Pierce The Veil
Sleeping With Sirens, Tonight Alive, Hands Like Houses
105 W. Main Street
Mesa, AZ, 85201
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."
From the soaring pop sensibility of songs like "Bulletproof Love" to the upbeat aggression of "Caraphernelia", the album shows how versatile Pierce The Veil have become, whether they're screaming their hearts out or gently bearing their souls. There are also plenty of sonic surprises on Selfish Machines, most notably the emotive, piano-driven ballad "Stay Away From My Friends" which displays the band's growth as songwriters. "That song was my first crack at writing on piano," Vic explains. "I've got a piano in my house now so I'd been messing around on it and ended up writing some riffs, which I think definitely gave the album a different feel," he continues, adding that he hopes to eventually implement keyboards into the band's live performances.
Although Pierce The Veil have toured incessantly for the past three years, they made some time late last year to write these tracks and instantly threw themselves into the songwriting process. "It's pretty hard for us to write on the road because we're touring in an RV most of the time with tight quarters, which doesn't bode well for creativity," Vic acknowledges with a laugh. "We have a studio at home that I like to hang out in, so I basically just shut myself out from the world for three or four months and spent all day and night writing," he continues. "Every song is super personal; they're all very real about our lives and I think once people read them they can probably see a little bit about what's going on with us."
"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."
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 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 over 16,000 records on their debut album and touring wi...th bands like From First to Last and Sky Eats Airplane to Haste The Day and Enter Shikari, 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. Their new record is to be released on the 10th of May, 2011 and has sparked the intrest of many fans already! Look out for this band to rise up in 2011!
It's an unlikely tale. Rising from the fevered hotbed of Sydney, Australia's underground hardcore scene, boy meets girl. Or rather, two boys meet girl to make kick-ass rock music.Try to keep up - the story goes something like this...Guitarist Whakaio Taahi and his compadre bass player, Cameron Adler, needed a frontman for a rock project. Scrap that. Frontwoman. Enter ingenue-with-attitude, Jenna McDougall - as soon as the sixteen-year-old songstress' soaring contralto and sweet strains took the mic to their songs, something clicked. Already onboard, rhythm axeman Jake Hardy and new recruit, drummer Matt Best - a childhood buddy of Whakaio's. One jam later, the writing was on the wall. Tonight Alive were up and running, pedal to the metal.The band stepped up, and fast. Songs honed, stagecraft already a dead cert, they entered Sydney's subterranean circuit of metalcore and heavy bands, playing their own brand of catchy-as-all-hell pop-punk... and promptly took the scene by storm, developing a rabid young fanbase in thrall to the band's ebullient, fist-pumping anthemery, arena-sized hooks and high-voltage live performances. Right from word-go, it was clear Tonight Alive were going somewhere.A year on, courted by labels and management secured, with two stellar EPs ('All Shapes & Disguises' and 'Consider This') under their belts, a demo of Tonight Alive's new material landed on producer-extraordinaire Mark Trombino's (Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World, The Starting Line) desk. He rang the band immediately, wanting in."For him to contact us, and say he was interested, was a big deal," says Jenna, now 19. "We couldn't believe he'd put himself out like that. He's amazing. Mark created the albums we all grew up listening to - the albums that launched the careers of all these great bands.Whakaio weighs in. "Yeah, it felt right that he do our first album, that he be the one to kick-start us off. As soon as we got over there, we found Mark felt the same."Recorded at LA's infamous NRG Studios over two months, Trombino's personal interest in the project played out in other fortuitous ways. "Nothing was left to editing or over Pro-Tooling," notes Whakaio. "Jenna sang every line until it was right. I played every guitar part. The drum sound is natural and not heavily sampled. There was no copy-pasting. That was really important to us, as well as Mark. That it sound real. Natural.""It was great because it made us really step up as musicians," says Jenna. "I know I definitely came back from the experience a better singer."What you're listening to now is the inspired result of that auspicious partnership between a bunch of Aussie kids and an auteur with a canon of classic records already to his name. What Are You So Scared Of? is one more album to add to that list.As the charging powerchords, chiming verseline and rattlesnake high-hats of Breaking & Entering kick off proceedings, Tonight Alive make their intent known with this instant torch song. Like serving up straight red cordial shots to a bunch of Ritalin-deprived delinquents. Like scooping up a surging circle-pit and slamdunking into a kids' jumping castle. Like a surly prom queen setting her school afire as the So-Cal styled band plays on, What Are You So Scared Of? is a veritable barnstormer of a debut album. Bouncey, infectious and thrilling.Cue the mosh-happy shout-a-long of Starlight, the sheer infectious fun of Sure as Hell and the sugar-rush of songs like To Die For and the title track. Lending both cred and sporting their influences on their sleeve.But there's also gravitas to match Tonight Alive's gusto and good time - the balls-out heaviness of Listening, the acoustic-shaded power ballad Safe and Sound, and one of the album's best tracks, Let It Land, all showcase a band with serious songwriting chutzpah. Meanwhile, the moving closer, Amelia, is Jenna's paean to a girlhood friend who passed away aged 16, and packs one