HORSE the band & Tera Melos

Originally in The Oklahoma Daily on August 23rd, 2007.

Sometimes Oklahomans are lucky if a band plays a show here once every few years, while other bands seem to play here all the time. HORSE the band falls into the latter category. They played here last fall with Dragonforce, will be opening for Between The Buried and Me this October and are playing with The Fall of Troy and Tera Melos tonight at the Bricktown Ballroom.

“Sometimes it’s great playing the same town over and over because with each show more people show up,” HORSE the band keyboardist Erik Engstrom said. “But other times it sucks because some people just decide to catch you next time you are in town.”

HORSE the band is mostly known for their blending of Nintendo-style 8-bit sounds into hardcore and metal music, and have often been called “Nintendo-core.” But the band is growing tired of hearing about that element of their music.

“The video game stuff isn’t really what we are about,” Engstrom said. “It helped us get noticed, which was great, but at this point I kind of wish we could just drop it.”

The band’s new album, “A Natural Death,” hits stores this Tuesday, Aug. 28, despite being finished quite some time ago.

“It was originally supposed to come out last June, but we forgot to turn in the artwork on time, “ Engstrom said. “Our record company gave us the option to either use really crappy artwork or delay the record. The worst part was that the press copies of the record were sent out before the delay so the record leaked months ago.”

HORSE the band doesn’t really fit into any one genre, so they tour with a very diverse group of bands. They have shared the stage with bands as varied as Gatsby’s American Dream, Dillinger Escape Plan, and GWAR.

“The Dillinger Escape Plan tour was probably the best tour we have ever been on. They are great dudes and their fans get us,” Engstrom said. “Dragonforce was probably the worse tour we have done. Even though we were playing huge venues, I don’t think it helped us at all. It’s still hard for us to get tours, so when we get offers like that, we have to take them even if we don’t think it’s going to be that great. A lot of bands think we are a joke, which we totally aren’t.”

Also playing tonight is San Diego band Tera Melos. The band has a long history with headliners The Fall of Troy.

“We met Fall of Troy at a show in San Francisco about 3 years ago,” Tera Melos bassist Nathan Latona said. “The promoter didn't show up, so we had the idea to steal power from the venue and do a parking lot show. We ran the power across train tracks and trains kept going by during our set, so we'd have to pull the plug every ten minutes. We instantly became good pals with Fall of Troy and have since toured a whole bunch with them.”

Despite being the least known band in the lineup, Tera Melos is still finding a lot of success on this tour.

“We're finding that there are a lot of kids coming to these shows to see us, which is really cool,” Latona said. “As for the people that have never heard us, the reaction is generally really positive. Most of the crowd comes for Fall of Troy, so by default, these kids are already interested in progressive, forward thinking music. We are a pretty extreme example of prog-rock or whatever and sometimes there are people that have no idea this kind of stuff existed, which lends to their excitement for finding something new and interesting.”

Though this will be Tera Melos’ second time to play Oklahoma City, this will be the first in an actual venue.

“We played a rad record store in OKC a couple of years ago,” said Latona. “There were probably 8 or 9 people there, but I'm pretty sure we still brought the thrash.”