The Dirtbag Dave Throwdown is coming around again this year, providing Wichita Falls with twelve skull-crushing metal bands. Before getting into the nitty gritty of this ferocious event, let us take a step back and get to know the brains behind this beauty. By the way Pissing Razors is headlining this year’s festival, so keep reading.
Dave Garcia grew up in Olney, Texas listening to music with his mom. He’ll never forget their stand-up record player/stereo that had lights on the front which lit up to the beat of the music as vinyl played. “I remember dancing around the living room with my mom to 80’s music from as early as I can remember,” Dave reminisced, “That’s what made me begin my love of music!” To this day Dave loves some Duran Duran. Wait, metalheads love 80’s pop? Of course, they do!
Dave’s first taste of metal was quite magical. Imagine sitting at home watching MTV’s Headbangers Ball and this monster anthem starts playing on the screen. What is this? Sitting there with the hairs on your body starting to bend as screeching guitar riffs play, and the sound of raindrops accompany a deep yelling all in perfect harmony. All you can do is sit there and bathe in the music and to wait to see who you’re watching. At last, the song starts to come to an end and “Raining Blood by Slayer” appears on the screen and everything changes. Dave was like, “This is it!” He couldn’t have dove into anything more hardcore, and he had no intentions of turning back. The next time Dave went shopping with his mom he threw the Slayer CD in the basket. She bought it without even looking and completely unaware of what it was. All he could think was, “Sweet! I got away with it!” Continuing to explore, he found several bands such as Metallica and of course Pantera. With Pantera it became all about Texas metal, but that’s how this all really began for Dave.
As Dave transitioned from jr high into high school, he started meeting people that sharing his love for metal. Right out of high school, in 1994, he started hanging out with a guy named Mando Molina who played in a band called Injustice with Jim Bob Bailey, Albert Alleman, and Chris Widner (who ended up becoming the first drummer for Inner Fear). First sitting in on their jam sessions, he never thought about the possibility of playing music. As time passed, and absorbing the passions of playing music, something clicked and he though “We can do this, we can start a band!” Dave started the band Inner Fear with two friends, Lee Ivy and Scott Dobbs, with whom Dave had graduated high school. Together they played in the bedroom of their guitar players parent’s house and had to play at very low volumes to make sure no to upset the “roomates”. Just being the three of them, and not having a drummer, they got real tight and in sync, controlling their own timing. They started out doing a lot of local shows in Young and Archer County. While playing locally, they finally found some bands playing metal in their own neighborhood, Madcastle and Spit. So, they started playing shows together for the next decade.
In the mid to late 90’s, Inner Fear started playing in Wichita Falls. Their first show was at a place called The Magic Mushroom, which was a straight-up coffee shop. That night they played their hearts out for only three guys, and that night they made three new fans. Dave would like to give a lot of props to a guy named Tim McMillin, who was with 104.7 The Bear and had created a metal radio show called The Fixx! The show played all metal late into the night, Local and Large. Mr. McMillin helped grow the metal scene in Wichita Falls by helping to expose these early local metal bands. Thanks to Tim, Inner Fear went from playing for three people in a coffee shop to playing sold out shows at the Mac Stack. With all this exposure, Inner Fear was invited to play “November to Dismember”. A three-day metal fest In San Antonio with hundreds of big name bands such as Crowbar, Danzig, and Morbid Angel. Inner Fear made a run for ten years before coming to an end.
From 2000 to 2003 Dave started up another band called Severed Blood Loss with his former bass player, Scott Dobbs. But the metal scene was in a lull due to the lack of metal music venues. For the next eight years Dave was forced to take a long hiatus, until the time he joined his current band, Brazos River Outlaws.
From creator of music to a creator of music festival, 2017 was the inauguration of the Dirtbag Dave Throwdown. What started out as the idea for a local metal show has turned into an all-day festival with eight bands filling the streets of Wichita Falls and plenty of sweet, sweet heavy music. Dave knows he can’t sing in a metal band forever, so what was a dream has turned into a new reality, a dedication to forever create a metal scene to be remembered in the city of Wichita Falls. This city has always been considered his home. The people, the fans, and the love of metal runs deep in the soil, and in his heart.
Last year, although a huge success, Dave only had a month to put the Throwdown into effect. This year, Dave’s wife Reshell has joined the effort and the duo has put months of work into the annual festival. He says, without her he could not pull this off! He handles the music side of things, while she handles the logistics of the Throwdown. They see the perfect metal storm of the horizon for the community. He has twelve bands on the set list to perform this year, six local bands and six bands from across Texas and Oklahoma. This festival is not just an epic show, but it is also meant for local bands to share the stage with bands from across the state. It is an opportunity to make friends and create connections to play outside of Wichita Falls, anywhere from Austin to El Paso. This festival is meant to strengthen the Texas metal community.
Pissing Razors is the headliner for this year, who have been good friends with Dave for the past 20 years. The band is currently not doing a summer tour, so your only chance to catch them will be here in Wichita Falls, one day only! This year there are going to be some killer bands, which in turn is going to be a killer show.
Dave plans to make the festival bigger each year. One day he and his wife are going to be too old to do it, so they plan to pass the torch on to their daughter, Cyuss, who is also a massive metal-head. When Dave’s daughter was just 1 year old, she would sit in her car seat and was able to name any metal band as soon as the vocals would kick in. Following in her dad’s footsteps, Cyuss has also taken a passion in making music. In fact, Dave and Cyuss have started a father-daughter doom metal band project called Cast Iron. They hope to lay some tracks down this year and unite together on stage!
Dave’s dream is to see his festival grow into a touring event. Festivals such as Mayhem Festival and Ozzfest have almost all become extinct. Something like a 10-day run across Texas Dave sees plausible as he continues to connect bands across the state. This would join signed bands with local bands to unite the Texas metal community, all in the name of heavy metal to bring joy to your earholes.
Dirtbag Dave Throwdown will be taking place June 30th at Stick’s Place. The doors will open at 11am, bands will start playing by noon, and the mayhem will continue throughout the night until 1am. To buy presale tickets and find information about the bands, go to www.dirtbagdavethrowdown.com. Presale tickets will be $20 until the day of the event, when they will increase to $25 at the door. This year’s show is 21 and up, so you must hire a babysitter for the night. T-shirts, koozies, and poster will also be available for purchase to remember this epic event!