Story Of The Year

Hard work, determination and success go hand and hand—and no one understands that better than STORY OF THE YEAR. In that spirit it should come as no surprise that these post-hardcore sensations decided to title their fourth full-length The Constant. However that doesn't mean that the band's latest disc isn't a logical progression for St. Louis' favorite breakout act. In fact in many ways The Constant is a fresh burst of energy for the band who exploded onto the scene in 2003 with their ubiquitous single "Until the Day I Die" and also marks the beginning of an exciting new musical chapter for this fearless fivesome. While the band have already released three studio full-lengths: 2003's Page Avenue, 2005's In The Wake Of Determination and 2008's The Black Swan, The Constant picks up where the band left off and proves that STORY OF YEAR sound more top of their game with each subsequent release.

Recorded with Elvis Baskette (who also co-produced The Black Swan) at his secluded studio in Virginia, The Constant was written and recorded in a scant three months—a fact that allowed the band to capture these songs' inherent urgency without getting bogged down in the process. "This was the fastest recording and writing experience for us ever and it was cool because we didn't overthink everything," explains the band's vocalist Dan Marsala—who alongside guitarists Ryan Phillips and Philip Sneed, bassist Adam "The Skull" Russell and drummer Josh Wills make up STORY OF THE YEAR. "Writing and recording The Black Swan was a long, grueling process and this time we wanted to do the opposite: just have fun, be spontaneous and make it exciting—and it worked out better," he continues. "Everyone is so happy with the end product and it was a great time."

While countless acts have come and gone since STORY OF THE YEAR formed over a decade ago, Marsala credits the band's success to their ability to form a unique niche in the punk community. "We have such a wide range of tastes and influences that we can continue to progress in any direction and stay relevant at all times, and we've always taken pride in having no boundaries or limits with the music we write" he adds—and STORY OF THE YEAR's unwavering relevance has never been as evident as it is on The Constant. From emotional rockers like "I'm Alive" to driving, post-hardcore masterpieces like "The Children Sing" and the heartfelt piano ballad "Holding On To You," The Constant sees STORY OF THE YEAR sonically stretching out to create their most varied and accomplished collection of songs to date.

"This was the first time musically that we wrote the entire record together," Marsala explains. "We tried not to over think it. We just got together every day and jammed until something caught our ears. Our only real goal was to make sure we were having fun during the entire process. That's why we started playing music in the first place, and I think we definitely achieved that goal. I had more fun writing and recording The Constant than any other record in our career." This relaxed environment allowed STORY OF THE YEAR to experiment with ideas that they hadn't pursued in the past as evidence on tracks like "Eye For An Eye," a one-take punk song that started as a joke at practice or "Holding On To You," which sees the band showcasing a more vulnerable side to their typically aggressive sound. "That's probably the lightest song on the record but I think it turned out better than I ever could have imagined," Marsala says about the aforementioned track. "Musically, The Constant ranges from fast hardcore punk to melodic piano ballads with everything in-between."

This newfound freedom of expression also extends to The Constant's lyrics, which see Marsala exploring his own psyche with remarkable clarity. "I dug a little deeper personally with what's going on in my head with the lyrics this time around," he says. "There are still four or five songs that are socially political and similar to what we did on The Black Swan, but I definitely think it's a progression for me." The album title also embodies the band's work ethic and commitment to both themselves and their fans. "Music is the constant thing in life for us," Marsala explains. "When I go to bed I think about music and when I wake up it's the first thing on my mind," he continues. "The Constant can mean anything; hopefully our band will go on forever and we want music to remain a constant thing in our lives no matter what."

Ultimately having already conquered the mainstream charts and converted countless cynics via their music and incendiary—and acrobatic—live performances, which are documented via their DVD Our Time Is Now (Two Years In The Life Of…) and CD/DVD Live In The Lou/Bassassins, at this point STORY OF THE YEAR are making music simply because they love it without any other outside influences creeping in to distract them. "We're not trying to be the biggest band in the world or write songs to be on the radio," Marsala acknowledges. "We just want to make music that we love and that people will come see live; it's not about making millions of dollars, it's about having a solid label that will release your stuff and help you deliver honest music," he summarizes with more than a hint of hope in his voice. "We plan on doing this until we're old men and The Constant is just the next step on our musical journey."

