Devilskin has established themselves as a household name in their native New Zealand. Formed in Hamilton in 2010, this four piece rock band are bonded by blood: Paul (bass) and Nic (drums) are father and son, Jennie (vocals) is Nics’ Aunt and Pauls’ sister in law, Nail (guitar) is Pauls evil twin.
The band exploded onto the NZ rock scene with the infectious "Little Pills" and "Never See The Light" singles. Their much anticipated debut album, "We Rise", released on July 11, 2014 and went straight to the top of the charts, remaining as the #1 Album and #1 Kiwi Artist Album for 3 weeks, achieving Gold sales after only 2 weeks.
"Be Like the River" dropped on lucky day 11-11 of this year on iTunes, Google Play Music and other music retailers. We had the opportunity to review the CD for you and here's what I thought about this new to the US female fronted metalcore band - song by song:
🍒🍒🍒🍒 52/65 Cherries🍒🍒🍒🍒
1. "In Black" - I love the chorus of this heavy hitter and the song is sturdy as a stone, cast into a pond from the first note. The layers of vocals and screams give this song "umph". 🍒🍒🍒
2. "Mountains" - How many ways can I use the word "powerful" or some derivitave of "strength" for this band - I'm starting to sound like a catch phrase. The guitars in this track are uber impressive. The varying tempos create a canvas where the listener can paint their own scenario or spill their emotions onto and magically their figurative mountain, doesn't seem so hard to climb and conquer. 🍒🍒🍒
3. "Pray" - Groovy little funk lines kinda tease us as the intense vocals shout through the melody and cries out "No one really cares". The subtle screaming lyrics in the distance gave me an image that while I might be thinking that no one really cares - that I am the only one feeling this, there are others - in the distance that are screaming and feeling the same way. I am in LOVE with the bridge and the immediate chord and tempo change; totally weakened my knees. 🍒🍒🍒🍒🍒
4. "Voices" - Look, I don't care who you are...but just listen to how the band builds this song by the elements they bring into it, and tell me at the end that you wouldn't sign up to be in her army. I mean, I don't even know WTH she is really talking about in this song - and I don't care because I am joining her army, no matter what!! She is that convincing and I want to be in whatever movement she is talking about. Just the way she tells the story, mixed with all my favorite music pieces; it sends me over the top, y'all! Beginning smack dab in the middle of the song and they don't stop until the last note; "I will rise again - watch my army descend..." Oh you bet your sweet ass I'm joining your army, Jennie. Dang straight!! 🍒🍒🍒🍒🍒
5. "Believe In Me" - Punk-like choppy guitar rifs with sticks beating on the edge of a drum in the first couple of measures kinda teased me into thinking this was going to be one of those outta place songs...yeah - nope. Not so much. This song comes outta nowhere and made my stomach flip at the chord change at the chorus. It goes from plunking strings, right into a swelling chord combo to open up a massive chorus that belongs echoing in a freaking open air arena, ya' know what I'm saying? The guitar & bass are blended together perfectly with the percussive parts of the drums and with the vocals, it all creates a plea that will peel a layer straight off your heart. This is my favorite track on the record, hands down. 🍒🍒🍒🍒🍒
6. "F.Y.I" - Attitude oozes off this mix of yelling and lower on the scale, brings these heavy riffs to life. She calls us almost out of a sleep to bounce back. And when we do, her anthem's message lands at the base of my neck making my head bang in agreement with - well, "fuck these corporate pigs" and run around waving that anarchy flag we all wished we had hanging in our rooms back in the 80's! 🍒🍒🍒🍒🍒
7. "Bury Me" - OMG! After the first initial listen, I wanted to pay attention to the lyrics of this track for personal reasons we have no time to discuss here in this forum...lalala. Anywho, so as I listened to what she says; "this cascade is so small, and so heavy in my breast, feeling the nails claw on the inside, now pull me over, it's you who can't be saved" (now this is what I heard - I don't have them exact words) what? Roll that back...are you joking? Simply a marvelous use of imagery. If you could translate what the music was saying, I swear it would say exactly this. That demi-bridge, followed by a short guitar solo gave me goosebumps, chicken skin, fairy bumps, chills, and I'll be a monkey's uncle almost yanked tears outta my cold, black heart. "Bury Me" takes these combinations and transitions, building them in ups and downs that by the end of the song will have split your spine! 🍒🍒🍒🍒🍒
8. "House 13" - With a title that has my favorite number in it, how could I not like it? I love the guitar - y'all it is thick and oh so metal. The cadence slows to inforce the lyric's points, dragging it something out of you that either wants to come out or has been stuck like chuck for who knows how long. Better excorcise that bullshit and what better way than "House 13"? 🍒🍒🍒🍒
9. "Grave" - Listen to the bass line on this track! HEAVY AF!! It is metal gravy all over this yummy piece of meat! 🍒🍒🍒
10. "Animal" - So the intro to this track was interesting to me the first run through. I love the way Devilskin uses the tempo of the song to pound its point like a nail being driven into flesh. Ya, it's like that. 🍒🍒🍒
11. "Limbs" - Y'all might not wanna listen to this song at night, seriously. There are some innate primordial elements in this tune. Whether it be the melodic strings or the odd arrangement, I found this song creepy as hell. I love the chunking of bass and guitars behind the vocal. Odd - in my notes, I wrote: "f'ing scary" - but I didn't abbreviate with an apostrophe...literally wrote the whole word "f__king scary". Ha ha! But it tells a story in the middle where the music enters where music becomes the basis of acting out in music your aggression. It's also strange that I wrote - "murderous scene" as well. Wait...What? 🍒🍒🍒🍒🍒
12. "Closer" - This reminds me of an eerie ballad that foreshadows something...Love the guitar tone that matches and paired it perfectly. I kept waiting for something to happe within the song that echoes the idea that there is fine balance between love & lust. 🍒🍒🍒🍒🍒
13. "We Rise" - I imagined a massive audience swaying to straight rock, people. Power-metal percussion & stellar riffs. I did think the breaks were a little too short, but I get their purpose in the tempo. 🍒🍒🍒🍒
Look, Fe-metal is here. The ladies have arrived and it is growing like pill swapping at a PTA meeting. And let's be honest here, the way I see it, the dudes of metal can take us with how they play music. The song is a journey, right? The journey becomes beautiful when a woman takes the reigns and makes the listener feel the purpose of their message. Pain, joy, pleasure, love, lust, loss - you name it, a woman can drive that emotion home in different ways.
