DEVIANTS UNITE TOGETHER IN EXILE BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
TOGETHER IN EXILE is a band from the Tampa Bay, Florida area. The guys have a knack of bringing metal into a hard rock melody driven atmosphere. The smoldering dark elements that shine through the band’s first full length album DESTROY SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL is just the tip of the iceberg for this band. They reel you in with catchy hooks, groovy aspects and hard-hitting beats. Lyrically delightful with strong words to make you think, chant with glee and make you love the ones you hold close and dear to you.
Since the release of DESTROY SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL in 2015 the band has been busy with playing shows, and creating self-produced videos for a visual look into songs like DEVIANT, ALMOST HUMAN,THE STARS DIE TONIGHT. With all that happening they still had time to create a new set of songs for a new album coming out in the near future.
TOGETHER IN EXILE sparked my interest because of the overall good music they put out along with the way they connect with fans; bringing the sense of community within the “deviant” or “unnormal”. The band thinks out of the box when it comes to writing, creating a visual aspect for all the live shows and gives you plenty to think about with story lines within each track. Straight forward, dark, heavy and melodic that is TOGETHER IN EXILE in a nutshell.
I had a chance to chat with Matty (guitar) and Thomas (vocals) about what each band member brings into the band, some of my favorite tracks off the album and all about putting on a live show.
WHO IS TOGETHER IN EXILE AND WHAT DOES EACH MEMBER OF THE BAND BRING INTO THE BAND ON A MUSICAL AND BUSINESS ASPECT TO MAKE YOU WHO YOU ARE TODAY?
TOGETHER IN EXILE is: Thomas Crane - vocals Matty Exile - Guitar Brad Balsama - Guitar Ilyn Nathaniel - Bass Danny Cayocca - Drums
THOMAS: Everyone brings something to the table to make the band what it is, creatively and logistically. Matty is kind of like a mad scientist. Just lock him in a room with a guitar and some cigarettes and he comes up with these sick riffs. All the music starts with him. Then he hands me the song and tells me to do something with it. I do all the vocals, lyrics, themes, etc,. Then when we get a song to a point that we feel comfortable moving forward, we all get in a room together and make those subtle tweaks that help improve it. In addition, Ilyn designs our album artwork and most of our merch. I produce the music videos (with help from everyone). Danny and Brad handle a lot of the business and accounting with the band, because that's just not something every person is suited to do.
There's a lot to a band that people don't see. That 45 minutes on stage is maybe 5% of a band's operation. There's rehearsals, loading and unloading gear, dealing with promoters, preparing and accounting merch, dealing with management, ordering burritos, etc.
BEING FROM THE TAMPA. FLORIDA AREA HOW HAS THAT HELPED IN YOUR SUCCESS OF THE BAND THUS FAR? AND HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE MUSIC SCENE IN THE AREA?
THOMAS: The music scene in Tampa is a lot more diverse than people think. It's been known forever as the death metal capital of America, and yes, metal is still the primary genre driving things here - but there's still a lot of variety. We have a lot of great friends in other bands that we've made in this area. Everyone knows one another and tries to help each other out. It's a pretty cool place to call your home.
YOU GUYS ALL CAME FROM OTHER BANDS WHAT ASPECTS OF THOSE BANDS DID YOU BRING INTO TOGETHER IN EXILE?
THOMAS: Everyone has their own influences, obviously from a creative standpoint, that they bring into the band. But in addition to that, I think everyone takes their past band experience as a learning experience too. Being in a band is like being married to 4 other people. It can be awesome sometimes. But it can be frustrating sometimes too. You live and learn on how to deal with problems that arise. But that's pretty typical of any group activity. Having past band experience helps you deal with current issues and resolve them to move forward.
DEFINE WHAT THE BAND NAME MEANS TO YOU AND HOW DOES THAT TIE INTO THE OVERALL VIBE OF WHAT YOU GUYS WRITE ABOUT?
MATTY: Together In Exile is a proclamation of what we stand for. Our music is about uniting people who deviate from the norm. People who live by an alternate standard. They may be exiled by society, but we welcome them with open arms.
THOMAS: We went through several band name ideas before we landed on this one, which Matty came up with. It was an immediate "yes" from me. I like the concept of uniting people who are thought of as outcasts. Because we fucking are.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD SONG IN YOUR EYES AS A MUSICIAN?
MATTY: It has to move people, especially live. Each song has a very distinguishable feel to it. If I'm not nodding my head along when writing, it gets scrapped.
THOMAS: I'm a sucker for a good melody. Don't get me wrong, I love heavy guitars - but to keep my interest and keep me coming back for more, I need good hooks.
WHEN YOU GUYS WRITE WHAT IS YOUR STRUCTURE; DO YOU HAVE ONE SONGWRITER OR DO YOU WRITE AS A FULL BAND?
MATTY: Generally, Thomas writes the vocals and I create the music. The songs are then presented to the band and adjustments are made. Structurally, we stick to what will be easy enough for non-musicians to understand while not sacrificing musicality.
I READ THAT WHEN YOU WERE IN THE STUDIO FOR DESTROY SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL YOU FOUND OUT YOUR VOCALIST COULD WRITE ON THE SPOT. HOW DOES THAT HELP/ ENHANCE YOUR WRITING OR RECORDING DYNAMICS?
MATTY: Thats true, half of DESTROY SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL was written on the spot. DEVIANT, FALL INTO ME, RATED R, and FUTURE EX WIFE each were written and recorded in 48hrs or less. Thomas is a madman, I can throw songs at him and he'll be ready the next day.
THOMAS: Now that we've been a band for a few years and recorded multiple times, I think we understand each other a lot more now, and we have a better feel for how the creative process is going to flow. The spontaneous nature of songs on the DSB recording was actually a surprise for us at the time. Like, "wow, okay cool, we can write songs on the spot in this band". So, going forward, we know that when we go to the studio, new songs are going to happen.
The story behind "DEVIANT" was a pretty interesting one. Basically, we had this other song tracked. The music was done and I was about to do vocals on it but Matty and I weren't feeling it. So, I basically told him, if you want to replace it, you have till tomorrow to write it because we had a schedule we had to keep up with. So, he immediately grabbed his guitar and he wrote and recorded the music to DEVIANT that night. The next morning, he sends me over the song, and I got started with the lyrics. I remember texting him that afternoon, "If we're tracking vocals on this song tonight, we need to go to the liquor store before they close". So, we got a bottle of Jim Beam, and recorded vocals and mixed it that night till 6am. I still have that bottle signed and dated.
A QUOTE I READ ON YOUR FACEBOOK I WOULD LOVE YOU TO GO INTO MORE DEPTH WITH. IT WAS QUOTED AS “YOU ARE EXPLORING AREAS OF THE MIND THAT MIGHT MAKE THE NORMALS UNCOMFORTABLE? WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT?
THOMAS: Generally speaking, I think most people are uncomfortable with challenging themselves. I think the general population likes to stick with what's safe and comforting, keep themselves away from the darker aspects of life or things that are thought provoking.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT OFF OF DESTROY SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL?
THOMAS: Probably the fact that I survived it. But if I had to pick a song, probably RATED R. I really like the lyrics.
MATTY: Mine was definitely FUTURE EX WIFE, that was the only song that was recorded and left as is...no editing, no fixing...it was just perfect. It set the standard for everything we did after that.
ARE YOU GUYS WRITING NEW MATERIAL FOR ANOTHER ALBUM AND HOW HAS YOUR SOUND GROWN OR BEEN ENHANCED SINCE THE INITIAL WRITING FOR DSB?
MATTY: The second album is written and recorded. We are fine tuning it before its sent off to be mixed and mastered. It is a continuation of DSB except that we are spending a lot more time with overall production. We are expanding on the things people loved about DSB.
THOMAS: As much as I like DSB, this new record is a step forward for us in about every way imaginable. We were still finding ourselves and our identity with the DSB material. The new record is coming about after we've spent some years together, been through some adversity together, and learned from each other. I am excited to get this material out. I imagine the new record will have some material on it that will offend some people too. Good.
ONE SONG THAT I FELL IN LOVE WITH INSTANTLY WAS SOLEMNITY WHAT INSPIRED THAT SONG AND HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE FINISHED PRODUCT? AND HOW WELL DOES IT GO OVER LIVE?
MATTY: SOLEMNITY is actually a true story. I bartended for many years and one slow night a man came in. He started drinking straight up liquor, and he was hitting it heavy. When I asked him if he was alright, he said his wife was diagnosed with cancer a year ago and that she just died in his arms that morning. It broke my heart. He then started crying and asked why did this happen to them, and kept saying he wished it would take him instead. A lot of the lyrics are direct quotes from him.
ALMOST HUMAN IS ANOTHER EAR PLEASER WAS THAT A SONG THAT WAS EASY TO WRITE AND WHERE IN THE WRITING PROCESS WAS IT WRITTEN AND HOW DO YOU GUYS DEFINE THE OVERALL FEEL OF THAT TRACK?
THOMAS: ALMOST HUMAN was a very important song for this band. It was the song that prompted us to go record in Cleveland, as well as the song that taught us how we work best creatively. I remember hearing Matty writing the music one day, and I was immediately ready to write to it. As far as meaning goes, it's probably one of our most personal songs I've done with this band. It's about alcoholism and being consumed by addiction.
SPEAKING OF LIVE SHOWS, YOU GUYS TEND TO HAVE A FULL PRODUCTION FOR A KILLER LIVE SHOW HOW IMPORTANT TO YOUR BAND OR ANY BAND IS HAVING THAT VISUAL PIECE IN THIS DAY N AGE?
THOMAS: I've always been a fan of bands who put on a big show. The show becomes more of an experience and tends to stick in your mind that way I think. In many ways, a concert becomes sort of like a stage play. There's definitely going to be much more of that with this new record. I have lots of performance art in mind. I don't want you to just listen to these songs. I want them to punch you in the face.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE A TOGETHER IN EXILE FAN?
MATTY: TIE fans are called "DEVIANTS", they're usually sexually open minded, heavy drinking, music lovers. Something most people can relate to.
ANOTHER BIG ELEMENT YOU GUYS HAVE IS A HEFTY NUMBER OF VIDEOS FOR THIS PAST ALBUM. WHO SHOOTS YOUR VIDEOS AND LOOKING BACK ON ALL OF THEM WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TO SHOOT AND WHY?
THOMAS: I produce the music videos, but all the guys pitch into help with the production, because it's always a lot of work. I honestly don't really have a favorite so far. They were enjoyable to do, but I'm really focused on making the concepts for the next record.
MATTY: Mine was STARS DIE TONIGHT, we were just playing like we would live, it felt rawer.
WHAT I SAW ALSO IS YOU GUYS HAVE A VISUAL STAGE PERSONA WITH MASKS NOW BUT IN EARLY VIDEOS I DIDN’T SEE ANY OF THIS. WHEN DID THE MASK MAKE AN IMPACT INTO THE BAND AND WHAT DOES THAT SYMBOLIZE FOR THE BAND?
MATTY: The look has evolved when we stopped caring what people thought and ran with what we wanted to look like. I love wearing the mask, its challenging, and adds a mysterious dynamic to the stage show. More importantly, the mask distinguishes between myself and the persona, when the mask is on, I'm in work mode, I'm Matty Exile. Plus, I don't have to worry about making a weird face in pictures.
WHAT BANDS OR MUSICIANS DO YOU CALL OUT AS INFLUENCES AND WHAT MADE THEM BECOME YOUR INFLUENCES?
THOMAS: Scott Weiland, Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, Ghost, Nine Inch Nails, 80's pop music, Alfred Hitchcock
MATTY: Pantera and In Flames influence me heavily when writing.
WHERE DO YOU SEE TOGETHER IN EXILE IN 5 YEARS?
THOMAS: I'd like to see what we are capable of creating by that time. I feel like this next record is an important step for us creatively and I want to continue that with each album. We should be on album 4 or 5 by then.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOU GUYS? WHERE CAN THEY FIND YOUR MUSIC? Facebook: @togetherinexhileofficial Instagram: @togetherinexile website: www.togetherinexile.com
ANY TOUR PLANS IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
THOMAS: We are currently slated to be touring with Future of the Leaders of the World in October.
ANYTHING YOU WANT TO TELL FANS THAT THEY MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BAND OR YOU GUYS AS INDIVIDUALS?
THOMAS: Contrary to what Danny says about me in the Deviant video, I am getting much better about answering my phone.
MATTY: Everything we do is 100% real. It's not a front. We really are professional Deviants. Through and through. We drink heavy, we play hard, and we are open to almost anything.
GAME: THIS OR THAT CHOOSE ONE OR THE OTHER:
BATMAN OR SUPERMAN? Batman HARD LIQUOR OR BEER? Why not both? LIVE SHOW OR STUDIO WORK? Live show. SUNRISE OR SUNSETS? Sunsets. TACOS OR PIZZA? Pizza. BEYONCE OR RIHANNA? Rihanna.
Canadian band THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH took part in the Winter Jam Tour; a 46-city annual spectacular that was the 4th largest tour so far in 2017, playing in front of almost a half million fans. Their new live album UNTRAVELED ROADS was recorded during Winter Jam. Not overproduced, just a simple yet profound look into what a TFK live show sounds like. It's an Electrifying, energy driven and powerful set. This is the 2nd live CD this band has done - but I think this one showcases the real and prominent elements you will get out of the band.
As I made my way through this 12-track live disc I started realizing I truly enjoy this band. They make good, edgy music with great messages with ton of passion.
The raw, fist pumping stadium anthems are mostly singles from the band's last three albums. LIGHT UP THE SKY shows off the energy, with a hip-hop flair. PUSH was always a favorite of with mine hints of Linkin Park influences that intertwine with that TFK melody driven ambience. The dirty, gritty and edgier rock assault of LET THE SPARKS FLY makes your adrenaline rise halfway through the band's set. COURTESY CALL got the crowd going and shows the versatility of singer Trevor McNevan. Out of all the songs that are memorable on this disc; the thing that stood out for me was McNevan’s positive chat with the crowd at the end of this song. His message that our popular culture tells us that we should be a certain way - but that we don't have to buy into that… That God created us in his image and we are beautiful and wonderful, just as we are. That positive message really made me respect this band more and just shows that they are way more than Rockstars. Right after that chat with the crowd they move into the ballad of BE SOMEBODY, a song that has an amazing message and is beautiful in its own right. The modern rock twist of WAR OF CHANGE made the set list, along with the band’s first single and video for UNTRAVELED ROAD. A high adrenaline, powerful message and driving intensity that shows off the talent and musicianship of this 3-man band who are known as THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH. I can’t wait to hear new music from them soon.
Travel with TFK: Official website: https://thousandfootkrutch.com
Beautiful, Humble, Balanced and Intelligent....a perfect dream. SYMETRIA BY: JACKIE RYAN
ATTENTION ATTENTION!! We have here a band that holds nothing back and is releasing their debut self-titled album on September 29th. They had their first show November 18 at a Toys For Tots benefit and plan to do so again this year on the same date. Their debut album features songs that really mean something to them and talk about addiction, the 7 deadly sins, and taking action one what you want to do in life. The guys of SYMETRIA put a lot of time and thought into each song for their first album, check it out at the end of the month!
We had the opportunity to talk to Blair Smith - Drums and Kevin Cust – Guitar to see what they have to say about the album, who their biggest influences are, and where they think they will end up.
Facebook: @symetriaband Twitter: @symetriaband
WALK US THROUGH YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS OF YOUR SELF-TITLE ALBUM SYMETRIA.
Kevin - When we were doing covers in our band Clairvoyant, Vince and I had a vision for a band that would be relevant in today's music scene that would include influences from all past great bands but also to take those influences and apply it in a modern approach. The result: SYMETRIA!!!! We're sure glad that we found Blair, Fernando and James to join us on our journey.
Blair - We came together as a band and went into the studio with the purpose of making the best album we could at this point in time . An attempt was made to infuse an entire experience into the album and not just a bunch of songs, we really went into depth as far as the art, song order, and concept. We wanted to give everyone a complete package. The amazing part is as the name implies an album is a snapshot in time. If you were to see us live currently the songs have even progressed since the album was recorded .
SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES ARE FUSED INTO YOUR MUSIC, HOW DO YOU THINK THEY TRANSLATED TO YOU TO MAKE MUSIC?
Kevin - Anytime you’re making music, your influences are going to come in somehow. The idea is that everybody pulls from their own influences to create something new and fresh. From the standpoint of writing for the guitars, the twin guitar attack was always something that I love when I listen to music. Harmonies just speak to my soul, so for me, they are very important to include when writing music. Our other guitarist James, has a similar interest in writing for the guitars as well, so that helps when we are creating new parts. We have received a lot of awesome feedback from people at our shows that love the twin axe attack, so as long as we love it, and the fans love it, we will continue to incorporate those influences all while putting our own spin on it.
Blair - Aristotle said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We are all coming with different feels and influences. We all did however make a conscious effort to make the best music we could. That being the first and foremost rule; all of the other influences just added flavor and beauty to what we set out to do. It gave it depth, it avoided the music sounding too much like one thing.
YOU HAVE YOUR 1ST LIVE SHOW ANNIVERSARY COMING UP IN NOVEMBER, HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE PLAYING TOYS FOR TOTS AGAIN? WHY WAS THIS BENEFIT SHOW CHOSEN IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Kevin - Toys for Tots has a special place in or heart. I am a teacher in my day job and a baseball coach, so any time we can help the youth of our world it is a no brainer. Vince got us on this show and the purpose was twofold: to benefit the youth and to see how our sound would play out live. I guess you could say that we have done okay for ourselves since that show.
Blair - The show was chosen first off as just a good low stress opportunity to give our time to a great cause and take ourselves out and expose people to our music . One year later that is still the case, charity is good for the mind and soul, and simply playing to help make a difference in someone's life is such a privilege we are so happy to do it.
SYMETRIA JUST STARTED A FEW YEARS AGO, BUT YOU’RE UP AGAINST SOME BANDS THAT HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR A WHILE, HOW DOES IT FEEL TO PLAY WITH THEM, DO YOU EVER LEARN ANYTHING FROM THEM?
Kevin - We are very new to the music scene, but it's always best for us to remain teachable by all the bands that we play with and see what they're doing that may get a good reaction with the crowd and their fans. It's always fun to play with new bands and establish new relationships.
Blair - We have actually only been around for about a year as a band . Myself and Vince have been around the scene a while and have learned much .... but never too much to stop learning. It is an honor to play music with anyone and all musicians are part of the same brotherhood and share a common set of experiences, good and bad. Any musician should never be so arrogant as to think they can never learn anything by watching or asking.
WHEN AND WHERE YOU WHEN YOU HEARD YOUR FIRST METAL SONG, WHICH SONG TURNED YOU TO PLAY MUSIC?
Kevin - I always "heard" metal songs but it wasn't until I probably listened to Metallica that really turned me on to metal, particularly songs from their Black album. "Sad But True" was a song that really spoke to me when I was driving around with my younger brother, Mike. I was 20 years old and started playing guitar very late (19 years old). I remember driving in Flemington, NJ with him and "Sad But True" was on a mix cd that we had in the CD player. He was asking me how they make those sounds with the guitar. He was referring to the solos and harmonies in that song. They really spoke to me and really was a turning point in taking my new heavier, but melodic approach to my guitar playing.
Blair - I had received a bootleg copy of Metallica's No Life Till Leather demo and that made me go looking for that sound ... I don't know if there was really one song that made me want to play music. It has always been more of an expressive need, a way to create and make something on my own .
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH TIM MCMURTRIE AND ERIC RACHEL AT TRIPSQUAD RECORDS, WHAT WAS THE BEST AND WORST DAYS?
