(click for full-page printable poster)
The Vans Warped Tour '12
Taking Back Sunday
All Time Low
New Found Glory
Pierce The Veil
Four Year Strong
Of Mice and Men
We The Kings
Miss May I
Falling In Reverse
Every Time I Die
Memphis May Fire
Motionless In White
Rise To Remain
Sleeping With Sirens
Blood On The Dance Floor
The Ghost Inside
Polar Bear Club
We Are The In Crowd
A Loss For Words
I Fight Dragons
Machine Gun Kelly
Oh No Fiasco
Tomorrow's Bad Seeds
Born Of Osiris
Chunk! No Captain Chunk!
Cold Forty Three
Make Do And Mend
Skip The Foreplay
Sick Of Sarah
I Call Fives
The Silver Comet
After The Burial
Wick-It The Instigator
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Rose Quarter Riverfront
1183 N Thunderbird Way, Portland, OR (MapQuest)
(doors open at 11am). All Ages.
$31.50 advance tix from Cascade Tickets.
$31.50 at the door.
ABOUT TAKING BACK SUNDAY--
"Sometimes it takes some time to remember where you were headed in the first place and the people you intended to go there with..." --Taking Back Sunday
This is the record that a lot of people never thought would happen: A brand new Taking Back Sunday album that features the same line-up as the band's platinum-selling 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends. Although the players here--frontman Adam Lazzara, guitarists Eddie Reyes and John Nolan, drummer Mark O'Connell and bassist Shaun Cooper--are the same, it's important to point out that this album isn't a sequel to this band's debut as much as it is the beginning of a new chapter of innovation and productivity from this celebrated Long Island rock act.
"When I listen to a song like 'Sad Savior' or 'Who Are You Anyway?' it's evident that this record isn't true to any scene or genre," Lazzara responds when asked what aspect of Taking Back Sunday he's most proud of. Nolan--who left Taking Back Sunday alongside Cooper in 2003--echoes this sentiment, adding "I can't imagine us having written this album after Tell All Your Friends," explains Nolan. "It doesn't feel like the follow-up up to that album and we definitely wouldn't have been able to bring these songs to life if we hadn't gone through all the experiences that we've all been through during the past seven years."
Since the release of Tell All Your Friends, Taking Back Sunday has released three more studio albums, which have sold over two million copies, headlined arenas, toured multiple times in amphitheaters with bands such as Linkin Park, Weezer and Blink-182, and shared Festival Stages with the likes of The Police, The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead and Phoenix. In August of 2011 they will perform on the main stage at Reading and Leeds festivals for the fourth time. Cooper and Nolan, meanwhile, went on to form critically-acclaimed band Straylight Run, who in 2007 released The Needles The Space on Universal Republic Records, headlined Warped Tour and performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. However, all of the members admit that there is a certain chemistry that only exists when these five musicians are together in the same room.
What began with the simple idea of all five members coming together at the Sonic Ranch in the border town of Tornillo, Texas (near El Paso), last year quickly resulted in a sonic windfall that saw the band writing nearly a dozen songs--and from there Taking Back Sunday never looked back. "The whole experience of us getting back together was really freeing," Lazzara explains. "We went into all of this knowing that our music didn't have to sound a certain way, so we just decided to see what happens and this is what came of it." Nolan adds, "I think we all knew that we had to take this band to a place where it hadn't been before for it to really work; it couldn't all be about nostalgia."
After two more writing sessions at the Sonic Ranch and a stint in Seattle at the Robert Lang Studios, the band reconvened in Los Angeles with Eric Valentine (who produced their 2006 album Louder Now as well as albums by Queens Of The Stone Age and The All-American Rejects) in late August to begin work on the band's self-titled album, taking periodic breaks to incorporate the new songs that continued to pour out of their collaborative efforts. "I like to think of Eric as a rocket scientist because he's so skilled when it comes to production," Lazzara explains. "He spent so much time making sure everything sounded perfect and each track's personality really got to shine."
Undeniably Taking Back Sunday's most varied record, Taking Back Sunday is also their most ambitious, and it showcases the band's music in ways that you might not expect judging from their previous efforts. This is stridently evident on the album's opener "El Paso," a raging post-hardcore anthem that is by far the heaviest thing Taking Back Sunday have ever put onto tape. "That song came from a riff that Mark had that had gotten the snub in the past, which I'm glad about because I don't think it would have been as awesome as it is now," Lazzara explains. "I feel like that song really embodies the mood and environment we were all in when we first when down to the Sonic Ranch."
Another track Lazzara is especially proud of is the album's first single "Faith (When I Let You Down)," a song that's equally as cathartic in a more pop-oriented context. "I tried a lot of new things on this record and the fact that there's a lot of space in the verses is something we had never done before," he explains. Ultimately Taking Back Sunday is full of sonic firsts, from the atmospheric album closer "Call Me In The Morning" to the energetic rocker "Best Places To Be A Mom," but Valentine's specialty is making sure that the disc exists as a cohesive whole. "Even though times have changed, we haven't, and none of us are the kind of music listeners who just want to own a few singles," Nolan explains. "We all like to listen to our favorite albums from start to finish and naturally we wanted to make a record that sounds like that."
Lyrically Taking Back Sunday sees Lazzara and Nolan exploring relationships, a theme they focused on last time they worked together as well. However, instead of singing about the insular Long Island hardcore scene, that landscape has broadened to include the band members' respective relationships with their wives, kids and God. "John and I are both teetering on real adulthood, so with this record we both wanted to experiment with how straight-forward we could be lyrically," Lazzara says. Instead of being cloaked in metaphor, the lyrics on Taking Back Sunday show the band questioning their relationships as much as they embrace them, resulting in the most honest Taking Back Sunday album to date.
Lazzara is also quick to point out that adding Nolan back into the mix helped him expand his own range and gave these songs a life of their own. "I've found that I write better when there are two perspectives on the same subject; there are some songs on this record where John was coming from a totally different place than I was but when we put the two things together this whole new idea grew from it," he explains. "All of our tastes have changed over time but everyone was so trusting during the writing process and I think that allowed us to go certain places we hadn't visited in the past."
Let's face it, it would be simple for Taking Back Sunday to get back together solely in order to embark on an anniversary tour for Tell All Your Friends, but despite their previous successes they are quick to point out this record is a brand new beast that is ushering in a different era for the band. "This album isn't us trying to be something we're not," Lazzara summarizes, "it's just us and I'm really proud of that." If you listen to Taking Back Sunday with an open mind, you'll agree that it is an important record that marks a giant leap forward for a band that truly defies categorization.
ABOUT ALL TIME LOW--
All Time Low has emerged as one of the most popular new bands in recent memory, beloved by an increasingly fervent fan following for their fast-paced and fizzy brand of pop-punk. Now, with the hugely anticipated "NOTHING PERSONAL," the Maryland-based band has exceeded all expectations with a collection of effervescent new songs, marked by unstoppable hookiness and a newly discovered knack for exploration and invention. Where other bands might have played it safe by rehashing established hits, All Time Low instead opted to push the envelope by collaborating with a veritable who's-who of producers, each with their own unique sonic stamp. Unified by singer/guitarist Alex Gaskarth's clever lyricism, songs like "Weightless" and "Therapy" are marked by a range of diverse musical approaches, all the while retaining the patented All Time Low energy and enthusiasm.
"This record was less about doing what the bands we grew up listening to did," Gaskarth says. "It was more about knowing what we do, developing that sound, but also stemming out, trying new things, and exploring other veins."
Gaskarth, guitarist Jack Barakat, drummer Rian Dawson, and bassist Zack Merrick first got together while attending high school in the suburbs of Maryland. In 2005, the band released its debut album, "THE PARTY SCENE," the success of which led to their signing with Hopeless. The "PUT UP OR SHUT UP" EP arrived in the summer of 2006, mere weeks after the band members' high school graduation. "SO WRONG, IT'S RIGHT" followed in 2007. Fit to burst with overwhelming singles like "Dear Maria, Count Me In" and "Poppin' Champagne," the Matt Squire-produced collection scored major MTV rotation, instantly placing ATL at the forefront of modern pop-punk. The band further sealed its status by touring nearly non-stop, with highlights including multiple Vans Warped Tours, co-headlining the AP Tour 2008, and a series of their own sold-out headline tours, both here and abroad. In December 2008, All Time Low were named "Band of the Year" by Alternative Press, a remarkable achievement that even now feels like something out of a dream.
ABOUT NEW FOUND GLORY--
New found energy, new found purpose: that's what Not Without A Fight is all about. The first New Found Glory album to bear the Epitaph logo brims with fresh promise, showcasing a band comfortable in their own skin and eager to get back to basics and present it all to the world. Not Without A Fight is arguably the strongest addition to an impressive catalog with no less than three gold records and some of the most memorable songs of the past decade.
Album opener "Right Where We Left Off" is an instant reminder of the keen self-awareness that endeared New Found Glory to millions of fans worldwide in the first place. And naming their album Not Without A Fight? That's a nod to that other side of the group Epitaph owner Brett Gurewitz called "the greatest pop-punk band in history," the side that is scrappy, that's from the do-it-yourself scene. The side of a band who probably never should have been lumped in with some of the more teeny-bop friendly fare they've often shared the rock radio and TRL charts with.
Lead single "Listen to Your Friends" flips the script by rocking a verse even catchier than its chorus; "I'll Never Love Again" boasts a killer singalong. "47" has a hooky scream that breaks new ground for the Florida-bred five-some while "Truck Stop Blues" summons the potent urgency of the burgeoning scene that New Found Glory arose from, recalling a bygone era when they shared small stages with their friends in Get Up Kids, Piebald and Saves The Day.
Not Without A Fight packs together the best elements of fan favorite albums like Sticks and Stones (2002) and Catalyst (2004) with a reinvigorated drive making for a declaration that's fresh and timely. There's pop, there's punk, there's crunch, there's those irrepressible melodies and Jordan Pundik's instantly recognizable voice is in fine form.
"Nobody in New Found Glory loves anything as much as this band," says guitarist Chad Gilbert, by way of explanation as to how they have managed to maintain the same lineup - Pundik, Gilbert, Steven Klein (guitar), Ian Grushka (bass) and Cyrus Bolooki (drums) - for over ten years. "You fight with your mom. You don't hang out with her all the time. But you love her! You're never going to hate her. We're family. It might sound cliche, but that's what it is."
That family first came together in Coral Springs, Florida in 1997. Nothing Gold Can Stay (1999) and New Found Glory (2000) became classics thanks to hard-touring and good natured relationship building the world over, which ensured the next two albums (Sticks and Stones and Catalyst) would both debut in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200 chart.
As happens all too often, the uber-successful and beloved band found themselves delivering Coming Home to a group of relative strangers who lacked the same investment in them as before. By 2006, many of the folks who worked with the band at the label had been replaced by new faces, from the president on down. "At major labels, people are always losing their jobs," Gilbert points out. "Someone can love your band one week and the next week that person is fired."
With their recording contract fulfilled and in between management, New Found Glory seized the opportunity to have some fun while weighing their options, releasing From the Screen to Your Stereo Part II (something their most ardent supporters had demanded for years) and a split EP with their alter-ego, International Superheroes Of Hardcore.
"It brought this different attention to our band that we hadn't had in a while," Gilbert says. "Through the major label years, some of those lines got blurred because of some of the things the label did representing our band. With the release on Bridge 9 Records, we were able to do things how we wanted to do them. It was awesome."
In the midst of all of this, the band continued to write their next album, which they ultimately decided to record before choosing a new label. That's where +44 / Blink 182's Mark Hoppus came in, agreeing to produce Not Without A Fight at the studio he co-owns with Travis Barker. "He's an old friend of ours," Gilbert explains. "We had no money to make the record so we wanted someone with the confidence to do the album for free and get reimbursed later."
Eventually, of course, the label situation needed sorted out, as the guys in New Found Glory have no desire to be in any kind of "business" other than than business of writing great songs, recording them and playing them live.
"When we announced that we were no longer signed to Geffen two years ago, Brett Gurewitz was the first one to call me," Gilbert remembers. "'People at Epitaph are all music fans and have their shit together."
And as for that spectacular accolade from the man running their new record label home? "It's crazy!" Chad says, laughing. "The Descendents could take that crown way before we could, or Screeching Weasel, or Green Day. I don't know why he said that! He's crazy. It's flattering. It's really flattering. But I don't know what to say!"
New Found Glory's first Epitaph album has no guest appearances, no frills, nothing but fantastic songs and powerful performances. "If you really listen to our music, you can't pigeonhole it. We play music that we love."
Not Without A Fight is alternately the band's most streamlined and direct but powerful and broad album thus far.
"New Found Glory is back to where we want it to be: we tour, we play music and it's from the heart."
ABOUT STREETLIGHT MANIFESTO--
Of all the various compliments Streetlight Manifesto have received from fans over the years, there is one in particular that seems to resonate most with the members of the band. After a show, a kid in torn jeans and a Pantera shirt, sporting ridiculous facial hair, will find one of the Streetlighters outside of the club and say hello, followed by "Man, I don't listen to this kind of music, in fact I hate most ska bands, but you guys are something else." Or it will be a jazz fan, sitting in the back of the venue during the set, bobbing his head, eyes closed while the band does their thing on stage. Or one of the club's stagehands will comment, while helping break down the lighting rig, that he actually enjoyed a band he was working for for once, despite having heard thousands of bands on the job over the years. And therein lies Streetlight Manifesto's appeal.
Seven guys, seven different musical backgrounds, seven different personalities, one band, one unique and unmistakable voice. Formed four years ago in New Jersey as an ad hoc group intended to put out one album and disappear, one thing led to another and within a few months of their debut release, Everything Goes Numb, Streetlight Manifesto was officially a full time touring band, traveling the world, spreading their infectious and energetic tunes to all who would listen. One part rock, one part ska, with influences from latin, klezmer, folk, world, funk, jazz and classical thrown in, the band redefined what most people expected from a "ska" band. Three albums later, and after countless worldwide tours, the guys are still at it, still performing live to sold out shows filled with sweat drenched fans, all dancing and singing along at the top of their lungs. And the Streetlight boys wouldn't have it any other way.
This is our roster:
Tomas Kalnoky - Vocals, Guitar
Jim Conti - Tenor/Alto Sax, Vocals
Chris Thatcher - Drums
Nadav Nirenberg - Trombone, Vocals
Mike Brown - Bari/Alto Sax, Vocals
Pete McCullough - Bass, Vocals
Matt Stewart - Trumpet, Vocals
The punk-inspired quintet Yellowcard formed in Jacksonville, FL, in 1997 but didn't solidify their lineup until a move to southern California in early 2000. Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Ryan Key (who had briefly played with Cali-based Craig's Brother), vocalist/violinist Sean Mackin, guitarist Ben Harper, drummer Longineu Parsons, and bassist Warren Cooke, the band officially debuted on wax in 2001 with One for the Kids (Lobster) and returned a year later with the Underdog EP for Fueled by Ramen. The group had a really big year in 2003, replacing Cooke with Pete Mosely (of Inspection 12), signing with Capitol, issuing Ocean Avenue on the label, and heading out for a series of Warped Tour dates with the recently added Mosely replaced by Alex Lewis. Fall and winter found Yellowcard hitting clubs with acts like Matchbook Romance and Less Than Jake.
In late 2004, Ocean Avenue was certified double platinum by the RIAA, and singles such as "Way Away," "Only One," and the title track continued to impact MTV and Top 40 radio for the rest of the year. The same year, Lewis was given his walking papers when Mosely approached the band about rejoining. Yellowcard's sophomore effort, Where We Stand, was reissued in June 2005, and Lights and Sounds was released in early 2006. Though ultimately not as well received by fans as prior albums, upon its first week of release, Lights and Sounds entered the Billboard 200 at number five and earned the number one spot on the Alternative Album chart, quickly gaining momentum on the 2.5-million-selling Ocean Avenue. Meanwhile, founding member Harper (who also runs Takeover Records) left the group amid some band controversy and was replaced by Staring Back guitarist Ryan Mendez. The band returned to the studio later that year and got to work on their fifth full-length, Paper Walls, which was released in July 2007. In 2008 the band announced they would be going on an indefinite hiatus, leaving Capitol Records. After recharging their batteries for a ccouple of years, Yellowcard returned in 2010 with the announcement that they would be entering the studio to begin work on a new album to be released by Hopeless Records.
ABOUT PIERCE THE VEIL--
A lot has happened in the three years since Pierce The Veil released their debut A Flair For The Dramatic in 2007. The band have toured the world including Warped Tour in 2008 and Taste Of Chaos in 2009; converted countless fans to their unique brand of progressive post-hardcore; and, most notably, grown as both people and musicians from these cumulative experiences. All of this figures into the group's long-awaited sophomore release Selfish Machines, an album that sees the band-frontman Vic Fuentes, drummer Mike Fuentes, guitarist Tony Perry and bassist Jaime Preciado-coming together to craft an inventive album that is certain to challenge people's perception of the band.
