Scream It Like You Mean It Tour: Story Of the Year
Like Moths to Flames, Hawthorne Heights, Set it Off, I Am King
46 N Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL, 32801
This event is all ages
Story Of The Year
On September 16, 2003, we released our debut album, Page Avenue. It was an album that changed our lives; an album that kickstarted a decade of making music, traveling, and most importantly, sharing our music with countless people all around the world. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that our band; 5 guys from working class midwest families, would one day be on MTV, headline the Warped Tour, or help define a genre and inspire so many bands. We just played music because we absolutely loved it. It's just what we did.
To paraphrase the great Dave Grohl, there is this magical "thing" that happens when a band has officially broken. When the anxiety of playing to an empty room is replaced with the sheer exhilaration of playing to a sold out audience. When you start talking to managers more than your wife. When you go to a mall to buy fucking socks and people recognize you. It's the storm after the calm, and we lived it. We are among the luckiest people in the world because we know. We know how amazing life can be when you spend every hour of every day doing what you love, on your own terms. We found ourselves living out of suitcases, in tour buses and hotel rooms, going a mile a minute from the adrenaline of being on stage any given night. We found ourselves standing on the Great Wall of China and wandering the streets of Tokyo. Instead of delivering pizza we were driving snowmobiles on glaciers in Alaska and petting kangaroos in Australia. All because of this little collection of songs called Page Avenue. It has been a beautiful ride, and we will forever be thankful.
It's been an amazing, ridiculous, and utterly unpredictable journey. We've been at the top, bottom, and every place in between. And somehow we managed to stay friends through it all. Love us or hate us, there is no denying the fact that there is something special about the 5 of us on stage together. There is a sound, a certain quality and chemistry that is unique to the five of us. How many bands go ten years without a line up change? Still, in all honesty, the thought that it might be time to call it quits has crossed all of our minds- that the dream is over, so to say. To say that things have been easy over the last three years would be a lie. But it's time. It's time to give it another go. It's what we do.
10 Years and Counting...
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Page Avenue, we will be embarking on a PAGE AVEUNE WORLD TOUR. We'll be playing the album front to back, in it's entirety, in addition to a bunch of fan favorites, and a few surprises. It's our goal to take this 10th anniversary tour not only around the USA, but to as many countries as we can, for as many Story of the Year fans as possible. This is a celebration of "Page Avenue" and the 10 years of memories associated with it- YOUR memories, OUR memories, and an awesome opportunity to make brand new ones. This is our way of saying thank you.
In conjunction with the tour, we will be releasing "PAGE AVENUE: 10 Years and Counting", a full acoustic re-imagining of Page Avenue. It's borderline inappropriate to call it an acoustic record, because it's so much more than that. We recorded the album with acoustic guitars, pianos, crazy big drums and really cool, artistic programming and arrangements. It's a really cool take on these songs that mean so much to us. We will have release dates for the album soon.
Like Moths to Flames
LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES have set the underground music scene ablaze in just a few short years, thanks to a decidedly unique, fresh and original take on an otherwise well-worn genre. Stomping sing-a-long anthems, pulverizing metal chaos and crystal clear/soaring shiny pop dance together with delicious freedom within the band’s sound. Bring Me The Horizon, Devil Wears Prada and Miss May I are some of the only bands doing it at the same level of intensity, precision and passion as Like Moths To Flames, who have taken their rightful place alongside their scene counterparts while steadily maneuvering a career that is uniquely their own.
Upon the band’s arrival, fans quickly became as passionate about the group’s songs as the young men who composed them. When We Don’t Exist took the early promise of the group’s debut EP, Sweet Talker, and expanded upon all of its ideas. When We Don’t Exist is broader, catchier and more fired up than the vast majority of the likeminded genre records being downloaded, streamed and otherwise consumed around the world. One listen to the group’s output is all the evidence one needs to understand why the Like Moths To Flames has dominated on the road on The AP Tour with Miss May I and The Ghost Inside, the Scream It Like You Mean It Tour with We Came As Romans and Attack Attack! or supporting groups like DRUGS. The two newer songs on the deluxe edition – “Learn Your Place” and “Shapeshifter” – inch even further toward that proverbial “next level,” looking toward the future.
