Kickstand Productions Proudly Presents
August Burns Red
Of Mice & Men, The Color Morale, The Overseer
209 E. Washington St.
Bloomington, IL, 61701
Doors 7:00PM / Show 7:30PM
This event is all ages
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."
Of Mice & Men
"The main theme of [Of Mice and Men] is the American Dream [...] and being self sufficient [...] As a band, I was thinking about that when Austin and I were thinking about forming this band that we wanted this to be our American Dream, especially considering that I'm not from America [...] So this was to be our self sufficient thing that we could live off and make our own and achieve this dream. [...] So I looked at things that happened with [past relationships] and that everyone had the best intentions with things, and that they didn't quite work out the way we wanted it to."
On May 13, 2011 Of Mice & Men released a brand new single entitled, "Still YDG'N". Also, on May 24, 2011 they released a second song entitled, "Purified".
Their sophomore album "The Flood" was released June 14, 2011.
The Color Morale
The Color Morale is a post-hardcore band from Rockford, Illinois. The group is currently signed to Rise Records. They have released two albums to date, We All Have Demons, released on September 1, 2009, and My Devil In Your Eyes, released on March 8, 2011. Shortly before the band's second album was released, bassist/vocalist Justin Hieser left the band for reasons that have not been clarified. On July 18, 2011 the band announced they had been sponsored by Schecter. Justin Hieser returned to the band after sorting out some personal issues and is now the rhythm guitarist.
When speaking with the members of Arkansas hard rock outfit THE OVERSEER, one phrase comes up time and time again: "In the moment." But it's not because the hotly tipped band wants to focus on the here-and-now. It's because they want to transcend it.
It's become something of a mission statement for the band, the desire to make music that can elevate, that can transport the listener to a place that's emotionally honest ... and that can stir up one hell of a mess in the moshpit, as anyone who's heard their artfully pummeling riffage, savage breakdowns and vocal cord-rupturing vocals can attest. "I'd like to say that the music we write is more than just 'in the moment,'" says vocalist Anthony Rivera. "We're looking to write something that stands the test of time, that people can look back on and still enjoy 10 years from now."
Drawing inspiration from likeminded artists such as THRICE, UNDEROATH and AS I LAY DYING, THE OVERSEER delivers hard-hitting, uncompromising hard rock that belies the members' young age. This isn't "cash in on the latest trend" music, it's "sweat and tears" hard rock, with a little blood thrown in for good measure.
Showing they've got the work ethic as well as the talent it takes to make it in the musical big-leagues, THE OVERSEER have proven themselves to be completely devoted to the rock and roll life, even when it meant hitting the road for 400 grueling days in the last two years as an unsigned band. The relentless push to connect with fans around the country has been a dynamic and rewarding experience for the band - if not always glamorous. "There's really nothing like sleeping in a van in a different Walmart parking lot every night and showering once a week - or less," laughs bassist Bradley Riggs. "Touring is a challenge, but it makes it a lot easier when you can do it with guys who you completely trust in life. We've seen the world together and been through a lot, both great and terrible. We probably know each other better than we know ourselves."
All of that hard work paid off when the band achieved one of the goals the members had set from the beginning - getting signed to Solid State Records, home to so many of the bands that indirectly helped to shape THE OVERSEER's sound. With the ink still drying on the deal, the band set out to do what it does best - work hard. The members headed into Atlanta's Glow in the Dark Studios with Matt McClellan to record an as-yet-untitled debut album - the first taste of which was released to fans in January 2012 in the form of the hard-hitting lead single "Secrets."
Once the album is complete, it will be time for THE OVERSEER to do the OTHER thing they do best: Tour, tour and tour, taking their music and their spiritually-minded message to eager fans. "I expect great things to happen for us over the next few years. We believe in hard work and hopefully we can leave an impression on a our listeners and maybe become a musical influence to them in the future," Riggs says. "We know our most exciting days on the road are to come, and that keeps us moving forward."
Forget living "in the moment." THE OVERSEER are living for the future, and it looks like a bright one indeed.
The Castle Theatre
Tue, May 21
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Sat, June 1
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Tue, June 18