A Benefit For Musicares w/ Prophets Of Addiction

Prophets Of Addiction

Every once in a great – and blessed – while, a band comes along that encapsulates everything that’s great about rock-n-roll. The Prophets of Addiction is that band. These guys are so authentic and such masters at what they do that it’s like some mad scientist extracted the pure essence from their genre – Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses, The Ramones, Hanoi Rocks, LA Guns, Lords of the New Church and all the best glam/punk bands – and gave rise to The Prophets of Addiction. With songs that will play in your head long after the CD stops and looks that kill, The Prophets of Addiction are the total package. It’s been way too long for a band like POA to come to us lovers of metal, mascara and musical mayhem. Their debut album “Babylon Boulevard” brings back those freewheeling, whiskey soaked, halcyon days (nights, really) when the Sunset Strip hosted countless punk/metal mash-up bands looking to hit the big time – and, of course, all the girls, girls, girls they could get.

Fast forward to 2010, when POA formed, and this era lives on in the new millennium. The Prophets of Addiction are: lead singer and bass player Lesli Sanders, Jimmy Mess on drums and Ty Mcdonald and Tchad Drats on guitar. Sanders produced the CD. Made for what he does, Sanders seems to have been birthed from the very womb of the LA glam scene. He attracted many new fans while playing in several highly influential national acts in the past– and partying as hard as he jammed onstage. After a while, the drugs and booze got to be too much and he returned to his hometown. Now in his fifth year of being free of those addictions, Sanders puts his all into his music and it shows. The primary songwriter among the Prophets, he starts with a riff or tune and the whole band jumps in to craft the song. Sanders writes the lyrics, and through his writing he tells his stories. “Babylon Boulevard” shows this in myriad ways. Musically, every track is markedly different from the next but with a common thread of swagger and strut.

They pulled in some big names for their debut album and the production value of “Babylon Boulevard” is top notch. Phil Soussan did the mixing: his long resume includes playing bass with Ozzy Osbourne and co-writing Ozzy's hit “Shot in the Dark.” The CD was mastered by Dave Hillis, whose work can be heard in albums ranging from Pearl Jam to Queensryche.

The debut CD has garnered nothing but praise throughout the press, and industry insiders are claiming Prophets Of Addiction have what it takes to make a lasting impact on the music scene for years to come. The band has successfully completed tours of Europe, Australia, as well as the USA. Plans are currently underway for a return to Europe in Spring of 2013.


In 2004, an eclectic hard rock/blues/funk five-piece band out of Seattle consisting of vocalist Steven Douglas, guitarists Ted Norris and Kenny Van Dyke, drummer Cory Olsen and bassist Fraser, fused their musical stylings and called themselves MIDSTOKKE (mid-stock).

Fraser, Ted and Kenny have a history since junior high school, started playing together in high school, and finally formed a band called Sated Solstice. As with many young bands, it was not to be; their drummer and vocalist quit after a few short years together. A mutual college friend of Kenny and Cory suggested that Cory fill in on drums, and in the winter of 2003/04, he auditioned and was an immediate fit.

Steven Douglas was attending college in Bellingham WA when he caught the music bug and decided to give singing and performing a try. He moved to Seattle, placed an ad in The Stranger, jamming with several bands before auditioning for Midstokke. States Douglas, “I was blown away at the musicianship and talent of the four guys when I met them and had our first jam session/tryout. I knew in my gut that this was the group for me and we’ve been together ever since.”

Midstokke released their first album: “Private Stokke” in 2005. While building their fan-base throughout the Seattle area, Midstokke received an invitation in 2007 to play in a Battle of the Bands sponsored by Harley-Davidson. They took first place and won a highly coveted ticket to play the largest biker rally and music festival in the world: The Sturgis Rally. Douglas smiles with fond memories, “It’s like Burning Man and Woodstock, if you added 800,000 motorcycles…If you sleep, you miss it all.” They had the honor of performing annually at the ever-popular Legendary Buffalo Chip in South Dakota for 3 years in a row. They’ve been fortunate enough to play the same venue as Kid Rock, Velvet Revolver, Poison, 3 Doors Down, and opened for Aerosmith at the coveted event.

