Photo of Mizmor by M. Garcia

Crucialfest 12: An Interview with Mizmor and Døne

Music Interviews

The annual event of reckoning is here and it reeks of havoc, booze and good ol’ tunes. Crucialfest is one of Salt Lake City’s most well-known events that features all sorts of metal, punk and hardcore sounds. The festival hosts a variety of underground music from local and national bands at Metro Music Hall from Thursday, August 24 to Sunday, August 27. This year, SLUG Magazine interviewed two bands who are part of Crucialfest 12 to share their perspectives on all things hardcore. 

Mizmor, also known as A.L.N., is a black metal artist from Oregon who is slated to perform at Crucialfest this year. Mizmor is notorious for his latest album Prosaic, which he describes as less conceptual and more “slice-of-life.” There are tones of dissonance, unholy screeches, guttural vocals and filthy raucous guitar riffs. Expect to hear him play his latest album at the festival during his set on Friday, August 25. 

SLUG: Salt Lake City is defined in many ways by the dual presence of a dominant culture and a counterculture. What has been your experience being part of a counterculture?

Mizmor: I grew up in Salem, Oregon which has a strong Christian, Republican, small-town vibe. Playing in the local music scene as a teen was a cool experience because it felt pretty familial. There’s a very small group of adults expressing their angst and going against the grain with their art. That community felt special—there was a sense of understanding and fun surrounding this irreverence. It doesn’t feel so bad being judged by others when you have other outsiders there supporting one another. 

SLUG: When Brigham Young first arrived in Utah, he supposedly declared “This is the place.” Have you ever connected with a place at first sight, and if so where?
Mizmor: Absolutely—I really connect with the spots in Mexico and Spain that I’ve been to. The weather, people, food, culture and just the overall vibe in these places feel so good to me. It’s hard to be depressed when I’m there. 

SLUG: When you think of the Utah music scene, what comes to mind?
Mizmor: I’ve only played SLC a couple of times, but what immediately comes to mind is Crucialfest, Aces High Saloon, SubRosa and The Otolith. All these seem like staples to the heavy music scene in the region.

SLUG: What are some norms that you would like to break or destigmatize in your genre of music?
Mizmor: I think black metal rightfully has a reputation for being sketchy that I definitely think needs to change. This reputation is historically well-founded of course, but the genre is so much bigger than the rotten apples. The message of my music is anti-religious but not hateful, and it has also transcended this topic in its evolution over the years. Doom metal has a reputation for being the most boring, easy-to-play subgenre of extreme metal and I think that’s a misunderstanding merely due to the fact that it’s slow. Slow music is pretty hard to play—there’s so much space for the injection of tasteful subtlety and idiosyncrasy. 

SLUG: Is there anything you can think of that differentiates Salt Lake City from all the other cities you’ve visited on your tour so far?
Mizmor: I think the massive LDS presence and the counterculture that it has spawned is fascinating, and I always feel stoked to be there as an apostate metalhead. 

Next, SLUG Magazine interviewed a local band that has been around for about 11 years with longstanding roots in the metal scene. Døne is composed of two members, Andy Patterson and Cache Tolman, who have built their lives around music. Døne is a low-key band that has almost no online presence or digital footprint, but they have played every single Crucialfest since its inception and will continue to do so as long as they can. Døne’s music has many melodic and harmonious tones, with some of the heaviest filthy guitar riffs and jolting percussion to fill their sound.  

SLUG:  What’s your favorite local venue to play at?
Tolman: Aces High Saloon. It’s owned by musicians—real fans of music.

SLUG: When touring bands visit SLC, they often comment on the wild energy of the crowds here. What has been your experience with local audiences?
Patterson: All over the map. It really depends on the show, depends on the day. I’ve always felt welcomed and [like] people care.
Tolman: We’re still doing it, so they’re obviously supportive!

SLUG: You’ve performed at Crucialfest many times before. What other bands or artists are you excited about seeing or performing with this year?
Tolman: Turtleneck Wedding Dress straight up, and Spacegun

SLUG: When you think of the Utah music scene, what comes to mind?
Patterson: There’s a lot of awesome music happening, always has been really … [In the] early ‘90s, Cache was in a band called Iceburns and it was super fucking influential on all of us. I mean, it started heavy, then it was jazz for a little bit, then went heavy again. 

SLUG: “The Wheel” has to be one of my favorite songs on the album, can you tell me anything about the process or how you went about creating that song?
Patterson: [Tolman] shows me the songs and I just write lyrics to it.
Tolman: I generally go down to my rehearsal studio, get my sound good and just see where it takes me, you know? I try to make the simplest thing as complex as possible. The simplicity and the groove of the music makes it work.

For local metalheads, the Crucialfest 12 is the perfect place to expand your music palette and connect with musicians of all hardcore genres. Head over to to get your tickets! All things considered, it’s a safe space for everyone from different backgrounds to connect and mosh in peace.

Read more SLUG coverage of past Crucialfest bands:
7 Crucial Bands at Crucialfest 11 
Crucialfest: Year 10