Jordan Pries, left and Jamie Jahr of Beast in the Field will perform at Small's in Hamtramck on Saturday. (Jamie Jahr)
There’s loud, there’s louder, and then there’s Beast in the Field.
The Midland metal duo is so loud, its shows become an endurance test for the audience. And its so loud that sometimes it rattles authorities, who’ve been known to come into its concerts and politely ask band members Jamie Jahr and Jordan Pries to please turn things down.
And sometimes its concerts don’t even get that far.
“We were gonna play a show at the New Way Bar in Ferndale. We set everything up, Jordan turned on his first amp and strummed to check the amp, and the guy asked us to turn down. And we were like, we’re not going to be able to do it then,” says Jahr, the band’s drummer, on the phone earlier this month. “It was honestly us setting up and hitting one chord just to check the amp, and that was it. We always joked we’d do a live album of that show.”
Beast in the Field will be plugging in and turning up at Small’s in Hamtramck on Saturday. And despite the band’s addiction to volume, Jahr says they’re not trying to get into a loudness war or declare themselves the loudest band around.
“We’re not trying to take on anybody,” says Jahr, 44. “We just love the power and being able to feel everything.”
The band formed in 2007 and has put out five albums, including last year’s “The Sacred Above the Sacred Below.” Jahr and Pries formed from the ashes of other Midland-area bands and liked the ease of only having to deal with two band members’ schedules.
The band went the instrumental route after deciding its punishing decibel levels would be difficult for a vocalist to keep up with, and also when their dream choice was declared unavailable. “If we couldn’t get Ozzy from 1972,” Jahr says, “then we didn’t want anyone.”
The group plays long, heavy, riff-based jams that stretch well past the 10-minute mark; at a show in Ferndale in November, the band roared through the 23-minute “Oncoming Avalanche,” a selection from its latest album. Jahr knows the band’s style paints them into a corner. “We’re an instrumental, super loud, stoner-doom-heavy band. There’s only so much popularity that we’re going to gain.”
That said, the group is looking to hit this year hard. Things began tapering off in 2013, as Pries, 30, opened a record store called Electric Kitsch in Bay City and focused his attentions there. Beast in the Field only played 35 concerts last year, but is looking to play around 120 this year.
The band also has several releases planned; “The Sacred Above the Sacred Below” is due out on vinyl next month, as is a set of live songs recorded in Kalamazoo. Jahr says the group has a bunch of stuff written for a new album he hopes to record later this year.
“We had a good momentum, then we slowed down, now we have to start back up again,” he says. In other words, Beast in the Field is turning up the volume. You’ve been warned.
with Bison Machine, Axe Ripper and Blacker Magick
8 p.m. Saturday
10339 Conant, Hamtramck
Tickets $8, ages 18 and older