Wilmington’s community of artists, musicians and entertainers are a passionate bunch. We at encore work with so many individuals and groups who care just as much about crafting camaraderie and community as they do about “making it big” for themselves. That’s exactly the sentiment I got from Salvación and Weedeater drummer Carlos Denogean almost two years ago to the day.
“There is an abundant amount of great bands in the area,” he told me after founding the Thou Shall Rock heavy metal festival. “The metal scene in Wilmington is diverse and vibrant, and the fan base is equally spirited. My goal with Thou Shall Rock was to showcase the immense amount of talented heavy metal bands in the region.”
Our community lost Carlos Denogean on Friday, August 24. As his family, friends and bandmates celebrate his life as a “defender of faith metal,” encore invited notes of remembrance. Here are words of love to honor and remember Carlos from his friends and family across ILM…
Carlos and I had countless incredible memories together, but one of my favorites is from the summer of 2014 at our first concert together. KISS and Def Leppard were playing and I drove down from Richmond,Virginia, because I knew he’d be there. We started out in the lawn where we had tickets, but by the end of the KISS set we were climbing over the seats nearing the stage, hand-in-hand as “Detroit Rock City” played. We danced and sang and kissed. I’ve never felt more alive than that moment.
Musician for Photoclub
I play in the local punk band Photoclub. We have been playing around Wilmington for around 13 years and play Reggie’s a ton. I knew Carlos Denogean from the Wilmington music scene and being a regular at Reggie’s. He was not super-close to me just mutual friends with others. I was heartbroken by his death because many friends of mine were close to him. Carlos and I talked on several occasions and our bands played together on certain show lineups.
Years ago back when I was in art class at CFCC, I signed up for a drawing class because a fellow friend of mine who I have known for years was teaching the class. One particular assignment my teacher, Jeremy Millard, said he had a special guest coming into model for us. Well it was his friend and bandmate Carlos, who at the time played drums for White Tiger and the Bed of Roses. So I was so excited because it was someone I knew and not a stranger. Carlos just sat down in a wild looking chair I believe it was Leopard print. He had a metal band shirt on and blacks vest with skinny jeans.
Jeremy Millard had the whole class draw him for about three hours and he sat mainly still, which had to be so hard. He had a smile on his face the whole time and after the class I talked to him.
I introduced myself and told him about my band and we talked about music and the Soapbox I believe. Well after that night we talked more when I crossed paths with him at bars, shows, and record stores. I saw him play drums with many bands and wow he was a beast. He also was so friendly and smiled all the time. Never once did I see him pissed off or trash his set on stage. Just a cool down to earth guy who left this world way too soon.
When I heard the news I immediately was calling my friends and bandmates and everyone was in disbelief. I then remembered I had a drawing of him and dug it out of the closest where it sat for five-plus years! I took a photo of it and blasted it all over social media. Here is the drawing and it is not my best work. I am mainly a photographer and charcoal drawer. This was done with pencil. I hope you like it and I felt it was worth sharing. RIP Carlos Denogean!
I am going to miss seeing him around town and his talented drumming skills.
Carlos’ bandmate, Salvación
I played in Salvación with Carlos off and on for about six years. We also played in a Motorhead tribute band called The Röad Crüe and countless nameless projects. Carlos saw the potential in me when I was a young guitarist and constantly boosted me up and gave me confidence aside from asking me to join his band.
I’ve got too many stories to tell but I have some good candid pictures. Let me know if I can help in any way. Thanks for doing something for Carlos; he was a huge part of our community and we’ll be feeling this loss pretty much forever.