Devilskin is authentic, genuine, real and organic. Jennie has no reason for vocal effects - she doesn't need to hide or cover notes or distribute them to the end of the measure or stretch it into a guitar or keyboard part. She keeps her range true to the force that she uses to push what she needs to come out to the surface.
Oddly enough, it's not surprising that the different parts played by the other members completely matches her voice and lyrical style. It's kinda like the music and her voice are twinkies or related (ehum). You can hear it in the music and the synchronicity this group has can only come from engrained coding in their family's DNA.
Go ahead and go get this record on iTunes or Google and I will bet you a bucket of clams that you will dig the hell out of it. And if you want to try before you buy, I have just the present for you!! Here's their newly released video for "Pray":
Til next time,
MuchLove & MadRespect -
IT LIES WITHIN
The Definition of "It"
Zachary Scott - Vocals
Hello my Sweets! I was driving in my car with the radio cranked up LOUD, listening to It Lies Within; my thoughts were ping-ponging around in my ADHD brain. The song “You Won’t Bury Me” was playing and it starts off totally heavy like a cement house falling from the sky. I mean Zach is growling like a beast and then this beautiful chorus swarms through - a gorgeous melody. The rhythm of the drums remains constant in the background even while some of the tech elements speed up the song; it’s the tom that holds a constant beat. What's totally bizarre and random is, a peace comes over the song, y’all know what I’m talking about. This peace or calmness isn’t supposed to be - logically speaking. For a non-lover of metalcore or PosiMetal as It Lies Within coins themselves, they hear racket and screaming and noise equivalent to nails on chalkboards. Crazy huh?
For this little Birdie though...I hear life. It took preparing for an interview, listening to It Lies Within to receive that. For the first time, I heard all of the life in It Lies Within and then heard it in other songs by other MetalCore artists. I pulled something out of virtually nothing before this interview...And I’m going to be quite honest here. I had no clue that It Lies Within was a “positive message metal” band. (What’s the point in knowing everything about band just to ask them questions you already know the answers to?? I mean really...What’s the point in that??) I don’t roll like that...because if I did - I would miss the beautiful gifts like the one I'm about to share with y'all.
What I hear in MetalCore is the sound of my life. I hear the ups and downs we all experience: the growls when something terrible happens, the screams of fear or the screaming of excitement. I hear the lows slapping underneath it all that grill our subconscious. I hear the riffs of love and happiness met with high, flickering tones or even chaotic strands of mischief that dance and taunt us. I hear I hear the clanging of confusion and the relief that comes from those breaks or pauses in a song. Out of something that's not supposed ot make any sense at all; then comes the poem that binds that all together echoing my sentiments, warn or praise my existence, guide me and validate me.
I hear life.
In a genre of music that is often misunderstood and brushed aside by people because they don’t like the screams or growls - better said, they don’t understand it. It is difficult for an artist to find a place outside the Brotherhood Of MetalCore. Even other artists in the rock/metal genre glance awkwardly at MC bands. Crazy thing about this genre and It Lies Within, it does not seem to bother them in the slightest. I think they actually revel in it.
Chatting with vocalist, Zachary Scott about the upcoming tour (The 11th Plague Tour - tour schedule below), the new record, their place in MetalCore, and where their responsibility lies with their fans - we got to touch on the life aspect of MetalCore.
CB: It Lies Within is a great band name and I was immediately drawn to it. What is IT exactly?
ZS: Some of our friends joke with us and say "So really what is it that lies within? What is IT exactly?" And over the years, we've been able to really define what that name means. When we started out, our band name honestly wasn't more important than what we wanted to do. Matt (guitarist) and I have been playing music our entire lives basically, and we started this band going into focusing on the music; having a good sound and taking it to the next level. And we were just hanging out one day and we weren't even talking about band names and he just blurts out It Lies Within it was one of those moments where everyone just stopped and everyone just knew what he was saying, without even saying it. We were all like, "ya, that's it".
Even further, we are a positive message metal band. And we don't cram that down people's throats or anything - we listen to everything from Slayer to Killswitch Engage, and more - so to us, it's about bettering yourself and through aggressive music, you know?
CB: That's cool - I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes little nuggets just drop from the Universe and we don't know or understand why and arriving at the band's name It Lies Within seems to be one of those nuggets. So in talking about the music, why do y'all think that the mix of screams, growls and melodies in metalcore is so popular or better yet, why does it resonate with so many fans?
ZS: For us, it's (our music) is what pours out of us first and foremost. We all have foundation and background of metal in general. There are so many sub-genres out there today - bands are always being lumped into different genres - and different styles of music. But when it comes to the positive message, it wasn't something that was forced for us. It wasn't like we sat down and mapped out this plan - it just kind of happened when we started writing. We realized it in the first couple of songs that there weren't any swear words in this, our producer Joshua at Dreadcore was like, "This is a pretty cool concept. I've never heard really, songs in a row that are written without the F bomb being dropped". It was like you mentioned earlier, it was like one of those things that we just went to, our niche. Maybe this is what we need to do. The cool thing is that we're taking an aggressive approach at being positive. Regardless of how people need to be reached, I think we found a way that we can do that that is just us and we have a good time doing it.
CB: I touch on this because there are people that are like, "How can you listen to that? It's not music, it's just loud noise," and while on the surface, it is LOUD, I dig it honestly. It’s like I feel all of life when I turn on Upon a Burning Body, y'all, KsE, Times of Grace and it help s me process and get feelings out, ya know? I'm not alone in using this style of music, right?
