hYear after year, North DakotaDecembers are notorious for three occurrences: mountains of snow drifting up against your door, rendering you a captive within your own home, thick layers of ice caked on your windshield, impeding your vision of the all-ready treacherous and icy roadways, and the joyful jingling of Santa’s sleigh bells, cou- pled with the booming beats and breakdownsassociated with the ever-popular genre of hardcore music. While the snow, cold, andice was a bit of a letdown in 2011 (if youcould call the absence of snow a letdown),the promise of hardcore music ringing loudthroughout North Dakota/Minnesota wasonce again successful. The kids want hard-core and, boy, did Santa deliver!Of all the region’s local bands, thegenre of hardcore is best showcased by TheConsumption. Started in 2006, this nativeGrand Forks band self-describes itself as pop-metalcore, relying similarly on catchyvocal melodies, breakneck guitar solos, andheavy breakdowns. Throw in some scream-ing and you have the recipe for The Con-sumption’s music, more delicious to the earsthan a cup of hot cocoa. It’s no great wonder why this band decides to tour around theUpper Midwest every December. Though, if you ask me, they are brave fellows for choos-ing to tour in the dead of December—thedead of winter. Luckily for them, this winter has been kind of dead itself (knock onwood). Even if it wasn’t, they would have been fine, considering they tour in a retiredambulance. I was able to interview the bandabout their most recent December tour withanother hardcore band The Sky Apart.
A5: Tell us about how this tourwas arranged.
TC: The tour, eloquently dubbed the“Two Bands One Cup” tour, was originallysketched out to include just The Consump-tion and The Living, I Am. Unfortunately,Living is not together anymore and these tour plans fell through. However, we still wantedto tour with another band. We had played afew shows with The Sky Apart, a greatseven-piece band from Fargo. So we had our people contact their people (i.e., we con-tacted them), and we set up this awesometour.
A5: What’s the big deal aboutgoing on tour anyways?
TC: Well, there are four main rea-sons. #1- For the Exposure. As a band, weare able to go to a lot of places in a shortamount of time. We get to put our name outthere and promote it. #2- For the Experience.We get the chance to appreciate playing ondifferent stages in front of different crowds.Plus, we learn to appreciate traveling/livingin crappy vans. #3- Tour is an Eye-Opener.You learn a lot about yourself and others andthe dynamics of getting-along. #4- It’s Super Duper Fun! Simple as that.
A5: Tell us a bit about the guysfrom The Sky Apart.
TC: They are an awesome group of guys. We really admire them for their moti-vation to work hard and put on a good show.Plus, you have to admire them for being aseven-piece. They have phenomenal bal-ance. The two vocalists are equally goodfrontmen. We loved getting to know themand hang out with them. Along with beingsuper-cool, they are an all-around greatgroup of guys.
A5: When and where did TheConsumption/The Sky Apart tour?
TC: Officially, we toured December 19th-22nd. However, The Consumptiontraveled down to Fargo on the 17th in order to meet and to get to know the members of Sky. Sky had just finished opening at a showat The Venue, which also included Bis-marck’s If I Ran The Zoo, Grand Forks’Tribes, Fargo’s These Hearts, and Fargo’sThe Suit. Starting on the 19th, we played inFargo; Little Falls, MN; at Station 4 in St.Paul, MN; and Brainerd, MN, playing oneshow per day.A5:What’s a typicalday on tour like?TC: Wewake up in themorning (or latemorning for someof the sleepy-heads). We hold adouble band meet-ing to coordinateeveryone and ten-tatively plan the day out. Then we pack upand hit the road. Most of the daylight isspent traveling to the next venue. Upon ar-riving at our destination, we unload, play ashow, eat a late supper, and go to sleep. Weusually crash at friends’ houses in or aroundthe towns we play, in order to save money.
A5: Do you care to share any in-teresting highlights or tour stories?
TC: In Brainerd, we played a showat Zach Barthel’s Tattoos and Piercings. Ear-lier that day, a bunch of us had gotten tattoos.Originally, just a few of the band membersdecided they would get tattoos, but the idea just took off, like a prairie fire, and the other band members jumped on-board the tattoo bandwagon. Funnily enough, the tattooinginadvertently turned into a bonding experi-ence. There’s nothing like extreme pain to bring band members together.
A5: What’s next for The Con-sumption?
TC: We’ve been working on notone, not two, but THREE new songs. Hope-fully, we’ll be putting those out sometime inJanuary. In February, we’ll have a fullacoustic set list. We also have tentative plansfor another tour with The Sky Apart inMarch. In the summer, hopefully, we’ll beworking hard, playing shows, and eating pizza, not necessarily in that order. This re-ally doesn’t sound like we are busy enough,so maybe we’ll plan to record some demos(such as our shiny brand new cover of ET)and put it up on Facebook. So, like us onFacebook, check us out, and stay up-to-date by following our band members on twitter.
A5: Do you have any final com-ments?
TC: Thanks to all our fans. It’s be-cause of you guys who buy our merch, listento our music, and come to our shows that TheConsumption is able to do all this. So thanksagain! And remember to bro it up, bro itdown, and bro it all around!The Consumption is Will Wood(Drums), Dan O’Neill (Guitar/Vocals), TomByzewski (Guitar/Vocals), Mike Griggs(Bass/Vocals), and Ben Paulat (Vocals). Youcan find them, follow them, and contact themon Facebook at www.facebook.com/thecon-sumption. Don’t forget to follow them ontwitter. Details soon to be posted on their Facebook page.
M u s i c
Aly GruchalaContributing Writer
ON TOUR WITH