Looking to the future, Rochester's ready to rock

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Michael Terrill of Fires of Denmark.
Michael Terrill of Fires of Denmark. (via Fires of Denmark on Facebook)

Michael Terrill is doing well. Well, "well." Everyone's feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic right now, and few industries have been as profoundly affected as music and the performing arts. Still, Terrill is excited about what the future holds for the music scene in his home town of Rochester, Minnesota.

Terrill told me on Instagram this week that he's excited to be out performing and releasing solo music again; after launching his music career two decades ago, he released his first album as Fires of Denmark in 2018. He's also recently been collaborating with fellow Rochester artists as a producer and collaborator; he plans a mixtape release this spring. Additionally, he's producing an EP with Annie and the Bang Bang; and appears on the new Jae Havoc album.

"Rochester doesn't have the biggest venue capabilities. We haven't had a lot of big bands come out of here," Terrill admitted. "But that's been changing." The scene was "bubbling" up before the pandemic, and those connections have continued virtually. "We just have so much stuff that we are excited for in Rochester, that I think as soon as the floodgates open, it's going to be so great."

Terrill's also part of the Rochester Posse, a group of local entertainment enthusiasts who've started producing documentaries and promoting concerts. He said with a laugh that he's excited about "stealing" Nate Nelson and Maggie Panetta, who are bringing their Treedome Productions from Winona to Rochester.

Fires of Denmark will be performing as a full band on a Riverside Concerts livestream on April 14. They'll be at downtown Rochester's historic Chateau Theatre, which Terrill described as "an amazing space."

At the end of our chat, which you can watch below, I told Terrill that I hope Rochester comes back rocking harder than ever. "Oh," he assured me, "we will."

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