By Hollie Gibbs
Leave them to their gloom, leave to rot. Abandon to their grief and suffering. Lyrics of Soulless frontman Jim Lippucci belie his and his cohorts’ magnanimous metal cores, and once again a group of music fans prove that while their heads may be metal, their hearts are far tenderer.
WJCU 88.7 FM and Auburn Records present the 4th annual Iron Ingo Cleveland Metal Holiday Food Drive on Sat 12/8 at the Beachland Ballroom. Thrashers and freaks will rage into the morning hours as they raise pints and money for local charities. This year the Cleveland Foodbank, Friends of the Cleveland Kennel and Lake Humane Society will benefit along with fans.
The group has set a goal to top last year’s donation totals. “We collected 2,159 lbs. of food and $872.76 in cash for the Cleveland Foodbank and Friends of the Cleveland Kennel last year,” event organizer Bill Peters said. “We needed two vans to transport the food donations to the Foodbank. Each year our donation totals keep increasing significantly.”
This isn’t just a community food drive where you drop off your donation and walk away with nothing more than the feeling of satisfaction derived from selflessly helping strangers, though; this is a metal community food drive that gives its donors 7 hours of skull crushing music for their contributions (not to mention some sexy burlesque to keep things from cooling down between sets).
“It is with great honor that we once again have the opportunity to band together with our Cleveland metal community and give a little something back to our beloved rust belt,” Jim of Soulless said of the event. “In these dark days it is most important to keep in mind the virtues of compassion, generosity and understanding for both our fellow man and for all of our little furry 4-footed friends out there who may not yet know the touch of human kindness or a family’s love. Please join us and give what you are able as we celebrate our incredible community and do what we can to share the joy and camaraderie of this unique and tight knit fellowship.”
And if it weren’t enough that 8 bands will join progressive, melodic, hardcore, power, punk, death, and thrash metal with burlesque in charitable debauchery, this show also marks the release of Soulless’s 4th full-length disc, In Death’s Grip. The melodic death metal band is a fan favorite who has played the previous food drives and once again promises to deliver a set that disembowels its listeners, then defiantly shakes their bloody entrails at them in raised clenched fists.
“In Death’s Grip has been in the works for some time now, and we are beyond excited to finally be able to share our noise with the metal world,” Jim said. “The fact that it is on Auburn Records makes it that much more fulfilling. We’ve grown up with the label and its bands, along with (Auburn label owner) Bill Peters’ long running ‘Metal on Metal’ radio show, so it seems somewhat fitting we would end up here.”
The annual food drive show is named for Iron Ingo Stührenberg, a writer for the webzine Metal Rules, who had traveled to Cleveland from his home in Wiesmoor, Germany, at his own expense, to host the first two food drives. He describes the event as great live music, lots of nice people, and positive power at Christmas time.
“It’s unbelievable this is already the 4th food drive festival we’re doing,” he said. “I’m very happy and proud to be involved in that good cause to help out people in need but also our friends on 4 paws during the upcoming cold winter days. Give a little bit to help a lot.”
Bill has organized numerous other benefits and fundraisers through the years as well, turning to the community he’s help build with his Metal on Metal radio show.
“The heavy metal community is second-to-none when it comes to supporting good causes,” he said. “Their outpouring of support never ceases to amaze me.”
It’s not just the fans who give generously, the bands, photographer, production crew, sponsors like The Exchange, The Beachland venue, and others have all donated their time and talents to the head-banging event.
“We have an incredible number of bands who volunteer to play each year,” Bill said. “Unfortunately, it’s impossible to include everybody. I wish I could. I put the lineup together from a fan’s perspective on who they would like to see and hear from the list of bands available to perform. I am a fan myself. We are fortunate to have so many great original heavy metal bands in this area. Without the bands donating their time to perform, we would not be able to have our food drive.
“The lineup is absolutely killer this year,” he continued. “We have Soulless doing a special CD release show for their new album In Death’s Grip. Shok Paris guitarist Ken Erb will be playing with Breaker for the very first time ever. The two bands have a long history together. Legendary Black Death frontman Siki Spacek will debut his new band Iron Messiah with a set of Black Death classics.
Although it is unclear if Hostile Omish plans to donate the butter they churn on stage that night, Bill has put the rumors to rest that he will be joining them on vocals. “I could be persuaded to join the Hostile Omish butter churners onstage,” he said, “but don’t expect me to wear the Amish attire.”
The Beachland’s kitchen will be open early with a full menu available, so fans are encouraged to eat and drink well that night.
“We’ve had some record breaking bar nights at past year’s events as well,” Bill said. “The Beachland, along with our other Cleveland concert venues, are struggling to stay alive during these tough economic times. We need them around to keep live music alive in Cleveland. “
WJCU 88.7 FM and Auburn Records present the 4th annual Iron Ingo Cleveland Metal Holiday Food Drive on Sa1 12/8, at the Beachland Ballroom. Free All Ages Show with food or cash donations going to the Cleveland Foodbank, Friends of the Cleveland Kennel and Lake Humane Society. Doors: 6:00 p.m. Show: 6:30 p.m.
Line-Up: Julia Roberts Global Warning 6:30 – 7:05; Deadiron 7:15 – 7:50; At No End 8:00 – 8:35; Wretch 8:45 – 9:20; Iron Messiah 9:30 – 10:05; Breaker 10:15 – 11:00; Hostile Omish 11:15 – 12:00; Soulless (“In Death’s Grip” CD release show) 12:15 – 1:15; Plus special guests The Red Hot Heathens burlesque group will perform a PG act around 8 p.m. and an R rated act around midnight. https://www.facebook.com/events/131682550316115
Hollie Gibbs has a BS in journalism from Kent State University and studied photography at School of the Visual Arts in Manhattan. Her articles and photographs have appeared in numerous local and national publications. She can also be found playing guitar with various bands and building life-size monster props.