Recorded with Mike Green (Paramore, Set Your Goals) in Los Angeles, the album ended up being more involved than initially planned-but that ended up being a blessing in disguise. "It was actually a pretty intense process," Vic explains, adding that the band didn't finish the album in the time allotted which forced him to stay in LA for an extra two months working on vocals and bouncing between recording studios working on new ideas. "It was definitely necessary to take the extra time with this recording," he continues. "We're not settling on anything with this record."
"We are all in one way or another selfish machines," Vic explains when asked about the album's title. "In no way is this a negative thing, it's human nature. We all have natural tendencies to want, love, and take. When it comes down to it, humans have animal like qualities that we keep inside and even try to deny-but no matter how morally good someone may think they are or try to be, we are still humans," he continues. "One example of this is how we are all constantly searching for someone to love, or even more desperately, someone to love you. It is human nature broken down to its bare bones, no bullshit, just rock bottom honest feelings and desire. No trying to be nice, shy, or respectable, it's about the 'evil' thing inside of us that is really not evil at all, it's just there and always will be inside of us all."
Having played with bands in nearly every subgenre, Pierce The Veil have always prided themselves on not confining their band to one particular scene or genre-and the harmony-rich songs like "I Don't Care If You're Contagious" are guaranteed to expose them to entirely new crowds of followers with Selfish Machines. "Every band that I've ever loved and admired has constantly grown and each record is a little different in their own way and I think that's how it should be because it keeps you setting new goals and trying to change for the better," Vic explains. "This record is definitely going to take us new places and after this we'll keep writing and try to make the next one even better," he summarizes. "We're always looking ahead."
ABOUT FOUR YEAR STRONG--
Four Year Strong rose to the occasion with their 2007 debut Rise or Die Trying. They explained it all in 2009 with Explains It All, an album of influential 90s cover songs. In 2010, Four Year Strong have released their most powerful release to date: Enemy of the World. Alan Day (Vocals/Guitar), Dan O'Conner (Vocals/Guitar), Joe Weiss (Bass), Josh Lyford (Synth), and Jake Massucco (Drums) are Four Year Strong. The band has long since graduated from their closet venue and community center background, selling out 2000-capacity headlining shows across America with their perfected formula of unrelenting spirit, gut-wrenchingly good music, and no flashy gimmicks. Their unique blend of brutal breakdowns and soaring choruses incites a riot like nothing seen before, leaving live crowds and CD listeners alike fired up and eager for more.
Their debut, Rise or Die Trying, caught the ears of Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz and in February 2008, the band was proud to announce its partnership with Decaydance Records, joining the ranks of bands like Panic! At The Disco and Gym Class Heroes. With the support of both Decaydance and Universal Motown, Four Year Strong are building themselves to the top with an indestructible foundation.
Their influences range from Lifetime to Saves the Day, Gorilla Biscuits to New Found Glory. "We just play exactly what we want to hear," describes Dan, explaining their combination of hardcore and pop-punk. The five guys of Four Year Strong have already headlined multiple tours and shared the stage with Paramore, AFI, and pop-punk legends New Found Glory, as well as touring across Japan, Australia, Europe and the UK.
Four Year Strong have graced the covers of Alternative Press, Kerrang, AMP and Outburn Magazines, not to mention a spot as one of Rolling Stone's "40 Bands You Need To Know". Frequenting the iTunes Top Alternative charts, Smartpunk Top 10 sales and Purevolume's "most played" charts, the band has garnered over 19 million plays on MySpace by simply making music the way they want it to be made.
Four Year Strong combine equal parts melody and mayhem; however, their true talent lies in the ability to use these parts to create one exciting, infectious whole. "We wanted to put out a great record and not just a bunch of great songs." Four Year Strong continue to move up and up until they've taken the world by storm and their new album, Enemy of the World, is a powerhouse testament to hard work and good music. Enemy of the World arrived March 9th, 2010 at number #45 on the Billboard Top 200. With an upcoming headlining Tonight We Feel Alive tour, there is only one way to prepare for the power will follow in the coming months:
ABOUT OF MICE AND MEN--
"With having recently made amends with our original vocalist, Austin Carlile, and not after discussing all of our previous disputes and issues we've had with each other (like any other relationship, its not always a friendly exchange of happy words) we've collectively decided to return to, or as close to, our original lineup as we could.
"Now, we knew this was going to be a huge surprise to everyone and an unexpected turn of events for Of Mice & Men. We had to take into account the response our fans had to our necessity to change screamers in order to continue touring as well as what we felt comfortable with as a group in and out of the studio as well as what our management/label/booking agency team (yes we include them in almost any decision we make, we are a close family, a relationship we are extremely grateful for) felt was a good decision to make for the business aspect while taking into account our personal well being.
"To be put simply, both OM&M and Austin want to make another album together because we want give our fans the familiar sound they loved about our first album and build upon that for our follow up. We were willing to put our differences aside and re-establish our friendship and love for making music together. We also want to give you all the chance to hear our first album the way it was intended to be heard since due to prior circumstances...well, that's all in the past now!
"We have also added a new member, Alan Ashby, who will be playing guitar. Assuming the position of bass will be Shayley which as many of you saw on a couple Warped Tour dates was an easy transition for him. He will, of course, still be singing. Tino is on drums, Phil is on guitar and Austin is screaming. A freshly reformed OM&M for 2011.
ABOUT WE THE KINGS--
We the Kings are a melodic emo-pop band from Bradenton, Florida, a small Southern town that doubles as the home base for Tropicana orange juice. Friends since childhood (the band's moniker even refers to the name of their junior-high mascot), the four bandmates -- singer/guitarist Travis Clark, guitarist Hunter Thomsen, his bassist brother Drew Thomsen, and drummer Danny Duncan -- formed the group while attending high school. Under the guidance of manager Bret Disend, they placed a number of tracks on the social networking site Purevolume in 2007 to build online buzz. Meanwhile, they also pursued a deal with EMI's imprint S-Curve Records, which eventually signed the group.
We the Kings' self-titled debut album was produced by Sam Hollander and mixed by Lou Giordano, both of whom had done work with some of emo-pop's most marketable acts, and released in October 2007. "Check Yes Juliet" cracked the Pop 100 that fall, and the group spent much of the following two years on the road, playing shows alongside simpatico bands like The Academy Is... and Hey Monday. They also found time to record a second album, Smile Kid, which arrived in late 2009. Like the band's debut, Smile Kid spawned a Top 100 single with "We'll Be a Dream," which featured guest vocals from Demi Lovato. We the Kings continued to tour heavily, supporting All Time Low for several months before headlining their own shows at home and abroad. The shows stretched into 2011, by which point the group had already begun work on a third album. Sunshine State of Mind was released that summer.
ABOUT BREATHE CAROLINA--
Colorado-based electro/screamo duo Breathe Carolina formed in 2006 around the talents of Kyle Even and David Schmitt. The Denver group's blend of synth-based beats and melodic screaming first appeared on the public radar in 2007 with the self-released Gossip EP. It was followed in 2008 by the band's first full-length for Rise Records, It's Classy, Not Classic, which featured all of the tracks that appeared on Gossip with six new additional songs. The duo has toured relentlessly, sharing the stage with contemporaries such as the Secret Handshake, Millionaires, and Brokencyde.
ABOUT MISS MAY I--
Miss May I is a metalcore band hailing from Troy, Ohio. The band has been around since 2006, playing local shows and steadily gathering a loyal fan base. In 2007, they released their first EP, Vows For A Massacre which contained five songs. 2008 saw the release of their demo EP, Demo 2008. On December 6, 2008, the band posted a blog on their myspace stating that they had signed to Rise Records and soon after released their debut album Apologies Are For The Weak which reached #29 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers. Not long after, then-bassist Josh Gillispie announced his departure from the band, and was replaced by Ryan Neff, formerly of Rose Funeral. On August 17th 2010, they released their second album, Monument. The album received excellent critical reception, and the album was toured extensively. On 20th June 2011, they released a Deluxe version of Monument featuring the original tracks, 3 new ones, a B-Side, music videos, interviews, live performances and more.
ABOUT FALLING IN REVERSE--
Fronted by former Escape the Fate frontman Ronnie Radke, Falling in Reverse is a post-hardcore band based out of Nevada. The band was formed by Radke while he was serving time in Nevada's High Desert State Prison for a 2008 parole violation. While imprisoned, Radke recruited guitarists Derek Jones and Jacky Vincent, drummer Ryan Seaman, and bassist Mika Horiuchi to help him realize the musical vision he was creating in his head while behind bars, meeting with his bandmates during visiting hours and spending the rest of his time writing. After serving two-and-a-half years of a four-year sentence, Radke was released in late 2010, and the band set to work on their debut, bringing the driving, melodic sound to life in 2011 with the release of The Drug in Me Is You.
ABOUT EVERY TIME I DIE--
Apocalyptic meteor showers. Merciless and indiscriminant retro-viral transmission. Political espionage. Systematic elimination of multi-cultural nation-states, Every Time I Die and rampant corporate funded ecocide.
Only one of these phrases is exempt from the nightmarish mural that American culture has fashioned with its pitiless hands and titled "Reality", which we display indefinitely in the halls of our nations consciousness. That phrase is "apocalyptic meteor showers", as it is actually part of a piece we call "The Future" which will be publicly showcased at a later date. The rest are insisting the attention of our population every minute of every waking hour, whether it be through subjective media coverage, unashamed domination of our city landscapes, full U.S tours with other metal/hardcore acts or corrupt lobbying geared towards steel industry tycoons by self-righteous right wing tyrants. Yet, there is hope of eliminating a majority of these pestilences with the advent of a broader social consciousness and a communal willingness to accept the responsibilities that come with utopian freedom. Every Time I Die, however, is not included in this aforementioned majority of curable social ailments, as the awareness which will hopefully one day eradicate most of these foes is the very fodder upon which Every Time I Die thrives.
Born in the winter of 1998, Every Time I Die quickly garnered local acclaim by releasing a four song self titled demo. Playing shows with friends in Victory Records own Buried Alive, vocalist Keith Buckley, guitarists Andy Williams and Jordan Buckley, drummer Michael Novak and bassist John McCarthy set off through New York State and parts of Canada on a short tour, where they were scouted by Chris Logan of Goodfellow Records and offered an opportunity to put out the five song E.P entitled "The Burial Plot Bidding War". Though a somewhat inexperienced and coarsely recorded release, it established the foundation of gritty, unrequitedly heartfelt and chaotic music that Every Time I Die would build upon with architectural precision.
After replacing John McCarthy with fellow Buffalonian Aaron Radaczyk, Every Time I Die signed with Ferret Records and, following a fluctuating and often brief routine of touring, recorded Last Night In Town at Zing Studios with Adam D- drummer and now guitarist of the renown metal act Killswitch Engage. Drawing inspiration from a spectrum of musical predecessors, the band found itself producing a compendium of musical tastes and talents, fusing a genuine and infectious rock n' roll attitude with meticulously crafted guitar work, defined and punishing drums, intricately woven bass lines and darkly sarcastic and unorthodox lyrics. What they were in the midst of producing would later be hailed as "one of the top five best cd's of 2001" by the online hardcore dignitaries at Lambgoat and acclaimed in magazines such as Revolver and Alternative Press for its refreshing interpretation of what hardcore music has become and would hopefully evolve into.
Once the C.D was released in March of 2001, Every Time I Die immediately enlisted in an East Coast tour with headliners Killswitch Engage and whetted their appetite for a touring schedule that would commit them to the relentless roads of North America for over two years. Joining forces with bands like Trustkills Poison The Well, Eighteen Visions and American Nightmare, Every Time I Die had done almost everything within the first year of their freshmen release that such a young band could hope to accomplish. In the summer of 2002, after once again replacing their bassist with current member Steve Micciche, they were part of a brief Warp Tour stint, two full U.S tours with Bleeding Through, Norma Jean and Hopesfall, and helped to promote the artwork of the much acclaimed Derek Hess by co-headlining one of two stages at a yearly festival in Cleveland known as HessFest. Since then they have played Hellfest in Syracuse N.Y for three years in a row, South by Southwest in Austin, Texas and Furnace Fest in Birmingham, Alabama. In fact, it was their performance at New York's CMJ fest, which earned them the opening spot for the traveling road show of Jackass's Steve-O. Recently, they have toured Canada and some of the East Coast with two of the biggest hardcore/metal bands in the world, Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan.
Their admirable work ethic, their unique blend of southern rock and technical "noise core" and their contagious personalities which are teeming with cynical humor and a refreshing lightheartedness have helped Every Time I Die amass a fan base of all ages across the country. Their indefinable musical compositions cater to enthusiasts of emo, metal, hardcore and rock n' roll alike without compromising its sincerity or energy. Their live performances are an emotional catharsis as well as an inspiring interaction between the band and their audience. But more so, it is an undeniably memorable exemplification of what happens when a group of five individuals dedicate their lives to their craft in the hopes of inscribing a timeless quote written with the universal language of music.
ABOUT MAYDAY PARADE--
It doesn't happen very often, but every once in a while a band comes along who have crafted a sound that's so unique it's hard to believe they haven't been playing together for decades. For the past four years, the members of Tallahassee, Florida's Mayday Parade--vocalist/keyboardist Derek Sanders, bassist Jeremy Lezno, guitarists Alex Garcia and Brooks Betts and drummer Jake Bundrick--have been perfecting their unique brand of pop-inflected punk rock, a process that is currently culminating with the release of their major-label debut Anywhere But Here. "We really just wanted to follow our own path on this record and not worry about if we fit in anywhere," Bundrick explains. "We were striving to make a record that meshed together really well and that was actually an album in the sense that all the songs sound different, but are working together toward a common theme."
In order to accomplish this the band decided to work with acclaimed producer David Bendeth (Paramore, Underoath), who proved to be the perfect person to capture the inherent energy and enthusiasm of these eleven tracks. "It was a totally new experience going in and doing a record with someone like David Bendeth, but I really feel like these songs are much more structured than anything we've done in the past," Garcia explains. In fact the biggest challenge while making Anywhere But Here seems to have been Mayday Parade's monumental task of determining which of the 50-odd songs they'd written over the past few years would make the cut. "Some of the songs we all agreed on, but other ones were more difficult because people had different tracks that they loved and it was hard to narrow it down," Sanders elaborates, adding that the band wrote many of these tracks during last year's tour with All Time Low. "We just ended up taking a vote and I think we chose the right songs."
Correspondingly Anywhere But Here shows how versatile Mayday Parade are, a fact that has endeared the band to fans all over the world and helped them forge their own niche in the rock community. "For me 'Kids In Love' is about the summer I turned 17 and I felt like I could take on the world," Sanders explains when asked about the album's infectious opener, a sentiment which is communicated via an impossibly catchy chorus. While Anywhere But Here is teeming with soaring and instantly accessible anthems like "Anywhere But Here" and "Get Up" which showcase Mayday Parade's knack for crafting hooks, it also features heartfelt ballads such as "Save Your Heart" and melodic midtempo tracks like "Bruised and Scarred" that reveal how much the band have grown since their 2006 debut A Lesson In Romantics and also prove that when it comes to Mayday Parade, songwriting takes precedence over gimmicks or fleeting fashions. "That's what I love about what we're doing," Bundrick elaborates when asked how he feels about the fact that the band haven't confined their music to just one scene or genre, "we're able to jump in and play with everyone from pop music to heavier rock bands and be able to gain all different kinds of new fans." Lenzo concurs, adding "I'm proud to be in a band that can reach out to so many different people and I really think that's always been a defining aspect of Mayday Parade since we started out."
Additionally Anywhere But Here sees the band exploring new sonic territory on tracks like the stripped-down "I Swear This Time I Mean It" or dance floor-friendly rocker "Center Of Attention. "That song was a little more dance-oriented and poppy than anything else we've ever done because we wanted to reach outside the box a little bit and see how it would turn out," Bundrick says about the latter track. "It still has the same Mayday Parade storyline, but the song itself has an energy that's a little different." The album's first single "The Silence" also showcases another side to this upbeat group of guys that may surprise some of their fans in a positive way. "'The Silence' is a darker one," he continues. "It's different from old Mayday stuff, so it's a little scary that it's the first song people are going to hear, but majority of the people that I've showed it to love the song and say it's the best thing we've ever done--and I hope other people feel that way, too."
"I can't force myself to write, it has to come naturally," Sanders responds when asked how he came up with lyrics this time around. "A lot of times it will come when I least expect it, like when I'm riding in the car or while I'm just hanging out at my house at three in the morning; I'll just sit down and it will all come out." As usual, the lyrics on Anywhere But Here are largely autobiographical, but they're written in a way that's ambiguous enough for listeners to relate to with ease. "A lot of the songs are about relationships whether that's involving girlfriends or friends," he continues. "There are a lot of sacrifices you have to make to in order to get to where we are today as a band; I've lost a lot of friends, but that's the way it goes," he summarizes, adding that he wouldn't take back a minute of the journey. "My lyrics are always about what we're going through at the time and the last few years have definitely been a huge rollercoaster ride for everyone in this band."
When it comes to the band's expectations about Anywhere But Here they'd prefer to let the music speak for itself. "I'm not really sure my expectations are for this album, but I do know that is the best thing we've ever done."
In the two-year span since blessthefall's album His Last Walk was released, the band has undergone some internal repairs that could have sunk any other band on the rise. Not so for the Phoenix five-piece, who've learned that a kink in the gears isn't enough to stop a band this strong for good.
