DEATH RATTLE reports from the road 

Interview by Cherri Bird

 

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I caught up with DEATH RATTLE right as they were heading out for tour and so I had RYAN VANDERWOLK who plays guitar for the band fill out the infamous “Tour Email Interactive Interview” whilst they motored down the highway!

 

Their record “VOLITION” dropped Friday, October 20 and Lovelies, it’s kill-a!! Check them out on Facebook or when they roll through a town near you!

 

Who is participating in this interview?

Ryan VanderWolk-lead guitar

 

Take a selfie and attach to this doc.

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Best thing that happened at your last show:

Watching hundreds of people rush to the stage as we started our set as they opened the doors. Also, the general reaction we received was very affirming and appreciated.

 

Thing you would change about yourself right this minute:

I need a shower and a shave. We've driven over 2,000 miles in the last couple of days to get across the country from New Hampshire to Placerville CA to start the tour in support of our new album.

 

What is your superpower on tour?

I guess managing the tour on little sleep, haha.

 

You see a person walking down the highway, they are not hitchhiking, just walking with their head down. They don't have any bags and look reasonably clean, and pretty normal. You think you remember a car with its hazards on a few miles back, but you're not sure. It's only 6 miles to the 1st gas station in over 100 miles. What do you do?

I would offer to help, and find out what they need. Pay it forward. I would hope someone would do the same for us.

 

Out of all of your songs - which do you think I would like the best and why? (I’ll give you a hint, I already have a favorite and it starts with - oh wait, nevermind... that would give it away!!)

I would go with Adrenalize. I feel that song captures a lot of energy and groove.

Wow...that’s actually correct! No one has answered that correctly - weird!

 

What’s on the books for the next 2 weeks?

We have 13 tour dates over the next 2 weeks, and we are really looking forward to it! We get to play some markets we've never played before.

 

What can you tell us about making this record that you would definitely do the same on the next record? What wouldn’t you do over again?

We definitely plan to spend a lot of time on pre-production which was new to us on this album and helped a lot. One thing we will never do again is record the album over an extended period of time like we did for "VOLITION".

 

Title a song about the hitchhiking scenario above:

Endangered by an Estranged Stranger!

YES!! I love it!

 

To guitar solo or not to solo? What is your preference?

I LOVE guitar solos. I'm the lead guitar player so maybe I'm a little biased. My idol is Dimebag Darrell, so lead guitar is something I really appreciate. But to solo or not to solo is a good question. I take the approach of, ‘does it do anything for the song?’ For instance, on "VOLITION" there are only four guitar solos. I don't think they should be forced on every song.

 

Take a pic of what’s behind you and attach.

Tour van!

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Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Life is impossible to predict, but hopefully still playing metal and touring!

 

List any other deets we may need/want to know:

ORDER “VOLITION” HERE.

 

 

www.deathrattlemetal.com

Death Rattle is:

Trey Holton: vocals

Ryan VanderWolk: guitar

Jimmy Cossette: guitar

Chris Morin: Drums

Kevin Adams: Bass

 

 

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VOIDS: An Emerging Artist that Fills Up the Lack Of

Interview by: Cherri Bird

 

If you could erase or void one trait from human DNA, what would that be? (and yes, pun intended!)

If I had to pick any trait to remove from human D.N.A it would probably have to be carelessness.

 

When is your first memory of music giving you goosebumps?

My first music memory that gave me goosebumps was listening to New Found Glory for the first time.

 

Your favorite track of the first record you ever recorded? (Doesn't have to be with Voids, but if the band is still together you don't have to use their name.) What about that song makes it your favorite?

If I had to pick any of the tracks that I first recorded, in general, it would be "One of None" back when I used to play bass for Wretched Reality.

 

What’s your favorite smell?

Hopefully, I'm not the only one on this one but I love the smell of gasoline.

 

What is the strangest thing or most unexplained thing that has ever happened to you?

So I was hanging out with one of my friends and these little kids kept following us and I told them multiple times to kindly just to stop. When I walked her back to her house and head to my car I had one of their moms threatening to beat the crap out of me. Don't know how else to explain it but it was freaking strange that someone would behave that way when I was beyond nice about it.

 

How many concert t’s do you have?

If I had to take a guess, probably ten.

 

True or false: On tour or when traveling, I pack light.

False

 

Take a selfie and attach:

 

I saw a billboard that said 1.3 million earths would fill up the sun. The sun is massive AF!! When I read a statistic like that, it kind of humbles me or puts things into perspective that even our time here on earth is a mere blip or the size of an atom in the grand scheme of things, and yet I worry about the most insignificant things. How does music assist you individually or if filling this out as a band, how does music assist in creating a peaceful or calm existence?

Music for me has always been a gateway for me to deal with whatever emotions or struggle I'm dealing with whether it's writing it or listening to it. As far as music creating a peaceful and calm existence goes I believe it's a way for people to just get lost in a song or a beat and just forget all about their problems.

 

If all the telephone poles in the US were piled into one giant pile, how big do you think that pile would be?

It would have to be atlas the size of Texas.

 

Take a look at “Eris” off the “NO CHARACTER: NO CROWN” record released Oct 13 and then go grab down from the www on Google Play or iTunes!

