Riot Fest and Carnival 2012 Chicago
Sat, Sep 15
Sun, Sep 16
2-DAY RIOT FEST PASS
Rise Against, Iggy And The Stooges, Elvis Costello, A Day To Remember, Coheed and Cambria, Descendents, Gogol Bordello, Dropkick Murphys, NOFX, Hot Water Music, Andrew W.K., The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Gaslight Anthem, Alkaline Trio, AWOLNATION, Slapstick, Minus The Bear, The Promise Ring, Chiodos, GWAR, August Burns Red, Less Than Jake, Built To Spill, Frank Turner, Pegboy, Reverend Horton Heat, Imagine Dragons, The Adicts, Fishbone, Nobunny, and many more...
Division St. & Sacramento Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60622
This event is all ages
Doomsday scenarios are often predictive about an ending in life, revealing just what would occur if the world pushed itself to the brink of extinction. And the term "endgame" typically parallels such thinking, often evoking concepts of finality or termination.
But for Rise Against, this particular endgame might just be their beginning.
As the title of the band's sixth full-length studio album—and the moniker of the album's title track—Endgame is indicative of both a world that has run its course, and perhaps ushering in an entirely new start.
"It's about a dangerous time in civilization, the end of life," says vocalist/guitarist Tim McIlrath. "What if the life that we're living right now is this unsustainable bubble that cannot go on and perhaps does not deserve to go on? What if the world we created is a place that is so unnatural and ugly that it is a world that needs to come to an end, so that we could have a world that is better for everybody? It sounds very utopian, but it's not about a perfect place, but maybe some of these things we're doing, they need to come to an end."
McIlrath, bassist Joe Principe, drummer Brandon Barnes and guitarist Zach Blair have been making these striking personal and political statements, and providing prompts of great magnitude throughout their remarkable catalog by offering songs that aren't just merely sung, but very much thought about.
And it's thought that has made Rise Against such an important band to its ever-expanding fanbase. For the Chicago-based punk group, the creation of dialogue and discourse with listeners has allowed for a response and career trajectory that's been overwhelmingly positive since the band's launch over a decade ago.
Elvis Costello is a British singer-songwriter known as much for his quirky lyrics full of word plays as for his unique music, instrumentation and vocal style, influenced by diverse musical genres. He was born Declan Patrick MacManus in 1954 and only later adopted the name Elvis Costello. He was a professed admirer of Elvis Presley, so first part of the pseudonym came from there. Costello had been the maiden name of his mother.
Costello landed his first deal with Stiff Records in 1977 and recorded the album "My Aim Is True" with them. The album became a moderate hit. He later struck a deal with Columbia records who would go to publish his songs in the US. Later in the same year, Costello formed "The Attractions", his own band that also included Bruce Thomas in bass guitar, Steve Nieve in piano and Pete Thomas as the drummer. "Watching the Detectives," the single which was a smashing success was however recorded with Nieve, Andrew Bodnar and Steve Goulding. The last two played bass and drums, respectively, for The Rumour, the band he auditioned for The Attractions.
Costello is currently husband to singer Diana Krall and has two sons with her. Previously he was married twice. Mary Burgoyne was his first wife whom he married in 1974. In 1986, he married the former The Pogues bassist Cait O'Riordan. In 1998, Elvis Costello teamed up with Burt Bacharach to record "Painted From Memory," an album of love songs. In March 2003, Costello was cemented as a musical legend with his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
A Day To Remember
Rising from the punk rock hotbed of Florida in 2003, Josh Woodard (bass), Alex Shellnutt (drums), Neil Westfall (guitar), Jeremy McKinnon (vocals) and Tom Denney (guitar) formed A DAY TO REMEMBER, crafting a blend of the music they loved into a niche of their own. Their debut on Indianola records sold 8,000 copies with little promotion, and attracted the attention of Victory Records, who signed them in 2006. "When we first got signed, our goal wasn't to blow up or even sell a ton of records," recalls bassist Josh Woodward. "All we wanted to do was stay on tour, and play to as many kids as possible." The result exceeded even their expectations, as the infectious, explosive energy of their live shows helped them organically grow a fanbase that multiplied each time they played.
With the release of their breakthrough album For Those Who Have Heart, A DAY TO REMEMBER went global. In the two short years after its release in early 2007, the band grew from a small band with a dedicated local fan-base into a worldwide phenomenon, gaining the respect and adoration from their peers as much as their fans. This is no overnight success – the band has worked hard to win over every fan they make. But the 'perfect storm' of their dedication, rapidly-spreading buzz and undeniable musical abilities have made this young band one of the most talked about bands in rock, gaining themselves a coveted slot in Alternative Press' Most Anticipated Albums 2009 issue.
Their new album Homesick sees them using their ascension as a springboard, ready to launch them into the big time. "Homesick is a culmination of 2 1/2 years of being gone on the road," Woodard notes. "It represents what we've been through, what's ahead of us,and the lessons we've learned in between. It's the heaviest and catchiest record we've ever written, and we couldn't be more excited for people to hear it. We're all so proud of what we just made, and think it really sets us up to jump to that next level." In an industry where you have to evolve to stay ahead, A DAY TO REMEMBER is standing defiant, leading the genre-straddling pack in a battle cry, ready for the fight of their lives. Grab your friends, "disrespect your surroundings", and watch A DAY TO REMEMBER set the world alight. The mainstream won't know what hit it.
Coheed and Cambria
It would be hard to find a band with grander artistic scope than Coheed and Cambria. Over the course of six years and four groundbreaking albums, the New York foursome (Claudio Sanchez – vocals, guitar; Travis Stever – guitar; Michael Todd – bass; Chris Pennie – drums) has diligently developed a unique sound combining forward-thinking classic rock with strong pop sensibilities and intricate musicianship. Simultaneously, through his lyrics and comics, Sanchez has created a celebrated epic alternate universe called The Amory Wars, in which lies an ongoing conceptual tale that gains depth and complexity with each and every record.
Gogol Bordello's Trans-Continental Hustle, the group's American Recordings debut, is perhaps the most ambitious undertaking in the group's already remarkable decade-long career and it's the result of an inspired, year-length collaboration with famed producer Rick Rubin. Gogol Bordello is arguably the hardest working -- and hardest rocking -- group of our discordant new century, maintaining a touring schedule and an onstage energy level that would send the average combo running for the emergency room. While putting out several critically acclaimed Gypsy Punks and SUPER TARANTA! albums, the intrepid band has literally traversed even the farthest corners of the globe, building a substantial world-wide fan base via gigs and festival appearances throughout Eastern Europe, South America and the Middle East, along with stops in Australia, Western Europe and in their adopted U.S. homeland. Their encounters and adventures, as well as the band members' own immigrant histories, fuel the subversively upbeat story-songs on Trans-Continental Hustle. Front-man and lyricist Eugene Hutz spins out scenarios that are, by turns, hilarious and heartbreaking -- from the outsider experience of gypsies in his native Ukraine to the struggles and celebrations of Brazil's favelas. It can be said that Gogol Bordello has been representing the voice of all minorities all at once, a voice that comes from a real, poetic and deep place. Along the way, Hutz looks for common threads while embracing each of his character's defiantly unique identities, all of which reflect some facet of the frequently flying bandleader himself.
Friend and fan Tom Morello had suggested that Rubin check out the band, whose rollicking bonfire-like live performances have become the stuff of legend, featuring a veritable rock and roll army of musicians and dancers. Band members and audiences alike are driven to frenzy by the charismatic Hutz, a skinny, exhortative figure who combines Joe Strummer's politicized fervor with Mick Jagger's elastic-limbed sex appeal. But Rubin wasn't just interested in the band's well-documented energy, he was drawn to its central unifying power, the songs. As Hutz recalls, "Rick asked me to check out the new songs, to see where I was heading. I got very excited precisely about that. Songwriting was always my religion. For Rick, it is all about the soul entity of the song. That's the way I look at music too. When people were talking about Gogol Bordello, they superficially mentioned just about anything -- from our energy to the fashion and the fucking socks I wear -- Whereas Rick was all about the songwriting. He said, let's put it in the front."