Formed in 2004 by a group of higher-thinking high-schoolers who wanted their peers to find meaning and camaraderie in their music, blessthefall was intent on making their post-hardcore/screamo blend a different breed that people would remember. After several gigs in the area, more than just the locals began to notice. Later, after a 3-song EP made the rounds at shows and landed in label hands, this buzzy and burgeoning band were signed to Warner subsidiary Science Records and making their first full-length.
"Everyone has their first shows that consist of just the bands, and your parents, if you're lucky," reflects guitarist Eric Lambert. "Things picked up rather quickly, though. We started selling out hometown shows, then started touring, and, oddly enough, we had fans outside of Arizona. It was small shows, but the fans we met are still coming to every show and are the best people ever."
Armed with a defiant upcoming record and a new frontman, blessthefall have returned to the scene a stronger entity than ever before. Witness, the band's sophomore album and first with singer Beau Bokan, formerly of Take the Crown, will be released from new label Fearless Records, who signed the band in May. Bokan says this album reflects the positive energy that now enfolds the band. "We wrote this album to show people we aren't the kind of band to lay down and give up," notes Bokan. "We're here and won't be going anywhere for a long, long time."
Those fans will undoubtedly be out in droves to obtain Witness, a forward-thinking record that boasts bigger choruses, heavier guitars and, essentially, Bokan adds, "His Last Walk on steroids. It has all the same elements that got us where we are today." Recorded earlier this summer with Elvis Baskette (Incubus, Escape The Fate, Story Of The Year) in Virginia, blessthefall took their collective struggles to the forefront to produce a highly personal and evolved album - and bombastic live show - that shows the band back is with vengeance.
ABOUT CHELSEA GRIN--
Chelsea Grin is an American deathcore band. They were founded in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2007 by Alex Kohler and (former) guitarist Chris Kilbourn. Originally named "Ahaziah", the band continued to recruit members and gained bassist Austin Marticorena. Marticorena introduced Andrew Carlston to Chelsea Grin and assisted in rewriting their current songs as well as the creation of new material. This writing process lead to the tracks listed on their first release, a self-titled EP that was first streamed and released online and then released in Compact Disc format worldwide on July 27, 2008. It was met with mixed reviews. The band released the song "Recreant" as a single and was received by listening audiences very well.
Desolation of Eden
Following the self-titled EP, Chelsea Grin found themselves wanting to recruit a third guitarist, and recruited Michael Stafford into the group, they then began rewriting current songs as well as new material. During 2009, Chelsea Grin started touring and gaining a fan base across the U.S., Artery Recordings took notice of the band after the release of the EP, signed them and booked them for festivals. When the band completed their touring and returned back to Salt Lake City they began writing new songs for the release of their debut-full length album. During the writing process, Austin Marticorena left the band and the group suffered a series of member changes for months which caused guitarist Chris Killbourn to leave as well.
Chelsea Grin soon recovered with their full line-up of six members and signed under the Artery Foundation for management, then switched to the newly founded Artery Records and released their debut full-length album, Desolation of Eden. It reached number 21 on The Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart. With the success of their debut, the band was afterwards featured and praised in Alternative Press and Utah newspapers. Chelsea Grin is currently planned to be included in 2010's US Thrash and Burn tour. On July 7th, their debut music video, "Sonnet of the Wretched" was released.
ABOUT FOR TODAY--
Since the band formed in 2005, For Today has played over 1000 shows in 13 countries and released 3 albums via Facedown Records. The hardcore-influenced metal band is known for their non-stop touring, high energy live performance, and unrelenting message. For Today will stop at nothing until the name of Christ is proclaimed to the entire world.
ABOUT MEMPHIS MAY FIRE--
MEMPHIS MAY FIRE have consistently pushed the envelope to redefine both themselves and the various sub-genres they've made their mark within. 2009's "Sleepwalking" full-length yielded no exception as the band ventured into the territory of Post-Hardcore / Southern Rock with no reservations. Their fresh approach to an otherwise stale scene gathered critical acclaim and found "Ghost In The Mirror" featured on the both the Saw VI Soundtrack and DVD/Blu-Ray releases. Subsequent touring with the likes of Asking Alexandria, From First To Last, and Alesana facilitated the delivery of their music to the masses and established a live precedent that the band continues to build on today.
Following well-received releases on both Trustkill & Bullet Tooth, domestic/international touring success (featuring the band's first visit to Japan) and a tag as one of Revolver Magazine's "Top 25 Under 25," we're left with only one certainty; members Matt Mullins (vocals), Kellen McGregor (guitar), Ryan Bentley (guitar), Cory Elder (bass), and Jake Garland (drums) are headed somewhere fast.
In fact, it's safe to say that MEMPHIS MAY FIRE are "Sleepwalking" no longer. Their latest effort, "Between The Lies," boasts an elevated aggression that tastefully combines elements of melodic metal, southern rock, and electronics amidst a platform of carefully crafted songwriting. Existing solely in the digital realm, this EP is clearly an indication of things to come in terms of its unique dynamics & cross-genre experimentation.
Fast forward to 2011 and MEMPHIS MAY FIRE have now partnered with Rise Records as an outlet for their musical creativity. This move continues to broaden the band's reach and welcomes a new world of possibilities within the scope of their burgeoning career. MMF's high-octane live show acts as a testament to their ever-increasing identity and always leaves the audience wanting more. Expect their RISE debut to enter your lives later this spring alongside a massive touring cycle that is sure to reach your doorstep. Critics beware; MEMPHIS MAY FIRE are not only here to stay, they're paving the way.
ABOUT MOTIONLESS IN WHITE--
A new breed of dark rockers is subtly taking over, stealing the hearts of a dedicated legion of fans, with a blend of intense melodic metal and a penchant for the macabre. Already fan favorites in the scene, Pennsylvania sextet Motionless In White is set to rise to the front of the pack, with the release of debut full-length Creatures.
The tale of Motionless In White's conception begins in 2005. Forming in Scranton, PA while still in high school, six friends -- singer Chris "Motionless" Cerulli, guitarist/vocalist TJ Bell, guitarist Ryan Sitkowski, bassist Frank Polumbo, keyboardist Josh Balz, and drummer Angelo Parente - joined forces to form a band, originally playing popular rock cover songs. By 2006, they had developed their own sound, blending heavier, darker elements into melodic tracks, and gaining inspiration from the likes of The Misfits, Bleeding Through, Cradle Of Filth, Marilyn Manson and Eighteen Visions to form Motionless In White. With the release of debut EP "The Whorror", and two summers of wowing crowds with their high-octane show on dates of Vans Warped Tour, the band gained the attention of both independent and major record labels, including Fearless Records. The band signed to Fearless in December 2008, and set about recording their acclaimed second EP When Love Met Destruction, which was released in spring 2009.
Now ready to unleash their debut album Creatures, Motionless In White is poised to take centre stage in their twisted audio carnival. Creatures is a writhing behemoth of an album. Mixing gothic and industrial influences with brutal breakdowns, intense riffs and soaring choruses, the album interweaves themes of lust and revenge with the band's passion for horror movies, myths and vampire culture. From gut-punching opener "Immaculate Misconception", to Tim Burton-inspired closing track "Scissorhands (The Last Snow)", every note on Creatures has been explored to create an audio landscape that Motionless In White are thrilled to call their own. "I think we did a really good job at making this record interesting in a lot of aspects," singer Chris Motionless notes. "The last thing I wanted to do was write another band's record and call it ours. We pulled from so many different musical influences, especially with the lyrics. We put everything we had into making this record."
One of the strongest parts of Motionless In White's success story is their dedication to their fans. The band doesn't take their following's dedication lightly. The band named their full-length after their devoted fan base, which they affectionately call "Creatures", to remind their supporters that despite their differences, they are bonded by music. "I only ever wanted to be in a band because music changed my life so much, and all I wanted to be able to do the same for someone else in my own way," Chris adds. "To see all these people that are interested in this band and see them singing the words to our songs, like I used to dream would happen while I would be in a pit, screaming along to my favorite bands, is seriously mind-blowing." The band even allowed their "Creatures" to contribute to the album, creating the title track entirely of fan lyrics. "I really couldn't think of a better way to say thank you than to have our fans literally be part of this album, and to name our record after the people that are keeping us alive."
Gaining early support from all corners of the media has also been a key element in aiding Motionless In White's ascension through the ranks of the new wave of dark rock bands. The band was named as one of Alternative Press' Bands You Need To Know, is one of Revolver Magazine's Bands To Watch in the November/December 2010 issue, and has upcoming features in U.S. and international music press outlets including AOL Noisecreep, Ultimate-Guitar, AMP, Substream, Rock Sound and Kerrang!, plus horror publications Rue Morgue, Fangoria, Bloody-Disgusting and FEARnet.
The band has already toured the U.S. with the likes of Asking Alexandria, Bleeding Through, In This Moment and Drop Dead, Gorgeous, Black Veil Brides and A Skylit Drive, and looks forward to their current run with Escape the Fate / Alesana, and continuing their attack through 2011. "Expect to see a very honest and passionate performance every day," notes Chris. "We put a lot of time in trying to make our live show express the intensity and energy that we posses across to the crowd. I've bled, and I've screamed till my last breath, and our future shows will be no exception."
With an incredible work ethic and a dedication to practicing their craft, Motionless In White has completed their line up with the addition of new bassist Ricky Horror, and emerged as a group of stunning musicians, with a firm hold on what they want to achieve. "This band is 100% bullshit free and we want to inspire kids to stand up for themselves and not be afraid to look the way they do or say the things that they want. If I can do for one person what my favorite bands and heroes have done for me then mission accomplished."
Armed with their jaw-dropping debut album, support from the media and an impressive live show ready to take to the masses, Motionless In White is poised at the center of a perfect storm, and ready to take fans by the throat in 2011. Miss them at your peril!
Creatures is out now on Fearless Records.
ABOUT RISE TO REMAIN--
From its humble beginnings amid the industrial sprawl of Birmingham in the late '60s through to its digital age renaissance, British heavy metal has always thrived on regular doses of fresh blood and youthful rejuvenation. Each year new acts emerge screaming to be heard but now, spawned by the ever-vibrant London music scene, Rise To Remain have raised their voices to the sky and have become the latest and arguably greatest young metal band of recent times.
Brought together by a mutual desire to create exciting, state-of-the-art heavy music worthy of their passion, these fiery-eyed contenders have outgrown their humble origins as bright-eyed teenagers with dreams of fame and fortune and evolved into one of the most formidable new bands to explode out of the UK in many years.
"For me, the moment when I decided that I wanted to do it was when I walked out of an exam, my last A-level," laughs frontman Austin Dickinson. "I walked out halfway through and went and did a show that night. It's become clear over the last few months that we can take this band to the next level, so it was obviously the right decision."
A year has passed since Rise To Remain unleashed their first significant release, the 'Bridges Will Burn EP', which was initially given away free with hallowed UK metal magazine Metal Hammer. That welcome exposure, combined with a rigorous gig schedule, enabled the quintet to gain momentum and add substantially to their rapidly-expanding following. The support of the fans led to Rise To Remain waltzing off with both Metal Hammer's Best New Band award at the mag's annual Golden Gods ceremony and the Best British Newcomer award at rock bible Kerrang!'s high profile awards bash.
With expectations high and their reputation soaring, the rest of 2010 passed by in a whirlwind of live performances and feverish songwriting behind the scenes as plans for a full debut album began to fall into place. Sharing stages with everyone from fellow Brit metal crews Bring Me The Horizon and Bullet For My Valentine through to the legendary Iron Maiden, the band have dedicated themselves to paying their dues, learning their trade and grabbing every opportunity with both hands.
The end result of all their hard work and devotion to the cause is that Rise To Remain have now produced a debut album that brims with confidence and intensity, and which deserves to propel the band into the upper echelons of the UK metal scene and beyond. Created with renowned metal producer Colin Richardson manning the controls, 'City Of Vultures' is an explosive, assured and extraordinarily diverse first offering that marks Dickinson and his band mates out as extremely talented standard bearers for a new generation of metal bands.
ABOUT SLEEPING WITH SIRENS--
Florida as of late, has churned out dozens of young bands trying to gain recognition, but none have broken out quite as well as Orlando's Sleeping with Sirens. Influenced by metal bands like Drop Dead Gorgeous and rock bands like Dance Gavin Dance, Sleeping with Sirens finds a harmonious balance between melody and aggressive breakdowns. Having sold 5,000 records on their debut album and touring with bands like From First to Last and Sky Eats Airplane, Sleeping with Sirens prove that it's entirely possible for newcomers to kick down doors and burst onto the scene. With a live energy that matches the intensity of the recording, SWS are going to be turning heads for anyone within earshot of a pair of speakers.
ABOUT BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR--
Once upon a time there was a boy named Dahvie Vanity.. And one day he decided he wanted to create something amazing.. That no one had ever done before.. And he wrote a song about sex. But not just any song.. A building block for the crazy world he was building for all of us. And then.. He met his match.. His missing piece..Everything he could ask for. A sick ghoul named Jayy von monroe. Instantly it took off.. Fast hard and huge. And they together made the frankenslut monster of today. BOTDF with a few goregasms chronic masturbation..slapping hoes.. and glitter orgies the eargasm your about to intake is like no other. and that is the story of blood on the dance floor
Truley yours xxx
ABOUT THE GHOST INSIDE--
Conceived in the spring of 2007, The Ghost Inside emerged with a vengeance from the Los Angeles music scene where dreams fade just as fast as they are born. The band was a fresh new start for friends Jonathan Vigil, Aaron Brooks, and Tyler Watamanuk who's former band, "A Dying Dream" had recently disintegrated after half of the members moved on. This left Vigil and company quite discouraged as they had just released an EP with hardcore heavyweights "Mediaskare Records." Fueled by their frustration, and determination to never give up, they founded The Ghost Inside and enlisted drummer KC Stockbridge, and guitarist Soyer Cole to round out the all-star lineup.
With the roster solidified and plans to conquer the world, The Ghost Inside began crafting their own unique brand of aggressive yet melodic metal/hardcore. Their collective goal was to write music that would transcend genres without boundaries, and set them apart from their peers putting them into a league of their own. All of the hard work paid off when in April of 2007; the band released their debut album entitled "Fury And The Fallen Ones" on Mediaskare Records.
After the full length was released, interest in the band intensified as they toured nonstop throughout North America with bands such as Bury Your Dead, Misery Signals, Bring Me The Horizon, Emmure, Stick To Your Guns, As Blood Runs Black, Winds Of Plague, and Sleeping Giant. In June of 2008, the band took their act overseas when they were asked to go to Australia with I Killed The Prom Queen. After a year of touring, The Ghost Inside parted ways with Soyer Cole, and suffered a brief hiccup when Tyler Watamanuk decided that life on the road was not for him and called it quits. The band quickly rallied and enlisted Garrett Harer on bass and Zach Johnson to take over guitar duties. Later that summer, The Ghost Inside was invited to be a part of the massive "Ten For Ten Tour" featuring Poison The well, Madball, Bane, Terror, and Vision Of Disorder as the headlining acts. Hammering out high- energy sets every night on this tour quickly earned the band a reputation for their intense live show and their hard-working attitude.
Coming off of a great 2 years on the road, the band gathered their new material and headed into the studio to record their follow up album entitled "Returners" which is hitting stores February 2010. Later this fall, the band heads to Europe on the "Imperial Never Say Die" Tour, followed by runs in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Their long term goal: To continue to put out new music, and tour in as many new places as possible all the while, crushing everything in their path. If you have not yet seen The Ghost Inside, you owe it to yourself to drop whatever you are doing and get to one of their shows immediately!
ABOUT VAMPIRES EVERYWHERE--
Vampires Everywhere! ... This story is set in Los Angeles, Calif., circa 2009. The night hit the windows with the fervor of a tormented 6-year-old faced with the idea of sharing his prized, new gift.
It was probably seventy degrees outside, and yet the house was frozen. I was entertaining several murderous ideas that were swimming around my mind and my brain was certainly feeling the brunt of that strain. I attempted to clear my thoughts and focus on something that gave way to a crooked smile on my face. A smile I hadn't seen since my youth, compelled by our generation's explanation of our condition, set to sound: motion pictures. One feature, in particular, has haunted me since I was of age to pronounce blood: "The Lost Boys." Like the characters, I have also always considered myself lost and trapped within a world that only embraces its own. This movie embodies everything I stand for: anarchy, vampires, youth, love & revenge.
Since revenge fueled and fulfilled me, this movie fit like a glove and I began to drift off to a place comprised with everything that made me happy and pure. I was a step closer to discovering myself, my purpose. In order to bridge such a beautiful gap, I was forced out into creation to find those damned souls, like me, who found pieces of themselves in misery, loathing and self-destruction. My own coven of darkness.
These individuals embraced their potential insanity, and we found comfort in one another's uncertainty. The Los Angeles lost souls, Aaron Graves and Zak Night, brought their free spirits and aggressive musical style into my new coven. They created the background of sound that fueled the fire within me. J Killa, unfulfilled by Pittsburgh blood, joined my army, bringing his venomous keyboard tones and synth-driven vocals that proved to be the amplification our brotherhood needed. He provided the coveted pop I thirsted for in my destruction. Alex & David Hernandez completed the group during our brief stint in Florida. The blood brothers added the bass & percussion to complete the sound of Vampires Everywhere!
