“At one point, I would say we didn’t even entertain the possibility of doing the band as a thing for all of us for some period of time. “They know what they want and they have a clear vision. Hutcherson and Beiers said the sold-out “Hunted” album release show at the Hi-Dive in October remains among their top musical experiences so far, right up there with Saint Vitus. 9 album of 2015. That came after Decibel ranked Khemmis’ debut, “Absolution,” the No. Introspective, polished and filler-free, it’s more refined and expansive than its predecessor, thanks to thorough self-editing. Careful planning and smart decision-making have been essential to keeping the band from becoming a financial drag on its members, especially when it comes to touring, which the group and its agents know it can only do in short spurts. Whatever spoils of tour come back with them are to be conscientiously invested. Monday night is a homecoming show of sorts, but once Khemmis really comes home after the tour ends on April 8, its members will settle back into their normal routines: drawing airports, brewing beer, teaching classes or crunching stats in CU’s criminology department and getting together on Thursday nights to jam and rehearse for the next show. Among the people least caught off guard by Khemmis’ rise from local band playing for free admission and beer to critical darlings was Dave Otero. Cost: $12-$14 A bus would be nice, but this tour’s rides are a Honda Civic and a ’78 Chevy van lugging a trailer. Enlists fellow sociologist with shared loved of slow, sludgy music. A change. For right now at least, Khemmis is much more a self-sustaining hobby that pays for an occasional stop at a cool brewery on the road than a ticket to Motley Crue-burning-down-hotel-rooms levels of success and excess. “We’re not going to be so flush that we’re all buying Bentleys or whatever,” Hutcherson cracked. It’s kind of out of our control,” Beiers said. A little more than three years later, band lands a spot in Rolling Stone magazine’s best metal albums of 2016. If somehow it got to a certain level, of course, I think we’d see it through.”
Certain aspects of Khemmis’ wild ride still strike the grounded crew as surreal. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)
But the band is keenly aware that its tight, emotionally gripping album work is at the center of its appeal. Professional and personal commitments have kept Khemmis from throwing itself headlong into the realm of opportunity it’s recently opened. Just as it was getting started, the band had to pass on a 6-week tour with Viking metal stalwarts Amon Amarth. “And I’ll go, ‘Well, our agent is working on it.’  Then it’s like, oh! Beiers, 41, will spend most of the next 18 months drawing up blueprints for the redesign of the Guam airport. The night before that, the band members remember the crowd at a headlining show in Chicago screaming bloody murder before they even picked up their instruments. Head brewer at local brewery pulls up a drum stool. Doors open at 7 p.m. The self-employed engineer has an eight-year-old daughter, and doesn’t get paid vacation. The band practices in a claustrophobic rehearsal space behind the Walnut Room that it shares with local post-hardcore trio Muscle Beach. Still, the band hasn’t forgotten its roots. Maybe “classic” is pushing it, but Denver doom quartet Khemmis has made it work. Where: The Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer St. Though they, like so many, are transplants, Khemmis proudly flies the red, blue and gold flag of the diverse-if-nascent Denver metal underground that birthed it. It played a sold-out headlining show at Brooklyn rock haven Saint Vitus Bar in January, weeks after thrash legends Megadeth rocked the same stage. Sociology grad student meets freelance engineering project manager through online ad. “People are like, ‘Are you guys going to tour Europe?’ ” Coleman said. At 28, singer/guitarist Phil Pendergast is the youngest. I can’t speak for these guys, but I know I’ve entertained it now. “Sometimes it feels like we’re right on the of cusp of something. Members of the local metal band Khemmis — Phil Pendergast, Ben Hutherson, Zach Coleman and Dan Beiers — in their rehearsal space at Denver’s Walnut Room on March 16. Though Khemmis is an upstart on the national scene, it’s in exact contrast to the devil-may-care band of young’ns that image conjures up. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)
It’s a classic rock ‘n’ roll story. We’re fortunate to be in a position where we don’t have to take every offer, and I think, to some extent, that helps us.”
That doesn’t mean that if the right opportunity came along — say a tour with Metallica or Slayer — the band wouldn’t jump at it. The five-track epic, released in October on super-indie label 20 Buck Spin, not only earned the self-described “doomed rock ‘n’ roll” outfit that (digital) ink in Rolling Stone, but was also named 2016’s album of the year by extreme scene authority Decibel magazine. These are career men, either married or in committed relationships, their early 20s well in the rearview. The wheels are already turning on the next record, seemingly before the amp tubes cool down from the last session for “Hunted.”
In many ways, that album was a reflection of the personality of the band itself. It’s rare to see a band that forward-thinking. (“Some people, their car payment is about what that royalty check was,” bassist Dan Beiers said.) They are drawing interest from larger indie labels, but Warner Bros. The band will roll into the Marquis Theater Monday night riding a wave of momentum almost as big as the sound on its head-banging, heart-wrenching sophomore release, “Hunted.”
Despite its critical success, Khemmis’ metal means remain modest. That just came out of my mouth.”
Local metal band Khemmis is going on tour with Oathbreaker, a biggish Scandanavian metal band. He produced both their albums at his Flatline Audio studio in Westminster. When: Monday. 3, the band continues to stockpile an ever-more impressive catalog of career highlights. “Khemmis is one band that has ability to envision a path and actually realize it in their writing in a way that most bands don’t,” Otero said. “In the moment, it was like, ‘Oh, man, this might be the only cool thing that we ever get offered.’ And thankfully, it hasn’t been,” Hutcherson said. We love the idea of being rock ‘n’ rollers but we’re not 20 years old and wanting to jump in the van at a moment’s notice and come home to overdue bills or all our (stuff) out on the lawn or whatever. And they have a lot of eyes on them now.”

While members plot and ponder Album No. “It’s something we’ve always made clear as a band. A big change. It smoothly weaves together slab-thick riffs capable of inducing “Wayne’s World”-ian bouts of spontaneous head banging, Iron Maiden-tinged harmonies, Thin Lizzy shuffles and sparse, sorrowful clean parts while tackling honest, human themes like fear and doubt. Records isn’t kicking down their door. “But maybe we knock down some individual-level debt.”

If you go:
What: Oathbreaker with Khemmis, Jaye Jayle and Of Feather and Bone. But if it happens, it happens. (The band’s current 15-date tour was scheduled with spring break in mind, but Hutcherson said he was planning to grade some papers in the van.) Drummer Zach Coleman is the head brewer at South Broadway’s Trve Brewing Company. Pendergast and fellow ax man/growler Ben Hutcherson are sociology grad students at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The band has received just one royalty check in its career. Otero said the band brings a level of self awareness and thoughtfulness to its songwriting — just like it does touring — beyond that of your average noisemakers.