powerful emotional punch.What really lifts Tonight Alive above another female-fronted pop-rock band is their muscular musicality, a deft sense of dynamic, a way of shifting seamlessly from the big riffs and breakdowns, to allow space and the sensibility of Jenna's sweetly sung melodies to shine through. The hardcore heritage has set them in good stead - these kids have some bad-ass chops. Underpinned by Best's impassioned, athletic drumming, the mercurial undertow of Adler's tasteful basswork and Hardy's meat'n' potato riffery, Whakaio lays down the sort of colour, texture and zinging, adrenalizing leadlines that sing like a wire fenceline being drawn taut.When it comes to fronting Tonight Alive, Jenna is all heart and zero artifice - plus, this gal's got one helluva set of lungs on her. Equal parts sugar and spit, honey and husk, vamp, vitriol and vulnerability, she belts it out, hell for leather. "The weird thing is, even though as a band, we all grew up on bands like Thrice, Sum 41 and Something Corporate, I think what influenced me most, vocally, was stuff as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Missy Higgins, Avril Lavrigne and Fall Out Boy," says Jenna. "Plus I listen to tons of metal, where there's a lot of screaming. I really dig the aggression."Already with a cult following Stateside, key to the band's burgeoning profile has been the inclusion of songs off their last EP on reality TV show The Hills. Ironic, considering the band are from Sydney's Hills District. "Yeah," laughs Whakaio. "We're the Aussie Hills!""We're hoping it'll help us out in the girl department," quips Matt, "That we'll get invited to some Hills launch party in Hollywood. Sadly, it hasn't happened yet."Perhaps a song on Jersey Shore might tip things in their favour? "God," drawls Jenna. "We hope not."The band's grounded approach has added to their groundswell appeal. "We started off playing youth centre's," says Whakaio. "And so we all feel like we have a personal connection to so many people who come to our shows. I know that sounds cliched, but it's true - it's almost like we're friends with all of them. We make a point of going out after a gig, making contact with the fans, thanking them, keeping them informed."So, why the title What Are You So Scared Of? "It's the only question I can ever ask myself where I'll always have an answer," explains Jenna. "Asking myself, 'what are you so scared of?' has always helped me pass through any personal fear or doubt. And it's summed up the last year for us as a band - we've broken new boundaries, stepped up into another league."What Are You So Scared Of? is our mission statement, if you like - we're moving forward, dissolving old barriers or blocks."She's no blonde bombshell, that's for sure, but Jenna and her band may very well be the bomb: Tonight Alive are gonna blow up big-time. Prepare yourself, people. Tonight Alive are here, and they're on fire.
Hands Like Houses
Hands Like Houses are a fresh and explosive 6 piece from Canberra, Australia. With a rapidly expanding international fanbase, the band has captivated audiences with their electric blend of technical, effects- heavy songwriting with post-hardcore passion and stage presence. Driven by rich lyricism and melodic, emotive vocals in the vein of Emarosa and The Getaway Plan, the band presents a complex and finely crafted mix of guitar and electronics, drawing from a broad range of influence including Thrice, The Receiving End of Sirens and Closure in Moscow.
The closing of 2011 saw the band sign to American record label Rise Records, with their highly anticipated debut album 'Ground Dweller' subsequently announced to be released worldwide on March 13th.
HLH traveled to the USA in 2010 and 2011 to record 'Ground Dweller' with Cameron Mizell of Chango Studios (Woe, Is Me, Sleeping With Sirens, Oceana). The subsequent single releases, 'This Ain't No Place For Animals', and ʻLion Skin (feat. Tyler Carter and Jonny Craig)' earned the band over 5,000 independent single sales via iTunes during 2011, and their most recent single 'Antarctica', released on Youtube through Rise Records, has amassed almost 200,000 views in its first month. Along with the band's self-produced acoustic versions of 'Lion Skin' and ʻThe Sowerʼ, their YouTube channels have seen over three quarters of a million views, growing daily.
Boasting a dedicated and fast-growing international fanbase, built through years of personally managing their social networks and independent promotion and touring, Hands Like Houses will release their hotly anticipated debut album 'Ground Dweller' on March 9th in Australia (March 13th worldwide through Rise Records). Buoyed by exceptional online pre-order numbers for a debut release, the record is well on track to break into the Billboard Top 200 and Heatseeker charts in the US in its first week.
To date, the band has supported a number of notable acts from Australia and around the world, including The Getup Kids (USA), As Tall As Lions (USA), The Getaway Plan (AUS), Dream On Dreamer (AUS), Break Even (AUS), Hopes Die Last (ITA) and Tonight Alive (AUS). Their 2011 touring schedule saw the band play 50+ shows across Australia and Europe, impressing audiences with a sound and stage presence beyond their standing.
Since forming in 2006 between high school friends, the band has evolved and grown to a dedicated and close-knit group. As So Long Safety, the band was nominated for 2 MusicOz awards in 2008, in the Schoolies and Music Video categories. Their singles 'Lion Skin' and 'Antarctica' have seen weekly rotation on Triple J, Australia's largest alternative radio station, as well as regular play on local and internet stations including Western Australia's The Pit FM.
2012 will see Hands Like Houses add to their list of local, national and international supports, beginning with Pushover 2012 in Melbourne Australia in support of Parkway Drive, Tonight Alive, 360 and others, before embarking on their first leg of US touring in the northern Spring/Summer to promote the release of 'Ground Dweller'.
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