Nico Vega

The Los Angeles band Nico Vega – singer/lyricist Aja Volkman, guitarist Rich Koehler and drummer Dan Epand –drew from intensely personal experiences and their passion for art and politics to deliver some of the most poignant tunes in recent memory on their new EP, Fury oh Fury, released February 5th on Five Seven Music.
“It’s socially conscious music about human struggle and rising up,” Aja explains. “It’s written from the underdog’s point of view, which we can really relate to. We’ve always gotten along with people who have had a lot of struggle.”
These tracks were recorded in studios around Los Angeles as well as at Sonic Ranch Studios in Texas. It showcases the band’s trademark blues-¬-laden guitar rock, with soaring synths thrown in for good measure. Aja’s fearless and passionate vocals round out the tracks, and her lyrics simultaneously inspire and incite acEon.

Rather than employ the same old tricks of the trade, the Los Angeles trio breathes new life into
the genre. There's no guitar, nor does there have to be. Eschewing the six-string standard, the
band utilizes clavinet, vintage keyboards, piano, analog synthesizers, distorted bass, and a good
old-fashioned drum stomp. Crash Kings—Antonio (Vocals, Keyboards) and Michael Beliveau
(Bass) and Jason Morris (handling drums on the album—bent and broke boundaries in order to
craft their second album due out this summer. They're giving new meaning to the word
"alternative".
Growing up in suburban Massachusetts, the Brothers Beliveau knew they were meant to make
music together. One grainy family photo even shows Tony at three-years-old sitting at his dad's
piano next to Michael just a year old. Growing up, they jammed together constantly, but it wasn't
until the duo graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music that their own vision
started coming into focus.
In 2006, Crash Kings came to life in Los Angeles. Shortly after forming, they caught the ear of
the legendary producer and songwriter Linda Perry who signed them to Custard Records. With
Perry's guidance, the group developed an enigmatic sound all their own. That sound resulted in a
deal with Universal Motown in 2008, laying the groundwork for their self-titled debut to hit
shelves in 2009.
Propelled by the hit single "Mountain Man", Crash Kings sent shockwaves throughout modern
rock. The group was featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and George Lopez Tonight, as "Mountain
Man" took a firm hold on the #1 spot of Billboard's Alternative Songs Chart. Their music was
also featured in Zombieland and Warren Miller’s Dynasty as the band invaded every facet of pop
culture.
Everything has been kicked up a notch (or eleven) for the band's second album. Michael
explains, "On our first album, we focused on making edgy rock n’ roll that featured the piano.
This time around, we delved into using synthesizers and the clavinet a lot more. We've evolved
and expanded - this is unexplored territory for us."
In order to properly canvas that unchartered territory, the band enlisted Nick Launay [Nick Cave
and the Bad Seeds, Arcade Fire, The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, Supergrass] as producer. "We were
searching for someone who was willing to take some risks," says Michael. "I started researching
producers and came across Nick. So we put in a call. We met him for coffee and after five
minutes of talking music, we knew he was the guy."
In the past, the band primarily worked from song ideas that Tony brought them. However, for
this second album, Crash Kings hunkered down in their Los Angeles studio for three months
writing together. As a result, each element stands out on songs like "6 Foot Tall". Tony's
whammy bar outfitted clavinet wails like a full-on rock orchestra, while Michael's bass roars and
rumbles with a distorted hum. Each song sounds more uninhibited than the next, especially when
Jason's bombastic beats kick in. Antonio reveals, "The fact that we tracked the drums, bass, and
most of keys live, gave this record an edge we were seeking."
In April 2011, Crash Kings set up shop in a North Hollywood house originally built by deceased
Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro. The group would work during the afternoon, and then dine together
at night before recording all evening. However, a few times, they think they may have gotten a
little assistance from the home's original owner...
"That house is a little haunted," laughs Michael. "I had a few run-ins with the ghost when I was
by myself. I came home from a Queens of the Stone Age concert, and I heard someone talking to
me in the backyard, but I was the only one there. Another time, I swear I locked up and, when I
came back, every door was wide open."
The only thing otherworldly about Crash Kings is their music. Their explosive live shows have
entranced audiences of all shapes and sizes. They're unique brand of rock has lead them to share
the stage with the likes of Stone Temple Pilots, Jet, Anberlin, Chris Cornell, The Bravery, and
more.
Ultimately, Crash Kings go back to the basics with their new music, and they can rock anywhere.
"We have this love of traditional rock from the '60s and '70s," Michael goes on. "We're not hung
up on overproducing our music and layering to make it sound bigger. Most of time our
philosophy is: 'less is more'. There's a lot you can do with just three instruments and vocals".
Crash Kings bring back that traditional spirit with a fresh fire. "We want to turn heads and make
people think," concludes Michael. "That's why we're here".

A Brilliant Lie

A Brilliant Lie is a think-outside-the-box alternative rock band from Orlando, FL. Since 2010, this on-the-rise band has received airtime on many of Central Florida's largest Clear Channel and college radio stations. They have performed multiple shows at the famous House of Blues (both as a supporting & headlining act). Additionally, they have secured slots at the Florida Music Festival four years in a row (supporting Anberlin, Minus the Bear, Less Than Jake, and more), and landed a slot at Sunfest 2012 (supporting Passion Pit, Coheed & Cambria, Foreigner, Snoop Dogg, and more). Their latest release "Waking Vessels" (2013) is a joint venture between ABL and renowned producer James Paul Wisner (Paramore, Underoath, Dashboard Confessional, and more).

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Nico Vega with Crash Kings, A Brilliant Lie

Monday, July 22 · 8:00 PM at The Social

Tickets Available at the Door