Despite the recent shutdown of Rhinoceropolis, Denver Noise Fest 2016, originally scheduled to happen at the DIY space, will go on at nearby Globe Hall. The festival showcasing the diverse noise scene locally, nationally and internationally is in its seventh year and goes for two days, December 21 and 22. Tonight's headliner is Berlin-based act Slow Slow Loris. Thursday night's is Tokyo, Japan's Youko Heidy.
Westword spoke with one of the event's main organizers, John Gross, one of the artists directly affected by the shutdown of Rhinoceropolis. He's also a godfather of Denver noise, with the long-running project Page 27, which will also be performing during the fest. Find information below on times, ticketing and the full lineup, with links to sample what you will hear. Also included are some highlights from Denver Noise Fests past.
Westword: Why did you move Denver Noise Fest to Globe Hall rather than another venue?
John Gross: We had a lot of different people working on that. We got offers at different places. Globe Hall was a natural fit because Randall Frazier has been a part of the experimental-music scene for years and I've worked with Jeff Cornelius, the owner, for years as well. I've worked doors there and performed shows at Globe Hall. They found out what happened with Rhinoceropolis and offered to help. They're a totally legit venue, with a good sound system and awesome people that work there and good food.
Why is it important to you to include women, trans and queer folk in the festival?
I think noise music and industrial culture in general has often been associated with straight white guys, and they're often angry bald dudes. So it's always been important to make it really diverse. There's plenty of noise that doesn't fit into that category, and I've been hoping to showcase that diversity. We've always done that, and we're doing that again this time.
Has noise flourished more recently, or do you feel it has tapered off in recent years?
I feel that it's received more mainstream attention than ever before. Today I was seeing something from Adult Swim [Records], a compilation [called NOISE, just released on December 20] that has an amazing lineup of anybody who's anybody in the top tier of global noise artists. They're not really known for releasing compilation records, and I've seen some of my friends complaining about it the way some people complain when something goes mainstream. But Adult Swim has showcased really experimental and far-out weird stuff with some of their programming, so it's not that far-fetched.
How do you think the change of venue will affect the attendance of the event?
It may be a little more expensive, and it is 21-and-up. But you'll recall when we started, so this is, in a lot of ways, the way we started [when the festival was held at the Old Curtis Street Bar].
You've been involved in making noise since 1994. What keeps you interested in it and making it?
The thing that's kept me interested in it this whole time is that we really have a wide amount of freedom of expression with noise. You're not tied down to doing the same thing anybody else is doing. Some of the most challenging work is uncategorizable. How do you describe Crank Sturgeon? He's a Dadaist? There's such a wide diversity of expression that get lumped under the banner of noise, so that if you know it, you know what it is. It's really hard to put it into words. A lot of people have tried, and as eloquent as they are, they fail to fully capture what it is.
You're still doing DNF two weeks after being evicted from Rhinoceropolis. Why maintain this continuity rather than cancel the event?
The noise community in general and specifically here in Denver. The out-of-town bands planned their tour around it. Also, I've worked hard to make Denver Noise Fest a destination event. I have a group of people that have been helping me, including John Rasmussen and Gabe Temeyosa.
Denver Noise Fest 2016, Thursday and Friday, December 21 and 22, 8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show, Globe Hall, 720-668-8833, $15 each night in advance, $20 each night of the show, 21+. To purchase advance tickets, please visit the Globe Hall ticketing site here.
Denver Noise Fest 2016 Lineup in Alphabetical Order
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