For the band, that became a rigorous but rewarding process, working in the studio with Rubin in between tour dates. To make things even more interesting, Hutz, who had made New York City his home and long been a fixture on its deejay and band scenes, decided to relocate to Rio de Janeiro. There was, as one might imagine, a woman involved, but he was also drawn to the overall feel of a third world nation about to meet the first world on its own terms. His friend Manu Chao, with whom Gogol Bordello has toured, showed Hutz the lay of the land; one cachaca-fueled evening during carnival is recounted on "In the Meantime in Pernambuco," set in the city known for the frevo sound, performed by string or brass combos that bear a strong resemblance to gypsy bands.
"I was in New York for 10 years," says Hutz. "But I was always enchanted by Brazilian music, always had Brazilian friends, Brazilian girlfriends, everything was kind of quite pro-Brazilian. It was calling me from a long time ago. And once I met up with Manu there, I was also able to see an unknown side of it. Everybody knows about samba, but nobody's ever heard of frevo!, which is a completely unique, maniacal form of music from Pernambuco. I started meeting musicians with him and I basically fell in love with the place. So I said, send my shit over, I'm staying! I wrote most of the record there, coming back there from long tours and reflecting and looking at all the authentic beauty that Brazil had to offer. And that doesn't mean it starts with the rhythms of the samba -- no, it's all textured in. Until I became part of that landscape, the writing did not begin. It's like a deeper study of Eastern European and Latino American connection, which is always a very strong emotional connection."
Latin America was clearly a focal point, but Hutz logged in a lot of miles elsewhere before he touched down in Brazil: "I had material I wrote in New York, Siberia, Morocco, Ukraine, Hungary, Turkey. When we were in Turkey I had the chance to see how the gypsy population lives there. I knew how they lived in the Ukraine, and it's very similar. Then I was in Latin America and was able to see all the favelas and go into that world, find friends there and see their way of life. And once again see that's where all the poetry of the world is living. That's where it's coming from. Trans-Continental Hustle is this quest for solidarity among these world ghettos and their relentless energy."
Trans-Continental Hustle was recorded in Los Angeles with Hutz and longtime band-mates Oren Kaplan (guitar), Sergey Ryabtsev (violin), Yury Lemeshev (accordion), Thomas Gobena (bass) and Pedro Erazo-Segovia (percussion). The album also introduces drummer Oliver Charles. Hutz, who originally emigrated with his family from Eastern Europe to Burlington, Vermont, continues to explore the immigrant experience on songs like the tough-minded "We Comin' Rougher (Immigraniada)," which intersperses memories of his own family's journey into a broader saga. Says Hutz, "You talk to Pedro or Sergey or me and you have that song. It's about the dehumanizing traumatics of it, the insanity of the effort it takes to carve out your place in another world." He also addresses the plight of gypsy outsiders on "Break the Spell" and those caught in the middle of ethnic clashes on "When Universes Collide." Hutz doesn't shy away from love songs either, starting with the Romeo and Juliet-style drama of "Pala Tute," a rousing sing-along number that has become something of a band signature since the group performed it in 2007 with Madonna during the worldwide Live Earth telecast. (Madonna also persuaded Hutz to star in her directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, and licensed a passel of Gogol Bordello tunes.)
"It's the first time on a GB album there are so many love songs," admits Hutz, "so it's kind of a transcontinental love hustle too. That's the parallel plot. The way I've been living, all the transcontinental romancing, all the insane long-distance of it all, added up into this crazy reservoir of feeling. And finally, I felt some kind of internal freedom to speak confidently about this mileage of joys and devastatios. like "Rebellious love" and "My Companjera."
The irresistible, anthemic "Pala Tute," explains Hutz, is "derivative of a very old gypsy song that I heard from my relatives. It sounds like a song you would hear at any pomping gypsy party, but it's not. I wrote that song and completed that song and made it what it is. Every gypsy traditionally has ambition to write a song that's going to eventually be an anonymous song: No one is going to know the fucking name of who wrote the song, it's just so good that everybody sings it. So that's my shot at it, making an addition to the standards. And guess what – 'Pala Tute' already is performed by gypsies in Turkey, Brazil and Serbia!"
Anonymity clearly won't be an issue for Gogol Bordello any time soon. With Trans-Continental Hustle, the party-starting group will be encouraging and inciting even more of the world to passionately sing along.
-- Michael Hill
Now in their 14th year, the Dropkick Murphys have risen from their basic Irish-punk roots to become a rocking & rolling, raging, green-clover machine. Dropkick Murphys are now one of the best-known rock bands in the world, thanks in part to their ability to tap into the working-class and sports fan culture that permeates Boston and the New England area but even more so due to their reputation for phenomenal live shows. Each year the band breaks house records when their live shows celebrating St. Patrick's Day go on sale. These shows are the peak of the band's touring calendar and every year fans from all over the world travel to Boston just for a chance to become part of this unique experience. In 2003 the band released a live album that has so far sold over a quarter of a million copies worldwide. This updated recording is volume two of the series comprising a "best of" or "greatest hits" from the extensive Dropkick Murphys catalog of albums. The material on this album focuses on the band's most recent titles and includes a live rendition of their most popular and instantly recognizable platinum selling single "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" as well as popular tracks like "The State of Massachusetts," the Red Sox anthem "Tessie," St Patrick's Day sing-along "Kiss Me, I'm Sh*tfaced" and the tearjerker sing-along "Forever." Recorded over six nights and seven shows in March 2009, this live CD and Hi-Def DVD package puts the band's hot-ticket live-show experience in your own home. What makes this band band truly remarkable? Their insightful lyrics? Memorable melodies? Blow-your-mind live performances? Dropkick Murphys are all of those things along with their boundless enthusiasm, infectious energy and supreme devotion to their loyal fans. Fans who have been eagerly awaiting this release.
NOFX were formed in Berkeley, California, USA, in 1983. Immediately, it was obvious that they were one of the few bands on the hardcore scene to embrace humorous lyrical fare to genuinely amusing effect. The original trio of Fat Mike (b. Mike Burkett; vocals, bass), Eric Melvin (guitar, vocals) and Erik Ghint (b. Erik Sandin; drums), was joined by guitarist Dave Cassilas in 1987. They set their agenda with their debut EP for Mystic Records, The P.M.R.C. Can Suck On This. Afterwards, they addressed accusations about being on this most unfashionable of labels (which was completely injudicious in releasing material by any hardcore band that came its way) with the So What If We're On Mystic! EP. It was via a contract with Epitaph Records and the Ribbed album that No FX became a productive unit in terms of worldwide sales. New guitarist Steve Kidwiler featured on both S&M Airlines and Ribbed, the latter a blemishless collection of genuinely funny songs, notably the male-hygiene-bonding epic, "Shower Days". The full musicianship and clean production only helped to illuminate their witty, everyday intrigues, with lyrics written by Fat Mike, a graduate of San Francisco University. El Hefe (b. Aaron Abeyta; guitar, trumpet) replaced Kidwiler in 1991, making his debut on The Longest Line EP. With the breakthrough of acts such as the Offspring and Rancid, No FX, significantly older than either, became a mainstream act by the mid-90s, though in truth they had not altered musical direction since their inception. Instead, each album offered increasingly savage witticisms and a disciplined but flexible musical attack, able to vary pace from anything between outright thrash and ska. The band have also released several EPs and albums on Fat Mike's own Fat Wreck Chords label.
Hot Water Music
If you ask the members of Hot Water Music what it's like to be back, the musicians will tell you that it doesn't feel like they've gone anywhere. And it's understandable why: The rock foursome, which formed in 1993 in Gainesville, FL, has been a staple of the music scene for years. The band's new album, Exister, is their eighth in nearly two decades, yet another addition to an already impressive career.
But it's also understandable why fans see this album as a sudden return: The group, singer/guitarist Chris Wollard, bassist Jason Black, drummer George Rebelo and guitarist/vocalist Chuck Ragan, pressed pause in 2006, electing to pursue individual projects and live their lives for a while. In the long run, that break worked—two years later the four members reconvened to perform live, a few shows evolving into many.
The band's desire to pen a new album to succeed 2004's The New What Next rose directly from those live shows. "The more shows we did, the more we felt like a band," Chris says. "And what do bands do? They write songs. So it was only a matter of time before we started talking about it. The more we talked about it the more we got excited about the idea. A lot of the writing was based around what we wanted to play onstage. It was a natural progression from enjoying playing these shows to making another record."