As a positive message metal band, how to you view your responsibility to your fans old and new? You have over 85K fans on your Facebook and your message becomes a responsibility to maintain your message. How does It Lies Within view this responsibility?
ZS: At first, and still to this day - it's not our intent to cram anything down people's throats. Or for them to say "oh ya they're that positive message band". We want people to say "Man they're a great band!" It just happens to be a part of who It Lies Within is about. And the responsibility flows over from the music to the message. Our fans relate to our trials and tribulations that we talk about in our music to their lives and now we get messages all the time from fans that we answer back. Part of that responsibility, we think is answering them back. We answer every message we get. If our music can move people in a good way, I think we're doing our job. Fans are happy, we're having a good time doing it. I mean we even have a hashtag we use #StayPosi and we coin ourselves "Posi-Core".
Metal music isn't all about satan - there's a lot of good thing that comes out of it. It's a community, a brotherhood and I've met so many people in my lifetime just because of this metal community and it really doesn't make a difference what genre you are playing - music is about a connection and that what music does.
CB: Y'all have played some killer festivals this year. What ones did you play over the summer?
ZS: We played 3 so far this year, the larger ones like DirtFest again this year on the main stage (Killswitch Engage, All That Remains), then drove all the way to New York to play IMatter Festival with Bless the Fall, Memphis May Fire, and our good friends in Sirens and Sailors, can't forget about those guys. It's really cool to see the momentum in the other people that are paying attention to what we're doing and bring us on board. I Matter is a positive message type of festival so it was really neat to be recognized by them. We went all the way down to El Paso to play the Texas Showdown Festival down there. We just have had a great year so far.
In playing a lot of bigger festivals this year and playing in front of more people than we have and the opportunity to meet more people than we have in our whole career. These people would literally just come up to us and tell us their story and ask if they could pull us aside. Some might think that was weird, but we know what it's about; we have experienced it. That is really what It Lies Within is about. We want to instill that motivation for people that is positive. And on all levels, no matter how successful you are in your band or in a business, we are all the same and we all deserve to have that same respect. And if we did, we'd all be be better - it would be a better place to be.
CB: So when I hear "positive message band" there are a lot of images that come to my mind or a lot of areas that could relate to; religion, sex, drinking/drugs... Tell me what that means for It Lies Within because I really like that and I love the "PosiCore" and the #posimetal - hashtags rock! (#thecherribird, #rockmyfaceoff, #bringit, #bringtheinterview, #metal4life)
ZS: Thank you that means a lot. In terms of religion, each band member has their own view or their own personal religious affiliation. In terms of the music though, you could definitely get a hint of that. We just don't push that on anyone. We want them to take what they can from our lyrics and apply that their life. And if that's what they get out of it, then that's super, super cool. We're definitely open to talk about that, we're not afraid of that or against it. I'm not going to say that all for it either. We're just about being positive. I can even say we party positively. I don't want people to get too sensitive to the word of thinking that we're better than everybody. We're saying to be kind to each other, treat each other how you'd want to be treated. You know the simple rule guidelines that a lot of people are forgetting these days. There are deeper meanings to some of the things we write or what I write. It's just important to let the listener apply what we write to their own lives and that it moves them in a positive, motivational way.
CB: You mentioned that you thought a lot of people have forgotten those simple rules of being kind and treating each other the way we want to be treated. What do you think is our country's biggest challenge to overcome?
ZS: Without getting into politics or anything like that - I don't really look at things as a problem. I look at it like let's just start working harder towards the good things that we do. Right foot forward. Look at the glass as being 1/2 full and not 1/2 empty and say hey, these things work. The world is working better when we do these things (positively). Instead of focusing on all the negative and the bad things. I think just by twisting your mind around, really. You wake up in the morning and think positive things, a lot more gets done in life. I think it takes more than one person to do that.
CB: I think you guys are a huge influencer on obtaining that goal - spreading the message of positivity - for yourselves and your fans. I've talked to a lot of bands over the last two weeks and in asking this question, I've been given the same answer but in different ways. Unity or togetherness has been the answer from everyone. And your answer is no different - using positivity to bring people together for the greater good, ya know? We want the same thing. Are ya picking up what I'm putting down?
ZS: Oh, ya definitely. We are the ones that have the voice. We are the ones that can say something, and I say use it.
So, ya my Lovelies - each of us has a voice and we have the power to make changes. Those changes can be within or they can be external. Sometimes I think we look at the world around us as being to big to make a difference. And we've heard stories of how people have changed themselves or changed the things around them; movies are made from stories like these. Unity and togetherness is possible and it is within our grasp.
We just have to believe that it is and then those wheels will move the mechanisms that push us forward. Talking to people like Zach; a complete stranger nonetheless, that feels the same way I do is a variable that cannot be ignored, right? I mean how do you ignore that gift? You don't. You take it and you run with it - you do what you need to do to make those changes happen.
Like Zach says, "...we are the ones that can say something and I say use it." So, will you use your voice?
MuchLove & MadRespect -
RED FANG REVIVAL - THREE LINKS
Nov. 25, 2016 - Deep Ellum, Texas
Walking back to the patio in one of the busiest bars in Deep Ellum, Three Links, to meet up with David Sullivan of Red Fang before their show, I was kinda organizing my thoughts for the evening. Funny because these thoughts, are totally random and in no way organized or do they help prepare me for the task at hand. I was on the first step and looked over to my right to see a spread of BBQ laid out on the wooden picnic tables. Like there were a couple of different meats in butcher paper, take away containers, and some napkins just flopped out on the table. The dudes sitting around the table were somewhat talking while shoveling food in their mouths all shiny from their feast.
Ok, when arriving to a gig like this, normally you don’t know what your contact looks like. I just usually end up hollering out the name of the person as I’m walking around trying to find them. I did the same thing at the top of the patio and right as the last part of his name came out of my mouth, I realized that was probably a mistake to interrupt a table of men eating meat. Luckily, I didn’t get waved away with a grunt and turkey leg in hand, and Chris told me the deets of the night and quickly turned back around to his food. I'd like to say there was some grunting like cavemen but that would be an over-exaggeration - but it sounds like it should be in the story, right?