Vigilant fans of the metalcore sound were well aware of vocalist Chris Roetter before the band began. Like Moths To Flames is the culmination of all of his travels, experience and relationships from the years he spent fronting Emarosa and Agraceful. The rest of the band cut their teeth in smaller acts as well. Guitarist Eli Ford was formerly in My Ticket Home. Drummer Greg Diamond came from The Air I Breathe, while bassist/backing vocalist Aaron Evans (who started LMTF with Roetter) and lead guitarist Zach Huston played in TerraFirma together. “Aaron and I were in bands that had seen the bad side of the music business,” Roetter explains of the group’s formation. “This time around, we wanted to make sure that we were playing music that we had a good time with. We wrote music that we liked that we knew that we would like to play live. We knew we wanted to go out and have fun we want to do it our way, however we wanted.” The band found their footing with their debut EP and then really developed their sound with their first full-length, which is chock full of angry bile and exposition reflective of a singer with plenty to get off his chest.
Like Moths To Flames embarked on the “A Metal Christmas” tour to support their inaugural EP on Rise Records, together with Texas In July and A Hero A Fake. After a lineup reshuffle that resulted in the current incarnation save for the drummer position (which shifted shortly thereafter), the band recorded their first full album, which was released in November, 2011. In the following January, they hit the road on the S.I.N. Tour with D.R.U.G.S., Hit the Lights and Sparks The Rescue. Next they found themselves back on tour with their friends in Texas In July. Next came the summer’s Scream It Like You Mean It Tour. The year wrapped up with Like Moths To Flames joining The AP Tour. In an era of verse/chorus/verse screaming and singing, Like Moths To Flames aims for a more organic blend of the two styles that serves the song rather than a formula. Even as people continue to discover When We Don’t Exist, Like Moths To Flames are putting their eyes toward the bigger prize of album number two, which the band intends to make even “darker” and “more eerie.”
Spending ten months out of the year on the road, the group is fully committed to making music their long-term lifestyle. At the end of the day, the band’s raison d’etre is simple. “I want to be able to connect with people through writing songs,” Roetter says. “That’s something that I’ve been able to do since I was younger and that’s something that I want to continue to do. We want to be able to meet fans and people and play our music. More time out on the road playing shows for more people is going keep lighting the fire under the band to keep it going.”
Remember when today’s middle-aged working stiffs were once young Generation X-types who were wearing ironic T-shirts reading “FREAK” or “LOSER,” words that mirrored their grunge-centric ennui? Then there was one band who made that pervading nihilism even more stylish by rocking black shirts with the word “zero” in silver glitter. But while the z-word has the capacity to taint test scores, bank balances and attempts at self-actualization in ways no other common integer can, it does represent more positive ideals. Consider the terminology used by project managers to herald the beginning of a big project: Year Zero. What’s the numerical equivalent used when someone uses the metaphor of “hitting the reset button” on their lives and/or careers? That’s right: zero.
For the members of Hawthorne Heights, the word (or number) isn’t the providence of losers, nor a bastion of stylish disconnection. Zero, the fifth album from the Dayton, Ohio, outfit, represents a positively incandescent future. Now aligning themselves with Red River Entertainment, Hawthorne Heights—singer/guitarist JT Woodruff, guitarists Micah Carli and Mark McMillion, bassist Matt Ridenour and drummer Eron Bucciarelli—are rising above their post-hardcore roots in ambitious measures. Overseen by producer Brian Virtue, Zero marks a wider breadth of the band’s capacity to create compelling work, regardless of the social implications found in certain music subcultures. (Translation: Team HH tossed the punk-rock rulebook into a wood chipper.)
“When people hear Zero, they’re going to be hearing a new band,” Eron Bucciarelli beams. “What we’re trying to accomplish is to reinvent ourselves and not be so attached to our history. I think there are elements of Zero that pay homage to Hawthorne Heights’ past, that we should by no means attempt to ignore. To a certain degree, we are the same people that wrote The Silence In Black And White. We’re just older now.”
While many of the participants in America’s post-hardcore sweepstakes have toiled in the underground with a mere modicum of success (if any), Hawthorne Heights achieved much in their 12-year existence. Since their inception in 2001, the band made heads swivel with their brand of melodic post-hardcore heightened by the interplay between frontman Woodruff’s “clean vocal” and the late rhythm guitarist Casey Calvert’s screaming. Their 2004 debut, The Silence In Black And White was not only a benchmark for the band (the release was certified gold-status), but also for the attendant “screamo” aesthetic both critics and fans credit the group with bringing into the forefront. 2006’s If Only You Were Lonely repeated gold-selling success for the band, further establishing them as a dynamic live act.
