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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Sights Set North Agency; Summer Bash deal!

The Sights Set North Agency
      I spoke to Will Wight, booking agent at The Sights Set North Agency and manager of local bands Alanas Mark and A Journey To Fall, about the upcoming June 3rd show.

      "Another Hero Dies (Invogue Records) is going to be headlining with Sleep Separis Sleep (Ex-Static Age)." Says Will. " I threw on some friends of mine (on the line-up), Serianna, who recently signed to Bullet Tooth Records and other local acts, Alanas Mark and A Journey To Fall, who are both part of Sights Set North and managed by me." There will be performances from My Oh My and As A Heart Attack as well.

Alanas Mark
      The $8 show will be at The House Cafe in Dekalb and if you keep the ticket, it'll gives you 50% off the admission of the show that takes place during the following day. That's two events for $13!

      The second show is an all day event lasting six and a half hours with performances from Rise Record bands and several Sights Set North bands, too, such as, My Oh My, Sworn In, A Journey to Fall, Alanas Mark, Luna Stella and more!

A Journey To Fall
      "Help celebrate Serianna's signing to Bullet Tooth Records and kick your summer off right by throwing down with some of the Midwest's greatest bands. Hope to see you there!" - Will Wight


Reckless Redemption

Reckless Redemption

      Rockford metalcore band, Reckless Redemption, though formed in February of '08 (earlier attempts to start the band date back to '06), didn't really hit the scene until January of '11. The band is vocalist, Matt Huff, guitarists, Craig Goodwin and Tommy Gray, bassist, Nick Masingill, and drummer, Matt Masingill.

      With the exception of a song about zombies, the band tends to try and write really honest and real songs about life experiences, violence, and overcoming struggles.

      The band has done well, considering they have played just one show shy of ten. Their first show took place in late November and went as well as it could have. "(we had) Matt on drums, Craig on guitar, (and) I (Huff) did vocals. We played in Scott Snow's garage. he is in a great band called Witness The Burning. We didn’t even have a bass player. (I was) nervous as hell and freezing my a@$ off. it was pretty good did 5 song set" Recalls Matt.

Reckless Redemption
      In February, the band opened up for national act, Adema. "The Adema show went very well, probably one of the best shows we played." Says Huff. "Meeting them was cool, our drummer actually keeps in touch with their drummer, I guess they have a new album (in) the works as well"

      The band played April 16th at Bar 3 with Force Fed Chaos, Shellshock Rodeo, Witch Beulah, and Patchwork. The band estimated a turnout of 60-70 people.

      The band is excitedly awaiting Knockout Mayhem 5, the metal show being held at 5PM on Saturday, June 11th at Take 20 Bar & Grill in Cherry Valley. Beyond Threshold, Force Fed Chaos, Valiant, Warmouth, Nihilist Nation, 29 Needles, Witness the Burning, Reckless Redemption, Truth Burns Cold, & Marquette are all set to play.

Take 20 Bar & Grill
      "We're all pretty stoked about (the show and) playing with a bunch of great metal bands. I think it will be a great turn out, We're just getting noticed and its on Craig's birthday, (we) can't wait and (we) hope we get some good (mosh)pits" Says the band.

      The band has an EP in the works, and is looking to record new music and continue playing shows with bands they Love and hope to get signed somewhere down the road. Don't forget to like the band's Facebook and show them support at Knockout Mayhem 5 this June! They are also looking to book some shows before June!

Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 815-980-8683


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

INK coming to Midwest, Alanas Mark to open; Look I'm Burning gives out album; AJTF surprise?

Alanas Mark
      The date is set for the 26th of June, Where The Sky Meets The Sky, another national act, will also be playing. The entry fee will be $12 and the show is all ages. With proper 21+ I.D. drinks will be available. Read about area band Alanas Mark on Uncharted!