Kevin - There are no worst days when you are doing something you love. Working with Tim and Eric was an awesome experience. They knew that we knew what we wanted to sound like and let us carry out our vision. But, they also made recommendations to certain aspects to improve the overall quality of the music. They knew exactly where to do these adjustments and were very professional.
Blair - Eric has such an amazing ear , he has the ability to hear things that the normal human can't, the smallest detail can't escape his notice. He is free with his opinion and is easy, patient, and great to work with and most importantly he keeps a good sense of humor about him. His experience was more than welcomed and helped us a great deal .
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST COMMENTS FROM NEW FANS THAT YOU HAVE HEARD?
Kevin - Fans are loving the structure of our songs and appreciate how our live sound is in comparison to the album. Sometimes you have some tough time hearing songs in live settings, but people have said that we have a sound really close to our recordings in a live setting, and that is a great compliment.
Blair - That they like the music and they "get it. " The best part being the people telling us this are fans of all different genres which is the most important thing to us . We are bridging styles and tastes. There is something here for everyone.
GUITARIST EXTRAORDINAIRE MIKE KERR TALKS ABOUT THE MIKE KERR GROUP & MUSIC BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
MIKE KERR is an amazing guitar player from Massachusetts. I was introduced to him, from the band he created FIRSTBOURNE, after being at a festival that they played and hearing so many amazing and positive things about the band and his playing.
Along with his busy schedule, different bands he plays in; he has also done two solo records; THE FIRE and THE TRUTH OF A LION. Influenced by the rock of the 80’s this guy can modernize, technically assault and emotionally seduce you with the playing he does.
He has gathered fans around the world and have won awards for some of his songs he has written and played. So, with such a talent and gem in my own state I knew I had to get in touch and learn more about this artist.
He was able to answer some questions about his beginnings, the records he has released with the MIKE KERR GROUP and his array of blues, jazz and rock playing.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO PLAYING GUITAR AND AT WHAT AGE? I was inspired to play at first because my dad plays the acoustic guitar and then what made me really get into it was watching video clips from 80s Hits on MTV tapes my dad brought from The USA. I started learning around 9-10 the acoustic and electric 17.
WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT WHO WAS YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE AND WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT THAT PERSON AS A MUISICIAN AND HOW HAS THAT PERSON MADE YOU THE PERSON YOU ARE TODAY? John Norum from Europe was My biggest influence from back then and he is still one of my biggest inspirations today. The thing that connects me to his playing the most is the ability to Create very melodic lines, phrase very well, great vintage Tone, great dynamic, great vibrato, great rhythms and he manages to add to all of that just the right amount of shred to it.
YOUR FOM BRAZIL BUT LIVING IN MASSACHUSETTS WHAT MADE YOU COME TO THE STATES AND HAVE YOU BEEN BACK HOME TO PLAY FOR FRIENDS OR FANS OVER THERE? I came to USA to live with my dad in 2001 with a dream to study music, I was 17. I worked hard at a trash company called Bizzaro to buy my first Guitar, a Blue Jackson guitar and start making my dream reality. I normally go to Brazil 2 or 3 times per year, I made several TV appearances along with my sister; singer Kezia Kerr. I also do guitars workshops at music stores and schools down there.
TELL US OTHER THEN MUSIC AND SONG WRITING WHAT ELSE MAKES UP THE PERSON WHO IS MIKE KERR? The music is a giant part of my life, it is really who I am. I love spending time with my wife, playing with the dog, watching horror movies, working out. I'm also the owner of a cleaning company and a landscape company in Martha's Vineyard so I spend a ton of my time managing those companies.
IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE YOUR MINDSET WRITING THE FIRST CD YOU EVER RELEASED THE FIRE IN 2012 AND DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE GOAL YOU SET FOR THAT ALBUM YOU REACHED? On THE FIRE I just wanted to get an album out there. I worked with one of my guitar mentors on this album. He is a fantastic guitarist and he produced the album, his name is Jota Vox. I'm proud of this album. It was my first and there some good Ideas on it. Of course, I'm not happy about my leads on it since I feel like I've mature so much in so many ways in comparison. Anyways, it's a good album, mixing and mastering aren't that great but again it's a good album. My least favorite in comparison to THE TRUTH OF THE LION and my favorite work of course FirstBourne- Riot.
IN 2015 YOU RELEASED A NEW DISC CALLED THE TRUTH OF A LION WHAT KIND OF GROWTH OR CHANGES DID YOU MAKE ON THIS DISC SINCE YOUR FIRST CD? On THE TRUTH OF THE LION I feel like I finally mature on many departments, I feel like the Tone is a lot more to my liking, phrasing, vibrato, dynamics gotten alto better. Rhythms are tight, and this was the First time I had the pleasure to work with the fantastic Adrienne Cowan.
WHO IS SHE, HOW DID YOU MEET AND HOW DID THE WRITING PROCESS GO WITH THE BOTH OF YOU TO COME UP WITH A COMPLETE SONG? Adrienne Cowan, I met her at a show that my band and hers (Seven Spires) shared the stage at Sammys Patio in Revere. She is the definition of Professionalism, everything with her happens so natural that I don't think we plan too much, there is no strategies, we just do it.
COMPARING THE TWO CDS NOW; WHERE DO YOU FEEL THE REAL YOU AS PLAYER REALLY SHINES? THE TRUTH OF THE LION for sure but I'm sure my next one will be better the both, that's the point, right? We need to keep making progress, keep polishing.
WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU IN WRITING A SONG IS IT THE EMOTION OR THE TECHINICAL COMMAND? AND CAN YOU WRITE A SONG WITH ONE AND WITHOUT THE OTHER? Emotion comes first however it is the best thing to combine both.
ANY WORK ON A 3RD SOLO RECORD AND IF SO CAN YOU GIVE US A LITTLE HINT ON NEW DIRECTIONS YOU WANT TO FOCUS IN ON FOR THESE NEW SONGS?
I don't want to talk about it too much yet but I have been talking to a fantastic musician about doing an instrumental album a little different then what is out there, stay tuned.
DO YOU FEEL WINNING AN AWARD FOR YOUR WORK ON THE 2ND DISC TRUTH OF A LION WAS A MAJOR HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER OR IS SOMETHING MORE BENEFICIAL STAND OUT?
That was one of the best moments of my career and my life. When we got up on that big stage to get the trophy it was me, Adrienne and Ven. With a song that we worked with Jim Oliveira. We were not the MKG! We were FirstBourne, we just didn't know it yet. That was the push we needed to create the band FirstBourne.
I READ YOU ALSO EXPERIMENT WITH SOME JAZZ AND BLUES MUSIC, DO YOU HAVE OTHER BANDS YOU PLAY WITH OR DO YOU DO STUDIO WORK FOR BANDS LIKE THAT? I took some jazz lessons & blues lessons. I also work with other bands other than MKG; which is, \ FirstBourne, Moneyshot (80s set list) Mercybeat, (Blues/rock) Red Neck Yacht Club (county) and the Boogies (Disco). I think it is very important for all of us guitar players to be able to play a good blues solo.
WHEN YOUR PLAYING JAZZ OR BLUES MUSIC IS IT EASIER OR HARDIER FOR YOU TO PERFORM AND WRITE VS. THE ROCK AND HARDER STUFF YOU PLAY?
I'm not really a jazz player. The little bit I studied was for a better understanding of harmony so I don't really write jazz music. In terms of blues; it’s always better to work on improvisations. So, the only type of music that I write is Rock and Metal.
ANY LAST COMMENTS? I want to thank you very much for the interview, it was a pleasure to share a little bit of my life and thoughts with you.
SILVERTOMB TYPE O NEGATIVE, AGNOSTIC FRONT FORMER MEMBERS UNITE!
A CHAT WITH JOHNNY KELLY BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
Former TYPE O NEGATIVE, AGNOSTIC FRONT Members Join Forces In SILVERTOMB. The guys Kenny Hickey (TYPE O NEGATIVE, SEVENTH VOID) - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Johnny Kelly (TYPE O NEGATIVE, DANZIG, SEVENTH VOID)- Drums, Joseph James (AGNOSTIC FRONT) – Guitar, Hank Hell (SEVENTH VOID) – Bass and Aaron Joos (EMPYREON) - Keyboards, Guitar just recently made their debut live show appearances at the Ride For Dime benefit which is the world-renowned charity event series created by late PANTERA guitarist Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's closest family and friends to keep his legacy alive.
The band is working on new music with hopes of a 2018 release. I had a chance to catch up with Johnny Kelly to ask him about the band and the progression from Seventh Void, how Dimebag influenced him, how it is working with Kenny Hickey again and how he has processed the death of Peter Steele.
.IS SILVERTOMB GOING TO BE A FULL FLEDGE MAIN BAND FOR YOU NOW? Kenny and I will always be attached to each other. We’ve been friends playing in bands together since we were teenagers. SILVERTOMB is an extension of that. We’ll have to see what the future brings for the band. I’m very proud of the music that we made. Each song takes an emotional part out of me and I would love for people to get off on it the way I do.
WHEN WILL WE SEE A RECORD OUT WITH YOU GUYS AND ANY HINTS OF SONGS OR ALBUM NAMES YOU CAN LET US IN ON? We’re looking for the right home for the band. Right now, that’s the priority. It’s already September. I don’t see anything being released this year. I would like to see a release before the summer of next year. We’ve posted some snippets on our social media pages for people check out and see what we’ve been up to for now.
WILL YOU BE DOING A FULL FLEDGE TOUR TO GET THE BAND OUT THERE IN THE PUBLIC EYE? I would love to get the band on the road. In this day and age, doing that is a lot harder than it used to be. It’s not as simple as putting everything in a van and wandering the country aimlessly. The touring aspect is an important part of which label we work with.
THE BAND LOOKS LIKE AN EXTENSION OF SEVENTH VOID SINCE YOU HAVE MAINLY THE SAME BAND MEMBERS SO WHY THE NAME CHANGE? We now have 2 new guys in the band. With Aaron and Joe added to the mix, the music has changed a bit. So why not start fresh?
WITH KEYBOARDS ADDED TO THE MIX IS THIS BRINGING YOU BACK TO THE TYPE O NEGATIVE DAYS WITH A MODERN TWIST? AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE AARON JOSS FOR THE JOB? When we started Seventh Void, the goal was to do something different than what we were doing in Type O Negative. Type O has been inactive for a long time now and there are elements of that music that I miss. So, some of that has made its way into SILVERTOMB’s music.
WORKING WITH KENNY AGAIN HOW IS IT AND HOW HAVE BOTH OF YOU GROWN AND DEVELOPED THROUGH THE YEARS AFTER TYPE O? WHAT DOES HE BRING INTO THE BAND THAT HAS MADE YOU GUYS GROW AS MUSICIANS? Kenny and I practically learned how to play music together. We learned a lot of rights and wrongs along the way. I think we’ve come to terms with who we are as players and try to focus on our strong points while trying to improve on the weaknesses. At the end of the day though, we just want to make music that we think is cool and can be proud of.
YOU ALSO HAVE IN THE BAND THE LEGEND OF JOSEPH JAMES HOW IS IT WORKING WITH HIM AND WHAT INFLUENCE DOES HE BRING INTO THE AND ON A PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL LEVEL FOR YOU GUYS? Joe is great. He’s a great guitar player and his work ethic is tops. I think his chops brought a new level of excitement to what’s been going on.
YOU PLAYED THE RIDE FOR DIME BENEFIT WHICH YOU DEBUTED THE BAND; HOW WAS THE NIGHT AND HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR SET WENT? The show went well. The band seemed to be received well. It was nice to finally get the first show out of the way. I’ve participated in a couple of Dime events throughout the years.
WHAT DID DIME MEAN TO YOU IN A PERSONAL LEVEL AND AS A MAJOR INFLUENCE IN THE MUSIC COMMUNITY? Touring with Pantera was an experience that I always cherish. Dime was such a larger than life person. He always went out of his way to make you feel special. He didn’t have to do that. It was just his nature. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that we were the best of friends. But we were friends for years and Dime made you feel like you were the best of friends. Because I knew him, his personality, to me, had a bigger impression that his guitar playing. But then I would watch him perform or listen to their records and get reminded very quickly at how much of an amazing guitar player he really was. I believe that he was one of Rock & Roll’s greatest guitarists.
WORKING WITH BANDS LIKE DANZIG AND OTHERS THROUGH THE YEARS HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR DRUMMING AS PROGRESSED AND DID YOU EVER THINK ABOUT THROWING IN THE TOWEL ANYTIME THROUGH THE YEARS AFTER TYPE O NEGATIVE ENDED? I thought about throwing in the towel all the time in Type O as well as now! I never expected to be doing this for as long as I have. But I’ve always enjoyed playing with other people doing different things. I think I’m always learning something from the different situations playing with different people.
I HEARD YOU MOVED TO TEXAS HOW HAS THAT CHANGED BEEN FOR YOU LEAVING THE CITY LIFE OF NY AND HAS IT INSPIRED CREATIVITY INTO YOUR MUSIC SINCE YOU MOVED? I recently moved to Frisco, TX. I am still getting settled in. I have spent quite a bit of time away from home since I moved there. I’m not sure how me living there is going to affect my music. I know that it means I’ll be spending more time in airports. All the bands that I work with are in different states!
LASTLY, I WAS A HUGE TYPE O NEGATIVE FAN I THINK I MADE IT TO ALL YOUR MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE ISLAND SHOWS AND TALKED TO YOU ALL PREVIOUSLY IN YEARS BACK. THE PASSING OF PETER WAS SAD AND SHOCKING TO ME. I MISS HIM DEARLY. IT’S BEEN YEARS NOW BUT DO YOU MISS HIM AND HOW HAVE YOU POWERED THROUGH LOSING HIM AS A FRIEND AND A BAND MATE? Of course, I still miss Peter. I miss him as a friend and as a bandmate. Life is very different for me now that he isn’t here. Even though it’s been years since he passed away, I find myself still telling stories about him all the time. So, in a way, he’s still very much alive.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LOVE TO SHARE WITH YOUR FANS THAT YOU HAVEN’T SHARED BEFORE? Hard to say… I’ve told a million stories in my time… Thanks for the support.
36 Crazyfists---Lanterns Spinefarm Records Release: 29 September 2017 By: Stephanie Stevens
We all have that one band that you latch onto that really speaks to you every time a song comes on. When I was hit with the 2002 debut album BITTERNESS THE STAR from the Alaskan band 36 CRAZYFISTS; I remember I was in my car and was in awe of what I heard coming out of my speakers. I got to know these musicians through having endless interviews with them and seeing them live any and all chances I got when they came to town. I grew with the band I have seen them change members, go through struggles, change labels and keep making music that is not only heavy, aggressive, powerful and meaningful but keeps evolving and giving fans a place to call home inside each and every track.
It’s been 23 years and singer Brock Lindow, guitarist Steve Holt, Bassist Mick Whitney and drummer Kyle Baltus are on the verge of releasing the bands 7th studio album LANTERNS.
The success for this band has come in small waves but from the bands last album TIME & TRAUMA; where the band finally had a career high on music charts; the media and music fans are finally waking up to realize this band has something very special as musicians and artists. LANTERNS has incorporated the sound of the old….fiery, intense, energy driven but experimenting with the simpler, more eloquent sounds; with Lindow showing off more vocal capabilities; from the harsh and intense screams to the melody driving singing voice. He has been showing off little by little a more fragile sounding vocal to him but on this record, I feel like his heart n soul really bleeds on tracks like WHERE REVENEGE ENDS and DARK CORNERS. Attributing to the soul you feel in his vocals he is also bringing light into the lyrical content where depression and anxiety is a very relative and serious issue in the world these days. SEA AND SMOKE melody driven vocals intertwined with the hard driving soundscape; it brings you on a journey of passion and struggle but with a positive reassurance. BETTER TO BURN is high energy, its driven, it’s the signature of what 36 CRAZYFISTS does best. The chorus is on point where the fans will be singing along for their lives. It’s got a great groove, the raspy and edgy vocals but punches you with that powerful high energy. WARS TO WALK AWAY FROM heavy, melodic, with a sexy messy attitude. This song stuck out pretty prominent when going through each track on the disc. SLEEPSICK is just gnarly, its heavy as fuck, digs into your soul, darker uglier and strong. Probably my favorite song on the disc by far. The one thing I love about this band is the way they can kick your ass in the verses and just let your heartbeat settle in the choruses with a catchy yet still grueling sound. BANDAGE OF PROMISE makes you adore the voice of Lindow like no tomorrow. He’s got that grasp and uniqueness that just makes the song shine. BELOW THE GRAVES fast, penetrating, groove oriented and soulful. OLD GOLD another one that blends the hard n soft and really shows off the talent and musicianship and brotherhood these guys have in the writing process. DEATHEATER starts the album off and will end my review. This song some of you already got a glimpse into but I have to say if there is one song that really platforms the album LANTERNS it’s this one shows the classic sound of the band and modern twists. Kills you with heavy and high energy attitude these guys bring on record and to every live show. The signature sound of Lindow is there wrapped with the aggressive; very solid track.
36 CRAZYFISTS has really evolved, grown and keeps bringing freshness to their sound after all these years. You all might not be into the music but you have to hand it to these boys that they are one of the few that can still progress with the times. To the fans like me who adore these guys (anytime I speak about this band I always say they are my heart n soul; I mean it) you will not be disappointed in LANTERNS. If you loved TIME & TRAUMA this one is going to blow the doors off; A must in your collection.
LEUKORRHEA--EVOLUTION THROUGH RAPE SEVARED RECORDS
Coming from a small town on Cape Cod, the boys of LEUKORRHEA have something to say and it isn't what most people would think of when thinking of Cape Cod. They are a five-piece death metal band that uses their voice to say some really touchy subjects. Once you get past the intense vocals of DAN PEVIDE. They have some strong drumming, that has kick drums that stand out in GOD OF SIN. At first you don't really see them anything different from other death metal band, but their use of instruments has them as a contender to watch out for. If you want to know exactly what PEVIDE is saying check out their songs on bandcamp, you have the option to see the lyrics.
I was given the opportunity to drop them a few questions and Michael Mcpherson (drummer) filled us in.
FIRST OFF, WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM? Just in everyday life, horror movies, news
YOU HAVE SOME VERY INTERESTING SONG TITLES AND AFTER LISTENING TO THE SONGS, SOME REALLY INTENSE LYRICS. WHERE THEY BASED OFF OF EXPERIENCES OR JUST TRYING TO GET THOUGHTS INTO PAPER? My singer if a pretty interesting person with an insane and fucked imagination.
YOU HAVE MORE KICKDRUMS THAT STAND OUT IN YOUR SONGS, WHY CHOOSE TO GO THIS WAY RATHER THAN STICK TO MORE ELECTRIFYING GUITARS? It's the driving force of our music we like the louder kick drum sound.
HOW DID YOU GUYS FORM BACK IN 2000, WHERE HAS BEEN THE BEST PLACE YOU HAVE PRACTICED TOGETHER? I ran into Nate “our original singer" who said he was thinking about wanting to do vocals in a band and at that time the band I was in broke up so we hooked up and got Adam "original guitar player " and wrote the first three songs that out on our original demo.
TELL US HOW EACH OF YOU STARTED PLAYING MUSIC? Well I started playing drums when I was 4; a family member was a fusion drummer and one day he handed me his sticks showed me your basic four four rock beats; and I could do it. Was all downhill from there.
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO SEE LEUKORRHEA BE AT IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS? We are working on our 4th album now so I would like to see us going on tour to support it.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO LET YOUR FANS KNOW ABOUT YOUR MUSIC? We just want to say thank you for the years of support it's been almost 20 years and we couldn't do without you all.