Like Moths to Flames

LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES have set the underground music scene ablaze in just a few short years, thanks to a decidedly unique, fresh and original take on an otherwise well-worn genre. Stomping sing-a-long anthems, pulverizing metal chaos and crystal clear/soaring shiny pop dance together with delicious freedom within the band's sound. Bring Me The Horizon, Devil Wears Prada and Miss May I are some of the only bands doing it at the same level of intensity, precision and passion as Like Moths To Flames, who have taken their rightful place alongside their scene counterparts while steadily maneuvering a career that is uniquely their own.

Hawthorne Heights

Having formed in the unlikely musical breeding ground of Dayton, Ohio in 2001, Hawthorne Heights learned early on that adaptation and diligence were the keys in the development of a successful career. Playing relentlessly from the start on self-booked tours across the country gave them some initial national exposure. But it wasn’t until they signed to Victory Records in late 2003 that Hawthorne Heights became the face of a whole new generation of music fans.

As one of the first bands to utilize social networking to gain a fan base, Hawthorne Heights developed a huge MySpace following that became a catalyst that would launch them from underground heroes to international superstars. As the voice of a genre, the band became regulars on MTV, their signature hit Ohio Is For Lovers the anthem for the new wave of “emo”. Their debut album The Silence In Black And White soon went Gold, and with their second album If Only You Were Lonely, the band scored Victory Records’ biggest ever debut, landing at #3 on the Billboard 200 in 2006. The band appeared on Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel, and became magazine cover stars, sending sales of The Silence… to Platinum status. It was the dream many bands hope for, but few seldom achieve, and Hawthorne Heights were living it.

Sadly, as with every success story, the good times came at a cost. In November 2007, while in the midst of legal disputes, tragedy struck within the Hawthorne Heights family. Casey Calvert, the much loved guitarist and resident “screamer” of the band lost his life while on tour due to an accidental overdose of medications prescribed by his doctor and dentist, which proved to be lethal combination. The effects on the band were evident, both personally and musically, and the decision to carry on was the toughest they would ever have to make.

On August 5 2008, Hawthorne Heights return with Fragile Future, a brand new album. Although the sound is still distinctly Hawthorne Heights, the music, as with the band, has understandably evolved.

“After spending the last 2 years in a deep dark place, we decided to try to find the bright lights again with Fragile Future,” noted singer J.T. Woodruff. “We, as a band, noticed that everyone has tremendous ups and downs, so we wanted this record to communicate that. We chose the title Fragile Future, because it sums up the current state of our band, as well as what is going on in the outside world. We must all make good choices to create a better situation in our lives.”

“With the loss of Casey, and no plans to replace him, we’ve had to make some obvious changes to our sound on this record,” added drummer Eron Bucciarelli. “Originally there were less screams planned for this record than the second one, but sadly we never got the chance to do even that. This forced us to take a creative approach to certain songs. We’ve beefed up the guitars in parts, added gang vocals, choirs and all sorts of effects to still capture some of the energy that Casey brought.”

With their trademark strong melodies and hooks still intact, Hawthorne Heights have broadened their sound to emerge with a collection of 12 deliciously genre-free songs that will set the airwaves alight across the world. Hawthorne Heights may have already set on the path to global domination, but with the release of Fragile Future, the road in front of them will lead them to the biggest, most impressive heights of all.

"I’ve always been borderline obsessed with the notion of duality. Something about the juxtaposition of two polar opposites seems so vulnerable and blatantly human to me. Everyone has two sides, the side they let people see and the side they hide,” shares Set It Off vocalist Cody Carson. “In this record I decided to bare exactly who I am and what I go through in my day to day life. Love, heartbreak, sex, alcohol, happiness, sadness, anger, the human experience. I want you to hear this record and experience every human emotion you’re capable of feeling.”d) with pop music, something they hope, will “Set It Off” in the industry.


