Tattermask Calls It a Night: Show Preview 10-31-15 @ Tremont Music Hall
Photos by: Matthew Pock and Alan MacNorton
“Saturday will one of the most bittersweet days of my entire life. Not sure what to say about that.” stated singer Amanda Tattermask a few days ago in a Facebook status. This Halloween will be a little darker for Tatter-fans as it will mark Tattermask’s last performance as a band. Like Amanda sang on their brilliant track “Asylum” though, Tatter-fans will continue to “Burn bright even through the night” because, truly, “You never know who’s guided by your light.” While it’s easy to wring one’s hands over the loss of one of your favorite bands, it’s much better to rejoice for having been able to experience the band’s light in the first place, and on October 31 you can experience one of Charlotte’s best local bands for one more, albeit final, time.
I asked what brought Tattermask to this untimely end. Amanda had this to say:
“The reason Tattermask is ending is because we each have different ideas of what ‘success’ looks like in music, and we each have a different level of tolerance for what it takes to have that ‘success.’ The only next steps we could really take as a band would be BIG ones that come with a lot of risk. I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to take those risks, but when some members are ready to quit their day jobs and go on tour while others prefer the stability of steady income, there just comes a point when it’s time to go pursue our separate interests because there’s no way we can all meet our personal needs if we stay together.”
It’s incredibly understandable, especially considering the current climate of the music industry, that taking the “BIG” risk is something that is not to be taken lightly. There is something to be said for a steady income, but there is as much to be said for taking that necessary risk. Differences of opinion on how to proceed do not create animosity, but they do often end relationships. Whomever wanted and didn’t want to take the BIG risk doesn’t matter to this Tatter-fan. Honestly, there really is no right or wrong here, just differences of opinion. The only thing that matters is that the music DID happen, and the soon to be former members of Tattermask WILL be heard from again. Just not in the form they are heard from now. Looking at the big picture, the music industry is too focused on the current one hit wonder’s profits, flavors of the week, and who the next over-packaged “artist” to win The Voice will be. Diving into that mess is challenging, both financially and spiritually. Especially if you have the spirit of commitment to what many are now considering an archaic format: album-centric rock music.
Speaking of ways of being heard from musically, Amanda also states:
“Josh and I are definitely continuing to make music together, and we’re looking for another project to join or possibly starting a whole new project. We’re wide open to suggestions and recommendations! Harley is going to continue playing with Meliora, and Josh and I are definitely going to do something new while continuing to play in Ashes to Airwaves.”
Amanda’s voice definitely demands that she be a frontwoman again, so “another project” for Amanda where she is the lead singer is a must for Tatter-fans as well as fans of great vocals buoyed by great music. Last spring when Tattermask filled the role of local opener for Revolver Magazine’s Hottest Chicks in Rock Tour, she received what she considered one of the best compliments she’d ever gotten on her vocals when Kristen May of headliner Flyleaf took the time to mention “Amanda’s beautiful voice” during Flyleaf’s closing set remarks. Everything about Tattermask’s performance that night was sublime, not just Amanda’s voice. Tattermask really played a powerful set and displayed a stage presence and musical maturity beyond their relative band’s age. The same was the case when Tattermask supported regional act The Coming Dawn’s return to the stage after a two year hiatus later in the year. They really blew me away that night. I couldn’t help but wax a little poetic as I scrambled the notes on my iPhone that would make my review, nearly unedited:
“Everything about Tattermask is special: from their music, to their musicianship, from their stage presence to their choreography, from their connection to the fans to their willingness to mingle with their fans-they are one of the best rock bands, not only in Charlotte, but the region.”
I still stand by that assertion and am sure that you’ll agree with me after you see them live this Saturday.
Tattermask leaves a strong legacy in the Charlotte music community, and are a group of individuals who enjoy giving back to their community by supporting causes close to their hearts, including that of orphaned baby owls and raptors. Hooterfest, an annual rock concert benefit for the Carolina Raptor Center is a benefit that Tattermask has played many times over the years. It’s fitting that the band will be going out on the high note of headlining this year’s Hooterfest.
“Hooterfest started as a way to give back to a place that does awesome work for birds of prey and for environmental education: Carolina Raptor Center. The original idea came about because we wanted to donate, but we didn’t have any money… so we decided to put together a fundraiser that also had an educational component to serve as an outlet for the information from CRC. As a result, we’ve raised at least $1K/year to donate to the orphan raptor fund, and we’ve educated hundreds of people about what to do when they find an injured raptor, among other random owl facts!” explains Amanda to my request for some history on Hooterfest. I have a feeling that whatever musical project Amanda and Josh start up in the coming days, months, or years, their commitment to Hooterfest won’t waver.
So, while it will definitely be a bittersweet day, not just for Amanda, but for all of Tattermask’s fans, let’s be glad that Tattermask even happened and touched as many people as it did. Music is the elixir of the soul and Tattermask’s music was no less soothing, and at the same time invigorating, than many bigger, but less talented, bands’ music. Thanks for the great tunes guys, good night Tattermask, and thank you also for helping guide us through the night with your own unique light.