No Character: No Crown was produced and engineered by Brett Ciamarra (Rings Of Saturn, Those Who Fear) helped the band bring the heavy in this metalcore album, with the constant driving drums, brutal yet melodic guitars and of course the deep low vocals which mixes with harmonious singing in the choruses.


Track Listing:
1. Dolores
2. Idols
3. Tyrant
4. Parallel
5. Invidia
6. 1996
7. Unmasked
8. New Beginnings
9. Deja Vu
10. Eris

 

VOIDS is:  Chad Yockel (Vocals) | Theo Parmenter (Clean Vocals, Bass) | Zack Boward (Drums) | Matt Hoffmaster (Guitar)

 

 

 

SILENT RIVAL

The Kindness of Sara

by: Cherri Bird

Sitting down to chat over the phone with Sara, I felt like talking about some things that - well, two girls would talk about on the phone. Is that still a “thing” in 2017? Like when I was younger, even in my early 20’s, my friends and I would talk on the phone for hoards of minutes. But do friends still do that now or is it all about texting back and forth? I kinda miss that element of friendship honestly. I mean, there are days when I am literally silent in the loft all day - having 28 conversations with different people and never saying a word: verbally - out of my mouth. Til the Man Friend comes home and then I end up spewing word-vomit all over him. I only stop when I see that his eyes have glazed over or that he just stops responding all together...HA!

 

So when I thought about my interview with Sara from SILENT RIVAL and sat down to start writing some of the questions we talked about, I decided that I wanted to have the interview be more of a conversation, ya know? Now, I’m not going to tell y’all everything we talked about because a girl’s gotta have some secrets between friends, ya know?

 

Overall, what's your favorite fashion trend?

My favorite fashion trend is ankle boots. I’m a “no fuss” kind of person so I like that I can slip them on easily and they give a punch to every outfit. I wear my black leather ankle booties 90% of the time and especially with dresses. It gives dresses an edge so that I don’t feel too frilly or dainty.

How big of a part does fashion play in the music industry?

Hmmm… I don’t think there’s really one answer for this question. I guess it plays as much as a role as an artist wants. For me, fashion is a form of self-expression, and so is music. But, my preferred method of self-expression is always music. Fashion is a distant second.

If you're not feelin' it on any given day or your confidence is low, how do you combat the blues or the yucks? How does self-confidence help you in your career; on stage, in the studio, by yourself writing...Do you consider yourself having confidence?

You’re asking all the hard questions! I would say my career does more for my self-confidence than my self-confidence does for my career. The way I’ve always combatted the blues my whole life is by singing. When I’m not singing on a regular basis, I’m not my best self. Singing gives me confidence because I connect with myself and when I do that I find I really like myself! But confidence is something I’ve struggled with in the past. I’m not sure why. Maybe because until I found my band, I thought there was something wrong with me for not having much in common with people. I’ve often times been accused of being “weird” but when I’m with the band, I’m the normal one. And I feel the most like myself.

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In 10 years, where do you see yourself? What do you want to change about yourself from now til then?

In 10 years I’ll definitely still be singing and hopefully, I will have established myself enough to be in a position to give back. For the first time ever I don’t want to change anything about myself. Maybe get better at the guitar, better at making it to the gym, and better at putting myself first.

 

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We all have stressful times pop up and when I do and can listen to music, I put on something that will cause a reaction somewhere within. I love putting in a song or artist that I can sing along with. What do you do to de-stress and if it is music that's in your toolbox, what band(s) or specifically what song helps balance you out?

To destress I either go to yoga, the Korean Spa, one of those metaphysics shops to play with oils and crystals and singing bowls. Or I'll try to be out in nature even if it's just my backyard. I definitely prefer to be alone when I’m stressed. It's the easiest way for me to center, because I don’t have to worry about anyone else. When I was a kid I definitely used to turn to music when I was bummed out, but music consumes so much of my day now (thank goodness and I'm very grateful for that) that when I’m stressed I need more silence. Or Sia. Singing along with Sia is super cathartic.

Your go-to karaoke song?

 

“Natural Woman”! It's a crowd pleaser and really fun to sing.

Best experience you can take away from recording "The Kindness of Strangers”?

Being finished with it! It was rough man. Fun, but rough nevertheless. But after we were finally done and we met with Matt Wallace and our manager to do a final listening session and approve it, I remember driving home and I called Joz and told him I thought the album was perfect. And he agreed. And he’s tough to please. Every now and then Joz or our manager will chime in with some silly little thing that they wish was different about the album and I just freaking roll my eyes at them. I still think it's perfect. It may never be #1 on Billboard, or maybe if we re-recorded it now it would have been more… something… but to me, it’s perfect because it’s honest. It’s like a crystal clear X-ray of everything that was in our hearts at that time.

 

I will say that talking like girls was kinda refreshing and I think that this is an element missing from my life; I’m going to work on that - I think. Maybe this is something that is missing in the relationships of people: verbal communication. Hearing the sound of someone’s voice, their tone and inflections are only interpreted via digital communication. And perhaps this is where the division begins with people because we just assume by reading we understand what they mean. We misinterpret their tones and there are absolutely no vibrations from their “voice” over email or text...so there’s nothing to connect us to.

