We pick the Brain behind the biggest rock gig in the nation!

AxlPif & Rooky of AudioInferno jamming with 1LastAutograph at Metal & Romance back in January 2015

For most of us, Metal and Romance or MnR, is considered a rite of passage. A lot of us, before MnR was thing, always wanted to go to a rock gig. Or a gig where bands play, LIVE. It was at MnR I had the chance to fulfill a dream, playing on the same stage with a band and boy, we brought the heat on that day (many thanks 1LastAutograph)

We caught up with a key figure behind the MnR creation and one of the brains behind our good buddies at RockNationNG, Dammy Lawal. We are pretty excited about the gig on the 6th of August, so much so we wanted to hear from the man himself, here’s what he had to say:

The Interview

Right off the bat I’ll ask you this one major question that plagues every MnR gig; how do you plan to combat people demanding the same songs every time and, how do you plan on stopping people interfering with the preset playlist at the gig?

For the playlist, we are planning to restrict movements to the DJ stand. As for demanding same songs every time, we know the situation of rock music globally, it arguably doesn’t have the same quality as the golden era when you can love every song on an album. Add to that, the fact that rock songs barely get airplay or isn’t as mainstream as it used to, there’s a limit to the music that can generally move a crowd at a party. It’s mostly the old jams that work to that effect. And the main reason behind a party is for people to lose themselves to the music, and if it’s that same old song that does that for them then, majority they say, carries the vote, and Metal and Romance is an event for and by rock fans. Therefore, we will host it as fans.

We hope people grow and are open to new music especially rock songs from Africa and I think we are getting there.

Said it better than we hoped there really. Good man

Some enthusiastic members of the Nigerian rock community at Metal & Romance

We see the difficulty you go through trying to set this whole thing up. We also feel people need to know about the craziness. So they can appreciate this a lot more, share with us what it entails to nail the perfect rock gig.

I’ll have to kill you to tell you…Lool. But there are a few (I won’t use the word surprise) but different activities. We’ll be having a new face host, a mainstream artist that hosts major events in the country. He loves rock music, not as deep as *we* but hey, we are trying to grow the community and even the biggest rock heads didn’t get there in one day. We’ve successfully turned a mainstream DJ into a certified Rock DJ and he’s the official DJ of City FM and Marin Records’ Reekado Banks. Host: Efa Iwara . DJ: DJ Flammzy.

Well will you look at that folks! We are converting people left right and center.

And the difficulties?

This is hard, okay basically, everything is hard. From getting a good venue that suits the event, good location, funds for securing the venue, publicity. You know by now we would be hoping that every rock fan that has been a part of this growth and enjoys these events would join in automatically on social media to talk about the show. We have influential people among us but they’d rather just come attend, some won’t even invite others. Not saying a lot of people don’t help out a lot. There are great people within the small community that give their all. But it’ll be awesome if everyone just takes to social media and talk about it the way they talk about every other thing. That’s why it grows easily in other countries, they are ready to go all out to promote what they love and even convert others.

The support is low for this particular event. For the rock festival the support was real and great. But I think the economy is really affecting everyone

We never thought for a moment this was a straightforward road. Getting a gig of this caliber is hell here but the folks who pull it off need to be recognized!

Have you considered giving up on the entire rock scene in Nigeria? In addition, what’s your take on the Nigerian Rock scene too?

I get frustrated, tired, disappointed, but I’ve never thought about giving up. No matter how busy I get, I find time to make it work and push hard. Rock music will be big in Nigeria. What I think about the rock scene in Nigeria, I think it isn’t where it was yesterday. I mean see AudioInferno, you guys keep putting out content from all around Africa even where we don’t believe they listen to music. We have a festival that’s annual now, band tours, awards, we are moving yet at a slow pace but the effort is showing and this gives me hope. We just need more locals to show more support and for our bands to become more consistent, original, have a little of where they are from in their music and more quality. That way they can never be ignored.

Damn, so say we all!

And finally!

What more can we expect from RockNationNG and there’s this nagging question: will MnR only be limited to Lagos?

RockNationNG has huge plans, next stop is the rock festival Rocktoberfest late in October which would be huge. And Metal and Romance is not limited to Lagos, by popular demand we should have had an edition in Abuja earlier this year but we had some setbacks. However, we are hoping to have Metal and Romance in other cities next year. Here are some cities that have demanded MnR: Enugu, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan. By God’s grace, we would host the party series in those cities.

And so there you have it people from the man himself! We are looking forward to the gig, you best be turning up for this folks! We know we will! Go out there and support your local rock activities! Read up on the upcoming event is our earlier post: HERE.

Rock on \m/


Temet nosce. Author of the book: The Complication, Grim. http://bit.ly/1uijUll Speed/Thrash Metal enthusiast. Guitarist. #CFC. Sub-serial AudioInferno podcaster. Habitual fire starter, local troublemaker, I'm BATMAN (nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, BATMAN!!!!!!!!)


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