Columbia embraces a vibrant nightlife. The Vista, along the Congaree River, is one of Columbia’s most electrifying districts. Local band Decadence knows how to rock the Vista and the city.
By Parks Beson
November 29, 2016
A big feature for the Vista and other arts and entertainment venues around Columbia is local music, and one band that has been on top of the local music scene is heavy metal band Decadence. Founded on Aug. 22, 2007, by Dustin Welch and Ryan Wicker, Decadence has excelled in providing a unique and smooth sound to Columbia.
“Our sound is a sound that could be found on 93.5 when it was a station. We all listened to that when it was around,” said Welch, the band’s guitarist. “If I had to draw a line to compare our sound to, it would probably be Breaking Benjamin, Chavelle and Seether.”
Decadence provides a high energy, in-your-face show that is difficult to match. The bone-shattering riffs from Welch, along with the relentless vocals from lead singer Scott McGrady, provide an amazing sound and atmosphere.
Decadence has toured around Columbia and Charleston. Through various bars, stages and theaters, they have built a loyal following known as the Decadence Army. McGrady says the fans are what drive the band to continue doing what they do best.
“Our fan base is fantastic, and they fuel us to strive for the highest level of performance possible,” McGrady says. “All the hours spent practicing and hauling equipment around is definitely worth it once you get up on stage and hear those fans screaming.”
Ron Cunningham of Columbia says screaming for these guys is not hard to do.
“They are very close knit with the people in the crowd,” Cunningham said. “They always make it fun for everyone and make you feel like they are just one of the locals who love to play music.”
And that’s exactly who they want to be. Welch says that while Decadence has their sights sets on making it big, they do not forget the reason this band came together.
“We have a lot of gigs where we play just to play. It’s one of those shows where it might sound a little sloppy, but you don’t care as long as you guys are playing music for the people that came to listen,” Welch said. “That is the reason that Decadence got started. Just a group of guys that wanted to play music.”
Cunningham has known and been a fan of Decadence since the beginning. A longtime friend who is only able to hear them practice, Cunningham says that he likes what he hears. “The band has a really unique sound that I enjoy a lot,” Cunningham said. “I can say that I love the energy that they have onstage and I’ve always dug heavy metal. That, and the fact that they are all so talented, is why I dig them.”
Even though Decadence formed in 2007 as a local band, the members of Decadence have performed all over the Southeast and even enjoyed a few gigs in the Northeast . One of Welch’s memorable venues was in Danbury, Connecticut.
“The Heirloom Theatre was one of the prettiest venues I’ve played at to this date. We had an average crowd of about 30 kids, and we were opening up for a regional band. But the atmosphere and sights were amazing.”
But no matter where they tour, Welch says the band will always come back home to Columbia.
“We have made friends, brought crowds, but most importantly, maintained the mindset that we have to remember where we started to appreciate where we want to be.”