 

Those connections are what, IMHO, binds us to or retracts us from, the people we are in communication with daily. This is also true of music; those connections make us feel the things an artist is trying to convey or is trying to keep within themselves. Those vibrations are what attach us to the earth or to being alive.

 

However corny that might sound, I believe it is totally true. I can lock myself up in the loft to write for a few days and the longer I go without talking to others, the more distant I feel or the less connected. Try it...well, I don’t mean to lock yourself up in your house or anything! Just try talking to someone instead of texting...see what happens!

 

Look for SILENT RIVAL’s debut “THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS” and listen to the track on Spotify! I hope you find the connection with their music as rad as I did! Watch for my review coming soon!

 

Til Next Time - MRML

 

 

 

              

 

  LACUNA COIL

by: Rebekkah Raven

 

 

 

If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be sitting down with Andrea Ferro of Lacuna Coil, to talk the music industry, their 20-year anniversary plans, his love of Japanese Anime, I’d tell you to put the bottle down and get some coffee in your system. The evening of Wednesday, September 20th, at GAS MONKEY LIVE in Dallas, Texas will forever be etched in my memory, for all the best reasons. Andrea also had some great advice for bands breaking out, and inspiring words for female fans. Check it out below, and if you can, make sure you see them on their North American tour or book a flight and join the celebration in London in January 2018 for Lacuna Coil’s 20 Year Anniversary!

 

Rebekkah Raven: Lacuna Coil is celebrating 20 years together, you have 8 albums, concert DVDs, your songs on film soundtracks, headlining festivals, and now a book deal. For most of us who ever wanted to be Rock Stars, that ticks all of the boxes. When you get to the book deal, you almost ask yourself, “What’s left?” What does the future look like for Lacuna Coil, and what can we expect to have available to fans in the future?

Andrea: What we do today is much broader than before, like 10 years ago. You’d cut a record, you’d tour, you’d merchandise, and then you’d be done for two years. Nowadays that cycle doesn’t exist. Luckily, we still see the record sales because of our loyal fan base, but you can’t rely on that like you could 10 years ago. So it’s very important for a band to keep evolving, and keep it interesting even for ourselves. It’s so important to still have fun, and make a living, with quality products and challenging music for our fans. When we released “House of Shame”, some of the fans were shocked at the heavier edge, but we’re still here and we have something new to say, within our existing style. The book really seems almost “due”, because we’ve been together for 20 years, and we have all of those experiences to share. And like you said, a lot of people want to become Rock Stars, and we want to be able to express ourselves beyond that Rock Star persona in creativity, with sound, stage clothing, and visual means for a complete package.

 

Rebekkah Raven: You guys have your 20th-anniversary show in London in January 2018. Can you tell me a little bit about how you plan to celebrate?

Andrea: The show in London will be something different. We’ll have Dark Circus, who will interact with the band during the songs, and the show will be available on DVD. It’ll be fun and exciting, as we’ll be playing songs we’ve rarely or never played before. It’s a celebration, not just for us, but especially for our fans and the legacy. More than how many records we’ve sold, this is life. The fact that we are living our years around the world, living them for a reason, and sharing that with our fans, is truly the reason behind this show.

 

Rebekkah Raven: In our current world of female vocalists, not many people may know that Lacuna Coil was the first female-fronted band to headline Ozzfest. Lacuna Coil has obviously paved the way for many popular bands today. How does that female influence impact you and what does it mean for your band to be a role model for young female fans?

Andrea: I think it’s important for women to know that they are strong; that there is no substitute for you. Women are as strong as men. We may be different, but we are equal. We live well together when we are complementary to one another.

 

 

Rebekkah Raven: In that element of cooperation, I’ve seen on social media that you promote other bands. It’s not often you see that sort of cross-promotion. Has that helped you succeed in this business or is that more reflective of who you are as people rather than a marketing strategy?

 

Andrea: Even people in the industry that are characterized as “difficult” or not easy to work with have always given us a chance. We’ve always tried to give respect to everyone, and there’s no reason to not promote a band, even if they’re more popular than we are at the time. If you are constantly afraid of other bands being better than you, that means you aren’t sure of what you’re doing. We’ve been promoting Nothing More here recently, and that’s because we believe in what they are doing. Mark, their guitar player, participated in our last record, and we have the kind of relationships that we become friends with bands.

 

Rebekkah Raven: What is your biggest musical influence outside of metal/ rock?

 

Andrea: Punk, Ska, rap music. Most of the music I listen to is rock and metal, actually. My first vinyl records were AC/DC and Iron Maiden. Beastie Boys, Run DMC, LL Cool J, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More…  Faith No More is probably my favorite band that is not strictly metal. In my older age, I’ve expanded my music tastes to Frank Sinatra and Elvis. For me, Pop Music stopped with Prince, Michael Jackson, Madonna. Although, I do like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Even if you aren’t a fan of Pop Music, you have to admit their great talent.

