This week, a local band is using its first album debut as a way to give back to the clinic that helped save the life of the band guitarist’s son.
“The Technicolor Nightmare,” a local rock band based in Paintsville, will debut its first, self-titled album live on the band’s Facebook page, “The Technicolor Nightmare,” at 8 p.m. on Feb. 26 from the Mountain Arts Center studio. During the livestream, there will be a donation link to donate money to the UK DanceBlue Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic. All proceeds will be donated to the clinic.
Band guitarist Waylon Whitson, who joined the band in 2012 and who is a staff writer for The Paintsville Herald, said that they decided to raise money for the UK DanceBlue Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic after his son Damien, now 6 years old, received chemotherapy treatments from the clinic starting in 2019.
Damien, then 4 years old, was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, where a soft tissue malignant tumor formed behind his right eye. As a parent, Whitson said, the experience was extremely stressful.
“It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been through,” Whitson said.
Damien received chemotherapy treatments from the UK DanceBlue Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic, as well as other treatments from the University of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center in Lexington. His cancer is currently in remission.
Whitson said that his son’s treatments took place throughout the recording of his band’s first album, and he wanted to give back to the clinic for how they helped his family through that time.
“They have a lot of really good programs for families and kids that are going through that, and they rely a lot on donations,” Whitson said. “All of this stuff happened through the recording of the album for the past two years. I actually had to put the recording of the album on the back burner for about 6 months while we got him treated. We got him cleared up, he’s in remission now, and we wanted to try to do something to give back to them because they did so much for my family.”
Band members of “The Technicolor Nightmare” have referred to their style as “Appalachian rock,” a kind of rock inspired by the “underground, psychedelic, jam band-laden scene that was predominant in Eastern Kentucky in the early 2010s.”
Whitson said that there is music for everyone to enjoy on their newest album, and he encouraged the public to check out the live virtual event as a way to enjoy live music without having to leave the house.
“It’s rock’n’roll music, but this album has a lot of different styles on it. I think there’s something on it for everybody to enjoy,” Whitson said. “If nothing else, nobody can go out and do anything right now. Rather than having to go to a bar and pay a separate charge to get in, they could spend that same $5 on helping some of these kids out and helping out the clinic. It would just mean the world to me if people could tune in and check it out.”
Whitson said this is the first year that the band has held this kind of event, and he hopes to make an impact with it.
“I really hope that we can raise some significant amount of money to help them,” Whitson said. “It feels like we might have an opportunity to do something that could actually garner some significant attention, and I’d like to turn that attention toward helping these kids out.”
For more information, visit the band’s Facebook page (The Technicolor Nightmare), Instagram page (@thetechnicolornightmare) or YouTube channel (The Technicolor Nightmare).