Alehorn Of Power Fest - Greg Spalding

Alehorn Of Power Fest - Greg Spalding

There are quite a few festivals happening during summertime, so one should be careful with his choices because you don’t want to support the ones that are only after your money. ‘Alehorn Of Power’ just happens to be a festival that is run by people who love music, so it definitely deserves our support and hopefully you will agree with METAL KAOZ. In order to learn more about this year’s edition, we submitted the following questions to Greg Spalding who has been running things all these years. Check what he said and then get your tickets!

Alehorn Of Power - Greg Spalding

Hello Greg and welcome to METAL KAOZ! So everything is ready for the 8th installment of ‘Alehorn Of Power Festival’? I mean, do you have any last-minute stress?
Hi Dimitris. Yes, I’m about as ready as I can be. It’s always stressful, but you have to expect that. Nothing comes easy in Rock. It’s a long way to the top...

What are the usual difficulties you face while preparing the festival? I mean, this is the eighth time you are doing things, so one would expect this to have been like a well-known recipe.
I think the biggest thing is getting the bands to commit to playing and to make sure there’s enough money to pay them what they are worth. That is always a challenge. It seems it would get easier over 8 years, but money is always the number one hassle.

Do you organize ‘Alehorn Of Power Festival’ separately for each or do you also think of the next year? I mean, do you have any bands that have agreed for next years?
At this point I take it one year at a time. It would be foolish to try and line up bands for future ‘Alehorn’ installments as there are too many variables to deal with. It’s hard enough to deal with each one. Getting too far ahead of myself is just more stress that doesn’t need to be there.

What is the driving force to set up a festival? Because I am sure one cannot make a living out of this, right?
For me it’s always about the bands and while making money at this would be nice, it’s not a realistic goal. After spending 15 years in a touring Rock band, you realize how difficult it really is out there. The force behind ‘Alehorn’ is to give those bands that are worth it a chance to play for a crowd and make a little cash while they are at it.

What have you learned after running ‘Alehorn Of Power Festival’ for eight years?
It’s always harder, involves more cash, and the rewards come in smaller doses. You have to really like doing it.

As a follow-up to the previous question, what is new or maybe better in this year’s festival as compared to the previous one?
I wouldn’t say anything is new or better, but rather ‘Alehorn’ has grown to be a consistent festival of quality year in and year out that the fans can count on.

Do you think that ‘Alehorn Of Power Festival’ will grow that much so you will have to move it to a bigger venue?
Possibly, but that’s not a big goal of mine. There have been critics in the past of wondering why ‘Alehorn’ was or wasn’t held at such and such venue, but I am always comfortable holding it in a place that fans can still afford and feel comfortable. A bigger venue means bigger everything and that’s not always the right move. It’s always better to look at the fans enjoying themselves in a smaller environment rather than a bigger venue where it looks like no one is there. ‘Alehorn’ isn’t something that can be sustainable on a large level in my opinion. I think you lose the connection between the bands and the fans. Quality and not quantity always has to be at the forefront.

You have attended festivals and also you have participated in others with BIBLE OF THE DEVIL so you have experienced via all the possible angles; what goals have you set for ‘Alehorn Of Power Festival’?
The only real goal is to keep doing it if it feels right. Back in 2010, ‘Alehorn’ didn’t happen because it didn’t come together at a level I thought the fans would enjoy. I think the fans would see right through it if something was just thrown together last minute.

BIBLE OF THE DEVIL was the last-time addition to the ‘Days Of The Doomed IV’ fest; how was this experience? By the way, your set was great!
We actually got asked by Mercyful Mike back in 2012 to do ‘DOTD’ and we were unable to do it, so getting asked again to do it this year was great. Definitely it was a great show and a very supportive crowd.

Is there any band that you would give an arm and a leg to have on ‘Alehorn Of Power Festival’?
There’s always a wish list, but I’d say CIRITH UNGOL and RUNNING WILD are high on that list.

What is the Metal scene like in Chicago? I mean, if such a lineup would happen in Europe, the sales would have been twice as much. Do you think the US market has lost its interest for old school Metal?
Chicago’s Metal scene is diverse enough that you can pretty much find any style of Metal you want. However, there’s always this illusion that Europe is the holy grail of Metal festivals and that the US ones aren’t as good. Sometimes the measurement of something good isn’t always related to how many people are in attendance. Some of the greatest shows I’ve ever witnessed involved 25 people or less. I wouldn’t say the US market has lost interest at all as it always seems to be growing and you just have to look for it. The fact that ‘Alehorn’ has done ages 17+ the last two years shows that there is a younger crowd getting into it and that is great. I think you have to approach it from the angle of keeping the festival functioning at a high level. If not as many people come as they would in Europe so be it - that’s something I can’t think about.

What about the economic side of playing in a band and running a festival? Can you get something more than just a heartburn from all the related stress?
It can be trying, but this is nothing new to me or for the rest of BOTD. If you want to do something good, you will continue to eat shit. Luckily, we’ve had strong support from a select few folks with the organizational aspects of ‘Alehorn’ that have eased the stress at times. A big shout out to BOTD and all others involved before I forget.

How difficult is to get a European band in the festival? I am sure the travelling expenses can be a deal breaker.
I wouldn’t say it’s difficult and I’m open to all bands around the globe, it just really hasn’t made sense yet. American bands can be just as difficult to deal with in regards to expenses, so that’s really not a reason why any European bands haven’t been on an ‘Alehorn’. If an opportunity presents itself that will work, it will happen.

What is the latest news from BIBLE OF THE DEVIL? When can we expect the next full-length? Are you currently working on new music?
Right now we are in the writing mode and having fun with that. No time table for a new full-length release, but we hope to get into the studio before the end of the year.

What are the band’s touring plans after ‘Alehorn Of Power Festival’?
No major plans as of yet, but you’ll see us at a select few shows in the remainder of 2014.

Thank you for your time Greg and METAL KAOZ already feels sorry for missing this year’s festival.
Thanks and have fun in Europe!