On June 28th, 2009, Midstokke released their 2nd album: “It’s Your Problem Now!” Bringing with them an even wider range of sound and party-like energy that quickly gets everyone on their feet. Douglas explains, “Our opening tracks “Trainwreck”, “Throttle” and “Big Tangle” are an unapologetic, in your face intro into what we’re all about; having a good time and gettin’ down!” Meanwhile, soul-searching tracks like “God Come Down” let you experience a touch of the blues with Midstokke’s bold, big guitars and rich, soulful melody. Douglas says, “We’ll hit you hard in the face with a “Bullet” and then lay you down slowly with “Fool”.“

A fan base who is comprised of all walks of life, Midstokke mostly attracts the ‘working man’. Men or women who want to cut loose and forget about life for a while. “These people are real too. Real stories, real blood on their overworked hands,” explains Douglas. “Our live performance is a celebration of being alive. It’s party time and we’re at the helm of this ship,” he adds. They play each show with the heart and passion like it could be their last. They leave it all on stage and expect the crowd to join them. “We live and love big in this band and want people along for the ride.”

The guys are currently hard at work on their 3rd release due out in early 2011. “It’s our best work to date, for sure. The songs are more cohesive and retain a live, raw energy. It’s big and intense, which is what we are shooting for. There’s a party vibe for sure on this recording that’s in your face but we throw in a touch of the blues and some soul for good measure…” exclaims Douglas. They recorded the album with Grammy award winner Justin Armstrong of Robert Lang Studios in Seattle. Armstrong has won awards for his work with Peter Frampton and Damien Marley and has worked with Dave Matthews and Seattle’s own Death Cab for Cutie. “Justin really understood what we were trying to accomplish sonically and I feel he really captured the energy and tone we were shooting for.” Bassist Fraser adds, “ It’s more raw than the last album “It’s Your Problem Now. It’s a closer representation of our live sound than the previous two, and our best work yet.”

The future looks bright, with many opportunities ahead, and a drive to continue making great music. Look for them to grow beyond the Seattle music scene in 2011. After 7 years together, Midstokke is only beginning their highway to success, so put on your helmets, because you won’t want to miss the ride.

One Gun Shy

Robert Witworth

Rob Whitworth “The story Teller “is a unique up-and-coming singer/song writer. His performances are always coupled with stories about the past, present, and future. While expressing true feelings through his songs, it is amazing to see how people relate to Rob and his stories. His own story started when he was around ten years old. Rob’s first instrument was playing the trombone in the school band. After that, he was doing talent shows singing Rhythm and Blues in predominantly black schools in the South. When Rob was around fourteen, he started playing the drums while living on the military base in Germany. He practiced with friends at the local music center and in back yard garage bands. He has been writing and performing ever since. A decade ago, Rob picked up the acoustic guitar and it quickly became the key to unlocking his voice and songwriting skills. In 2009 Rob moved to the northwest from North Carolina. He started out in local open mic’s to meet other musicians in hopes to finding a band. What he did find was talent to be a solo entertainer. In the last few years, he has opened up for many local bands and performers such as Prophets of Addiction, Mechanism, and Kevin Hoffman.

He has also performed in various outdoor festivals and fairs like Lakefair, Ostrom’s Mushroom Festival, and Olympia Art Walks. In his own words, “It has been an extraordinary experience performing with such talented and dedicated musicians.” Rob looks forward to the future in hopes of finding the right people to take his music to the next level.

$15 Adv.


Musicares provides assistance to the music community in times of great need. MusiCares stepped up to replace musical gear lost in disasters like Katrina or Hurricane Sandy. It is as easy as helping an aged blues star put a handicapped ramp up to his house so he can come and go from gigs Or getting assistance with rent. These are just examples. If you’re a musician, going to a doctor just doesn’t happen. Going to a dentist can be delayed.

Musicares provides medical services to people in the industry. Musicares/MAP fund provides must needed addiction services and supports recovering artists by providing free support groups staffed by professional therapists in the Seattle area.

Your participation in this event and others like it throughout the country helps keep it going.

Visit www.grammy.org/musicares
For more information about the Alcohol Drug Helpline, visit http://www.adhl.org/

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