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Coyle agrees that extensive touring is the dream, but not financially possible right now. "We can book our own shows out of town, but it'd be nice to get some support so we could tour for a couple months and come back."
"Do we have to come back?" Barron asks. (Probably, if they want to see their drummer again Gore has two kids and a job.)
Still, even if they lock up a record deal, the members of Harkonin have no illusions about the commercial viability of their music. In the marginalized world of extreme metal, where bloody-guts intensity and liver-scorching blasphemy win fans' black hearts, there's little promise of radio play or even mainstream exposure on the level of a more commercial band such as Slipknot and Harkonin knows it.
"This kind of music is always going to be underground," Gore says. "Success is relative. If you're looking to make money, you're in the wrong genre."
"We could do some Weezer-sounding shit and be rich right now!" Barron laughs.
Coyle leans back from the table. It's getting late. Day and night jobs, kids, girlfriends, wives and Braden's dinner all loom in the middle-future. One more full set looms in the immediate future, and Coyle eyes his matte-black Les Paul like it's the only thing that really matters. But first he wants to make one thing clear.
"We write metal," he says. "I'm not one of those people who says, 'I'm writing this for myself and I don't care if anyone hears it.' I do want to please metalheads. I write for metalheads. I write what I like, and dude, metalheads will like this."
But Coyle's only half-right: Metalheads will love this.