I got to chat with David Sullivan (guitar) before the Go Live on Facebook chat, he told me the story of how said meat fest happened. About to leave Austin, they all wanted to eat Franklin's BBQ but waiting 2 hours wasn't an option. The BBQ Gods were looking down on Red Fang and the rest of the guys because, apparently (as legend has it) Franklin's is a huge fan of the band Torches and loaded them up so they could jet up to Big D.
Y'all, seriously - any band that brings their own meat for dinner before their show is, in my book, rad AF. I mean, like literally gets a Like, a Heart and a Poke...you know, like in Facebook land, y'all. Come ON!! It's nomadically manly isn't it? And well it shouldn't surprise me because Red Fang is kinda a manly metal band, right? Look, I dig me some of that deep, sludgy, messy, metal just as much as the next dude or lady. #rockandrollbaby
What I love about Red Fang is that these guys are stellar rockers. They wanted this tour to be personal for the fans. Playing smaller, intimate venues was their goal for this tour and they got that on their stop in Deep Ellum (Dallas). Listen, when I say this about Three Links, this is in no way a shot to them. Three Links is always busy and they pull some kick ass bills. I love all of the people over there; Oliver, Kris, Beggs, Amy - everybody is mega and have been in music and around Deep Ellum for years. If y'all are ever in Deep Ellum - go there and check out the place - especially if a band you like is playing there.
The guys took the stage and did the obligatory sound check and with no intro or dramatics to confuse the audience, they started right in. It was totally like we were all watching them jam out in their element.
Fans were gathered all around the stage as the first part of the set was played. Bryan (Guitar/Vocals), Aaron (Bass/Vocals), John (Drums) and David (Guitar) kicked serious boo-tay, mesmerizing us almost...it was almost intoxicating - or that was just the air from wall to wall booze fed fans - either way, it was a killer vibe in there. separate us from them. Just pure, body swaying, head banging metal iminated from the stage from the jump.
Red Fang's fans are made up of loud and happy rockers - we wave our fists in the air, throw the horns up ready to pounce on every riff, beat and boom of the bass - every slap of the tom. Every song was fed to us like a beer bong back in college; jammed down our pie holes all for us to swallow. The tone and sound of the band live was straight up spiritual, y'all. Rich in chugs, the switch lead vocal of Bryan and Aaron were virtually unnoticeable and natural in synchronicity. Bass and drums and guitars and vocals stuck like salt water taffy; wound up, song after song. We absorbed every one of them, as the continuous flow of rock from these four bounced off the bricks for the next hour or so. Young and old, guys and gals - rough and clean cut; all there to enjoy Red Fang's show. Everyone in there was linked up to Red Fang like we were back in 1988, it was after 9 PM and everyone and their mother would be on the phone long distance because it was free (who remembers that piece of technology history?).
Y'all, the place was packed like a Japanese subway train during morning rush hour that night!! I mean we were all packed IN tight and I mention this again because I want you to get the jist of what it was like hearing this band so close. Shhh...listen, I am telling you right here, I don't think that had I heard them at Three Links, that I would have become an even bigger fan that I already was. Are you pickin' up what I'm puttin' down?
The Rock Was Brought by Red Fang, fo sho.
I'll break it down for y'all: people were stopped outside on the sidewalk to listen, people held their toxins for a hella long time and stayed parched while Red Fang played. Like pressed ham, we were all content being slices - just so we could experience this show without one ounce of disappointment.
For me, it's all about the experience seeing a live show. The music is what gets me to the show. Then seeing that band that I've worn out the CD listening to them over and over or seeing them for the 1st or 8th time. The experience is what stays in my little cranium and what I pull out to re-live at any given moment, whenever I want to. See, music is so much more that just notes and beats, or cool ass musicians with meat - music is etched within us, either by song or by the band's show. Can you remember your first concert? I can. Mine was the Thompson Twins and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD) . As a 14 year old; I still remember the theater, the lights, the music and how strongly it pierced my eardrums and totally took root in my being and has continued to grow ever since.
K, my sweets - make sure you hear this out of any of the other babble...While the band is out on this run, go see them. They are playing these shows for you; totes for you! Red Fang wanted to do this run exactly like this and if you're lucky enough to see them this is a good thing because they already have a sweet 2017 lined up with the announcement of being on the bill for Rock the Range in May. If my cloudy crystal ball reads true - you might not have the opportunity next year because they'll be playing huge ass shows, with you watching far away from the stage. That said, it is my sincere hope that you do see them up close and personal like we did here in Dallas.
Visit the band's social media pages for more info or click this link to see the remaining tour dates! Search Red Fang on all social media outlets for more information on the band!
Until the next show...
KOREAN FIRE DRILL Releases New Video and Album
Sacramento, Californa based Comedy / Hard Rock band Korean Fire Drill have released a hilarious music video for their cover of the Dr. Dre & Tupac classic "California Love". The song comes from the band's upcoming, self-produced sophomore LP More Badass Than Half Ass which is set for release on November 29, 2016. The video premiered with PureGrainAudio.
Korean Fire Drill sounds off about their new music:
"We've been told it's a concept album. But that's news to us!" - Lydia Gavin
"Well it was just a bunch of damn songs and we kinda forced the story, cause well, we wanted to. Why'd you leave your keys upon the table?" - Matt Thomas
More Badass Than Half Ass - Track List
1. The Invitation (Skit)
3. The Joy (Skit)
4. The MF Fox
5. The Rejection (Skit)
6. California Love
7. The Wrath (Skit)
9. The Abandonment (Skit)
10. The Bad Touch
11. The Journey (Skit)
12. Forbidden Temples
13. The Accord (Skit)
15. The Redirection (Skit)
16. Austin Texas (The Good, The Bad And The Fkyaaah [Concerto in G & F, and G])
17. The Wrong Direction (Skit)
18. Country Sowng
19. The Celebration (Skit)
20. Scissor Sisters
21. The Gift (Skit)
22. Bitch Box
23. The Chi (Skit)
24. Live Like Us
25. Outta Left Field (Monologue)
HazMatt - Lead Vocals & Bass
LydVish - Lead Vocals & Bass
FYCarl - Guitar & Vocals
Blamo Bee-otch - Drums
Chelsea - Go-Go Dancer
Created by members of some of Sacramento’s hardest working local bands, Korean Fire Drill (because Chinese was already taken), also known as KFD, started off as 3 guys jamming out their first 3 songs on the first day they met. Coining the band’s name along with the motto HALFASS IS BADASS, KFD had immediately and unknowingly set out to become California’s go to Comedy Hard Rock act.
