These are some of the words members of heavy metal cover band Crome use to describe how it feels on stage when their playing is tight and the crowd is responding.
The quintet, with members from Ararat, Stawell, Laharum and Warracknbeal, are one of many acts playing at the 60 Years of Wimmera Rock event in Horsham between February 7 and 9.
While some bands have formed or are reforming for the event, Crome has had an unbroken run of entertaining Wimmera, Ballarat and Hamilton audiences since 2012.
In between rehearsals at Ararat's Rex Hotel, the band - vocalist George Nikkelson, guitarists Jordan Gorter and Jim Cass, bassist Troy Daykin, drummer Marcus Ramsay and sound technician Greg Gorter - reflected on the challenges and realities of playing in Western Victoria in the 2020s.
Jim said the group's main selling point had been the music they played - classic heavy metal from the 70s and 80s.
"Depending on the venue we'll get different types of people," he said. "The crowd at Hamilton might be different to the crowd a Horsham, in terms of their familiarity with the songs, the age group and enthusiasm. I would probably say Horsham is a little bit older, but that doesn't mean they don't know the songs.
"Black Sabbath's 'Iron Man' is the theme song for the film Iron Man, and that's such a well-known movie that whoever has watched it will known the riff and kick drum intro."
"We've been surprised how easy it's been to get gigs," said singer George, who played with Jim in another Wimmera cover band No Plans prior to both joining Crome.
"We seem to have people coming to other shows having seen us once, and having other people telling their friends to come, because heavy metal never went away.
"You get a certain number of hardcore fans wherever you perform, but you also have these people come in and watch and want to know how we play the songs they love."
"A lot of people watch (lead guitarist) Jordy's fingers, I know that!," added Jim.
George said the most memorable gig the band had played in eight years was at Stawell's National Hotel during an easter weekend.
"That place has great acoustics and the pub was absolutely packed," he said. "It has 110 capacity and there were still people out the front waiting to get in. We charged them an amount we thought they might give us, and they made seven times that amount that evening."
Jim said the biggest challenges involved in keeping the band sustainable were the availability of venues and day jobs.
"I work at Stawell gold mine and Marcus works at the prison in Ararat. We both have night and weekend work, so making the stars align for gigs is an absolute nightmare," he said.
George said: "A lot of the venues are closing down because they can't afford to keep open, and publicans would rather pay $350 for a DJ than $800 for a band. If we went and hired a hall we'd have to hire security and get insurance, it would burn a hole in our pockets.
"We do have some money that goes into a fund (for equipment) and the rest gets divvied up."
Crome's sixth member is Jordan's father, sound technician Greg. While humble about his role in the group, the other members agree his work is vital.
"The discipline is to listen," Greg said. "To know the music and when to bring up the guitar or the vocals."
"For 'Ace of Spades' by Motorhead I will bring up Troy's bass guitar, and for "Rock and Roll Outlaw" by Rose Tattoo I'll bring up Jordy's guitar because it's got very technical slide lead break in it."
While day jobs are an obstacle for some members, Greg has turned his into an asset.
"I cover an area from Melbourne through to Gippsland and (the south west coast) with my day job as an IT consultant," he said.
"So if I go to a little town like Portland, if I've got enough time I might pop into one of the pubs there, and we have pre-packed flyers and I'll drop one off and speak to the owner - you know 'Hi I'm Greg from Chrome, are you looking for a band'?
"We've got a lot of business through doing that and through word of mouth."
Jim said there was a culture of supporting one another amongst bands in Western Victoria from which Crome has also benefited.
"Most musos are pretty good guys to and they don't see other bands as threats - some do - but we've got a lot of work by other guys in bands saying 'you should get these Crome guys out'," he said.
"That's how we got to Ballarat: A local pub rock band band AZIO said that about us."
George said the band planned to make contact with Horsham's Commercial Hotel and Warracknbeal's Palace Hotel about gig opportunities once both venues reopened in 2020.
"Ten years ago when they did the 50 Years of Wimmera Rock, the amount of people that came out of the woodwork for that... they filled every single licensed venue in Horsham," he said. "It's good for the town and good for the bands."
For Horsham band Suckapunch, the aim is to play beyond the Wimmera.
Bassist Michael Peterson said the group formed in June 2019, with members from Horsham all-girl rock band Lipstick Mafia and covers band Mr Mayday.
"My wife Jodie (Taberner, guitarist) worked at a business that Shannon (Waterworth, guitarist) was part of, and they had a discussion about jamming but it didn't eventuate until about two years later," he said.
"Then I played with Shannon and Jess (Durrant, lead singer) in 'Little Shop of Horrors' and 'Rock of Ages' for Horsham Arts Council.
"It's mostly recreational - most of the band members have kids, but a lot of time and effort goes into (being in a band).
"It's a big commitment from our partners too, given the time we spend away at rehearsals and gigs.
"We plan to cut our teeth here then look further: There are only so many venues you can play in your home town."
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