Trent University alumni Mathias Kom, Ariel Sharratt and Nick Ferrio are thrilled that their band, The Burning Hell, will be performing at the Peterborough Memorial Centre on Friday, August 8, to launch Trent University’s 50th anniversary celebrations – and not just because they’ll be opening for iconic Canadian group Blue Rodeo.
As former Trent students, they’re also looking forward to reconnecting with the place that fueled their passion for making music and which spawned the birth of The Burning Hell. The band started out in 2000 as a recording project involving musicians from the Trent community. Their first album, Tick Tock, was recorded in Peterborough in 2007.
The upcoming show is just one of many events open to the entire community as part of an exciting reunion weekend that will kick off a year-long celebration of Trent’s 50th anniversary. The University will welcome back thousands of alumni to Peterborough, along with faculty, staff and community supporters, to participate in college reunions, open houses, and many other activities.
“We’re blown away that we were asked to do this show. It’s a huge honour to be opening for Blue Rodeo,” said Kom, who is the main songwriter and vocalist for The Burning Hell. “Trent has been a very special place, not only for Nick, Ariel and me, but also the other members of the band, Darren Browne and Jake Nicoll.”
Kom graduated from Trent in 2002 with a Bachelor degree in International Studies. He credits his experience at Trent as formative, inspiring his musical career and shaping his life.
“My time at Trent absolutely influenced me,” he said, “The atmosphere was exciting and there was a beautiful energy in the air at that time. I cut my teeth as a musician at the Jolly Hangman pub at Peter Robinson College, bonding with other musicians who have become life-long friends.”
Kom also gave a nod to Trent’s focus on small seminar groups and students engagement. “I felt encouraged to participate, not just in the student body but also in the classroom,” he said. “It fostered an environment that made education accessible and exciting, and pushed me to be more civilly engaged. I can also tie that experience into my music.”
The Burning Hell is currently based in Berlin, where Kom is completing a doctorate in ethnomusicology. From its name, the band may sound like a heavy metal group – but in fact, it’s a folksy band with an international cult following and a reputation for playing energetic stage shows while delivering biting lyrics tinged with a cynical optimism.
“I want to make people happy and to give them a good experience at the show,” Kom said, “but I would also love it if they took something away from either the lyrics or the music, and ideally, some sense of joy.”
The Peterborough concert comes in the midst of a head-spinning tour for the band. During July, August and September, they are performing more than forty shows in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The Burning Hell will return to Peterborough August 23 and 24 for the Peterborough Folk Festival.
The band’s line-up on August 8 will feature Mathias Kom on acoustic guitar and vocals, Ariel Sharratt on clarinet and Nick Ferrio on bass. In addition to the three Trent alumni, the band includes Darren Browne, on electric guitar, and Jake Nicoll, on drums.
» Purchase tickets to the Blue Rodeo and The Burning Hell show at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.
» Learn more about Trent University’s 50th Anniversary Reunion Weekend.
Posted on Monday, July 14, 2014.