The Valley heavy metal band dreams of the Wacken | News, Sports, Jobs


Entertainment Editor Andy Gray

The scene of dreams is a step closer to the Wacken.

The area’s heavy metal band – Daniel Butch, lead vocals; Shaun McConnell, drums; Dion Pomponio and Darren Stalnecker, guitars; and Chris Marriotti, bass — won the Akron Regional in Wacken Metal Battle USA and will be able to compete May 7 at the Viper Room in Los Angeles.

“I was actually shocked” Butch said. “I was really convinced that we were good enough, but in a battle of groups it’s so subjective. You don’t know what they are looking for… I was shocked but I was delighted. My mind is still in race.

If Stage of Dreams wins in Los Angeles, it will represent the United States against artists from 29 other countries in the Metal Battle at Wacken Open Air, an August heavy metal festival in Wacken, Germany billed as the biggest outdoor metal festival in the world. . This year’s lineup includes Judas Priest, Slipknot, Rammstein’s Till Lindemann, Limp Bizkit, As I Lay Dying, Lacuna Coil, Danko Jones, Gwar, Death Angel, Tarja and more.

The Stage of Dreams were one of three groups from a January semi-final to advance to last weekend’s regional final, where they faced groups from Detroit, Pittsburgh and Columbus.

“I spoke to one of the judges afterwards,” Butch said. “He said our writing had a lot to do with it. Our songs kind of crossed a dynamic spectrum, they weren’t one-dimensional, and he really liked our performance. He said, ‘You were a rock star up there.’

Butch said they will be one of eight groups competing in Los Angeles, where they will only have a 20-minute set to convince the judges.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “We are booking flights, trying to find somewhere big enough to accommodate everyone who is going out. It just feels good to make some progress, a little vindication. There aren’t many opportunities for metal music.

The Stage of Dreams released the four-song EP “From the Shadow They Strike” in January and is working on a full album.

“We are still in the writing phase” Butch said. “A lot of it is written and we go over everything, adjusting each song and setting the recording schedule.”

If the band travels to Germany, it will certainly mean exposure to record labels, booking agents, managers and like-minded bands. Butch hopes the band can establish some of those relationships in Los Angeles as well.

The dream scene is now his main focus. Butch was the lead singer of the popular local cover band Haymaker, who played their last show in February.

“With the time I have left, because I’m not very young anymore, I have to focus on what I really want to do, and I couldn’t because half of my time was spent doing covers. “ he said. “If I want to do it, I have to do it now. I’m starting to build the production (for The Stage of Dreams live show) in my garage. Build platforms, paint all scenery. Everything takes time. »

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