The Roxy Theatre Present
8mm, GoldenState, Aeges
9009 West Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA, 90069
Mat Devine: vox - View Bio
Dan Wiese: guitars - View Bio
Jonathan Radtke: guitars - View Bio
Greg Corner: bass - View Bio
A title could not be more apropos. Until There's Nothing Left of Us, the latest offering from Kill Hannah, defines the blue-collar work ethic of this unique band, whose American spin on British modern rock reaches its apotheosis on their sensational new release.
After touring relentlessly through the two years that followed their 2003 Atlantic debut, For Never & Ever (which featured the smash single, "Kennedy"), the band dedicated six months to conceptualizing their sophomore effort with intense songwriting and constant demoing. After having a lifetime to write their first album, it was, admittedly, a challenge. But they've beaten the odds before.
No one sounded or looked like them when they first broke free from their art school roots, peddled their independently produced records at shows and local stores, conquered skeptics and built a loyal fan base. Their sound had no precedent in their hometown of Chicago, yet its influence would launch a subculture there and spread far beyond to others that would follow their musical and visual leads. Back then, they had a ferocious DIY-mentality, creating their own merchandise, passing out fliers in the snow, maintaining their heavily trafficked website and more. They still do.
With the final mixes for Until There's Nothing Left of Us, they knew they had given all they had to this music.
And you can hear it - in the passion and poetry, the candor of their lyrics, the physical impact of their beats ... all the elements that prompted Billy Corgan to hail them as "the future of Chicago rock" resonate here. Easily described as the bridge between The Killers, AFI, Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance; this band owns John Hughes movies, worn out mix tapes and a comprehensive understanding of what came before them. Their sound is at once familiar and refreshingly original, showing undeniable growth by taking chances in a world where most art is being played safe.
While Kill Hannah had cut Forever Never & Ever far from home, in sunny Los Angeles, Until There's Nothing Left of Us was conceived and created back home in Chicago during the dead of winter. That, according to Devine, stamps every second of the album with a distinctive energy.
"Everything came from the stimulation I get from this place," he insists. "I live in view of the entire skyline; the trains literally circle me. Its almost like the city itself envelops me. Like any metropolis, it can be dark at times, but super-romantic too. From nine to five it's absolute chaos, and then after six o'clock it's completely desolate. At the lakeshore it might be totally placid and serene, and in the next minute these crazy waves crash in and freeze as massive piles of jagged ice. In a way, our music is like that too. From track to track on this record, and even within each song, we have moments of triumph and then we have moments of creepy romance."
As the countdown for delivering Until There's Nothing Left of Us began, Devine set off alone, exploring his city and finding magic in places that had somehow escaped his attention - a tiny Gothic church, for example, amidst the towers that loom over Michigan Avenue. Each detail stirred ideas - word paintings, a snippet of melody - that he'd record on his voicemail.
Soon the band gathered at friend/local drummer Garrett Hammond's home studio and began taking all of their demos apart. "We'd rehearse and develop and record every single part," recalls guitarist Dan Wiese. "Every note and every word got re-evaluated several times before everyone was satisfied."
After wrapping up their intense pre-production, they hit the studio with Chicago native Johnny K. With a catalog that includes producing bands like Disturbed and 3 Doors Down, he seemed like an unusual choice for Kill Hannah. "But we wanted to experiment," Devine explains. "My personal tastes lean toward European and 80's influences, and Johnny is known for doing straight-ahead rock or metal. In Chicago terms, it's like we're North Side and Johnny is, as he calls himself, a 'South Side knucklehead'." It was, of course, a perfect match.
They began by finding common ground, as Johnny seconded their enthusiasm for the Cure, Peter Gabriel, and The Psychedelic Furs. The plan, then, was to at once expand and refine their sound without losing the primal instincts that have driven Kill Hannah from the start.
"We love our first album and stand by it, but we also know that the most consistent criticism it received was that it didn't have the raw energy that we have when we play live," Devine says. "On the new album we've got the harmonized vocals and electronics and sophistication that are so much a part of what we are, but Johnny's perspective helped us to also bring that dynamic side of our show to the table too."
If you're lucky enough to have seen them live, on tours with The Sounds and H.I.M, or headlining their now legendary shows at the Metro and across the country this summer, you'll know immediately what all of this means.
From the album's triumphant, instrumental opening, "Life in the Arctic," which defines the context for the epic tracks that follow, through the siren-like riff that drives "Believer," the drum & bass-inspired beats and delicate chimes that surge into waves of massive guitars on "The Songs That Saved My Life," the seductive blend of emotive melody and body-slamming beat on the anthemic, lead single "Lips Like Morphine," whose chorus fans began chanting at shows within days of the song's appearance on the band's MySpace page (myspace.com/killhannah). This is how Kill Hannah sounds onstage when they play with a strength only achieved by feeding from the energy of their fans and serving it back with immeasurable intensity.
Mat Devine's lyrics for "Love You to Death" reflect his familiarity with that place where tragedy and romance unite, a Shakespearean vision that's conveyed powerfully in classic pop song format. "Scream" pays tribute to their hometown, whose grandeur and intensity are critical elements of Kill Hannah's style. And "Sleep Tight," improbably intimate, provides the perfect coda.
