Tuesday, February 10, 2015

ONE VOICE: DOMINIC AYALA


Dominic Ayala has been booking shows under the guise of Fool Proof since 2013 and played in bands like To A Close and Speak Out. He's currently playing drums for Cherem as they get ready for the Sonny Hancock Benefit Show on March 1, and has a lot more in store when that's finished.

He's been a staple with keeping Salt Lake supplied with consistent and great shows for the past little while and he's responsible for bringing some of the best new HC bands to town. We asked Dominic to tell us his background with another edition of One Voice.

How were you introduced to the Salt Lake Hardcore scene?

Before going to hardcore shows, I played in a thrash metal band and attended a lot of metal shows. Metallica/Slayer/Pantera were my go to bands that I listened to on the daily. Watching Headbanger's Ball religiously as a kid, I found out about bands like Hatebreed and Throwdown, more or less, introducing me to what hardcore was.

When I turned 15, a couple friends of mine who were already familiar with the SLCHC scene told me and another friend of mine about a show that was going on at a venue called Artopia, which was in the basement of what is now (or used to be?) The Shred Shed. The bands playing were Gloves Off, Reflect, Tamerlane, and Rhinoceros. Little did I know, attending this show would completely change my life.

I got there, and was instantly scared shitless. The majority of the kids there towered over me, were covered in tattoos, and looked mean as fuck. I didn't really know what to expect, being this was my first hc show. Gloves Off started, and kids immediately started going off. I didn't know Gloves Off was a cover band at the time, and I was having a hard time taking them seriously, as Blake was talking with that weird ass metal voice that he does. This show went on to be the craziest I had ever experienced. Seeing kids get hit, get up, laugh it off, and hug the dude that knocked em down was one of the coolest things I had ever seen. I was immediately hooked. I began attending shows regularly afterwards. And here we are today!

What are some of your greatest SLHC memories?

Seeing Starkweather in 2008 was badass. Reflect's last show was one of my favorites to date. I think I've been knocked out at every single Tamerlane show I've attended since day one, so that's cool. Being able to book shows with awesome bands from all over the country is something I will always hold close to me. Honestly, being able to participate in general is something I've always been thankful for. Having the opportunity to play shows at a young age with bands like Reflect and Dismantled gave me a feeling of importance when I was at one of the lowest points in my life. Seeing kids mosh and sing along to songs that I helped create is very well one of the best feelings I have yet to experience. Hardcore has given me memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and I'm sure there are plenty more good times to come.

Who are your favorite SLHC bands?

Maaaaaaan, there have been so many good bands to come out of Salt Lake. Most of my favorites were around before I was. Some include Lifeless, Triphammer, Climb, 78 Days, Up River, Cherem, Tamerlane, and Aftermath. Pretty much everything to come out of Salt Lake has been enjoyable to me. There are still awesome locals who are doing great things for our scene. Check out Chained Down, Despite Despair, Close Grip, DTA, Second Nature, and Blackbeard if you haven't already!

How has hardcore and the Salt Lake scene impacted your life?

At the age of 14/15, I didn't have many close friends. And the ones I did have didn't care about much more than getting fucked up. I was over the insincerity and I had no ambition to continue to hang around kids who I knew didn't care about me. After attending my first hardcore show, I was immediately interested in straight edge, and have been straight edge since. Without hardcore, I don't think I would have found a way out of the crowd where partying on a daily basis was the norm. Being exposed to hardcore and local bands like Cherem also opened me up to veganism. I've been vegan for 6 years now, and I don't think I would have ever been open to veganism without being introduced to hardcore. I currently have friends in my life that I consider closer to me than most of my family. Every single one of them, I have I met through our hardcore scene. I wouldn't be the person I am today without SLCHC. That's all there is to it.

What are your thoughts on the state of hardcore today and its future?

Overall, hardcore is awesome. And I feel like it'll always remain that way. Obviously, things aren't perfect, and they never have been. But there are a select few people who work hard, day after day, to try and make our hardcore scene thrive. I think people need to take a step back sometimes and realize why we're all in this. Hardcore, in my opinion, is supposed to be fun and a break away from the hardships we face on a daily basis.

I've noticed a lot of kids have a sense of entitlement in our scene, like they deserve more than the kid across from them. We're all in this together. Everyone should help promote shows and try to get new kids to come out. Everyone should be on the lookout for a new spot to throw a cool DIY show. The more you put in, the better our community will be. Keep coming to shows, keep bringing your friends, and continue to have a good time doing so. Support your scene, and it'll support you.

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