Glasss Records' Washout Fest Showcases Noisy DIY Bands

Gold Trash performing live.EXPAND
Gold Trash performing live.
Glasss Records
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Since Glasss Records formed in 2017, the label has worked with some of Denver's loudest, most innovative bands, from Riot Grrrl-inspired no-wave act Princess Dewclaw and eclectic pop outfit E V P to synthy, avant-garde duo Gold Trash and Pearls and Perils.

’s efforts to break genre barriers have culminated in Washout Fest, a one-day showcase on August 11 at Globe Hall – where the DIY scene will converge at the above-ground venue owned by AEG talent buyer Scott Campbell, a longstanding champion of independent music.  

The event will spotlight the label's musicians alongside other local and national bands. Acts on the bill include the fiery, metal-driven Muscle Beach, Princess Dewclaw, garage-punk band Sliver, and a number of national groups, including Kansas-based psychedelic band King Slug, Arizona’s twisted, danceable Wayward Sun, and electro-rock project Monty O’Blivion. All of the acts have DIY sensibilities and incorporate elements of noise music.

“On the bill, there are four or five Glasss artists, but the rest are artists we don’t work with,” says Vahco Before Horses, who founded Glasss Records with his partner, Amanda Gostomski, who is also his bandmate in Gold Trash. “We’ll work with anybody who works their ass off.

“The history of Denver seems to be rooted in cliques and scenes," Before Horses continues. "We are kind of a clique and we’re kind of a scene, but the things that we do all together, we want to affect everyone in Denver — not just us."

Before Horses is obsessed with using with using the label and event to transform underground culture. “We’re constantly trying to get DIY to change,” he says. “In my opinion, DIY should never be permanent; it should be six months, you tell a story about it, and then the next one pops up.”

That doesn't mean the scene should be pushed to the corners of the city. His goal is to raise the bar for underground bands, giving them the chance to perform in bigger venues with larger audiences and better sound.

Before Horses and Gostomski’s aim to find harmony in Denver’s constantly growing music scene is rooted in what he calls “hippie sensibilities” that he adopted while living in the Bay Area. His goal is to break down genre barriers and honor each scene for what it contributes to the larger community.

Vahco Before Horses and Amanda Gostomski, founders of Glasss Records.EXPAND
Vahco Before Horses and Amanda Gostomski, founders of Glasss Records.
Glasss Records

“You have to do outreach to the community that’s supporting you,” Gostomski said. “I’m trying to destroy these hearsays that the underground doesn’t want any part of the new Denver, or that new Denver doesn’t want any part of the underground. There’re new venues popping up all over, and they like our music, and there are underground musicians who want to play bigger venues in front of a new audience. There’s a gap we’re trying to bridge."

Before Horses, who has worked in the music industry for many years, in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York City, has settled in Denver and wants to bring national attention to this state.

“I think Colorado is relatively new when you consider the industry,” Before Horses says. “It’s always had music, but it’s about to put itself on the map. Amanda and I started Gold Trash recently. ... I think Denver is definitely painting a picture which the music world is finally catching on to.”

Before Horses and Gostomski note that Denver's underground has changed out of economic necessity.

“We have this romantic idea of scenes, whether it’s San Francisco and the hip-hop and rave scene from the late ’80s, early ’90s, or Crash Worship from the ’90s and the industrial movement, or New York’s no-wave movement in the Lower East Side in the ’80s,” Gostomski said. “Those times are over. We don’t live in this place where we can go find that warehouse, or there’s a free show with all these musicians who’re living together because rent is cheap. Now we have to find other ways to do it.”

Washout Fest, 2 p.m. August 11, Globe Hall, 4483 Logan Street, $15 to $20.

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