The crew was hungry with an insatiable thirst capable of destroying an unforgiving crowd. My vision of darkness had found completion in this group oh loving, hating, hungry and undeniably talented, loyal followers. The mood was now set for a revolution in music.
It is now time to take the scene's clean-cut, "Disney" image and shed some blood on it ... my way. The world will discover a new savior in our sound and we all shall use a new name to provide humor in anarchy: Vampires Everywhere! Inspired by the comic book in The Lost Boys movie. The concept and revolution has begun ... and love it or hate it, its here to stay. I was undead before the trend & shall remain so forever.
ABOUT TITLE FIGHT--
Musical trends come and go, but the bands who stick around are the ones who eschew whatever's popular in favor of playing the music that's in their hearts--and Kingston, Pennsylvania's Title Fight are a perfect example of this. Originally formed in 2003 by guitarist/vocalist Jamie Rhoden and the twin brother duo of vocalist/bassist Ned Russin and drummer Ben Russin when the trio were barely teenagers, Title Fight started as a way for these young kids to explore their burgeoning love of hardcore. But after adding guitarist Shane Moran in 2005, something funny happened: Their tireless practicing eventually transformed them into one of the most exciting hardcore acts in recent memory.
After releasing a handful of EPs and 7-inches as well as performing shows all over the world, Title Fight began attracting attention from fans and labels who were captivated by the way the band managed to put a modern spin on the melodic hardcore sound pioneered by acts like Gorilla Biscuits and Lifetime--and in 2010 the members of Title Fight dropped out of college in order to tour full-time with acts such as New Found Glory, Four Year Strong and H20. It was also around this time that the band entered the studio with Gorilla Biscuits/Quicksand guitarist Walter Schreifels who agreed to produce the band and promptly drove down to Northeastern Pennsylvania to help them prepare to record their highly anticipated full-length debut Shed.
"The cool thing about Walter is that when we came to him he told us he doesn't produce a lot of records because he's a full-time musician himself, so he only works with bands he really likes and hearing that was a huge compliment because he's one of our biggest inspirations," Ned Russin explains. "We were really up front about the fact that we wanted to feel in control with our music so he really just let us do our thing but came up with some helpful suggestions without trying to transform us into something we aren't," he continues when asked about Schreifels' role in the process. "He came down and stayed at Ned and Ben's parents' house and we just hashed it all out in Jamie's parents' basement."
From there the band headed to Philadelphia to record Shed over a grueling two-week period at the legendary Studio 4. However all those long nights paid off as Shed sees the band implementing various subgenres that range from old-school hardcore to aggressive punk rock that make these twelve energetic anthems instant classics for a new generation of listeners searching for music that inspires them as much as Title Fight were inspired by their heroes. "We wrote the last record when we were in high school and since then we've dropped out of school, seen the world and had life experiences that are all reflected here," Ned Russin explains when asked what it's been like to sacrifice everything to make Shed a reality.
From the Hot Water Music-esque power of "27" to the old-school feel of "You Can't Say Kingston Doesn't Love You," Shed is also a remarkably varied record that proves hardcore doesn't need to be formulaic in order to be powerful. "The most important thing is that this is a Title Fight record," Ned Russin summarizes, "we're not trying to pose and be anything we're not." Moran concurs adding, "we're not a surface level band, we're the kind of act who likes to dig a little deeper and we're really interested in learning about the history of punk and hardcore to find the stuff that really speaks to us on a personal level."
Speaking of personal, Shed also features some of the band's most heartfelt lyrics to date--a fact that is largely due to the life-changing experiences the band have endured, both good and band since their previous recordings. "This album was a lot more collaborative from a lyrical perspective and instead of being about girls, it's about real life situations," Ned Russin says. "Throughout the past few years my grandmother passed away and my dad had reconstructive heart surgery so a lot has been on my mind and Title Fight has always been a great release for me to get out what's bottled up inside," he continues. "We just tried to be as sincere as we possibly could and write songs about what was important to us at the time."
Ultimately this sentiment has always remained at the core of Title Fight and it's one of the reasons why so many fans have gravitated toward the band's music despite the fact that they don't have any fancy costumes or onstage gimmicks. "I think we have a unique dynamic because we can always play a hardcore show with our friends in a basement but we can also play a show with more commercial bands on a larger scale and be accepted in both situations," Moran explains.
"We've been a band for seven years and this is the first time we've had a recording that's longer than seven minutes long," Ned Russin adds. "The last year has been a crazy ride but the whole time we've always stayed true to the fact that we're not trying to be anything we're not," he summarizes. "We're four friends that play in a band together and we would still be doing this whether we were playing to five people or five hundred of them."
ABOUT SENSES FAIL--
Listening to a new Senses Fail album is a lot like reconnecting with an old friend--although there's a comforting, indefinable familiarity within all of the New Jersey-based post-hardcore quintet's records, each new creation is a fleeting snapshot of the lives of its makers, indelibly capturing the things that meant the most during your mutual time apart. The band's third full-length release, Life Is Not A Waiting Room, is no exception. Having the unenviable task of following 2006's crushing Still Searching, the album showcases the face-melting musicianship and soul-baring lyricism that define Senses Fail. Once again produced by helmsman Brian McTernan (Thrice, Circa Survive) and recorded in Baltimore, MD, at his Salad Days studio, Life boasts a towering sound akin to a roundhouse kick to the skull. "This is the most fun we've ever had as a band," says singer James "Buddy" Nielsen. "I think we were feeling a lot less pressure this time around, but you've always got to do your best." The New Jersey-based group formed six years ago and released their debut EP, From the Depths of Dreams, in 2002. 2004's Let It Enfold You--their first full-length--was followed by Still Searching, which debuted at 15 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. To date, Senses Fail have performed multiple worldwide tours and their catalog sales have reached over 850,000, yet the band continue to evolve. Although in many ways Life picks up seamlessly where Searching left off, the new album has very distinct, unique qualities, most notably its lyrical content. While Searching wrestled with issues regarding religion and depression, Life is centered squarely on a crumbling relationship, and the desire to see meaningful change. "A lot of this record is written about the recent break up I had with a long-time girlfriend, the first person I have ever been in love with, and someone I spent a lot of time and shared my transition from kid to adult," explains Nielsen. "The other elements of the record consist of regrets and how they can leave a burning hole in your soul; how the past is something you can't change....There are also bright moments where I find myself coming to terms with those very facts, and in knowing the problem you can then be proactive and change." Life also marks the addition of new bassist Jason Black (formerly of Hot Water Music), who replaces the departed Mike Glita. Meanwhile, guitarists Garrett Zablocki and Heath Saraceno (formerly of Midtown) have grown into one of the most scorching six-string tandems around; Life features more of the nimble harmonies showcased on Searching, but this time the duo took it one step further, with some truly shred-a-riffic leads, such as those heard on "Lungs Like Gallows" and "Garden State." Another rocker, "Wolves At The Door," was so intense that it even garnered a coveted spot within the soundtrack for the best-selling Madden NFL '09 video game. Kicking off with the rich, moody "Fireworks At Dawn," Life roars and pummels its way through the album's 12 tracks without the slightest pause for filler, delivering an absolute haymaker just four tracks in with "Family Tradition," which features the band's signature blend of dark and melodic. Nielsen's words are as insightful as they are meaningful. "I find myself at times doing things to live up to other peoples' expectations, or cutting myself down because I assume that will make me look more humble to the world," says Nielsen. "So this song is one part a reaction to that, and also about following the footsteps of a family member you don't really know, but who has had a huge influence on you." Perhaps the most heart-wrenching moments of all come via the two-part song cycle of "Yellow Angels" and "Four Years," which were inspired by a terminally ill fan named Marcel, who befriended Nielsen at an SF show in Dallas, TX. Nielsen remained in contact with the 18-year-old, who was stricken with cancer of the soft tissue of his face, and endured many painful surgeries and treatments in order to attempt to fend off tumors that were growing in vital areas such as his eyes, nose and throat. When Marcel's mother notified Nielsen of her son's worsening condition, the singer flew to Texas, where he spent a great deal of time with this incredibly courageous young man, during the final days of his tragically short life. "It was one of the most intense and stirring times in my life. The sheer pain this 18-year-old boy was in was mind blowing, yet his optimistic outlook and sense of humor was steadfast," Nielsen recalls. "This kid changed my life and although he is no longer with us, he lives on everyday in the pictures I took with him, to remind myself that life is never as bad as you think it is. So 'Yellow Angels' is my reaction to meeting Marcel and how I needed to live in the moment and love myself and life. 'Four Years,' on the other hand, is about being influenced by such a life-changing [experience] and having to make new decisions about my relationship and what it really was." The album's title is a succinct, encapsulating statement as to its thematic thrust. Life Is Not A Waiting Room is just as much revelation as it is reflection; the sum total of every ounce of pain, fear, hope and joy that the record exudes. "I felt I had been living as if I was waiting for something to happen, but I know that is the wrong way to live--it just doesn't promote any sort of happiness," Nielsen concludes. "The title sums up the direction I want to go in, and what I want to get away from, and it's a cry to everyone else to stop living like I have." Just like the rest of us, Nielsen's struggle is far from over. But one thing is certain: SF have once again delivered their message with both passion and fury. All one has to do is listen with their ears and heart open--just as an old friend would.
Taking influence from bands like As I Lay Dying, Norma Jean, and Every Time I Die, Boston metalcore outfit Vanna was barely together a year before signing with Epitaph Records in fall 2005. Comprised of Joe Bragel (vocals), Nick Lambert (guitar/vocals), Evan Pharmakis (guitar/vocals), Brandon Davis (drums), and Shawn Marquis (bass), their music often alternated between melodic singing and visceral growling. The band parted ways with Bragel for personal reasons in February 2006, and a new vocalist, Chris Preece, eventually replaced him. Vanna's debut EP, The Search Party Never Came, appeared in June 2006. Vanna spent the summer touring nationwide, including various dates with labelmates Escape the Fate, before retiring to a Seattle studio with producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Norma Jean) that fall. The resulting full-length, Curses, surfaced in April 2007 and was supported with spring shows alongside Lovehatehero.
ABOUT POLAR BEAR CLUB--
When a band releases an album that is named one of the year's essentials and "absolutely spectacular post-hardcore' by Alternative Press, said band has a lot to live up to. That was 2008, and now Pol...read morear Bear Club has returned with an album that is even more groundbreaking than their last: Chasing Hamburg. Effortlessly seaming together the sounds of 90's punk and hardcore -- akin to bands like Lifetime and Hot Water Music -- with a refreshingly 2000's style and their own personal twist, Polar Bear Club will no doubt be one of this year's breakout bands and live up to the additional 'Most Anticipated of 2009' tag they received from AP. Back in 2005, Chris Browne (guitar) and Jimmy Stadt (vocals) got together as a side project to their various bands. Eventually, Nate Morris (guitar), Erik Henning (bass), and Emmett Menke (drums) joined in and Polar Bear Club was formed with little to no intention of going full time. Spread out amongst states and time zones, the band released the EP The Redder The Better before they hit the studio to record 2008's critically acclaimed Sometimes Things Just Disappear on Red Leader Records. As the interest in the band grew, they dropped jobs, took leaves of absence from school and hit the road with bands like Gaslight Anthem, Crime In Stereo, Broadway Calls, American Steel, A Wilhelm Scream and many more. Vocalist Jimmy Stadt said, "Every full-time band makes sacrifices to do this for a living. We've been fortunate to be able to do this full-time but there is a lot of baggage. Not seeing your family, little stability, no real income, uncertain future and a lot of hard work. There are a lot of upsides as well. It's just like pursuing anything you love outside the norm. We knew it would be a real hard climb -- but after releasing Sometimes Things Just Disappear, we knew what we had to do. And now we're doing it." Polar Bear Club got their bearings and with that came the time to find a new label. Bridge Nine Records came knocking in 2008 and the band "unanimously decided to go with B9. Red Leader was an amazing label to us but we felt that for what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go as a band it was time to move on. B9 was one of the couple labels we met with and everyone in PBC was most impressed with them when it was all said and done. They were very straight forward and clear with us which we appreciated and we just clicked", said Stadt. Shortly after the label announcement, Polar Bear Club headed across the pond to play some of the biggest and best shows thus far in their career alongside Gaslight Anthem. Stadt continued to say, "Playing Shepherds Bush in London to around 2,000 Gaslight fans was incredible. But I'd have to say the best thing is when kids come up and buy a record and tell you they loved your set and had never heard you before tonight. That is the best." Upon their return to the states, the band polished up their demos and headed into the studio with acclaimed Producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Minus the Bear) to record what would become Chasing Hamburg. With songs that pay homage to influential bands like Hot Water Music, Small Brown Bike and The Get Up Kids, Polar Bear Club delivered a record that sounds familiar yet is completely refreshing and new. Stadt went on to say, "The recording process was really natural for us. We were more meticulous with the song writing this time around. We did more pre production than we've ever done and were working together really well. Before 'Hamburg' we would write our parts and try and make it sound as cool as possible but this time around we were working off each other a lot more and writing stuff that fit the song. It was a big leap for us. We recorded with Matt Bayles and he helped a lot as well. He's really good at making a band sound like a band. No bells and whistles. He was very hands off when he needed to be but there for us when we he could tell we needed him." Drummer Emmett Menke continued, "The new songs are overall a bit shorter and more upbeat, while somehow getting a little darker. Lyrically, they're a lot more personal than our previous efforts. We're very happy with the final product." Poised to be one of 2009's greatest successes, as bands like this don't come around often, Polar Bear Club will undoubtedly join the ranks with bands like At The Drive In and Refused as highly influential artists at a time when many others are doing little more than clinging onto neon t-shirts. One thing is certain: Chasing Hamburg is an inevitable classic that's sure to please fans of many different music genres -- punk, hardcore, emo, and everything else in between. Polar Bear Club will spend the remainder of 2009 wrapping up a jaunt with Four Year Strong and Set your Goals, hitting up east coast markets with Face to Face, then touring across North America on the Bridge Nine Records tour with Strike Anywhere, Crime In Stereo, and Ruiner, with jaunts across the globe to follow. Get ready for world domination in 2010.
ABOUT WE ARE THE IN CROWD--
Sometimes things just feel and sound right. We Are The In Crowd, the foursome from Poughkeepsie, NY formed in 2009 and caught the interest of independent label, Hopeless Records early on. The band, made up of Tay Jardine (vocals), Jordan Eckes (guitar/vocals), Mike Ferri (bass), and Rob Chianelli (drums), used their talent and ingenuity to propel themselves into the hearts of many. Instead of relying on image and sugar-coated, meaningless lyrics, We Are The In Crowd focused on one goal. "We really try and tell a story," says vocalist Taylor Jardine.
To begin that story, We Are The In Crowd recorded their debut Hopeless Records' single, "For The Win". Using a unique combination of both male and female vocals, Taylor and Jordan have created honest, emotional pop rock songs that embody everything that you want to say but don't know how. "Our lyrics are straightforward, we write about situations that we go through, and it really resonates with fans." This honest depiction of young adult trials and tribulations has helped We Are The In Crowd gain a rabid fan base that hangs on every word and every chord, just waiting to hear the next chapter in their story.
ABOUT A LOSS FOR WORDS--
In a world where some bands left everything on a silver platter, it is also a place where there are still some hard-working people left Boston's own pop-punk outfit a loss for words is at the top of the list, having released three EPs and their full length "The kids can not lose" since 2005 they are a group of unstoppable commitment to hard work and creativity of a loss for words have been seen by members of the Bayside four years Strong and Brisbane as hardest working band out there right now, some people are going to ask what a hard working band also means longer and these issues are guaranteed in a world where Myspace pieces have somehow become more important than the heart of the line that separates the real from the manufactured has become more Thana litea blurred a loss for words, know where they stand in this sea of blurred lines of a loss for words are out on the road touring ten months of each year, not only are they out there playing shows but looks younger bands pressing the CD in the parking lot shaking hands and put on one of the most sweat-soaked and honest places you can find a loss for words, see the wall that stands between them and success and they are not stupid they know that maybe with some cool hairstyles and electric drums, there may be an easier way around it, but they have picked the way they have always known to break out of the concrete with their bare hands and it shows I challenge you to find another unsigned band with these results: toured for four years Strong Set Your Goals and Polar Bear Club sold 6000 copies ofa record that no one helped them set out and went to Japan on a 100% DIY agenda with a loss for words, the guarantee is that no matter what city you live in these guys will be there this year are ready to shake your hand, hang out rock out and have fun, they are some of the nicest guys in the world and everyone should meet them
ABOUT FUNERAL PARTY--
Funeral Party is a five-piece band that formed late one night in a park. Hardcore bands and metal bands dominated the local music scene at the time in Whittier, California, an East Los Angeles suburb comprised of mostly working-class enclaves. In the East Los Angeles neighborhoods adjacent to Whittier however, a post-punk dance-craze revival was emerging and Funeral Party began gigging every weekend. The band quickly developed a following and a D.I.Y. ethos that encapsulated East Los Angeles' rich musical history. Initially, the band didn't even own equipment and had to borrow it from bands they played with at East Los Angeles backyard parties and warehouses. Funeral Party quickly achieved a mythic stature in the Los Angeles underground. Lars Stalfors, engineer for Mars Volta, invited the band to record in Volta's studio in East L.A. The sessions yielded "Chalice", which immediately became East L.A.'s theme song and could be heard bumping on iPods throughout Southern California. What is unique about Funeral Party is the band's universal appeal; there exist numerous infusions in their music. This band is crucially important as they have created a visceral music that encapsulates the experiences of contemporary youth. Funeral Party's sound is shaped by disparate realities, manifested in the band's musical approach.