Instead of plunging into writing an album, the four musicians first wrote and recorded a new seven-inch called "The Fire, The Steel, The Tread," which the band released on its own in August of 2011. Working on the two tracks that appear on that disc opened the floodgates and suddenly the members of Hot Water Music were writing together again, quite prolifically. It was around this time that the band signed with Rise Records, a label Chris says was "an obvious right choice for us."
This meant that a new album was definitely and finally happening, and the musicians, who now live in different parts of the country, wrote whenever they were together during the second half of 2011, testing out new material backstage and during soundchecks at shows. Jason and George spent time in Florida writing with Chris and later flew to California to write with Chuck. These sessions and the passing back and forth of demos was a new method for the band, but it was one that was ultimately to their benefit.
"It was a different approach for us," Jason notes. "But I think it worked out better in the long run. I think everyone got to write more and got more of their own voice. Once we started writing it just started going. And we probably could have kept going and going and going."
Instead Hot Water Music headed to Ft. Collins, CO in late January to record with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room, a decision that was enthusiastically unanimous. Hot Water Music spent 21 days in the studio, armed with 20 tracks that they pared down to the 13 that appear on the final album. The focus was on capturing their live energy in a recording, as well as crafting tracks they'd want to perform live. This resulted in Hot Water Music numbers that are, as Jason puts it, "faster, more direct and more aggressive." The process was void of conflict or hardship, the songs coming out in a surprisingly facile and streamlined manner.
"It was really a perfect experience," Chris says. "Having taken such a long break from our last record we didn't really know what we were walking into. But for everybody to come back together and have it go so smoothly without a hitch is really awesome. We needed somebody that understand how we were coming from a lot of different places and who could handle that. Bill did that and it really worked. Everyone was working for a common goal and heading toward a common vision."
The result of that vision both reflects back on Hot Water Music's extensive career and embraces a desire to move forward. The tracks on the disc are invigorated and propulsive, driven by a renewed sense of excitement and energy. The lead focus track "State of Grace" is what Jason describes as "three chords and the truth," showcasing the band's ability to successfully balance their formative punk-rock grit with an engagingly catchy melody. "Drag My Body," an early release from the album, reveals a similar sensibility, centered around an undeniable rock chorus ("There's a complexity in the nature of the music but it doesn't get in the way of the song," Jason notes of the track). The album is not so much a comeback as it is a new chapter, the next step for a quintessential rock band as their songwriting expands to encircle a broader audience.
"There was a certain kind of confidence when making it," Chris says. "The band wasn't second guessing anything. We weren't worrying about how it was going to be perceived. We just let it be and helped it be as good as it could be."
"I think George nailed it during the recording process when he said that it felt like making our first record again," Jason adds. "It's been so long. I don't think any of us cared what anyone thought about the record. When you're in the middle of being a band and you're making a new record it's really easy to get caught up in that idea of whether people are going to like it. We just didn't worry about it this time because it felt like we had a clean slate. And it came out really well because of that."
Andrew W.K. was born Andrew Wilkes-Krier in Stanford, California in 1979, before moving to Michigan. By his early teens Andrew had already exhibited great enthusiasm and talent for both music and the visual arts. He spent his high school years playing drums and keyboard in an almost endless variety of short-lived, but passionate groups, all centered in southeast Michigan's explosive cultural scene. In 1997 at the age of 18 he moved to New York City to persue his vision alone. Today, Andrew W.K. is the KING OF PARTYING. Infamous for his bloody nose, famous for his high-life attitude, beloved for his songs like, "PARTY HARD". "WE WANT FUN", and "YOU WILL REMEMBER TONIGHT", Andrew's true will is to use all forms of entertainment to create feelings of pure joy, fun, love, freedom, and possibility.
The Jesus and Mary Chain
Hailing from East Kilbride, Scotland, Jim and William Reid were young, unemployed, and disgusted with the music being released in the early 80s. In 1983 they recorded two-man demos but record companies couldn't care less.
The Jesus and Mary Chain began in early 1984 with Jim on vocals, William on guitar, and recruits Douglas Hart playing a three stringed bass and Murray Dalglish on a two-piece drum kit. They crashed Glasgow gigs claiming they were the support band until they had played so many that they could no longer show their faces around the venues.
May 1984 saw the band move to London to expose themselves and find fame. It was a case of the right place at the right time as the owner of the Creation label, Alan McGee, had opened the Living Room - a venue for new music. Having heard a demo tape passed on by Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream), McGee invited the Jesus and Mary Chain to play their first London gig on June 9, 1984, as a support band. With an audience count of about 20, and a 10 minute set, they began their climb.
the middle years As they replaced Murray Dalglish with Bobby Gillespie, McGee signed the Jesus and Mary Chain to his independent Creation label and released the debut single Upside Down. The 7" topped British independent charts selling 35,000 copies and the singles mumbled vocals ("Feels like I'm going mad / Best friend I've ever had / Tell me why I feel so sad"), steady drum beat and squealing feedback managed to impress those with money.
Media attention grew and record companies wanted to sign on the Jesus and Mary Chain. Without funds, Creation knew it couldn't support what the Jesus and Mary Chain was becoming but Alan McGee continued as their manager. Dressed in black leather, dark sunglasses, and with heads of messy hair, the Jesus and Mary Chain's contracts offered to "improve" the band's image. They refused to take up these offers and instead signed up with the WEA subsidiary label Blanco y Negro in January 1985.
When they released the debut album Psychocandy in November, magazines and newspapers praised the album as a breath of fresh air. The feedback, simple yet catchy songs, and basic drum beat were unlike other recordings of the time. The album was noisy, yet appealing. With lyrics like "Grass grows greener on the other side / corn grows sweeter on the other side" (In a Hole) it all seemed a tad absurd, but atleast it was something new.
That's what this web site is about.. browse around and read all about it.
On September 12, 1998, at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, the band had a falling out on stage approximately 15 minutes in to their set before a sell out crowd. The band continued their US and Japanese tour minus William, and although it appeared that the band no longer existed, it wasn't until October 1999 that the official announcement was made.
and then there was a reunion...
On April 26, 2007, the Jesus and Mary Chain reunited in-front of a tightly-packed sold-out crowd at the Glasshouse in Pomona, California, the night before performing for thousands at the Coachella Festival in Indio, California.
The new line-up consists of Jim Reid (vocals), William Reid (guitar), Phil King (bass), and new recruits Mark Crozer (guitar) and Loz Colbert (drums). The Jesus and Mary Chain, following on from where they left off playing gigs far and wide, have so far played in the US, UK, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Germany, France, Scotland and Ireland as well as performing their new song, All Things Must Pass, on US tv show "Letterman".
With more US dates announced for October 2007, we'll have to wait and see what happens next.
The Gaslight Anthem
Brian Fallon (vocals/guitar) * Benny Horowitz (drums) * Alex Levine (bass) * Alex Rosamilia (guitars)
"We're not into just kinda being like a little footnote," says The Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon. "We want to be The Ones, y'know?"
With AMERICAN SLANG, The Gaslight Anthem makes an extraordinary leap forward towards that very goal. The New Jersey-based band's third long player reveals a remarkably powerful rock 'n' roll outfit honed by two years of nearly non-stop touring. Singer/guitarist Fallon's passionate lyrical approach has grown more personal and introspective, his raw throated vocals stronger and more resonant against the band's pulse-pounding dynamic force. Songs like "Bring It On," "Orphans" and the rousing title track bristle and burn with the spirit of soul, the energy of punk, and the artistic ambition of any hall of famer you'd care to name. AMERICAN SLANG is the battle cry of a great band finding its own voice and using it to shout to the rooftops and beyond.
"This record sounds more like us," guitarist Alex Rosamilia says. "It's a little darker, a little sadder. It's still definitely anthemic – the older stuff was more triumphant; this is more like, we won, but there were casualties."
The Gaslight Anthem exploded out of the New Brunswick punk underground with 2007's energetic debut, SINK OR SWIM (XOXO Records). The SEÑOR AND THE QUEEN (Sabot Productions) EP followed in early 2008, its ambition foreshadowing the band's stunning SideOneDummy Records debut, THE '59 SOUND. With its melding of classic rock, soul and punk power, the album proved an immediate critical and popular sensation, with The New York Times praising the "rich, lustrous songwriting" and "taut punk arrangements," noting that Fallon's "casually observed storytelling, overflowing with detail, seethes with a cool desperation reminiscent of Mr. Springsteen in the late '70s."
