Ogden band club supports local music scene

(Source: Kamikazes Ogden) Royal Bliss is a nationally famous local band that frequently performs at Kamikazes.

Kamikazes Ogden, a local club and venue, showcases approximately 900 bands a year. Both national and local acts perform many different genres of music at the venue located on 24th and Adams.

Club owner Tommy Melonas said that although he opened the club back in 1994, he has 28 years of experience. The club got its name after a friend suggested to Melonas that he name it after the drink. Since then, a wide variety of musicians has walked through the door.

“It’s a club for everyone,” Melonas said. “We play all different types of music. I mean all.”

Melonas said Kamikazes is a place one needs to visit several times before getting a feel for the surroundings.

“Every weekend the environment is totally different because it’s a band club. It just depends on what band is playing, and the genre of music. Right now I’m focusing on doing local music — taking the local scene and making it strong. If the local scene isn’t strong, then it is tough to book bands. I would say that we play almost any type of music. I usually give anybody a shot. I don’t ask for a demo. I view music as art, no matter what type of music you play. As far as I’m concerned, if one person likes it, it’s art.”

Melonas said he plans to host some national acts, outdoor concerts in the parking lot, and some “underage shows” this year.

Justin Dummar has worked at Kamikazes for about five years. He started as a bouncer, then moved on to bartender, and is now the sound engineer. Dummar said the club started out as a church, which makes the layout unique.

“Our club is a two-story club, so you’ve got the mezzanine upstairs where people can watch the live bands on stage from upstairs as well as downstairs,” Dummar said. “We have live events there every weekend, sometimes rap and things like that, but then we also have karaoke as well on the opposite side of the bar. There are two sides to the bar.”

American Head Charge will be the next national band to hit Kamikazes, with a performance on Feb. 20.

“We’ve also had huge bands like Spineshank, Psychostick, Shadows Fall, Mushroom Head, Orgy and Dax Riggs from Acid Bath,” Dummar said. “We also had Willie Nelson’s son come through last year. We’ve had a lot of huge acts coming through.”

Dummar has also performed at Kamikazes with his two local bands, Natas Lived and Tezra. “Playing at Kamikazes is absolutely amazing,” he said. “It’s the only venue in Ogden that really pays you for playing. That’s nice because usually you have to sell tickets for shows, and then they don’t give you any money.” Natas Lived’s next show will be at the Murray Theater on Jan. 31.

Sadie Jay is the vocalist and lead guitarist for Necropsy, a local three-piece metal group that will perform at Kamikazes on Jan. 22. “We’ve always had a great experience playing there,” Jay said. “The environment is very fun.”

Necropsy has played at Kamikazes several times over the years. Jay said one unique characteristic of her band is that a local artist puts film slides together to project in the background during shows. “I think our sound is unique, and we’re really enthusiastic.”

Kamikazes also has free pool nights on Tuesdays and $5 souvlaki each Thursday. Information about upcoming concerts is available at its Facebook page.