Gathering of the Sick
A safe place for the kids to head-bang--six years strong and still kicking
The theory that metal is the root of all evil will be put to the test this week as 30 bands (some of which make Cannibal Corpse look like Kelly Clarkson) converge at the Compound for the sixth annual Gathering of the Sick.
GTS organizer and guitarist for Albuquerque death metal band Victimas, Joe Hernandez says his event has, is and always will be for the kids.
“This show has always been a place where kids can feel safe and head-bang or whatever and have a good time for a couple days,” Hernandez says. “A lot of [these] bands are bands that kids have come in and asked about at my record store--so this show is definitely for them.”
The bands, which range in genre from death metal to thrash to hardcore, come from all over the United States and Canada. “I figured we’d change it up a little this year and have more national acts,” Hernandez explains. “A lot of the local metal bands play the Compound all the time anyway, so for this fest, I figured we’d do something a little different.
Hernandez’ own, locally based DWS Records is still going strong after four years and is also sponsoring the all-ages, alcohol- and drug-free show. The Victimas-er, who is just wrapping up his band’s national tour, says he looks forward to the Gathering of the Sick getting bigger and better—but not more expensive. “We’ve been getting pre-sale ticket orders from California, Arizona and Texas and a lot of the bands that are coming have been in close contact with each other for a long time, so I look forward to seeing our scene grow,” Hernandez says. “It will always be affordable though, no matter how big it gets.”
As for the Gathering of the Sick dying anytime soon, Hernandez definitely doesn’t see that happening. “Hopefully, this thing can go on forever.”