Rust Fest Founder Nate Wittock Discusses the Detroit Metal Festival’s 2022 Edition


Rust Fest 2022

Dropout Kings – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Sarah Carmody

Local Music Beat: Rust Fest founder Nate Wittock talks about the Detroit area metal festival’s upcoming two-day event

The second annual Rust Fest is set to return to The Sanctuary in Hamtramck, Michigan, near Detroit, on Aug. 26 and 27. The show offers two solid nights of metal music from Michigan and beyond, including Dropout Kings, Convictions, Of Virtue, Filth, The Convalescence, Johnny Booth, Fight From Within, Horrendous, Narcotic Wasteland, Morta Skuld, No/Más, Shock Narcotic and more.

Other performers this year include The Breathing Process, ExitWounds, Until the Dead Walk, Heartsick, Autumn Lies Buried, My Own Will, WASTE, JohnPenman, Orthros, RUIN, Horrendous, Summoning The Lich, Burial In The Sky, Pound, Fleshbore, CARRION VAEL, Boreworm, Recorruptor, Throne, Portal of Pazuzu and Nethergate.

Rust Fest founder Nate Wittock caught up with Audio Ink Radio to discuss the this year’s event. Read the full interview below. Audio Ink Radio is an official sponsor of the 2022 Rust Fest.

Anne Erickson: It’s great to have Rust Fest back. Last year was a major success and great way to bring the festival back following the pandemic. Tell me about last year’s festival and what it was like having these bands come together after the drought of live music.

Nate Wittock: Last year’s Rust Fest was really great. Eighteen bands came together to support a cause and the fans really showed up for one of their favorite venues. Shows had already started coming back at that point, but it felt like a way to showcase the awesome scene here in Michigan and support The Sanctuary.

The festival has a fantastic lineup this year with a broad range of metal music. Tell me about how you went about picking the right bands for the bill.

This year, I wanted to appeal to a wider audience. I tried to find bands that hadn’t played in Michigan in a long time (Horrendous) or even not at all (Johnny Booth). I wanted to showcase bands that are killing it from the area (Of Virtue, Shock Narcotic) and bands coming from all across the country (Dropout Kings, Pound). There are so many genres represented at Rust Fest 2022: Metal, Rock, Rap, Nu-Metal, Death Metal, Deathcore, Metalcore, Grind and more!

Once again, the festival is at The Sanctuary in Detroit. What makes that the right venue for Rust Fest, year after year?

The Sanctuary is just one of my favorite venues around. It feels like home while you’re there. It’s comfortable and intimate but packs the punch of a larger venue with great sound quality, a wonderful staff and well-priced drinks. And even though there isn’t any food in the venue, there are plenty of great restaurants in walking distance, and with re-entry it makes it easy to spend the day there without worrying about moving your car or getting hungry half way though.

What are your thoughts on the underground, independent metal music scene?

It’s extremely vast these days. There’s honestly so many bands popping up that it’s hard to get a grasp on it sometimes. It’s great, though. It’s easier than ever to find new music. I’ve discovered several of the bands playing Rust Fest in the last couple of years, and I’m excited to get to see them live for the first time!

What do you think is the best way for bands these days to get their music out there and gain a following?

Playing shows. I think just booking as many shows as you can in as many places as you can with different lineups is the key. With so many bands flooding the internet, a band can totally fly under the radar with me. But, if I am at a show and a band puts on a great live performance and really crushes it, I’m going to go check their music out. That always sticks with me. Because anyone can sound great on a recording these days, but performing it is a whole other thing.

What are some of your favorite independent metal bands that people should check out, aside from the Rust Fest bill?

I’m definitely going to forget some names here because there are so many, but here are some bands that are killing it out there right now and you need to keep an eye on: Jesus Wept, Ghosts In Motion, Among These Ashes, Manic Outburst, Shit Life, Hollowed Body, Vestigial, Gravebloom, Collapse//Revive, Dagon, Centenary, Mammon, Triangulations, Yokai, D-Bloc, Scapegoat, Plainview, and so many others. A lot of my favorites are already playing Rust Fest, too, so you should come check them out.

Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Interviews, Metal