The Sights Set North Agency
      Yesterday, The Sights Set North Agency, a booking and management agency based out of Detroit, MI, announced that they would be bringing Ice Nine Kills to Spurgeons Bay in Dixon, IL. Area band, Alanas Mark, is set to open for the national act along with Sworn In, and MY OH MY.

Look, I'm Burning
      At 900 Facebook 'likes', Look, I'm Burning announced on the band FB page that they will be releasing their entire album for free as a celebratory promotion, but only until they reach 1000 Facebook likes. On Facebook, the announcement read:
"Dear friends, family, fans, and supporters of Look, I'm Burning,you're in for a treat. At 900 facebook likes, we're going to put our entire album + cover up for free cd quality download, but only until we reach 1000 likes. Once we get there, we're taking down all but a few of the songs on our Bandpage, so stay tuned if you like free music, and spread the word of our music."
      The band is currently  at a little over 933 likes, take advantage of the free downloads and share them with other music enthusiasts! Download! Catch them for $5 on the 30th of April at The Loft in Madison, WI.

A Journey To Fall
      Last Thursday, A Journey To Fall had an interesting announcement on their Facebook page , it was as follows:
"You guys got us past 2,000! we are very thankful to everyone. So very soon we will be posting something brand new for you. We are going to need your help though. Everyone tell Gage to come down to Rockford so we can get this done for you guys."
       I was hoping to wait it out and see if anything surfaced, but alas, nothing has. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears ready. It shouldn't be too much longer.

      Tell your friends!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Luna Stella

Luna Stella
Photo: Rocky Morgan

      In the summer of '09, Ian McLaughlin began writing songs on the guitar, these instrumental songs would later become the basis for band, Luna Stella.

      Joe Mitchell would join on the drums in the following December after leaving his previous band. Death Will Ensue. Before they could play any shows, they needed a bassist. Joe asked a friend of his, Taylor Cleveland, to play for them. agreed and a few weeks later they began playing as a three piece instrumental band. This would be Ian's first band.

      Their first show was at Swilligan's Pub in Rockford and the band remembers everything going well. They used the name Luna Stella, meaning moon and stars in Latin. They played instrumentally for several months before hearing from friend, Doug Warriner, who was drumming for Oh So Secret (now Steady Hands), that band mate Alex Meinert left the band. They met Alex in June of 2010 and several weeks later, he joined the line-up as lead vocalist.

      Things started getting a little tricky and drummer, Joe Mitchell, left the band due to personal matters. The band turned to former Another Hero Dies drummer, Matt Barker, to record a song and play a very large show with Dance Gavin Dance. unfortunately, he was unable to stay with the band, and the band looked for a replacement drummer for the DGD show.

      They, again, turned to friend Doug Warriner for help and he played drums for the band's show. After he left his band, Oh So Secret, he became a permanent member.

      The band has 2 songs recorded at Rock Valley College, the local community college. They also have a five song EP that they recorded themselves. They will be professionally recording in late summer.

      What began as a progressive, math based, instrumental band has slowly transformed into a progressive rock band with melodic and pop elements. To date, they have played about fifty shows and say they would like to play in Tokyo like Cheap Trick, although, it is uncertain as to how serious the statement was. The band is very silly when it comes to interviews, but they are definitely a treat to talk to.

      Like them on Facebook and don't forget to see them May 13th with At The Uproar and Alone City Streets at the ELB in Rockford!


(Originally posted on Examiner)

Alanas Mark

Alanas Mark playing a show
Photo: Courtesy of the band
      With over 100 shows, each considered an accomplishment, Alanas Mark hopes to record their first professionally put together album in June with Joel W. at JTW Studios. The band consists of Kevin Lindlau (vocals), Adam Kraus (guitar), Ian Strasburg (guitar), Brody Hofer (bass), and Dustin Helgestad (drums).

      The band is far from inexperienced, all of the members have had previous band experience, and not only do they each play their respective instruments well, but they can all sing, too! On top of that, their drummer was the Wisconsin winner of the Guitar Center drum off in 2009 and nearly went to nationals. "We are proud to have Dustin Helgestad as our drummer." Says the band.

