To Shred or Not to Shred

Hark, forsooth! What din from yonder tavern rings? Why, ’tis the Bard himself! And thine ears deceive thee not: This time, he bringeth the Metal and hath come to shred.

At long last, someone has finally combined the Olde English power of William Shakespeare with the modern English power of Iron Maiden into one awesome whole: Metal Shakespeare. Bandleader Jason Simms came up with the concept in college, when his Shakespeare class collided full force with his love of metal in bar and he sang some lines over a Maiden song in a jukebox. He met his guitarist when he heard him shredding through an open window – shades of Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene there – and the rest is history. Or historically based metal, anyway.

The band drops songs based on Shakespeare’s greatest hits, from a Hamlet piece titled “To Bleed or Not to Bleed” to a power ballad taken from Measure by Measure. “We select those which we find to be most metal in subject matter,” Simms says. “Our perhaps heaviest song is taken from Sonnet 66, one of Shakespeare’s most despairing sonnets. ’Tis but a list of qualities of the world he hates and that cause him to wish to die.”

Metal meets metre tonight at 10 p.m. at the Old Curtis Street Bar, 2100 Curtis Street; tickets are $5. And if you can’t make it tonight, the band will be appearing tomorrow at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder. For details, call 303-292-2083 or visit or
Tue., Aug. 4, 9 p.m., 2009

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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato