A Skylit Drive

A Skylit Drive

It takes great vision for a band to refuse to rest on their previous successes and instead focus on what they need to become. That's exactly what Lodi, California's A Skylit Drive achieved with the sextet's third full-length album, Identity On Fire.

Marrying the defining, intrinsic elements of A Skylit Drive's signature sound with a bold new palette of tones, textures and song structures, the aptly named Identity On Fire serves up a double meaning, not only standing apart from the band's prior works but also defining the band from this point forward.

"This record has everything to do with setting fire to the things that you don't want and don't need, and are only slowing you down," notes Michael "Jag" Jagmin. "It's about creating your own identity, and being who you want to be. We feel like that's what we've done with this album."

A Skylit Drive — comprised of vocalist Jagmin, guitarists Nick Miller and Joey Wilson, bassist/screamer Brian White, drummer Cory La Quay and keyboardist Kyle Simmons — officially burst onto the scene in 2007 with the She Watched The Sky EP, followed by 2008's Wires And The Concept Of Breathing. The band then joined the Fearless Records family, with their label debut coming in the form of 2009's Adelphia, which peaked at #64 on the Billboard 200.

With the sophomore pressure behind them, ASD re-entered the studio in the fall of 2010, after a summer of 10-hour days spent writing new material in a blistering warehouse, to record Identity On Fire. All the sweat clearly paid off: Identity captures the group truly coming into their own, at a pivotal stage in their career. The album debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 at #89 and #16 on the Alternative Albums chart.

It's tough to dispute the fruits of that partnership: Identity On Fire has all the makings of a breakout release from a band just hitting their stride. From its richly layered guitars and keys to its bombastic beats and scorching vocals, the album is a take-no-prisoners shot across the bow of contemporary post-hardcore, instantly raising the bar. "We wanted to have more energy, keep the tempo up and have a lot of crowd participation," adds guitarist Nick Miller. "We wanted the contrast—a good balance of heavy and poppy—and I think on this album we've definitely found a good balance."

The combination of inspired lyrics and powerful new music translates into a milestone release for A Skylit Drive; fresh cuts like single "Too Little, Too Late", "XO Skeleton" and "Ex Marks The Spot" promise to grab listeners by the eardrums and not let go. Jagmin and Miller say they're particularly proud of "Ex," which has become a band favorite. With a straight-up melodic hardcore vibe, fist-pumping gang vocals and surprisingly well-honed hooks, it is just one of Identity's many dazzlers.

Now that Identity On Fire has dropped, A Skylit Drive will be taking what's arguably their best record yet to an audience that grows larger by the day. They supplemented the album's release with a supporting spot on tour with Thursday and Underoath, gaining fans and respect with every show. Followed by the band's second shot at Warped Tour, tackling the 2011 tour in its entirety.

For All Those Sleeping

"Storming out of St Cloud, MN, armed with a blend of pop, hardcore and a killer live show, For All Those Sleeping is ready to give the scene a serious wake up call. Mike Champa (vocals), Jerad Pierskalla (guitar/vocals), David Volgman-Stevens (guitar) and Ethan Trekell (drums) met in high school, and formed For All Those Sleeping in 2007 after gaining London Snetsinger on bass. The band has already wowed audiences on tour throughout the Midwest, and is now ready to take their sound global, having just signed a deal with Fearless Records.

Wolves At The Gate

Wolves At The Gate is made up of four individuals who live to create passionate music for passionate people. After forming in the tiny town of Cedarville, Ohio in April of 2008, the guys have played countless shows in the Tri-State area, performing with bands such as Oh, Sleeper, Emarosa, Greeley Estates and Oceana, among others. They have won several major contests, earning them the rights to play with Bring Me The Horizon, Thursday, Four Year Strong and others during the 2009 Taste Of Chaos Tour stop in Cincinnati, OH, as well as sharing the stage with Saosin, Innerparty System, P.O.S. and others during the Columbus, OH date of the 2009 PacTour. The band was also hand-picked to play the 2010 Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, Illinois. After releasing several demos in 2008 and 2009, the band is poised to release their debut EP in early 2011, which was engineered, mixed and mastered by Tyler Smyth of the Fearless Records band Let's Get It. Through their mission to "show the incredible love of God to every person we come in contact with", WATG strongly believes that "the salvation message of the Gospel is free to everyone, and our primary purpose on this earth is to spread that message to everyone we meet." Needless to say, WATG is gearing up for an exciting and action-packed 2011!

I The Mighty

"We don't want people to just listen to our music on a surface level. We want people to dive into the songs and dissect them and to really feel them," states Brent Walsh, vocalist for the San Francisco Bay Area band known as I the Mighty.

I the Mighty will release Karma Never Sleeps - their new EP and Equal Vision Records debut – on March 27, 2012. "Our new material is pretty different from our previous releases. Karma Never Sleeps is a lot heavier, a bit darker, and has a moodier ambient," explains bassist Chris Hinkley.

The ambitious and captivating EP, which was produced by Erik Ron [Panic! At The Disco, VersaEmerge, Foxy Shazam], features six sweeping tracks filled with soaring vocals, catchy hooks, charging guitars and explosive instrumentations that make for a mesmerizing whirlwind of cinematic soundscapes.

Karma Never Sleeps envelops the listener into dramatic, dreamlike imagery of tales of political corruption, desperation and despair, and even words of cautionary counseling for the young and reckless. Lyrically infused with powerful and poignant storylines, some tracks take inspiration directly from Walsh's life experiences, while others are written as if they were dreams illuminated onto a screen through a stream of imagination. Seamlessly woven throughout each track is the ubiquitous theme of Karma.

Since their 2007 inception, I the Mighty has melded together effortlessly and has already compiled an impressive following of support on the west coast, seeing regular rotation on local modern rock station Live 105 and sharing stages with the likes of Hawthorne Heights, There For Tomorrow, Deftones and more.

"In a sense, heading into the recording together was really a discovery of what our band would become," explains guitarist Ian Pedigo. "The process was very organic. The first three songs actually stemmed from jam sessions we had while practicing our old sets for live shows."

I the Mighty has undoubtedly achieved their goal of creating bright, bold and memorable music on the new EP but certainly don't plan on slowing down anytime soon. Blake Dahlinger (drums) expounds, "At this point, there isn't one singular goal that would satisfy what we aim to do. We want to tour the world. We want to continuously put out records that will hopefully mean a lot to us as well as many people. We want to put our own stamp on the music scene by developing our own sound. We want to continuously set and reach goals throughout our career so that we can better ourselves as musicians and people."

Walsh concludes, "And the thing we hope for most…is that our music means something to someone, the way that other artists have meant so much to us in our lives."

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THE GARAGE

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A Skylit Drive with For All Those Sleeping, Wolves At The Gate, I The Mighty, PVRIS

Friday, September 27 · Doors 5:00 PM / Show 5:30 PM at THE GARAGE