 

Rebekkah Raven: If you could go anywhere in the world for 24hrs

 

Andrea: As a place I’ve already been, I would choose Japan.  I’ve been there twice, but always so briefly because of being booked on festivals. I would like to visit there because we had a lot of Japanese animation when I was young. I am a huge fan of Anime. I grew up with as much Japanese culture as the American Culture. Somewhere I’ve never been would be New Zealand. We played Israel earlier this year; the people and the food were wonderful. I have a love of ancient history so to be fair, I would also love to visit Egypt, but maybe at a better political time.

 

Rebekkah Raven: What is your favorite smell? What calms you, excites you, has a nostalgic essence?

 

Andrea: It might sound weird, but gasoline.

 

Rebekkah Raven: That late night truck stop smell?

 

Andrea: *laughs* Yes, exactly. And of course, in Italy, we are connected to the food. My wife and I cook a lot, so food is a big thing.

 

Rebekkah Raven: Is there any wisdom that you can share with young bands just getting on the road, touring and putting out music?

 

Andrea: I am currently trying to do that directly right now, in managing a band from Italy and some of our internal management of Lacuna Coil. Obviously, the music industry is constantly evolving. You must be at the same speed as the people around you. We’ve had band members in the past, we all have different directions in life, and it’s important to know where you stand. It’s important you work with people who also know what they want and they understand their roles in the bands. It’s more important than talent, in some ways, because you have to find the right people to work with and the right way in which to work with them.

 

Rebekkah Raven/MHF Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DALLAS MUSIC SCENE IS STILL HEALTHY AND ABLE TO PUMP OUT THE PROS

JASEN MORENO AND JUDE DYLLAN TALK ABOUT THEIR BAND MURDER THE NAME AND THE BAND OPENING FOR JIBE'S CD RELEASE PARTY

MURDER THE NAME LOGO

Que “It’s A Small World Afterall” in your mind and let it get good and soggy in there. You know, the creepy version that plays on that ride at Disney? Got it? Alright. Now of course there is a reason I needed that to be in your heads because it’s in mine. And, well it is relevant to what I’m going to tell y’all. Plus I figure, why be the only one annoyed during this article with the tinkled, ghost-like, sing songy, weirdness of the high pitched voices? It is really not that bad or annoying, truth told. It makes for a cool element to reading an article, like it’s very own soundtrack.

So today (Friday, June 30, 2017) was jammed packed. I had a face to face interview and 3 phoners. Back to back - wham, bam, thank you ma’am. I had to take a call in the middle and briefly interview DANIEL TOMPKINS of TESSERACT while they’re out doing a tour with Megadeth and Meshuggah here in the states because no Dallas date has been announced (still crossing fingers that it might happen) so it was now or never. Oddly enough, when I was looking up the members in the band, I saw that there was an association with a band that I hadn’t heard their name in ages: HAJI’S KITCHEN. Wait, what? They’re a band that was pretty popular back in the day from Dallas and I was curious to that connection since TESSERACT is from the UK. One tick mark on "it sure IS a small world" tally.

2nd tally mark: I just happened to be interviewing the son of the drummer of a wildly popular band back in the 90’s here in Dallas by the name of UGLY MUS-TARD. If memory serves me correctly, these two bands played around the same time and perhaps even shared a stage or two. Very possible.

Tally mark #3: My very first rock show in Deep Ellum was winter of 1993 at Trees and a band by the name of  yep - you guessed i: UGLY MUS-TARD. I was floored by the show and that the entire club was packed to the gills. I started going to more shows because of that night; because of UGLY MUS-TARD. And here I was, 23 years later talking to the drummer’s son who is a signer (imagine that)?

You just thought this was an article about MURDER THE NAME, didn’t you? You are, don’t worry. I’m getting there. Now do you get the reasoning for the “It’s A Small World” tune? It gets better, wait!

I have a 4 and a 4:30 interview and leaving Fuzzy’s it was 3:46. Luckily, I live across the street so I dial into my conference call number and a guy dials in as I’m scrambling to pull up my notes. He’s being friendly and I’m being a little spacey because I don’t have my shit together and have no idea what I’m going to start with his interview. He tells me his name twice, and I can’t hear for some reason and think he said “June” and the next time he says it I heard Jude - but it still didn’t register because I had the two times confused. I go on with my nervous banter and say the name of the other band and the poor guy on the other end like interrupts me, “Sheri. This is MURDER THE NAME, JUDE, the guitar player form MURDER THE NAME?!?”

JUMPIN’ JEHOSAPHAT! WTF just happened? I totally apologize and we start laughing and then JASEN MORENO who is the singer for MURDER THE NAME beeps in. We tell him the story and have a good (but totally uncomfortable) laugh about how scattered I was. Luckily, these are my peeps and people I’ve known or known of since 1993. And man, sometimes you just have to embrace the mistakes and the embarrassing moments, own them and wear them like a silk scarf on a windy day.

MURDER THE NAME is a group from Dallas in case you didn’t catch that from above. The band is JASEN MORENO - vocals, JUDE DYLLAN - guitar, ADAM CARRILLO - bass, DONNY YRLAS - drums and all four of these musicians have firm roots in not only Dallas music, but all over the world. You might even call this group a catchy name like “supergroup” or “power group” - but they’d probably balk at that. JASEN is currently the singer for DROWNING POOL and has been since Ryan left. He also fronted THE SUICIDE HOOK and before that PLASTIC TONGUE. Jude currently plays guitar for a very chic country band by the name VAUDEVILLE and played for MYMOTIVE back in the day. Adam Carrillo plays bass for BIG JOE WALKER and played in MYMOTIVE. Donny Yrlas has played for VAUDEVILLE and also was the drummer for MYMOTIVE.