“I think for a lot of people, Hawthorne Heights were that bridge band that got people into more commercial acts like Green Day and Blink-182 to transition into more underground music,” Bucciarelli opines. “For one reason or another, we were people’s first introduction to screaming in music. So for better or worse, that’s one of the main things people think about our band. Maybe our contribution to the larger canon of underground rock is to be a segue into that underground world.”
After the untimely passing of Calvert in 2007, Hawthorne Heights carried on as a quartet, issuing two more full-length albums, Fragile Future (2008) and Skeletons (2010). But after extricating themselves from their last label deal, the band returned to the roll-up-your-sleeves, DIY aesthetic that got them on the post-hardcore radar all those years ago, recording, distributing and marketing two EPs Hate and Hope. “When we made those EPs,” Bucciarelli begins, “we had a chip on our shoulder. But all the while that we were angry, we still had a lot of confidence in ourselves and our ability to make music our fans wanted to hear. We were definitely a lot more optimistic for the future.”
In addition to marking a significant growth in the band’s artistry, Zero also represents the culmination of how Hawthorne Heights conduct themselves as a unit. Knowing full well that today’s bands are businesses through and through, each member was assigned a certain aspect of the band’s affairs, from recording and mixing, booking tours, merchandising and promotion. After playing with the band live for three years, longtime friend of the band Mark McMillion would become an official member. (“It made sense to have him with us,” figures Bucciarelli. “He’s a great guitarist, he can sing, and it’s nice to have another set of ears in the studio.”) The band decided that the follow-up release to their two EPs would be conceptual, with a story arc. “We wanted to make a grand album, something we’ve never done in our entire career,” says the drummer. “We focused on what songs would work toward supporting the story line, as opposed to front-loading the album with all the ‘best’ songs first. At first, there was some hesitation in the studio. ‘This is kinda weird.’ ‘Is this possible?’ We all came together and assured ourselves that we just had to commit to it in order to make it happen.”
The backdrop of Zero takes place in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future where a totalitarian government (the Coalition Of Alternate Living Methods, aka CALM) systematically drugs the populace in order to keep them docile. The central protagonist awakes one morning to find his whole life completely decimated, as if he was dropped into the middle of a desolate vista of scorched earth and wasteland. The hero has to battle the government—as well as the constant barrage of memories that haunt him—in order to find answers. While the song-cycle format is an interesting departure for Hawthorne Heights, the songs are still vibrant, even when dissected from the greater concept. Tracks like “Memories Of Misery,” “Darkside,” “Golden Parachutes” and “Anywhere But Here,” contain equal measures of pop sensibility, as well as lyrical heft. But there are also touching and unnerving moments at play: The acoustic melancholy of “Hollow Hearts Unite” is a mix of altruist sentiment and helplessness colliding. The title track sports Woodruff’s wounded vocal and a guitar solo that wouldn’t sound out of place on a David Gilmour album. “Lost In The Calm” is a deathbed spectator trying to cope, set to a rapid beat that mirrors the song’s urgency. When you consider the current controversy surrounding the activities of corporations intersecting with government (stick “Monsanto” or “fracking” in your search engine of choice and see what happens) futures, Zero doesn’t sound like contrived fiction. In his role as both recording artist and doting father, Bucciarelli genuinely worries about these constructs.
“Some of the themes [found on Zero] factor into my daily thought processes of things, moments like, ‘Should I give my daughter this kind of food to eat,’ and on top of that thinking, ‘What can we do to stop this from happening?’ it’s kind of scary to most people, and that’s why a lot of these ideas have been branded as conspiracy theory—nobody wants to acknowledge it in a hear-no-evil, see-no-evil kind of thing. If some listeners associate some of the themes from this record to real-life situations and it opens their minds up, I think that’s definitely a good thing.”
It’s also a good thing that Hawthorne Heights are still out there. As one of the founding names in the foundation of post-hardcore/contemporary punk, the quintet are reinvigorated and ready to go where their new vision will take them, from the stage of this year’s Warped Tour to the rest of the world. It might sound like a self-deprecating quip, but the truth has a much greater resonance: The sum total of Hawthorne Heights’ parts equals Zero. And it’s far more valuable than mindless slacker nostalgia.
Set it Off
Since their formation in 2008, Set It Off has already released three EPs, signed to Equal Vision
Records, toured non-stop, and shared the stage with the impressive likes of My Chemical
Romance, A Day To Remember, Say Anything, Against Me! and We Came As Romans.
