BANFF – A heavy metal show in Banff is promoting Indigenous culture within the intense and powerful music scene.
Three punk/rock/metal bands, including Stoney Nakoda's Soggy Moccasins, will blast the speakers at the Elk and Oarsman in Banff on Sunday (June 26). The show starts at 10 p.m. and cover is $10 at the door.
"We're looking forward to playing, especially in Banff," said Soggy Moccasins Gabriel "Muk" Young. "It's in our traditional territory, as well, for our people, so it's like a homecoming that's long overdue."
The three-piece band consists of Young (vocals, bass), Alden Twoyoungmen (vocals, guitar), and Elroy Labelle (drums). Young said the roots of their music are tied closely to the Stoney Nakoda people.
"Some people call us thrash, some people call us metal, but we just play what we like to hear and that's just Indigenous metal," he said. "Our focus is the music."
Along with the Stoney Nakoda musicians, the two other acts performing are Indigenous bands. The co-headliners are Siksika Nation's Iron Tusk, a "groovy heavy metal band", and Calgary's Before I Fall, a band that tries to break down boundaries with its music.
"We've played with those bands before, so it's like a brotherhood of musicians," Young said.
Beauty in Chaos Productions' Kasey Suchowersky, who's co-promoting the show with Pitworthy Promotions, said he wanted to bring back the punk and metal scene to the Bow Valley. And besides getting ready to mosh, Suchowersky hopes to bring awareness to an aspect that's left out.
"I can't speak for the bands personally, but the reason why I wanted to do this show as an all Indigenous show was to bring recognition to the Indigenous culture within the metal scene," he said. "I feel like a lot of people don't realize there are quite the amount of Indigenous people in the punk and metal scene. it's quite overlooked."
After the dark period of COVID-19, Suchowersky is glad to be promoting music again, he said.
"Metalheads and punks have been outcast from the norm since the culture's inception, and outcasts tend to find community with other outcasts. That's a reason why I don't believe racism has any place in the culture or scene. It should be about acceptance for all of us who struggle to fit in and find our place in society. For some of us, this music is it."