Dwarf Corpse Trollstomps To the Top at MXTP in Grand Rapids

There will be a public trollstomping on Aug. 11 at MXTP.

Dwarf Corpse, a folk-metal band from Grand Rapids, will execute the little-known but visually impressive maneuver when it plays the Grand Rapids music venue with Battlecross. This, of course, raises the question: What exactly is trollstomping?

“It started when we were figuring out what to physically do onstage while playing," said Nick Polkowski, bassist for Dwarf Corpse. "When we kick our legs up in the air simultaneously - that's trollstomping.”

The members - Ian Martzke (vocals), Peter Kramer (guitar), Kotie Vanden Bosch (guitar/keyboards), Evan Good (drums) and Polkowski - dress accordingly for their stomp sessions, embellished in furs, shoulder pads, helmets and “corpse paint” to take the look of deadly vikings that party to raucous metal interspersed with influences of folk, jazz, and blues. However, with song titles like “Death Doesn’t Have Boobs,” “Black Metal Beach Party” and the newly written “Hootenanny Hoedown,” the band’s goofier side takes precedence over the one that would actually crush living souls.

“We really want to focus on having an interesting live show,” said Martzke. “There are lots of great bands in the [Grand Rapids] area, but having a great live show is what keeps people coming back to shows rather than just throwing a CD in. We've really pushed our silliness at shows.”

Agree with that formula or not, it has worked for the band thus far. Since joining forces around Halloween of 2009, the combination of “Eino” (Martzke), “Petri” (Kramer), “Kai” (Vanden Bosch), “Niko” (Polkowski) and “DeShawn Brown” (Good) have yet to release a CD and they’ve opened up for The Black Dahlia Murder at the MXTP and made it to the final round of MXTP’s Battle for the Van competition, both in 2010.

“Expect a show that is not based on technical precision, but rather theatrics and sweat. Lots of sweat,” said Vanden Bosch.

“One time, Ian had a sore throat right before walking onstage, and I had had a toothache earlier that day,” Polkowski added. “I said, 'stick out your tongue, I have something that will help.' I wiped a big glob of Orajel on his tongue and watched him slobber out the first song without hearing much definition of words,” said Polkowski with a laugh.

DC’s efforts are nothing to disregard though, just because of the fun-factor. The group makes DC possible after first tackling the toils of normal, human life like work and education while making fun out of every performance. Together, they plan to build their fan base in Michigan while hoping, one day, to be the first band to trollstomp on the moon. Perhaps a rejuvenation call for NASA?

“Folk metal may not be everybody’s thing, but you can't say that Dwarf Corpse isn't worth seeing at least once,” said Martzke.