You won’t find a band that loves Halloween more than Hammerlord. The masters of metal prove their love for the holiday by throwing a massive free show every year, affectionately called Hammerween, and this weekend’s show looks to be the biggest one yet.

The band spares no expense when it comes to throwing the epic Halloween party, now in it’s fourth year. A massive metal lineup, wild lighting, terrifying decorations lining every square inch of the venue, vendors, and even a full scale pillory are details you’ll see pop up at Hammerween. The icing on the cake comes in the form of free admission.

For Terry Taylor, Hammerlord’s bassist and the mastermind behind this event, the goal was to put on your not-so-average free show. “I was trying to think of a way to get all of our family and friends to all go to a show at once and not pay money,” he says. That’s when he hatched up an idea to print tickets and give thousands of them away for free. Having the show fall prior to the holiday doesn’t hurt, either. “We played every Halloween show since we were a band, prior to Hammerween. Sometimes it becomes a hinderance playing a show, so you have to rush to do your costume. So we figured if we do it a couple of weeks before Halloween, it’s not such a hinderance on the actual holiday.”

Year-Round Plan

How does a band that just wrapped up an album have time to organize a massive event like Hammerween? The planning starts very early. Taylor says work beings in January, bands are booked in February, and by May the announcement is revealed. The year-round planning takes up a lot of time and energy, but it’s necessary considering the high anticipation for the event. “When people are asking a year in advance what’s happening next year, that says they care about what’s going on,” says Taylor. “So many people look forward to it. Literally the night of Hammerween when it’s winding down, people are already asking what’s in store for next year.”

Nerdy Male Bonding

Despite the brutal nature of the band’s performance, you really won’t find more pleasant metal fans than the ones that show up to a Hammerlord event. Taylor likes to joke that none of their fans have ever gotten into a fight at their shows. “A lot of them are nerdy, like Stevie [Cruz] and I,” Taylor admits. “Stevie and I both have a love of toys and the Misfits. Anyone who even remotely knows me knows I’m into horror movies. People really like to bond with us on the nerdy male side of things.”

But it’s not just the nerds flocking to Hammerlord’s shows. The guitarists exemplify an unrivaled energy and talent in the scene, and that has music fans foaming at the mouth. “Both our guitar players shred a lot, and I think you get a lot of guitar players coming to the show and appreciating the fact that there’s some good guitar players onstage,” he says. “It’s nice to feel support in a music scene that has so much going on. There’s so many other bands that they could be going out to.”

Hammerlord tends to reciprocate the feeling. They are by far one of the merrier metal bands we’ve seen, boasting an entertainingly absurd attitude about the stage. “We want our live show to just be a lot of fun and not be serious. I mean, we’re serious musicians, but we want people to know we’re having fun because so many bands get up there and they’re stoic and have serious faces. We just decide to get up there and smile and laugh at ourselves,” Taylor confessed. “I don’t think a lot of bands can have a sense of humor about themselves and not let loose when they’re playing. That’s what I like about these guys… we’re all on the same page. We want to have fun, and we want that crowd to have fun.”

Come have fun with Hammerlord, Troglodyte, At The Left Hand of God, Tennessee Murder Club, Architects, Six Percent, Moire, and Hellevate when they play Hammerween at the Uptown this Saturday. Admission to this wild show is $10 at the door, $6 if you’re wearing a costume, or FREE if you snag one of the thousands of tickets the band is handing out (just hit them up).

Here’s a great video showing what Hammerween looked like last year:



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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