      They are a christian band, therefore they relay strong religious messages in their songs. "We are out to help this world be a better place." Says band guitarist, Ian. Brody, the bassist, adds, "We respect what everyone believes and never force our message on anyone."

      The christian post-hardcore band played for about 150 "of the best people ever" at The Oasis Youth Center in Grayslake, IL. They will be opening for Dr. Acula (Victory Records) at the Old Armory in Whitewater, WI, a little over 50 miles north of the greater Rockford area, on May 16th. They will be playing at the Bethesda Covenant Church in Rockford on April 29th.

      How is Alanas Mark unique? "We are known for our crazy, energetic stage performance (Climbing things, Spinning guitars, handstands on the keyboards, destroying our set after our performance, etc.)" Says the band, collectively. The band hopes to record their first professional album this summer. They hope to sign with a label and tour their hearts out very soon. The band says they have been talking to a few labels, but would rather keep us in the dark about it. "We can tell everyone to get excited for whats coming in the next year, a lot of good news!"

      Like the band on Facebook and show your support by voting for them to play Warped Tour 2011.
"We would like to thank our manager, Will Wight, and The Sights Set North Agency for all they have done for us. We would also like to thank everyone who has supported us and continues to support us! We couldn't ask for more! God Bless you!" - Alanas Mark


(Originally posted on Examiner

Saturday, April 23, 2011

From The Mire @ Mediocre Saturday!

I had a chance to talk to Brenden Carter, Drummer of From The Mire just a few hours before Mediocre Saturday at the Park Hills Church in Freeport! A 45 minute drive from the greater Rockford area.

Q.) Hey man! How's the show going? Have you guys played yet?
A.) Hey! Well, The show hasn't started yet, but doors open at 7:30, and the first band, Prepare For Glory, starts at 8. We'll go on shortly after their set. Probably around 8:45.

Q.) Awesome, man! Are you guys excited? Any pre-show rituals?
A.) Soo excited. Pre-show rituals for us are..praying, stretching, pooping, and just gettin psyched for the show.

Q.) Is the pooping thing Clayton's response? That kid is weird. How long of a set are you guys playing?
A.) (laughs) Yeah, pretty much. Cool guy though. We're playing 8 songs, so probably 45ish minutes.

Q.) Any crazy after party? Or are you more of a pizza place kinda band?
A.) Neither really, we usually just chill and talk about how the show went. We're normally too tired to do much after the shows.

Q.) I can imagine! (laughs) Well, you guys have a great show! Anything you wanna say to everyone who might see this?
A.) Thanks! And..thanks for actually taking time read this. Go like our page if you want to, if you don't that's cool too. Be blessed everyone! And thanks Joe!

That was From The Mire drummer, Brenden Carter at the Park Hills Church in Freeport, IL (map). Not too far from the greater Rockford area! Follow the band on Facebook! (Do it!) And find future From The Mire updates here on Uncharted Music News!


(Originally posted on  Examiner)

Witness The Burning: A New Chapter EP debut today

originally posted 4/22
Witness The Burning
Photo: Courtesy of Witness The Burning

      Witness The Burning, a 5-piece Hardcore/Metalcore band from Rockford is just about ready to burst at the seams with the debut of their EP, A New Chapter, tomorrow.

      The band members range in age from 18-26 and the name came from Josh Cofield (guitar). The band, unable to come up with a band name that really stuck, agreed on the name after having come up with and disliking previous name.

      Scottie Snow, the band screamer, joined Cofield, Brandon Worley(bass), and Josh Creviston(drums) who had been in the band, Aftermath. "When (Aftermath) seperated, we brought in Scott on vocals and started writing music.

      "Scott likes to focus about us being guys trying to find a better life though our music, being a better person, staying positve and not giving up on life even when your in the darkest corners of your life." Says Creviston. "We like to think that even our music tells a story, theres many changes and ups and downs in our music and we feel we try to blend all of our very different influences and make it one polished product."

