Metal Club brings musical diversity

Amanda Kinnunen

The UW Oshkosh Metal Club adds to the diversity of live music students can experience on campus, and hopes to break down misconceptions students and the community may have about metal music. Oshkosh student Mike Pflughoeft founded the club last year and said the idea originally came to him after visiting Taste of Oshkosh. “There was a club for almost everything,” Pflughoeft said. “I was talking with a group of friends, and I just sort of threw the idea out there, and they were like, ‘Yeah let’s do it.’” Member Collin Goeman said he joined the club not only because it’s a place where he can discuss his music taste, but he also wants to spread his interests to students who are curious about the genre through shows. “Many people don’t find the vocals in metal to be appealing, and while I agree it is an acquired taste, I find it is the music that ends up stuck in my head on a regular basis,” Goeman said. “Especially as someone interested in playing an instrument, the complexity of some bands is really entertaining to hear. Metal also speaks to me through its meaningful lyrics and messages it conveys.” Pflughoeft said while the members always enjoy talking about the music they’re currently listening to and recent albums bands that have released, the club’s primary purpose is to plan shows and bring bands to campus. “We want the shows to be Club brought to Oshkosh is Beartooth, and Pflughoeft said the process was difficult but rewarding. “I emailed their booking agent and just worked with and then planned everything out with Reeve,” Pflughoeft said. “It was hard because I was sort of the middle man between Beartooth and the school. I can’t really make a ton of decisions by myself when it’s dealing with money and contracts. It all has to go through the school.” Pflughoeft said because the process was stressful to complete on his own, he decided it would be best to delegate tasks among the other club members as well. “This semester I went ahead and created a bunch of new positions for people to fill,” Pflughoeft said. “We filled them all, and now we’re planning our next show. It’s going slower than when I would do the shows, but that’s okay because they have to learn it and I’m teaching everyone how to do it.” Pflughoeft said along with task delegation, he’s learned other skills that he can take with him after college through the club. “I’ve also learned how to plan and run a big event, and that’s been really helpful,” Pflughoeft said. “To be able to say, ‘Hey, I put on this concert where this many people came and we had nothing go wrong.’ I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned from it.” Pflughoeft said while he plans to be a lawyer, he feels the extra experience can only help down the line. Vice President Kyle Ottman said the club has also taught him event coordinating skills such as managing a group of individuals and learning the parts involved in public events. Ottman also said live events are his favorite aspect of the club. “Live music has always been a passion of mine regardless of the genre,” Ottman said. “Ever since the club started, I’ve been ecstatic to bring more of that to campus and especially so to demonstrate a diversity of live music here on campus.” Ottman said the club would like to form a link in the future to work with other college campuses. “We also have a different form of expansion we would like to create with this club which is to build a network of similar clubs at other universities to expand the scene in universities and promote live music all over Wisconsin,” Ottman said. “If this happened, it would make it much easier to book bands and take away any stigma that playing at a college campus would mean you need to deal with an amateur set up.” Pflughoeft said his No. 1 goal for the Metal Club is that it reveals the sense of community that revolves around the genre. “It’s an existing community that’s sort of fragmented on campus, but I think the Metal Club helps bring it together,” Pflughoeft said. “Metalheads are an inherent community, more so than any other music genre.” Pflughoeft also said metalheads are passionate about the music they enjoy, and that passion can be misinterpreted by outsiders looking in. “When an outside person looks at it they see circle pits, they see mosh pits, they see crowd surfing and think these people are violent and crazy,” Pflughoeft said. Pflughoeft also said when there is a problem in the pit, such as someone losing a pair of glasses, the crowd parts and everyone helps recover the lost item. “These people want to help each other. They care about each other, even if they don’t know each other at all.” According to Ottman, all concerts on campus are free for students, and whether metal is an interest or not, he hopes students will give the experience a try.