MEADE AVE ON THE VERGE OF RELEASING STITCHING THE TORN BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
Forming in the land of Sin City (Vegas) the band MEADE AVE now call the East Coast home and have reassembled their brotherhood with a solid lineup, a new sound surrounded within a hard rock mentality. The band shared stages with some great acts like Hed PE, American Headcharge, Powerman 5000, Tantric, Otep. Won an award for #1 unsigned band in the world Sunset Island music chart and will have a lot more to add to this once we head into 2018. They are finishing up the bands next album STITCHING THE TORN which is the follow up to FROM THE ASHES. They have honed the hard rock and metal sound much better with the help of new vocalist George “Ghole” Rodenas due to his more gritty, raspy and aggressive vocal pattern. Lyrically they tangle you up with stories of struggle but with hopes of reaching goals and empowering yourself; as you can see in the first single and video for TAKING BACK TOMORROW. I was new to the band so I was eager to get them some questions to learn about these cats; and also let you guys know of MEADE AVE so when they hit the road you try to find a city near you to check out the hard rock they are supplying in a live appearance. For now learn about the bands influences, how member changes affect bands, and where they see themselves in 5 years.
YOU GUYS STARTED OUT AS A BAND FROM THE VEGAS AREA BUT HAVE MOVED TO THE EAST COAST. WHY THE CHANGE AND HOW DID THAT CHANGE YOUR CREATIVE OUTLOOK WHEN MAKING MUSIC? Aaron and Matthew are originally from western PA. Their father had a stroke and was better suited at home where their mom and dad owned a house. Being in the country has far fewer distractions to allow us to be more in tune with our music. Vegas can be terribly distracting.
DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE GAINED MORE OPPORTUNITIES BEING ON THE EAST COAST? AND IF SO GIVE US A EXAMPLE? Yes. We had a strong footprint on the west coast but we wanted to broaden our horizons. We wanted to be a true national band.
WHO IS THE CURRENT LINE UP AND HOW LONG HAVE EACH OF YOU BEEN PLAYING YOUR INSTRUMENTS? Aaron Paoletta. Drums 28 years. Matthew Paoletta. Bass 6 years George Joseph Rodenas. Vocals since mid 90s Greg Scopinich. Guitar 12 years
WHEN YOU HAVE ANY CHANGE IN BAND MEMBERS YOUR SOUND MIGHT CHANGE A BIT ESPECIALLY WITH A SINGER HOW WAS THE TRANSACTION FROM ONE TO THE OTHER AND HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE GROWN WITH YOUR CURRENT SINGER? Changing a band member is always nerve racking. Having to learn a new person’s style is frustrating. But sometimes the change can be pleasant. In this case, our new singer brought a different style and range that sent the songs for the new album (STITCHING THE TORN) to a more professional level that was needed.
YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH SOME BAND CHANGES THROUGH THE YEARS BUT ALWAYS KEPT THE BAND NAME. WHAT DOES THIS NAME MEAN TO YOU GUYS AND HOW IS IT CONNECTED TO THE MUSIC YOU MAKE? The band name originates from a dingy street in Las Vegas. This street was where Aaron operated his recording studio from. It was also the birth place of the band. There was no better name for the band than to name it after the street in which it was founded.
YOUR DRUMMER STARTED OUT AS A STUDIO GUY IN VEGAS DOES HE DO ALL YOU PRODUCTION FOR THE STUDIO AND DOES HE EVER HAVE THE WANT TO START SOMETHING LIKE THIS AGAIN? Yes, with the exception of the mixing of our new album STITCHING THE TORN. The mixing is currently being done by Kendall Stephens of Red Audio works in Oklahoma. As far as starting another studio, yes. I love to work with musicians. Starting a new band, NO. MEADE AVE FOREVER.
YOU ARE ON THE VERGE OF RELEASING A BRAND-NEW ALBUM ENTITLED STITCHING THE TORN MUSICIALLY HOW HAS YOUR MUSIC GROWN AND LYRICALLY WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION? The music grows by us maturing as musicians. Lyrically, we get our inspiration by living it. We write concept albums. We write about what we live. Hoping our struggles and gains can help or inspire others
WHAT BANDS COULD YOU SAY INFLUNENCES THE SOUND OF MEADE AVE? Metallica. Ac/dc. Pantera. Iron Maiden. Judas Priest. Disturbed. Hate breed. Sworn Enemy. Def leppard. Skillet. Black Sabbath.
TAKING BACK TOMORROW VIDEO LOOKS LIKE THE SONG COULD HAVE MANY BACK STORIES TO IT. FOR YOU WHAT DOES THE SONG MEAN TO YOU GUYS AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE FINAL PRODUCT OF THE VIDEO? The song is about a person’s undying struggle to reach their goals. Never giving up. Always moving forward. Never surrender. We were happy with the final product. We felt it conveyed the message.
WHAT IS THE GOAL FOR THE BAND IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS? Tour, tour, tour. 2 more albums. Play the super bowl.
ARE YOU GUYS STILL A TOURING BAND AND WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST AREAS OF A TOURING BAND? Yes, we are a touring band. We love to be on the road. Performing for our fans but there are struggles and sacrifices that people don’t see. Missed holidays, time away from our loved ones. But the show must go on.
HOW CAN THE MUSIC WORLD KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOU GUYS AND ANYTHING YOU WANT TO LET THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT THE BAND THAT WE DIDN’T COVER ON?
MOTOGRATER-DESOLATION EMP Label Group BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
For some of you living under a rock MOTOGRATER started out with Ivan Moody and the debut self-titled album was released back in 2003 with the hit SUFFOCATE and DOWN.
This new release DESOLATION is the band’s first full-length album since the 2003 Elektra/No Name self-titled release. Now fronting the band is James Anthony Legion (Deadform/The Breathing Process). With the bands hiatus and some front man changes they are finally a secured and powerful line up with Legion leading and the rest of the band - Matthew "Nuke" Nunes – Guitar, Jesse Stamper – Guitar, Mylon Guy – Bass, Noah "Shark" Robertson – Drums, Dustin "Skunk" Anderson – Motograter, Joey Vice - Smurs/Samples/Vocals giving him the dark metal/rock backdrop he needs for the even mixture of gritty and clean vocals.
DESOLATION is a record that bleeds the blood sweat and tears of the band. Fans who have stuck by them will be appeased by the record. The MOTOGRATER sound is still there; dark, heavy, melodic and the sound uniqueness filters through from start to finish.
PARASITE the band’s first single starts off the disc with this deliverance of heavy drums, dark tones and that aggressive and melodic tones of vocals. This platform single really shows the new era of what MOTOGRATER Is bringing to the stage and your ears. The band’s second single DORIAN is climbing the charts and the new video has been getting rave reviews. The song has more of a rock n roll attitude but with dark moments. One track I was a huge fan of was BLEEDING THROUGH, which shows off more of a singing quality and just a simple melody driven track - but yet has a “big sounding” display of dark rock. DAGGERS has a synthesized more electronic vibe to it wrapped into the melodic and moody side of the bands persona. PORTRAIT OF DECAY lashes you with a heaviness; I really love the intertwinement of Legion’s brutality and melodic tones in his voice and on this track, it stood out a little more aggressively and it makes the song pop. RISE (THERE WILL BE BLOOD) assaults you with heavy while SHADOWS ends the disc on a pretty and dark melody driven ballad tone.
MOTOGRATER put their heart n soul into this new album and it shows throughout each song. That signature sound is there as we all grew to love, but they really displayed growth n depth in their writing.
Mascot Label Group / Mascot Records By: Stephanie Stevens
SHAMAN’S HARVEST the rock band from Missouri has outdone themselves yet again with the newest collection of songs on the album RED HANDS BLACK DEEDS. The album is soulful, funky and has mid-western rock n roll appeal through and through. This album brings more of a darker, grittier and layered sound then the last album but most importantly shows the growth and depth the guys have supplied since the last writing session. THE COME UP is an upbeat, melody driven and addicting sense of rock. OFF THE TRACKS gives you that country, classic rock vibe with a deliverance of hearty vocal abilities. BLOOD TROPHIES is one of my favorites; sexy groove, clean and soulful vocals; powerful and moving dark attributes. SO LONG brings classic rock with a hefty amount of gritty groove and soulful ambience intertwined with raspy vocals. TUSK AND BONE is probably my favorite heart driven vocals and lyrics. The ballad of all ballads just simple and clean and just so delightfully pretty the guys should really be proud of this track. SCAVENGERS is yet another song that took a hold of my soul. The playfulness of the vocal patterns and the sense of darkness from the simple display of guitar is just phenomenal. SHAMAN’S HARVEST is a band that doesn’t need any sparkle or glam to them they have the pure talent to strip it down and play as if they have nothing to prove to anyone. That is what makes each new record just a pleasure and asset to have in your music collection by this band because they are bringing the real wholesome rock n roll back to the frontline.
Connect with the band:
REVIEW ORIGINALLY POSTED ON http://metalgodstv.com/shamans-harvest-album-review-red-hands-black-deeds/
NOXII ARENA STEPPING UP THE RHODE ISLAND METAL SCENE BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
In the last few months I have seen some great talent coming out of Rhode Island and now NOXII ARENA can be added to that list. They are going to take the metal scene by the balls and make a damn mess out of them with the bands self-titled debut 7 song EP. What I love about the disc is that they are bringing the metal attitude by consolidating so many subgenres of metal like; death core to metal core to make the record appealing to so many music fans. The intricate technicalities will make the well-practiced musician realize these guys can play some good metal to the layman music fan who can appreciate but still get into the styling they play.
For me the disc had a lot of favorites but I would have to say the ZIARI had that in your face aggressiveness but layered with some groove. COMMON GROUND a little filler instrumental was a pleaser a little airy and more subdued, pretty in a dark way and a good way to give your ears a little breather. INCEPTING TERROR was a darker and intriguing track; a lot of hills and valleys and change ups. BRED FORANNIHILATION is a brutal introduction to the band, gritty and in your face vocals, music that is penetrating, intricate and powerful. QUEEN CITY INN is speedy and aggressive with a lot of solid guitar work.
NOXII ARENA lays out the metal in this self-debut disc and is going to be entertaining to see in a live presence. I had a chance to find out a little more about this Rhode Island 5 piece, when I recently chatted with the band.
FIRST THE BAND NAME WHO CAME UP WITH IT AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN? When guitarists Mikey Ferrara, Jared Souza, and drummer Jon Camelo started the band in 2011 it was a while before we came up with a definite name. One night hanging out we started looking up different historical topics to find something suitable for a metal band. Mikey came across the word "Noxii" which in roman times was defined by a prisoner sentenced to death in the colosseum. So essentially these criminals would be thrown into an arena and killed for the entertainment of all the viewers. One of many examples would be throwing a Noxii into the arena blindfolded and naked to square off against a lion. We decided this is almost as metal as it gets and decided calling the band NOXII ARENA not only had a nice ring to it but also directly translates to an arena where criminals are ripped apart for viewing pleasure. If that wasn't metal enough we wouldn't know what to name this band.
BEING A BAND THAT WAS A THREE PIECE AND NOW A FULL 5-PIECE BAND HOW HAS YOUR MUSIC CHANGED OR EVOLVED SINCE YOU FOUNDED THE BAND IN 2011? When the band started it was just the three-piece instrumental, not because the three original guys planned for that but we're just impatient waiting for the right guys and wanted to showcase what we had at the time. Over some time, Matt Perrault, an old buddy of the guys, expressed his interest in playing bass for us and added a whole new layer to the band. He didn't just strum similar notes to the guitars, he wrote elaborate parts that complimented every song perfectly. After a few years with a couple of vocalist joining and falling out after a while we came across Andrew who had heard of us and was dying to join a new project. After his first tryout, we decided he had the perfect dry sounding tones we were looking for in a vocalist and it has been the five of us ever since.
YOU GUYS JUST RELEASED A LYRIC VIDEO FOR BRED FOR ANNIHILATION WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS SONG TO BE THE PLATFORM FOR THE UP N COMING ALBUM AND WHAT IS THE SONG ABOUT? We chose BRED FOR ANNIHILATION because it is one of our heavier songs and we felt that our audience would really enjoy this one. The song sort of coincides with the concept of zombies and the idea of your close/loved ones transforming into something lethargic or mindless. Vocalist Andrew Shea was inspired in writing the lyrics by some of his favorite zombie films like Evil Dead and Night of the Living Dead.
WHEN DID THE ALBUM COMING OUT AND HOW DO YOU FEEL THIS ALBUM IS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER LOCAL BANDS IN THE RHODE ISLAND AREAS SOUND? The album came out 9/1/17 and is available on ITunes, Spotify, YouTube and more. Our sound in general is a little different from local bands in the Rhode Island scene we feel. We try to bring elements from each members’ different influences. You can hear it in the album how every song is different from the next but each track still remains true to our sound. We've always strived for two things in our sound, keeping it original while also keeping it heavy and fun.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE PICK UP THE DISC? Our disc can be ordered online through our big cartel page or picked up from our merch table at our shows.
WHAT INFLUENCES HAVE MADE NOXII ARENA THE BAND IT IS TODAY? This band grew up a lot while the New England metal scene was prevalent so we always listened to bands like Unearth, Killswitch Engage, The Acacia Strain and a bunch more. There are tons of bands between the 5 of us but along with those Whitechapel, August Burns Red, Veil of Maya and bands similar to those have had a big part in our influence.
IF YOU COULD WRITE WITH ONE OF THOSE BANDS THAT YOU STATED ABOVE WHICH BAND WOULD YOU WRITE WITH AND WHAT ONE QUESTION WOULD YOU ASK THEM ABOUT SONGWRITING? I guess this question could be different depending on which member you directed the question to but I'd say we could all agree that writing a song with Veil of Maya could be most enjoyable. We love the tight, technical and heavy side of songs and breakdowns so I think being able to pick their brains about stuff like that would be beneficial and fun for us.
WHAT IS THE EASIEST AND HARDEST PART IN WRITING A METAL SONG IN THIS DAY OF AGE?
That's a good question because sometimes a whole song can come super easy to all of us. Other times we can just give up for a night of writing when we realize we've spent 2 hours on one small part of a potential song. It's easy to know when you have something good in the works. Everybody in the band can feel it and we get all giddy like a bunch of schoolgirls. What's hard is keeping it fresh. A lot of parts we could sit down and spit out might sound cool and might actually be really cool when we first hear them but to make sure it's something people haven't necessarily heard a hundred times can jam us up.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR LYRICAL CONTENT VARIES FROM SONG TO SONG AND WHERE DOES THE INFLUENCE OF LYRICS COME FROM?
Almost every song on the album had been written long before our vocalist Andrew joined the group. Unfortunately for him we had named most of the songs just by using names from past inside jokes/story's and just naming the tracks with a name we felt fit the vibe of the music. With all that in place Andrew had the challenge of writing every lyric based a little bit on the existing title and a lot on how he thought the songs felt. Andrew always tried to write his words with a sense that he can take the listener through a story from start to finish and nailed every one if you ask the rest of the group.
WHAT DO YOU WANT FANS OR MUSIC FANS IN GENERAL TO WALK AWAY FROM AFTER HEARING YOUR MUSIC? We want them to hear something they haven't heard in while realizing that we are a versatile group with our sound and of course we want them to feel the energy and vibe we aim for in each track.
HOW DO YOU VIEW THE METAL SCENE AS A WHOLE THROUGHOUT THE STATES THESE DAYS? We feel although the metal scene is growing in a weird sense that these days it can be a little disconnected. If bands spent a little more time helping each other out instead of creating sort of a "metal competition" the scene would be even better off.
ARE YOU GUYS PARTNERING UP WITH A RECORD LABEL? AND WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR WHEN IT COMES TO THAT? We haven't partnered with a label just yet; however, we are still in the market for one. Any label that appreciates our sound and wants to help us in the growth of this band is the type of label we want to sign with.
ANY SHOWS IN THE UP N COMING MONTHS? PLUS, ONE NATIONAL BAND YOU WOULD LOVE TO OPEN FOR IF YOU COULD? Of course, now that the album is complete we hope to tour and play with bigger and bigger bands as we have. We're beyond excited to play alongside Whitechapel, Carnifex, Rings of Saturn and more on Nov. 19 at Fete Music Lounge in Rhode Island. It's hard to name a band we'd love to open for because we've been blessed to play with a handful of huge names already including Unearth, Suffocation, Soulfly, and more. We've yet to play with a number of bands though so playing with August Burns Red just to list one of hundreds would mean a lot to all of us.
DO YOU FEEL A LIVE SHOW IS AS IMPORTANT AS WRITING A GOOD SONG? Absolutely If your live performance isn't outstanding and drawing the audience’s attention than you might as well be playing to no one. We pride ourselves especially in sounding as tight if not tighter than the album at every show.
WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE TRYING TO PURSUE THEIR DREAMS BE IT IN MUSIC OR OTHER ENDEAVERS? We would tell them never to give up and to keep pushing. Making it as a musician or a band isn't easy and it takes the right group of people to make it happen. You will experience a lot of bumps along the way. The key is to keep pushing and don't be afraid to argue or debate. Being is a band is like having 4 different girlfriends so compromise is key. You want everybody in the band to be content and pleased with how everything is working and if not, interest and drive can start to fade.
PLAY A GAME THIS OR THAT.
Metallica or Megadeth? Most of us would say Metallica
Pepsi or coke? Coke,Coke,Pepsi sucks, and Coke
Football or baseball? Football, only a few guys in the band are big sports guys but football first
Small venue or big festival? More ears, more energy, the better I'd say. Gotta be a festival
Ufc or wwe? Probably UFC now but if we were all 12 and it was still WWF then no contest
Blondes or brunettes? Blonettes. Idk pretty ladies in general are good with us
Tacos or pizza? A lot of long practice nights have ended with both, but right before I answered with pizza I realized that I can't count how many times this band has gone to Taco Bell
LARISSA VIENNA AND THE STRANGE CHATS ABOUT THE BAND'S NEW RELEASE NEPTUNE VII BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
A girl starts her dreaming of being a performer and musician with one look at Shirley Temple. Not the typical influence you would think of when it comes to the rock music world but the petite little LARISSA VIENNA is not your typical artist. Starting her career as a solo artist back in 2008 writing and producing her own music in the Denver music scene, her creativeness was in full swing. Slowly but surely, she added and found band mates to make THE STRANGE; a family and a group of artists that are creative, experimental and talented just as she was. Vienna calls the music they make “spooky rock” which simply means these guys bring Somber, rock, pop and eccentric visions to life through music. Bringing in a violin just enhances the essences of the dark elements, the beautiful elements and the vision of what this band is trying to bring to the rock community which is change, creativeness and thinking outside of the box.
NEPTUNE VII is the newest release of the band and has emotional rock elements, personal heart endearing elements and just beauty with the combo of pretty violin and the distorted guitar tones and when you combine it with Vienna’s varied vocal abilities you get something very special.
I got to chat with Larissa Vienna about her band members, the new record and her influences and how they impacted her.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BE A VOCALIST AND PERFORMER? -Shirley Temple was the artist who started it all for me. My earliest memories are dressing up like her, tap-dancing, and singing. You couldn't get me to stop performing. My dad built me a little wooden stage to put on our front lawn so I could tap-dance and sing for all the cars that were driving by.
HOW DOES SHIRLEY TEMPLE INTERTWINE WITH THE PERFORMER YOU HAVE BECOME? -Shirley is a legend, she defined an entire era. President Roosevelt even said that as long as the world had Shirley Temple, everything would be okay during the Great Depression. The fact that her talent could make people so happy in such a tough time, that always stuck with me. I've always wanted to provide that sort of happiness for people through my music.
WHERE DOES YOUR MUSICIAL INSPIRATION COME FROM? -I really love artists who are constantly evolving, like David Bowie or Lady Gaga. I'm a chameleon, and I used to be so insecure about never having one "thing" I was doing. Every time I play a show, I look different, my current album is always different from the last, and I've realized that that's okay to not stick with one thing, as long as you genuinely love what you're doing at the moment.