Scottie Snow
Photo: Courtesy of Witness The Burning
      The band's first show went a lot better than expected. "Everyone nailed the songs and the crowd reaction was very good." Says Creviston.

      Prior to joining the band, the members had fairly good music experience. "Crevy was a drummer for about 2 years with a recent Rockford band called 'Drop Faith' and around that time Brando was playing bass for a band called 'Reamer', this is how Crevy and Brando met. Cofield has played for years and dabbled in many projects and Scottie Snow use to be the vocalist for 'Reckless Redemption' with whom are good friends with WTB and still share the stage with." Says the band.

      With only 3 shows as Witness The Burning. the plan hopes to get many more shows done and with the release of the EP tomorrow, they hope to garner some attention and get their name out. They would Love to see WTB go as far as possible.

Scottie Snow
Photo: Courtesy of Witness The Burning
      "We love our music and all the work that comes along with it, we are willing to put in the hard work and dedication it takes, all we ask, is that you listen." Says Creviston.

      Find the band on Facebook, and don't forget to see them tomorrow, April 23rd (Today!) with SOIL at Bar 3 in Rockford! The band will also be playing Feckbawlz Fest '11 and Knockout Mayhem 5.


(Originally posted on Examiner)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

From The Mire

From The Mire
Photo: Dawn Zuberbuhler

      Earlier this year, local area band, From The Mire won Bands' favorite at the Battle of the Bands at the Crossroads Community Church. If you think the band plans to stop there, you've got another thing coming.

      The band consists of Ron Oxley(vocals), Brendan Carter(drums), Derek Czysz(guitar), Clayton Reeser(guitar) and Zech Wilkenson(bass). "Ron asked me if i wanted to start a band, to which I replied, 'Heck yeah!'. And I knew Derek and Clayton played guitar so i asked them if they wanted to join. And Zech came along shortly after when we realized we needed a bassist." Says Brendan.

      The band only has ten shows to their name, but have already opened fo Sent By Ravens, a band signed by Tooth and Nail Records.

      Influenced by bands like A Hope For Home, The Chariot, UnderOATH, and old Showbread. The band maintains a punk/hard rock sound. "We tend to be less 'Metal' than most bands in the genre. We try to think outside the box with syncapations, different chord progressions, and thought-provoking lyrics." Says Brendan. "Brendan refuses to use double-bass." Adds Derek.

      When asked about releases, Clayton replied," I released a poop earlier." Derek, quick to recover, said,"We recorded a few songs, poorly, to hand out on a demo, but we have changed a lot since then, so we don't have those songs out anymore." Derek

From The Mire
Photo: Dawn Zuberbuhler
      So where does the name come from? And who came up with it? "Read Psalms 40:2. There's your answer" Says Derek.

      At their first show, The band ate an entire loaf of bread because they were all hungry. Derek explains,"(It was) probably because of nerves. Then we played, and it went a lot better than we all expected, and was really fun." Their last show, at New Life Church in Pecatonica, brought in about 55 people.

      While Brendan hopes for a record deal from Come and Live, and to stay focused on God. Derek chooses a simpler path when deciding long term goals. "Do good."

      The band has their 11th show on April 23rd (That's Saturday!) at Park hills Church!

Like the band on Facebook!
Contact the band via email!


(Originally posted on Examiner)

Boxcuttaz Music: Hip-hop does Rockford some good

Boxcuttaz Logo

      "We are about progression and positivety," Begins Linden Eason, co-owner of local music label, Boxcuttaz Music. "We all come from different backgrounds, some better than others, but we all connected to pursue what we love most and that's music. We all love to entertain. We are about bringing some more notoriety to Rockford in a good way."

      Linden has multple roles in the growing label. Apart from being co-owner, Linden is Chief Executive of Operations. "I oversee everything from top to bottom," says Linden, "I am an artist as well, so it's a tremendous task." Renaldo Cooper, co-owner, on the other hand, does a little more ground work. "I coordinate studio times to record the artists, produce some of the projects released, and manage each artist’s marketing and release plan."

