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!

PVRIS

Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, the four musicians that form the entity entitled Paris certainly have a fascinating story to share. Upon meeting in 2009 while partaking in a previous musical affair, vocalist and guitarist Lynn Gunnulfsen and drummer Brad Griffin soon met eye to eye on one thing: something didn't feel quite right. Towards the end of their run together with their previous band, they met guitarist Alex Babinski. "When we met him and he and I were writing together it was just instant chemistry," says Gunnulfsen. Soon after the band clicked with Babinski, they gracefully entered the studio to create the being in which rock n' roll fans everywhere would soon begin to know as Paris.

"During that time we entered the studio together, several changes came about… an entirely new sound, new approach to writing and more. Since we had a whole new approach, we only felt it would be right to just become a whole new band," Gunnulfsen states. It was around this time that the band was introduced to bassist Brian MacDonald and once again felt the instant chemistry they experienced with Babinski. "From then on, we felt as if we had finally found the perfect line-up for the direction we wanted to take. It was gratifying!" adds Babinski.

Whilst continuing their time in the studio over as one single essence, the band has taken time to return to ad bits and pieces to each composition to be sure that each piece fit exactly with the rest. The four of them find it difficult to pinpoint exact influences but Gunnulfsen is satisfied saying, "We didn't want to aim for any particular sound, but we wanted to keep it really gritty and in your face, yet catchy with a sense of grace to it. Beauty and the beast in music form, in a way."

To summarize what Paris offers musically, it's easy to sense that they bring a concourse of strong emotion straight to the table. That being said, the band has flawlessly used their teen angst to form a remarkable EP due out late summer that is sure to astound the music scene. With a tight knit line-up, unshaken balance, alluring vocals and a drive unlike any other, the four members of Paris are ready to step onto the nearest stage at any given time to show you just what they've got.

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A Skylit Drive with For All Those Sleeping, Wolves At The Gate, I The Mighty, PVRIS, Cold Blooded Theory, Lennox House

Monday, September 23 · 6:00 PM at Underground