KFD released their debut, full length album, rightfully titled Halfass Is Badass in 2014. Every song has the appearance of an excellent “rock out” song until you actually look at the lyrics and see what they’re really talking about; songs about temples to simply damaging your manhood in your zipper.
Two years into their adventure KFD recruited local veteran Lydia Gavin to be their 4th member, and on many occasions KFD also recruits Go Go Dancer Chelsea Boac to dance it out during their sets. Every show KFD puts on is a new adventure, since every time they go on stage they utilize different costume themes and props; they've gone on as Ghostbusters, Nuns, Average Joes Gym, Mario Bros, South Park, and many more.
KFD is getting ready to release their sophomore, self produced, album More Badass Than Half Ass, featuring 8 explosive and diverse originals, 4 fantastic covers/remakes, 12 skits, and 1 secret track, all complete with artwork to fit by the band as well. Leading the charge, unexpectedly, is their Hard Rock charged rendition of Tupac and Dr. Dre's "California Love". Once again, not realizing they’re doing it, KFD is about to embark on conquering the U.S and beyond. KFD is always a very upbeat, powerful, and party filled band great for stages large and small.
“KFD is that band you didn’t see coming but couldn’t help but check out. The name itself makes you wonder what you’re in for, and then the music hits and you're like ‘hell yeah, this is awesome music’, then finally you start to realize what we’re actually singing about and you can’t help but laugh and go ‘wait what?!’ haha. We always have a party prepared.” - HazMatt
"There aren't any boundaries when it comes to writing in this band, which is what I believe gives KFD a unique creative spin. While everyone else in the industry is penning super serious songs about love and breakups, we're over here writing super serious songs about our love for chili dogs and beer. Or, why Carl should go fuck himself.” - LydVish
CONNECT WITH KOREAN FIRE DRILL:
My Apology - An Open letter to METALLICA
Who's Poppin' Cherri - Special Edition
I did not want to write about one of the most talked about new releases in years...I didn’t want to even say “Metallica”. I did not want to dedicate a whole Who’s Poppin’ Cherri to them. I almost feel shame for what I‘d said in regards to them over the last 10 years, to be frank. In even listening to this record, I was going against everything I’d wanted to believe about them over the last 10 years. My thoughts did not want to go to this band that has been around since most metal heads now days were knee high to a toilet bowl - I didn’t wanna write about your daddy’s metal band. I also didn’t want to believe that their record could possibly be any good. I mean how could it after the last couple of releases sucked eggs, as far as I am concerned. I’ve totally said for years that they should just stop. Let someone else have the stage - give another band the opportunity...ya, I know, I know...I was a dumb as a box of hammers for saying that.
First - I OWE Metallica big time. Like I totally owe them - see if it hadn’t been for the documentary “A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica” - I wouldn’t be writing about metal bands on the Wide, Wide, World of the Web and probably would not be sitting here writing about Metallica, right now, as we speak (or read).
I was 24 when I started going to live shows in Deep Ellum - the music mecca in Dallas/Fort Worth. I wasn’t convinced that watching metal bands in a small club was where I should be spending my Friday and Saturday nights - I didn’t like boys with long hair, I didn’t like metal, and I didn’t have any desire to wear flannel and Doc Marten boots. Period. I mean, good gracious - I still wore bows in my hair - BIG bows that matched my outfits. But I did like my roommate and for some reason, I didn’t have anything else to do apparently - soooo....I’d go with her. I am pretty sure she was sick of hearing me bitch and complain and so she made me watch “A Year and a Half In the Life of Metallica” on VHS; both tapes. I remember it vividly - we sat on the hide-a-bed pulled out with popcorn, coffee and cozy blankets. I totally remember that it was filmed in black and white and the more the tape played - the more I wanted to find out where they were playing, drive there and then follow them for the rest of their tour. Hell, I didn’t even know if they were on tour - but crap! I wanted to go find them.
I threw away all of my bows the next day. I started paying more attention to the bands we went to see and I think I even invested in some jeans or camo or even flannel - I think. Who knows, but I know I stopped worrying about what I wore as much! I started listening to rock stations like Z-Rock and The Eagle - and I even let a long haired boy that had chased me around town, kiss me on the mouth. I was hooked into this scene here in Dallas. I loved going to a sweaty club and watching bands like Ugly Mustard, Course of Empire, Corrupted Innocence, Solinger, Sqwee-gee, Drowning Pool, Lynyrd Can’t Fish and so many more. Metal had me hook, line and sinker and I have no one to attribute that to other than Metallica.
Look, I completely admire Metallica’s place in the history of metal. I appreciate the work they’ve put in for their music, the genre - the life that all of us as Metal Fans enjoy now is directly related to Metallica, agree? I think we can all appreciate the bands that have come after them that wouldn’t have developed their sound that contributes to the first Heavy “Mother” Metal genre, can’t we? (see below chart as reference):
It’s not that I didn’t like Metallica anymore, either. I did. But some of that awe rubbed off like the gold from a gumball machine necklace as bands came up through the ranks. I went to their shows anytime they came into town. I got to go to their private bar-b-que when they played here in Frisco for Ozzfest and I just gawked at all of them from a distance. Sure, I was openly pissed when Jason Newsted left the band. I was pissed off when Lars made such a stink about freaking Napster and continued his annoying bitching about everything else since then. But that doesn’t take away that I am a Metallica fan - even though I was late to the dance, I am a fan.
