktuary's Cole Hume. "It's awesome to see how much effort people can put into something without expecting something in return." Though dedicated to creating a better world through the union of charity and music himself, Day is less concerned with the motivations of the bands. "I think all of them know that they're part of something good, but perhaps the cause doesn't touch them personally. Either way, they all have a passion for music, and live to provide the fans with what they want. There's something to be said for that as well."
Spread the Metal Festival w/Deicide, Black Moor, Sanktuary, Augury, Erimha, Skull Fist and more
Saturday, August 24 at 4pm and Sunday, August 25 at 12pm
Marquee Ballroom, 2037 Gottingen Street
festival pass $45, day pass $30
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