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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reaping Asmodeia

      "Asmodeia pertains to the principle demon that overlooks the circle of hell pertaining to lust and wrath.  Most of the problems we encounter throughout life involve the desire to let lust overcome us or sway our sense of right and wrong." Explains the progressive deathcore band from Twin Cities, Reaping Asmodeia. "We all feel the name just came together as a concept we all believed to hold true in our lives, and to anyone that is truly living theirs."
      After forming about a year and a half ago, the band is very proud of the fanbase they've earned. "We are very lucky to have the incredible fans that we do!  To have the people that  have interest in what we are doing is amazing and we are very thankful for it.  Especially since people just are not going out to shows as much as they were even 2 or 3 years ago, we are always looking forward to playing a show in St. Paul or Minneapolis."
      The band came together when Alex Kelly (guitar), Jakub Muhle (Bass), and Daniel Koppy (drums) left their band, Dead Hands Rising. Alex and Daniel quickly started work on the new project, spending 10 months preparing 5 songs and trying out vocalists and guitarists. Eventually, thet found Tim Snook (vocals) and Matt Kalsnes (guitar) for the positions. "To put it simply, they both shared the same vision in every way Alex and myself did.  They strive to become better musicians everyday they work with their instruments.  And they wanted to bang their heads hard and play fast and heavy music! So that definitely furthered our decision along."
        A good friend of the band, Kyle Skogquist, played bass for the band's first 5 months. "We were always in close contact with Jakub and he had wanted to be a part of what we were doing all along the way." Jakub joined the band in July 2010. "We are 5 guys that are all almost the same person.  We pour every ounce of ourselves into our live show, and we definitely feel that anyone that has seen a Reaping show will hopefully agree that it stays intense from start to finish."
      Some of the many musical influences include Despised Icon, Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth. The band also takes influence from solo guitar and bass work like Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert, Rusty Cooley, Victor Wooten, and Les Claypool. "We all draw a lot of influence from a lot of punk bands as well and none of us are afraid to say we love Blink 182. The list really goes on and on cause when it comes down to it, we really are all just a group of true music lovers."
      When describing the band's sound, one would say they were fast and heavy. "We are by no means the fastest band out there or anything like that, but speed definitely plays a big part in our sound.  I think that a lot of our music just kind of keeps kicking you in the face in a sense.  We are not afraid of trying different ideas though feel and dynamic, which is something a lot of bands lose in the mix of creating music.  So we are trying new things here in there with some of our new material.  But rest assured, we love playing fast and keeping things heavy, so dont expect that to change from us."
     As far as lyrical content goes, the band has lots of real life themes. Typically the band's lyrics are darker. "(Our lyrics) pertain to a lot of real life experience within our dismal world.  Luckily we have a very crafty vocalist and his lyrics flow and are interesting to us.  They are very thought out, a lot is put into the words Tim screams.  Even if Tim is screaming about someone going to hell, he means it, and theres a reason for it."
      You can find the band playing all kinds of shows with all kinds of bands. "We are quite obviously playing a more modern style of metal that will appeal more typically to the younger crowd, but at the same time, we have a lot of old school metal influence with our guitar harmonies and such that we get respect from the older bar crowd we get to play for often, fortunately."
      Their performances are filled with energy and very intense. "We just do what feels natural to us, and that is just bangin our heads as hard as we can and having fun with the crowd and each other. The one thing that really makes or breaks any rock or metal band is the live performance.  The 5 of us, luckily, all share the same idea when it comes to performing.  We are in a metal band and we want to perform the way the music should feel to the listener: intense! We always have fun and thats the most important thing.  How should we expect anyone in the crowd to get crazy if we are not doing so ourselves?  We hold ourselves to a high standard but always have fun at the same time."
      The band released their first demo near the end of 2010. The demo is filled with guitar solos, fast breakdowns, melodies, dark riffs, and technical metal drumming. "Really, the songs are what they are, demos.  It's us working with our sound and trying to find out what works and feels right for us."
      The band has matured in the last year and it shows in the band's latest material, set to be released in the coming months. Their first full-length album will be tracked October 4th and the band has really honed in on their sound. "The newer stuff is much more melodic, yet it is also the heaviest stuff we have written thus far.  We are really excited to play some of the newer songs that no one has heard because they are our favorite stuff to play. It's easier on the ears, yet it's our hardest stuff to us to play. I really don't think our music will ever really be "easy",  It's very busy and we like it that way. We try to challenge ourselves with every riff, but we want people to be able to latch onto parts a little more, so I think that will show in our music in our newer stuff.  We may play something twice here and there instead of a riff for 3 seconds and then it's gone forever."
      The band plans to keep on trucking as far as the band can take them. "We are working hard to work our way up the long tall ladder in the metal world.  We want to get this full length done that we are tracking next month and get back on the road and tour and play our asses off.   We want to play for any and every person that will give us their attention, or die trying.  It's the only way to get noticed in any genre of music and we will continue to bust our asses with every note we play to be a band that stands out in some manner and that you notice for one reason or another."
      And now a personal message from Reaping Asmodeia to you, the reader: "Pass the word on about Reaping Asmodeia.  If you dig us help us out and tell a friend or ten.  Come out to a show and bang your head with us and we will for sure be hitting a city near you very soon!"
   

