Asking Alexandria, Trivium
I See Stars, Motionless in White, The Amity Affliction
3090 Southlawn Dr.
St. Paul, MN, 55109
This event is all ages
With their fifth full-length album, In Waves, Trivium make a crucial statement.
It's a statement about writing their own rules about what it means to be a contemporary metal band. It's a statement that encompasses boundary-defying music, moods, movement, and visuals. It's a statement that's emblematic of their evolution. It's a statement that's going to impact anyone open to it.
While on the road in 2009, the first rumblings of In Waves began. Trivium vocalist and guitarist Matt Heafy had already started pondering the direction the band would take for their fifth offering. So far, they'd excelled at the standard hallmarks of the genre, and he wanted to do something new.
Each one of their albums—Ascendancy (2005), The Crusade (2006), and Shogun (2008)—garnered unanimous critical and fan acclaim. Ascendancy cemented the band's place in the metal-verse, selling over half-a-million copies worldwide.
Shogun debuted at #23 on the Billboard Top 200 and in the top 100 in 18 other countries. All over the globe, they rose to the ranks of metal elite, sharing the stage with everyone from Iron Maiden and Slipknot and dominating festivals such as Download, Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and OZZfest. They'd done everything the way that a metal band is supposed to. However, even with all of this success, Heafy and his cohorts guitarist Corey Beaulieu, bassist Paolo Gregoletto, and drummer Nick Augusto had gotten frustrated with the state of metal and yearned to break out.
"In my opinion, this album really was a response to what we've ever done as a band and everything we're seeing in contemporary music," declares Heafy. " We want to take metal a step further. We're not going to tell anyone what In Waves means. We want to put imagination and creativity back in the mind of the listener."
Trivium let the music do the talking this time around. The title track and first single hinges on a pummeling polyrhythmic guitar groove that breaks into one of the band's most infectious choruses just before a haunting guitar melody sails off into the distance. Rather than simply modifying their sound, they expanded it with elegant sonic textures and crushingly calculated chaos. The technical prowess is tempered by a melodic sensibility often unexplored by bands in this genre.
About the song, Gregoletto explains, "To me, the 'In Waves' riff is what anger and hopelessness I felt would sound like if emoted musically. It was the first riff I wrote after we got off the road for Shogun, and it's inspirationally somewhere in between the technicality of Meshuggah and the straightforward groove of Sepultura, but it channels a new intensity. After that song, we weren't afraid to push ourselves out of familiar territory anymore."
"It was the turning point for the music," Heafy reveals. "It's got the simplest chorus we've ever had, and it meant something different to each of us. There's minimalist spin."
However, that simplicity breeds complexity as each song takes on a life of its own. "Inception of the End" drops from a speedy thrash air raid into an anthemic arena-filling refrain, while vocal harmonies climb alongside schizophrenic screams on "Watch the World Burn." "Of All These Yesterdays" takes flight on a propulsive hum and an off-kilter solo. Everything culminates during "Leaving This World Behind," which pairs a classically influenced acoustic guitar with a chilling scream and an orchestral, electronic undercurrent. "Built to Fall" shatters an off-time riff with a hyper-charged hook that sees Heafy channeling a new charisma.
The entire album moves and shifts like one fluid entity. Heafy adds, "There was a conscious effort to tie everything together. Since we pulled back on so much of the musical complexity, it was about the song and we were able to connect on a basic level. It wasn't about trying to insert another big word in the lyrics or another solo. We weren't worried about showing how technical or brutal we could sound. It was about making something great. When I simplified the lyrics, they were able to be translated into multiple definitions, expanding the album to a multi-purposed work of art."
In order to paint this aural pastiche, the band retreated to Paint It Black Studios in Altamonte Springs, FL with production triumvirate Colin Richardson [Machine Head, Bullet for My Valentine], Martyn "Ginge" Ford and Carl Bown in early 2011. The band had already conceived the vision for the album over two years of writing and volleying visual concepts around, so recording allowed the band to continue to experiment. Surprisingly, Heafy didn't turn to his iPod for inspiration though.
"On this record, my influences weren't music," he explains. "My influences were film and directors like David Lynch, Lars Von Trier, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Christopher Nolan. It was also the idea of modern art. I used to not get modern art and museums. I went to The Louvre four years ago and it got me into classical art. Then I started getting into modern art. I like modern art because it completely disregards all of the pre-set rules. Contemporary art can be anything. There is no right or wrong. That encouraged me on In Waves. We made the music we wanted to make."