THE '59 SOUND proved equally successful on the other side of the Atlantic, with the band making history as the first ever to appear on the cover of England's estimable Kerrang! without having been previously featured in the magazine's pages. Ecstatic praise also rolled in from the notoriously hard to impress UK music press, culminating in the album's inclusion in an array of "Album of the Year" rankings, including Q, Rocksound, and NME, which called it "not only an essential document of punk rock soul but a record that will endure long into the future."
Having made their bones playing 200 nights a year in packed clubs across the US, Europe, and Australia, The Gaslight Anthem hit the road hard in 2008 and never looked back. The band headlined sold out shows around the planet and shared stages with an array of like-minded artists, including Social Distortion, Rise Against, Against Me!, and the aforementioned Mr. Springsteen, who joined the band onstage for stunning performances of "The '59 Sound" at 2009's Glastonbury Festival and Hard Rock Calling in London's Hyde Park. What's more, Fallon returned the favor, accompanying the E Street Band for rousing renditions of the Springsteen classic, "No Surrender."
"The whole time I'm up there," Fallon recalls, "I'm thinking, 'Oh my gosh, I'm on stage with my hero.' At the same time I'm going, 'Oh my gosh, you've gotta do this on your own.' That's what the key is, to find your own spot. Once I realized that, I was like, 'Yeah, let's do it. It's on now!'"
The Gaslight Anthem returned home in November 2009 and took a well-earned month off before getting back to work. The band had since left its native New Brunswick, with Rosamilia heading to Hoboken, drummer Ben Horowitz to Jersey City, and bassist Alex Levine to Budd Lake, NJ, with Fallon emigrating from the Garden State to not-so-far-away Brooklyn. Leaving home was essential for Fallon, who had to create space between his old existence and his new before putting pen to paper.
"I spent my whole life trying to be in a band and succeed at it and try and make that my career," he says. "Once that happened, all I was left with was me. I was like, uh-oh, there's a lot of stuff I haven't dealt with all these years. That's why this record is so personal. Because all I was left with was, not this dream of being in a band, I was left with me."
The band began getting together for writing sessions at their longtime friend Kyle Roggendorf's basement in Parlin, NJ. Rehearsal in earnest started up in January, followed the next month by full-on recording at NYC's Magic Shop with producer Ted Hutt and engineer Ryan Mall, both of whom previously manned the boards on THE '59 SOUND. The time spent woodshedding enabled the band to lay down the majority of AMERICAN SLANG in a short, sharp burst of creative vigor.
"Those two months were where we got the core of it," Fallon says. "Then when we went into the studio, we had become better players, we had become more of a real band. We hit the studio the way we hit the stage, we just went, 'Alright! Here it is! Bam!'"
Sonic inspiration came in the unlikely guise of classic Brit blues-rock, with Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison, the Rolling Stones, and Derek & The Dominos serving as key muses for their musical muscle and eclectic directness. Fallon accepted sage wisdom from Derek himself via the guitar god's autobiography.
"He's like, 'You have to be legitimate,'" Fallon says. "'You have to play properly and you need to be good.' I was like, 'Okay Eric Clapton, I will be good!' So I started to learn how to really play guitar."
"That I think grossly – I mean grossly as in volume – grossly changed the way we write and play the guitar," Rosamilia says. "I mean, we both went from playing Fenders to Gibsons. Whereas the last record was combo amps and Telecasters and Jazzmasters, this record was heads and cabinets and Les Pauls."
Becoming better overall players gave the band the confidence to experiment in ways they never would've previously attempted. AMERICAN SLANG is marked by such elaborate exploration, including the expansive and rhythmic "The Queen of Lower Chelsea," described by Rosamilia as "our raga 'Straight To Hell.'"
"We tried to be a little different," the guitarist says, "but not stray too far away. We're branching out, but we're not trying to make a stoner rock record or a prog rock record, because that wouldn't be us. That'd be horrible, actually."
The band was determined to be true to their influences while not being defined by them. Where in the past The Gaslight Anthem may have seemed overly reverential to its inspirations, the goal here was to stake a claim for the band's own individuality.
"We had to figure out, what are we doing?" says Fallon. "What do we have to say? What makes us different than everybody else? So with this one, we worked really hard, to find out what we're made of."
AMERICAN SLANG turns up the dial on the band's love of soul and classic rock, while still flying the flag of its hardcore roots. Songs such as "Bring It On" and "Orphans" provide the exhilarating answer to Fallon's musical question, what if the Rolling Stones played with breakneck energy of Stiff Little Fingers?
"We're still punks," Rosamilia says. "We still hate the man. We haven't changed that much, it's just easier for us to make it sound better now. I feel like if we'd had the time and the money, 'SINK OR SWIM' could've sounded closer to this."
The stirring title track, with its mordant acknowledgement of "when it was over/I woke up alone," served as a kind of songwriting mission statement for Fallon. Though his lyrics remain populated with finely etched characterizations -- see the High Fidelity-inspired "Stay Lucky" – the overall focus is more self-directed and concise.
"I was hiding a lot of things in imagery before," Fallon says, "I was using pictures and distractions to get my point across. This one was more about just telling it how it is. Being like, 'Look, I'm gonna let you in on this. This is my world and what I deal with.'"
A number of the band's many friends make cameo appearances on AMERICAN SLANG, including Jesse Malin, Brian Kienlen and Pete Steinkopf from Bouncing Souls, Vision's Dave Franklin, and Tommy Gunn of Communication Redlight. Always a band with an innate sense of community, the album pays homage to their Jersey punk roots with the New Wave soul-shaker "The Diamond Church Street Choir" named in tribute to the band's old pal Andy Diamond, who booked their very first gigs at New Brunswick's famed Court Tavern.
"We all moved out of New Brunswick, none of us live there anymore," Fallon says. "But no matter where we go, we carry that with us. It's never gone, it's always in there."
With its astonishing range and undeniable urgency, AMERICAN SLANG is The Gaslight Anthem laying it all on the line, giving it all they had to give. Achieving their dreams only served to fuel The Gaslight Anthem's already limitless ambition, driving the band to test their mettle as artists and as men.
"It gave us the opportunity to get to see what we were made of," Fallon says. "Not a lot of people get that. It's like, do we belong here or is there somebody better? We'll see what happens. To us, we did our best and that's the thing that really matters."
Formed by ex-Jerkwater and Traitors drummer Matt Skiba (vocals/guitar), Glenn Porter (drums/vocals) -- formerly of 88 Fingers Louie -- and Rob Doran (bass/vocals), Alkaline Trio was brought together in 1997 by heartbreak, angst, and the companionship of drinking. They issued the For Your Lungs Only EP just prior to Doran's departure in late 1997, later releasing Sundials the following year on Johann's Face Records. Slapstick's Dan Andriano entered on bass, adding a complementary voice and songwriting style to Skiba's that would become the group's signature dynamic. The three then started making a name for themselves all throughout the Midwest with their emotion-fueled, angst-ridden, dark pop-punk. With this lineup in full force, all while Skiba and Porter were working as bike messengers full-time, their first full-length, Goddamnit!, was released on Asian Man in 1998 to the praise of a following who related to their heartbreak tales and anti-cop rants.
Both Maybe I'll Catch Fire and a self-titled singles collection followed in early 1999. The new millennium also included a series of changes: Glenn Porter exited in early 2000 and ex-Smoking Popes drummer Mike Felumlee made Alkaline Trio a three-piece again. From Here to Infirmary followed on Vagrant in spring 2001 and was met with only lukewarm fan response. But a split EP released by Jade Tree the next year found the Trio in top form again alongside Hot Water Music, both bands contributing original tracks and covers of each other's songs. Good Mourning was released two years later, and the lineup by now included new drummer Derek Grant (ex-Suicide Machines, Thoughts of Ionesco). Good Mourning did well, grazing the Billboard charts and scoring Alkaline Trio spots on late-night TV and summer tours. Crimson followed in 2005 and continued the band's streak. Touring persisted over the summer, both as a headliner and in support of My Chemical Romance. A spring 2006 run (with openers Against Me!) delighted devout fans from early on with a set that mostly contained tunes from initial releases, including an entire run-through of the fan-favorite Goddamnit!. ~ Mike DaRonco, All Music Guide
Hit singles are great, but for every real artist the dream when they go into the studio is to make music that reaches people, songs that strike a deep chord and resonates with audiences well after the track ends.