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Solemnly Swear

      Not very many bands will tell you that their band name was inspired by Harry Potter movies, but not very many bands are hardcore/nu-metal band, I Solemnly Swear. "We are huge fans of the film and were inspired by the cleverness of the Marauder's Map, as well as its ability to show you everything and anything. As a band we wanted to put all of our emotions out there for the world to see while still being "up to no good" and making people mosh it up as we do for our favorite bands."
      The Rockford band came together in March of 2011 after many line-up changes. "I believe we went through about 11 different people up until our first show. Then almost immediately after, we replaced virtually everyone again and found the lineup we have today. We actually had a member from Bloom practice with us and a member from 2KL both classic punk bands so it was an awkward couple of lineups."
      The band has a wide range of influences, as each member of the band comes from a different musical background. Garret Deporter (dirty vocals), Jon Frisk (bass), and Drew Dippel (guitar) were the only members to originally listen to the hardcore genre. AJ Maddrell (drums) listened to a lot of metalcore like Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine while Matt Anderson (guitar/clean vocals) listened to a lot of punk and emo bands like The Used and Four Year Strong.
      With all the different influences flying around, the band found a place between the hardcore genre and metal. "We incorporate thick heavy breakdowns with fast paced metal-style riffs and drumming. I think we sound very similar to our influences and there's nothing wrong with that. We love playing the stuff we love hearing." Says the band.
      The band has played several local Rockford venues such as the Bethesda Church and The ELB, as well as some venues in the surrounding area like The House Cafe and Spurgeon's Bay. The band hopes to play shows at Mojoe's and The Metro, and anywhere else in Chicago. They also have interest in playing shows up north in Kenosha.
      Performances for the band are very in-your-face with many of their fans claiming the band's performances are better live than the recordings. "We just love the energy of playing a live show and just letting it all be seen. We have a face that our guitarist has perfected called the mean mug and he basically does it the entire show because our riffs are just so mean and he loves just getting angry and energetic when he plays them."
      The band released their EP, Believe What You Hear, in the summer of 2011. The EP was recorded with Josh Wheeler, who produced their previous EP and the full-length of fellow Rockford band, A Journey To Fall. "We really wanted to get ahead of the wave of EPs coming this fall so we got into the studio and basically recorded every song we played live and got it all in there and ready to show off to our fans. There was such a big jump between our stuff from the demo to now so we wanted to get in and show it off as soon as we could get the money together."
      The EP takes it's name from a lyric in the song "Rumors" because the band thought it was a fitting title. "We want people to literally like us, not simply click a like button. We made our title a blatant message saying we have what you want to hear and you better believe it." The EP is available from the band for $5 and includes 5 new songs and 2 rerecorded songs from the demo with intricate artwork by Johnnie Grey.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blodravn

      Every once in a while, you come across a music project that is unlike anything you're familiar with. Blodravn, the viking metal project of Anthony Riddle is one of those projects.
      The project started when Anthony departed from the band, Kryptik. "it was fun, but we never did agree on the songwriting aspect." Recalls Riddle. He went on to form a solo project, partly because he felt that if he wanted something done right, he'd had to do it himself. Also, finding someone with similar music taste and vision in the area was difficult.

      Since starting the project in December 2010, Blodravn had garnered lots of support online. "I have had awesome feedback from the fans I have gained during the past few months. I am hoping the experience will continue as more people begin to hear about the band."
      Many musical influences range in genre, from death metal to traditional folk. Specific influences include bands like Falkenbach, Amon Amarth, Týr, Korpiklaani, and Eluveitie. "It seems that the main genre to influence me would be traditional folk, whether it be Celtic, Nordic, Sámi, etc. I just like the atmosphere that this music creates." Says Anthony.
      The band's sound can be described as folky and adventurous at times. Other times, you could describe the music as angry and depressing. "It utilizes clean vocals, black metal screams, and even guttural (Demilich style) vocals at times. There is no definite sound description because I model the songs on what I imagine them in my mind. Maybe with the next release the general sound will become more apparent."

      Apart from vocal training, Anthony has no professional music training, but uses a wide range of instruments in his music. "I can play a variety including guitar, flute/tin whistle, piano/keyboard, drums, and vocals. I have never had the patience for being instructed to learn them, I just picked them up and learned them myself. The one exception is that I am in the process of being instructed in vocals, it is the only thing I wish to be instructed in correctly."
      The project hopes to release Words of the High One, Blodravn's first full-length album, in late August or early September. "the full length album wil be featuring seven tracks - five of them between 6 - 9.5 minutes long plus an intro. It focuses mainly on Ásatrú beliefs and the Viking way of life including some texts from the Poetic Edda. I believe the future releases will also focus on this aspect."
      As soon as the album is released, Anthony will quickly begin work on the next album, which has the possibility of being released within the 6 months following the first album. "I already have many of the general melodies in mind. I also hope to get a live line-up together this fall and play shows until next spring."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Desolatevoid

