Dallas Distortion Music Is In the Front Row

Welcome to Local Music 'Mericans, where we get to know the people behind the scenes in Dallas/Fort Worth music.

It blogs. It books cool local music shows. It's a must-follow Facebook and Twitter page. It promotes bands, free of charge. So what is Dallas Distortion Music, exactly?

Essentially, DDM is Matt Vickers, 34, and Evan Henry, 15. They started out as big fans of Sub Pop Records, and ended up not being able to hold back their passion for music. It only made sense for the two to start collaborating last year, considering they were both doing the same thing.

They say 75 percent of show business is just showing up. And they do. They're in the record stores, they're at the shows.They live and breathe it all. And, as Vickers and Henry say, they basically "get paid for it in band T-shirts."

Which is just fine by them. They're having the time of their lives expressing themselves through their own community outlet, and setting a strong example for the kind of support it takes to really rocket a local music scene. On the brink of their one-year anniversary, LMA is more than happy to put DDM front and center.

First, congratulations on one year for DDM. You have a lot of grateful people pulling for you in the local music scene. Were you two even aware that DDM has earned a pretty swell reputation in one year? Vickers: I wasn't fully aware the extent in which we have the community's support. I must say, the people with whom we have worked with have made Dallas Distortion Music what it is today, to a larger degree. Without the unyielding support from the many bands, venues and people involved with DDM, we would just be two people writing and continuously clogging up everyone's feeds on Facebook! Henry: Dallas Distortion Music started as an endeavor to promote local music and bring a sense of inclusiveness to the music community. As we've begun to notice, those involved have as much fun working with us, and are so thankful for the support we give them. As far as having a "good reputation" goes, that's something we don't really dwell on. But we do insist our relationships with the people who attend and/or play our shows and support us are of utmost importance.

What started you both off on this endeavor? Henry: Back in January of 2011 I saw No Age at Sons of Hermann Hall, which prompted me to delve into the Dallas music pool, and in doing so it created the inspiration for DDM. We unofficially launched on February 14 of last year. Vickers: Sometime around late April, Evan got in contact with me, wondering if I'd like to join him in writing for Dallas Distortion Music after seeing I pretty much was doing the same thing daily. Since then, we have just been doing what we do from day one, really.

What happened to begin your relationship with music, local or otherwise? Vickers: Truthfully, our relationship to the local music community has just come to fruition. I've been attending local and national shows for the better part of the last decade in Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton. I've always had a desire to create something that was open to discussion and an invitation for all to be a part of. I mean, I grew up reading fanzines and spinning Crass records, and in those independent ideals I formed a relationship with the music that has lasted to this day. Henry: I began my relationship with music following Sub Pop Records and many of the artists on the label: Nirvana, Mudhoney, No Age and, more recently, Male Bonding, which opened me up to the possibility of somehow being involved in music in a more tactile way. Vickers: We have always had a life-long fascination with movements that are outside the realms of the mainstream. I guess I'd dare to say the influence of the underground culture, D.I.Y. mentality and sense of community surrounding it all gave us a sense of belonging.

How so? Henry: Music can be used as a sense of empowerment and culture apart from the daily norms of what surrounds us. It persists through many of our own personal misgivings and provides, to a larger extent, a broader sense of an "extended family."

Who are some people in the local music community that gave you guidance and maybe provided some inspiration? Vickers: Do you have have enough room to print this for real? Really everyone who has helped Dallas Distortion Music in even the smallest ways to those who have opened doors for us. Michael Briggs, everyone at 35 Denton, the Phoenix Project Collective (now 406 Arts), Ty Griffin from Escaping The Ordinary, Ryan Giesecke from Sounded Like This, Gavin Mulloy at the Granada, umm... Henry: And also Brad Ehney at The Loft, CAM Audio in Garland, Moody Fuqua at Bryan Street Tavern. Plus all the bands we have booked and countless other friends and family whom, without their support and love, would just make Dallas Distortion Music a bedroom endeavor. DDM hearts all of you. Now, that's a mad shout out!

Are there other organizations you cite as examples of where you'd like DDM to go? Where to now, guys? Vickers: At this point we are focused on continuing with what we have already done and expanding our relationships further throughout the state and locally. We have a few projects coming up, which will be taking up a lot of our time, plus we still want to move forward in the direction of forming more personal friendships with labels, artists and generally just everyone who has given us the time of day.

Dallas Distortion Music celebrates year one with Sundress, Blackstone Rangers and Slumberbuzz on Saturday, February 11, at Bryan Street Tavern.

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Alan Ayo