For Aaron Bruno, the architect of white-hot new rockers AWOLNATION, hearing that his brilliant Megalithic Symphony has achieved that lofty ambition with anyone is the greatest reward of the success the band is enjoying now.
"There's a good amount of word of mouth stuff going on with this record where I meet fans after the show and they're like, 'Oh man, I hadn't heard of you guys and my friend turned me on and it's my favorite record in the last 10 years,'" Bruno says. "People are saying stuff like that to me, which is obviously the goal and it blows my mind."
To make that connection you need two things, the first being a hit song that brings fans into the music. AWOLNATION has that with the unlikeliest of radio successes, "Sail," a dark, infectious tale of angst with an unmistakable and unforgettable hook where Bruno wails at some point, "Maybe I should cry for help/Maybe I should kill myself/So blame it on my A.D.D. baby."
As we said not a likely radio hit. In fact, Bruno is as surprised as anyone by the success of "Sail." "It has been charting and still climbing, but it was never intended to be a song that was on the radio," he says. "I think I just struck a nerve in people and caused a visceral reaction with the sort of the nursery rhyme aspect of the melody and how simple it is."
The second ingredient for a lasting impression is originality, something that stands apart from the banality of top 40 radios and dares to speak to people's true feelings, both musically and lyrically. Bruno has definitely done that with Megalithic Symphony, an album whose uniqueness is evident right from the ambitious title and carries on throughout the 14-song collection.
From the opening title piece, a mishmash of computerized sounds and keyboards that culminates with a robotic voice calling out the band's name twice, and the following 22-second sound bite, "Some Sort Of Creature," Bruno invites fans in on a journey into his musical Wonderland. And it is a dizzying soundscape, one that moves from the frenetic paces of the hook-laden "Soul Wars" and the vaguely Nine Inch Nails-esque "Burn It Down" to the engaging upbeat feel-good dance hooks of "People," a song that begins with Bruno thanking fans for listening and saying, "I am grateful for this," and the hard grind of "Kill Your Heroes," a song who vivid imagery starts with Bruno singing, "Well, I met an old man dying on a train/No more destination, no more pain/Well he said one thing before I graduate/Never let your fear decide your fate."
Among the tracks that fans are picking up lyrically the most are the soul/pop gem "Not Your Fault" and the more than 12-minute closer, "Knights Of Shame," which informs listeners from the outset, "Dance, baby, dance, like the world is ending."
For Bruno, that fans are picking up on that song is as gratifying as the success of "Sail." "A lot of people seem to know that whole thing and that was like the most fun time of my life making that song," he says. "And when we play it live it's so enjoyable, so I'm stoked that people are into it."
Like "Not Your Fault" "Knights" is an amalgam of styles, something that bridges techno, soul, a lullaby feel, rock, rap, and pop into one 21st-century anthem. That much diversity in one song can blow the minds of an industry still used to the compartmentalized mentality of the 20th century record stores where every genre had its own bin.
But you won't pigeonhole Bruno into one style of music. "I like so much music. I love old country music, I love a lot of kind of silly pop stuff, I love all hip hop, all different eras, obviously metal, punk rock, indie rock, there's no one genre that I love more than another one. So I think that comes through in the music," he says.
That does lead to some memorable, occasionally confusing, and very flattering descriptions. "I'll talk to one person and they'll go, 'I hear Nine Inch Nails meets Aretha Franklin.' I'm like, 'That's the weirdest thing I've ever heard. How does that even make sense?'" he asks. "I've heard the Nirvana comparisons, Nirvana meets Outkast meets Prince, that's a comparison I love obviously."
All of those artists have achieved the dream that Bruno has been striving for since he started making music. "It's always been a goal of mine to make that special record people remember as sort of like a landmark in time." With Megalithic Symphony Aaron Bruno has proven that he is the unique talent that can make that dream come true.
Minus The Bear
Taken from their website
Minus the Bear have always avoided easy classification, preferring to tread their own inimitable path defined by energy and invention. OMNI, the Seattle-based band's fourth full-length recording and debut Dangerbird Records release, sees a stunning evolution to their sound and vision. As evinced by the album's all-encompassing title, Minus the Bear have merged their myriad influences into a sweeping collection marked by its slinky and sensual melding of city-stomping rock and deep funk grooves. That spirit of sonic lasciviousness is mirrored in the album's raw take on human sexuality – a theme as intricate and elaborate as the band's extraordinary music. Boldly experimental yet instantly accessible, OMNI is Minus the Bear's most provocative and potent work to date.
"I think it's a real leap forward," singer/guitarist Jake Snider agrees. "It's an impactful sounding record."
Founded in 2001, Minus the Bear earned immediate attention with their distinctive spastic prog-pop hybrid, all serrated rhythms, swirling synths, and guitarist Dave Knudson's multi-layered, pedal-hopping acrobatics. Prolific from the start, the band let loose with series of EPs and albums, each drawing escalating acclaim and a host of new fans. 2007's Planet of Ice was followed by the band's most intensive touring thus far, repeatedly traveling the US, as well as Europe, Australia, and Japan. The non-stop roadwork served to increase the band's kinetic power and intensity – a mindset they were determined to bring with them when they returned to the studio.
"One of the things we wanted to do was capture more of the live energy," says Knudson. "We feel like the live show is really where you get to see what we're doing."
Work officially began on the new album in mid-2008 as the band reconvened to begin shaping and developing Knudson's early demo tracks. This time out MTB wanted to collaborate with an outside producer and began interviewing potential candidates. Joe Chiccarelli (My Morning Jacket, The White Stripes, The Shins) flew up to Seattle for his meeting mere hours after accepting a Grammy Award for his work with The Raconteurs and the rapport was immediate, with producer and band in agreement about how to proceed.
"We played the songs for Joe in our rehearsal space and he had a ton of ideas," Snider says. "He had a great sense of where things could be trimmed, so he was a good set of ears to help us edit what we were trying to get across."
On April 27, 2009, Minus the Bear began sessions at Seattle's Avast! Recording Studios, opting to take a more organic approach towards recording. A conscious effort was made to play together as much as possible, eschewing the usual scratch tracks and overdubs whenever possible.
"He was really awesome about wanting to find the perfect sound before we even started tracking the songs," Knudson says. "That was a big thing for us, changing the way we record, trying to keep as much of the performances that we were doing in the studio together to maintain the energy."
"Joe kicked a lot of us in the ass more than any of us had ever been kicked in the ass before," Knudson says. "We were doing 10 or 12 takes, more than any of us had ever played, but obviously all those takes paid off. He broke us down and made us evaluate what we were doing and maybe made us think of it from a different perspective."
Where Planet of Ice was deeply informed by the band's unified passion for classic prog-rock, OMNI sees each member bringing a diverse tableau of individual influences to the table, with keyboardist Alex Rose, bassist Cory Murchy, and drummer Erin Tate expressing a significant interest in jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and 70s funkadelia.
"Those underlying elements seeped through," Knudson says, "whether or not we were cognicent of the fact that was happening. There's a lot more groove, a lot more soul, a lot more feeling that comes across."
The new music's pulsating energy inspired a kind of sensual sprawl and carnal abandon. "Secret Country" features MTB's most propulsive riff to date, inspired by Knudson's purchase of a baritone guitar while on tour, while "My Time" – the album's first single – is a rush of pure electro-pop lust, built around the glorious sound of another of the guitarist's new toys, a vintage Omnichord synthesizer.
"The music just lent itself to dealing with these erotic themes," Snider says. "There wasn't a conscious idea to keep it all that way, but I didn't really fight anything that came up when I was trying to put something to the music."
None of which is to say that the quirky time signatures, hyperactive riffs, and prodigious hooks have left the building. The eddying tri-climax solo of "The Thief" and the album-closing "Fooled By The Night," with its flowing arc and song-with a-song structure, reveal that MTB's trademarks have simply been morphed and molded to fit a more straightforward – though no less ingenious – songcraft.
"We always wanted to see just how weird we can make a pop song," Snider says, "but I think at some point we abandoned that and just started wanting to write really good songs."
With OMNI finished by summer's end, the band's next step was choosing the right label to put it out. Fortunately, the band ultimately united with the Silverlake-based independent label, Dangerbird Records.