WHO IS THE STRANGE AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THESE PARTICULAR MUSICIANS TO BRING ONTO YOUR PERSONAL JOURNEY?
-THE STRANGE is Nick Workman, Aaron Mendoza, Luke Wolff and Vanity Welch. They're the only lineup I've ever had as LARISSA VIENNA AND THE STRANGE, and I'm very lucky for that. We all get along great. Nick has been playing guitar for me for eight years now - it used to be just him and I at one point. Aaron used to be the bassist of a different band, and I admired his skills so much, the minute he left his previous band I scooped him up four years ago. Luke became a part of THE STRANGE in 2014. He is the most dedicated musician I know, he's constantly practicing and learning the craft of his drums. In fact, he's downstairs practicing as we speak. Vanity, my violinist, was such a gem to find. I met her at a show, she started out as just a fan. She told me she played violin and that music was her passion. I called her one day to see if she would be interested in playing with us, and she already had the songs learned. She came to practice and nailed it. I am so lucky, because not only did I find talented artists, they are my best friends. They are constantly improving and they make me so proud. I wouldn't trade any of them for anything.
THE NEW ALBUM NEPTUNE VII HAS BEEN NOTED AS YOUR MOST PERSONAL PROJECT TO DATE. WHY DID YOU DECIDE THAT THIS WAS THE TIME TO REALLY BRING OUT THESE STORIES?
-I don't exactly think that way. I never have a "concept" for an album, each album just happens to reflect what my life was like at the time I was writing it. Writing NEPTUNE VII was an emotional time in my life. I had heavy episodes of depression, I reconnected with people in my past who I thought I'd never speak to again, and I had such a thirst to push myself as a musician. I'm always honest in my music. I can tell you what every single song is about. The people who listen to my music often are experiencing very similar things that I was experiencing, so it helps us connect to each other. I was hoping in this writing process that I'd be able to help someone, even if just one person, not feel alone.
HOW WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD GROWING UP AND WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE TOUGHEST THING ABOUT BEING AN ADULT AND GROWING OLDER?
-My childhood was interesting to say the least. I moved a lot and went to a new school every year - which is where I think my constant need for change comes from. My family was very distant and unaffectionate. We didn't know each other at all. I was the youngest kid and the only girl - my brothers are a few years older than me, so I spent a lot of time alone. To be honest, I can't remember if I was happy or not when I was growing up. I lived in my own world, and I was very creative, I at least remember that. The toughest thing about being an adult is pressure from society, especially as a woman. It's hard to escape. I wrote NEPTUNE VII in the mindset of a child, back before society told you who to be, back when you were authentically YOU because that's all you knew how to do. The hardest part of growing older is losing that. I don't want to lose that.
DO YOU FEEL BRINGING IN THE SOUND OF A VIOLIN HELPS TO ENHANCE A TYPICAL ROCK SOUND AND HOW HAS IT HELPED YOU GUYS IN WRITING?
-Vanity is an amazing violinist. The first couple of EPs we released, she was more of just a rhythm section. Now, she takes the lead in a majority of the songs, the way a guitarist would. It adds a different atmosphere to the music because it's so pretty, yet with the distorted guitar behind it, it's also hard and emotional at the same time.
YOUR MUSIC VIDEOS HAVE BEEN A SUCCESS DO YOU FORSEE HAVING A HEAVY CONTENT OF THEM FOR THIS NEW DISC? -Yes! If I had it my way, I'd make a music video for every single song. I can't wait until the day that I have a large budget so I can build sets and the costumes that I visualize so I can fully bring my world to life for everyone to see.
IF YOU COULD TAKE ONE SONG OFF THE NEW DISC TO REALLY DISPLAY THE GROWTH OF YOU HAS A MUSICIAN WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
-I'm torn between "HAUNTED" and "SURRENDER".HAUNTED is the catchiest song I've ever written - it's more hard-hitting than anything we've released before and I think that's why it's getting so much attention. I am so proud of that song because even though it's rock, the melodies are very pop, and every band member gets to shine with their instrumentation. I use many different parts of my voice in the song, and I know lots of people were pleasantly surprised to hear that range from me, since I used to shy away from it. I also choose "SURRENDER" because in my opinion, that's the best song we've ever released. My guitarist Nick wrote the instrumental, which is different since I usually do that, and I wrote the lyrics, vocals and melody. Everyone in the band sings on the song. It's really our first ballad we've made. It took Nick about 4 hours in the studio to record all the guitar. The violin is complex, as well. Everyone pushed themselves to record that song, I honestly can't listen to it too often because it makes me tear up. I'm so proud of everyone.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TOUR PLANS FOR THE NEW RECORD? -We'll be hitting the road in 2018!
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD WANT FANS OR MUSIC LOVERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR BAND?
-I'd like the fans to know that I really believe in all of you. So many people come up to me at shows, or send me messages about how they'd like to be a musician, or an artist, or whatever their dreams are. None of us in the band were born with a special set of circumstances that allows us to do this, we simply just do it. You can, too. Go out and create, put your heart in it and never apologize for being passionate.
Lynch Mob--The Brotherhood Rat Pak Records Release: September 8, 2017 BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
Contact the band: Facebook: @lynchmobband
LYNCH MOB has returned with the bands fifth full length studio album and 8th overall music adventure in THE BROTHERHOOD. After 27 years of music making you might think the well could be dry. It seems George Lynch, Oni Logan, Sean Mcnabb and Jimmy D’anda haven’t lost that sense of creativeness with one listen to THE BROTHERHOOD. The overall vibe of the album brings a colder, darker, grittier and bluesy hard rock blend to it.
WHERE WE STARTED is where it started for me this song is groovy, electrifying, sexy and just a melody driven masterpiece. I’LL TAKE MIAMI and LAST CALL LADY are airy melodic and rocking; the two tracks shows a different side of the band on this disc because of their uplifting sound, which is refreshing. UNTIL THE SKY COMES DOWN brings me back to the old Dokken feel of the 80’s especially the intro to the track. The vocal strategy to me changes up a bit which is fun to listen to because you can see the different formats he can sing in. Lynch and Logan is a force to be reckon with together. So it is great to see them still doing music and making some killer songs. BLACK MOUNTAIN has a bluesy rock style, a little grunge and a whole lot of seductive charisma shining through this track. MILES AWAY brings out the ballad and melody driven force of the band. The band has done a few videos already; MAIN OFFENDER was one of them which delivers the heavy guitar riffs in this opening track with Logan’s solid clean hitting rock n roll voice. Then we have the other track MR. JEKYLL AND HYDE which fills your ears with groove and sassy rhythm along with the soul and gritty vocals that has been Logan’s persona since the early 90’s.
All n all THE BROTHERHOOD shows the bond these 4 guys have built in their time together in LYNCH MOB. The fans won’t be disappointed; with the signature Lynch solos and riffs, the passionate and prominent vocal patterns and the sassy and infectious Rhythms section.
The album is not without old school sound of LYNCH MOB but layering it with elements of darker, explorative atmospheric and energizing sounds.
ALTER BRIDGE has been a force to be reckon with in the rock world since the band got together back in 2004. Working their way up the later of success these guys have put in the work after departing from other bands and have made a very very powerful presence and it shows in the bands last two studio records. As a live band, these guys bring the album right to a live show and blasting so much energy and power into every performance.
The band is getting ready to release a pretty big and epic album; LIVE FROM THE O2 + RARITIES a 3-disc ultimate package that takes you with them when they got to play in London at the 02 Arena back in Nov of 2016 to a huge energized crowd. The first two discs is a jammed packed live experience with 19 solid tracks like the masterpiece and highly accepted ISOLATION and the powerful METALINGUS. BLACKBIRD was a crowd favorite this evening and it feels the band that night felt the energy and stepped the song up to even a bigger level. WATCH OVER YOU was pretty and simple in its acoustic form. I really adored the vocals on this live version you can really feel the heart n soul in the lyrics and to be there at that moment feeling the love between fan and musician. Tremonti gives it his all in the mighty WATER RISING. These two vocal presences (Kennedy n Tremonti) just make a statement when they are combined together. ALTER BRIDGE song favorites are all garnished on this live album the band is coming out with but if you think that is all you get well take a moment…….we are not done yet!!!!
This band doesn’t let fans down. The third disc is a full length of rarities that mostly Japan has been able to listen to but now in a few short days the world will be able to capture tracks that never made records and let me tell you there is some really amazing tracks that were placed to the side. THE DAMAGE DONE was a track that had me sit up and take notice its darker, rock induced and melody driven with that signature vocal ambience we have come to love on a ALTER BRIDGE record. BREATHE was another track that I loved. A slower vocal prominent track that has hills n valleys of passion, power and full on beauty. Some of you might have had a taste of this song since it was a bonus track on a Best Buy release of Last Hero. But now with this record it starts the disc and will have your attention. SOLACE is another slower guitar induced track Kennedy’s vocals and Tremonti’s guitar work is a combo a rock lover dreams of. These guys are so flawless together it’s pretty amazing. CRUEL SUN and the two other tracks I talked about prior were all written during the ONE DAY REMAINS sessions (the debut album) and were finally taken out of the ashes and it’s unbelievable how these three songs weren’t on the album because they are something pretty darn special. ZERO impacts you with a rocking more upbeat attitude. It sounds big electric and will be a fan favorite. HOME is a lyrically and passionately displayed sound for rock music in 2017. I loved the sentiment the melody driven rock ambience I would love to see this as a single and a video (hint hint)
LIVE FROM THE O2 + RARITIES is a special gift from ALTER BRIDGE to their fans almost like a thank you for all the love through the years and if that wasn’t enough and you truly are a die-hard BRIDGE fan then you can even order the deluxe version of the package that also comes with an exclusive ALTER BRIDGE documentary, interviews and a look at the place they recorded the live album at.
A SILENT TRUTH TALKS NEW EP, LIVE SHOWS AND MUSIC VIDEOS
BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
Chicago based band A SILENT TRUTH is ready to be a driving force and a Voice that has been missing in the music scene. Coming from all areas of the Chicago music community; the band members who make up this driving force now in 2017 are ready to re-ignite the passion of what A SILENT TRUTH was created to be.
With two new songs that the band has released for your listening pleasure they are continuing to work in the studio to have a solid EP in the near future. The starts of it can be heard on CHARIOT a guitar rooted, hard hitting, aggressive display of the metal and heavy music that is enlightening the Chicago local fanbase. I love the ambience of this song because it shows off the solid guitar playing, the blend of screams and singing abilities and overall high energy the guys are capable of. RAYOVAC to me lays more on the hard rock side. Less metal but still got the pounding powerful intensity and brings more of a melody driven sentiment into this one. Overall both of the songs give you the vast range this band can create. Both songs create a vision of an intense live show and energy induced platform.
The band is gearing up for a pretty rad show in the Illinois area The Revival Party which sounds like a killer 3 days of camping, bands, booze, food and well social interaction with a ton of talent. Always a good time in my eyes. So, if you are in the area defiantly check out the site and look into a ticket http://www.therevivalparty.com/
I had a chance to catch up with the John Partipilo, bass player of the band to talk about the new EP, what’s missing into today’s music industry and some of the music he is jamming to lately
WHAT IS A SILENT TRUTH DOING IN THE CHICAGO SCENE THAT IS DIFFERENT THEN WHAT WE HAVE HEARD COME OUT OF THE AREA BEFORE? We are trying to be a positive force in the music scene. We want everyone to know that the impossible is possible with the help of a community that supports each other.
THE GUY WHO FORMED THIS BAND TOOK A STEP DOWN FROM THE BAND THIS PAST SPRING HOW DID THAT EFFECT THE MORALE OF THE BAND AND WHO DID YOU FIND TO REPLACE HIM? Honestly Dan was a huge part of what A SILENT TRUTH was and his departure affected us at first. When we found John Williams we knew then and there whether we went forward as A SILENT TRUTH or changed the name completely we had the right group of guys for this band.
WHO ELSE IS IN THE BAND AND A BRIEF HISTORY OF THEIR CAREER AS A MUSICIAN? John Williams vocals; we grabbed John after I booked his old band and was highly impressed with his vocal ability.
Nathan Moderski Rhythm Guitar and Vocals; Nate has been around music and bands most of his life. I knew of Nate while he played in Ignescent and when I was told he would be playing with AST I got excited.
Steve Larocco Lead Guitar; Steve was also in Ignescent when I met him however he has been in several bands in the Chicago area for about a decade.
Justin Phershy Drums; Justin is a master behind the kit. Coming from a metalcore math rock background he's always impressing us while writing.
John Partipilo (myself) Bass; I've been in a band you interviewed before Ditchwater and I was in some punk bands in the past.
TELL ME ABOUT THE EP THAT YOU RECENTLY SENT ME WHEN DID YOU RECORD IT AND HOW DIFFERENT IS IT FROM OTHER MUSIC YOU GUYS HAVE DONE IN THE PAST? I sent over 2 older AST tracks that were recorded with a completely different line up in 2009 and I sent our 2 brand new songs CHARIOT and RAYOVAC. Those 2 new songs were demo recorded at Apothica Studios with Joe Tiberi of Mechina. We plan on returning to finish the EP with Joe before the end of 2017. It's all completely fresh for us so nothing to compare to really.
THE BAND NAME A SILENT TRUTH. DOES IT HAVE A SPECIAL MEANING BEHIND IT FOR YOU PERSONALLY AND HOW DOES IT INTERTWINE WITH THE LYRICAL CONTENT YOU WRITE ABOUT IF IT DOES IN ANY WAY? The original meaning is unknown to us it left with Dan. My personal feeling of what A Silent Truth means is; when you have something, you need to tell someone but you know that telling them would hurt them so you keep it inside. There is The Silent Truth. Hence the snake skull logo we just came out with.
WHAT IS THE VISUAL AND FEEL OF A SILENT TRUTH LIVE SHOW AND WILL YOU GUYS BE DOING ANY TOURING THROUGHOUT THE STATES SOON OR JUST KEEPING IT LOCAL? The goal for us is to involve the crowd as much as possible. Engage them with our stage personality and get them pumped and excited to be there sharing the experience with us. We love to play live and we love to have a few cocktails when we do so if you’re at a show buy us a few and hang out with us. As far as touring, we do plan on hitting it hard next year but only really on the weekend warrior side of things. Got a lot planned though so keep an eye out. We aren't staying local that's for sure.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON MUSIC VIDEOS AND FOR YOUR BAND DO YOU THINK IT IS BENEFICIAL TO HAVE FOR YOUR BAND? I mean they still have the MTV VMA awards so someone still watching videos. I think a good single should have the full package with a lyric video and storyline video playing important roles.
THREE ALBUMS ON YOUR PLAYLIST AS OF TODAY AND WHY ARE U JAMMING TO THEM? HOW DOES IF ANY THESE BANDS OR ALBUMS INFLUENCE YOU AS A PLAYER ALSO?
Punch Cabbie Myriad EP, these guys are family so I jam as often as possible
Metallica Hardwired. I'm a huge Metallica fan and not ashamed to admit that ever
On My Six The waiting game EP again family. We all waited forever to hear this disc so it's on repeat now.
IF YOU COULD CO WRITE A SONG TOGETHER WITH ANYONE ALIVE OR DEAD WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? Phil Collins that dude is a song writing machine. Everything he touches turns to gold. Look how many metal bands cover Phils songs.
IN THIS DAY AND AGE WHAT DO YOU THINK THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS MISSING IN THE COMMUNITY AND HOW WOULD YOU FIX THAT IF YOU COULD? Artist Development. You don't see labels working together with a band until the bands have their own following now. Gone are the days of getting “discovered” unless you are on a tv talent show.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE GET YOUR MUSIC OR KEEP UP WITH THE BAND? facebook.com/asilenttruth ITunes, Spotify, google music, Pandora, IHeart radio, basically anywhere you can find music you will find our new songs CHARIOT and RAYOVAC
ONE ADVICE TO GIVE TO ANYONE LOOKING TO START AS A MUSICIAN? I'll quote CHARIOT. “Anything is possible as long as you never quit” I'm 41 years old I have kids older than some member of the bands we play with. Never surrender keep going, but, always remember to make time for yourself and those who love you.
LAST COMMENTS? I first off want to thank you Stephanie and the East Coast Romper for reaching out to talk to me. I know it took forever to get this to you so I appreciate your patience. Keep an eye out for AST in a town near you and always keep your head up and charge ahead.
A little fun pick or choose game
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Roller coasters or jump out of a plane? I've always had an issue with jumping out of a perfectly functional airplane
Pizza or sushi? Pizza all day
Dogs or cats? Dog. I'm allergic to cats
West coast or east coast? Midwest coast
Audio books or real books? Nothing like holding a real book and turning the pages.
The carnival has arrived It's dark, it's metal and it's filled with sins!! Step into the world of RAVEN BLACK BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
RAVEN BLACK: A dark Metal Carnival led by the lovely petite and fierce Raven Black herself. The band who hail from California have been on the scene since 2012-2013 and have been able to release in 2014 a EP entitled MIDNIGHT DREARY and in 2016 SEVEN SINS which is the EP that has gotten them more into the public eye.
The Ep in my opinion is pretty stellar from start to finish they have dark elements, harder edgier spooky areas, Melodic, subdued and mysterious ambiances and the vocals of Raven really bring the music to life with her heart bleeding with every word that is released on these 7 songs. Favorite songs in my opinion is THE BLACKENING, STILL HEALING and SEVEN SINS. Now the band is in the works on working on a new full album; letting us more into the world of the dark metal carnival entitled “13” which will be released 2018.
I was able to catch the band when they hit Providence, RI on the bands headlining tour. Not only was the band the most down to earth and humble bunch of musicians but they put on a killer live show with theatrics, crowd participation and overall intensity and energy.
I was honored to be able to chat with RAVEN about how she started in show business, the story behind the band and her fascination with number.
BACK STORY OF THE BAND DID THE CONCEPT OF THE CHARACTERS COME FIRST OR DID YOU START A BAND AND HAVE MUSIC AND THEN THE CONCEPT CAME TO YOU? The visual characters and vision for the Dark Metal Carnival came first. It’s a dark musical carnival show I have played in my head since I was a child.
AND IN A BRIEF DESCRIPTION WHAT IS THE STORY OF RAVEN BLACK? The Doctor was a travelling voodoo black magic doctor and came across a small child who seemed lost and frightened. He used his magic to turn her into a doll, but in her hasty fear, she screamed and disrupted the spell/curse and it left her half human, half doll. She travelled with the Doctor and secretly learned some of his black magic and conjured up a demon, Muppet, to come save her and defeat the Doctor, but she fell in love with the Demon and trapped him in her heart. The Doctor and the Demon became close allies and planned to travel the world seeking other followers who shared their vision for a Dark Metal Carnival World. They then created Stiches, who would be the gatherer and collector or those who wish to visit our Dark Metal Carnival world I the 13th Hour. The foursome continues to travel the world and host a Dark Metal Carnival everywhere they go and invite all those to join their world of fun, mystery and blissful insanity.
DO YOU HAVE MUSICAL THEATRE BACKGROUND AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A PERFORMER IN A METAL BAND? I do have a musical theatre background. Training from the age of 4, I began lessons and training in singing and dance (choir, ballet, modern and tap). I trained with the Mark Taper Forum as a young child and also studied acting with Amy Weinstein and Theatrical/Lyrical Dance with Annette Charles in Hollywood, CA during the ages of 11-15. I used to compete in theatrical competitions and showcases during my pre-teens and even auditioned for Hollywood musical productions like Miss Saigon. Metal music is my favorite because of all the music i listen to, sing to and dance to, metal music is one of the most emotional and that makes it #1 to me. I’m definitely an emotional singer and my lyrics and melodies are purposefully delivered to make the listener feel an emotion, whatever it may be to them.
