For the past few decades, Toledo has been a hotspot for underground music. The Black Swamp Punk Fest, now in its second year, is an example of the Glass City doing what it does best – delivering raw, unapologetic, and off-the-grid forms of artistic and sonic expression.
Eleven bands are lined up, both local and from out of town, and the show is put together by Jason Wilcox, drummer for two of the bands – The Old Breed and Los Jacks.
All Things DIY
“A few years ago I was putting on some basement shows and I began looking for something that would get more people interested. That lead to putting on a fest. I thought it would be something cool to have in Toledo,” says Wilcox.
Self-sufficiency, the core of the punk rock ethos, will be on full display for this event. Wilcox explains that “It’s definitely skewed towards self-released DIY type bands.” It’s the type of no-frills, self-produced, take-it-or-leave-it approach to life that would make Steve Albini proud.
All Styles of Punk Represented
Referring to the sound, Wilcox says “There’s something for anyone who’s into any sort of punk music.” Streetpunk, crust punk, grunge punk, even pop punk bands are all on the bill. “Stylistically, I wanted as wide of a range as possible,” he explains.
Last year there were around 100 attendees, impressive for a relatively unknown space that rarely hosts music shows. “Last year we had a decent turn out. I wasn’t expecting to pack the place because it was our first year” says Wilcox.
The basement at the Collingwood Arts Center (aka The Underground), can hold around 500 people. “They just remodeled it about a year and a half ago,” says Wilcox. “They don’t put on a lot of shows there, but they do other types of events.”
Coming in From the East Coast
Two of the bands on the lineup hail from the east coast. Eskrofula is from New York, and Demencia Alkoholika is from New Jersey. Both acts present a blend of Latino vocals mixed with the vibe and feel of 90’s streetpunk.
“We played in New York last year with Eskrofula, and wound up doing a split release with them. Now they’re making the trip out to Toledo to do a show with us,” says Wilcox.
The Old Breed
Scare Me Green