      Eau Claire metal band, Desolatevoid, formed years back in 2002. "In the early days of Desolatevoid, the band was slower, looser, and "stoner" oriented." recalls the band. The band's style changed due to an accident which left original songwriter and guitarist, Patrick Sova unable to play with the band. "Songwriting was taken over by drummer, Tim Smith and the content became more aggresive."
      Mark Stolp took the position as guitarist. "The single guitar configuration has given the band a clear and tight straight-forward sound." The current band line-up consists of Tim Smith (drums), Andy Howard (vocals), Nick Carroll (bass), and Mark Stolp (guitar).
      The band is influenced by bands like Black Sabbath, Black Flag, Pantera, and older Metallica. The band describes their sound as a mix between EyeHateGod, Black Flag, Black Sabbath, and Brutal Truth.
      The band plays punk and metal shows and has played with a wide variety of different types of bands. The band has played many venues, from basements to clubs, festivals and even outdoors. Their performances are loud and the band likes to play as loud as they can. "We want our listeners to get as much out of it as we do and be affected in one way or another by the experience."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stranger Stranger

      Louisiana rock band, Stranger Stranger, comes from the small town of Loranger. "A few years ago we weren’t even on a map. They don’t take too much pride in the arts either. So finding people to play with is pretty hard. It’s more of rap, southern rock and cover bands community and even they find it hard to get shows. Maybe we’ll bridge the gap, but honestly we’re not trying to be different or fit in. We just want to play what we feel and show the world what the core purpose of music is about."
      The members of the band choose to use stage names, picking names that they connect with. Icarus (vocals) believes that mankind makes their own wings. Dante (drums) takes his name from Dante Alighieri who wrote The Divine Comedy, saying "I feel like him walking through my life and seeing how other people’s sins can help me correct my own. The battle of good and evil is everywhere and we can all learn a thing or two from just looking around." Vergil (guitar) takes his name from the poet, Lamia (guitar) takes is name doue the wrath he expresses through his guitar. Loki (bass) is the band trouble maker.
      The band has been in previous bands together and when they all failed, the group decided to start a band of their own. The band is influenced by bands like Motley Crue, Foo Fighters, and The Gazette. They describe their sound as a mix of rock, metal, jazz, and punk and is nothing short of strange.
      The band released a few songs online and recieved fairly positive feedback. "We released the songs for download and within a week we had gained about twice as many fans as we had all week. So I say it was a success. All we’ve gotten is good feedback on them. So we take it people like them."
      The band hopes to start playing shows and get their music spread. They hope to get noticed locally and online.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Up In Arms

      Up In Arms, the melodic punk band from Dover, NH dislikes long stupid band names with weird punctuation. The band believes that their short and simple name suits them because they like to think thier music speaks for itself.
      When the band talks about the local scene, they describe it as plentiful with hardcore bands with a good amount of "crust" punk and terrible "butt-rock". "The most active of local venues is a place called The Brick House where bands from all genres and levels of popularity play shows. Everything ranging from the super-underground stuff to the slightly bigger punk acts (Agnostic Front, Off With Their Heads). We're usually more of the basement show type, but we will play literally anywhere we can. Most of our friends are in the Keene, NH area (Duncan and Eric are students at Keene State College) so you'd be most likely to catch us playing in that area."
      The members have been friends since high school and have all been active musicians, so it just made sense to get together and write some music. The band consists of Curtis Charles (bass/vocals), Chris Milton (guitar/vocals), Duncan Garnett (drums), and Eric Milller (guitar).
      The band comes from many backgrounds and has many influences including, but not limited to punk bands and pop-punk bands like Saves The Day, New Found Glory, Kid Dynamite and NOFX. "We try to offer something a little unique in terms of our overall style. We stay away from that cookie-cutter, breakdown-packed brand of pop-punk that's been so trendy lately and focus more on writing catchy melodies and interesting lyrics."
      In October 2010, the band released The Lions Inside Us EP, which lyrically talked about the loss of good friends, falling in love, accountability in military and government, and riding horses. "'Fuck Your Army, I'm Joining Starfleet' was directly inspired by the 'Collateral Murder' video that was leaked onto the internet a while back. Seeing that was a gut-wrenching experience for me that made me extremely tense and angry for days, and the only way I could realease that tension was to write a really spiteful protest song. Aside from 'Starfleet,' which is a bit on the heavier side, there's an overall pop-punk sound to the album. Our singer at the time, Tim, added a hardcore edge to the vocals. He was previously singing for a thrash band called The Nasty, who have a pretty big following around here. "Emergency Breakdown" was the first song we wrote together. The basis of that song was a falling out I had with my best friend since elementary school, who basically dropped off the face of the earth when he started dating this harpy who subsequently devoured his soul."
      Sometime in 2012, the band hopes to release their next EP that follows the traditional pop-punk sound with cleaner vocals and less screaming and shouting. "It's going to be a longer EP. Right now we're looking at about six tracks. Due to all the changes we've had to make to the lineup, it sounds a bit different than "The Lions Inside Us." (we) think that our sound is catchier and more memorable because it allows us to be more melodic overall."
      You can catch the band playing basements and houses around the area. "We're all at that awkward point in our lives where we have a ton of time-consuming shit going on, like finishing college, working, and being grown-ups, so it's hard to coordinate any shows or tours of a larger scale. When it happens, you'll know by the riots we incite that we finally had the chance to travel as a band. I can only wish we were that intense."
      A music video is also in the works, but other than that, the band will be busy working on new material and finding time to perform.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Barrier