YOU FORMED IN 2012 BUT REVAMPED THE LINEUP IN 2014 HOW HARD IS IT TO FIND MUSICIANS THAT FIT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR MUSICALLY AND CHARACTER WISE ? Changing the lineup was one of the most difficult steps we had to endure, as our previous guitarist was a long time best friend and best man to Muppet. We had different creative visions and it took Muppet and I over a year to find The Doctor and another 2 years to find Stitches. The entire experience was a growing development. It was very important to Muppet and I that we brought on new members that had a natural passion for theatre and dark and heavy musical influences whether classical, metal, rock gothic or punk. As we knew we would be combining several of our musical influences to create our unique sound which would ultimately enhance our live performance and my character vocal styles. Each of the members have brought their own unique influences and it has proven to be an amazing collaboration.
YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR NUMBERS I READ SOMEWHERE, HOW HAS THAT HELPED IN THE VISION OF THE SONGS AND VISION BECAUSE SEVEN SINS IS NUMBER BASED AND WAS THERE A REASON ONLY 7 SONGS ON THE EP AND THE SONG 13? I have always been fascinated by numerology and having an Asian background and growing up with Asian folklore and culture, numbers have always played a role throughout my life. The numbers “7” and “1” hold a darker and deeper meaning then is known. They are part of the titles but have a deeper and darker connection to me than most know. I had some very dark experiences when I was 7 and 13 years old. Major turning points in my life growing up and experiences that changed my life forever. The EP purposely has 7 songs because it introduces the doll, Raven, and her journey of Broken Innocence and Redemption from Age 7 to Age 13. The EP ends with the song “13” because she underwent a major life changing event at 13 which sprung her into a new identity of self-independence and began her discovery of her inner strength and no longer being a victim of bullying and overcoming her shyness.
YOU HAVE PLAYED THREE NEW SONGS IN YOUR SET HOW IS THE NEW MUSIC FOR A NEW RECORD COMING ABOUT AND SINCE THE FIRST ONE IS AN INTRO TO YOU THE “DOLL” WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD IN THE FUTURE RECORDS? The next EP will be released in 2018 and the three new songs we have played live on our Hex O’Clock Tour was just a peek into the rowdy, wreck less and heavier side of Raven and her misfits. The next EP will share the story behind each of the other members and how Raven is orchestrating the group’s avenging their own losses and triumphantly regain their self-identities and reigning in their own world together in the 13th hour. The mystery and excitement of being a part of their 13th hour where everyone is welcomed and encouraged to be who they truly are both inside and outside. A party and celebration of the dark and light, good and bad and finding a balance in each one’s duality of existence.
YOUR STAGE SHOW HOW WILL IT EVOLVE WITH EVERY RECORD? As we grow as a band, and our fanbase grows with us, each show, in our hopes, will be filled with more stage production, lights and sounds that bring out everyone’s hidden selves. We want people to enjoy and let go and feel free to mosh, jump, dance, stomp, head bang and just feel our music and story and trigger all their senses at every show. We can only promise that we will try and bring something new, even in the smallest way to every show experience and we will be right there with them throughout the 13th hour. MELODIC SINGING OR MORE AGGRESSIVE SINGING WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL PREFERENCE AND WHY? Honestly love both equally. Lyrically and musically, each thing and sometimes separately evoke emotions in me which will either be expressed melodically or aggressively. It all depends on the emotion of the lyric and the music and what is being expressed in meaning and subject. YOU ARE FOR FEMALE POWER IN YOUR OWN WORDS DESCRIBE TO ME WHAT YOU FEEL “FEMALE POWER” IS ALL ABOUT IN THIS DAY AND AGE? Female Power to me today means being able to feel strong and beautiful as you are, and there is no defined look or style that would make you anything more than who you are. Being one self and wearing your outside self is just as important as allowing your inside self to be seen. If you have a child inside you, let her free and if you have an old soul within you, let her free. Freedom to not worry about what society tells you is appropriate. You are appropriate because you are and you exist. Female Power to me is being able to love and to hate all at the same time for the right reasons and doing what is right to defend either.
TOUR LIFE FOR A WOMAN WHAT IS THE GOOD? THE BAD? AND THE UGLY? OF IT? It’s ugly ugly ugly, dirty dirty dirty and fun fun fun and worth it worth it worth it. Of course, this can be changed with some support from a label that cares in the artist rather than the Profits. LOL. YOUR VIDEO FOR TWINKEL TWINKLE LITTLE SCAR” IS PRETTY MORBID AND MORPHS YOUR CHARACTERS INTO SOME DEMENTED BEINGS. HOW WAS THE VIDEO PROCESS AND DO YOU FEEL THAT YOUR CREATIVE SIDE VISUALLY WILL GO EVEN DEEPER INTO THE MORBID WITH NEW VIDEOS COMING OUT? Actually, we really didn’t mean to get too morbid or emphasize the gore but the nightmare was supposed to describe the scars we have underneath the reality of our daily living. TWINKLE is truly about the self-realization that our innocent lullabies and wishful dreaming is not the truth when we grow up and see that love can be just as painful as it is nurturing. That our waking life may be affected by our nightmares and the scars we have that need healing. The gore and torture was taken too literally and so the message behind the lyrics was not fully captured. The fear we have and the scars we hold onto underneath the surface are in constant healing and adaptation as we experience new scars and new healing just like our nightmares and dreams are interchangeable. Some we remember, some we forget and some stay a part of our reality.
HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK THE VIDEOS ARE TO A BAND THAT HAS A CONCEPT LIKE YOU GUYS DO AND DO YOU SEE YOU DOING SOMETHING EVEN MORE LIKE A COMIC BOOK KIND OF THING IN THE FUTURE Videos are important to every band. They are an opportunity for you to place a visual piece of work with your music and performance. Our band is theatrical and we have a story or message to share with every song, so for us, music videos are a must. We enjoy making them and sharing them with our fans and will continue to do so throughout our journey. We anticipate and currently working on our comic book. We want to take our time and write the story and have the right artist illustrate the story for our fans to enjoy and follow and be a part of. We may be doing a fan club subscription online for those who want to be a part of our 13th hour daily. Exclusive content and more personal platform for our fans to become involved in what we are and what we do. We are putting this together and won’t release this until we have an idea of what our fans can experience. Hopefully this can be released soon.
WHAT DOES THE REST OF THE YEAR LOOK LIKE FOR RAVEN BLACK? We will be announcing our Fall Support Tour for November through December across the U.S.We will be supporting a great band and look forward to a killer tour. We will most likely be releasing a music video for “13”, one of our fan favorites. Then it’s Holidays and we enter into 2018 with a pretty busy schedule for January-February. We’ll be in the studio Jan-Feb for the next EP “13”. We may have a surprise bonus track on there, but we will just have to wait and see….
LAST COMMENTS? Thank you so much for taking the time to get to know us. I can’t tell you how much we all appreciate your time and efforts and sharing who we are and what we do. It means more to us than you can ever know. Raven
Florida's rising stars THE KNOWING WITHIN By: Stephanie Stevens
THE KNOWING WITHIN a 4-piece band out of Orlando, Florida has been on the local music scene for a little over 3 years. The band through that time have released a EP BELIEVE TO SEE in 2015, has won a Oski award in 2017 for best Metal band and is currently working on the finishing touches of a full-length album CIRCUMSTANCES which they hope to hit the market in fall of 2017. From listening to some tracks; they have a rock a pop and some metal vibes surrounding the music they create. Intertwining all genres makes sense after seeing the broad spectrum of musical influences each and every band member has.
One song that got me wanting to know more about THEKNOWING WITHIN was the track THE UNTOLD STORY. The track title intrigued me and the song is an upbeat, energized song. THE PATH OF MY CALLING probably my favorite song kind of gives me a little piece of bands like Thrice, Silverstein and bands back in the day that ruled the rock scene. Plus, the guys have a positive outlook throughout the lyrical content and in this day n age we need more of that in the music scene. HOPE FOR THE DESPAIRED starts out showing the vocal ability of his vast range of vocals he can delve into. The song brings out the melodic attributes with piano but then halfway through the song it gets aggressive and abrasive for a few seconds and really creates a shock value. the bands
I was able to chat with the guys to learn a little bit more of the band, the new record coming and what got them into music.
WHO IS IN THE KNOWING WITHIN AND WHEN DID YOU GUYS FORM? Tim Rardon- Lead Vocals, Mario Tafoya- Guitar/Vocals, James Arran- Drums, Sebastian (Sebby) Villota- Bass (Tim)- I founded the band a few years back, but I don't really feel like we were as complete and strong until this finalized lineup has formed.
WHEN LOOKING FOR BAND MEMBERS WHAT IS THE TOP 3 QUALITIES YOU LOOK FOR AND IS THIS CURRENT LINEUP WHO STARTED THE BAND? (Mario)- When we were shopping for a new member first and foremost we wanted someone that could not only play the part but wanted it as much as we did. Secondly TKW is known for our live performances so stage presence is definitely a must! And lastly, they have to care about music the way that we do, the drive and determination to bring a smile to someone's face despite the circumstances. Though this is not the lineup that started the band... this is definitely the lineup you will grow to love for years to come! Tim initially founded the band, the rest of us helped bring it to life. WHAT DOES THE BAND NAME THE KNOWING WITHIN MEAN TO YOU AND HOW DOES IT SET THE MOOD FOR THE MUSIC YOU WRITE? (Mario)- To me THE KNOWING WITHIN means hope, if you want something bad enough and you know it in your heart, you have to look within to achieve your goals.
HOW DO YOU GUYS WRITE MUSIC IS A COLLECTIVE BAND THING OR DO YOU GUYS HAVE INDIVIDUAL JOBS WHEN A SONG COMES TOGETHER? (James)- When writing music, we just kind of vibe off each other until we hear something we really like. (Tim)- As James said, we lean on each other and really build on each band members ideas. But sometimes I'll have a story I want to write and they create the instrumentals to the idea. Other times the guys will make something really cool that triggers an idea in my head.
ARE YOU GUYS TECHY WHEN IT COMES TO THE STUDIO OR DO YOU USUALLY WORK WITH A PRODUCER ETC WHEN YOU GO TO RECORD? IF YOU ARE ALL TECHNICAL IN THE STUDIO IS THAT SOMETHING DOWN THE LINE YOU AS A BAND WOULD WANT TO LEARN AND DO YOU THINK IT WOULD HELP WITH COSTS OR MAKE THE MUSIC MAKING MORE INTIMATE FOR FOT YOU GUYS? (Sebby)- Having already a degree on music recording and producing will help us communicate and deliver better material to the producer and have a better understanding of what we want our sound to be like. Something new, innovative but that still feels familiar.
YOU'RE WORKING ON A FULL-LENGTH ALBUM AS OF NOW IS IT STILL BEING CALLED CIRCUMSTANCES AND HOW HAS THE MUSIC MATURED SINCE YOUR LAST EP BELIEVE TO SEE? DO YOU HAVE A RELEASE DATE YET? (Tim)- Yes, it is indeed going to be called CIRCUMSTANCES. Let me tell you, these songs are some of my favorite that TKW has ever written and I am so ecstatic to get this music out. We have really bettered ourselves and pushed ourselves individually as musicians and collectively as a band. From the first EP, we have experienced more in our lives as well so we have deeper lyrics. We also have made the new music a little heavier as well. We don't have an exact release date for the album but we do have a single or two coming in the near future to give you a taste.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE MOST PROUD OF WHEN IT COMES TO THE KNOWING WITHIN’S LIVE SHOW? (James)- The explosion of energy. It's like we breathe new life each time we hit the stage! (Tim)- The crowd engagement most definitely. This is the closest you get to connect with the listeners. There's no feeling like it! We like to put on quite the show with our live performance, because we feel the songs.
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY TOUR DATES COMING UP FOR FALL INTO THE WINTER MONTHS? (Tim)- Right now we are playing one-off shows here and there because we are spending a majority of our time fine tuning and crafting each bit of our new material and upcoming release. However, as soon as some of this new material is ready for release, you better bet that we will be doing bigger and better tours than we have done yet.
HOW CAN PEOPLE GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU AND HOW CAN THEY PURCHASE OLD AND NEW MUSIC? (Tim)- Anyone can get in touch with us and check out music via any of the mainstream social media sites for the most part. Facebook, IG, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube, email, etc. We encourage people to contact us. Also feel free to message us on our personal pages. IF YOU COULD WRITE ONE SONG WITH ONE PERSON IN THE CURRENT MUSIC SCENE WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE THIS PERSON? (James)- Matt Skiba. I've always looked up to him. (Tim)- I/we been blessed to be able to have networked with many of mine/our influences thus far. However, I think Mike Shinoda would be someone I've looked up to since a child.
WHAT MADE EACH OF YOU DECIDE TO PLAY THE INSTRUMENTS YOU PLAY AND HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU DECIDED THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO? (James)- I started playing drums as a late teen. It just kind of stuck with me. I originally tried to learn how to play guitar but it was never really that fun for me due to me being left-handed but it's silly because I use both hands for the drums. (Tim)- I began playing guitar off and on as a hobby as a teen. But once I found talented band members I much preferred singing and focusing on being a front man. (Sebby)- I started playing bass when I was 14 maybe 15, what made me jump to play an instrument was mostly to jam with my friends. I’ve always been musically inclined since I can remember so for me was really a no brainer. (Mario)- Around the age of 14 I had my first Warped Tour experience, needless to say I've wanted to be a Rockstar since that very day. So, I bought a guitar, joined a few bands, and here I am, doing what I love with some of the best dudes around!!
WHAT IS THE FIRST RECORD YOU EVER HEARD THAT GOT YOU INTO THE MUSIC YOU LISTEN TO AND WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THAT RECORD THAT MADE YOU FALL IN LOVE? (Tim)- There are far too many influences and amazing artists and albums that have inspired me. I know the early Blink-182 and Linkin Park stuff inspired me as a kid. Then in later teens and early twenties I got more into the heavier music scene. Powerful instrumentals, catchy choruses, and emotional lyrics have always been what I enjoy most. (Sebby)- I can't remember the first record I listened to but I can recall listening to ACDC, Queen, The Doors, Pink Floyd and Chuck Berry with my dad while driving. I remember the first song and music video I ever saw and loved was Californication from the RHCP so I guess I just grew up loving this kind of music. I have always had it around me through my best and worst times. (Mario)- I would have to say Thrice - The Artist in the Ambulance, definitely the album that started me down the music path I know and love today.
ANY LAST COMMENTS? On behalf of TKW we want to thank you Stephanie and East Coast Romper for your time and the interview. We want to also thank anybody who's given us a listen or supported us. We want to chat with and meet everyone we can!
IS STARTING A REVOLUTION
By: Stephanie Stevens
Musicians make music for many different reasons, they start bands for many different reasons and they become a success because of those said actions. Well CHRIS CLEMENCE is that one artist who started out as a bass player for bands. HE wrote some really successful music but in the back of his mind he seemed to always want to do something more. He got the chance back in 2015 when I first heard about him and the band he was in SCREAMING FOR DEMONS when they wrote a track called ROCKSTAR which helped and is still an ongoing amazing charity; the Homeless Rockstars; through United Way.
Now CLEMENCE and the all mighty DH PELIGRO of the Dead Kennedys just released an amazing track called REVOLUTION which is about the turmoil that the United States are in right now. What Trump is trying to take away CLEMENCE and DH are fighting for in this new single they just released. Clemence says on his social media page “If he won't lead, we the people will. We need to stand together and benefit Equal Rights Education and Healthcare. Our country depends on it!”.
Along with making differences in the world CLEMENCE has also written songs to impact the sports world back in 2016 he wrote a New York anthem that will be the official song for the NY Rangers, NY Giants, and NY Knicks with Cro Mags founder Harley Flanagan, and Madison Square Garden DJ Ray Castoldi.
As a solo artist, he is able to really focus in on his beliefs and what he wants to put out and I love his sense of urgency, his sense of community and his sense of making music to really make an impact on the world and people’s lives.
If you haven’t already donated to this amazing charity he put together “THE CLEMENCE FOUNDATION” it’s time to get on board you will get an amazing track in REVOLUTION but also a killer t shirt. I had a chance to chat with CHRIS about the new foundation, the new track and how it is having his little girl and his recent engagement to his beautiful wife Tessa Knox.
If you would like to donate today: please cut n paste the link below and help out our future:
When I last spoke to you, you had teamed up with Harley Flanagan of Cro Mags and did “LET’S GO”. Now, you just released “REVOLUTION” on which you worked with DH Peligro of Dead Kennedys. Do you hand pick the artists you’re going to work with on collaborations like this?
Yes, the song “REVOLUTION” just came out! And yes, I do hand pick them. Each artist I work with on a song is because I know they’re the perfect fit for it.
What was the reasoning behind DH being a part of this particular one?
I was always a big Dead Kennedys fan. DH’s has been creating music for his whole career that stands up to power and has a political message. The Dead Kennedys have such a history of that. His voice has that angst to it and I just knew he was the only guy for this.
DID YOU GIVE HIM THE SCENARIO OF THE SONG THEME OR DID YOU WORK ON IT TOGETHER?
I had a bunch of the song written already, lyrics and the concept but of course DH came in and did his thing which took it to the next level. I worked with guitarist and co-producer Ched Tolliver on it as well. Working with these guys was super easy. We are all like-minded and it came together fairly quickly.
THE VIDEO THAT YOU MADE FOR THE SONG …
AHHH the video (hahah)
I DON’T KNOW IF WE WANT TO DIVE INTO THIS (HAHA) BUT WHAT HAS THE REACTION BEEN LIKE SINCE THE RELEASE?
Across the board. I have gotten so many messages. I’ve gotten tons of hate messages from Trump supporters. Those are very entertaining for me to read. But I’ve also gotten great positive messages from fans and those who realize we need to take action and do something to make this world a better place. I worked with a friend of mine, Angelo Hat, to create the video. He is an animator for Titmouse Productions in Los Angeles. He has done a bunch of stuff with Adult Swim and Cartoon Network and I’m a big fan of his animation and style. We sat down and went over the concept and I just let him do his thing. I’m really happy with the result!
I MEAN I AM ALL FOR WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO DO AND SAY BUT I KNOW OTHERS PROBABLY DON’T SEE IT THAT WAY…
I kind of expected that. Like it says at the end of the video… this isn’t about political parties. It’s about standing up for what’s right. That is what our charity is all about. Benefiting people’s rights, education and healthcare. It has really nothing to do with taking Trump out of office and I don’t see that happening…
IT WOULD BE NICE…
Oh, believe me I would throw a parade! (Haha) But this is about standing up against his despicable actions and his administration’s actions. He is cutting funding to and canceling programs in all of these areas and it’s pissing off a lot of people. Instead of just allowing that to happen we need to take matters into our own hands. We are going to stand up for equal rights with the ACLU. We are going to stand up for education with Save The Children. We are going to stand up for healthcare with Americares free clinics. That is really what “REVOLUTION” is about. It’s not a violent thing. It’s doing what’s right and what’s needed.
I HEARD YOU ALSO JUST GOT ENGAGED…
Yes! Just last night! The lovely Tessa Knox is all mine! (haha) It was our 1-year anniversary and I wanted to make it super special for her. I rented out the whole lower section of our favorite restaurant in Montauk, New York. As we walked down I told Tessa I had hired a film crew and photographer to take a quick anniversary video and pictures for us. As we were taking the pics, I had a band sneak out behind us and play our favorite song on guitar and violin and dropped the knee and proposed. And I had Stephen Tedeschi and his C-Media NY crew there to get it all on film! Can’t wait to watch it all over again. I got her an awesome custom-made ring from Pure Grown Diamonds too. When I was picking out a ring for her it was really important to us that it was conflict free and ecofriendly. I did a lot of research and Pure Grown Diamonds is amazing. They offer Type IIA diamonds, which are the rarest and highest clarity in the world, but are guaranteed conflict free and have no negative environmental impact from harvesting. It was great to work so closely with them and make Tessa’s absolute dream ring from scratch.