Tally mark #4: I love it when the world gets smaller and the dots connect. I love it when things come back to us with no logical explanation and the pieces just fit. For me personally, it gives me a sense that I’m fulfilling my purpose; that any logical explanation just doesn’t quite fit as to why things come together the way they do. They just do. It just so happened that Jasen wasn’t on tour July 8th. Or that Jude wasn’t in the studio or on the road with VAUDEVILLE that day. It just so happens that Adam and Donny both were available on the 8th. See, MURDER THE NAME hasn’t played out for quite some time with the schedules these men keep with their front projects. It just worked out that way. Sing everybody!!!

“There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all, it's a small world”

Tally mark #5: Like I explained earlier, the first band I saw live in Deep Ellum was UGLY MUS-TARD and today, I was sitting across the table from Fred’s son, interviewing him about his band TRENT RUSH in Deep Ellum. Tally #6: It’s also odd that the night I saw UGLY MUS-TARD I was hanging out with the bassist for DROWNING POOL. Had it not been for that night, I might not have ever seen JIBE, or BLUE OCTOBER or MY MOTIVE or DOOSU. Had all of that not happened, I wouldn’t have gotten to know BLACKTOP MOJO late last year.

Twisted and entwined in my interview with Jasen and Jude, you might find some gems of familiarity or coincidences as well. And while I get that they’re not things that are miraculous or alert the media worthy to many, they’re important to me and my journey. And anytime I can equate my journey being benefitted by others, you be your ass I’m going to recognize it and talk about it!

MURDER THE NAME JASENCB: How did y’all end up getting on the Jibe CD Release show?

Jasen: I traded out doing some drywall for him and he asked if we wanted the show.

Jude: Ya, I did some painting....no way, I can’t (laughing)!!

Jasen: We don’t really know really. We had that time off and Joe asked us so we said we’d do it.

CB: Don’t you love it when things like that just fall into place? Then the positive we put out come back eventually? You know what I mean?

Jasen: Ya, it’s cool. I definitely get it.

CB: Y’all are travelling or on the road right now, right? Not together, but separate or your main projects?

Jude:Ya, we’re out but not together.

CB: How is being able to play the show next weekend, on the 8th at Gas Monkey Live. I mean it’s going to be a killer show - I told Joe like a time machine or something! Do you equate this show with your past?

Jude: Man, it’s like when I was coming up, just a kid and I would see Jasen and PLASTIC TONGUE play at like Curtain or Trees, I was like “I want to play with those guys or have that kind of band and fans.” But I was always too scared to go say something to him. One day, I got the courage I guess. I had some free time and just asked him. And he said yes.

CB: Jasen, how does hearing what Jude just said about you, how does that resonate with you or make you feel? That's a pretty big compliment or tribute to you.

Jasen: Well, I don’t see that, really. I mean I was just doing my thing and doing what I do. I’ll jam with people and if it works cool - and it worked with MURDER THE NAME. I think it just comes with being in an active music scene like Deep Ellum (Dallas) had at that time. And it’s goes back to where I am now, singing for DROWNING POOL. I was humbled to be asked to join the band. They’re such a part of the success of music in Dallas, one of the first to have success like they have had. So it all goes back to things working for a purpose.

CB: So I can't wait for the show - I think i’ve said that like 9 times. But it’s going to be great. I’m really looking forward to hearing y’all play. There’s going to be some surprises guests playing too, right?

Jude: That’s what I hear. I’m looking forward to getting to play rock again.

CB: Ya, you’re doing, what country now?

Jude: I’ve been doing country for a few years now. I’m playing in VAUDEVILLE. I like it!

CB: I’ll have to check them out! Ok, so we’ve got time for the random fish bowl questions, where I pull out questions from a real fish bowl. Why I didn’t call it the Bird’s Bath, I have no clue. But whatever - that just popped in my head. I’ll ask you both like a few random and sometimes weird questions. Some can be kinda personal so if you don’t want to answer you don’t have to, of course. Alright ready?

Jasen: Ah man! Ya, come on with it.

CB: Jasen you can answer first with this one. Ok, here is #1: What is your go to curse word/phrase?

Jasen: Fuck.

CB: Jude?

Jude: Ah shit.

CB: Question #2: Do you cook and if so, what is your favorite thing to cook?

Jasen: No.

CB: Can you boil water?

Jasen: Ya, I just don’t like to cook. Or there’s not time or being on tour, you can’t. So no, I don’t cook.

Jude: Nah, not really.

CB: Ok #3: If you weren’t doing music as a profession, what would you be doing?

Jasen: Aww see, I don’t know because I have always done music. It’s a part of me. I don’t know what I would do or want to do. Maybe like something with science or astrology; the stars.

CB: Right on, that does sound interesting. I like numerology, I think it’s strange and really f’ing weird that everything is really about numbers. Ok, Jude?

Jude Well, I had a backup plan in case music didn’t pan out. I was an anesthesiologist tech and and RN.