      The hardcore band, Barrier, formed recently in July. After writing a few songs, the band decided on the name based on the fact that their material focused on overcoming obstacles or barriers.
      Based in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, the band is surrounded by many hardcore/metal bands. "There are definitely a lot of new metal/hardcore bands starting up around here which is always great to have bands to play with and listen to and everything. It's the most common genre for bands around here it seems like. Some of our best friends are in a metal band called Sworn In, although they aren't from Buffalo Grove, they're from right around here in Grayslake. There aren't a ton of venues to play at right around here, but it's cool to play in front of people who otherwise wouldn't hear your music when you're farther away from home."
      The members had been playing in other bands together and wanted to start something new and heavy. "It's definitely fun to be in a band with good friends AND good musicians." Says the band.
      The band is influenced by bands like The Contortionist, Legion and other metal/hardcore bands. They describe their sound as heavy, a bit melodic, and "bouncy". They feel that the vocals help give their music a "flow" and a sort of percussion role, as well as bringing emotion. The band has been compared to bands like Volumes and The Acacia Strain.
      The band is in the process of writing their EP. "Although we don't have a date set yet, we're thinking maybe a fall or early winter release is likely. The music will be hard hitting and we think it will go over well. The lyrics are about bettering yourself and resolving internal conflicts and obstacles. In the meantime though, look out for new songs we'll be posting along the way."
      The band is going to continue focusing on recording music, and giving it their all. They hope to play a few shows and try to better themselves as musicians as well as get the word spread about the new band from Buffalo Grove. "Hopefully people like our music and we'll just keep doing what we're doing to improve."

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Sound Heart

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      A Sound Heart, the hardcore band from Johnsburg, IL is one of the few remaining bands who still strongly believes in morality. " It seems a lot of the structures people model themselves after take away from the heart of any action: happinness. It's just ethics. The soul purpose for anyone to do anything is to be rewarded with some sort of positive emotion. Unfortunately, things like addiction, vanity, and greed can distort your definition of happiness. But, to truly grasp the concept of contentment and live a healthy, fulfilling life, you have to be the best person you can be. It can be difficult. Sometimes, you're forced to choose between that often strenuous path of doing what's right, or taking the easy way out and doing whatever you like, even if it harms others."
      The band also believes than in order to make a real, positive impact, one must use their head and their heart. "You need to be of sound heart. As we've grown up, we've had to face things we've only ever seen in movies. We've watched old friends become monsters and people we know ruin each other without giving it a second thought. It's scary and it's had a huge impact on all of us in one way or another. It's a bit dramatic, but that's the general idea of the name and the meaning behind our songs."
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      Since the band's formation just a few months ago in mid-May 2011, they have recieved great support from the local scene in Johnsburg. "We've been lucky enough to have played with and for some really amazing people early in our time together."
      When the band first came together, they were only interested in playing shows casually. Once the band realized that they really enjoyed what they were doing, they decided to takes things a bit more serious.
      Over the years, the different members had played in different bands together. After a conversation last year between Josh Blackburn (drums), Jeff Leber (vocals) and Reid Bright (guitar) which consisted of a lot of nostalgia and reminiscing that quickly turned into a jam session once Reid moved back into town. "We kept the songs simple and just wrote the kind of music we all love without over thinking anything and something clicked. It seemed so organic." Says Josh.
      Colton Smiricky joined the band a few weeks later as the bassist. As an old friend and former bandmate, the band felt it was only right to bring him on.
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      The first month as a band was difficult for the group. "Being in a band when we were sixteen was a whole different experience than playing now when we're three years graduated living in a tiny town where most of our support has moved out of state. We had to fight for our first slight bit of recognition. We had to scream in the faces of potential fans in those first few weeks to get their attention because they weren't all friends or people we knew."
      The band describes themselves as an accumulation of all the agressive music and goofy trends that have influenced them in the past five years. "Whether it was when our older friends introduced us to 'Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest' by As Cities Burn, we first heard Misery Signals in high school, when Defeater released 'Travels' or Have Heart passed through Chicago on their last tour, some moments have taken us through different phases of listening and songwriting. But now, we have finally reached a point where we've stopped trying to over complicate things. We've started writing organically and letting those moments that have influenced us and the music we love to present itself naturally in our songs." Says the band.
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      When it comes to playing shows, the band enjoys playing anywhere. From youth centers to clubs, bar to festivals, and even basements. "When we play, we try our hardest to engage the crowd and make them feel so incredibly uncomfortable that they can't help but drop their guard and become a part of the band."
      Since the band's decision to take things more seriously, they've come to an agreement which states that when classes start back up in the coming weeks, they're going to start booking about 1 show a month, but continue staying busy with writing and recording. When the band has time off from school, they hope to try and book as many venues as possible. "We hope to keep this band together and maintain momentum so that one day we can tour and grow uncomfortably close with people miles from home."
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      The band's friend, Logan, who dabbles in graphic design and photography, is filming many of the band's sets in HD and hopes to piece it all together into a live music video for the band. So look forward to that.
      Also, the band hopes to continue releasing new music within the coming months. "We will still sound like emotionally distressed suburban kids, but we've certainly developed a better understanding of our place in the music scene and the message we would like to convey. That being said, our newer material maintains the same intensity as previous songs but has a new less generic edge."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Canon City