ABOUT I FIGHT DRAGONS--
What do you get when a Pulitzer Prize WInner, a Nobel Laureate, a Rhodes Scholar, and a Robot all get together and form a band?
This is a question I Fight Dragons would love to know the answer to, along with other important questions like, "what is purple, really?" and "how much brains could a zombiechuck chuck if a zombiechuck could exist a posteriori?"
In the meanwhile, I Fight Dragons content themselves with playing melodic rock-and-roll type music, which they integrate seamlessly with chiptune. For those of you not in the proverbial 'know,' 'chiptune' is new music created on 'obsolete' video game 'soundcards' such as the Nintendo Gameboy. Now you're in the 'know.' Welcome. It's nice here and the bathrooms are in the back to the left if you need them.
In the biographical sense, all 5 members of I Fight Dragons hail from Chicago. In the spiritual sense, they also hail from Chicago. However, in the metaphorical sense, only 4 of them hail from Chicago, while Packy hails from Outer Space (by way of Chicago).
I Fight Dragons are boldly questing forward on a sonic adventure toward total world domination. If that sounds a little intimidating, then they can scale it back a bit and focus on continental domination, or even just tri-county domination if that's still a bit much for you.
The new I Fight Dragons album "KABOOM!" has a lot of capital letters, not to mention an exclamation point, which makes it very exhausting to pronounce, but quite invigorating to listen to. It is a Photo Finish / Atlantic Records release (wha!?!?), and serves as the culmination of their earlier sonic endeavors undertaken with their first two EPs, 2009's "Cool Is Just A Number" and 2010's "Welcome To The Breakdown."
All in all, I Fight Dragons are really interesting. I mean, like, REALLY interesting. So go tell your friends about them. Or if you don't have friends, tell your mom. Say hi to her for me. She'll know who you mean. Trust me. Fine, she probably won't know who you mean. So then maybe you can build a robot and tell the robot. If said robot responds to you then you could probably win a Turing prize or something and I Fight Dragons deserves half the money, so please send it to them with a Self Adressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) and 4 boxtops from Cinnamon Toast Crunch(™) cereal to redeem your prize.
Seriously, go tell someone, quit reading this crap. Dragons OUT.
ABOUT OH NO FIASCO--
With their eclectic sound of dance rock and and a stage show that will make every hair on your body stand on end, Oh No Fiasco is an emerging light of the new sounds to come.
After an extensive touring throughout 2010 from Florida to Michigan touring and playing with the likes of Finger 11, Train, Owl City, Sevendust, 10 years, Red, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Framing Hanley, and Saliva among many others, Oh No Fiasco has emerged stronger than ever with a new name and bringing on brand new tour dates for 2011.
Fueled by the quick success of their first single, "Where You Used To Be," the band is on the verge of releasing their debut album this spring. Formed by vocalist Lindsey Stamey, guitarist Seth Rowlette, bassist Thomas Boyd, and brothers Colin and Kamryn Cunningham, drummer and keyboardist--Oh No Fiasco, formerly known as The Few, have created one of the biggest surprise efforts to come out of Knoxville, Tennessee.
"This is the most powerful project that I've ever been a part of," Stamey explains, adding that the band is an evolution of their past experiences and their desire for new ones. And with new experiences comes an entirely new enticing sound that leaves dancers, head bangers, and wallflowers alike salivating. Drawing influences from bands like Muse, Mew, Circa Survive, Massive Attack, and Of Montreal, Oh No Fiasco create an intimate yet energy charged experience for listeners.
"Their music is a refreshing blend of two unbelievable bands. The music this band produces in the future will be worth looking out for." -- Metro Pulse Knoxville, TN
Never lacking in explosive live shows, Oh No Fiasco has plans to make 2011 a fiasco.
ABOUT ECHO MOVEMENT--
Echo Movement is about love. It's about a passion to learn, communicate and appreciate life's opportunities. It's a recognition of the ability to choose your level of involvement in humanity. It's respect for the earth and our global community and an honor to the pursuit of happiness. It's a shrine to the human range of emotions. It's an expression of music, culture and freedom. Echo Movement is about love, and that is all you need.
G-Eazy has an agenda. For the last couple of years he's been trying to finish school while building up a grassroots fan-base across the US. Schooled in the bay, tested in New Orleans, G isn't a stranger to paying dues. His live shows have turned heads from the smallest of Midwest clubs all the way up to arenas on dates with Lil Wayne, Big Sean, and Drake, among others.
Without label support G has trekked across the US on multiple tours breaking hearts with his James Dean meets hip-hop vibe and unforgettable live shows. It's not hype. It's not a hit. It's not an image. It's all of the above, the product of diligence that only a true fan understands; G reinterprets what he loves, not what everyone wants to hear, but in 2012 its looking like those two paths are starting to merge.
G's been a fixture on the local New Orleans rap scene for a few years and more recently in the music blogosphere, but in the last few months his popularity has surged and as his national profile has grown exponentially. His latest mixtape, The Endless Summer, produced Runaround Sue, who's sun stroked throwback video garnered over 100,000 plays on Youtube in less than a week. But it all comes back to the live show, one New Orleans music blogger summed it up with, "the young crowd was reaching the levels of mass hysteria reserved for the 50s and 60s rock 'n' roll legends to whom G-Eazy has been paying so much homage..."
Stepdad is an Electronic Pop band based in Grand Rapids, MI. Originally a duo, they formed in the summer of 2009 when roommates, ultramark and Ryan McCarthy, began writing songs together in their Chicago apartment. In 2010 they released their debut EP "Ordinaire" which spawned 2 singles, Jungles and My Leather, My Fur, My Nails. They recently recorded their debut album with producer Chris Zane who is known for his work with Passion Pit, Mumford and Sons, & The Walkmen.
ABOUT THE CONSTELLATIONS--
The Constellations could have called their debut album After Hours. Sure, Martin Scorsese already used that name for his 1985 black comedy, but the two works share much in common. Both are wide screen spectacles rife with seedy scenes and eccentric personalities, propelled by a manic energy that hustles the audience deeper into the unexpected. But Southern Gothic was a better choice. Because The Constellations stomping ground is Atlanta, GA, and in the wee small hours of the morning, A-Town can get awfully bizarre.
The record is all about what happens in Atlanta from 2 AM until noon. Your tour guide on this madcap adventure is the magnetic frontman and vocalist Elijah Jones, the ringleader of the twisted circus that is The Constellations, who spent two years writing and recording the album with producer Ben H. Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley), along with some storied cronies from the local scene. Not that they set out with specific intentions. Far from it. "All of us wanted to do a record about Atlanta, but we never said it in words," recalls Jones. "But the deeper we got into it, the more we realized we were writing a concept album."
Atlanta has been providing the backdrop and soundtrack for Jones life since childhood. Now he wanted to share his hometown's underbelly with the rest of the world. "Atlanta is a huge city, but it still has a small town feel to it," explains the singer. "Everybody knows everybody, you run into the same people at the same bars every week. So it's still kind of Mayberry, but with all the yummy stuff that comes along with being a big city--and all the bad stuff, too."
"Atlanta is strange," he adds, "because we're all basically pushed together." The hip-hop heads, punk rockers, and indie kids all rub shoulders and mix it up. Southern Gothic reflects that inclusive diversity in its far-reaching sound. "The record was designed to sound lyrically and melodically very thought out, and sonically very disorganized," comments Allen. One expects nothing less from a singer who cites Tom Waits and Cee-Lo of Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley as his musical heroes, working with a producer who name-checks Fela Kuti and Gorillaz among their record's key influences.
Check out the centerpiece, "Step Right Up (A Tribute To Tom Waits)." The foundation of this delirious nine-minutes-and-change comes from a cut on Waits' 1976 classic Small Change. But it mutated along the way, with customized lyrics about the ATL. In this cavalcade of neon lights and shady characters, no names have been changed, because no one is innocent. Jones beckons the listener to keep up as he lurches from the Clermont Lounge to the Drunken Unicorn and beyond, his carnival bark underpinned with dizzy disco whorls and eddies, and anchored by a soulful chorus of irresistible exhortations. The extended percussion jam that caps the track calls down an ecstatic abandon on par with LCD Soundsystem. More cowbell? You don't have to ask twice.
Yet there are many twists and turns ahead of "Step Right Up." The eleven-song set kicks off with "Setback," a psychedelic freak-out of wiggling synthesizers and vintage organ, shot through with a nasal drawl reminiscent of Beastie Boys, and a wordless chorus that won't let go. For the salacious funk number "Felicia," Jones drew inspiration from the laidback '70s vignettes of Iggy Pop and Lou Reed. "December" opens with a baroque snippet a la some lost minuet, but detours into '60s folk rock harmonies as it picks up momentum.
The band's name refers to the myriad musicians from the regional scene who either contributed to making Southern Gothic, or have since played in The Constellations live band. One luminary who drops in is Cee-Lo, whose verse on the electro-rocker "Love Is A Murder" prompted a completely overhaul the track underneath.
Another guest is suburban rapper Asher Roth, lending his playful rhymes to "We're Here To Save The Day," among the disc's most insidious moments. On the one hand, this ditty's sound is pure sing-along bliss, with a gleeful chorus delivered by Elijah's niece and nephew. Yet at the same time, Jones and Roth drop rhymes that lampoon commercial top 40 hip-hop and chest-thumping poseurs.
BALLYHOO! is undeniably turning the world of music upside down and sideways as they blur the lines between rock, reggae, punk and pop to craft their own hybrid of music that can't be held down to one definitive genre. This signature sound of theirs is one they have been perfecting since their high school days in Aberdeen, Maryland - the sweet melodic voice of lead singer and guitarist Howi Spangler; the hard hitting beats set forth by brother and drummer Donald "Big D" Spangler; the skillfully added funk of bassist JR Gregory and Scott Vandrey (aka DJ Blaze) rounds it out on the turntables and keys.
BALLYHOO!'s unique sound, hardcore devotion to the road and to their fans, partnered with their irresistible "life of the party" approach have pitched them into the position of America's favorite feel good party band. They didn't get here by accident; rather, they had been single-handedly growing their empire through unparalleled hard work and dedication until Jan 2011, when they got a well-deserved nod from LAW Records and were signed to the Hawaii-based independent record label. Yesod Williams of the dub rock music mega-sensation PEPPER and owner of LAW Records says of his newest addition, "Having BALLYHOO! join the LAW Records family is a perfect fit. They are an incredibly talented band with a really catchy style". Now, with the backing of LAW, 2011 promises to be a paramount year on BALLYHOO!'s trajectory destined for greatness!
BALLYHOO! has toured the country with some of the biggest and most respected names in the reggae rock genre -- 311, Authority Zero, Pepper, The Supervillains. "It's always intimidating when playing for another band's crowd, you never know how they're gonna react," explains front man Howi, "but then you see that they're enjoying it and the worry goes away. You're free to rock at that point!". BALLYHOO! will start their tour of the southeast with fellow label mates Iration in February 2011. Their rigorous, nonstop nationwide touring schedule has certainly been the catalyst for the exponential growth in their fan base. BALLYHOO! fans are some of the most loyal and enthusiastic fans out there and their love for the band runs deep.
In 2006, BALLYHOO! released Do It For The Money! which "opened a lot of doors for us and spread like wildfire in the underground" says Howi. Their follow up album, Cheers!, was released in May of 2009 and was an opportunity to work with 311's Scotch Ralston as the producer. In addition, BALLYHOO!'s stellar rendition of "40 Oz. To Freedom" is featured on the compilation album, Forever Free: A Tribute to Sublime, and helped stimulate a surge in their popularity. Fans can also hear their songs on the Rock Band Network and in feature films.
BALLYHOO! currently has a single out on iTunes ("The Front Porch") and when they aren't on the road, they are in the studio, finishing their new album, which is slated for release on LAW Records in the summer of 2011.
ABOUT CHAMPAGNE CHAMPAGNE--
Seattle's own punk-rap-shoegazers, backroom brown hornets, vibrate higher in their magnetic blackness. Two MC's: Pearl Dragon, lifer-a smoke-breathing hood Jim Morrison- and Sir Thomas Gray, the hyperactivated game-gifted trouble man. One producer/multi-instrumentalist DJ Gajamagic (AKA Mark Gadjahar, drummer/founding member of defunct Seattle posthardcore institution The Blood Brothers, current backbone to Past Lives and Weekend) -- master of dark arts, road-trip Macgyver, and sound systems savage. Together they "outrap and outparty everyone" (via Seattle Weekly), drink greenrooms dry, and smash packed clubs and sweaty basements alike with their afrofuturist afterparty music- rejecting easy classifications, broke groupies, and bammer weed. Just picture The Cure, Cody ChesnuTT and Cannibal Ox at a Pabst-soaked jam in a haunted mansion. Now picture The 'Pagne burning it the fuck down. Yeah, you got it.
-Larry Mizell Jr
22-year-old Travis Tatum Mills, better known as T. Mills, is a hybrid artist from Riverside, CA: his sound stems from a variety of influences ranging from Wu Tang Clan to Blink-182; Bone Thugz and Harmony to The Dream; Rusko to Wiz Khalifa -- a true testament to the "Playlist Generation" unbound by genre. In 2010 Mills released an EP, a full length titled, "Ready, Fire, Aim!", on Uprising Records. He performed on the Warped Tour, as well as Bamboozle. He recently sold out his first headlining show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, and plans to release a mixtape in early June featuring production by J Hawk, Matt Squire, Rusko, Colin Munroe, Hit Boy, The Stereotypes and more.
ABOUT TOMORROW'S BAD SEEDS--
Hermosa Beach, California is where Tomorrows Bad Seeds found fertile ground in which to grow. Originally planted in 2004 where the beach meets the streets, Tomorrows Bad Seeds is a
fundamental development in the reproduction of conscious music worldwide! Meet the Seeds: Moises Juarez (lead vocals), Sean Chapman (vocals/guitar), Mathew McEwan (vocals/guitar), Pat Salmon (drums), and Andre Davis (bass) make up the multi-cultural musical phenomenon
that is Tomorrows Bad Seeds.
Blazing through the states germinating the masses, Tomorrows Bad Seeds is spreading like wildfire across the nation and quickly establishing themselves as one of Southern California's most viable and relative bands of today. Tomorrows Bad Seeds' live show provides a high energy
mix of rock, soul, pop, punk, reggae and hip hop guaranteed to rock, move and inspire your soul.
Since the band's inception, they have shared the stage with the likes of UB40, Slightly Stoopid, Pennywise, Pepper, The Wailers, Steel Pulse, Half Pint, The Expendables, Hed(pe), Eek-AMouse,Pato Banton, John Brown's Body, The Aggrolites and Fishbone, just to name a few. Tomorrows Bad Seeds continue to tour extensively, amassing a large and loyal grassroots
following, which is rapidly gaining momentum.
In this increasingly uncertain economical and political world we live in, Tomorrows Bad Seeds prove not to just be extremely talented musicians, vocalists and entertainers as a whole, but entrepreneurs as well. Creating UrbanTone Records as a vehicle to spread their seed, the band
released their debut album Early Prayers in June 2007, featuring the singles Rhyme & Reason, Vices, Warrior Poet and Love Street. With nothing more than some blogs, newsletters, bulletin
posts and the wind, Tomorrows Bad Seeds have managed to sell more than 50,000 downloads and this number continues to grow!
The Swedish hiphop/swing band Movits! are making their way through the music world, aiming for the top of the charts. A place they've already visited once with their '08 debut "Äppelknyckarjazz". After appearing on the American talk show "the Colbert Report" the album climbed to number one spots on both iTunes and Amazon charts. Notable here is that these were American charts and Movits! are singing in Swedish, a language quite far from the lingua franca of the US.
They have indeed come far since the days spent in the family house in Luleå. There, in the most northern part of Sweden, Johan and Anders, brothers and band mates, began developing what would later become Movits!.
"In those days we were more into acoustic hiphop and reggae" Anders says. "It was just acoustic guitar, organ and cajun."
They released an EP under the name Planeten Jorden (Planet Earth) called "Frihetssånger i Retro Adidas" (Freedomsongs in Retro Adidas).
The brothers don't seem to have any problems working together as they have fairly marked out roles to play. Johan, the lead singer, is the lyrics author and chorus builder, while Anders, the DJ, is the producer.
