Red Deer metal band Brown Dwarf will perform at the 420 Music and Arts Festival in Calgary on April 19 — as well as the Vat on April 4 with the Vogue Villains. (Contributed Photo).

Metal with a message delivered by Red Deer head-bangers Brown Dwarf

The group will play Calgary’s 420 Music and Arts Festival April 19

Red Deer metal band Brown Dwarf isn’t exactly living up — or maybe down? — to its astral namesake.

While brown dwarf gas planets are considered by some to be failed stars, the five musicians from Red Deer are actually gaining star power by appearing in heavy-duty festivals, such as Calgary’s 420 Music and Arts Festival.

The local band will play on the middle day of the April 18-20 event at County Line Saloon. Also on the bill is another Red Deer group, TerraGanja, as well as bands from Europe and the U.S.

This will be Brown Dwarf’s second appearance at the festival, following a successful debut last year. “That was one of our best shows,” recalled lead singer Ben Auld. “It was a really diverse crowd…”

The Calgary festival, which was launched in 2017 as a cannabis celebration, features “stoner, sludge and doom metal” bands, but Brown Dwarf is more on the psychedelic side of things.

Auld said his band was once called a “hippie metal,” which best fits the group’s vibe.

“Other metal singers will scream their lyrics, but we sing ours because our music is heavy enough. We’ve got stuff to say and we want people to hear it,” says Auld.

Some of the group’s tunes carry interesting messages. Happy questions how fulfilled most people are in their daily grind. “People think that if they make money they are successful, but they are not doing what makes them happy,” said Auld.

Space Brain addresses that feeling creative people get — of being ready to leap into their art, only to have to switch into another gear because they have a day job to focus on.

Auld, who is a front-line worker with Red Deer’s homeless population when he isn’t on stage, said he actually loves his day job, as he does making music.

The five band members put out a live album in 2015 and have plans to release a new self-recorded album soon.

Auld said he met guitarist Meatpie Russell back in their native Nova Scotia. “He was singing on the street about his cat having diarrhea… true story.”

The two met lead guitarist Jamie Pitcher, from Newfoundland, when he moved into the apartment next door.

Bassist Herb Boomhower and drummer Scott Gooding are “local boys” from Red Deer. Gooding was actually a fan of Brown Dwarf before he joined the band.

Auld said they all bring different musical inspirations to the group. What they share is a need for metal therapy, joked Auld.

“For sure, this is an outlet… people who play hard rock or metal are the most laid-back people you’ve ever met because they get their anger and aggression out” through music.

Local fans can also see Brown Dwarf on April 4 at The Vat, along with Vancouver’s Vogue Villains.

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