The Academic Path to an Underground Revolt

Does it really help musicians to build and maintain a career by receiving a formal education in music theory? Or will the academic path take away from the artists' raw creativity and only lead to conformity? Should a rising star of the metal scene other to learn how to read and write notes? Is it possible to improve a sound born from an underground revolt through standard musical education? This panel will revolve around craftmanship and the professional pathway to success vs. attitude and gut feeling.

Thursday 14. April 13:00 - Room 2

Mark van Schaick

Mod: Mark van Schaick (NL)


Mark van Schaick has been writing about rock, metal and jazz since 1985. He has been the editor of music magazine OOR and musician's magazines Slagwerkkrant and Gitarist. 2018 saw the publication of his book Why Go, on the Seattle scene in the 1990's, In 2021 he was the editor of the book Melkweg 50 Light Years, which appeared on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of venue Melkweg in Amsterdam. For Dutch copyright society Buma, Mark has programmed six editions of loud music conference and showcase festival Buma ROCKS! (until 2018). He is the current conference programmer of inJazz and New Music Conference, aimed at the international promotion of Dutch copyright in jazz and contemporary classical music. He has covered Inferno Music Conference 2019 for webzine Never Mind The Hype and was a moderator at 2021’s online edition of IMC.

Kevin Quilligan.jpg

Kevin Quilligan (Metal factory, NL)


Kevin Quilligan is a Dutch vocal coach and teacher at Metal Factory in Eindhoven (NL) and singer/composer for Death Metal band: Ghost of Mirach. Working as a metal musician since 2004 with several Dutch Death Metal bands and active as a teacher since 2016. The combination of working with young people and music has always had a presence throughout his career, especially being part of the only vocational education in Europe with a focus on the Metal music industry. 


Arnt Obsidian Grønbech (NO)

Musician, entrepreneur & business coach


After many successful years in the music industry as both a musician as well as operating his own label, studio and management, Arnt decided to branch out to other forms of entrepreneurship and online business. From 2015 to 2017 he built a sales organization of more than 7000 people in 20 countries with a combined sales volume of 10M euros in just 24 months. In between running his bands and companies he is now coaching people in topics like online marketing, entrepreneurial mindset and leadership. He specializes in talks for bands and artists where he teaches how to create multiple income streams from the fanbase using the latest technology


Kim Dylla (Kylla Custom Rock Wear, US)

Kim Dylla is a metal costume designer, entrepreneur, and singer hailing from Virginia, USA, and Stockholm, SWE. Coming from an Academic background in Cultural Heritage and Computer Science, she took the leap as full time professional metalhead when she founded her clothing company Kylla Custom Rock Wear in 2012. In addition to singing in various metal bands, most notably as Vulvatron of Gwar and currently with Ireland's Cruachan, she strives to bring her metal aesthetic onto the world's biggest stages as she dresses international professional wrestlers and touring acts. 

Photo: Johan Söderberg