I KNOW YOU BOTH JUST HAD A LITTLE GIRL TOO, DO YOU FEEL THIS WAS SOMETHING YOU NEEDED TO DO FOR HER FUTURE ALSO?
Yes, absolutely. The night that Trump got elected, and she was still in utero, my heart sunk. Trump is going to run our country when my little girl comes into this world? It was a scary thought. I want her to be in a world that is not filled with so much hate and I want her to have a great education and great opportunities. It’s not fair to her or any of the other children coming into this world to be stripped of educational programs or healthcare.
THE CLEMENCE FOUNDATION ITS AFFILIATED WITH THE SONG AND IT’S YOUR FOUNDATION?
Yes, The Clemence Foundation is my charity I started. The reason I started it was that with some charities, people blindly throw money at them and you don’t really know where it goes. With my charity, I want to make sure that everyone that donates gets to see tangible results. I’m going to post updates and videos to show the real change and progress we are making. Other charities that we benefit or partner with I’m going to have a very close hand in making sure the money goes to the right place.
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE LOOKING TO DO SOMETHING THEMSELVES WHAT IS SOME THINGS YOU CAN TELL THEM THEY CAN TO OTHER THEN JUST DONATING?
Call your local representatives or Congressmen. Protest. Make your voice hear. Stand up and demand the change you seek.
DO YOU FEEL PEOPLE ARE JUST COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT’S GOING ON OR DO YOU FEEL LIKE CHANGE IS HAPPENING?
It’s happening. Look at Charlottesville. Sure, there are a lot of people who are comfortable sitting behind their computers and they won’t take action or do anything but we are hoping to encourage them to. You don’t necessarily have to go out and protest or make all these phone calls but its super easy and takes 2 minutes of your time to donate to a charity for something positive.
DO YOU THINK YOU WILL EVER WORK WITH HARLEY OR DH AGAIN ON ANOTHER SONG OR DO YOU WANT TO PROGRESS AND FIND OTHER ARTISTS TO WORK WITH?
Definitely. With both those guys it was a great experience and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’m also excited to see what the future holds for new collaborations.
ARE YOU DOING ANYTHING WITH THE BANDS YOU USED TO BE IN? SCREAMING AT DEMONS AND RAPSCALLIONS? OR HAVE YOU DRIFTED WAY FROM THE BAND THING?
I’m currently not doing anything with the bands I was in, I’m just working as a solo artist. I’m enjoying working as a solo artist much better.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BEING FROM A BAND ATMOSPHERE TO A SOLO GUY?
It’s great! I love it. I am my own boss. When I was with the band we had to stick to our sound and be in that genre but with being a solo artist I can experiment. It’s exciting for me because I get to switch it up the style whenever I want and it’s so refreshing. With the band, it can get stuffy and you can get pigeon holed and stuck in that vibe and sound. As a solo artist, I can do whatever I want and I’m loving it.
WAS BASS YOUR FIRST INSTRUMENT AND GOT YOU INTO THE MUSIC LIFE?
Yeah, I started playing bass at like 14 and never stopped. I had a little rock band in high school, we thought we were the shit but we really sucked (haha). I kept playing and got better and better and here I am today!
DO YOU MISS ANY PARTS OF THE TOURING LIFE?
I do miss being out on the road but that’s not to say I’m not going to do it again. Putting out singles and doing the licensing thing is great right now, especially having a new daughter. It’s nice to get to spend every night with her. But I definitely will be back out on the road again at some point. I got to rock these new songs live for all you guys!
ARE YOU AND DH DOING ANY APPEARANCES FOR THE SONG “REVOLUTION”?
We have been asked by a few different charities to appear and at a recent festival. As stuff unfolds we will be doing things. Right now, we just got the campaign posted, video and the song are out and the buzz is building. People are just learning about it and getting excited. I can’t wait to see what the future brings.
PEOPLE WILL BE ABLE TO DONATE FOR A WHILE CORRECT?
It’s going to be there now until Trump is gone! (hahaha) But seriously, we just want to make as much positive change as we can. Whether it lasts a few months or it carries on for years, it’s the right thing to do and it’s a positive movement that will help a lot of people.
SO ABOUT DONATING… YOU CAN DONATE AND GET THE SONG AND A SHIRT?
Yes. When you go on our Crowdpac page you’ll have the option to donate $5, which gets you a free download of “REVOLUTION”. Donations of $40 or more gets you an official “REVOLUTION” T Shirt by Fathom Clothing. You can choose between the “Raven” and “Rise Up!” designs. $60 or more you get “The Executive Order”, which is my favorite T Shirt. All donations over $5 get the song, so its included with the shirt orders. I’m also offering hand made one of a kind custom art pieces done by me for $1,000 or more. You can check out samples of my work on my website WWW.CHRISCLEMENCE.COM.
IS FATHOM CLOTHING SOMEONE WHO HAVE WORKED WITH BEFORE?
This is my first time collaborating with Fathom and it has been a great experience. Dexter Dible, the CEO, is an amazing graphic designer and has a real eye for fashion and what’s cool. Every shirt that’s part of the “REVOLUTION COLLECTION” has deep symbolic meaning. The “Raven” T Shirt was actually inspired by a photo I took out on my back deck. A Raven had landed on top of my flag pole which had a tattered and worn American flag. I quickly snapped a picture before he took flight. It just struck me. I thought “This is America right now. In total decay and distress.” But what’s interesting is that in Native American folklore, Ravens symbolize change and transformation. Which is exactly what this country needs right now. That was the first shirt we collaborated on and created the rest of the designs together from there.
CRAZY HOW SOMETHING SO SIMPLE CAN INSPIRE YOU. I LOVE IT!
Yeah it is. But that’s how I look at everything. Signs happen in everyday life and you can choose to either ignore them or be inspired by them.
I THINK WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS AMAZING. I THOUGHT WHEN YOU DID THE HOMELESS CHARITY ALSO THAT WAS KILLER. WOULD YOU GUYS EVER DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT AGAIN?
Yeah, Homeless Rockstars. That was a great campaign we changed a lot of people’s lives and made a lot of positive impact. That charity is still on going to this day and still helping out a lot of people; it’s a great thing. Right now, I am pretty focused on “REVOLUTION” because I think it’s crucial and vital for the times.
SINCE YOU HAVE DONE SO MUCH IN YOUR CAREER WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE LOOKING INTO ACHIEVING THEIR DREAMS OR PASSIONS BE IT MUSIC OR SOMETHING ELSE?
Whatever you’re working on, you have to have a never quit attitude. Go at it 110% and don’t take “No” for an answer.
ANY LAST WORDS?
We need everyone to band together and support this campaign for positive change. We can’t do this alone and it’s going to take all of us. Go to our Crowdpac right now and donate and get a kick ass song! I promise you’re gonna love it. And if you don’t, well at least you benefitted equal rights, education, and healthcare so it’s all a win!
WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF CODE NAME: PHOENIX by: Stephanie Stevens
I found this Illinois based band CODE NAME: PHOENIX as I was scrolling through Facebook and on Reverbnation and I was interested in getting to know these guys a little bit better because not only was the music pretty appealing to me but the name of the band and the songs they have released on their first EP was intriguing; that I knew they had to have a back story to how and why they got together.
CODE NAME: PHOENIX mix the heaviness with melodic overtones in the band’s debut EP SEQUENCE 001: INITIATION to enhance the stories they want to get out to the people of the music world. The ease of the vocals going from aggressive screams to clean and melody driven sounds really bring the songs to a new level. The guitar work of the tracks always changing up from crisp and simple to heavy and powerful and the rhythm section giving you the bounce to head bang is definitely profound in the band’s music.
The guys are just getting their feet wet on the debut EP and the live show circuit but I am sure you will be hearing more on them in the months to come. The band is bringing back the theatrics of a stage show intertwined with that strong power of metal music. I had a chance to chat with the whole band about the story behind the band, the band members influences, and how they view of the current Illinois scene
WHO IS IN THE BAND AND WHEN AND HOW DID YOU GUYS FORM? KYREN: The band is comprised of five members which include myself, Kyren (Vocals), Syntax (Bass), Jinn (Lead/Rhythm Guitar), Sirus (Rhythm/Lead Guitar) and Binary (Drums).
SYNTAX: And the band itself is a product of science honestly. We are genetically modified humanoids from the year 2062. We were created to be the quintessential metal band to overthrow the Pop music scene that still plagues and controls the music business. JINN: We were actually locked in battle with the Pop scene when they sent us back in time because they were threatened by us. *laughs*
KYREN: Which explains why we arrived in 2015. We basically had to start from the bottom to get back to where we are today.
YOUR STAGE NAMES, WHAT DO THEY MEAN AND HOW DO THEY APPLY TO THE MUSIC AND BAND YOU CREATED? SYNTAX: Our stages names were assigned to us during and after the experiments. They are more extensions of ourselves as individuals and our playing styles than a direct tie in to the band. For me I am very analytical about my playing. I am very precise when it comes to my arrangements in our songs. Hence the name “Syntax.”
SIRUS: My name is derived from Sirius because I am the loudest or “brightest” out of everyone. I am always being told to turn down my amp when we play. So, mine is more directed towards my playing style.
JINN: Mine is based off of my influence on us as a band. I don't want to say that I am the main song writer, but I feel like I have a lot of influence when it comes to our writing because I make sure that every song we put out is precise and showcases what we are as a band.
BINARY: After the experiments, I was basically half man and half mechanical. So, they gave me the name Binary because I showcased the two systems working in sync with each other. KYREN: My name apparently originated due to my eyes. During the experiments, the scientists said that when they looked into my eyes all they saw was darkness. And Kyren loosely means “dark.” So basically, they were frightened by that so to counter that they implanted iris modifiers into my eyes to give me some liveliness. So, with every objective that we do, my eyes change color to match the mission/album that we are putting out. Currently they are blue, so who knows what they will be during our next sequence. *laughs *
WHO DID THE ARTWORK FOR THE EP? KYREN: We actually are in conjunction with the company Heretic Concepts. They helped us with all of our logos, lyric videos, and as well as the EP artwork. We are actually prepping the scheme for our second EP as we speak.
WHAT DOES THE BAND NAME MEAN TO YOU GUYS? SIRUS: Well the band name was basically assigned to our group by the scientists that created us. Our group has always been called by that name. After all, the experiments, the scientists practically gave us a second chance within the music business so in a way we were reborn like a Phoenix from the flames and ashes. Which caused the name CODE NAME: PHOENIX. The name symbolizes our rebirth as individuals as well as the rebirth of the metal music movement trying to make its way back on top of the business.
YOU RECORDED YOUR EP A WHILE BACK BUT JUST RELEASED IT NOW. WHY SUCH THE LONG WAIT AND WAS ANYTHING REVAMPED BEFORE IT CAME OUT LAST MONTH? KYREN: Well with the whole arriving in 2015 situation, we basically had to adjust ourselves to our new surroundings. We needed to establish our base of operations again and regain the equipment that we lost. It was a life altering experience quite honestly. JINN: And with that we saw a chance to release the music we had in 2062 that much earlier in history because it technically hasn’t been released yet. So, we recorded them again, note for note and then released the album last month.
WHAT IS YOUR MAIN INFLUENCE WHEN YOU WRITE LYRICS AND IS THE EP SEQUENCE 001: INITIATION YOU RELEASED HAVE A STORY OR THEME LINKING ALL THE SONGS TOGETHER KYREN: When it comes to lyrics I base them off my own ideologies and life experiences but I try my best to keep them vague so that the listener can interpret the lyrics their own way. That way they can use them to their own advantage. Our two singles “ALWAYS DROWNING” and “I OVERCOME” are the two that tell a story more than the rest of the songs because the story starts with dealing with depression and all of the feelings and thoughts that come from it and then it ends with overcoming those obstacles and progressing in life. The rest of the songs see themes that deal with rebirth (FROM ASH REBORN), the duality of man (MALEFIC URGE), human greed and power (CONSTRUCTING DISSOLUTION) and the journey and struggle in finding one’s self-individualism (PHANTOM PRISON). So, the rest of the songs are stories themselves. Although I have toyed the idea of creating a concept/story based album for quite some time so it may see the light of day.
WHAT GOT YOU GUYS INTO PLAYING YOUR INSTRUMENTS AND ALSO BEING A VOCALIST AND LYRICIST? JINN: Well we were basically programmed to learn those instruments. We were all programmed with ever-evolving AI's so our influences are always being updated. But I remember Iron Maiden being one of the first bands being downloaded for me. So that's where my playing stems from.
BINARY: For me Sevendust, Mudvayne and Slipknot were the bands that were implanted for me. Mainly for the groove that they produced.
SIRUS: Soilwork was the band that was downloaded for me. Mainly for the song structures and how they wrote their guitar riffs. So that's what I put the most emphasis on when I write our material. SYNTAX: Primus was the band that was implanted for me. Their song structures, the left field-ness and just the way Les Claypool plays adds a whole different layer and complexity to our material which keeps people intrigued.
KYREN: For me there was a great selection of vocalists and lyricists that I found stored in my data banks. It consisted of the likes of Lamb of God, Kamelot, Soilwork, HIM, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, and so many more that helped influence my writing, screaming, and singing. How they performed their craft, their drive, what they wrote about are all factors that have helped influence me as a front man.
SINCE THIS EP WAS WRITTEN A WHILE BACK DO YOU GUYS HAVE NEW MUSIC THAT YOU ARE PLAYING AT SHOWS ALSO OR LOOKING INTO MAKING A NEW EP ANYTIME SOON? BINARY: We are in the process of writing our second EP actually. And it is something very different musically from our first EP. So, it's very exciting to see the next phase coming together so quickly. SYNTAX: Agreed. Everything is coming together nicely. We have a lot of ideas that are showing our progress and growth as musicians. We are very proud of what we have so far and we can't wait to release it next year.
HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE HELPED THE CHICAGO AND IL MUSIC SCENE AND HOW DO YOU FEEL THE SCENE IS IN ITS CURRENT STATE? SIRUS: I feel that we have brought back a sense of theatrics back into the scene, actually the whole metal genre in general. It's something that not a lot of bands want to invest in. And as musicians we don't want to just play for a crowd, we want to entertain the crowd. Give them an experience and their money's worth.
KYREN: We just love to push the envelope on what a metal band can do. But as far as the scene goes, it is alive and well and is continuously growing. There are many bands that are helping push it forward and are helping it grow. From the likes of Sky Machine, Tanzen, El Famous, A Silent Truth, Consume the Divide, and V is for Villains there is no shortage of music and talent coming out of Chicago and we are proud to be a part of scene and to call it home.
WHAT TOP 3 BANDS/MUSICIANS/ARTISTS DO YOU GUYS FEEL AS A BAND INFLUENCE YOUR MUSIC AND WHY? KYREN: As a band I say the three bands that influence our music the most are Lamb Of God, Soilwork especially the last couple of their albums, and Periphery. Mainly because we are a very groove oriented bands like Lamb of God. Soilwork is a heavy influence in my vocals as well as Sirus and Jinn's song composition and playing. And then Periphery because we love the tone that they play in, which is why we play in drop G sharp, and plus they are one of the frontrunners when it comes to modern progressive metal music.
“I OVERCOME” IS A SONG I REALLY DUG WHEN I FIRST LISTENED TO YOU GUYS, HOW DID THAT SONG COME ABOUT AND WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO DO A LYRIC VIDEO FOR IT? JINN: Well it came about like any song that we have created. It always starts with a simple riff that either Sirus or myself create. Once the song was completed there were so many hooks weaving throughout it that it would've been stupid of us to not have it as a single.
SYNTAX: So, like any single nowadays we thought a lyric video would be very beneficial to help showcase the song. Plus, it's a cheaper alternative to filming a music video. This way people will be able to view and see the lyrics up front.
KYREN: Plus, there is a very strong message behind those lyrics. So basically, that song checked off on all of the criteria when it comes to a single.
ANOTHER TRACK THAT REALLY GOT ME WAS THE LAST TRACK “MALEFIC URGE,” LOVE THE INTERTWINING OF MELODIC AND HEAVY WITHIN THAT TRACK. WHEN YOU GUYS WRITE DO YOU TEND TO WRITE HEAVIER AND THEN SOFTEN IT OR VICE VERSA?
JINN: Overall, we try to write music that we would enjoy ourselves. And being a metal band, everything will always be heavy to some extent. But melody has always been at the forefront amongst everything. Whether it's through the instrumentation or through the vocal melodies. But overall, we tend to write heavier and then get more melodic when it comes to the choruses which is standard for any song. But we always try to keep things changing and interesting in each song which is why “PHANTOM [PRISON]” is one of our heavier songs and then “ALWAYS [DROWNING]” is our most melodic. No two songs will ever be the same.
TO PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN YOU PLAY LIVE HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE A LIVE SHOW? SYNTAX: We are basically a painted up, mask wearing, metal freak show that gets everyone up to the front of the stage. So be prepared to be wowed and intrigued.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE CHECK OUT WHEN YOU’RE PLAYING OR YOUR MUSIC? KYREN: The best place would be our Facebook page for updates and show news. But for all of our Twitter users our shows will be posted there as well because it's linked up to our Facebook page. And our music is available on every major digital distributor: iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, etc. We also have it available on CD at our live shows.
ANYTHING YOU WANT TO LET PEOPLE KNOW THAT YOU HAVEN’T LET THEM KNOW YET ABOUT YOUR BAND? KYREN: Just to be on the lookout for more news and updates from us. We have a lot of things in store and yes new music is on the horizon and will be released sooner than expected.
BECOMES ASTRAL TALKS ABOUT PALEBLOOD SKY By: Jackie Ryan
Becomes Astral is a progressive death metal band based out of Guelph, Ontario. They are made up of 5 guys: LAYNE RICHARDSON - Lead Guitars, CAM "SHAMBLES" SHARER- Vocals, JAMIE DEBRUIN - Rhythm Guitar, JOSH BENNETT - Drums, and LIAM FRITH - Bass. I had a chance to listen to their newest album PALEBLOOD SKY, which features 6 songs and has a bit of different feel for death metal bands. They feature 2 songs that are longer length, showing off more of the instrumentals. When you first listen to the album you get more of a softer vibe, but then the vocals and heavy drums and guitars hit you. SHARER out does himself with vocals with changes in pitch and screaming. DEATH MOUNTAIN is a great song to just sit down and really listen to, it has good guitar riffs (especially towards the end with solo) it has a more melodic feel and keeps you wanting to listen to more. Again, BENEATH THE SEA OF BLOOD starts off instrumental, however vocals are tamer throughout the song, which kind of gives it a more melodic sense and makes you listen to its meaning. This song has influences of IRON MAIDEN to me and the vocals are just amazing. PRAISE THE SUN sounds like a ballad at first, but then takes a bit of a turn about 15 seconds in. The guitar styling of RICHARDSON is just fantastic throughout the whole album and brings together the other guitar and bass, the drumming is heavy and very in tune with the other members. If you have a chance to check out the album, which was released August 18, you can go through their faceboook page (Www.facebook.com/becomesastral) or find them on Spotify.
I also had the chance to shoot these boys some questions about the album, what made them write longer songs, and what they plan to give back to the world.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR NEWEST ALBUM PALEBLOOD SKY. WHY SUCH A DIFFERENT STYLE IN WRITING THIS TIME AROUND?
LAYNE--This album is a compilation of our old sound and what we’re wanting to develop to. The first 3 songs are much more like our first E.P just because they were written around the time we were recording our last release. But the last 3 songs are what we are progressing towards. I wanted the album to have a buildup of intensity and skill as it goes on.
WHAT INSPIRATIONS DID YOU HAVE WHEN WRITING THIS ALBUM?