Know what? “Hardwired” made me a fan, again.
I fully expected the record to blow. Another failed attempt to keep up with the children or placate to the lifers that still had a Metallica sticker on their pickup truck or a patch on the back of their denim jacket. But from the jump of the first track, “Hardwired” I was pleasantly surprised - if not happy. Ya, happy! I didn’t skip over any songs. I totally wanted to find something wrong with at least one song. But I didn’t. I liked every one. Some better than others, but I didn’t dislike one single one. My favorites are “Atlas,Rise!”, “Here Comes Revenge” and “Spit Out the Bone”.
“Hardwired” is loaded with the sounds that their hay day albums possessed; those signature chunks; that fast thrash of Kirk’s guitar, the pounding bass drum and signature sound of Lars’ toms & snare, not to mention Robert’s conscisely written bass lines that fit like your most favorite knit beanie. But the element that made me throw up my hands in praise was James’ voice. It was like I’d turned back time...to the good ole days...seriously.
This band doesn’t need to hang it up; gray hair, shrinking statures and all - at least not with this release. In fact, the reason no one can take their place because there’s just not another band out there that is remotely like Metallica. These new tunes are totally relevant to 2016 with a splash of that old school, hands down Metallica sound that makes you wanna get a perm in your hair and tease up those bangs real high. (It even kinda makes me wanna forget that Lars boohooed and resisted file sharing technology...but I just can’t really, so I’ll just pretend that didn’t happen).
Metallica brings it all back for one last hoopla with “Hardwired” and I’m totally down with having one more Mega-tallica (that's totally mine, BTW, © Cherri Bird, 2016) giant arena tour, so we can snag up merch that eventually will be vintage like the beginning merch is now. Bottom line here, y’all - they brought something back in me that I’d forgotten about or took for granted, even.
So James, Lars, Kirk, and Robert (and Jason in a roundabout way) - I am totally sorry for the eye rolling and the blatant disregard that the new record couldn't hold any substance in 2016. I can totally admit when I have been a total snobby b-word and obviously wrong...so, so, wrong. Can we just hug it out and start over? Please? #kthanks
Dropped: November 18, 2016
#metallica #Hardwired #newrelease #whospoppincherri #cherribird #bringtheinterview #onmybucketlist #sanfranciscometal #originalmetal #HeavyMotherMetal #somekindofmedia
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DEVILSKIN Release Official Music Video for Second Single Off of Sophomore Album, "Pray"
The band exploded onto the NZ rock scene with the infectious "Little Pills" and "Never See The Light" singles. Their much anticipated debut album, We Rise, released on July 11, 2014 and went straight to the top of the charts, remaining as the #1 Album and #1 Kiwi Artist Album for 3 weeks, achieving Gold sales after only 2 weeks.
The album was certified Platinum in February 2015 with sales exceeding 15,000 albums; an incredible feat in this new age of music. In November 2014 the band released their Live At The Powerstation dvd/cd which captured the band at the end of the We Rise tour, slaying a sold out Powerstation crowd.
11.11.16 was the International release date for their second studio album Be Like The River, recorded in the UK village of Tetbury located in the Cotswolds.
Devilskin once again partnered with Clint Murphy, who produced and mixed the album. To launch the latest album, Devilskin have committed to a heavy schedule which includes a performance date with DISTURBED in Auckland’s Vector Arena 18th November. Then a full NZ tour and 17 dates nationwide. Grammy Award winning band HALESTORM will support Devilskin on 7 dates in NZ before heading to Australia for 3 additional dates (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane). Devilskin will return to Europe in February 2017.
R.I.P. Leonard Cohen – Another day in 2016 and another Legend leaves us
An Editorial by: Slim Jim Keller
I was introduced to Leonard Cohen in a round about way in 1990 when the Christian Slater movie Pump Up The Volume was released. Throughout the movie Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows would be played when he’d take the airwaves via his pirate radio station. And the ending credits had the Concrete Blonde cover playing which was recorded and added to the soundtrack instead of Leonard’s version. But I tracked down Cohen’s version and was introduced to the I’m Your Man album. With such recognizable songs as the title track, First We Take Manhattan, and Everybody Knows, it was probably his biggest album and most popular.
As I did with all artists I would find speaking to me a on deeper level than just a good tune coming out of my stereo I went backwards and began to explore his back catalog and found so much more about him. A poet first, and songwriter second, Leonard Cohen’s body of work was impressive and influential to so many artists and fans alike.
It was the previous album, Various Positions, that held the song that would end up being covered and recorded over 300 times… Hallelujah. A beautiful song full of melancholy, longing and betrayal. Arguably the most popular version of the song may be performed by Jeff Buckley who turned it into more of a love song or a hallelujah of the orgasm as he explained.
Whenever I was feeling melancholy, or needed reassurance that there was more pain and loss than I had been feeling, it was Cohen’s voice I would seek out and wrap myself in like a favorite blanket. Where I would find myself safe, warm, and with no doubts any longer.
Like David Bowie earlier this year, Leonard Cohen must have known time was short as he wrote, recorded, and released his last and final album, You Want It Darker just three short weeks before he passed away today.
His songwriting would wander between a kind of synth-pop and folk music. But it was always Leonard’s lyrics and vocals that anchored the music. Songs about politics, social unrest, and love and lust lost. Leonard’s deep resonant voice always lays somewhere between a smoky dark back room in adive bar singer to a Tibetan Monk chanting. His voice was something that would draw you in, wrap around you while it whispered the secrets of the world or the curves and valleys of the fine female body laying before him. But you always trusted what he said and sang because his voice commanded you too with its smoother than a fine scotch tones.
The year 2016 has been tough on our musical legends. And November has been no different. The loss of Leonard Cohen is a tough one to swallow. We are left with multiple albums and books of poetry, but the voice… we’ll never have another voice like the cantor of synth-pop again.