      The music label started on New Years, 2009. "Well, Linden and I met each other via a mutual friend that knew we both were trying to build music labels." Says Renaldo. "Linden was a respected local DJ and I was coordinating studio time and music for some of the rap artists in the area." 

      "I was trying to do some new things musically and he introduced me to Renaldo and we had similiar vision." Adds Linden. "I had my own music team and he had his own group of artists. From there we decide to merge both together and Boxcuttaz Music was created."

      The name itself is an allusion to the saying 'thinking outside of the box'. "It means think outside of the box even if that means you have to go through it." Says Linden. "(We) came up with the name after watching a satirical version of an old martial arts film. Symbolically, BoxCuttaz represents the breaking out of the norm; bringing something new to the mundane. It’s being outside the box." Continues Renaldo.

      The label has done a few things for the community thus far. At the label events, they encourage everyone to bring canned goods, even going as far as giving a discount in exchange for donating a canned good. The canned goods, as well as some of the event proceeds, get donated to the Rockford Rescue Mission. "(We) are firm believers in self-growth, and respect for others, as well as the art one practices. We are constantly fighting for the bettering of Rockford schools and dwindling after-school programs. Our community’s students deserve the best."

      The Boxcuttaz Music roster consists of Rude Pillz (Renaldo Cooper), A.Teknopolis (Anthony Hunt), Gee The 6th Man (Gregory Yokley), Dizzy Delta (DelRashawn Boykins), Gamoliel (Jay Benford), Ayngel Halow (Zachary Coble), Toven (Karis Coble), and Pyce Wilson (Linden Eason). "We also have two experienced R&B singers that will be heard by the public soon." Says Renaldo.

      Here are some upcoming events to mark on your calender. May 7th is the Mayday Mayhem emcee battles presented by Battlefest and BoxCuttaz. It will be held at the Pirate Ninja Print Shop, located at 400 East State Street in Rockford, Illinois. Admission is $5, but if you bring a canned good, $1 will be knocked off your admission price. It’s a great and entertaining event and encourages everyone to join in as they build up Rockford as well as Rockford Hip-Hop. 

      Also, don't forget to follow Boxcuttaz Music on Facebook! Learn more about BoxCuttaz Music at @boxcuttazinc #TeamWilson  


(originally posted on Examiner)

Look, I'm Burning

Look, I'm Burning
Photo: Courtesy of Look, I'm Burning
      Look, I'm Burning. The melodic metalcore band from Madison, Wisconsin will be playing at The Lodge next month, but why should you care? You don't know these guys? Unfortunately for you, that excuse is not valid.
      "(Our music is about) living life to its fullest, regardless of orientation or affiliations. It's about taking chances, finding yourself, breaking traditions, and living meaningfully." Says Paul Wendell Swift. "We put a lot of effort into making very melodic (music) and (keep) heavy chord progressions. We try to keep things interesting by creating several different parts while maintaining a memorable and catchy chorus within most of our songs. We want people to feel our music; we want our live show to be a moving experience and when people listen to our cd, we hope our creations send chills up their spines." The band has a 4 song demo from '09 and A full-length album and has about 50 shows under their belt, so what's next? "We're currently working on writing another full-length that will be out in early 2012, hopefully."
Look, I'm Burning
Photo: Courtesy of Look, I'm Burning
      What brought this group of musicians together? "Well, Matt and Holevio formed the band in Febuary of '08. Jaime joined on bass shortly thereafter. Paul and Brandon replaced original members later that year and In spring of 2010, Jaime left the band due to severe tendinitis. (He) was replaced by Drew a few months later." Recently, Drew, the bassist has needed to put more focus into school and decided to quit the band. The band is looking for a bassist.
      When asked about long-term goals, Paul said, "We are currently managed by Nate Steinheimer of the band Rosaline, who also manages Serianna (Bullet Tooth Records). He's working his magic on helping us get signed, and meanwhile we're writing and shooting for the stars, hoping to be on the road full time within the next year or so."
      Catch the band playing The Lodge next month on May 14 and again at Feckbawlz Fest 2011!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Journey To Fall