      Before becoming a "serious" band, Milwaukee punk-rock outfit Canon City performed as The Lady Gaga Tribute Band. They also performed as The Harlem Globetrotters before settling down with their current name. "We decided to look through the Wikipedia list of the top classic cowboy westerns and pick a random name- hence, Canon City. It’s apparently a town in Colorado, which must confuse lots of people. Apologies to the real Canon City."
      The band came together when their good friend Jack was involved in a car accident. "We played a lot together in high school, but went our separate ways to different colleges. In late 2009, our good buddy Jack got in a car accident and had hospital bills through the roof, so we decided to reunite with our old pals to play some cover songs at a few benefit shows. We had such a good time that it just kept going."
      The band line-up consists of Alex Meylink (guitar/vocals), Kevin Tully (guitar/vocals), Kaleb Woods (bass/vocals), and Rick Romenesko (drums).

      The Milwaukee band is very proud of where they come from. "We love the Midwest. It’s definitely the most promising area for music right now. Milwaukee has a super strong and growing punk scene- there’s some great bands like Lowtalker (or anything else on Fuck City Records for that matter). We’re actually a suburb band, but we love playing at the Miramar Theater- when our friends aren’t getting kicked out for being too drunk."
     Each member of the band has his own share of influence. "Rick and I are pretty punk rock oriented, our bassist Kaleb rocks a lot of pop punk and hardcore stuff and I like to call our guitarist Kevin an indie bastard- he has probably the most eclectic and legitimately good taste out of the group." Says Alex.

      The band released their self-titled EP in March of 2011. Coincidentally, the main focus of the EP was aimed at nostalgia. "it turned out to be a bunch of songs about nostalgia and me realizing I drink too much. I think it musically reveals how obsessed I am with the Lawrence Arms." Says Alex.
      This fall, the band is set to record their first full-length album, Liars, in Minneapolis. "The lyrics are a lot more personal, relationship and experience based than about drinking and high school. Plus, you don’t have to hear my shitty voice as much- Kevin and Kaleb will be singing quite a bit more, and they’re a whole hell of a lot better."
      "Lots and lots of sweat, bro moments and alcohol abuse." That's how the band describes their performances. "Our mantra is 'if your voice isn’t gone, then you’re not really singing. If you’re not caked in sweat, then you’re not really trying.'"The band will be touring this winter to support their release.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Case In Point

      Originally, the hard rock/metal band from Rockford, IL, Case In Point, went by a fairly different name. The band formed in 2007 and changed it's name from Spider Monkeys to Case in Point somewhere along the way.
      Every member of the band has slightly different influences, from Disturbed to Bon Jovi and Red Hot Chili Peppers to Breaking Benjamin. The band is inspired by A7X for their drumming, and even Rise Against for the bass. They are often described as a Breaking Banjamin/Avenged Sevenfold hybrid.
      The band's lineup consists of Neil Andrews (vocals), Jake McIntre (lead guitar), Jake Nelson (rhythm guitar), Andrew Bergman (bass), and Richard Wauchope (drums).
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      Since the band's formation, they have not only improved in skill, but have just about perfected the bass and guitar sound. "When Case In Point first developed it was just a test to see what could happen to the band. I'm sure Neil didn't imagine that Case In Point would become the band it is today."
      The band often has a tough time defining their sound into one style or genre. "We have songs that we play that are really hardcore and in your face, yet we also have mellow songs that slow down the tempo and the mood. So if you really wanted to say our band sounds like anything, I guess you can say we are just a well diverse hard rock band." says the band.
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      You can catch the band on the stage of a bar, a festival, and basically anywhere that sports a stage. The band really doesn't care what venue they play as long as the crowd is energized and ready to have a good time. In their performances, the band likes to be high energy and intense. "We want everyone to participate and we make sure that happens." Says the band.
      The band recently released their EP, Taste of Misery, releasing it on July 8th of this year. "The EP took about a month to record and have mastered. It was a huge undertaking. Andrew and Jake N. were brand new to the band so they had to learn the songs, and Neil was in school in Carbondale, IL. The whole band practiced together one time before going into studio and actually recording so there was a lot of pressure, but after starting it was pretty smooth."
      It's definitely a hard rock EP, according to the band, and the band tried to stay away from anything too soft, making sure to add a few good licks to their softest song "Cursed".
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      The band spoke breifly about the EP and what it meant.
"The cool thing is the EP kinda tells a story in a way. The first song is “So Be It” and it talks about always getting messed over in a relationship and saying that your out. Then the next song "Run" is about your daily struggles and wondering where you're future will take you
“Taste of Misery” is our track title and it really just kicks in the point of having someone screwed you over now your through and you want them to taste your pain. “Feels Like Fire” talks about the pain of breaking up. In the bridge of the song it talks about wanting to be taken back to the way things use to be. 
"Not Enough" is basically about bullying. although it can also be open for interpretation to a breakup, the song talks about how being bullied is not enough to change the person you are. the message of the song is basically to have respect for yourself, and to not let others oppose on who you are and who you wanna be. Our last song on the EP is titled "Cursed" and it's about hopelessness, and how that hopelessness can make you feel unworthy of anything that you treasure in life and this hopelessness can come from a painful breakup, death of a loved one, or failing a task that is important to you
I feel that the EP has been very well received and that people are digging our sound and direction."
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      The band is hoping to get more exposure and to maybe one day get signed. They dream of playing bigger venues and live the life many people just dream of.