"We really care about this and whoever was putting out the record had to be a cool, awesome, artist-friendly, happening place to be," Knudson says. "Once we met up with [Dangerbird co-founder] Jeff Castelaz and those guys, it was just kinda like, 'Why would we pick someone else? This is exactly what we've been looking for.'"
The brazen and irresistible OMNI will undoubtedly bring Minus the Bear to scores of new listeners, keeping them on tour for the foreseeable future. The band are now ready to return to the road, knowing that their ever-increasing fan following awaits. Having built its base in no small part due to their exhilarating live shows, MTB have an advanced appreciation for the intimate connection between band and their audience.
"We've got a lot of fans that really care about us," Knudson says, "that just love the music and keep coming out to show after show after show. I think about it every day, I think about how fuckin' lucky we are."
"The main thing we try to accomplish is putting together something that we're going to enjoy playing forever," Snider says. "We always make sure that we want to hear the song as much as anybody else."
The Promise Ring
To the delight of their legions of fans, influential indie rockers The Promise Ring have officially announced their reunion for two upcoming shows, as well as the release of a rarities compilation on Dangerbird Records. Tickets recently went on sale for The Promise Ring's highly anticipated concerts at Milwaukee's Turner Hall on Friday, February 24th, as well as Chicago's Metro on Saturday, February 25th. These shows will feature the band's classic line-up—featuring lead singer/guitarist Davey von Bohlen, drummer Dan Didier, guitarist Jason Gnewikow and bassist Scott Schoenbeck—performing songs from throughout their beloved catalog. Fans can also look forward to hearing more from The Promise Ring, as an upcoming compilation of rare live and studio tracks will follow in Summer 2012 from Dangerbird, which will also be managing the group.
"I'm looking forward to hanging out with the guys again, playing songs and shows," said Dan Didier of The Promise Ring. "I am also eager to get the songs that haven't seen the light of day out into the world."
"I managed The Promise Ring in the late '90s and early 2000's, and they broke up on the eve of Dangerbird becoming a record label," said Jeff Castelaz, CEO and co-founder of Dangerbird. "I never dreamed that the band would be an artist on my own label, and I couldn't be more thrilled that they are now. It's great to have them on the label they helped inspire."
Formed in 1995 in Milwaukee, WI, The Promise Ring released three full-length albums on Jade Tree Records—1996's 30° Everywhere, 1997's Nothing Feels Good, and 1999's Very Emergency—which garnered rave reviews and earned the band a devoted following for their unique sound, which molded indie rock into a new subgenre that became known as "emo." The Promise Ring became the first rock band to sign with Epitaph's Anti- Records for their highly acclaimed 2002 swan song, Wood/Water, which was produced by Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur) at famed Jacobs Studios outside London. During their prolific career, the band toured with a first-rate group of like-minded bands including At the Drive In, Jimmy Eat World, Jets to Brazil, Burning Airlines, and many others. After an amicable break-up, the band's sound and reputation have lived on as an important influence on countless bands. Meanwhile, Promise Ring members have enjoyed further success with other projects: Von Bohlen and Didier with their new band, Maritime, which released their fourth album, Human Hearts, on Dangerbird Records in April 2011; and Schoenbeck as a longtime member of Dashboard Confessional.
"We have something to prove and we are ready to do it," states Chiodos keyboardist Bradley Bell. With a new lineup and a new outlook on life, Chiodos will release their third full-length album, Illuminaudio, on October 5th, 2010. The album is the follow up to the band's sophomore release, Bone Palace Ballet, which debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 Chart and topped the Independent Chart. The critically acclaimed album has gone on to sell over 215k copies, while the debut album, All's Well That Ends Well, has sold over 244k units since its 2005 release.
Illuminaudio is the debut Chiodos recording for new lead vocalist Brandon Bolmer (formerly of Yesterday's Rising) and drummer Tanner Wayne. Alongside Bolmer and Wayne are established Chiodos members Bradley Bell (keys), Jason Hale (guitar), Pat McManaman (guitar), and Matt Goddard (bass).
Seamlessly intertwined with the band's signature haunting melodies and grandiose vocals, is a bolder, more striking contrast between delicate piano-work and intense, bellowing screams. With the core composers of the music still at the heart of Chiodos, fans can be reassured that they will hear the sound that they have grown familiar with over the years. Bell explains, "Even if the lineup had stayed the same, I feel that the direction of sound would've turned out similar. We don't feel like our vision was lost or compromised in any way throughout the writing process."
The album was recorded at The Machine Shop in Weehawken, New Jersey with producer Machine [Lamb Of God, Every Time I Die, Cobra Starship]. "Recording with Machine was incredible," says Bell. "We didn't really know what to expect, but right away we could tell that he believed in us as musicians."
With positive vibes flowing between the band and producer, the studio was transformed into a creative sanctuary. Away from the pressures of daily life and touring, the band was able to hone in on their skills and emotions to create a sound that truly represents who Chiodos is today. "He was truly inspiring in a lot of ways…from pushing us in our writing to digging deep inside of us to helping us realize what our true sound is," Bell describes of the experience. "And to really bring it out of us, he would get up and start break dancing and shouting at us to make us that much more excited. We've never had the opportunity to work with a producer like that and we feel it was key in this transitional process."
THE EPIC TALE OF GWAR
Eons ago, there existed an elite group of chaos warriors who ravaged the galaxy with a boundless hatred of all things alive. They were called the Scumdogs of the Universe, and they grew in might and fury, the greatest weapon in the arsenal of their cosmic Master.
But they became too powerful, and too defiant, and for their cosmic crimes were banished to the most insignificant planet in the universe…the seething mudball known as Earth.
Millions of years passed, and they slumbered, until the pollution of your world de-thawed these creatures from their ageless coma…and now they stride the Earth, living gods, dedicated to one goal, the destruction of the human race, and the eradication of existence itself! Wait- that's two goals!
Hark to the hideous majesty of your MASTERS, rulers of Earth, the MIGHTY GWAR!!!
It is I, ODERUS URUNGUS, lead singer of the sickest band in metal history, Earth's only openly extra-terrestrial rock band, and the destined destroyers of not only the human race but also reality itself. GWAR! Hulking, heaving, dribbling WAR-GOD's who like nothing better than putting hordes of our sniveling fans to the sword while playing the marauding mutant metal that we are famous for! Star's of stage and screen, carvers of stem and spleen! GWAR LIVES!
August Burns Red
"I definitely don't feel like we're the 'new guys' in the scene anymore. We have our sound figured out at this point," says
AUGUST BURNS RED guitarist JB Brubaker. "But it was time to break some rules."
Since the release of AUGUST BURNS RED's 2009 breakout album, Constellations – which landed the metal juggernauts at #24 on the Billboard 200 – the Lancaster, PA-based genre giants have found themselves in some rather unexpected places. From the cover of Alternative Press to Fox's "American Dad," from the sands of Dubai to the Warped Tour, from Japan to Australia to South America, AUGUST BURNS RED crisscrossed the globe time and again on the road to the top of the hard rock heap.
When it came time to record their fourth full-length album, Leveler, ABR could have played it safe, could have simply cashed in on their previous success by making Constellations II. Instead, after eight years and a quarter of a million albums sold, AUGUST BURNS RED scrapped the old game plan and followed their sound where it led them. The direction, as it turns out, was both forward and backward. On Leveler, the band recaptured the hungry, ferocious heaviness of their earlier albums, and at the same time bravely indulged some of the more creative impulses they had previously stifled. The breathtaking result is nothing short of a game-changer.
"The biggest risk we took on this album was not limiting ourselves to stay inside the standard metalcore box," says Brubaker. "If there was a part that didn't sound like a traditional metalcore part, we ran with it and made it as wild or unorthodox as we wanted. We've been motivated to progress as a band and push ABR in different directions, while maintaining the characteristics that made us the band we are in the first place." Illustrating that point is the album's second track, "Internal Cannon," arguably Leveler's most out-of-the-box track, which manages to stay utterly brutal while employing a samba clean section, a salsa-esque solo, and another section seemingly destined for a Quentin Tarantino film. It's definitely metal, but the jury's still out on the "core."
"I think that's one of the advantages to being on your fourth album," Brubaker says of the band's experimentation." We have a dedicated group of listeners who are supportive of us trying new things and breaking some of the unwritten rules of metal. It's a luxury we are very thankful for and do not take for granted."