A Journey To Fall
Photo: Courtesy of AJTF
      A great deal of the local hardcore enthusiasts already know a bit about A Journey To Fall, The 5-piece band of friends have been doing quite a bit since their their first EP. Their sound is a combination of emo, screamo, metal and some hardcore elements. 
      "Our music tends to be about life experiences." Says the band vocalist, Nate Gustafson. "(Our) goal as musicians has always been to write lyrics that the listener really relates to and connects with. If you can take something from our lyrics that means alot to you then we've accomplished our goal." In January of 2010, the band recorded their first EP titled, We Watched It End. And in the early summer of '10 They started recording their full length album, Remember What Got Us Here.
Nate Gustafson performing at a show
Photo: Brianna L. Hooker
      The band has played more shows than they can even remember. But do they get sick of it? Apparently not, when asked about long term goals, the band responded, "Just to keep playing shows, reaching as many ears as we can, and hopefully touching some lives as well! Every kid in a band dreams of getting big. Of course that's always in the back of (our) minds, but ultimately, (We're) just happy to be doing what (we) love with the best friends we've ever had."
      The friends came together in late fall of '09. Nate had been friends with Morgan. And after moving back to town from Madison, Wis. Morgan talked him into coming to jam some stuff out with Ryan and they clicked musically. Shortly after, they parted ways with original frontman, Bobby, and brought Tarek into the mix. They brought Bobby back to play bass, but the relationship dissolved again by April. He was replaced with Gage almost immediately after, They finally had a solid line up that worked increasingly well together.
A peek at the band's intense performance
Photo: Brianna L. Hooker
      So what does the name A Journey to Fall mean? "The name is a metaphor for life. Negative? Maybe. But realistic? Yes, especially with our lyrical content. Our music really focuses on the negative side of life, and I think it's good that our name reflects that." Says Nate. 
      The band is currently writing and recording their next full-length album titled, Rebirth. If things go as planned, you can see AJTF play Pajama Jam 2011, Also, you can find them playing Feckbawlz Fest next month!

Friday, April 15, 2011

In The Year of The Plague

In The Year of The Plague
Photo:  Anna Maria Photography
      What happens when you take the deathcore genre, give it heavy hardcore tendencies and top it off with just a hint of black metal? Something that 4 out of 5 dentist would describe as brutal, unhealthy and possibly contagious. You also get In The Year of The Plague, a band that formed in February over a year ago. 
      "Zac Glawe (Guitar) met Cory Gantenbein (Drums) through a friend. Zac brought both Cory and Greg Larson (Bass) back to his place and we all basically agreed that he was what we were looking for." Says Andrew Owens (Guitar),"In October, we replaced our original vocalist with Jake Yattone (Vocals)." Both Andrew and Preston Blythe (vocals) were in previous projects with Zac and Greg.
      When it comes to lyrics, In The Year of The Plague knows no limits. According to Andrew, the two vocalists write a great deal of the lyrics, sometimes asking the rest of the band for help. Some previous topics include standing up for oneself, never giving up and even a song that really has no meaning beyond what you hear. "Pretty much whatever they want the song to be about."
In The Year of The Plague @ The House Cafe
Photo: Anna Maria Photography
      Apart from their unique take on deathcore, what seperates the band from other bands in the genre? "Watching videos of deathcore shows, you see bands being rather stagnant. The kids in the crowd stand and text. We're not like that. We all love what we're doing and put everything we have into our shows. We're all moving, every second of the set. Most, if not all, of the crowd is moving and everyone has a good time." says Andrew confidently. "Everyone of us is sore for a few days after and we can't stop talking about how much fun it was. That's what sets us apart, definitely."
      When the band started playing shows for the first time, Andrew Owens was 'out' of the band. "Well, I live in Skokie, a suburb of Chicago, so I'm 2 hours away from the rest of the band." Says Andrew."They played some shows without me while they were looking for a new guitarist. (The Band) eventually decided that they didn't want anybody else for the spot." He rejoined the line-up last June. When asked about his first show after rejoining the group, Andrew jokes,."It wasn't our best show."
      Since his return, Andrew says the band has played between 20-25 shows. The have 2 independently recorded demos. Both of which were recorded several months apart and sound very different. "They're both very different in so many ways because our sound is always growing and developing."
      Download In The Year of The Plague's most recent demo for free here. They have merch up on Facebook or you can buy one at a show. In The Year of The Plague will be playing at The Lodge on the 23rd with RooksMICAWBER, and other great bands. Also, you can find the band at Feckbawlz Fest next month!

