No peace on stage for Stretching Amber Skies

February 28, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

SMITHSBURG - Sometimes, their stage presence involves a little blood and a few bruises.

"Our stage performance is a battlefield with axes," said Stretching Amber Skies drummer Dustin Davidson, jokingly describing how bandmate Justin Huffman broke his first guitar.

They were on the last song in their set, Dustin said, and Justin somehow hit himself in the head with his own guitar.

"Then it fell from my hands and hit the floor," said Justin, 16, of Smithsburg. "I look down and see it on the ground in like three pieces."


That was nothing compared with the time someone accidentally bumped former lead singer Andrew Lacey, 19, of Clear Spring, in the head.

"I had blood all over my shirt after that show," said Dustin, 17, of Smithsburg.

Chalk it up to clumsiness or as proof that Stretching Amber Skies' shows involve a great deal of energy, said bassist Wes McKenen.

"People don't come to a show to watch people stand around and play," said Wes McKenen. "You can get a CD if you just want to hear them play."

Stretching Amber Skies describes their sound as somewhere between hard core and circa-1980s Metallica. They see themselves blending in easily with other indie rockers and hope to land a deal with an independent label.

In the meantime, the four-piece band practices in a small room in Dustin's basement, using money from the "band fund" - money they get from playing shows - to finance recording sessions.

On average, Stretching Amber Skies gets about $75 a gig, Wes said.

"We're not in it for the money," said guitar player Justin "Franchesco" Walsh.

About the band

Guitarist: Justin Huffman, 16, of Smithsburg

Guitarist: Justin Walsh, 19, of Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Bassist: Wes McKenen, 17, of Smithsburg

Drummer: Dustin Davidson, 17, of Smithsburg

Genre: Metal, hard core

Influences: August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying and Metallica

Upcoming shows: March 19 as part of Emergenza Music Festival at Fletcher's, 701 S. Bond St., Baltimore


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