In order to keep pushing the envelope, Trivium experimented with a myriad of sounds and textures, employing everything from cardboard tubes, fire extinguishers, napkins, and out-of-tune pianos to make sounds. Working with new drummer Nick Augusto in the studio also helped facilitate the process. Beaulieu exclaims, "Nick's a fantastic drummer, and he soaked everything up really quickly. We moved at such a fast pace together and we were able to accomplish a lot more in a short amount of time. It was a very creative, fast-moving, and enjoyable experience. Having that positive environment with Nick made it a lot more fun and it made the songs better."
However, the songs will ultimately continue to get better as their vision comes into clearer focus. Heafy sums it up best. "If a CD is like the soundtrack to a movie, In Waves is the entire film. It's everything. It's the soundtrack, the visuals, and the packaging. It's a full-on visual experience rather than being the standard format. The whole purpose of art is to inspire creativity and other art. No one made the album we wanted to hear yet so we made it ourselves. It's time to take metal to another place and bring in new people."
I See Stars
I SEE STARS captured the hearts of America's youth in 2010 on Warped Tour and a highly acclaimed run with A Day To Remember, but refusing to rest of their laurels the band quickly went back into the studio to start tracking the long awaited follow-up to their groundbreaking 3D release. That album strayed away from all the musical cliches blending all musical genres to set the bar for a new unique sound. Since there has been a surplus of "electronica/hardcore" music as of late, the pages will be turned once again, and new eyes will be opened, to bands and fans alike. The much anticipated new effort, The End of The World Party, is going to be one of 2011's most talked about albums within the rock genre and perfectly demonstrates the band's impressive depth, maturity and originality.
3D is currently over 30,000 units sold in North America mainly as a direct result of the band's relentless touring that also supported Attack Attack, Forever The Sickest Kids, We The Kids and Emarosa. The group's first headliner with We Came As Romans as direct support selling 500 - 1000 tickets in many markets. I SEE STARS also continues to be one of the top selling bands at retail in Hot Topic.
I SEE STARS is a band made up of lifelong friends and it's that exact dynamic that makes them so entertaining. All members; Devin Oliver (vocals), Andrew Oliver (drums), Brent Allen (guitars) and Jeff Valentine (bass) lived in the same neighborhood as kids. The friendship goes back as far as elementary school. Zach Johnson (keyboards, screaming vocals) later joined in middle school to help the band evolve adding in synth and samples. Jimmy Gregerson (guitars) then completed the six piece group taking Devin off guitar and making him the permanent lead vocalist. Over time as the album 3D was being created people all over the map were already starting to become familiar with the band. Sumerian Records quickly signed the band and released the debut album, 3D, on April 14th, 2009 to rave reviews.
I SEE STARS will be doing their first overseas tour in 2011 with We The Kings in the UK and will also be stopping in Indonesia before performing at the Soundwave Festival in Australia with such genre titans as 30 Seconds To Mars, Iron Maiden, Queens Of The Stone Age and Bring Me The Horizon. Their sophomore record, The End Of The World Party, could possibly be the heaviest pop album yet. This new offering has lots of substance and is very theatric in scope. There is literally something for everyone. The culmination of all this hard work pays off in the spring of 2011 as the band is featured on the Alternative Press tour with Black Veil Bride, D.R.U.G.S and Verse Emerge.
I SEE STARS states: "We are taking I SEE STARS to the next level. This new chapter is bringing mainstream pop to hardcore music alongside build ups that spawn from the core of techno/dub-step/electro music. Catchy and melodic vocals that illustrate a concept that we feel raises the bar. You're going to dance way more, you're going to want to throw your fists way more. When you put those two together, you have a whole different game. We didn't limit ourselves, and teaming up with 3D producer, our buddy Cameron Mizell and a balls to the wall producer like Joey Sturgis (The Devil Wears Prada, Attack Attack, Asking Alexandria), further proved that the sky is the limit to what we can do. The wait is over, and the end is near"
In 2011, I SEE STARS will further cement their status as visionaries of the genre and gain legions of new diehard followers.
Motionless in White
Determination, a taste for hard work, a love for being on the road, countless self booked tours and undeniable talent have all earned the band a solid following which continues to grow steadily. Emphasizing in every interview how much they appreciate their fans, MIW want to get their point across that saying their thank yous is something not to be taken lightly. "To be honest, we've wanted this," says singer Chris Cerulli during an interview with Weekender. "We're not a band that just practices once a week and says 'I hope something happens.' We work every day to make this happen, so having it happen isn't even overwhelming in the slightest." Fearless Records
The Amity Affliction
The Amity Affliction is a post hardcore band hailing from the gutters of Brisbane's potent hardcore scene. They have become one of the most well known post hardcore bands in Australia through a strong touring ethic, a stunningly original sound and a commitment to creating a fun and exciting atmosphere within the scene.