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Get ready for hell

Aiden brings goth rock and eyeliner to Hell’s Kitchen

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As my phone rang and a number with a 666 area code popped up, I wasn’t surprised when it turned out to be my conference call with Victory Records’ artist Aiden. A post-hardcore band with strong goth tones — vampires, death, and anything slightly macabre are often associated with Aiden in a plethora of ways: lyrics, images, photos, even their fashion choices. Inspired by tragedy, wiL Francis, the band’s front man, vocalizes that he simply hopes to let the kids know that “anybody in the world can play guitar and be in a band.” This message is further driven home when one watches Aiden on stage and realizes that behind the heavy eyeliner and deathly props, the four members of the band are nothing too out of the ordinary.

Aiden is embarking this spring on the “Ticket to Hell Tour” — and Saturday, May 9 South Sound fans will get a chance to catch the band at Hell’s Kitchen for only $6.66. Does that send shivers down your spine? It should.

While Francis doesn’t feel qualified to throw in his two cents about the local Tacoma all-ages scene, he does know the audiences are always “really fucking awesome” in our neck of the woods. Maybe that’s why our gloomy state features the start and finish of the tour — gotta save the best for last. (The tour kicks off at Hell’s Kitchen and ends up at El Corazon in Seattle May 24.)

Allowing other mediums to influence his songwriting, Francis cites a Swedish book, Let the Right One In, as a catalyst for his inspirations. The book focuses on the vile aspects of society and human nature from the perspective of a 12-year old boy who meets a 200-year-old vampire — quite the age difference. And while there might not be one particular song or “one formula” for songwriting, according to Francis, the book has contributed to his own “organic process of songwriting.”

With three albums released and a dedicated fan base of concert-goers, Aiden continues to make music about which they have “no regrets,” says Francis. Aiden offers no apologies to those who may not embrace the material. The band isn’t slowing down anytime soon — and to keep momentum going they even have side projects such as William Control. Keep your eyes peeled.

What’s not to like? Aiden at Hell’s Kitchen for $6.66 admission, not to mention a new album from the band dropping May 12 titled Knives — all ingredients to make the “Ticket To Hell” tour just as ghastly as one could hope.

[Hell’s Kitchen, Aiden with Kane Hodder, Black Houses, Starstruck, Saturday, May 9, 5 p.m., all-ages, $6.66, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

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