LAYNE--The inspiration I had for this album I guess was to make it as much of a progression throughout the album as possible. We call ourselves a progressive death metal band but I guess with our first E.P I found it hard to classify us under that. So, this album I wanted the album to progress throughout because most bands get considered prog by how much they progress throughout their releases, which inspired me to show that progression through just one album.
I KNOW YOU’RE A DEATH METAL BAND, BUT WHY A FOCUS ON BLOODBORNE IN THIS ALBUM? IS THERE SOMETHING THAT YOU WANT YOUR FANS TO GET OUT OF THE MUSIC?
LAYNE--it was more an ode to those games. The title track and the 13-minute epic that ensues after it are trying to embody the games story telling because we were huge fans of the mysterious but unforgiving way the games presents itself and we wanted to do that with these songs. PALEBLOOD SKY is more based off of bloodborne so the song is shorter and more of a flow with its changes in dynamics which is how I felt bloodborne was with its style. Now PRAISE THE SUN is trying to be more like dark souls so we have it as a longer, more drawn out but also a lot more intense song. It has a lot of ups and downs and the changes are a lot more dramatic than PALEBLOOD SKY is, which is kind of how we feel how those games differed. Really, we’re just huge nerds
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THIS TOUR WITH EYE OF HORUS? LIAM--We just want to go have some fun in all honesty. Our only hopes right now are to continuously reach new audiences while building on the fans we already have. So far 2 dates have sold out (Barrie, and Guelph), which is an incredible feeling. We spent 2 years working on this album, so like that saying goes, we work hard, We play hard (que everybody dance now).
WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO PLAY A SHOW? ALSO, TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE INTERESTING PEOPLE THAT YOU HAVE MET ALONG THE WAY
LIAM--I’ve done a lot of touring in a few bands, so it’s hard to completely narrow down, and in all honesty, I’m Happy playing anywhere and everywhere. If I had to narrow it down, Guelph, Barrie, Ottawa, Quebec City and Edmonton would be my top 5. We have a lot of friends in those cities just from touring with bands from each city. One of my favorite stories from touring would have to be the last time I was in Ottawa, I was sitting in my van drinking with about 6 other people, and this woman walks by us punching a guy in the back of the head and screaming, so automatically we’re on edge. Afterwards she turns to us and says, “I’m really sorry for the violence, but you know, does anyone happen to have an extra lighter?” and at this point I look down at her hands and see her holding a packed crack pipe. We all make awkward eye contact, say no, and start closing up the van, we came back about 5 minutes later and I see her down the street lighting her crack pipe, and she starts walking back towards our van. She walks by, stops, turns to us, at this point she’s holding a Four Loko and she looks me dead in the eyes and says “Yeah, I’m smoking crack and drinking in public”, and I just burst out laughing and said, “yeah I can see that”.
CENTRAL FLORIDA'S NOSELF LAYING OUT THE EMOTION, HEAVINESS AND NUMETAL FLAIR IN THE MUSIC THEY MAKE By: Stephanie Stevens
Pure emotion, catchy melodies, heavy fragments from vocals to music-- throw in some electronic vibes and you get what central Florida’s NOSELF have made in the band’s first EP ‘HUMAN-CYBORG RELATIONS EPISODE 1.
The band’s sound brought me back to the early 2000 circa; where the music scene was alive and rocking but these guys also translate a modern edge to their sound as well. CASTING STONES is heavy and melodic and I was digging the more aggressive vocal elements in this one. FRISCO the band’s first single tangles up all the sounds of the record in one track and really showcases the bands ability to be diverse, heavy and catchy at the same time. The band jumped aboard Zombie Shark Records with a worldwide distribution contract and will be working on a new EP, along with more touring in the near future.
I was able to catch up with the guys just to find out a little bit more on the band. So, sit back and read on about the bands influences, the central Florida music scene and if the band digs the studio vibe or stage vibe.
WHO IS IN THE BAND AND HOW DID YOU GUYS ALL MEET? Dylan Hart Kleinhans - Vocals Justin Dabney - Guitar Drew Miller - Drums Joey Bivo - Bass
Dylan and Justin have been playing and writing together off and on since 2002. Drew and Bivo replaced our previews members about a year ago.
YOU HAVE SOME MAJOR BANDS AS INFLUENCES HOW DID THEIR MUSIC INFLUENCE THIS BAND We’ve taken aspects from several realms of music. NuMetal being the biggest applicant. We’re all about writing heavy and catchy riffs mixed with emotional and relatable content.
IF ONE OF YOUR BAND INFLUENCES HEARD YOUR MUSIC WHICH BAND WOULD YOU WANT IT TO BE AND WHY? The Deftones are probably our biggest influence universally. They’re one of the biggest names in music, and it would be an honor to know that they went out of their way to listen to our music. HOW DID YOU HOOK UP WITH ZOMBIE SHARK RECORDS AND HOW HAS THAT CONNECTION HELPED YOU GUYS AS A BAND? Noah “Shark” Robertson hit us up on Facebook. He said he really liked what he heard and was eager to help push us. He’s helped tremendously since his involvement, and it’s been a wonderful experience all around.
Being from the central Florida scene how do you feel the scene there is doing and what do you think your band has contributed to the scene? Dylan and Justin have been supporting the central Florida local scene for decades. we’re just fans for years. We went to shows, bought merch, and got to know local dudes. It was a really good time. The scene has been up and down over the years, but a handful of really great bands are putting out some really great material and supporting each other right now. NOSELF has always done their best to show up, on-time, and deliver an intense, energetic performance. 110%, every time. We host shows in our hometown and trade shows with fellow bands. We’ve been working with local promoter Josh Harris, and we’ve been doing a few annual mini-festivals for local talent. Everyone has been super supportive and it’s been an all-around great time for everyone involved!
YOU RELEASED YOUR ALBUM ‘HUMAN-CYBORG RELATIONS EPISODE 1 HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE VIBE OF THE RECORD FOR NEW PEOPLE COMING INTO CONTACT WITH YOU? It rocks, lol. It really does. It’s short, sweet and to the point. It’s heavy and catchy and emotional. There’s some electronics and hooks that you don’t expect. It’s a pretty fun time.
YOU GUYS INCORPORATE DIFFERENT GENRES OF MUSIC INTO YOUR SOUND IS THERE ONE KIND OF STYLE YOU LIKE MAKING MORE THAN OTHERS AND WHY? I guess it’s different for everyone. Everyone gets to bring their influence and creativity to the party. We all get to contribute in our own way. Our producer Matt Johnson writes most of the electronics, and pianos and stuff. It really adds a whole additional element. Nothing really feels final until he’s put his influence on it.
ARE YOU GUYS MORE STUDIO LOVERS OR LIVE SHOW LOVERS AND WHY?
I think we’re all in it for the live show for the most part. We like getting out there and meeting people. Delivering an exciting show that you don’t see all that often. But...we love the studio too. Fine tuning songs, and scrutinizing every part. Making sure everything is as perfect as it can be. And getting to hear that final product after all the mixing and mastering. It’s a nice payoff getting to hear what you created in the highest quality you could make it.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST SHOW THUS FAR YOU HAVE PLAYED AND WHY? Every show is the best show for us. We just like getting out there, and involving ourselves. Showing people what we are capable of. It’d be really hard to choose just one show. We have so many amazing experiences all the time.
WILL WE BE SEEING TOUR COMING OUR WAY THROUGH THE STATES SOON WITH YOU GUYS? We’re really working on establishing ourselves in Florida for the time being. From now till 2018 we are focusing on generating a bigger fanbase locally, and writing our next EP. Early 2018 We are hoping to at least hit the East coast, and possibly a few southern states in the area.
ANY THOUGHTS OF GOING OUT WITH MOTOGRATER? What’s to think about, sign us up ! ;)
I LOVE THE SOUND OF FRISCO AND YOU DID A VIDEO FOR THAT TRACK. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS ONE FOR THE PLATFORM OF INTRODUCING YOUR BAND?
We felt that this was the most well rounded and mutually accepted song. The lyrical content is emotionally evoking, and it’s a super catchy track. We love the whole album and it was a tough decision. But we felt it was the best representation of us as a whole.
WHERE WAS THE VIDEO SHOT AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO DO A PERFORMING VIDEO OTHER THAN A CONCEPT ONE?
We shot two locations. One at a local bar that we frequent and occasionally perform at, and one inside a warehouse we had access to. For our first video, we wanted people to see us doing what we do best. No filters, no concepts. Just us giving it our all.
CTRL-Z IS PROBABLY MY FAVORITE TACK OFF THE DISC WHAT DOES THE SONG MEAN TO YOU AND WHERE LYRICALLY DID YOU GO TO FIND THE THEME OF THE TRACK? The track is a rebuttal to anyone and anything. We like for people to interpret our lyrics on their own. It’s more important to us that you find your own meaning in our words.
IF YOU COULD SIT DOWN WITH TWO PEOPLE IN THE WORLD TO DISCUSS ANY TOPIC WHAT TWO PEOPLE WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD THE TOPIC BE? George Lucas and Harrison Ford. Topic = Who Shot First.
IF YOU COULD PUT ONE OF YOUR CURRENT SONGS IN A TIME CAPSULE TO NOT BE OPEN TILL 2040 WHAT SONG WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
FRISCO for sure. We wrote a thousand songs for you to sing, so just remember us!
LAST COMMENTS? We just want to thank any and every one for listening to our music. For supporting and believing in us and being interested in our feedback. Check out our EP and give us a like on your favorite social media platform!
Play a game: this or that…pick one of the other!! Football or hockey? Football Summer or winter tours? Winter Tacos or pizza? Pizza East coast or west coast? East Coast, New Smyrna is the reason we scream East Side ! Blondes or brunettes? We love em all !
In case you haven’t heard, there is a new band in town and they are making massive waves in the heavy rock and metal community. DED has arrived and their debut album “MIS-AN-THROPE” is a masterpiece: It has received rave reviews from media outlets across the world since coming out on July 21st. The band’s first single “ANTI-EVERYTHING” hit the Top 20 on the Active Rock charts and top 10 for 16 weeks on Spotify’s “Rock Hard” playlist. The guys did a killer video for the single, with Fred Durst directing, that has over a million views and climbing. Currently, they just completed video number two for the band’s second single “REMEMBER THE ENEMY”, which will be released before the end of August.
The guys also are road dogs and have hit most of the Big Rock festivals so far this year - and still have a lot more to come this fall. Along with that they did The Serenity Of Summer tour with Korn, Stone Sour, Skillet and Yelawolf. Ded have been bringing the emotion, the heaviness and their head-banging, sing-a-long choruses to open air arenas throughout the U.S. I had a chance to meet the guys in Connecticut when they played there in July and not only do they make amazing music, they are some of the coolest and most down to earth guys I have ever met.
So, it was my pleasure to get to chat with singer Joe Cotela again over the phone about the new happenings of the band like the video shoot for “REMEMBER THE ENEMY”, their nomination for “Best New Artist” for the Loudwire awards; (which you can vote here http://loudwire.com/vote-best-new-artist-2017-loudwire-music-awards ), his growth as a musician and how he feels that people are moved by the music he and his bandmates have made.
Yo Stephanie its Joe from DED Hey you, how are you? I’m good - a little hungover, but surviving. ;o)
What did you do last night; did you DJ? Yeah - I was DJ’ing at a club here in Phoenix. I don’t know if they do them out your way - but here they do Emo Nights, etc. We did a Nu Metal night.
Is this one your past times? Do you do this on the side? LOL, Oh no no no. They started this emo night where people in bands usually play like music from Yellowcard and My Chemical Romance. So, I started doing those just for fun ‘cause I’m around the music scene. Like Mark Hoppus (Blink 182) does them and band guys all the way up the food chain do them. The Rebel Lounge had Nu metal night and asked if I’d like to come by, so I said “Sure, that sounds like fun”! All it is, is you get there and play some music, get free drinks and have a really good time.
That’s what is it all about, the free drinks!! LOL - oh yeah… But it’s also fun because everyone comes out and towards the end of the night everyone is drunk and they do karaoke because a mic is up and it becomes a free for all.
Ok - so what did you karaoke last night? I think everyone started grabbing the mic for Slipknot’s “Wait N’ Bleed”, and Limp Bizkit’s cover of “Faith”. Had a dude full on get up and sing Sevendust’s “Black”. It was a LOT of good fun!
Well thank you for taking the time to do this on a Sunday then Yes, no problem.
I feel like so much has happened to you guys in the short time since we last spoke. So, I want to say congrats on the Loudwire “Best New Artist” nomination. Are you stoked about that? Thank You and yes, I am. Loudwire is one of those things that I have been following for many years. To have that type of recognition is super cool. I’m stoked to go to the awards show!
And I have been voting so you have my vote Well, Thank You - we appreciate it!
Second thing - is the video for “Remember The Enemy” is all done? It is shot but not quite done yet - it’s being edited as we speak.
It looked like the vibe was pretty kick ass - where did you shoot it? It was awesome. We did it in Griffith Park in the middle of the old LA Zoo. It was open from 1912 to 1965, when they actually had animals there. It was really cool & very creepy because honestly some of it you can just imagine the conditions the animals lived in at that time. I’m sure they didn’t take the same precautions and things like they do today for them. So I got to go inside of the cages and I was performing in there. We utilized a lot of different things in the park. Like I said it was really creepy and had a dark vibe - we were there until 4 a.m. I’ve been told by friends that it’s sketchy and you probably shouldn’t be there at 4 am, LOL - but we were. And I guess there is a mountain lion that lives around there that mauled a koala bear recently, at least that’s what I read. It was an awesome place to film, and we had a good time. I guess they shot the movie “Anchorman” there too, the scene where they fall into the bear pit. Anyway, it was cool being there at night and I think it’s going to be sick when it’s finished. I haven’t seen anything yet. I think Fred likes to do the big unveiling and likes to surprise you with what he does. I’m waiting ‘till he hits me up so we can check it out.
Was the concept a surprise to you? Or did you guys talk to Fred and come up with ideas first? He did it. He kind of did that on the “ANTI-EVERYTHING” video and it worked out well. We left it to him as he has done so many good videos - we just trust him and have faith in him. He is awesome to work with and has become a good friend. We just love him.
Was it easier going into the video shoot this time around, having worked with him before? Exactly! It was a lot more casual... It was more like just hanging out and we knew how each other worked, so it was a lot more chill. The first time it was like “We look up to you and your awesome and everything”. ;o) And now this time we knew each other and all the weirdness was out of the way. We talked about the next video we are going to do potentially as well. We probably will do another one with him, pretty sure we will eventually.
So – we don’t have a release date yet on the RTE video? No release date yet, but it wil be before the end of August.
You guys are home for a bit now, and then back out to do more festivals, right? Until the end of the year? We are - I think we are playing almost every major festival that is for the rest of the year. We’ve got more dates coming soon with KORN at the end of September, and we’re hoping to pick up another good tour as well.
Are you guys planning on doing anything around the New England area – Like a Headline club date, Pretty please?? LOL - I don’t know, but that would be awesome. We are definitely booking some headliner club stuff to fill in around the festivals because they are all weekends. So we are filling them in with us supporting some other bands and some headline club dates. We went up and played in Spokane, Washington at a headline date, it was great. It’s crazy to go to these states and there are like 300 people there and we never played that city before. It was really awesome - we are getting such good reactions from people everywhere.
That’s because you’re amazing …HELLO!!!! LOL! That must be why, LOL.
Was the Spokane show your first headlining gig? As far as Washington state goes, it was - but we have done headline stuff in California, and we always headline in Arizona. It’s exciting when you can go to a new state and headline.
It must be since the album came out just a month ago?! Yea – it’s only been a few weeks.
So, going back a little ways in our conversation – you talked about a 3rd single and video. Are we looking at a slower track, perhaps? We don’t know yet - I think it is going to depend on where we are at with “Remember The Enemy”. We’re just getting started with that. RTE has started out really well, it’s already Top 30 @ Active Rock after only 4 weeks. So yeah - I’m not sure what the next track will be yet and I don’t want to sway anyone in the wrong direction; we’ll have to wait and see.
Well – my vote is for “Beautiful”, if my vote counts, LOL Right on, it counts - it counts!
Speaking of a slower track – You guys have done acoustic versions of songs for Radio performances. Do you just strip it down, or do you try to change it to make it a tad different for those? Like if you did “Remember The Enemy” acoustically? I think for that song we would switch it up a little bit because there is a lot of electronic stuff in the song. I think Dave would have to change up the guitar to give it some rhythm in the verses, for sure. We did that with “Anti-Everything”; Dave refigured chords.
Is that something that you guys like doing? It came out good. Well – to be truthful - I don’t like doing it honestly; we want to be a heavy band. We want to be that band that comes out and just goes nuts. So, truth be told I don’t like doing it… But when we end up doing it, I have fun so it’s not like the end of the world or anything. I don’t hate it - but I don’t prefer to do it.
I saw the “Beautiful” acoustic and I loved it “Beautiful” is unique unto itself and lends itself to acoustic, so I don’t mind doing that song that way. But when I’m doing the heavier stuff, it just wasn’t meant to be done that way. “Beautiful” makes sense because it was actually written on acoustic, so that one is meant to be “kick back” and let the lyrics shine through.
I know in the studio John (Feldmann) challenged you guys in a lot of ways. When you are out on the road, do you have any personal challenges for yourselves? Hmm. Well, we usually have our key people sending us stuff we need to get done like interviews or radio IDs and stuff like that. We do the band Spotify play list, and all kinds of little things… I’m sure I’m missing a lot, but there is plenty of stuff to do all the time. So I don’t know if there is anything we try to accomplish other than trying to have a cooler of beer at each show, LOL! We are always busy and there is always something to do, and things we try to accomplish for sure. If we have a little down time we get the football out and throw it around.
That’s right – you gotta keep the fitness on, even when you’re on the road! Exactly, for sure!
Last time we spoke I told you I loved your old band Man Made Machine. How do you feel you have grown from when you were in that band, to where you are now? I guess everything I did in that band, I learned a lot from.
Was that your first band to get national exposure? Yes - it was it was the first time I was on the radio with a song. What’s interesting about that band is David Ludlow, the guitar player of Ded - recorded all of those songs with us. He was like the 6th member of that band. So, he was there the whole time. He learned a lot in a recording sense with that band. We had a manager named Steve Kidd, and he is a legend in the industry. I think he tour manages Drake now - he was a dude I learned so much from. He managed Rage Against The Machine and Deftones. We toured with Godsmack and Staind and different bands like that and we learned a lot from those guys, too. So, I learned a lot from everyone. I think you always learn when you’re living your life out there on the road and writing songs with people and listening to different styles of music that you wouldn’t normally listen to. Before that band I was way into hardcore with breakdowns and stuff and I kind of did that for so long in a band before Man Made Machine - that I kind of got sick of it. I wanted to become a better writer, so I did Man Made Machine and it was a bit more mellow and more for the radio. I learned a lot about songwriting and my voice and singing, so when that band slowed down I wanted to combine refine my style even more and really just let loose and that’s when we started Ded. So, I think it was just a process, in Ded we just wanted to be free because we weren’t planning on showing this to anyone. I think I say that a lot, but that was the point of it; let’s just have fun and go crazy and do whatever we want because in the other bands there was always this mindset of “Can I be successful with this or will someone like my song”? Looking back on that - it didn’t make me feel good when I was writing songs I did that I wasn’t really into and feeling. I felt empty and wasn’t fulfilling to me. So, all of those things together is what got me here. I think the same thing applies with David, Matt and Kyle - they were in other bands - they learned a lot through touring and writing and meeting people and just listening to different music. It all goes into you and you digest it in a certain way. It makes you stronger and more well rounded.
