MEET THE BAND:
Jarvis Leatherby (vocals, bass), Dusty Squires (drums), Armand John Anthony (guitar)
VENTURING OUTTA VENTURA:
The band started back in 2011 when it recorded its first EP. It played its first-ever live show in 2012 and then has relentlessly toured for seven to eight months a year ever since. "It's just a three-piece, old-school, heavy-metal band," says Leatherby. "There is a very active music scene in Ventura, but not so much for metal. There is a strong hardcore punk history to the city. There's not much metal. There was a band on (the label) Metal Blade in the '80s. We're actually very good friends with that band."
THE CLEVELAND CONNECTION:
The band has adopted Cleveland as its second home because of the great support it has received. In 2014, it wound up in Ohio when it had a few days off. "It was cold and snowing and we were sleeping in parking lots," says Leatherby. The band played a show at the Empire in Akron, where it opened for Raven. "The people there actually knew our songs," says Leatherby, adding that he soon found out that Bill Peters had played the band's music on his Metal on Metal show on WJCU. The band's music continues to be in regular rotation on Metal on Metal, and its latest album, Curse of the Damned, won the No. 1 spot for Best Albums of 2015 in the show's annual listener poll. "Northeastern Ohio is very blue collar as far as hard rock goes and we're a workingman's kind of band, so we identify with that," says Leatherby. "We try to be good to the people there. We always come back."
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM:
Curse of the Damned centers on a series of murders that plague a small suburban town. "We wrote it with a concept in mind," says Leatherby. "There's also a comic that's based on the themes on the record. It's hard to make concept albums unless you're completely focused on doing that." On "Screams in the Night," the album's opening track, the band channels old-school metal with gang-style chants. The group effectively slows things down on the sludgy "Satan," and on "Save Me," which begins with an ominous bit of organ. On the current tour, the band performs the album in its entirety, though don't expect to hear the songs in order as the group plays them in reverse order.
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: nightdemon.net
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM:
Night Demon performs with Visigoth and Vandallus at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, at the Maple Grove.