"We've always been on the same track when it comes to music" Johan says. "And it's an advantage to work with your brother. If things slow down we can always stage a Gallagher-fight, to fan the media"
The duo turned trio when the Rensfeldt-brothers were joined by saxophone player Joakim Nilsson and together they took Frihetssånger i Retroadidas on a summerfestival tour in 2005. It was at an after-party to one of these festivals they discovered the swing.
"It was like a three-way, simultaneous revelation" Joakim remembers. "We were out dancing in a backyard, when someone put on Benny Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing". The three of us were totally blown away!"
After that, their music took a new direction. Inspired by the drums and the horns of the swing era, they started working on the music that would later be known as Äppelknyckarjazz (Applestealingjazz, named after the apple-stealing trousers worn by Swedish street kids in the '30s and '40s). Using a dozen different musicians they recorded the album, a process that took more than three years.
"Coming from an acoustic background, we didn't want to use samples. I guess it would have been faster, but I don't think the result would have been as good." Anders contemplates.
In the midst of all this, the band decided to change their name.
"We felt that Planeten Jorden didn't really represent the new direction our music had taken" Johan explains. The choice fell on Movits, after the Swedish 18th century musician Father Movitz, sung about by the national musical hero Carl Michael Bellman. The name especially highlights the influence of old Swedish songlyrics in Johan's writing. With a new name and new music, Movits! were on their way to produce their first full-length album.
If the first single of the record, "Swing för Hyresgästföreningen" went by fairly unnoticed, the second made a bigger impact. With a 13:th place on Sweden's Tracks-listan and frequent airtime on P3 (channel 3 on Sweden's national radio) it's safe to say that "Äppelknyckarjazz" is Movits!' breakthrough single. It was released in May 2008 and after that things really started to happen.
After releasing their debut November 2008, they started to play bigger venues in Scandinavia. With gigs every weekend for months, the name Movits! was getting more and more recognized. It still came as a big surprise to the band when they were contacted by the staff at the Colbert Report.
"We really didn't think we'd ever play outside of Scandinavia, being as we sing in Swedish", Joakim says. "And definitely not in the States!"
Stephen Colbert had found the video to the single "Fel del av Gården" on a forum and despite the linguistic difference, he decided to invite Movits! to perform on his show. On July 27 they played on the Colbert Report and the rest is modern hiphop history.
Following up on their success in USA, Movits! embarked on a nation wide tour in January 2010. They were accompanied by fellow Swedish rapper Zacke and a filming crew, documenting every step they took. With sold out dates in all big cities, the "First we take Manhattan Tour" marked the start of a buisy year for Movits!
During the spring and summer of 2010 Movits! have been expanding their reach in Europe. The have toured England, including playing at the Glastonbury Festival seven times, and played festivals in Hungary, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, Macedonia and Shanghai. They have also appeared on national television in Sweden and perform on BBC Radio 1 sessions in London.
During the fall they have been recording their second album, which will be released worldwide during the first quarter of 2011. It's safe to say Movits! are on their way up. And if things slow down, there's always the Gallagher-card to play.
ABOUT MOD SUN--
MOVEMENT ON DREAMS. STAND UNDER NONE. "I think the suns comin' out", says 22 year old Dylan Smith. He is positive his positivity will bring him something positive. "The two things I base my life around and continue to stay passionate about are music and "the secret". I know that thinking about what you want will bring you.....what you want. I know what I want and I know i'm going to get what I want. Once I figured that out there wasn't much to be unhappy about. I'm not even kidding when i say....i'm always happy, and people really seem to notice that. Some literally tell me that I make them feel better just being around...there's really not much better of a compliment than that. With my music I take that feeling and turn it into a sound. I know i could write "break up" songs, or "the worlds got me down" songs but I honestly don't think about those things. I ONLY think happy thoughts.....and i can promise you, it works." Dylan has been pursuing music at a serious level since age 14. "My first instrument was a Fender strat my dad got me for christmas when i was 9. I didn't really know anything about music at that point so the guitar didn't interest me much. I'm totally serious when i say this.....the band "HANSON" gets full credit for getting me into music. I grew up with an older sister, and I just remember all her friends coming over and going crazy over these dudes. Zac Hanson (the drummer) seemed to get the most girls so naturally...i chose to play drums. From that moment on, all I wanted to do was play music and tour. I played in a bunch of bands growing up (the semester, sideline heroes...) and then joined "Four Letter Lie". We were signed by the time I was 18 and did nothing but tour. I love drums but I always wanted to interact with the crowd more. While touring I started to freestyle, I'm a funny dude so making people laugh wasn't ever a problem. I could go on forever just rhymin about whatever was in front of me. People started tellin me to record some tracks and the rest is history."
MOD SUN released his first cd (a full-length) titled, "I'll Buy Myself", on January 31st 2009. It featured 11 songs, all of which were original beats made by MOD SUN himself. The songs were written and recorded over a 8 month span from May to December 2008. Every song was recorded in his bedroom and produced by him and only him. He did it all by himself...hence the name of the record.
"I downloaded some programs, bought a keyboard, bought a mic, and started to go at it. That was about four years ago now. Along the way i didn't "create" my sound, I found my sound." MOD SUN released his first free mixtape titled "Let Ya Teeth Show" in July 2009. It features 11 brilliant new songs including the heavily loved track, "No Girlfriend". It's got party-anthems, dreams-come-true songs, get high tracks, and really just captures that "the suns out!" vibe.
MOD SUN recently released his second free mixtape "How To Make A MOD SUN". It includes 17 new original songs and remixes. H2MAMS paints the picture of his thoughts about growing up and teaches you the steps it took to get to where he currently stands today. Very well-written with get wordplay and punchlines, but doesn't rely on either of those to get his point across. "I care about the first 3 letters of the word 'artist'. I take my word very seriously."
MODERN SUNSHINE CLOTHING. Modern Sunshine clothing is the merchandise for MOD SUN. Most of the designs feature quotes from MOD SUN songs. Others just look good. A whole new line of clothing and accessories will be released summer 09'. Visit the online store for more info.
ABOUT THE GREEN--
Four extraordinary talents, one scene-shaking reggae band.
That's The Green, four boys hailing from Hawaii who burst out last year with their self-titled debut album. Amazingly for a new band, the disc rocketed onto Billboard's 2010 Year-End Top 10 Reggae Chart, was honored as iTunes' Reggae Album of the Year, won Best Reggae Album at Hawaii's 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, and has sold over 20,000 copies. Now the promise of The Green's youth-infused roots reggae revival is set to be fulfilled with their sophomore disc, Ways & Means, scheduled for an October 25, 2011 release on Easy Star Records, the pioneering indie reggae label. The startling speed with which the band has built up its strong and loyal following can only accelerate from here.
The four members of The Green take pride in the pop-burnished roots reggae style they've cooked up--edgy enough to make tastemakers sit up and take notice, yet accessible to all ages "from little tiny kids, to people who just want to rock, to grandmas and grandpas who just love music," says guitarist-singer Zion Thompson. Four distinct voices, four sharp songwriting talents, masterful musicianship, and monster grooves add up to one exceptional band with an unforgettable sound and a powerful story.
Each of The Green's four core singer-songwriters could be a solo artist in his own right, yet they're a tight, down-to-earth unit. Caleb Keolanui and JP Kennedy are first cousins who played together in a band called Next Generation. Caleb, The Green's soulful, golden-voiced singer and charismatic front man, had already performed on Hawaii's biggest stages by the time he was 16, with hit songs on heavy rotation on Hawaii radio. His pop/dancehall sensibilities show up strongly on the new album, to which he contributes songs like the sophisticated yet irresistibly catchy "Decisions" and the perpetual-motion "Love & Affection" with its warm but unexpectedly sly lyrics.
Meanwhile singer-guitarist JP Kennedy was honing his own writing skills and blues-and-soul-inspired musical chops while studying engineering and putting together a home recording studio, which remains invaluable to the band as its pre-production headquarters. His songwriting pushes the boundaries of reggae, while still resonating closely with reggae traditions. The contemplative and intensely emotional "That's The Way" and the soul-suffused "Good Vibration" are both forward-thinking, introspective pop songs, while "Jah Love" and "Travlah" evoke the classic sounds of Third World and Steel Pulse respectively.
The other two core members, singer-keyboardist Ikaika Antone and Zion Thompson, had worked together in the band Stir Crazy. When that group split up, the four musical brethren of The Green knew the time had come to make the new band truly flower. Ikaika, with a strong Hawaiian music background, feels a special connection to the land--when the band gigs locally, his whole clan comes out, bringing a real sense of ohana (family) to the shows; his anthemic "Gotta Be" perfectly expresses this side of The Green. Zion, who had previously spent time touring with other bands, recalls that "I missed home, missed my music" when on the road with other musicians; "All I could think about was I want to be [touring] with the boys!" His song "Ways & Means" strongly demonstrates Zion's ability to play with form -- jumping from a slower reggae groove to a sped-up ska chorus and back -- while still serving up a poignant love song with a soulful delivery.
Righteousness--pono in Hawaiian--is everywhere in The Green's music and its message, and has been since the beginning, when they released the hit single "Love I" from their debut album. The Pier called it "a brilliantly constructed gem of modern reggae music, combining heavy drum and bass with smooth vocal melodies and enchanting lyricism," while Maui Time said the disc "shines like the Honolulu city lights that decorate it."
Why the name "The Green?" As JP explains, "We wanted a name that didn't really point you in any direction. It's just a color, it makes you figure out what you want it to mean." The same can go for the music, according to Zion: "It's OK if it just makes you move, or maybe it's something new for the ear--it's a good challenge to try and get people to open their minds a little."
The band's dominant modern reggae sound has a distinct Hawaiian undercurrent, especially in the lyrics, says Zion. "Even people who don't know Hawaii will realize that we're taking about a beautiful place you can relate to." At the same time, the band reflects a more realistic and modern vision of the Islands, not just the usual Island paradise vibe. The band proudly pushes broader themes of Hawaiian culture and history, while still writing about the day-to-day life they know. They are not afraid to shine a light on reality, as in "That's The Way": "Honolulu, it makes me sick / I never thought that I would say it..."
With songs contributed by all four core members, a strong shot of assistance from touring bassist/producer Brad Watanabe and touring drummer/producer Leslie Ludiazo, and the mixing skills of Danny Kalb (Ben Harper), Michael Goldwasser (Easy Star All-Stars), Jim Fox (Rebelution, SOJA, Israel Vibration), and Matthew Honda, the message of Ways & Means boils down to bringing people together and respecting all people for who they are, whether it's through a love song like the title track, a spiritual like "Jah Love," or a paean to perseverance like "Keep On" on which all four songwriters collaborated.
On Ways & Means the band also interjects doses of R&B, Soul, and Pop, making them an accessible listen to fans outside of reggae circles without diluting their roots. Though The Green is an important player in the new wave of homegrown reggae artists, they stand out with their ability to play both classic roots and modern dancehall, their vocal harmonies recalling reggae's golden age, and their four distinct songwriting and singing voices. With their upcoming extensive US tour kicking off around release date, The Green is poised to break out on a national level.
Existing at the point where metal collides with all other genres, Iwrestledabearonce are an example of the bold experimentation that has been keeping metal fresh and exciting. The Shreveport, LA, group, consisting of Krysta Cameron (vocals), Stephen Bradley (guitar), John Ganey (guitar), Mical Montgomery (drums), and Dave Branch (bass), combines the spastic fury of the Locust, the math wizardry of the Dillinger Escape Plan, and the metal-electro experimentation of Genghis Tron into one easy to swallow tablet. In 2007 the group released its bedroom-recorded self-titled EP. After extensive touring, Iwrestledabearonce signed with Century Media and released their debut full-length, It's All Happening, in 2009.
ABOUT BORN OF OSIRIS--
Chicago-based metalcore outfit Born of Osiris (formerly known as Rosecrance) formed around the talents of Lee McKinney (guitar), Ronnie Canizaro (vocals), Joe Buras (keyboards/backing vocals), David Darocha (bass), Cameron Losch (drums), and Matt Pantelis (guitar) while still in high school. The band's signature blend of thrash and highly melodic progressive death metal caught the ear of Sumerian Records, which signed the band (all of whose members were only 18 at the time) and released its debut, New Reign, in 2007 and sophomore effort, Higher Place, in 2009, the latter of which found its way into the Billboard Top 100.
ABOUT CHUNK! NO CAPTAIN CHUNK!--
You won't come across a band like Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! everyday. This 5 piece band out of Paris France formed in September 2007 and not only crosses multiple borders to spread their music, but they cross genre lines as well.
If you like Pop Punk, Metal, Indie or Hardcore, you will love C!N,CC! After 30 seconds of listening to C!N,CC!, you can instantly tell that they love what they do. Under the direction of The Artery Foundation, Fearless Records, inVogue Records (US) and Ice Grill$ (JP), you will soon see C!N,CC! all over the globe, get ready, it promises to be a wild ride. C!N,CC! leaves you with the following message: Come to our shows, bring your friends and have a blast.
"Imagine New Found Glory updated for the new millennium with more fluid guitar parts. This shows a whole boatload of promise. We bet you'll be hearing from these guys very soon." - Alternative Press
"uptempo rhythms, buzzing guitars, and energetic vocals provide mounds of excitement and rock anthems that make a connection with today's youth. The songs take life by the horns and show a readiness to ride it bare-back." -- absolutepunk.net
A band as colorful and explosive as their name implies, Fireworks is a band who create a sound with enough pop quality to keep your little sisters attention and enough edge to rid them of the "guilty pleasure" status. Hailing from stereotypically suburban Metro Detroit, Fireworks is comprised of five electric personalities with endless influences. Together they create a unique blend of "infectious, well-written punk with an undeniable sense of melody."
We Are Everywhere is a breath of fresh air consisting of six energetic anthems that serve as a perfect combination of pop-punk with feel good 'sing-alongs', infectious hooks and hardcore breakdowns that are bound to reel in hoards of fans in the near future. With a title as bold as We Are Everywhere, the band of misfits had their work cut out for them. Spending the last 12 months touring relentlessly, sharing the stage with Set Your Goals, Spitalfield, Strung Out, Valencia, MxPx, Cute Is What We Aim For, as well as stops on the WARP tour and Bamboozle. Fireworks has seen both coasts and everything in between. Though they may not be everywhere, with their EP, We Are Everywhere, in hand, they plan on being so very soon.
"I know you're good at keeping secrets.Well I'm better at wearing them out for the world to see."
"Music is about connecting with people, and that's what we focus on more than anything else," says Transit's vocalist Joe Boynton. Natives of north shore Boston, Transit is a band that displays an arresting degree of honesty and individuality in their music. While clearly drawing inspiration from seminal groups such as Lifetime and Saves The Day, as well as the Northeast US pop-punk and hardcore scenes that all five members grew up in, Transit has swiftly evolved into a group with a more alternative, indie rock sound. "We all grew up listening to a wide variety of music, but bands like Archers of Loaf, Braid, Osker and American Football demonstrated to us that there are always refreshing ways to create a new style and feel," explains guitarist Tim Landers. Illustrating Transit's artistic evolution from one release to the next, early descriptions of the group compared them to Taking Back Sunday and Brand New, and now, more recently, to bands like Death Cab For Cutie and
The band's prolific output is also impressive by any measure, having put out seven releases over the last four years. Transit's highly acclaimed LP, "Keep This To Yourself", released in August 2010 on Run For Cover Records, inspired Absolutepunk to rave: "Good luck keeping Transit's passionate and infectious tunes a secret. Once you hear the first chords of opener "Dear Anyone," you'll immediately go out and tell all your friends about the best pop-punk album of 2010."
Transit has toured throughout North America and overseas alongside Fireworks, Hostage Calm, Balance and Composure, Less Than Jake, Such Gold, A Loss For Words, Man Overboard, Senses Fail, The Wonder Years and many others. Over the next nine months, the band--whose members also include Joe Lacy (guitars), PJ Jefferson (bass) and Daniel Frazier (drums)--is releasing an acoustic EP,
"Something Left Behind" (out on February 22), as well as a limited edition Record Store Day 7" in April. Transit is confirmed to perform at Bamboozle in late April as well, before going into the studio to record their first full-length on Rise Records, set for release in the US and overseas this September. From that point, fans can expect to see the band touring extensively around North America, the UK, Europe, Australia and Asia, well into 2012 and beyond.
ABOUT COLD FORTY THREE--
COLD FORTY THREE arrived on the scene in 2010 in a way that was seldom seen by even the most seasoned touring professionals. Joshua Cruz, Moses Cruz, and Ricky James Acosta believed that hard-work, determination and all out guerrilla marketing was the only way to achieve success. In 2008 Cold Forty Three began their touring career by booking their own shows across the country. They continued to tour in 2009 while selling their Debut album," From The Garage to Your Speakers" on their own with no distribution. In march '09 CFT did something that would establish them as a band that simply refuses to give up on any ambition they have. Without any prior bookings, they made their way to Austin TX, and the SXSW music festival. CFT was able to secure bookings that gained them good exposure, and a further desire to continue forward. In the summer of '09 Cold Forty Three decided to follow the entire Warped Tour and sell albums to the kids waiting in line, as well as play shows on their off days . CFT even sold CD's at local malls to fund their touring. CFT campaigned on the tour and on August 23, 2009 they finished in Los Angeles. CFT immediately drove back east to catch up and follow Blink 182, on their reunion tour, in Camden, New Jersey. CFT sold CD's and promoted themselves before and after every Blink 182 show until Pelham Alabama. Upon arriving in Alabama the band decided to tour back home to Los Angeles, where they arrived in December. The year 2010 brought forth the same determination and the band embarked once again on tour in January all the way through May, building a fan base that has grown with each passing month. In June 2010 CFT decided to once again follow the Warped Tour and the band set a goal to do whatever it took to play a least once on the tour, even though they weren't invited or entered any contest. Cold Forty Three achieved this goal on July 28th 2010, by playing the Ernie Ball stage in Cincinnati OH. CFT went on to play an additional three shows in Shakopee, Minnesota, Bonner Springs, Kansas and Hillsboro, Oregon. The band also has been invited to play SXSW in March 2011. With that being said Cold Forty Three is looking forward to 2011 being their biggest year ever, with a new album scheduled to be released in early 2011and a year full of non-stop touring.