And now they’re ready for more.
The Tampa, FL-based quintet, comprised of Cody Carson [vocals], Dan Clermont [guitar], Zach
DeWall [guitar], Austin Kerr [bass], and Maxx Danziger [drums], will release Cinematics, their
debut full-length record on Equal Vision Records, on September 18, 2012. The 12-track album
was recorded over the course of four weeks with Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount [All Time
Low, Cartel, Mayday Parade] at Vintage Song Studios in Alpharetta, GA.
In a recent interview with Alternative Press, Carson explains that the new album features Set It
Off’s signature sound of orchestra-infused pop with a new sense of heaviness, diversity and
intensity in the album, both lyrically and musically. He states, “What’s really present on this
album…we’re very theatrical when we present our story. If it’s a darker subject, there is a lot of
angst and neurosis that goes into that song…In fact, in one song, Zack and Ken think I sound like the Joker from The Dark Knight. Not that I’m going for that, I just really try to get into character for each song as far as the mood goes. It has that diversity, but it still sounds like Set It Off.”
In a separate interview, Carson further expounded on the band’s experience in working with Zack and Kenneth recalling, “Our favorite phrase they would use is ‘You can beat that.’ They allowed us to become better musicians and individual writers…in the vocal booth, they helped drive my darker side out of me when it needed to show. Through bringing it out in the studio every day, it allowed me to bring “him” out on stage too. It’s like therapy for me.”
For their first full-length ever, Set It Off ambitiously set out to take their signature sound to the next level and pushed themselves further than ever before in every possible way – technically, musically, lyrically and emotionally in the writing and recording process. “Musically I feel like we are the strongest we’ve ever been. All the touring we’ve done in the past year has made us night and day tighter for our live performances and working and meeting other musicians on that next level has forced us to push our skills musically in all aspects from playing to writing,” explains Clermont.
Danziger notes that, “Once we got in to the swing of things though, it started coming together very naturally…we liked what we did with Horrible Kids and you can definitely hear that sound in this new record.” He continues, “But a lot has happened in the past year. We’ve made new friends, faced new challenges, had new experiences, and from that we’ve all grown up a lot. I think the new album reflects how we’ve changed as people. It has a similar feel to our most recent EP, but is more mature and polished.”
In August 2011, the young band made their label debut with the re-release of their third EP Horrible Kids, which garnered widespread praise in the press from the likes of mtvU, Alternative Press, Guitar World, Rock Sound, Outburn Magazine and more, launched them into countless tours around the US, and ultimately prepared them to write and record their first full-length record. Horrible Kids debuted at No. 63 in the 100 Alternative Albums on iTunes, with their music video for “@reply” featured as an iTunes “Hot Music Video” and the music video for “Breathe In, Breathe Out” receiving great accolade on its own, as it was added to rotation on mtvU after winning the station’s The Freshmen challenge.
Horrible Kids was recorded at Red Sparrow Studios in Wilson, NC with Brandon “B-Real” Ham and John Harrell and mastered by Paul Leavitt [VersaEmerge, The Dangerous Summer]. The EP blends contagious, driving melodies and hard-hitting choruses with genuine sincerity and a powerful message, creating an emotional concept album referencing the troubles of being bullied growing up and importance of being yourself and embracing who you are no matter what. The band’s new album takes the same energetic and passionate approach, but strays from a specific theme, allowing the band to touch on a broader spectrum of topics. “Lyrically, Horrible Kids was me digging deep into my past. With the new album, you’re getting to jump inside my head and think how I think, feel what I feel, and really understand how human we all are.” Carson confesses openly. “We are human – we have good times, we have bad times, we think pure thoughts, and we think impure thoughts. As far as how I describe these situations, I want you to feel like you are sitting down for a short film…and if I’m not evoking any sort of emotion from you then I’m not doing my job.”
“We are very proud of our last release, Horrible Kids EP, but this album is just on a different level, and we’re very, very excited about it,” concludes Danziger. “This is a new era of Set It Off, and we’re ready for it. “
I Am King
we... have forgotten our place,
we have traded who we are,
for the sake of a comfortable lifestyle
we find our identities in our cars,
and the money in our pockets,
rather then our souls,
which is what truely defines us all
there is a man behind a mask,
swallowing us alive,
yet hidden in the shadows
YOU have a purpose,
so seek it out
this is a revolution,
and if I AM KING,
YOU ARE KING.
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