I, The Creator

I, The Creator @ The House Cafe
Photo: Taylor Wadley
      "We all have the ability to create or destroy our surroundings, either on a conscious and/or unconscious level." Says Julian Cunningham, vocalist for the band, I, The Creator. The band writes metalcore music that is inspired by simply 'living life', both the good and bad aspects. Whether it be a life changing event or simply a late night/early morning text message. "It's pretty random, really. (The songs) can be about the state of society or mythical creatures dancing in the moonlight"
      The band consists of Stephen Sporman and Kirk Wedig on guitars, Korbin Fleischer on bass, Dustin Curtis on drums and Julian Cunningham on vocals. "We're 5 guys who take this seriously. We always push ourselves to write better music and we're always looking to improve and grow as musicians and songwriters. This is our life and we want to make this our career." Says Stephen, the 21-year-old guitar player.
      Stephen estimates near a hundred shows since the band started, yet band vocalist, Julian  can still remember the band's first show. "It was at the Stephenson County Fairgrounds and we played a short set because we only had three songs, at the time. We played with Abandon All Hope, The Mill, The Rage Inside and Kryptic Throne. it was a great time in spite of the small turn out."
I, The Creator @ The House Cafe
Photo: Taylor Wadley
      With near a hundred shows, you would think the band would start getting a little cocky. "We don’t take ourselves too seriously. (It's) a part of our charm. We don't walk around like 'we are super awesome' and 'people are SUPPOSED to like us.' If you come to one of our shows, you will see that we do all kinds of silly stuff to entertain ourselves, (as well as) the crowd. It's all about having fun, not the scene or your ego." Says Julian.
      How did this gang of modest goofballs come together? "Our old drummer, Eric, and Julian had known each other for quite sometime and decided to start jamming with another guy." says Stephen Sporman."Our bass player, Korbin, joined them after learning how to play bass after just a couple of weeks and (they) started the band, Push Come to Shove, which would later become the basis for I, The Creator." When the old guitarist quit, they invited Stephen to jam with them. Shortly after, Kirk joined the band. After a year with the band, Eric, quit the band. A good friend of the band, Dustin, was called up to play with the band as the replacement drummer. Leaving only Julian and Korbin as original members.
      Unfortunately, Korbin will be leaving for the army at the end of the summer, "It sucks that he's gonna be leaving, but we, as a group, back him in his decision. He's always gonna be a part of the ITC family, and we look forward to hanging with him when he returns" Says Julian.
      I, The Creator will be playing a show this Saturday at Rock Hollow in Freeport, IL. They will be playing for Metal Protecting Children, which aims to keep children safe from abuse. They will also be playing at Feckbawlz Fest 2011. You can get their CD on iTunes and Amazon. The band is currently looking to play in the Rockford area and is also in search for a replacement bassist for the end of the summer.

The definition of 'Souless'

"My brother once told me I'm emotionless sometimes" - Souless
Photo: Rigo Aviles

      Unfeeling, unmerciful, unsparing and unsympathetic. These words are synonymous with another word, Soulless. "My brother once told me I’m kind of emotionless at times," says local rapper, Rigo 'Souless' Aviles, "I learned not to have emotions or feelings."