Friday, August 12, 2011

S.Y.F.T.

      Hard rock/heavy metal band, S.Y.F.T. from Seattle, WA won't reveal what their acronym really means (if anything), but they do enjoy the many meanings friends and family have come up with. One of their favorites being, "See You F@#kers Tonight."
      About 16 years ago, Taylor Klise (guitar), Sean Ingalls (vocals), and Nick Switzer (drums) started a band in high school. They weren't exactly good, but they had plenty of fun. After graduation, everyone wen their seperate ways until 2004, when miraculously, the friends ended up jamming again. They picked up Eric Sorensen (bass) on Craigslist and have been an active band since.
(Photo: 'Iron' Mike at Savoiaphotographylive.com)
      The band's heavy sound has been compared to bands like Sevendust, Mudvayne, and even Deftones. They describe their sound as a pinch of Alice in Chains, a sprinkling of Tool and a generous splash of Sevendust.
      The band has stayed together and motivated for several years, partly due to the steady growth and clear goals. At first, their goals were fairly simple, get out of the garage, play shows, play bigger venues with bigger bands and get on the radio. "It’s never been boring.  The shows have gotten bigger, and bigger.  The challenge lately has been to reproduce the tightness of the new record in a live setting.  There’s a lot of stops and starts, odd time signatures, etc…We’ve been striving to make the live experience as good as possible."
      The band is very active in the local scene, claiming that the locals are mostly responsible for their success thus far. "You have to get out there and press flesh.  Make your presence known, even if it’s not your show.  We’re lucky that Seattle has not only a good music scene, but one where the local bands really support each other."
      As far as live shows go, the band tries to keep it high energy with a bit of a twist. Often times, bringing on a guest musician or performing a unique cover. Just a little something extra to get people to remember them.
(Photo: 'Iron' Mike at Savoiaphotographylive.com)
      Last Chance for a Legacy, the band's first album, was a bit faster and more metal than what the band does now. "We weren’t sure at the time that there would ever be a second album, hence the title, so we threw the kitchen sink at it.  A lot of big endings on that album."
      When asked to compare their latest album, New Beginnings, the band replied, "New Beginnings is definitely more complex, more polished, and a little heavier in intensity and less in speed.  There’s also a large variation in styles between tracks.  If you just picked any song at random you probably wouldn’t get the full scope of the band."
      With New Beginnings, the band was able to work with Grammy-winning producer, Justin Armstrong. "Working with Justin, you see why he earned his Grammy.  He gave us everything we were looking for and had many a great idea of his own.  He doesn’t waste a lot of time in the studio either; quick setups, quick changes, very efficient with takes.  Drums are by far the most difficult to record and he is amazing at it, knows exactly what he’s doing."
(Photo: David K. Archer)
      The band has a music video for "Ten Brick" up on the band's website, and you can get their music on iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This Obsession

      This Obsession, the punk band from Chicago formed over 2 years ago in July 2009. Mark Kronenberg (vocals/guitar) was in a heavy metal band called Poi Poi Poi, and was in desperate need of bandmates after his band members quit to play punk rock. Mark was interested in playing heavy metal and soon recruited Jessica Otto (bass). Then, they recruited Jordon Otto on the drums even though he had no prior drumming experience. "We pulled Jordan into the band because he was able to play a basic beat on his electric drum set he bought off of eBay. After that, we jammed with Jordan and it kind of just worked." Says Mark.
      After a few jamming sessions, the band decided to start playing punk rock. "I was losing so much interest in metal that I couldn’t keep doing it. The lyrics we wrote were cheesy and funny, and that also had to end. There was no way this band would make it anywhere with these kind of lyrics." In turn, the band decided to change their name to This Obsession.
      In the last two years, the band has matured in a way, they aim for a bigger sound and their musical abilties have definitely improved. They're playing bigger shows with bigger bands, and Jordan can even keep on time with his drumming.
      The songs are fairly straight forward and stay away from being too whiny and sappy. With such songs like "The Girl That I Work With" and "My Chevy Impala" the band isn't expected to be winning any Nobel prizes. Occasionally, the band will write something personal like "The Easy Way Out" which touches base on touchy subjects like suicide.
      "All the messages are just everyday things that I deal with." Says Mark.
      The band is influenced by some bands like Jimmy Pop, Alkaline Trio, NoFX, Green Day and Blink 182. Mark is especially influenced by the support of his sister, who has always kept his spirits high and attends as many shows as she can. "My sister has always been my number one supporter, coming to shows, and promoting my band. She has always told me I will make it."
      The band enjoys jumping into the middle of a show's lineup to insure they will get people listening. "we know bands bring their friends, and their friends only stay for the bands they come to see. Every show we play is always energetic. We always see people jumping around, going nuts, and having a great time."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Tattoo Rebellion