INTERVIEW: CHRIS FERLAND (VOCALS)- ASHES OF MY REGRETS
I've already told you how killer this Jersey band; Ashes of My Regrets new EP is. In fact, I ran down all of the songs for ya, right? Well, their EP drops tomorrow (November 4th, 2016) so you'd better go snag it. Go on - I'll wait...
Ashes of My Regrets have been on my pinboard for a few months now. I had the opportunity to chat with Chris Ferland (vocals) about their new EP "Caricatures". Y'all, I love it when I meet someone that actually gives a poop: about themselves, their friend's lives, the world - and I love it like Doublemint Gum back in the day, when they're young and have a passion for being alive. I love it when this has been fueled with the by-product of depression, angst, relationships, darkness, and sadness; and I love it when the output is straight up metal.
Identifying with what other people felt or were going through and translating that to music; isn't as easy as one might think. Contrary to what some might think - this really isn't necessarily always the case with Chris, though...
CB: So what I want to ask you might be difficult to talk about. I want you to talk about your position on suicide or how suicide has played into your music.
CF: Are you talking like about our lyrics or how our lyrics are? Ya, I think - well, I write pretty much all of the lyrics, and for me, I've been through a time in my past that was the only thing on my mind was how to end it. It never got to the point where I tried I was just thinking about it a lot. "Daydreams", the new single, that song starts off at the beginning like hopeless and hard. And as the song goes on, "you have to learn to love - " you personally will make everything worse for you if you keep dwelling on things. Helping other people, for me, genuinely helps me to feel better. So, I've been through depression issues. Where people have betrayed me - a lot of the songs came from those times. They're all things that I have personally been through.
CB: Suicide or those desperate and painful undertones, show up in your writing, the listener can identify - I can identify. But there's a fine line between thinking of ending it and actually doing it. I often wonder in that second, before they're done - do they regret it? I think that if someone has said, "I've never thought about killing myself" - I think they're not being honest. I think they're f*cking lying, honestly. It doesn't make you a bad person to have thought that. Life gets really hard sometimes and I think the thoughts cross a human's minds.
CF: I think you're right. I feel like the strongest people go through the most things. Yeah, hell yeah. I wouldn't change anything that has happened (to me). I wouldn't have what I have to relate to fans or pour on the page. I wouldn't be able to make music or be like (happy/content) am now.
CB: I don't identify with happy music much. I like the songs that bring out the emotions so that I can process stuff properly, ya know? That way I can listen to the happy music and enjoy it! LOL!
CF: Me either (laughs). I'm like, I love it when it's raining outside. I've always been attracted to the darker side of everything. Writing lyrics and music for me helps - we're (the band) are together. We just put things out, riffs - and then we just kind of put it all together. Brandon is a better guitar player but making the music with the guys is great.
CB: Does this process help process the negative; the demons if you will.
CF: I've told people that are going through bad shit, that is hard. I tell them, I will tell people to genuinely go do something that you love. I do that with writing songs. Once everyhting is done, about the song; it's a weird way to cope, but it's a release. I am so proud of lyric, I feel so proud about not only the lyric but what I've gone through and it feels like it's finished, ya know?
CB: Isaac Asimov, the scifi writer said, "Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers". As an artist that writes and performs metal; loud and fierce - and you get that release from this style - do you think you can (or have you ever) gotten something out of like country, blues, classical - can you pick up on things from other artists in other genres?
CF: Other genres, oh ya. It just depends on the song. I'm really into Halsey - she just came out. I like a little bit of everything. I doesn't matter though what genre. For sure I think I can get things out of other kinds of songs.
CB: What is the biggest lesson you've learned: either in life for you personally - or with the band?
CF: When it comes to bandwise - that's hard question - but I think we've learned that having a plan behind us is so important. It makes such a difference. Having a plan and people behind us to help; a music video with a producer - having people promote it and such. That's what I've learned...hell yeah.
CB: Tour coming up, right?
CF: Yeah, we're scheduling one for the end of the year.
CB: Y'all have to get down to Texas - Dallas or Fort Worth - and let me know when you're going to be here so I can come out!
CF: I heard Texas gets down though - we definitely wanna come there for sure! We will let you know
CB: What band would you want to tour with - dead or alive?
CF: Bring Me the Horizon, they're in this genre - they have such great lyrics and shit. They are the ones that got me into this genre - I'd love to tour with them.
CB: Biggest influences?
CF: Motionless in White, Asking Alexandria, Bring Me the Horizon - we all have different influences, right? But those are who really kinda steered me into this genre.
CB: Let's chat little about the cover art for your EP.
CF: Ya, so ya know she's looking at 5 different views of herself, in 5 different mirrors or reflections. And the whole meaning of Caricatures - like all the voices at the beginning of that song - it's an exaggeration of a trait. It means all of our human emotions and things like that sometimes they're emphasized more than other times. We all have different things inside of us. You can chose which one can be caricaturized more or emphasized more. It's your choice at the end of the day.
CB: Ok....so how old are y'all?
CF: I'm 22 and Brian is 22. The others are 19.
CB: My gawd...I could be y'alls mother. And that's a good thing because if a 47 year old mom can rock out to y'all then anyone under my ancient-ness can dig y'all, huh? Ha!! But that's a really great place to be in - very awesome to appeal to such a wide scope of fans - metal, rock, metalcore - whatever!
CF: Hellya, that's awesome!
CB: It takes a lot to impress me...wait...that's not true, I can't say that. Music always impresses me, first and foremost. How bands can create music - like everyone is playing something different that sounds killer together - that is baffling...but what I mean is - it takes a lot to make an impression on me through lyrics and the song itself. There is something different about y'all and I haven't followed y'all for long, but you're so diverse - you're on the right path.
CF: Thank you, that means a lot. It's like so cool to hear that we don't sound like anyone else or that we've made an impression on someone, that's really cool so thank you very much.
CB: So I've read where you want your music to make a difference in someone's life. Tell me about that - every band says that, but how do y'all wanna actually do that?