      Souless describes his music as "unorthodox with jazzy beats." Often times, taking a different approach when dealing with familiar topics. "I'm not trying to outdo the other guy." says the young rapper, "I'm about making music that I like, music that sticks in your head."

      So what kind of music does Souless enjoy? Growing up, he listened to a lot of artists he considered 'hardcore'. Artists such as South Park Mexican, Biggie Smalls and Dr. Dre. Also listening to a lot of freestyle because it's what his father enjoyed listening to. Although hip hop is still his primary choice, Souless listens to everything, from Daniel Johnston to Jimi Hendrix, Mac Lethal and Brother Ali. "Right now on my iPod, I have nothing but Atmosphere playing non-stop."

      For nearly 7 years, he's been trying to perfect his trade. Fairly recently, he decided to start battle rapping at local events. "I’ve been battling for no less than just a couple of months, but I’m getting into it and I’m going to make my way to the top. Slowly, but surely." says a confident Souless who took the win in his battle at March Massacre 2 against Kay-Gee, another local battle rapper.

      "That battle went great for me," recalls Souless,"I was really nervous just because I had lost against Raco the Dragon just a month before." When asked how he prepared for the match, he replied," I practiced everyday for about 2 weeks and wrote as many bars as possible."

      So, recording or battling? When asked, Souless replied,"I prefer recording tracks better because I love making the music I write, but battle rapping is really fun and gets so intense. I love going toe to toe with another M.C."

      You can find several Souless tracks on his YouTube Channel. You can also see  Souless battle at Battlefest Presents Mayday Mayhem hosted by Blaze against Akeem Kizart on May 7th. 

“Keep an ear on the hip hop scene in Rockford. It’s getting bigger every minute.” - Souless


(Originally posted on Examiner)

Feckbawlz Fest 2011

Who is this drummer? Let me know!
Photo: Mason Lovell
      Later next month, the 2nd annual Feckbawlz Fest will take place at The Lodge. What does this mean exactly? It means you get to see eleven local hardcore bands for $12 at the door. It also means opportunities to support the local music scene. The bands will have merchandise and food will be available for purchase. Bringing money for food and refreshments is highly recommended, considering the show lasts over 9 hours.

      Feckbawlz Fest was created last October by Mason Lovell and Justina Jackson, local supporters of the equally local hardcore music scene. Mason describes Feckbawlz as "A show where the biggest names in the local underground music scene come together for a day, to do what they love, and to spread their music to everyone willing to listen."

      The first Feckbawlz Fest took place at Mason's home at the time. The majority of the bands played on the back patio, with the final two bands playing in the garage. Between 50 to 60 people showed up to show their support. "Most of the people, I didn't know," says Mason,"I met a lot of new people." The small house show was considered a success.

Nate of A Journey to Fall at last year's show.
Photo: Mason Lovell
      According to Lovell, so many of the attendees asked him to do it again, that he decided to make it an annual occurrence. So this year, Mason has returned as promised. With some help from friend, Anna Jafari, he was able to book the show at The Lodge, a venue located near the Rockford Airport. "They (The Lodge) host a lot of shows that always have an insane turn out." Says Mason, "I trust Anna with this, I know it'll be an amazing turn out."

      When asked if he had thrown any other shows, aside from FeckBawlz, and if he had any future plans to do so, Mason replied, "As of now, I haven't thrown any shows. Besides helping a few friends throw birthday shows when they ask for help. I hope to make a career out of this, it's so much fun to see what a few months of hard work can do."

      Mason is very confident that Feckbawlz Fest 2011 will have a larger turnout than last year and that the people that attend will not be disappointed. 

      Some of the bands scheduled to play this year's Feckbawlz include Another Hero DiesA Journey to FallMICAWBER, and In The Year of The Plague (full list on the Facebook event page)


(Originally posted on Examiner)