ABOUT MAKE DO AND MEND--
Adamantly earnest and unwaveringly driven, New England's Make Do and Mend has spent the past four years gaining footholds and garnering attention in every corner of today's music landscape. Building off the steam of two previous E.P. releases, a widely acclaimed split 7" with Los Angeles' Touché Amoré, and years of relentless touring, the four piece raised the bar for melodic post-hardcore with the 2010 release of their debut LP "End Measured Mile."
The follow up to their well-received EPs We're All Just Living and Bodies Of Water, End Measured Mile finds Make Do And Mend building on their gruff brand of punk rock, blending passion and intensity with melody and sincerity. Heralded as one of the best punk records of the year, End Measured Mile has been racking in critical praise, with Alternative Press commenting, "Frontman James Carroll, bearing a gruff bark... guides the band through catchy, texturally dynamic romps," while the band's hometown paper the Hartford Courant says the album "is a collection of volatile songs stuffed full of serrated power chords, battering ram drums and leathery bellowing from singer James Carroll... The mood on End Measured Mile rarely feels less than life-or-death intense."
A driving cohesive accomplishment from band that has earned a solid following through rigorous touring and an honest approach to their music and fans, End Measured Mile has only just begun to turn heads. Out of all of the fan fare, Punknews sums it up best: "Simply put,(End Measured Mile is) the most impressive debut full-length of the year."
2011 will see MDAM continuing to tour full force, sharing a passionate and unyielding live show, honed in sweaty basements, and proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that hard work and passion are far from dead in music today.
ABOUT MATT TOKA--
My name is Matt Toka.
Music saved me from a dysfunctional life in Youngstown, Ohio. I was raised in a house where physical, substance and mental abuse were the norm. When I was young, my parents fought constantly, so I would slam my bedroom door and play Green Day's Dookie as loud as I could, singing those songs over and over to myself.
I knew then that music would be my escape.
I started playing guitar when I was 12 and started playing in a couple bands that were pretty popular in the local scene even though I couldn't wait to get the hell out of Ohio. After graduating high school, I started a group called Cherry Monroe and I worked my ass off to get us heard. There wasn't a place I didn't pass out our CD malls, schools, gas stations, you name it and all the hard work seemed to pay off when we earned a huge following and got signed by Universal Records.
I thought snagging a record deal meant I'd be given bags of money and life would be one big party. I didn't take my career seriously at all and the band was dropped a year later. My life was spiraling out of control: I lost my full-time gig, my parents got divorced and both my mom and grandfather got locked up in prison. Why would I stay and rot in Youngstown?
I had nothing left to lose so I said fuck it, put my whole life in my shitty Honda Civic and drove out to Los Angeles. Talk about a reality check. I went from performing to thousands of people to playing an acoustic guitar next to weirdos dressed up as Batman and SpongeBob SquarePants on Hollywood Blvd. I may've escaped all my family bullshit, but I was still completely depressed by the wrong turns my life had taken.
Inspired by the storytelling of Bob Dylan, Oasis' Noel Gallagher and, of course, Billie Joe Armstrong, I locked myself in my one-room studio apartment and started writing about all the fucked-up stuff I'd gone through. I wouldn't shower or go outside for days. I was so angry and frustrated but found out that when I was able to harness my emotions, I was beginning to find myself and my voice as a songwriter.
I took shitty temp jobs to keep the lights on, but I was determined to make it with my music. Once I built my confidence back up, I started posting all my songs both covers and originals on YouTube. People seemed to really dig it and it wasn't long until I landed my second record deal. This time, though, I swore not to take a goddamn thing for granted.
When producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance) agreed to produce my first album, I cried like a fucking baby. I just pictured being that little kid in his bedroom, listening to Dookie and dreaming of this moment. I can't wait to share all the songs on Straight To Hell with my fans. The record is all about how hard life can be but you can't let the small stuff bring you down. There's a lot of shit you can't change, so make an effort to enjoy every minute. You can turn any kind of energy into something positive. If life gives you lemons make a fucking drink.
ABOUT TONIGHT ALIVE--
Formed in 2008 and having played along side artists such as Mest, 3OH!3, Flatliners, Fireworks, Valenica, Lostprophets, The Blackout and The Wonder Years, these Sydney pop punkers have sold in excess of 20,000 copies of their debut and self-funded EP, 'All Shapes and Disguises' (released June 2010) solely in Australia and Japan.
November 2010 saw the release of their 3 track Vinyl EP 'Consider This' (also available on iTunes) and their national headline tour with Sienna Skies.
The band are currently in Los Angeles recording their debut album with Mark Trombino (Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World, The Starting Line) before returning to Australia to hit the road again throughout February to support The Getaway Plan on their Australian tour. Already listed as one of the top 10 Aussie bands of all time on the legendary rock radio station KROQ in the US and reaching the #1 position on iTunes alternative charts and US Pure Volume charts, the album will be released in mid 2011 with plans already underway for international release.
ABOUT SKIP THE FOREPLAY--
The ground-breaking new band out of Montreal called Skip The Foreplay have perfected a unique and exhilarating new genre of music. The sound is a high energy raucous sound merging the heaviness of metal, earth-shaking hardcore breakdowns and the massive irresistible beats of electronic dance music that include elements of dub-step, hip-hop and house. As the group recently explained, "We play party music. It's a mix of hard metal and dance music, not really hardcore, it's more like party core."
The band burst on to the scene, devastating audiences with their original and thoroughly brutal cover of the song "Champagne Showers" by the popular electro pop duo LMFAO. The Skip The Foreplay version retains all the seductive dance floor hooks -- the band are fans of the original version, but adds a dose of serious heaviness including massive bass drops, breakdowns, and thunderous guitars.
The band's distinctive high energy mayhem is on full display in the video for the band's song "This City (We're Taking Over)." You can view the clip and see what the buzz is about by going to the Epitaph YouTube Channel.
Skip The Foreplay will be releasing their anticipated full length Epitaph debut, Nightlife, on May 01, 2012. Until then, the band is taking their wild live show on the road. They just completed their first ever tour, a massively successful stint supporting rising stars, Falling In Reverse. This summer the band will be appearing on the Vans Warped Tour. "Every time we play, the kids have gone absolutely crazy," the band members say. "We haven't had a bad reaction. People seemed to really love it and we're incredibly stoked to keep touring."
ABOUT SICK OF SARAH--
They aren't sick of Sarah -- actually, they love Sarah.
The band, Sick of Sarah, was named when lead singer Abisha Uhl, 25, was talking to her roommate, Sarah, who was complaining that she didn't like her name, that she was "sick of Sarah." Uhl was inspired to use it as the name of her band, which originally was Sparkle Motion. After learning there were hundreds of other bands with the same name, they decided to go by Sick of Sarah.
Sick of Sarah, an all-girl band of boundless energy met through mutual friends in 2005. They are releasing their self titled debut album in summer of 2008. The band which has a strong local following in their hometown of Minneapolis are beginning to draw attention nationally. It was after winning the MTV virtual Kaya's Battle of the Bands they released a single "Bittersweet" through LA indie Adamant Records. That single caught the attention of Spin Magazine which compared them to the Breeders and Sleater-Kinney in a "Buzzcatcher" story.
Minneapolis serves as a symbol of the Sick Of Sarah sound. The city has served as the breeding ground for some of the most iconic and diverse music, from Prince to Bob Dylan to the Replacements and Husker Du. Sick of Sarah is five young women with five different tastes in music. The debut album is an amalgam of these disparate influences; a confluence of John Fogerty, Sleater-Kinney, Michelle Branch, Babes In Toyland, and Joan Jett to name only a few. "We write all our own stuff; it qualifies as indie pop-rock," says Abisha Uhl. "It is very melodic. We like sweet melodies and ballads, but we also like punk and the edgier stuff." Uhl further describes the music as "crazy, fun and obnoxious."
The band only in their 20's aren't sick of much. They love touring, recording and causing general mischief.
ABOUT MIGHTY MONGO--
Mighty Mongo is pleased to announce they will officially be joining the cast of the 2012 Vans Warped Tour! We will be playing the "Kevin Says" Stage from Boston all the way through the final show in Portland - Check the "Shows" section to see if we're coming to a city near you!
We are so stoked to come out and meet all of you, so please check out the music, download Myth Head for free, stream our entire first album, "Let's Make Serious Life Decisions" for free on Spotify, hit us up on the web, OR shoot us a message if you're so inclined :)
ABOUT CAPTAIN CAPA--
Hannes Naumann and Maik Biermann have known each other for a very long time, battling through the adventures of Thuringian forest-provinces, before they magically became Captain Capa. Born in beautiful smalltown Bad Frankenhausen, they grew up between videogame and garagepunk, before entering the world of electronic music, discovering a love for big melodies on flashy beats.
As they decide to rob their piggybanks to gain the power of sequencers and synthesizers, to create a stunning EP of sci-fi-tech and emo-pop, they both knew, that neither big city lights nor a bright skyline would be necessary to create electronic popmusic.
"These Fights Are Never Over" is released on small-scale DIY Label "Cobretti Records" and acclaimed as an insider's tip of german, independent dance music. In May 2009 it's time for their first longplayer. Mixed, cleaned up and made dirty again by Norman Kolodziej, master of electro-bam of bands Der Tante Renate and Bratze, "Tonight Is The Constant" is acclaimed as catchy highspeed-pop by critics and indie-kids. The album lights a spark with ingredients of nurave, emotional electro-escapades and a glimmering voice, unable to decide if it's from a US emocore band of the early 2000s or abductet from some brit-pop-hero.
Having a powerful debut-album and the sound of thousand angsty teenage-souls in their backs, Captain Capa travel through time and space, where they share their stages with children of big family Audiolith. The colleagues of Egotronic, Bratze, Frittenbude or Juri Gagarin become friends: supporting, remixing, collaborating.Supershirt, the big brothers in spirit, even decide to produce a split-EP called "Tote Tiere" in october 2010, including a furious title-track feature burning through the clubs. A few months later, the band itself is invited to be a part of the label-insanity calledAUDIOLITH RECORDS. Releasing "Saved My Life", Captain Capa throw out a consequently over-pumped pop-record, lacking all subtlety -- showing even clearer which influences burn in their hearts, willing to burst out at any time.
Even if the big, wide world drips out of Captain Capas verses, with choruses smelling strangely like city lights, the boys still live in Bad Frankenhausen, beneath the most skewed steeple worldwide, right in the most colorful house of the country. So fuck skylines!
ABOUT I CALL FIVES--
Described as "hyper-catchy and highly caffeinated" by the Philadelphia Weekly, I Call Fives has become known for their high-energy sound and relentless stage presence. Identified as front-runners in the next generation of pop-punk, the band is ready to take charge of the opportunity to assert themselves against the backdrop of the ever-exploding New Jersey scene by presenting audiences with straight-forward, feel-good pop-punk.
Since their formation in 2006, I Call Fives has been extending their horizons beyond the East Coast, hitting stages in 33 states across the country on a rigorous touring schedule. In addition to aiding their notoriety, their journey has led to successful sales their debut 2008 EP First Things First, despite the band offering the album for free across the Internet. First Things First has been highly acclaimed, earning the band multiple spots on Distortion Radio's top 100 Songs of 2008, among other accolades.
Kicking off 2010, I Call Fives will return to Baltimore, MD to record their second EP, Bad Advice, for No Sleep Records. With this new release and non-stop touring to follow, 2010 will surely be the biggest year yet for I Call Fives.
ABOUT HOSTAGE CALM--
Displaying an in-depth understanding of Silent Majority, Turning Point and Quicksand, Hostage Calm's wellreceived 2008 debut, Lens, was a comprehensive lesson in what punk and hardcore should sound like. Jagged-yetinfectious melodies effortlessly merged with beefy power chords and politically charged battle cries while fiery anthems formed amidst uncommon song structures.
With that creative momentum and the positive response from fans and critics alike, the band took a year to write and a year to record its Self-Titled follow-up for Boston's Run for Cover Records. It's safe to say that the quintet's knack for composing intelligent, passionate tunes is matched only by that of its musical ambition. While Hostage Calm continues to hint at those Dag Nasty arpeggios and the skipping Descendents-esque beats, these new songs are pushed in unclassifiable directions, cradled by lush layers of jangling acoustic guitars, quick tambourine hits and resonating piano accompaniments.
Sonically, a good point of reference starts at The Smith's The Queen Is Dead, with its blending of styles into one cohesive and all encompassing indie / pop album. Hostage Calm never compromises its energy, but touches lightly on everything from doo wop ( "Rebel Fatigues" ) and new wave ( "Ballots / Stones" ) to Latin ( "Wither On The Vine" ) and power pop ( "War On A Feeling" ). Vocalist Chris Martin's suave melodies are chosen with the utmost care; they have a particularly relaxed quality that reveals a less excessive rendition of the 1980's. And while he's just about as political as ever, he doesn't hesitate to delve into more personal narratives, yet spares us of any cringe-worthy melodramatics.
Don't be intimidated - "pop" isn't a four-letter word. In context with the substance-less drivel that excretes from the radio waves these days, it's sometimes easy to forget. But Hostage Calm executes an infectious effort with actual lyrical and musical purpose. Truly a singular effort, there's a bit of something for every notch in the music-fan spectrum. Still, Hostage Calm never completely strays from the scene responsible for its inception. If you like music - regardless of genre - you should be paying attention.
ABOUT THE SILVER COMET--
Having only been established for just over a year, The Silver Comet has already booked shows with the likes of 3OH!3, Chiodos, I See Stars, and Breathe Carolina. They have frequented Atlanta's top venues such as Smiths Olde Bar, The Masquerade, The Vinyl at Center Stage and most recently Vans Warped Tour 2012; their first ever tour. The vocally centered Alternative Rock 5 piece has successfully won over audiences with their rare spin on today's rock music and thrilling live display. With the influences of Incubus, Foo Fighters, and Kings of Leon; 'The Silver Comet sound' has been loosely depicted as catchy, honest, and aesthetic to the ears of casual music listeners as well as seasoned musicians.Having self released their first EP in early 2011 and releasing their second EP entitled "My Fear of Flying" only 11 months later, The Silver Comet is building upon their rightly earned momentum and continuing to expand their loyal fan base.
ABOUT TWIN ATLANTIC--
When Glasgow's Twin Atlantic released their 2009 mini-album, Vivarium, it immediately found an awestruck audience. The reviews were uniformly ecstatic. Grand, sweeping and eloquent, it was a collection of songs with a heart and soul, crafted by passion and informed by staunch lyrical and musical frankness. It set Twin Atlantic on a rollercoaster -- one that has led, now, to the release of their full debut, Free, on Red Bull Records, an inspiring collection of songs full of ambition, pain, belief and soul. In a world of music dominated by talent show winners, mass-marketed bands and meaningless music, here, finally, is a band in which to invest your heart.
Formed in 2007 in Glasgow, and infusing their music with their Scottish heritage, Twin Atlantic found themselves caught in a whirlwind in the months that followed Vivarium's release. Support slots with the great and the good -- from blink-182 to My Chemical Romance and The Gaslight Anthem -- followed tours the length and breadth of Britain, Europe and America. Interviews, photo-shoots, magazine articles and newspaper pieces amounted to a blur of excitement and hype. "We had three years where we've had this barrage of dream scenarios which we grasped with two hands," says frontman Sam McTrusty.
But, in the grasping, Twin Atlantic worried they had strayed from the ethos and ideals with which they had started their band. "We suddenly thought, 'What are we doing?'" adds McTrusty. In that moment of realisation, Twin Atlantic did what only the best bands do. They rediscovered their love for music and for pouring themselves, their feelings, fears, hopes and dreams into it. The results are their brilliant new album. "This band was meant to be based on integrity," says McTrusty. "We wanted there to be a brutal honesty in the lyrics. I think we've done that."
The quest to deliver authenticity in their music led them to the influential producer Gil Norton ("a fucking dude-and-a-half," according to guitarist and cellist Barry McKenna) with who they teamed up in the Red Bull Studios in Santa Monica, California at the end of 2010. "We really trusted that he could help us make an honest record because he's already achieved that with other bands like Pixies and Foo Fighters early in their careers. You can hear the genuineness in the bands he's worked with."
