Denton’s heavy metal musicians come together for annual food drive on Saturday
Aggression, graphic lyrics, tremolo picking that ignites guitar strings: Death metal has been dominating the underground music scene since the late ’80s before bands like Cannibal Corpse brought it into the mainstream.
Like many other metalheads, local guitarist Jared Henry found solace in the death metal bands and metal scene he discovered as a teenager in the days of pirating music on sites like Limewire. He’d go on to start making music inspired by death metal pioneers such as Chuck Schuldiner from Death, Possessed, Venom and, yes, even Slayer.
“It is a genre that I love to make, and it is niche in what it does,” says Henry, who now teaches music to students at Guitar Center in Lewisville. “A lot of people compare it to classical music because it has tension and relief, rise and fall, and that is what metalheads are looking for.”
Through his angst years, Henry says he also became part of a positive community — despite the aggression in their music — and made many friends who remained so after high school. These friends in the North Texas metal scene have come together to help with a heavy metal food drive to raise canned donations for the Denton Community Food Center.
They’re hosting their third annual food drive at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in hopes of continuing to help the growing number of people in Denton facing food insecurity.
“I try to help the Denton music scene,” Henry says. “Myself, I have had to use the Denton Community Food Center.”
They call the heavy metal food drive the “Cannable Convention.” The first two food drives — Cannable Convention MK:I and MK:II, both of the MKs inspired by Marvel’s Iron Man — took place in 2018 and 2019 at the old house venue Fannin House. Henry says they managed to pull in more than 500 pounds of food donations.
Several bands gathered on stage to help collect nonperishable food for the local food center, including Kombat, Todopoderoso and Henry’s band, Lament Configuration.
After COVID delayed the follow-up food drive in 2020, Henry and the heavy metal crew decided to host it in-person again for the third installment, Cannable Convention MK:III, with a lineup straight from Death’s crypt: Revan at 7:30 p.m., Stone Wolf at 8:15 p.m., Asylum at 9 p.m., Lament Configuration at 9:45 p.m., Silver Tongue Devil at 10:30 p.m. and the Argonaut at 11:15 p.m.
MK:III has moved out of the old house venue and into Rubber Gloves for the Saturday night show. They will be hosting a brisket cookout at 6:30 p.m. with food served at 7 p.m. for a $10 donation at the barbecue booth. It’s four nonperishable items per person to enter the studio for a night of stage brutality with some of North Texas’ most notable acts.
All cash and food proceeds will benefit the Denton Community Food Center.
The local community’s response so far to the previous heavy metal food drives has been good, Henry says, and people enjoy the nostalgia of what he calls the “grade-school food drives.”
A friend who’s passionate about barbecue helped him to put together this year’s Texas delicacy offering, and Henry says another friend has persuaded the company he works for to match the cash donations they receive up to $2,000.
Henry hopes to host another heavy metal food drive in the spring and make the event a biannual one. He reiterates that the first couple of years he lived in Denton, he had fallen on hard times and, like many people nowadays, began seeking assistance and came across the Denton Community Food Center.
He knows multiple people who still use the food bank and claims it is one of the best things the Denton community has put together for residents in need.
“The town pulls for each other,” Henry says. “I’ve lived in a lot of towns, and Denton’s got something about taking care of itself.”
CHRISTIAN McPHATE can be reached at 940-220-4299 and via Twitter at @writerontheedge.