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Flossmoor metal musician believes music can change the world

Edward Spigner, a 34-year-old Flossmoor resident with the stage name of “Ded” Ed, formed the metal band Thutch in 2021. What started as a personal music project in the mid-2010s eventually became something bigger — a five-piece band full of colorful stage personas that has performed throughout Chicagoland, the Great Lakes Region and in Iowa. 

Spigner said he wholeheartedly believes in the power of music to change the world for the better. This is because music can “bridge gaps” between people, he said.

“No matter what language you speak, no matter what your cultural background is, no matter how your day went, everybody has a story. And the crazy part about music is it can transcend all of that and touch people in different ways,” Spigner said. “The fact that you can be buddies with some people just because of the music you like or music you don’t like is a testament to how big music is.”

The members of Thurch are Edward Spigner, left, Osvil Cisneros Jr., Brandon Chastain, Ryan F. Skelly and Alex Rodriguez. (Provided photo)

Spigner said he’s loved music for as long as he can remember. When he was a kid, his family sang in the church choir, and he loved the hymns.

“That’s something I don’t listen to the same way anymore,” Spigner said. “But it’s definitely something that I catch the feels when I hear it.”

As a teenager in the early 2000s, Spigner said it was hard sometimes being Black and interested in alternative music. In his view, the music scene is more accepting than it used to be.

“Some people would think you were a poseur because you weren’t white. Some people didn’t believe in my talent, skills or credibility,” Spigner said. “But now, it’s very few and far between to experience prejudice while in the alternative scene.” 

Before forming Thutch, Spigner played in other bands in the South Suburbs, including playing guitar for the Chicago Heights hardcore band Black Mass. He said he started out in Black Mass by filling in for someone but eventually became a full-time member. 

“Ded” Ed performing on stage. (Provided photo)

Spigner writes and composes Thutch’s songs. In the recordings of the songs, he sings, plays the guitar and programs the drums and bass. 

Thutch is an “amalgamation of different subgenres of metal,” Spigner said. He’s also influenced by punk, hardcore, hip-hop, R&B and techno.

Spigner said he got his bandmates involved when he wanted something more out of it – such as performing together on stage.

The band has Spigner on vocals, Osvil Cisneros Jr. on the drums, Brandon Chastain on bass and Ryan F. Skelly and Alex Rodriguez on guitar. All Thutch members play characters on stage with elaborate backstories in the vein of a supernatural horror movie.

“When I perform live, I put the mask and outfit on and I channel a darker character – a hellhound full of rage, chaos and all-around energy,” Skelly said.

“I like to call it a musical,” Spigner said, regarding Thutch’s stage performance.

Spigner said his family greatly supports his musical endeavors, adding that his grandmother sometimes shares his songs.

“I don’t think they really understand everything that goes into it. And that’s okay,” Spigner said. “Because they respect it and they encourage it.”

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