And with Norton, they set about crafting an exceptional album. "I was unbelievably excited to be working with Gil -- he's been at the helm of a handful of my favourite records, including The Colour And The Shape which single-handedly made me decide that I needed to play in a band," says drummer Craig Kneale. "When we got in the studio with him, it was just a complete dream. We're so confident in each of the songs, and there must have been about 100 points in the studio where we would listen back to something and all get goosebumps."
And throughout, that all-important sincerity was there. "We can hold our heads high and say we did exactly what we wanted, and exactly how we wanted. At no point have we compromised as a band, as musicians or as people," says McKenna. "I think all great music has to be truthful and we have certainly achieved that, to one another and collectively outwards."
Free is an album of experiences. Having had their horizons broadened by touring the UK, Europe and America, McTrusty, in particular, spent time gazing from aeroplane and van windows fearing the world he was seeing was becoming a more uniform place. "We haven't written a political record," he says, "but there are issues in there like globalisation because that's something that freaks me out. Perhaps that's come from touring and feeling that everything sometimes seems the same."
It was a train of thought that unfurls masterfully throughout the record. "There are songs about how the media and big corporations manipulate and mould your opinions," he says. "You end up becoming a lesser version of yourself as a result." But if this is a record that takes a more worldly view than before, it is still one that remains steadfastly personal too -- yet it's one that could be personal to all their fans. "Sam discusses a lot of issues not only personal to him, or even the four of us, but to the modern generation," says McKenna. "Many people will be able to relate to these songs, and hopefully they will." "Lyrically these are not my stories," adds bassist Ross McNae, "but I do feel more of an attachment to some of the messages within certain songs. I can personally associate more with the lyrical content of these songs."
Musically, too, they were ambitious. Forging on from Vivarium's expressiveness, Twin Atlantic wanted to make an album that was both vast and encompassing. "There are love songs and relationship songs, there are some with a party vibe, there are some that are weird, heavy and grungey pop songs," says McTrusty. Hence Free's stunning vision, one built on intricate songwriting aimed at the emotional core of its listeners. In each track, in each guitar line or beat, each lyric or phrase, it's an album in which the band's hearts beat and their souls shimmer. You can hear such personality in even the simplest things: the fact that McTrusty's Scottish accent shines through is just one. "Why," asks McTrusty, "would you tell a personal story in anyone else's voice but your own?"
But, most of all, the album has an emotional honesty that speaks straight from the heart. In all its twists and turns it embodies its creators. "I don't know if we could live with ourselves if we were to make a song that didn't have the four of us in the music," says McTrusty, before McKenna adds: "Personally the only thing I wanted to achieve from this whole process is an album the four of us could stand by and invest ourselves in. We have done that."
And it's because of music like this that the sense of expectation around Twin Atlantic is developing rapidly. This brilliant record, one of the most anticipated of the year, has been tipped by tastemakers and fans alike. If Vivarium left the band poised for greatness, 2011 will be the year in which they attain it.
"Music's been dumbed down and homogenised. There are lots of people who don't believe in it anymore. But we've made a record with substance," says McTrusty finally. "We're giving people something to believe in again."
ABOUT THE DARLINGS--
LA rockers The Darlings have come a long way since their inception in 2005. After beating out hundreds of bands to win this year's Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, the Darlings had their song "What Lies Below" picked up by the Anaheim Ducks, who used the track for their 09/10 season promo spots on Prime Ticket. The band's song "Let's Roll" has also been in steady rotation on influential LA modern rock station KROQ's Locals Only show for months. In addition to taking part in the Vans Warped Tour for the third time last summer and securing endorsements from Ernie Ball and Hart & Huntington, they hit the road on tours with Pennywise and Guttermouth.
The Darlings latest release, The New Escape melds the individual members' classic rock and alternative influences into a hearty dose of honest and pure, rock and roll that steers clear of trends and posturing. Stand out songs include "Let's Roll" "Hypnotize" "Untitled" and "Broken Heart Still Beating."
The New Escape was recorded at Z Studios and Tao Creations in Los Angeles and was produced/recorded/mixed by Ed Faris. Guest musician's include Donnie Nemarnik of Tiger Army who plays pedal steel guitar on "Head Hunter" and Jayson Cruz of Strung Out who provides back up vocals on "Where Do We Go."
ABOUT AFTER THE BURIAL--
An uninhibited eight-stringed dual barrage of frenetic riffs and dynamic chord progression is exactly what the crushing new AFTER THE BURIAL delivers with pinpoint precision. The highly acclaimed new album, In Dreams, is quickly going to raise the bar for all others within the metal genre as this group effectively unleashes a frenzy of jaw-dropping dual guitar dynamics that is backed by a captivating energy and groove resulting in an overall unrelenting output of punishment. This Minnesota quintet is hell-bent on forging their own unique path within the extreme metal genre and In Dreams proves that they are well on their way to that very goal.
Justin (guitars) states: "We've spent the last year putting all of our hard work into this album, and we can assure you that the intricate dynamics of In Dreams will satisfy your appetite for the crushing guitars, driving drums and powerful vocals you've come to expect from us."
AFTER THE BURIAL spent the winter of 2010 touring relentlessly across North America on the "December Decimation" tour. This group has something for everyone that pleases the tech nuts while providing an entertaining stage show that is sure to always get the metalcore kids into a violent frenzy. This is a band that thrives on the road and tours relentlessly across the world non-stop. This is an extreme metal hybrid that is a voracious assault on all the senses forcing your brain to fire on all cylinders in order to process the amount of material that is currently being pounded into your ears. This is thinking man's metal and it's not for the weak minded.
AFTER THE BURIAL's highly acclaimed sophomore album, Rareform, hinted at their true potential, but In Dreams brings all of their combined talents to fruition. The disc opens with a freight train of brutality and sheer brute force busting out at the seams and never lets up on the gas for a split second. Each track will keep you on your toes guessing what might possibly be next in this never-ending array of intensity. This is essentially a roller coaster of unconventionality, so strap yourself in tight and prepare for a wild ride.
In Dreams is going to redefine the genre and position AFTER THE BURIAL as the forerunners of the new extreme progressive movement.
"I think the good in people is never lost," Koji said. "And it's never gone from music. Music is an art form that celebrates potential. If you're looking for it, you're going to find it." - February 20, 2012 interview with Gaining Ground Media.
Andrew Koji Shiraki is an American artist and activist from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. He can be seen advocating with organizations such as Resolve and Invisible Children on behalf of the child soldiers being used by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in central and east Africa as well as Humility Now to help raise awareness about the homeless right here in the United States. His concerts feature a combination of music, storytelling, media and visual art, all aimed at empowering youth to create positive, lasting change and build community.
In 2010, Koji released 4 records, each a unique effort. Seaside Sessions was a raw demo tape that came together in one day with producer Gabe Liberti at Seaside Lounge in Brooklyn. That spring, he hit the road with his demo in tow and almost immediately after upon returning home, Koji landed a deal with Run For Cover Records. In August, RFC released Spring Song Vol. 1 - a full-length live record tracked at intimate house shows on Koji's spring tour, followed by Some Small Way - Koji's first full band release. In October, No Sleep Records released a full-length 12" vinyl split with Chicago's Into It. Over It., entitled IIOI/KOJI, which was lauded by the Associated Press as one of 2010's Most Overlooked Albums, alongside artists like Mumford and Sons, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and Gucci Mane.
Last year, Koji was named one of Alternative Press magazine's "100 Bands To Know in 2011," and word of his talent is spreading fast. His latest release is his 12" vinyl-only split with long time friends, La Dispute, entitled Never Come Undone, which came out via No Sleep Records. The record was released amidst Koji's "Resolve Tour," where he performed in addition to sharing video and photography, collecting petition signatures and letters to congress seeking funding for the endangered LRA Strategy (it was eventually funded because of the youth advocacy community), and conducting community round table discussions to drive further into the issue of the LRA in central Africa, America's role in creating peace, and the power of an individual's voice to make change on this and any issue. His side of Never Come Undone features the song "Peacemaker" as well as Koji's take on Ted Leo's Biomusicology and was dedicated to fellow activist, Nate Henn, who was killed in 2010's World Cup bombing in Uganda.
Koji's journey continues and 2012 is destined up to be a landmark year as he works tirelessly on two new studio efforts while also traveling for tapings of intimate DIY shows for a second installment of the Spring Song series. His concert tours and advocacy projects will take him all around the world several times over this year. And it remains Koji's commitment to his craft and his community that continue to drive the fervent support for his work in both music and activism.
ABOUT BRIAN MARQUIS--
Snow Damage, singer/songwriter Brian Marquis' (ex-Therefore I Am) debut six- song EP, released via Harbinger Music Group, is a heartfelt culmination of resilience, rebirth and renewal. The EP title, Snow Damage, metaphorically describes what is left when all the winter snow is melted away and the ground beneath is exposed, waiting for the rebirth of spring. Similarly, on Snow Damage, Marquis documents a point in his life where he persevered over personal challenges, got to the core of his being and experienced a renewed optimism and passion for his music.
The debut EP features a well-rounded songwriting approach, from the loud and raucous "They Used To Call It The Blues" to the soft and vulnerable "Body Work". Up and coming producer Brad Delava shared Marquis' vision to go back to his roots and make a piece of music that was not over-produced, showcasing his raw vocal talent. "I went into the studio more prepared than ever; my attitude is, if I can't sing it, I won't." says Marquis of his vocals on Snow Damage.
According to Alex DiVincenzo on absolutepunk.net, "Marquis has always been a skilled guitarist and provided pleasant backing vocals in Therefore I Am, but I was unaware of the true finesse of his voice prior to hearing his solo material." In addition to vocals and guitar, Marquis also played harmonica, lap steel, percussion and piano on the EP.
Guest appearances on Snow Damage include Erick Serna (ex- The Dear Hunter), slide guitar on "Ratt Street", Shawn Marquis (Vanna), bass on "The Way You Walk Away" and Dan Bob Goterch (Actor|Observer) percussion on tracks 1,3,5. The EP was mastered by Jeff Lipton (Bon Iver and City And Colour) and is available on CD and limited edition colored vinyl at www.brianmarquis.com, iTunes, AmazonMP3 and all other digital retailers as well as all Newbury Comics locations.
ABOUT OWEN PLANT--
Jamaican-born troubadour Owen Plant lives in San Francisco, CA where he writes and performs his music and from whence he tours and peers out at the world. His writing style is reminiscent of introspective singer/songwriters from the '70s but also incorporates his Caribbean-ness on the regular. Owen's strong vocals evoke the emotional depth of Cat Stevens and the soulful passion of Bob Marley and you can hear Paul Simon and Leonard Cohen in his guitar work. Elevator pitch alert! -- Imagine Bruno Merz (not Marz -- not that there's anything wrong with that!), John Mayer, Ray LaMontagne, Jack Johnson and Ziggy Marley around the campfire -- but it's one Jamerican with a beard when it's cold and stubble when it's not. Rasta Folk? Reggae Pop? Singer/Songwriter Dub/Ska/Americana? No catchy hybrid genre yet coined (all submissions are welcome).
Owen has released many albums and EPs, both solo and with bands, since 2000. He most recently fronted theSunshine Brothers, an upbeat Santa Barbara band now on hiatus. For the most up-to-date Owen Plant music and news go to www.owenplant.net
ABOUT ANTHONY RANERI--
I have spent the last 20 years making music. During the past 11, I have been the singer, songwriter, and guitar player in Bayside. Over the years I have written a lot of songs that I've loved, but knew that they didn't fit into the sound that we have crafted for Bayside. That being said, I have decided to launch a solo project: my outlet for songs that I've written that won't be used for my band. I have a very eclectic taste in music and I love exploring and writing in the various different styles that I enjoy listening to. Since I can't start a new side project every time I write a new style of song, I have decided to keep my solo project free of a genre classification. As evident on my first EP, "New Cathedrals", each song differs from each other, whether it be slightly or dramatically. If I write a song and I like it, I'm going to put it out regardless of it being country or reggae.
I have made the difficult decision of going completely on my own with this one. In an effort to keep this project as a true expression of my ideas (not only musically), I decided to release all of the music myself under my own label. In addition to funding this project myself, I am solely responsible for the production of the music, distribution, online stores, social networks, merchandise, advertising and everything else that a band usually has a staff of 50 plus people to do. This has kept me up late at night and worn down the buttons on my computer and phone, but it is, and will continue to be, something that I am proud doing with my own bare hands.
We live in a time where music fans are fed up with being taken advantage of by the people who supply them with the drug that they need to live. Artists are fed up by being taken advantage of by the companies that have become the lifeline that they rely on to make the music that they need to make. I am both the fed up music fan and the fed up artist and I want to prove to myself and everyone like me that all that matters is the artists and the music lovers. Even if I die of exhaustion in the process.
With that said, if you can help and you like the music that I make, please support it. When you buy an EP for $5, I use it in turn to buy a pack of strings for the show that night. When you buy a shirt, you help pay for the cost of mastering. I need the fans and the fans need me.
ABOUT WICK-IT THE INSTIGATOR--
Wick-it the Instigator is a DJ/Producer from Nashville, TN, and has been performing and producing since around 2004. His roots are in hip hop/turntablism, but in the last couple years, electronic music has vastly made it's way into his repertoire as well. Wick-it is all about the party, and despite the style or approach with each individual track, serious crowd rocking fun is the goal
ABOUT TONY D'ANGELO--
Seattle's music scene exploded in the early 90's when Nirvana and Pearl Jam used grunge music to put this place on the map. It's 20 years later and the dilapidated scene needs a new revolution. Are you bringing it? Seriously, what have you personally done to try and flip this great music depression upside down?
For the past 10 years, Tony D'Angelo has been meticulously crafting his worldwide remedy for what the music scene has desperately been gasping for.
He has not slept.
He has not left the studio.
While most artists dream of signing a major record contract, for Tony D'Angelo, that was only the beginning. Ever since the ink met the paper, he's been working non-stop for 25 hours a day, 8 days a week focused solely on fine-tuning every last measure of his debut record because you know what? It's 2011 and there is way too much work that hasn't been done and nobody else up here is picking up the pieces.
ABOUT ROCKY VOTOLATO--
Seattle musician Rocky Votolato is a soft-spoken, very kind, very hard-working father of two, born in rural Texas and raised in the Pacific Northwest indie scene (where he fronted the acclaimed rock band Waxwing). In his decade-plus life as a songwriter and musician he has sought to articulate something essential about life, writing songs that seem to have been scratched into a boxcar wall by a worn-out and lonesome ghost. His gravelly, sandpaper smooth voice and introspective lyrics mark him as that most rare of punk-rocker-turned-acoustic-troubadours: Votolato writes graceful, understated, human, unpretentious songs, demonstrating that simplicity is still a viable option for accomplished songwriters.
His last two releases, Makers (2006, Barsuk) and The Brag & Cuss (2007, Barsuk), found him exploring and paying homage to the folk and country music that shaped his early life in Texas (Alternative Press described the former as "the disc Ryan Adams keeps threatening to make but never quite delivers," and Harp praised his "harmonies that would make Gram and Emmylou proud" on the latter). True Devotion, his new album, is a passionate, stripped down, and mostly acoustic reflection on moments from his current life; showing us where he is, where he has just come from, and where he's going.
Where he's going has to be better than where he's coming from: In the years following the release of The Brag & Cuss, Votolato's private lifelong battle with depression and anxiety started showing up in ways he could no longer hide from or disguise. Unable to write music or keep up the busy touring schedule that he's been known for, he cut himself off from almost all outside contact (at one point barely leaving his apartment for over a year). Spending his time reading, studying existential philosophy, history, physics, and theology, he gradually overcame his demons. He began writing again, and through the making of the new album (recorded almost entirely on his own, and then mixed with the help of longtime production collaborator Casey Foubert [Sufjan Stevens, David Bazan] and old friend John Goodmanson [The Blood Brothers, Sleater-Kinney]) found some long sought-after understanding and peace of mind.
Walking the line between autobiographical fact and fiction, True Devotion is deceptively simple, peppering impressionistic narratives with moments of lyrical wisdom that can knock the wind out of you. The first half of the album is full of dark psychology and social-critique themes that feel similar in approach to Votolato's 2003 release "Suicide Medicine".
"Sparklers" caps side A of the album by shifting away from darker themes as what seems like another bleak song of death reveals itself as a song of appreciation and acceptance of the transient nature of this existence; "Letting go is the best way to hold on / So watch the light dance in the dark until it's gone / Sparklers only burn / For so long."
The rest of the record shifts toward new ground, exploring a sense of enlightenment and a hopeful search for innocence and eternal truths, unexpectedly reminiscent of early Cat Stevens. On "Sun Devil," Votolato sings, "True devotion and true virtue / Will hold you at the center / As the waves crash over," lines that point to a turning point for him and a recognition of new priorities and a focus on what matters most in his life. The Gandhi-referential album-closer "Where We Started" drives this point home again with a philosophical upshot echoed by the sonic space that ends the track and also opens the album.
And if the future, creating its own echoes, waits with more bouts of inner torment for him or for his listeners, then Rocky Votolato has delivered on True Devotion a batch of intensely honest songs that may also act as a reminder and shadowy roadmap back toward peace.