Balancing out a rich surplus of inventive clean guitar sections and blistering solos on Leveler is crushingly heavy riffage not heard from AUGUST BURNS RED since 2007's Messengers. Also present is the virtuoso playing of Matt Greiner, already one of metal's premier drummers, who takes his craft in even more dynamic directions. "The drumming is more technical on Leveler," Brubaker says. "I'm confident that this is the best performance Matt has ever given on an album."
Also making strides on Leveler is vocalist Jake Luhrs, whose personal journey from a life of substance abuse to the frontman of one of metal's most talked-about bands was well-documented in AUGUST BURNS RED's band-defining cover story in Alternative Press. In reuniting with producer Jason Suecof, who also manned the boards for Constellations, Luhrs pushed himself to deliver a profound and emotive performance. "Suecof is great with vocals and I personally connect with him well," Luhrs says. "We do have our tiffs when it comes to producing vocals, but it's because we really have a heart for lyrics and vocals. We end up hugging it out."
"It was like stepping back into a laboratory with a mad scientist two years after that chemical explosion incident," Brubaker says of reuniting with the metal wizard. "We went with Jason again because we love how clean and crisp he makes our albums sound. His production is top notch and he brings great ideas to the table in all facets of the process."
With the release of Constellations, AUGUST BURNS RED became a band that could no longer be ignored. They debuted in the Top 25. They toured alongside peers like A DAY TO REMEMBER and LAMB OF. They co-headlined the AP Tour and, this summer, will serve as headliners for the entire 2011 Warped Tour, and will be touching down for tours in Southeast Asia, Europe and Russia. Most importantly, they grew and connected fiercely with a colossal legion of fans, as the three-quarters of a million "likes" on their Facebook page attests. And that is why, with the release of Leveler, AUGUST BURNS RED will prove to be an absolute pillar of their genre.
"Our fans keep this band above water. If we have fans, then we have ABR," says Luhrs. "I honestly didn't know if we'd get to this place, to call myself a touring musician and it be my only source of income AND it being my dream... wow! Music is our passion and it's what we want to be doing. We intend to keep doing it as long as we can."
Less Than Jake
It's been a wild and crazy ride for Gainesville's Less Than Jake, who first met at the University Of Florida over a decade and a half ago. But instead of kicking their feet up and resting on their laurels, the ever-busy quintet have been working hard on the next chapter of Less Than Jake. Successfully extricating themselves from their major label contract (even though they still owed one more record to the label), they started their own label, Sleep It Off Records, and now are in the driver's seat. "After a decade an a half of being in the band, we are now our own bosses for real and the excitement of that can peel paint off the walls," says drummer Vinnie.
Before the band starts recording a new album this Spring (for release in the Summer 2008), however, they are planning the re-release of albums from their catalog… and first up are Pezcore, Losers, Kings and Things We Don't Understand, Goodbye Blue and White, and the DVD The People's History of Less Than Jake (more re-releases are planned for the future). "We wanted to start with Losers, Kings, And Things We Don't Understand, which was our first recorded material as a band," Vinnie continues. "These literally are some of the first songs we recorded together, and it seemed obvious that it should be one of the first releases on our newly started record label Sleep It Off. As a musician, the fact that I can help not only in creative marketing but release the actual audible history of our band on our own label is mind blowing. I think it's a great time for the Music Industry that, despite the lagging sales, you are allowed to write and rewrite the rules. These days, it's like the Old West, so to speak."
Through their decade and a half career, they've traveled the world multiple times -- with the Warped Tour, opening for Bon Jovi, and as headliners. "Each record is a snapshot of who the band is and was at the moment of writing and recording," Vinnie says. And what better way to revisit their history than with a fresh new take on their old material. Each re-release will come with all new artwork and a bonus DVD of previously unreleased material.
Built To Spill
Three and a half years in the making, the efforts of writing and recording THERE IS NO ENEMY led Built to Spill founder Doug Martsch to wonder whether this would be the last album he ever makes. As his wife, I watched him work, pouring hour after hour , day after day into writing. Song lyrics were labored over then thrown in the trash, guitar parts revised again (and again). A musician and artist like Doug edits far more than he keeps.
For over twenty years, Doug Martsch has been writing and recording music. Built to Spill members Brett Nelson (bass), Scott Plouf (drums) Jim Roth (guitar), and Brett Netson (guitar) have all been musicians for two decades. That adds up to more than a century. Doug's strong aesthetic combines with the band members' mix of approaches to create an aural topography. Doug sets course and navigates. Each member of Built to Spill comes to the music with a different set of expectations and ideals.
With the complexity and variety of music they have created, Built to Spill endeavors to make songs interesting to themselves and their audience. They hope that the band will remain special and that people will discover the music for themselves. Year after year, new fans show up. Just like the band members, listeners come to the music with expectations and ideals. They make up their own ideas about the songs.
For three long and often lonely years of life on the road, plying a brand of honest and passionate folk/punk, Frank Turner continued to rise to prominence with an ever increasing following. But it was in the sweaty climes of the Lock Up Stage at Reading and Leeds 2008 that his solo career really started to take off. Inside the packed out tents, heaving with adoring fans and intrigued passers-by, Frank led the congregation in a mass sing-a-long; a stirring set that not only sparked the interest of the British mainstream but resonated unassumingly across the pond as a wealth of American punk bands watched approvingly from the sidelines.
No stranger to the festival, Frank had not only played the Lock Up Tent with former hardcore band Million Dead back in 2005 but also as a tentative solo artist in 2007 when debut album 'Sleep Is For The Week' was just an underground success. Within the following year, Frank's popularity grew with yet more touring and the release of second album 'Love Ire & Song' in March 08. He started to play larger headline shows and develop the live band that he was looking for.
The profits of all his hard work came together that festival weekend; it kicked started a new wave of interest and thanks to the unwavering support from Radio 1 DJs Mike Davies and Steve Lamacq, the rest of Radio 1 began to follow suit. Soon enough when Frank's single 'Long Live The Queen' – taken from 'Love Ire & Song' – was released in October, it made the R1 C-list, was Single Of The Week on Sara Cox's show and helped sell out Frank's largest UK headline tour culminating in a bursting-over-capacity-finale at London's Scala. The following single 'Reasons Not To Be An Idiot' released in January of this year eclipsed those successes by graduating to the R1's B-list, 6Music's A-list and XFM's daytime playlist, prompted a Live Lounge session for Sara Cox, a Hub Session for George Lamb as well as making iTunes Single Of The Week all helping to recruit a new army of Frank followers.
Something of a Chicago punk supergroup, Pegboy carried the torch for the city's classic post-hardcore sound into the '90s, albeit with a more straightforward, melodic approach. Founder and guitarist John Haggerty had been in the seminal Naked Raygun, while his brother, drummer Joe Haggerty, had played with Bloodsport and a later version of the Effigies. Vocalist Larry Damore and charter bassist Steve Saylors had both been in the Bhopal Stiffs, and teamed up with the Haggerty brothers in 1990, when all of their respective bands had given up the ghost (or were about to). Signing to Touch & Go subsidiary Quarterstick, Pegboy debuted that same year with the Three Chord Monte EP, then followed it in 1991 with their first full-length album, Strong Reaction. Later paired on a CD reissue, these two records bridged '90s punk-pop and seminal proto-alternative punkers like Hsker D, Mission of Burma, and the aforementioned Naked Raygun. Following a tour with Social Distortion, Saylors left the band, owing to a new, less flexible day job. Chicago legend Steve Albini filled in for him on the 1993 EP Fore, after which the group settled on a permanent replacement in Pierre Kezdy, another ex-Naked Raygun member who'd started his career in another early Chicago punk outfit, Strike Under (his brother John also fronted the Effigies). Kezdy debuted on the 1994 album Earwig, which was followed by a split single with Kepone. Falling silent for a couple of years, Pegboy returned in 1997 with their third album, the Albini-engineered Cha Cha Damore. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide Written by Steve Huey
Reverend Horton Heat
Recently, the Reverend Horton Heat, aka Jim Heath, had something along the lines of what he calls an epiphany.
He's a little tired of being taken so seriously-well, maybe not seriously, exactly, but you get the idea-and lately he's noticed that some of his funnier, country-tinged songs were his biggest crowd pleasers. Besides, being entertaining is what this is all about, right?
So, ladies and gents, roll your smokes up in your sleeve and hold on to your cowboy hats, it's time to take a trip back to a time before slick, over-produced country became the norm-a time when outlaws wrote songs about being without a pot to piss in-or at least about psycho exboyfriends and deadbeat girlfriends that spend your paycheck faster than you can say Lone Star.
