"This event was dead and buried," says festival director Mark Gromen. "Not just in Cleveland, but anywhere. If it were not for Dan Kemer [senior director of advertising and marketing for Belkin Productions], who approached us about supporting the event directly financially, we would never have proceeded with number three."
WJCU Metal on Metal host Bill Peters was also instrumental in bringing the festival back from the dead, calling in favors to recruit a legion of volunteer metalheads to pitch in with everything from catering to driving bands around.
"These things take three to five years to establish," says Peters. "They all start small and lose money, then they break big. And Brave Words is headed in the right direction."
· And the Boys Stay Dead: Last week, Rollingstone.com reported that seminal Cleveland-spawned punk band the Dead Boys were reuniting for a tour this spring. Drummer Johnny Blitz told the magazine that guitarists Cheetah Chrome and Jimmy Zero had written new material, which they would debut on the tour, 15 years after the death of singer Stiv Bators. But unfortunately for the band's devoted posthumous cult, Blitz failed to run those plans past the rest of the band: The tour isn't happening. "I know we talked about doing two or three gigs," says Chrome from his home in Tennessee. "But I don't know anything about a fucking tour."
Zero, still a Clevelander, confirmed the lack of a tour.
"We could never be the Dead Boys again, because the singer's dead," he says. "Johnny's kind of a loose cannon these days. I think he wishes it would happen. I have no doubt that he said it, but it's not true."
· Abdullah is seeking a new full-time drummer, but in the meantime, the band is alternating between Jamie Walters and Josh Adkins (formerly of Boulder and Erase the Grey, respectively). The band has 10 new songs completed and hopes to release its fourth album by April. In the meantime, bassist Ed Stephens, singer Jeff Shirilla, and Adkins have formed the Iris quintet, with ETG's John Stepp on lead guitar. Iris plays the Agora Ballroom (5000 Euclid Avenue) March 5, with Burning Vegas.
· Pre-Mushroomhead metal troupe Hatrix is back and will play Peabody's (2083 East 21st Street) Saturday, February 5. The technical-metal band formed in 1989, when singer Jeffrey Nothing left Purgatory. Hatrix intends to reissue material from its three releases, all of which are out of print.