Thunderstorms aren’t the only thing that will have Tucson rumbling this month.
The Rialto Theatre on Friday, June 29, is hosting Monsoon Massacre, a metal show featuring seven local bands: Bordertown Devils, Swindy, Stands with Fists, Like a Villain, Decayer, Dirty Magic and Guardians.
It is the latest installment from Local Love and producer Brent Kort, who puts on about 10 concerts every year showcasing Southern Arizona artists. Monsoon Massacre will feature mostly metal artists.
“It’s a pretty thriving scene,” Kort said. “Tucson isn’t really known for coming out to support local artists, but I would say metal is the exception.”
Kort said the closing band, Stands with Fists, plans to bring in a professional lighting and production company to close the show in exciting fashion.
We caught up with two of the bands — the alt-rock/EDM outfit Swindy and the death metal band Guardians from the Tohono O’odham Nation.
From rock and roll high school to the Rialto stage
Swindy drummer Randall Swindell started playing drums when he was 12 years old. He took rock band class all four years at Tucson High School.
“All of the students played different instruments,” he said. “We learned covers of all our favorite songs, and then we would play them for the rest of the student body.”
Swindell, 31, grew up listening to ’90s rock including Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails. He later got into electronica and EDM. After high school, he formed Ensphere with some of his friends from rock class. In 2016, he began Swindy as a solo project, playing live shows with a rotating lineup of guest musicians.
He says these days he has been interested in modern pop music. Swindy’s alt-rock sound reveals the wide variety of influences that go into his music.
“Tucson has always had a really fertile scene,” Swindell said. “It’s really eclectic, and there is a wide variety of styles here.”
The most frequent of Swindy’s band members are Steven Escalante, Mike Jenney and Tamara Jenney. The trio, along with Swindell, is starting a new band, Hartline, that will play music from Swindy’s album along with their new material.
For Monsoon Massacre, Swindell said he is going to focus more on the performance side of his music.
“I’m going to do something really different for this show,” Swindell said.
Using music as the message
Anthony Johnson is the drummer and one of the founding members of Guardians, a metal band from the Tohono O’odham Nation.
Guardians formed when Johnson and guitarist Gabe Mendoza started jamming at a downtown Tucson studio in 2013. They wrote one of their first songs together, “No Justice/No Peace,” in reaction to the police shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. The pair were inspired after hearing people protesting outside the studio.
Mendoza and Johnson completed the lineup with vocalist D Santos, guitarist Native Dave and bassist Jayare Leos. The band leans on the heavier side of metal.
“Expect a lot of head banging and a lot of excitement,” Johnson said.
If You Go
What: “Monsoon Massacre” local metal band showcase.
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 29.
Tickets: $5 in advance at ticketfly.com, $8 at the door.
Et cetera: This is an all-ages show.