TEXAS, enough sawed offs and death penalty law to keep you far enough away. Home of the line "what happens in Texas stays in Texas," not Memphis May Fire—a few good men about to go far beyond the lone star state. I want you to meet a band that has enough BBQ, guts, and Van Halen riffs to throw on the grill. Chase Ryan, Kellen McGregor, Jeremy Grisham, Ryan Bentley, and Austin Radford are the players. With names like Chase and Austin did you think they were from New York? That's what I thought… In a scene of music where "over saturation" is an understatement, MMF makes the lion's share look like a chainsaw massacre. The band has enough look to put Jesse McCartney to shame—all the while enough musical grit and intensity to make Billy Gibbon's beard look like an unnecessary gimmick. Talk about a band that has the potential to appeal to everybody—the girl screaming in the front row more than likely has a dad that will soon be screaming the words out his pickup truck window. Just in time for Van Halen to stop arguing and plan a nostalgia tour—best of friends Memphis May Fire are just starting their trek to the arenas.

Many are unfamiliar with the sheer amount of BIG bands to come out of Dallas, the band's hometown. Talk about an exploding scene right now—you may have been unaware. Memphis May Fire started in December of 2006 with most of an EP written. They wanted to focus on music that suited them not just on the recording but mainly live. It's apparent that MMF's influences are both old and new—no fear in imitating Boston's legendary guitar harmonies here… In February of this year, the band solidified the name Memphis May Fire and although they wish they had a deep meaningful story behind the name, guess what? They don't—sure sounds great though, right?

Out to redefine southern rock—Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn't apply here, these guys have the cool factor of ZZ Top and Underoath combined. With the self-released EP earlier this year, the word spread like wildfire? Kids caught on fast to the band's music, and inking a deal with legendary northeast label Trustkill Records only a few months later was another major step. "We're a band that has worked hard both together and individually at becoming great musicians. It's taken years of practicing—personally I like it that way because you can see the difference in our performance compared to a band that hasn't worked for very long," comments Jeremy from the band. In signing to Trustkill we can expect a proper EP release in stores by the end of 2007—not a bad sequence of events to close off the year right? This is not to mention a full length record to come in 2008! Saddle up and don't mess with Texas, Memphis May Fire and Trustkill have something great in store for the current monotonous scene we're all sick of… I assure you, this is not a trend—this is real music.

Rarely does a band in today's climate have a live show that is 10 times their songs on the record—Memphis May Fire is that rarity. The band prides themselves on being able to make the live show more exciting in any way they can, and speaking of excitement Trustkill records president Josh Grabelle couldn't be more amped about the start of a long road. He comments, "there is a lot of really exciting, young, dangerous music coming out of Texas right now, and Memphis May Fire are the cream of the crop. Not since Bullet For My Valentine's "Hand of Blood" EP have we heard a more compelling set of songs for an EP, where absolutely EVERY song is bone-chillingly perfect, and timeless. These guys are on their way to something huge." Move over Motley Crue, welcome Memphis May Fire and although the average age in the band measures up to the state liquor laws, these guys have plenty of time to spread their fire, it's only a matter of months before I can say "I told you so" looking forward to it…


Airsickness combines the sibling power of brothers, Owen (vocals/guitar) and Casey Jago (backing vocals/bass) with the sheer talent and musical ability of both guitarist Allen Litchfield, and drummer Nick Masengale. Their sound fuses together all types of rock into a melodic harmony combining radio rock anthems with pop/punk melodies.

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The VIP TICKET gets you access to the upstairs balcony. Jump to the front of the line. Plus we will have a FREE HALLOWEEN keg for you kids! Get the best view in the house and the beers are on us!!! But these tix are limited so get 'em fast!

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