The Seventh Circle Music Collective has hosted hundreds of shows since its inception at the end of September 2012. Over the past three years, it has provided a much-needed service for the local music community: It's a place where like-minded teenagers can meet and fledgling bands that aren't old enough to play clubs without jumping through hoops can perform and develop, under the encouraging eyes of both peers and more experienced bands. Go to the collective's home at 2935 West Seventh Avenue any night when there's a show, and chances are you'll see a worthwhile band that you never knew about. Now an Indiegogo campaign has been started to fund a two-volume compilation that will document the music that has made Seventh Circle a locus of Denver's underground.
Hollis Pierman hadn't played in the kinds of bands that perform at Seventh Circle until late November 2014. Pierman had discovered the bass in 2013 and, inspired by Geddy Lee of Rush and Les Claypool of Primus, he learned to play and performed with the Denver edition of School of Rock. The budding musician had gone to school with Nick Haberthier of Solarfall, where both were students in digital audio classes at Warren Tech North; Haberthier soon invited Pierman to join his band.
From the moment he saw the diverse community and amount of talent represented by the bands that played at Seventh Circle, Pierman found himself inspired to document the scene. While Seventh Circle is very different from CBGB, he thought of the role that that club played in the Bowery in New York City. “I think it represents the beginnings of many bands, and I think the best comparison would be CBGB,” says Pierman. “Hilly Kristal once said, 'Bands come here — the first time they play, they suck. But the more they play, they better they get.'
“It has a charm to it that no other venue in Colorado has,” Pierman continues. “The location is perfect, next to a highway. People can stop in, see a show. That was where my first show happened, and I'm sure that's where a lot of other people's first shows were. Capturing the magic of the local talent that passes through there and the story behind it is why I wanted to create the compilation.”
That compilation, titled Denver Underground: Seventh Circle Edition, will be released in two volumes in late December or, if the delays that plague many records occur, in spring 2016. Though Pierman plays in a metal band, the compilation is set to capture the richness of the underground scene around Seventh Circle.
The campaign to fund the project runs through September 9; the goal is to raise $950 to duplicate/manufacture a CD edition. If enough money comes in, there are plans to release an LP edition as well. Pierman is spearheading the compilation's creation; Aaron Saye is representing the venue. In addition to raising money, Pierman is also mastering some of the existing recordings to even the sound levels and is soliciting artists for the compilation. “My dad has told me many times this is very ambitious,” he says.
Very ambitious for many adults — and Pierman has yet to graduate from high school.
• BACKBEAT'S GREATEST HITS •
- Seven of Denver's Most Underrated Bands
- Wolf Eyes' John Olson Talks About the Importance of Music Communities
- Why DIY Venues Are Vital Are Vital to the Health of the Entire Music Scene
- DIY or Die: Why Denver Need Under-The-Radar, All-Ages Arts Spaces
If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.