Hawaii’s METaL AmBASSadors Do China

Better known outside Hawaii than here at home, 8mm Overdose prepares to become the first heavy metal band to tour China. Let the head banging begin!

Friday - June 09, 2006
By Chad Pata
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8mm Overdose: from left, Kirk, Rob and Jack
8mm Overdose: from left, Kirk, Rob and

When learning that local metal band 8mm Overdose will become the first American hard-core metal band to tour mainland China in July, most local residents respond by saying, “Who the heck is 8mm Overdose?”

Despite 10 years together, the local following for the band is much smaller than the world’s. This is because of the unique take 8mm took on getting to the top.

“We did it the opposite of every other band,” says bassist Rob Graves. “We started globally through the Internet and now we are building it locally.”

The formula makes sense for a band in isolated Hawaii. For most bands starting out, you want to build a good local fan base that will follow you on the road. In Hawaii, the closest out-of-town gig is 2,500 miles away, making it difficult to build the synergy an L.A. band may get traveling to Phoenix.

So 8mm started using the Internet to spread the good word of metal. Graves and frontman Jack Overdose spend an estimated 40 hours a week on band business, from putting together press kits to garnering sponsors.

“A lot of bands don’t understand the music business is actually a business, it’s a networking business,” says Overdose. “So much of our time is spent on business that maybe 10 percent of it is spent on the music, we have had to work for everything we have.”

This relentless promotion of the band

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