There's nothing soft about Denounced's music

By Christina Killion Valdez

Gathered at Perkins Restaurant on a recent Thursday morning, the polite, soft-spoken members of the Rochester-based heavy metal band Denounced never hinted at the hard-rocking intensity of their music.

Guitarist Evan Spee, 17, ordered apple juice. The rest of the band -- lead singer Bret Coker, 18, drummer Nate Hintz, 20, and bassist Sam Shockey, 18 -- stuck with water.

They talked about how they came together as a band last year and their recent trip to Ozzfest.


"It was pretty good," Spee said. "I saw Cradle of Filth and Zakk Wylde."

Hintz was happy just seeing Nothingface. "I could have left after that," he said.

They also recalled some of their best shows, including their first performance for almost 100 people last April at Board to Death Sports in Rochester; taking third place at the Black Label Records battle of the bands held at Loveugly in June; and the recent Garageapolooza in Austin.

Listen to their independently released debut album, however, and you'll hear a different side of the band.

"Track one is a good opener," Spee said. "It's aggressive."

It starts with a sound clip from "Dark Prince," a movie about Dracula, and jumps into the band's fierce guitars, drums and vocals.

Their name also comes from that line in the made-for-television movie, Spee said. It's from the scene when Dracula is denounced by the church, he said.

The band, on the other hand, has denounced vices in exchange for being serious about their music.


"We're all non-drug users, non-smokers and non-drinkers," Spee said.

Before Hintz, the most recent addition, joined because he wanted to make sure that was clear. "If you do, it won't work," he said.

All four members are focused on making the band work. "We've been in previous bands that did not have much dedication," Spee said.

Getting heard is their latest priority, he said. The limited number of metal fans in the area, plus the limited heavy metal shows, have made developing a fan base difficult, Spee said.

They do have the wisdom of Shockey's mother, local folk singer Sue Shockey, to fall back on, though.

"She had ideas of where we can play and how to get exposure," Shockey said. But her biggest advice is to wear ear plugs, he said.

If you have information about a local CD release, contact Christina Killion Valdez at

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