Amy Ivey Will Bring The Metal For Your Stage Show. No, Really: The Actual Metal.

Welcome to Local Music 'Mericans , where we meet some of the people behind the local music scene -- those who aren't necessarily members of local bands, but more the people who make the scene move.

Amy Ivey grew up in Fort Worth listening to her mother play Elvis records. Later, as a teenager, she was going to see the local metal scene stir it up at an old place called Joe's Garage, rocking out to the likes of Gammacide and Rigor Mortis. As she grew up, Ivey's local music support continued but migrated to Dallas to places like The Basement, On The Rocks and, later, Firewater.

It was at the latter that she met her current husband, local musician Chris Ivey. Chris is the newest addition to local outfit Arms Of The Sun, replacing bassist Rex Brown, formerly of Pantera. AOTS has a new release ready to go any day now produced by none other than Terry Date (Soundgarden, Pantera, Deftones).

Ivey's future husband's opening line was an attempt to drop some rock 'n' roll knowledge on her. She surprised him by already knowing the answer. The rest was KISStory, as they say.

Nowadays, happily married, they continue as a support team for the local music scene, frequenting shows and going on the road together often when Chris' band gets tour dates.

But even cooler, Amy Ivey has her own business, called Raw Metal Edge. Together with her business partner, sister Renea Keish, the two ladies run a metalworks shop that specializes in accessories for the stage: steel drum risers, welded chain-link mic stands and even lighting rigs.

Overall, a pretty cool, and definitely all-original, Local Music 'Merican, as you'll see below.

Ever played any music yourself? Maybe taken an early stab at it, say, in school?
At the age of 13, I begged my parents for a drum kit. After they gave in, they insisted on drum lessons. And, like many kids, it proved to be too much effort for me. I gave up the dream. The neighbors were glad!

How about your personal local music tastes beyond the rock genre? Are there musical styles we might be surprised to find your a fan of? What local bands are you a closet-fan of?
I am a faithful fan of music within the rock genre. I have many favorite local bands. Pretty much, if your band has played at Trees or Curtain Club in Dallas, I have been to the show and I enjoyed it. I wouldn't say I was a "closet fan," but I did really enjoy Honchie before they broke up. I have a sick and twisted since of humor and to hear it put to music was awesome!

How goes the Raw Metal Edge venture? Are you at liberty to openly share who you might have on your RME client roster? Maybe even potential clients you have in the works?
Our policy is to create one-of-a-kind items for musicians looking to get an edge on stage. If we were to offer names and photos of each accessory built for someone looking to surprise their audience with a wild and crazy mic stand or piece of stage gear, it would be against our privacy policy. Our products don't come with our logo stamped across the entire design promoting our own company. Our products promote the artist, and are meant to enhance the stage show and audience experience. The Raw Metal Edge big debut will come this January at NAMM. We are looking forward to the whole experience as we thrive on word of mouth referrals from one musician to another.

Mr. Amy Ivey, aka Chris, has been handed quite the music opportunity in Arms Of The Sun -- and some big shoes to fill in Rex Brown! Tell us about how this opportunity came up for him.
After I joined in on a Facebook conversation on the "Texxas Jam" group page, Lance Harvill (AOTS lead singer) noticed my post, and remembered his old band had opened up for Chris's old band (Early Pearl) at Firewater in 2008. He sent me a message asking if Chris was doing anything these days and that AOTS was looking for a new bass player. As soon as I finished reading that sentence, I typed as fast as I could with one hand and dialed the phone to Chris with the other! The first time Chris heard AOTS, he fell in love with the music. Earlier this year, Chris's other band was scheduled to open for AOTS at Trees, but it didn't work out. He had been looking forward to playing with them, and was so disappointed. The musical influences he heard on the AOTS album were the very influences he grew up with. Before he ever got in the band, he would tell me, "This is the band I'm supposed to be in. I can hear it. I can feel it." I could not agree more. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and so far we could not be happier! AOTS will have their next local show at 8.0's in Fort Worth on October 13. We're so excited!

You've witnessed many a rock show from the audience perspective. Is there a band or show that really stands out in your head as an extra-crazy event to witness?
The first show that comes to mind is the show that I unwillingly became a part of. It was during one of Pantera's shows at Joe's Garage. One of my friends picked me up over his head and threw me on stage during one of their songs. As I laid there, paralyzed and stunned with shock, Dimebag ("Diamond Darrell" as he was known back then) leaned over me and said, "Hey, you've got to get off the stage!" I knew that the only way down was to jump into a very large thrashing crowd below. Needless to say, after jumping down, I walked away with bruises in places that would be hard to explain to anyone not familiar with that type of crowd. It was a moment in time that will never be forgotten. All for the love of rock 'n' roll!

Any closing thoughts on DFW's local music conglomeration? We're always interested in supporter's opinions of how to strengthen and unify it further!
The local music scene can be very fickle when it comes to supporting original live music. With the economy the way it is, it's a lot tougher for bands to draw fans than it used to be. Chris and I go see local bands all the time, despite the economy. Not only do we love the scene, we feel it's important to help support it to keep it alive. Now that Deep Ellum is coming back to life, with the re-birth of historic venues like Trees, live music fans are getting back out there. It's beginning to feel like it did eight years ago, when band promotion was handing out flyers on Elm street instead of just posting them on Facebook. There are so many talented bands here. People just need to get off their asses and experience the music for themselves. You can't get that experience from watching YouTube.

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Alan Ayo