York metal quintet 20 Shades of Black specializes in break-neck riffs and moshing with fans.
York metal quintet 20 Shades of Black specializes in break-neck riffs and moshing with fans. (Submitted)
Band: 20 Shades of Black

Members: Derek Albright, bass; Dan Boliek, lead vocals; Shad Gunner, drums; Dylan Hamacek, lead guitar; Chris Ridolfi, rhythm guitar

Who we talked to: Boliek, 19

How did you guys meet/ How long have you been performing together? (We met) at a friend's birthday party. We started as a three-piece band. Then, I called Shad because I got his number there, too, and I was like . . . "we'd like you to come try out." Later on this year, we brought in a rhythm guitarist, Chris Ridolfi. I didn't know anybody (in the band) until I got to my friend's birthday party. We're really taking off.

Describe your sound/style? We all had our different genres that we like. I wanted to play metal, and so did a couple of the other guys and . . . it just kind of meshed together. Dylan and Derek were just in a band that played pop/punk.

What's different about playing metal ? I guess teaching yourself. Dylan is self-taught. He's only 16, and he can shred. He's amazing. I don't really know how to explain that one. I'm the vocalist, and I just scream all the time.

Who are your influences? Actually, when I was in middle school, I used to listen to a lot of rap. My brother . . . got me into heavy metal. I listened to this one band called Malevolent Creation, and they've been my inspiration. We have inspiration on our MySpace (page), too. The newer . . . metal bands inspire me a lot with my vocals and everything.

How has metal evolved? Metal back then was considered, like, Black Sabbath and Metallica and Slayer. Now, there are breakdowns (and) there's two stepping. The only thing that has stayed with metal are the mosh pits. It's changed so much in so many ways. There's a lot of movement. Usually you'd see (an older) band walking around on stage . . . having a good time. But now (bands are) jumping off stage and getting crazy with the crowd.

There are a lot of subgenres today, too, like hardcore and metalcore. Where do you guys fall? We haven't really picked out a genre for ourselves, but there are different genres. There's this band called Facing the Giants, and they're definitely a hardcore two-step band. Breakdowns and chants are basically, like, hardcore. We're different because we're not like most of the other bands around here. We have really, really fast riffs. It's really fast-paced and up beat, and everybody can understand the lyrics I say (even though) it's all screaming. It's a lot of fun to, like, mosh to.

Where do you play in the area? Our main locations are RLH (Guitars) and Club 19 for now. We're trying to get out there as much as possible. We're going to try to get shows down in Baltimore over the summer. Club 19 is a unique place. When we first played there . . . we were blown away by the sound. We get along with (the owner) great. When they're short of bands, they come to ask us to play. I'm sure there are other places like Club 19, but we just don't know where.

Do you get to meet a lot of other local bands there? We have a lot of friends that are in bands. Metal is metal. You should have respect for anybody no matter what kind of genre it is. It's just fun meeting new bands, too because we can help them progress with shows and stuff like that

What do you write songs about? We just recently . . . were thinking that all of our friends that (who) support us and are really close to us . . . we'd make up a song about them. "Butchering Ben Singleton" is (about) our manager. "The Tragic Story of a Red-Neck Marine" is after our friend Ryan, and I was told he was going to go into the Marines or something like that.

What are your plans for the future? Do you want to tour? Oh, yeah. Definitely. We want to tour really bad. The problem we have is we don't have a trailer. We need a trailer and probably a van for everybody. We're not going to make a full-fledged album yet. We just got done in the recording studio, and we're currently working on the artwork. (The EP) has four tracks on it.

- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF

If you go


See 20 Shades of Black at 7 p.m. May 30 at Club 19, 1327 N. Duke St. in York, with Nightmare Awaits and Facing the Giants. Tickets cost $10.

For details visit www.myspace.com/20sob. To listen to the entire interview, visit www.flipsidepa.com.