CF: We want to identify with people and make them understand that they're not alone. It can be dark sometimes, but it can become different. And through music, hopefully our music, some of that can go away or get better. It's all in helping people, ya know? I would love for our music to do that.
Ashes of My Regrets EP drops today and by the way - it's probably finished downloading so go over and give it a spin, put it in your playlist, iPod, Google Play - whatever it is that you listen with. Help drag these guys out of Jersey on a tour so they can share "Caricatures" with as many people as they can. Remember what Chris said about helping people? Ya, let's do that, k? Until next time my Loves...
San Antonio, TX
Photos by: Slim Jim Keller
Week Ending - October 28, 2016
Crazy - it seems like yesterday the idea started about picking 5 New Releases for the week and yappin' a little about what I dig of each...and it's been a total gas to scour the www for these new little cups of jello for you, my friends. And while I'm sitting here in an airport listening to the grating vibrations of jack hammers and watching people sleep, I thought I'd go ahead and jot my Favs down while I can still keep my eyes open...
Look, I'm not gonna lie and say that it's totally awesome to be in an airport at 1:20 AM by myself - because I can think of a 100 things that would be better. Be that as it may, choices lead to consequences and well - being in an airport waiting for the red eye seems to be mine today. And while I have made better choices in my life, I get it and I get the lesson. And what I will say - is that people are assholes. Some are flat out fucking nuts and some are on the cusp...and I will say that I could classify myself as being in both of those categories at certain points in my life. But not today - I can say that right this minute, I'm totally ok with the end of this choice. So what does this all have to do with WPC and my favorite songs of the week? Honestly, it's a means to an end...see, WPC is the brain child of mine and That Who Remains Nameless. And back then (not so long ago), I totally dug where we came up with these ideas and fell into the abyss of like minds liking like minds, ya know?
And after so much insanity, as it seems now, that's all over. I'm cool with it. I learned a shitload from this burning barn that is now smoking, smoldering all the way to the foundation. I learned that there are people that aren't assholes and that do mean everything they say and do what they're supposed to do in life. Sometimes these visitors are from our past that return or maybe never went away that help us see ourselves with clarity even in really shitty situations. More importatntly, I realized that being broken doesn't mean you need to be fixed. You can be broken and still exist - I don't need to be fixed by a godam person or even myself. I can just be. And I might just sit here on this black bench and cry openly - because it feels good to know this. And I came to this realization not just from the experience of this soul - but from the music that I discovered from the idea of WPC and through him. And even if I do cry, it's not because I'm a woosie or a stupid emotional girl - it's because I finally get it. I finally see where music fits in for me and where it's always been - it's that cord that connects me to what I can't explain or feel or put into words at a particular moment. Broken and alone - it's the one thing that will always get me, even if no one else ever does.
Album: The Great Southern Trendkill (20th Ani Re-release)
Well, duh of course I'm gonna have this on the list. Jebus. And y'all I'm not gonna pick a single - y'all know all the words, chords, beats, screams, and places to bang your head even harder now that this record is 20 fucking years old. (Shut your mouth, right now - it's totally true. I feel old AF...) I can say that even though it's totally difficult to remaster tapes from back in the day because of the way they were recorded - some of the remastered tracks sound a bit thicker; like "Drag the Waters" is a bit like two boxes of brownies mixed with oil...
You can't throw the horns as high to anything current without hearing a twinge of this record in what we're hearing with our lovely newcomers, ya know?
Artist: Dark Tranquillity
Drop: Nov 4, 2016
Label: Century Media Records
These mother fuckers!!! MyLanta - it's their 11th album and they sound just as fresh as a baby that's been fed, diapered and swaddled up to meet all the new friends and relatives! I mean how can you not love this band? Are these guys like the King of Prog-Rock or is it just my imagination? How can you not love the theatrics of these guys? Not to mention one of the most originally sounding unsung/unclean vocalists, eva?!? How come Sweden gets all the cool bands, man? I am all about the feel of heavy meets Depeche Mode or even a Ministry-esque style of vocal behind an ingenious score that is fit for a symphony. Kick ass my friends, kick ass!
Artist: I Prevail
Single: Worst Part of Me
Drop: Oct. 21, 2016
Label: Fearless Records
K, I Prevail wins with "Worst Part Of Me" off Lifelines that dropped last week. Surprisingly, the melody is kinda smooth with total sweet spot of harmony, but don't let that fool you - the beats, bass and unsung parts make this son heavy AF! Which is totally killer because that bass line slaps the flop outta you after like 3 measures. Then you're suckered in, babies! Listen, the lyrics are what I'm totally into right now, 'cept it became crystal clear after all these years that the worst part of me - was really me - and not them...ya feel me? Now, don't get me wrong they were kinda buttholes...thank the lord though there are songs like this - to put in your "fuck you" playlist, right?
Artist: Mackelmore (feat. Ariana DeBoo)
Single: Drug Dealer
Label: Sharp Tone Records
Damnit - what's up with my rap kick as of late? This song is blazing amazing in my book. It's gotta be the poet in me that digs the message but Mackelmore pops out the beat in this song that gives me a shake down in the goodie parts. I love Ariana's contribution; her voice gives it just the right amount of haunt. Here's the vid for your pleasure...
Artist: Avenged Sevenfold
Single: Roman Sky
Album: The Stage
Drop: Oct 28, 2016
Label: Capitol Records
Ya, ya, ya...I guess we do have to include A7X, huh? I mean they dropped their whole album for y'all last week as a bonus - so that was kinda cool, huh? My favorite song on this record is "Roman Sky". It's got A7X all over it - Synyster is on fire with these power rifs that scream this crazy tune, like canibalizingly so over and under the vocal, killa stuff man. M's voice is just as unique now as it was back when we were all like "have you heard that dude from Avenged Sevenfold??" Truthfully, I've never been a massive fan - but this song whoops my ass and makes me wanna be one...
Did y'all happen to see them on top of Capitol Records last week? If not, here's the vid:
Til next week my Pretties - Mad Respect & Much Love -