      Alternative rock band, The Tattoo Rebellion's familiar 90's rock sound will remind many listeners of bands like The Foo Fighters and Janes Addiction.
      The band formed after the break-up of the band Tragic Orange. "I decided to move back home to Montreal, Canada." Says band guitarist, Viko. "Phil and I had written a handful of songs and we had this great musical connection that we felt we didn’t want to lose. I reconnected with Taza (drums) and Roach (bass) from my old band and presented them with the idea to form a band. We decided to give ourselves the time to write and really dig deep down and just go back to our roots as musicians, and what had shaped us as musicians growing up. What really made us want to play music, and the rest is history."
      The band describes their sound as "90's rock on steroids" and site genres like grunge, metal and punk as sources of influence.
      The band is currently working on an album which they say is "for a generation of revolution, love, rock n roll." The band has been working on the album for several months now and has enlisted the help from Kevin Jardine of Uplift Productions and the band, Slaves on Dope. "It really took shape when our producer (Kevin Jardine) got his hands on it. It has a great rocking sound with an original edge." Says Viko.
      The band also says that through the album, they hope to send a message to listeners, telling them who they are, where they come from and what they expect from " this entire fucked generation." Also that band would like to say that "You'll have to listen to the album to hear the subliminal messages."
      The band is currently adding their finishing touches to the album and are getting things organized to start filming their videos, selecting singles, and most importanly, hitting the road to promote the upcoming album.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Crystal Vision

      Indecisive and unmotivated, two words that could have been used to describe the start of St. Charles alternative rock band, The Crystal Vision. The band had trouble finding a name that works, using Envision for a short while, considered Watch Out For The Glass, until finally The Crystal Vision was thought up by the group while brainstorming.
      The band's earliest formation was back in the spring of 2009. The band's vocalist, Tom Hinds, and drummer, Jon Belsheim, joked about forming a death metal band. The band quickly formed than broke up due to a lack of motivation and guitarists/bassists. It wasn't until a year later that Tom joked, yet again, about forming a band with Peter Procek (guitar), this time it was talks of a Korn cover band. Ryan Shannon (guitar) joined the band and a guitar battle was planned. The battle never happened, but the band did enjoy several games of Rockband.
      Jon joined the new band, and all the members started jamming together. After agreeing to commit to the band, they scrounged up $800 and bought a mixer and P.A. systems. The purchases served as sort of an unspoken oath between the members. They practiced all summer and recruited Nick Novotny on the bass.
      The Crystal Vision is populated by different musicians with different music influences. Their unique styles are vital to the band's grungy mesh of relaxed, blue-sy, post-rock.
       "Tom joined the band as more of a metal head, listening to bands such as Tool, Metallica, and slayer. Both Ryan and Peter always shared a similar style that came from more bluesy, alternative rock tones. Ryan's style had emanated from a lot of ambient music such as Explosions in the Sky and Minus the Bear. Peters musical style was largely influenced by Jimmy page, having been a Zeppelin fan a majority of his life, as well as other classic rock groups such as Pink Floyd. Jon's inspiration consisted of a classic rock upbringing as well, such as Zeppelin like Peter, but was also influenced by faster, and harder drummer lines by bands such as A Day to Remember. Nick had always had a more chaotic and even funky style influenced by groups such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Cage the Elephant." Says the band.
      "While we all came from different musical spectrums, we began making music without a hitch, and our sound was a resultant of everything that we were brought up by musically, and much of these influences are evident in our music. As we matured as a band, the sound became more refined, and we all started sharing and discovering common  music grounds, continuing to make the music we love."
      Overall the band sound is made up of very calm alternative songs, but occasionally throws a surprise at the listener in the form of AB3D with its harsh screams, or Wafflers with its more punk feel.
      The story behind the name of the band's upcoming album, Welcome to the Dark Room. In the band's practice space, there is a small storage room just out of the band's set-up. Whenever someone in the band needs that full focus for learning a part, or thinking up an idea, they often go into this "dark room" to do so. With a good portion of the songs written out of the dark room, it only makes sense to "welcome" the listener to the dark room.
      The band has noticed a small split in the album and sense two sides to the album. "The first side is seen in songs like Stories End and Recall the New a very chill mellow style and you can just relax and listen. Then there is a Bi-polar flip to songs like Wafflers Rebellion and AB3D where there is a chaotic heavy tone that just encompasses full on energy."
      The band will be playing several shows to promote the release of the album and will turn to Facebook and toilet fliers as forms of advertisement.
      The band sprinkles unique performances all around the St. Charles area in small venues with the support of their fans. The band occasionally plays a big venue when they're out of town in hopes of branching out a bit. The band is ver big on hanging out with fans after the show. "When you come to a Crystal Vision show, plain and simple you should expect to have a good time."
      Naturally, the band is looking to play more shows and even bigger shows. Their sole goal is to be able to look back on all they've done and know that they made good music that will stay with people for a long time. Keep a lookout for the release of the album sometime this month.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jade Patton, Southern Hipster Kid

      Music is like my girlfriend. I Love it, but sometimes it annoys the piss out of me. Sometimes I want to spend all day with music, and other times, I want nothing to do with it. Making, listening, and even writing about music is what I Love to do.
       I started the blog less than 4 months ago. It's hard to believe the blog is still just a baby, but it's come so far already. Based on the stats and numbers, I'm expecting the blog to break 10,000 views by the end of August. No small feat for such a young blog. The idea behind the blog is built on my passion for music. 
      Which brings me to my main point. I feel that I've come across someone with the same kind of passion and the same flare that I have for music. I've met an individual who just might like music more than me and I have the pleasure of introducing Jade Patton of the blog, Us Small Town, Southern, Hipster Kids, to everyone on Uncharted today. 
      I hope my readers show her the utmost respect in the comments (I know you will.) and I highly recommend checking out her blog as well as liking the Facebook page.


