Good news can come at a moment’s notice and change how you feel completely .This is the case when we heard that the Birthday Massacre had a second tour scheduled for fall of this year. September 15th marks the start of their fall tour and the best news is that they have a stop in Cleveland. With news like this, of course we are going to be hitting the concert trail, again. Five stops, from Cleveland to Colorado Springs, then from Las Vegas to Buffalo, and ending the tour in their home city of Toronto, Canada. Twice in one year seems like winning the lottery and Christmas all rolled together.
If you are curious about my previous post of Karl and I following the Birthday Massacre on tour, be sure to check out that article here Following a Tour: The Birthday Massacre Story.
The Birthday Massacre a short history
Trying to pin down the genre for Birthday Massacre isn’t as easy as their aesthetics would suggest. At the core, TBM (the Birthday Massacre) is a rock band. That alone doesnt quite cover their style, one could say that they are a cross between new and dark wave, goth rock, and some electronic rock for flavor. It is a smattering of flavor that never ceases to bring out the masses of people. Their songs simply speak to the masses over a range of topics.
When the band was asked to describe who they were, they have been quoted saying that they only want to produce music that people could listen to without the fear of parents stopping them. Many of their songs do speak to darker parts of people’s lives, but the themes are there for most to understand. What you won’t find in their music is the usage of profanity.
The band got their state in London, Ontario, Canada but moved to Toronto. At the time, they were still going by the name Imajica, which originated from a novel by Clive Barker with the same name. They changed their names once they learned a California based death metal group had a similar name. From there, they opted for the name the Birthday Massacre after the title of one of their songs. To eliminate further confusion, then renamed that song to Happy Birthday.
The intersection of the arts and technology
The band has, since its inception, called itself an audio-visual project. They feel that combining music, art, and technology allows the band to grow and evolve as organic as it started. Their creativity leaps beyond the creation of their songs to include websites and fan interaction. Since the beginning of the band, they have not shied away from embracing technology to interact with their fans.
While many bands, in the music industry, shied away from file sharing, the Birthday Massacre embraced it and welcomed it. This allowed them to get their music into more people’s hands who then in turn became the core fans. Initially, they shared their music through, the now defunct, Napster, MP3.com, and their personal website. They actively updated their website and kept in touch with fans through their forum.The website was offered in multiple languages to ensure that any of their fans had access to their media, no matter where they were from. To solidify their love of their fans, they encouraged them to make their own and share back with the band. TBM shared that content with all of their fans on a webring called Violetprison.com.
Michael Rainbow, guitarist for TBM, took classes in color theory while studying Fine Arts. It was during this study that Rainbow settled on a color scheme for the band.Violet is the dominant color for the band and in color theory is known to represent the tragic comedy. “We associate it with fantasy and melancholy. These themes make up much of lyrical inspiration.” said Rainbow. After establishing their signature sound and visuals, they made sure to retain their creative freedom once they signed on to larger record labels.
A band for the fans
One thing that remains evident, to this day, is their devotion to their fans. As stated above, the band has encouraged their fans to be as interactive as possible with them. On their website, they have had fans donate money to help them publish albums. They have done this in various unique ways. The band has been known to take donations that would allow you to meet and spend the day with them in the studio or purchase items that were part of the bands videos.
This remains true, in part, even today. Now, the band hosts their on Patreon page where memberships are just $5 a month. This membership allows you access to their Patreon page, special cuts of songs that are never released, Q&A events where you can ask the band your questions, and a special merchandise page. All proceeds help the band produce new music and help support them. Before their last tour, I reached out to them on this page and got a direct response back from them about a song I was looking for that was not on any album. They let me know, personally, that the track was being remastered and would be publicly released soon. Sure enough it was and was an amazing accent to a birthday gift for Karl.
TBM is a band that truly cares for their fans and this is seen even more when they host their meet and greets for shows. My previous article (https://gayinthecle.com/2022/04/08/birthday-massacre/) i talked about how Chibi remembered Karl when we walked into the room. From there, each show we attended saw them coming out into the crowd to mingle while the stage was being torn down. Every concert we attended, Brett Carruthers and Owen Mackinder sought us out to talk with us about the show and what had been happening since the last one. It is rare for celebrities to have this kind of interaction with fans and it helps create a bond that goes beyond the moon-eyed fan staring blankly at their favorite band.
A Return to Cleveland
September 16th marks the return of The Birthday Massacre to Cleveland, Ohio. The last time they came through was September 28, 2017 and played the Agora at that time. Almost five years later we will see them gracing the stages of the Winchester Music Tavern in Lakewood, Ohio. If you have never had the chance to see them, then this is time. Tickets are still available and can be had for an entirely reasonable fee of $25.00. If you are a lover of goth rock or dark wave music, then get on over to the Winchester’s website to purchase your tickets now. Even if you aren’t a fan of that style of music, you will find plenty about this band’s music to love. The show is Friday, September 16th and doors open at 7. Be sure to grab your tickets then come look for Karl and myself. We will be happy to share the front lines with you and enjoy this amazing band.
Not sure if you will like the band or not, why not check out my Essential The Birthday Massacre playlist over on Spotify and Apple Music. Let me know what you think in the comments below. If you can make it out to the Winchester Music Tavern next Friday, September 16th, also let me know below. Let’s get out there and celebrate the fact that we are now able to attend live music events again.