Jasen: Dude, I want to change my answer -

CB: Like to you and Jude drywalling and painting? (We all laugh!)

Jasen: I want to do something in the medical field. Or something that sounds better. (We are all laughing at this because it’s such a crazy and dumb question.)

CB: I don’t think so - I think it’d be cool to know all there is to know about the stars and planets. I mean being in the medical field is cool, but I can’t deal with blood and stuff like that. Nope. I’ll stick to astrology or astronomy -

Jasen: I am glad it turned out the way it did. I don’t know what I would do! Music is what I am or what I do.

CB: You’ve been all over Dallas! PLASTIC TONGUE, THE SUICIDE HOOK, MURDER THE NAME. You’ve made appearances with other local acts too. I think that’s rad AF that you love music that much, and can give of yourself like that. It’s really great.

Jasen: Thank you! Oh, you know I think I’d rather get paid to play video games. Ya, that’d be cool.

CB: Even those are hard to play - I mean I can barely walk let alone do something different with both hands at the same time. I’ve always been envious of musicians because they have to separate or concentrate - to be able to do something different with each are or leg. Unless, we’re talking about like Atari Games that just have a joystick. I can work the...wait, that sounds dirty. I don’t mean it like that. But I can. Give me a joystick and some :PacMan or Tetris and I’m IN!

***

As we chat a bit more about B.S., and hang up the phone, I realize that I really love what I do. I love hearing the passion in artist’s voices when they are doing what they know to be their calling if you will.

I also love the city I live in because of the diversity of music and the players. Some may have crossed paths, played together, admired one another’s skill - but Dallas still has a healthy music scene and I don’t think it’s over. In fact, I think it’s only just begun.

Find MURDER THE NAME here on Facebook and come out to see them play Saturday July 8th at Gas Monkey Live for the JIBE CD Release Party! Check out the Facebook event for more info if you're in Dallas!

Til Next Time - MRML - Cherri

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INTERVIEW: ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE

ARMY 2 HIGH

ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE was founded in 2008 by Electronic Dance producer Trebla (aka Albert Vorne) and lead singer Lord K. In 2010, guitar player Dave Tavecchia joined the band and one year later Chris Vrenna (NIN, Marilyn Manson, Tweaker) co-produced their first album Mother Ignorance (Metropolis Records). ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE’s sound is made of analog synths and blade guitars, speeding around the echoes of 80's vibes and 90's industrial, throughout the underground of Brit's school electronica, new wave and techno beats.

The band and their debut album MOTHER IGNORANCE have been considered one of the newest and most exciting surprises throughout both the industrial and rave scenes.

Before you read the interview - here's a link to the band's Facebook page. Go ahead and go like it right now...

As luck would have it, the night of their show in Dallas, Texas it rained and thunderstormed. Now, when this happens in Dallas, Texas,  people lose their minds and control of their driving abilities it would seem. I sat in traffic on the highway for over 3 hours and not only missed my interview slot with ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE - but missed their show as well. 

All is not lost though! Due to the power of the www and a little tool called email, I was able to connect with the band despite the gridlock on the highway that night. I love email interviews because I create an interactive kind of Q & A which is more than just typing answers. I love the responses I get back and honestly, if I was on the other side of an email interview, I'd like to do this kind! Here's the interview with ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE as they traveled to their next stop on tour!

Cherri: How difficult is it or was it to roll into a new town every night or every other night and walk in, see load in with your band mates and total strangers, watch the hours go by and then when people start to come in (or if they don’t come in, even), how hard do you have to build your confidence up?

It's not crazy difficult, of course it becomes a little tiring after a few weeks, but we know that each new place we hit will probably have a surprise for us and that makes it fun and exciting. The fun part comes when you get to the hotel, there you start to feel a little confused. They all look pretty much the same (when you have a limited budget of course). Which room number again? Where is the elevator now?

Cherri: Think of someone that you admire or respect - in any facet, professionally, personally, artist - and tell me 3 things you admire about them:

i. Roy Batty - (Rutger Hauer's replicant character in Blade Runner). No need to explain in this case.
Just memorize his monologue and it will instantly appear so clear.

ii. L.V. Bethoven - A great musician who invented the #... before anyone else (the sharp note).

iii. Chuck Norris - Invincible, ironic as F*, awesome beard (which he grew before it became a trendy thing)

Cherri: So, as you're doing this interview - unless you're in your altogether (no one wants to see you sitting on the crapper or nekid on your couch with a bear rug) take a selfie of where you're sitting with your laptop or phone filling this out and attach it to this email.

Joe took it from the passenger seat in the front:

Van Selfie

Cherri: Do you have a strange fear or a phobia? I’m afraid (like insanely so) of birds - odd, isn’t it?

Oh God.. we are plenty of phobias in this van. First of all "bacteria", we are a bunch of Italian hypochondriacs. Then bugs, bed bugs especially. Lord always fears his voice will eventually disappear because of some specific bacteriological attack provided by someone coughing or sneezing in his proximity. Our new drummer Joe Amato can't even watch horror movies.