Until There's Nothing Left of Us is everything that the band and the legions that follow them could have wished for. But it's only the start of the next, exciting chapter for Kill Hannah.
1996 Hummingbirds The Size of Bullets: 6-song CD EP
1996 Sleeping Like Electric Eels: 4-song CD EP
1997 Lovesick: promo cassette
1997 Stunt Pilots: 4-song promo CD
1998 Here are the Young Moderns: CD LP
1999 American Jet Set: CD LP
2000 Welcome to Chicago, Mother Fucker: promo CD single
2003 For Never and Ever: CD LP
Somewhere in the heat of New Orleans you'll find that life is lived differently. It's a place of ghosts and celebration, a place where music hangs heavy in the air and all the music and all the souls that have ever played it there somehow remain, alive and buoyant in the humidity. The thickness this gives the air slows things down a bit, and when you breathe it in it soaks through your bones and settles in the marrow. There is an ethereal wave, a pulse really, that you can ride through the chaos. It becomes part of your blood and your eyes begin to change. You will never see this world the same. You will never feel the same about this city or this life. It has taken part of you and given something beautiful and painful back. This kind of enchantment is the reason that people are drawn to New Orleans. It's as if the city wakes and surges to the surface just enough for you to hear her heart beat, hear her breath.
The city itself is curved into the shape of a crescent moon by a dark and muddy river that would drown you as soon as let you swim in it. Moss hangs from ancient oak trees that look down on their dark reflections in cracked and wet asphalt. In this city, beneath their gaze, there was Juliette, her heels clicking, marking time on the make shift mirror. In this city, she met Sean.
Sean had moved from the post industrial age wasteland of Cleveland, Ohio to this haunting land of jazz funerals and brass bands with Trent Reznor and the band Nine Inch Nails. As Trent's longtime engineer, co -producer, and musical director, Sean helped forge the sound of NIN from studio to the stage. Finally having a home base for various projects, Sean and Trent set about building a studio in an old abandoned funeral home in the heart of uptown New Orleans. It was during this time that, being a mortal man, Sean succumbed to the whimsy and sway of a southern girl and met his muse in Juliette. After finishing mixing Marilyn Manson's epic "Antichrist Superstar", Sean left the NIN camp and followed up with Manson's "Mechanical Animals" During production of which Sean and Juliette moved to the land of stars, scars and broken dreams: Los Angeles.
While Sean was producing the Atlantic Records band "Kill Hannah" the request to add a female voice to a chorus led him to ask the lovely Juliette to add some vocals on the last day of recording. When Juliette started to sing, the texture and dynamic of her voice bewitched both Sean and his engineer "Critter". Inspired by her ethereal voice, Sean immediately set about to write the music for the song "Never Enough" almost as an experiment. He gave Juliette the music and asked her to write lyrics and a vocal melody to it. The resulting confessional story with the plaintive refrain "I'll never be enough for you" became a blue print for the tapestry of sorrow and beauty in the works that followed.
The two decided to become 8mm, a name that reflected the tone of their songs. The image of an old 8mm projector whirring in a clandestine back room called to mind innermost secrets and forbidden desires. The kind of thoughts we keep to ourselves, the hidden motives that drive our public lives. Very much influenced by the pulse and undercurrent of the haunted and haunting New Orleans and the bluster and underlying power plays that accompany even a simple "hello" in Los Angeles, 8mm has opened our diaries and shown us how alike we are.
With the decline of Western civilization comes a new pilgrimage of musicians looking to carve out their fates from the wreckage of the past. ÆGES are the new breed of California's creative drifters. ÆGES was founded by Chicago-raised Larry Herweg (Pelican, San Angelus), multi-continent Kemble Walters (The Rise, The Blank Faces, Juliette and the Licks), and the sole California native Tony Baumeister (16, Cutthroats 9).
ÆGES newest addition is Cory Clark (Sleepless Me) on guitar/vocals.
Converging in Southern California across state lines and international waters, ÆGES use their world-wise musical expertise to rebuild the archetype of the heavy rock band. There's a definite element of desert rock in ÆGES sound--the low-tuned guitars, the sludgy sun-baked riffs, the deceptive pop hook buried in the molasses-thick instrumentation. Yet the diverse backgrounds of the band members create a unique blend of perspectives and a resultantly fresh sound. The common sonic thread between the four individuals in ÆGES--their tenure in bands that explored the darker side of hardcore—manifests itself in the aggressive tonalities of their sound. But their divergent paths, both geographical and musical, broadened the emotional palette beyond the angst of their earlier bands. Their debut full length, "The Bridge", is set for release via The Mylene Sheath (Caspian, Junius, Constants) on April 17th, 2012. The album was produced and engineered by the bands own Kemble Walters at The Canshaker Studio in Malibu, CA, and mastered by Mark Chalecki at Little Red Book Mastering (Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Goatsnake, Megadeth).
The new millennium ushered in a new, revitalized era of artistic integrity for LA. We saw it in the age of the acid-hazed '60s, the age of the nihilistic Regan-era punks, and the current age of abandoned archetypes of a failed economy. It's creative optimism in a time of hopelessness. It's the music of ÆGES.
$9.00 - $16.00