All-ages hardcore matinee shows are making a comeback in Winnipeg, and it’s all thanks to Ray Guyot and Jon Mayo, the two men who co-founded Icebox Productions earlier this summer.
They met in the late ‘90s and used to put on shows separately before they both decided to call it quits in the early 2000s.
“People don’t always realize how much hard work goes into being a promoter,” 37-year-old Guyot says. “Eventually I just got a little bit burned out.”
Despite previous challenges, both men remain passionate about hardcore music and agreed to once again start putting on shows.
“Eventually, no one seemed to be putting them [hardcore matinees] on anymore,” recalls Guyot. “I just remembered how important it was for me to go to those shows and not be left out when I was a kid.”
“We really wanted to help the new bands starting to pop up and watch everything start to grow again,” adds Mayo, 34. “These matinees are staples in the hardcore scene and we wanted to keep it all-ages because the focus is on the music, not just going to party or have drinks at the bar. We wanted everyone to be able to come out and listen to some cool bands.”
Icebox Productions officially began on June 2, 2013 when Milwaukee hardcore group Expire was touring through Winnipeg and played here with ‘Peg bands Isolation, Diefenbaker and Usurper. The gig took place in the Purple Room at FRAME Arts Warehouse, which holds about 100 people and is tucked away in the back alley of 318 Ross Avenue – making it perfect for the intimate nature of hardcore shows.
The day ended up being so successful that Icebox Productions has been able to keep the Purple Room pit open every second Sunday since.
“After the first show at the Purple Room it was obvious that we weren’t there to damage anything,” Guyot says. “We were just orphans that didn’t have a place to go and wanted to put on these shows.”
Aside from live music, people can browse vinyl brought in by Mass Deadening, a local punk, grindcore, black, pysch and death metal record distributor. There’s also going to be a record swap held about an hour before the show starts on October 13.
“Everyone’s welcome to bring whatever they want to sell or trade, as long as it’s stuff related to punk or hardcore,” reminds Mayo.
According to Guyot attendance has been growing steadily since June, mostly thanks to word of mouth, the Internet and Mayo-designed show posters plastered throughout the city.
Icebox Productions is also putting on a larger show for established L.A. hardcore band Terror at the Park Theatre on October 16.
“We started off doing smaller hardcore shows, but we want to keep branching out,” Guyot says. “We also want to do pop-punk shows, punk rock shows, even some metal shows. We want to keep opening it up because closed minds equal closed doors.”
Published in Volume 68, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 10, 2013)