Do you feel that if no one ever caught on to what you were doing with Ded that you could just be happy playing local shows in Arizona? Yeah - that is the thing: When we first started, we sounded like the first Slipknot album, probably heavier than that album - just balls to the walls. We were just going to play this dive/punk bar in Tempe Saturday nights and just play really heavy stuff and it would be for fun. No pressure - that was the whole goal for us. It wasn’t like “Let’s do this forever” - I just wanted to play a couple of shows as Ded and have fun. So, if no one ever liked it, we would have made the music we liked and we would have played and it would be super fun and we would pat ourselves on the back and say that was awesome. It’s been 2 ½ -3 years since we started - so I have no idea the alternative of it because I probably would of done other music as well. David and I have done other music like Queen Of The Stone Age stuff. We will always be creative and try new things, because we love creating music. We want to write with other people, so to sum it up we are just creative dudes is what it all comes down to. If no one liked it, that would have been fine because it was for us. We’re glad made this music and it’s awesome that others dig it also!!
And look what’s happening! Yeah, I know - life is just crazy sometimes…..
With all the festivals you’ve played and being out on the road – who is the one person you’ve met that you would love to have on your next album if possible? Oh man - I don’t want to single out just one person or not include people. I would love to have so many people on it. I would love to have Jon from Korn or Corey from Stone Sour. Spending the time with those guys was awesome. Just having them come side stage to watch us and coming up to tell me good show and hanging out with them talking music and just being buds while we were out there. Either of them I would love to work with and would be my top choices. I also always say this too: Either LP or Trent Reznor. I would love one of them to produce a track, and get them with Feldmann… That would be incredible. Yelawolf would be sick too, he was a good dude
I know the album just came out and is still new – but any thought on record two? Not yet, but we do have a lot of songs we have written. We write stuff here and there as time allows - but this is still so fresh and new. We aren’t looking to a second one right now, although David and I joke about it and we say it’s going to suck to replicate this again, LOL! We are just kidding, we are just pessimistic about everything in a joking way. But we really haven’t talked about it much. We are going full charge with this. We can talk about what we would like it to be, but by the time we do it who knows what it would sound like…. So I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
Do you write on the road? We probably will eventually, but for right now we are focused on getting our bearings and once we get a little more comfortable on the road with our set up we will probably write a lot more. We are just busy with everything else going on right now.
You guys are just trying to stay awake and make it to the next town!!! Ha ha, yea honestly - we always say “if your too tired wake one of us up and we will take over”. We are just still doing it punk rock style; we love it.
OK – so how has it felt knowing this little Ded Nation has grown so quickly and what do you want to say to the fans? It feels great that people like the music. I’ve never had a CD or any music I’ve done received this well - to the point where so many people are saying its record of the year and just have people like it so much. It makes it even more exciting because we made it for ourselves – so to have other people like it so much it’s even more gratifying. Like I said before - in the past writing something half written for someone else to like or the intention of that, was so not gratifying. This is the coolest thing but we also can’t believe it in a lot of ways because we just wanted to make something we would like, but it feels great and I feel like we know what we are doing. We don’t pat ourselves on the back, but we also say we know we don’t suck (haha!) We will always look at our idols and think we will never be as good as them just like they look at their idols and say the same thing about themselves. We don’t pat ourselves on the back too much.. But it feels great and we are so appreciative that its resonating with people. That is what music is supposed to do – it’s the universal language. To have it affect people and have them get so amped on it is amazing. I love when a band does that for me, so I am really happy I can be a part of that for other people. I’m a music lover so it’s awesome to be a part of that.
Well – I have to say you guys are the most humble and down to earth guys I have met in a long time. It makes us Journalists feel good and happy to work with you. And it makes your fans feel good knowing you guys are like that. Thank you and I appreciate that!
Seriously – You guys are for real – being on Social Media interacting with fans means a lot to people, because it’s really you. Keep doing that – it’s where the fans will gravitate to you. I feel you because I remember being younger and hitting up my favorite bands and if I got a reply from them I would be super stoked. So, I try to do that for sure. The guys go on too and we try to reply or like most everything because that used to make my day. It makes you like the band more. I know I have met some bands and they aren’t cool and it messes up their music a little bit because maybe they are preaching something that they are not living. Actions speak louder than words so it’s important to be who you are supposed to be and who you want to be. But Thank You for acknowledging that - we appreciate it. We try to be conscious of everything and do the best we can in all those situations.
I appreciate it and hope you can come to New England sooner rather than later and do a club tour – that would be stellar. Yeah - I have a ton of people saying that the amphitheaters are too wide open and the stage is far away. We miss that closeness too, we grew up playing in clubs. We started Ded in the clubs so going back to that would be awesome. I know we are going to tour a lot and we will be back there for sure by the end of the year, hopefully.
If not, then Rock Allegiance in New Jersey it is. That’s looking like it’s going to be Killer, for sure.
Then we will have Sushi and Beer, if that is a good combo. Not sure but we can try. That sounds killer to me and yes - that is the best combo!!!!
Connect with DED Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dedofficial
PROJECTED is an American supergroup consisting of members from highly successful bands in the rock scene; John Connolly (voice/guitar) and Vinnie Hornsby (bass player) of the well know Sevendust. Scott Phillips drummer of Creed/Alter Bridge and Eric Friedman of Submersed and now in Tremonti playing guitar. Back in 2012 these guys decided to work together and write a record; Connolly said “we're just going to go in here and have fun with this”, having that laid-back attitude created the debut album HUMAN, which was highly accepted in the rock world.
With commitments of the members full time bands a few years passed, but a lot of work went into what would now be the sophomore album of this hard rock band.
IGNITE MY INSANITY came out July 21, 2017 and has produced the first single RELOAD that is pure power and hard rock; and more recently IGNITE the 2nd single that is darker, powerful and hands on full of chaos and pure beauty. This double record is pretty stellar with hills and valleys of rock soundscapes all while blessing us with the amazing talents of these guys. It has a massive amount of rock power, melodic overtones and some hard rock aggression to wet the palette of rock fans young and old. Vocally Connolly is a natural and his range and sound is just purely heaven in my opinion. I had a chance to speak with John Connolly about the new disc, how it feels to be up front singing and if a tour will happen with this line up.
WAS THE ONLY REASON YOU GUYS WAITED SO LONG FOR ANOTHER ALBUM DUE TO THE FACT YOUR OTHER BANDS WERE BUSY OR DID YOU THINK YOUR FIRST ALBUM WAS GOING TO BE JUST A ONE TIME THING? You never know if something is going to be a one-time thing. Predicting the future is not something I'm good at lol, but in all honesty, there are 7 reasons why it took so long. 2 Alter Bridge records, 2 Tremonti records and 3 Sevendust records. Life just kind of happens and PROJECTED is not replacing anything. It’s something we do in addition to everything else. Writing, recording and releasing a 21-song album took every bit of spare time between the other 7 records that were released in those 5 years.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE GOING INTO A SIDE PROJECT LIKE THIS THEN DOING A STUDIO ALBUM WITH YOUR BAND? So many differences really, but the recording process is probably the biggest. This is mostly recorded at home and done on a super tight budget. It's for fun and we never put ourselves in a hole to make it.
IGNITE MY INSANITY HAS A LOT OF MATERIAL ON IT; FIRST OFF HOW FAST DID ALL THESE SONGS COME TOGETHER FOR YOU GUYS? Once the process started, it came together very quickly. After the first few songs, they came together fast. I never sit down and say, this is what the record is going to be about. They come to you and you either accept it or not. Kind of like going fishing. You are never really sure what you're going to catch, but once you start you have a pretty good idea what is going to come.
STORY LINE CONCEPT FOR THIS ALBUM COULD YOU BRIEFLY TELL US WHAT IT IS ABOUT AND WHERE DID YOU PULL FOR INSPIRATION FOR THE LYRICAL CONTENT? It's about realizing you're going insane and sorting through the process of dealing with it. The voices in your head are getting louder and more convincing and you realize they won't ever stop, so you have to find a way to cope and deal with life that has them apart of it. Mostly internal, but sometimes external things that can ignite the insanity.
ONE SONG THAT IS ON REPEAT FOR ME IS FAITH I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT SONG CAN YOU TELL ME HOW THAT CAME ABOUT AND DOES IT HAVE A SPECIAL MEANING TO YOU? That's very personal to me because it’s my wife's song. It's the single moment that I put myself personally into the insanity and wanted to write something for her specifically. I almost didn't include it because it sort of didn't fit the concept, but after going back and forth with it, I realized it fit because it was honest and was part of the process whether you are going insane or not.
DID MORGAN CO-WRITE SOME SONGS WITH YOU AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS ALONG WITH YOU HAVING VINNIE IN THE BAND DO YOU GUYS TRY TO WRITE DIFFERENTLY FROM WHEN YOU'RE WRITING FOR A SEVENDUST SONG? Morgan co-wrote “CONCEDE." I don't "try to write" ever to be honest with you. I don't sit down and say, I'm going to write a ballad today or I'm going to write a heavy song today. I pick up the guitar and start playing. Never sure of where I'm going until I get there. I do the same with Sevendust, but Sevendust always has 5 cooks in the kitchen at all times. PROJECTED has 1 to start and once the basic idea is in place, the other 4 are brought in. Same process, but different results based on the involvement of the rest of the band.
WHAT WAS THE REASONING YOU WERE SPEAKING TO THESE CERTAIN GUYS SINCE YOU KNOW SO MANY MUSICIANS; WHAT SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS WAS IT THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WRITE WITH THEM? I asked people that were cool to be a part of the project. All dear friends that I have personal relationships with. I never considered characteristics. I purely went off my friendships for this. No more no less!
HOW DOES IT FEEL BEING THE FRONT MAN AND USING YOUR VOICE IN FULL POTENTIAL? It feels different because it's outside of my comfort zone, but that's part of why I did it. Growth usually comes when you are uncomfortable and doing things you aren't sure about, or at least for me it is. Some people learn new licks, or learn new styles of music. For me, I enjoy learning all the processes within the style of music I create.
IGNITE IS A PRETTY KILLER TRACK AND YOU MADE IT A VIDEO IS THIS YOUR FIRST SINGLE AND VIDEO WHAT MADE YOU FEEL THAT WOULD REPRESENT THE ALBUM BEST? AND HOW WAS THE VIDEO MAKING? Thanks so much, but IGNITE wasn't the lead single. RELOAD was as was the video we shot for it. RELOAD is part one and IGNITE is part two of the videos. Video shoot was great but crazy. We shot from 5 pm till around 4 am and we shot them back to back in the same shoot.
I’M SURE YOU GET ASKED ALL THE TIME BUT WILL WE EVER SEE A PROJECTED TOUR IF YOU GUYS ALL HAD DOWN TIME AT THE SAME TIME? OR WOULD YOU TRY TO GET A PACKAGE TOUR WITH YOUR REGULAR BANDS AND HAVE PROJECTED OPEN THE SHOW? We are going to try for sure. We enjoyed this enough to make another record, so touring is something we'd love to do. Biggest issue we face is the push pull of Alter Bridge-Tremonti since we have a member in both bands and finding time in the schedules is a challenge. But, I think we can find a way to make it work at some point.
LAST COMMENTS TO YOUR FANS? Thanks for all the love and support and hope to see ya'll on tour sometime in the not too distant future.
A little game this or that. Horror movies or comedy movies? Horror Winter touring or summer touring? Summer Crossfit workouts or bodybuilding workouts? Bodybulding Melodic singing or aggressive screaming? Melodic Ice cream or brownies? Ice cream Bud light or coors light? Coors Light
This trio hailing from Michigan, has hard-hitting drums, an electrifying guitar, and a rocking bass. The two brothers and longtime friend have put together their passion for music and created something that should not be missed. According to their bio on their webpage, "In 2011, after countless live performances the band took a hiatus. While they stilled played shows occasionally they did not write or record any new material. Instead Spiral Crush took to playing many well-paying gigs as a cover band. Finally, in 2014, after admitting to themselves that they had been swept up in the cover band scene, because it paid so well and getting paid to play music is AWESOME, they once again decided that writing and playing original material is their true passion."
They start off their newest album ELECTRIC LIFE with LET IT GO, which really gets you in the mood to rock out with these boys. MAGNUM hits you hard, with strong bass and guitar riffs that capture the listener right off the bat. SHAUN SMAIL'S vocals are just as electric as his guitar and very inviting. ONE SHOT is about taking your one shot when the opportunity arises, it won't just come. Seize any chance that you can or you'll miss your chance, I feel like this song really defines the band as a whole. They tried to go off and be a part of another band, but then realized that they needed to start their own thing and stick with it. They even recorded their own album and set up shows without help from a label. LOVE YOURMURDER is a flashback to the classics of rock and roll, it's a toe tapping song that has strong riffs and catchy lyrics. LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL is another one that kind of throws your back to the 80's, with classic riffs and catchy dancing music. These boys are worth listening to, checkout their YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzlOTjxoEtyGFOrEc4lZV3A
Motograter Hiatus over: DESOLATION IS UPON US! By: Stephanie Stevens
I remember back in the day being introduced to the guys in MOTOGRATER at the Worcester Palladium. One thing that stood out were the guys were very kind and were cool enough to show me how the MOTOGRATER instrument was used and how to play it. Probably one of the cooler happenings in my life.
It’s been many years since that day but anytime the band name is mentioned that is my first memory of them and how down to earth they were at our interview. For some of you living under a rock MOTOGRATER started out with Ivan Moody and the debut self-titled album was released back in 2003 with the hit SUFFOCATE and DOWN.
This new release DESOLATION is the band’s first full-length album since the 2003 Elektra/No Name self-titled release. Now fronting the band is James Anthony Legion (Deadform/The Breathing Process). With the bands hiatus and some front man changes they are finally a secured and powerful line up with Legion leading and the rest of the band - Matthew "Nuke" Nunes – Guitar, Jesse Stamper – Guitar, Mylon Guy – Bass, Noah "Shark" Robertson – Drums, Dustin "Skunk" Anderson – Motograter, Joey Vice - Smurs/Samples/Vocals giving him the dark metal/rock backdrop he needs for the even mixture of gritty and clean vocals. DESOLATION is a record that bleeds the blood sweat and tears of the band. Fans who have stuck by them will be appeased by the record. The MOTOGRATER sound is still there; dark, heavy, melodic and the sound uniqueness filters through from start to finish.
The band gave you a taste with a single/video of PARASITE (produced by Brian Cox of Flarelight Films (Gemini Syndrome/Hollywood Undead). PARASITE also features guest keys/samples from Justin Fowler (of American Head Charge) long before the album came out and even toured a bit to get you guys ready for DESOLATION. Now that the album has been released, everyone’s ears can hear it - and from the rock/metal charts the fans worldwide are loving what the band created. One track I was a huge fan of was BLEEDING THROUGH, which shows off more of a singing quality and just a simple melody driven track - but yet has a “big sounding” display of dark rock.
The band’s second single DORIAN is climbing the charts and a new video will debut this week. For now, the guys keep plugging away on the road and they won’t be letting up anytime soon. I had a chance to chat with drummer Noah “shark” Robertson about the hiatus, the video for DORIAN and what songs he is most proud of off the album.
You guys have been on quite a hiatus. After finding your new singer, why did it take so long for the album to be written and to come out?
Number of reasons for that... It took a while to gather the finances. Also, our producer is in a touring band himself. We have been touring a lot and we wanted to make sure this album was the best it could be.
The band as a whole has gone through a few different singers. Was it a lack of the commitment that made the band change? Or do you specifically look for something in a singer to front this band?
It definitely takes a special person to front this band... we are constantly changing and evolving. This is the most solid line-up this band has had in a long time.
With new singer James Legion how has the lyrical content changed? How has James enhanced the sound of the band? The lyrics seem deeper and darker on the new album “Desolation”.
Legion is a great lyricist. We all made every effort to keep the classic Moto vibe with a modern twist. The lyrical content isn't too far from the first album, just an evolution and continuation...
Since this band first created the MOTOGRATER (the instrument) how has it evolved over time?
The MOTOGRATER is sacred to this band. We don't give away too much info on it... But the sound has grown and evolved along with the band.
Does the MOTOGRATER factor into the writing of music and overall songwriting in general? Could you start a song idea from a sound from it like a guitar riff?
The MOTOGRATER doesn't factor too much into the song writing these days... But behind the scenes, some really cool Moto jams have occurred.
Which song from “Desolation” are you most proud of? What makes that song so special?
For me it's “DAGGERS” and “LOCUST”. Very cool songs, drum wise. Fun to play - and extremely catchy. The tribal paint is a big part of your stage presence. Why does it have enduring meaning for the band and has it changed, or will it change, with each new album you produce?
The paint is a tradition, like many things in this band. We take it very seriously. We experiment and add things here and there... recently we have been bringing the color red back more prominently.
You guys did a tour (which I saw you on) before the album came out. How was it being back on the road and what new dynamic has James brought to the stage that is new and refreshing that long time MOTOGRATER fans will appreciate?
He is creepy! Very scary on stage. Legion has a very intense stage presence, you never know what he's going to do... I've seen him flipping and flying through the air and crowd surfing... Being on the road is a very rewarding experience. It's insanely tough, but our fans make it worth it.
Your new single “Dorian” has already hit the Billboard Indicator Rock charts after a short period of time. How does it feel knowing that all your hard work is being appreciated by fans and music critics out there, especially with such a long period between albums?
It's the best feeling in the world. We put everything into this. The response so far has been overwhelming, and we are really grateful.
When will we be seeing the video for “DORIAN”? Why did you pick the old prison setting for the video shoot?
The prison was gnarly! So scary and dark, we had to shoot there! We played “Ink In The Clink” recently and we just knew we had to make a video shoot happen while in Mansfield (Ohio). Being in there, you could just feel the history. The video should be out any day now - It will blow your mind! Chris from Human Twelve is a great director!
You’re heading out on tour in September – any cities in particular that you are looking forward to playing?
Kansas City always; Dallas is rad. The Midwest is good to us, so we love playing there.
Any Last comments – something you haven’t shared in other interviews?
Moto lives - Thanks for all the continued love and support! Pick up a copy of 'DESOLATION'!
Let’s end with a game of “This or That”: pick one from each question below, and explain why you picked it.
Pepsi or Coke? Diet Coke
Summer or Winter tours? Summer.
Small Clubs or Big Festivals? Love those intimate shows at small clubs.
Pizza or Sushi? Pizza.
Puppies or Kitties? Sharks.
Friday the 13th or Halloween? Mike Myers - Halloween!
Motograter – Desolation Tour 9/19 – Titanfest (Headliner) – Fife, WA 9/27 – Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA 9/28 – Club Red – Mesa, AZ 9/29 – Top Deck – Farmington, NM 10/3 – Rail Club – Fort Worth, TX 10/4 - Come And Take It Live – Austin, TX 10/6 - Come And Take It Live – Austin, TX 10/8 – Southport Music Hall – New Orleans, LA 10/10 – The Dungeon Tavern – Panama City, FL 10/12 – O'Malley's – Margate, FL 10/13 – The Haven – Winter Park, FL 10/15 – The Drunk Horse Pub – Fayetteville, NC 10/19 – Canal Club – Richmond, VA 10/20 – Fish Head Cantina – Halethorpe, MD 10/21 – Dingbatz – Clifton, NJ 10/22 – The Lost Horizon – Syracuse, NY 10/23 – Amityville Music Hall – Amityville, NY 10/25 – Reverb – Reading, PA 10/28 – Stage On Herr – Harrisburg, PA 10/30 – Trixie's Entertainment Complex – Louisville, KY 11/1 – The Token Lounge – Westland, MI 11/3 – Route 20 – Strurtevant, WI 11/4 – Top Fuel Saloon – Braidwood, IL 11/5 – The Firebird – St. Louis, MO 11/10 – Dr. Jack's Drinkery – Omaha, NEB 11/12 – Herman's Hideaway – Denver, CO 11/18 – Malone's Bar – Santa Ana, CA