As those of you that have the misfortune of following me on social media may know, Mrs. THKD and I have packed up the fortified bunker and are moving halfway across the country from the bowels of the Midwest to Sacramento, California. The truck is loaded, the house is sold and we’ll be leaving in less than a week. I’m still waiting for it to feel real. Right now it feels like a dream. I tried so hard to get the hell out of this state after college, and all I got in return were some nice rejection letters to show for it.
To say that I’m excited for what the future holds is an understatement. My wife is from CA, and some of her friends have become my friends, so the prospect of having a social life again is pretty exciting. You see, in Iowa the thing to do is get married, have a litter, go to church, go insane and never be seen again, or only hang out with other people who’re married, insane churchgoers that have a litter of their own. Since Mrs. THKD and myself have made a conscious decision not to contribute to overpopulation and we sure as hell don’t go to church, we’ve essentially been outcasts here, or at least that’s how it felt for the past few years. I’m very much looking forward to getting away from that mindset, not to mention hanging out with people who actually share our interests and haven’t lost their minds to child-rearing, religious mania, nationalism, conservatism and college sports.
I’m also damn thrilled to be moving to a state that has a real metal scene (not to mention real record stores, but that’s a whole other post unto itself). From what I can tell Sacramento has shows every week and draws plenty of touring bands of all sizes, not to mention the fact that it’s a relatively short drive to the Bay Area, which has what is in my opinion one of the most vibrant metal scenes in the entire US. I’ve already been looking at shows in both Sacto and the Bay Area and hoping to hit as many as possible, provided we aren’t destitute (we’ll see).
Another thing that I’ve been thinking a lot about is finally getting to meet some of my West Coast metal writer peeps in person. It’s weird to think that I’ve never actually been in the same room with other people that do what I do, and the thought of actually being able to “talk shop” or even just bullshit about music with y’all over drinks and/or some kickass bands seems pretty amazing. I swear, I’m not nearly as obnoxious in person as I am on social media.
In addition to meeting other writers, I wonder how moving to California will affect my own writing. In spite of never feeling like I fit in the Iowa metal scene (it’s kind of like high school with tons of shitty bands and a couple good ones), I’ve always felt like THKD has come from a very Midwestern perspective, mixed with that sense of isolation from any scene. I think being part of a bigger, more active scene will stoke the fires of creativity, give me more to write about, and perhaps open up some opportunities for me that weren’t there before due to geography. Hopefully the overload of great bands, great shows and great record stores won’t make me jaded, or at least no more so than I already am.
There’s just so much to look forward to once we get out there and get on our feet, it feels like a whole new world opening up. Even though I’ve been out to Northern California numerous times it’s always been for a week here or a few days there, never for any real length of time; just as I’m starting to really absorb and get a feel for things, it’s time to go. I spent six months in Southern California interning for Metal Blade Records in college, but even that amount of time wasn’t nearly enough. To think that I’ll have the entire rest of my life to explore all the state has to offer is fucking nutso.
Of course, the downside to all this is that things are gonna be a little slow here at THKD for the next little bit, as we continue to prepare for our move, get out there and get settled. I’ll try to at least crank out a new review or two, and I’m thinking about trying to document our road trip out west in some way (I’ve always wanted to try my hand at travel writing), but depending on how hectic things are, I make no guarantees. The silver lining is that when THKD does come back full time, I have a feeling it’ll be better than ever.