- Joe(EFFING)Mayo


And without further ado, Jade Patton:
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When I'm not covering musicians or artists of other sorts, I'm out exploring on my own. One of my passions? Urban exploration and graffitti hunting. Check Out "Us Small Town Hipster Kids" For More Of These Adventures
      If you've ever bitten into the sweet taste of hot, sultry, adventure filled days and long , sleepless, music filled nights, then chances are you know something about the small town music scene in southern Louisiana. Musicians cling to their music as if it was the only source of oxygen they know. Sleep is traded for lyric writing and food is not nearly as necessary as the satisfaction of recording a new song.
      Our artists are driven, passionate, musicians of the purest form. They bleed their soul into everything they do. Their fan-base (No matter how small ) is just as passionate. Their music is real. I've had the joy of becoming intertwined with many of these aspiring artists through "Us Small Town Southern Hipster Kids" and the greatest pleasure I experience from this is not the music alone rather the musicians themselves (although one could argue there isn't much that separates the two).

They become more than musicans, they're long time friends. Spending time with members of one of my favorite bands, Stranger Stranger. Lead singer Trevor Newman and drummer DJ Rhoner
      I knew from the beginning that I couldn't just write about the bands and be finished, there was no black and white. Instead I forged relationships. They became more than a band, as with each encounter I came face to face with the people that make it up. I took the time to see another side of the artists and to learn the individuals outside of their musical element. I quickly learned this is easier said than done.
      In all truth their music IS their element. They live and breathe it, and that is what transgresses so beautifully in each individuals sound. Our area is home to a wide variety of sounds. While Red Skies at Dawn, sling their heads to heavy metal, Stranger Stranger gets deep with rich lyrics and loud rock. Monday Valentines becomes playful with sweet indie beats, and AMP'd brass band touches our Louisiana roots while adding their own flair to classic Jazz.    
      Whatever your preference, We have the sound for you and I invite you to become apart of the experience. You wont regret it.

- Jade Patton
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Be sure to run over to Jade's wonderful blog, Us Small Town, Southern, Hipster Kids and to go like the blog's Facebook Page, too!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Raygun Girls


      Geoff Saavedra is the man behind the music for the Hard Rock project, The Raygun Girls. The name was inspired by a song on The Clay People's self titled album. "I liked what Trent Reznor was doing with Downward Spiral, but the Clay People was much rougher, much more guitar oriented.  Also, the lead singer (Dan Neet), was singing how I did - with a rough growl.  Even through the anger, they had melody.  So, we picked that name as sort of an homage to them."
      Geoff works with artists all over the world to create Raygun's heavy, guitar driven sound. "There's a Punk attitude along with the heavy Sabbath grooves.  It's a little too Industrial to be called Heavy Metal, and a little too Heavy Metal to be called Rock, so I've been calling it Hard Rock.  Gothic Rock sometimes works, but we're also a little too Metal to be just Gothic Rock." Says Geoff.

(Claim This Photo)
      The Raygun Girls haven't always been a one-man show. Geoff and Jamie Lendino collaborated in a heavy metal band with Geoff on guitar and Jamie on the drums. After getting a bit bored, the band began playing with guitar loops with Geoff singing. What started as a side project quickly came to the forefront when the heavy metal band threw in the towel. "Jamie and I started to seriously record an album under The Raygun Girls name.  We got backing vocal help from a female friend who was in a folk band- I thought that we needed a contrast to my gruff sounding vocals."
      "When we started, the music was much more electronic, and it was only going to be a studio band.  Also, it was just me and Jamie writing all of the music.  We got such a good reaction to the first album, "Mars Eclipsing", that we put together a live band.  In 2004, Jamie left, and the core of the band became me and George Tsolekas (bass and backing vocals)." Their next album, The Ones I Denied, featured female vocalist, Maya, to the front of the band. "There has always been an underlying darkness to the music.  I once described it as looking at life from the opposite angle- expressing anger, sadness.  There's a lot of themes of loneliness in the lyrics."
   
(Claim This Photo)
      The band was signed to an Indie Label, replaced Maya with Cila, and originally recorded their album, Dirt Collector, for the label. Unfortunately, the label went belly-up. After releasing Dirt Collector on their own, Geoff underwent emergency heart surgery. Without label support and due to Geoff's health issues, the band took a break. Geoff continues to work on music under the name, releasing the album, The Taker on July 25th.
      "After trying to, unsuccessfully, find other band members, I decided to stop waiting and just began to record, enlisting help, through the internet, from female vocalists around the world.  I'm very happy with what turned out, and I truly believe that it is the next step for The Raygun Girls. George still helps out a lot with opinions and lyrics (he wrote "Designated Killer" on the new album), and Cila might return at some point." Says Geoff.