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The Orpheum's Jerry Dufrain talks Southern Darkness Fest, Tampa death metal and more

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As owner of the Ybor City music venue the Orpheum, Jerry Dufrain has seen everyone from rapper Ghostface Killah to indie-electronic group Little Dragon play his room. But one genre sticks out in the club's concert history: metal.

The Orpheum has carved itself out as a heavy music haven by hosting national metal acts like Agalloch and Behemoth, and local pioneers like Obituary and Deicide. And on Aug. 23, it will be one of three stages for Southern Darkness Fest, which features more than 25 bands, including instrumental headliner Pelican.

"We were finding that we'd been doing a bunch of heavier music and getting some bigger and bigger bands into the Orpheum," Dufrain said. "It's kind of slowly but surely become the venue of choice for a lot of heavy bands that are coming through. We kind of started having these conversations back and forth in the office about "Hey, we should put something together, we should put a festival together.

"So that was the sort of origins of Southern Darkness Fest. Let's do something, we live here in this town that's historically been known as the death metal capital of the world and that has an absolute ton of internationally acclaimed heavy bands that are from here or have moved here or have come and recorded here. So we kind of already had this built-in cachet and audience, and we were like, "We should just put something together."

Tickets to Southern Darkness Fest, which takes place at the Orpheum, Crowbar and the Ritz Ybor on Aug. 23, are $35-$45. Click here for details.

For more of Jimmy Geurts' interview with Jerry Dufrain, click here.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 7, 2014 9:37am]


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