Cherri: Wait - I am SO pissed that I didn't get to ask this question face to face for a variety of reasons: A. I would have loved to watch the facial expressions as everyone answered. B. I too, have an aversion to what I refer to as "amoebas" which I'm positive are all around us and forever out to destroy us. (I blame the kid in the movie "Signs" and that kid's whole "it's contaminated" obsession, because - well...IT IS GODAMIT!! IT'S ALL CONTAMINATED!!

Cherri: Tell us one memory from childhood that directly affected your movement towards making music a career or what influenced you to be attracted to music.

Everyone here would have a different story but we can focus on what we share about this. Music is stronger than you. If you are simply attracted by it, music will capture you and you will end up researching into it, exploring this beautiful universe until you might find yourself creative enough to create music. Basically you now create the monster who captures you. All of us felt in love with music in our childhood, but we discovered our own creative animal during the teenage. Trebla became a DJ at 13 when he got his first pair Technics for his middle school degree. Lord started to write music at the age of 17, Dave was basically born with a guitar in his hands.

Cherri: Best cover of an old song that you’ve heard.

MANOWAR - Nessun Dorma

Cherri: Looking at my picture (that’s why it’s on this questionnaire) - just going by that pic, what do you think my favorite song will be from your current record?

THE AFTERSHOW

Cherri: I totally dig THE AFTERSHOW you're right! 

Cherri: Now take your phone camera, put it on selfie mode and take a picture of what's over your left shoulder.

Done... Look at that face... Scary.

Left shoulder 1

Cherri: hahahaha! So funny! I wonder if that was accidental...hahaha!!

Cherri: True or false: Everything happens for a reason.

False.

Cherri: We have a thing that a few of my partners do when we interview. We started doing this at festivals. So I pulled (honestly, I pulled the question papers out of the fish bowl and then typed them.) a few random questions pulled out of the fish bowl:

Do you have a code name or a nickname for having to go #2? (poop?)

We have too many. The Italian language offers a crazy variety in this case.

Cherri: I'd love to know more about words for poop in Italian. Message me...

Cherri: Beach, mountain, urban city, or desert?

No one of us will ever agree on one here.
Lord: city
Trebla: mountain
Dave: desert
Joe: beach

Cherri: South Park or Family Guy?

South Park.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars.
(Trebla does not necessary agree).

Cherri: Trebla, WTF? Why does your preference sway towards the Trek as opposed to the War? There's always a fight between The Force and The Darkside...

Cherri: Funniest profanity phrase?

You don't wanna go there.

Cherri: Oh, but I do!!! I love learning new profanity - especially when it's from a foreign country!!

Cherri: Video or dice rolling games?

Dice, indeed!

Cherri: Oh by the way, you know the 3 characteristics of the person you admire or respect? Those characteristics are really characteristics that you possess but either haven’t developed, you ignore them because you don’t want them (it) or haven’t acknowledged them. But they do exist within you! :)

SO TRUE SHERI!

Cherri: Isn't it? I mean go back up and read the 3 you wrote and you'll instantly know that it's true. I can tell just by your responses and pics!!

I am so glad that I did get to digitally meet the band from Italy; ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE, even if it was through the power of the internet! I also heard from a few that were at the show that they were highly impressed with the band's performance. If you're not familiar with their work, please take a peek at this video below!

 

Til next time - 

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UP FROM MOSHOLU PARKWAY

M.O.D.'S BILLY MILANO TALKS ORIGINS THAT LEAD TO THE NOW

MOD SMALLWorking from the Nest is great, I love it. I probably don’t need to tell you though, it would be a redundancy that just subtracts from the beef of the wordcount. What isn’t great is when you think you have a Skype call and it turns out to be a video call. With a legend. Annnnd you’re in your robe that on a webcam, looks like a prison garment (damn you Betsy Johnson and your black and white, horizontal stripe trend, damn you!!). Pretty certain my whole look would have definitely seen a speaking role in Orange Is The New Black new season. 
 
As I tried not to look so homo-prisoner by smiling, it occurred to me that I didn’t really (honestly) care what the person on the other end of the connection thought. I wasn’t embarrassed that I wasn’t made up, hair done, and clothed. I was just doing me and being me, not trying to be someone or something I am not. I liked that revelation that I had at the start of my 30 minutes with Billy Milano of M.O.D. and I think that it is apropos that it came during an interview with an icon in music that has never been anything but himself.

 

METHOD OF DESTRUCTION OR M.O.D. rolled on to the New York punk scene in 1986 with singer BILLY MILANO from STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH (S.O.D.) and original members TIM McMURTRIE (guitar), KEN BALLONE (bass) and KEITH DAVIS (drums). The band saw their first studio record U.S.A. for M.O.D. drop (produced by Scott Ian of Anthrax/Alex Perialas and came out under Megaforce Records).. M.O.D. has been an active band (less a brief break from ‘97 to ‘03) or should I say relevant band for 31 years with Billy at the helm of maintaining their mark.
 

Now it’s just the opinion of little me on Billy being the factor of why M.O.D. remains relevant to the history of American punk, but I’m no expert. I’m sure that there are tons of experts that can site facts and draw graphs, quote dates and provide evidence to my observation. I don’t have a PhD in music history and I damn sure can’t say that I know all there is to know about punk and the origin here in the US. I know what I’ve seen on VH1’s Behind the Music or in music documentaries. But the basis for my opinion on Billy, is based on mere gut feelings and the simple truth that here I was talking to Billy about M.O.D.’s upcoming release of “Busted, Broke and American”. The need to scribble in filler and bullshit isn’t necessary.