Welcome to Laughin' and Cryin' with the Reverend Horton Heat a record full of country-heavy tunes about bad habits, well-meaning but clueless husbands, ever-expanding beer-guts and, well, Texas. It wouldn't be a Reverend Horton Heat record without a song or-in this case, two-about the Lone Star State. And, while Laughin' and Cryin' marks a detour from the hard driving punkabilly of the Rev's last record, 2004's Revival, this time tending toward honk, there's still some shit-kickers ["Death Metal Guys"] to let you know that Heath and crew still mean business.
"I really wanted to capture the feelings of recordings of the late '50s, early '60s," Heath said of the songs on the new record.
Exhibit A: Beer Holder, a honky-tonker about a guy who finds the table by his chair a bit too far of a stretch-so he opts for a new "beer holder," his growing gut. While this guy finds his solution genius, his woman thinks otherwise.
"[The record is] kind of from a regular guy point of view," Heath said. "You know, I like to do stuff that's kind of tongue-in-cheek that makes fun of the good old boy thing as much as trying to glorify the country boy thing."
Heath originally conceived the new record as the product of an alter ego, Harley Hog, a sort of "laughing and crying" singer.
Imagine Dragons has received attention across the U.S. from industry professionals and fans alike, continuously growing their loyal fan base. Their most recent West Coast tour with The Parlotones was highly successful, with sold-out shows along the West Coast ending with a final packed performance at L.A.'s The Viper Room. This past spring, the band was invited to perform at Bergenfest in Norway, expanding their fan base outside of the U.S. Fans can catch Imagine Dragons on August 20 at The Roxy in Los Angeles as they perform as part of the Sunset Strip Music Festival. Imagine Dragons are currently in the studio with Alex da Kid, working on new material and preparing for their first headlining tour of West Coast.
Mixing synth-laden rock with infectious dance grooves and restless energy, Imagine Dragons creates an eccentric, often anthemic sound. The quintet blends massive high-energy with a unique and diverse sound, evident in the band's latest EP. Imagine Dragons has shared the stage with indie notables Temper Trap, Hot Chip, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Nico Vega and The Envy Corps, and have opened for mainstream acts such as Weezer, Blue October, and Interpol. The band consists of front man Dan Reynolds on vocals and keys, Wayne Sermon on guitar, Ben McKee on bass, Daniel Platzman on drums and Theresa Flaminio on keys.
The Adicts are an English punk band from Ipswich, Suffolk, England. One of the more popular punk rock bands in the 1980s, they were often in the indie charts at that time. Their song "Viva La Revolution" was featured in the video game Tony Hawk's Underground. It was also featured in a commercial for the E! channel advertising their reality television show Pop Fiction. Warped Tour 2009 is the first time The Adicts have played the punk rock festival.
The Adicts originated as Afterbirth & The Pinz in late 1975. They soon changed their name to The Adicts and became known for their distinctive Clockwork Orange droog image, which, along with their urgent, uptempo music and light-hearted lyrics, helped set them apart from other punk bands. In the 1980s, they temporarily changed their name to 'Fun Adicts' and 'ADX', mainly to coincide with children's TV appearances.
Their music has catchy melodies and lyrics, and often features extra instruments and sound clips, such as carousel music in "How Sad", violin played by Derick Cook in "Joker in the Pack", and gongs and keyboard percussion by Anthony Boyd in "Chinese Takeaway".
The musicians wear all white, with black boots and black bowler hats. The singer, Keith "Monkey" Warren, wears joker make-up, and his clothes were usually wild, patterned suits (such as checkerboard or polkadot), flared trousers and colorful dress shirts. He also tends to wear a bowler hat and gloves. Along with the look, come stage shows involving items such as streamers, confetti, playing cards, beach balls, joker hats, toy instruments and glitter.
Celebrating 25 groundbreaking years, FISHBONE has been trailblazing their way through the history of American Ska, Rock Fusion and (so-called) Black Rock since starting their professional career in Los Angeles burgeoning, Alternative Rock music scene of the mid-1980s. Their sound has often been imitated, but never duplicated. They have toured worldwide with such bands as the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Roots, Les Claypool/Primus, Fela Kuti, The Dead Kennedys and many more. Angelo Moore's ability to combine thought-provoking, humorous social commentary with FISHBONE's brethren's frenzied, up-tempo music and frantic, euphorically entertaining stage show has cultivated their undisputed reputation as one of the best live acts in music history.
Now in their 25th year of composing, creating, recording, releasing and performing original music together, mass critical appeal appears to be returning to the band, fueled by their critically acclaimed full-length feature documentary; Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. Narrated by Laurence Fishburne, the film earned LA Weekly's Critic's Choice Award at the Los Angeles Film Fest in 2010, has been called "effortlessly Entertaining" (Variety), "Brilliant and Groundbreaking" (Pop Matters), and hailed as "more than a documentary about rock 'n' roll. It's a documentary about the American spirit and one that shows the life of one of its most influential creative forces." (Encore Magazine)
The documentary features celebrity testimonials from an A-list cast of rock icons such as Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), who calls the band "an important musical institution" and "the band that gave us the inspiration to be a band" by Gwen Stefani (No Doubt). The film also includes similar admiration from the likes of Perry Farrell (Jane's Addition), Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains) Rob Trujillo (Metallica), Questlove (The Roots), Chuck D (Public Enemy), Tim Robbins (Grammy Winning Actor) and many more. The film not only highlights the bands substantial legacy in contemporary music of all forms, but also the struggles, adversity, and inner turmoil that has surrounded the bands career. It has also opened up the possibility of, and widely rumored and sought after reunion performance with all original members of this legendary band. Everyday Sunshine is currently premiering in theaters across the country, and many of the dates have already sold out. DVD release and broadcast interest from VH1, Showtime, and PBS is expected in 2012.
To date, FISHBONE still continues to tour all over the world, still turning heads at some of the world's most noteworthy festivals such as Fuji Rock Festival in Tokyo, Japan (2010), Wakarusa in Ozark, AK (2010), Sunset Junction in Los Angeles, CA (2010) and Voodoo Festival in New Orleans, LA (2011). This year, the band recently completed a national U.S. tour with Slightly Stoopid and Dumpstaphunk; and a sold-out SXSW showcase with Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep. In addition, the band recently completed an Australian tour featuring performances with Trombone Shorty and George Clinton, highlighted by a performance at Byron Bay Blues Festival. This summer the band toured all over Europe and Japan and currently on tour in support of their highly anticipated new EP Crazy Glue (DC-Jam Records) released October 11, 2011.
Crazy Glue is currently available online everywhere and select retail stores nationwide.
"Nobunny is certainly hitting a chord that's turning ears all over into fuzzy, pink, and protruding embarrassments.... Like a pop machine spewing out a small rivulet of hits... Nobunny's ability to deliver blithesome songs with a maddened and frothy smile is simply brilliant. His bouncy and rollicking style conjures images of dirty bubbles rising over a landscape of unkempt, and insanely catchy hooks that will have the stuffiest of the arm folding camp dancing and acting like idiots within the first couple of chords."
-Brett Cross, Victim Of Time
Full Lineup at riotfest.org
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2-DAY PASS GRANTS ADMISSION INTO HUMBOLDT PARK FESTIVAL GROUNDS, 9/15 - 9/16.
2-Day Pass holders will need to present the same ticket on both days in order to gain admission to the festival grounds - so please hold on to your ticket!
Rain or Shine event. No refunds, exchanges, nontransferable. All event information, including line-up, is subject to change. Free admission for children under 5 yrs old.
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2-DAY RIOT FEST PASS with Rise Against, Iggy And The Stooges, Elvis Costello, A Day To Remember, Coheed and Cambria, Descendents, Gogol Bordello, Dropkick Murphys, NOFX, Hot Water Music, Andrew W.K., The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Gaslight Anthem, Alkaline Trio, AWOLNATION, Slapstick, Minus The Bear, The Promise Ring, Chiodos, GWAR, August Burns Red, Less Than Jake, Built To Spill, Frank Turner, Pegboy, Reverend Horton Heat, Imagine Dragons, The Adicts, Fishbone, Nobunny, and many more...
Saturday, September 15 · 10:30AM at Humboldt Park