And after meeting Billy through the magic of the www (and a tiny sorceress, I’m certain) that gut feeling became more substantial. This is a vivacious, funny, outspoken and intelligent man that uses music to convey what he finds offensive in the world and as a result, spawns seeds of thought in those that hear it. Couple that with his work in S.O.D. that created a subgenre of punk/metal music referred to as Thrashcore and you have a bonafide icon of music history my Lovelies. Bonafide. Straight up.

Cherri: What made you move down to Texas, Austin specifically back in ‘04?

Billy: I moved to Austin back in 2004 and I love it. The cost of living is better, it’s beautiful down here. And my grandkids are here and I get to see them everyday. I love being a Grandpa.

Cherri: Texas is great. I’m glad you got here when you did! Austin is a perfect little place, isn’t it? I’m based in Dallas but love to visit Austin. Your bio says that there weren’t any intentions with this record, what came out came out. Tell me a little more...

Billy: I wrote everything, all of it while being with Buster. I played the guitar and felt feelings about the fakeness of the music industry and the bullshit of living these lives that are just lies. It all just happened and after Buster died I realized that I’d just written a kick ass bunch of songs for [an album], but didn’t set out to do this, you know? It just fell into place.MOD 2 SMALL

Cherri: Do you think that is because of our age? I relate to what you’re saying so much within myself. When we’re younger there’s this push or force to do this or that. So I spun my wheels in this tarpit, it seemed. Trying to control everything. Now I’m older and find if I just let it go everything falls into place. I don’t have to manipulate the outcomes to make anyone, including me happy. Is this a form of surrendering to being old and out of touch? (laughs)

Billy: I find the facts are that I just did what I did and didn’t look for an outcome. I think the truth is that...(pauses)...I’ve turned into my dad. But I’m not different than I was then. I still believe the same things, in the same things. After Buster died, I just did things, better maybe. Or angry. I just didn’t give a shit, didn’t have any plans to release this record and then stuff just happened and what do you know, here we are. I just stopped trying to do [expect] things and just did what I needed to do for myself, what I wanted.

Cherri: There’s something about that saying “the truth will set you free”. It does, doesn’t it. Take out all the what if’s that make our thoughts and our mind be off centered, or always trying to change what IS. If I just concentrate on the facts it’s easier to be present because I’m not trying to change something that has already happened!

Billy: It’s like these Bernie Sanders kids, young adults that have $60k and more debt from a fucking piece of paper on an education you can’t apply. What the fuck are you going to do going into the workplace with a fucking degree - “Can I help you sir? Welcome to McDonald’s”. As much as it’s funny, I talk about it in “Busted, Broke and American” I say “why the fuck did you get a degree, all you’re going to do is make my coffee, push the button and fill my fucking cup”. The song is about going out and enjoying your life and these people in a segment of our society that is burning with defiance. And now they go into society with an education and a degree “I have a degree in liberal arts”, says these people. Well good for you, I say back. Take the fucking whip cream off my coffee and re do it”. There is a false illusion in this country. And that is a problem.

Cherri: I guess it is age and maybe all of that stuff from when we were kids and now that we are here, half done we just accept ourselves and are comfortable in our own skin.

Billy: I go to shows now and they ask me, ‘Sir, would you like earplugs?’ - like I’m some kind of Grandpa or something. Truth is, I’ve got a beard, tattoos and gray hair and I AM a grandpa. I wake up every morning and love that I am a Grandpa.

Cherri: How in the hell are you from New York, the Bronx no doubt and are a Republican? (we both kinda laugh - not ha ha funny, but maybe out of understanding before the answer came out.)

Billy: It’s not that I became this or that. It’s what I think. It isn’t about politics it’s me and what I know to be right. I have a very broad sense of what the government should be or has a specific role. I think the social engineering that they’re doing is inherently dangerous, it’s ill conceived and the people who are receptive to it are ill conceived children. I’m fiscally conservative but responsible for other things. I still say, 4 year terms? 8 years of Reagan, 8 years of Bush, Clinton and Obama - all of those people sucked. Jimmy Carter was the best President we’ve had. Jimmy Carter stopped being President one day and became a community leader and built homes for the homeless, what more do you need to know? Lead by example.

Cherri: Austin has done great things for the homeless population. Are you involved or how do you see the strides made there - could they work nationally?

Billy: Let me put it to you this way. As a person that grew up in the punk rock music scene, I learned that a spot can be a very friendly place. I lost everything in a fire, I realized that a little room that was 13 ft long and 7 ft wide, that little room was a godsend. Living in the basement was good enough for me. I know what it’s like to be destitute. This is what I say to people scream that they love Obama. I say, you’re talking about a guy you say was a community activist and he gave 12 trillion to the Jew banks (I can say Jew because I’m of Hebrew descent and I’m not afraid to say it) - and he gave zero to humanitarian causes. I remember a day in 8 years him or Clinton or Bush Jr, 24 years where anyone of those son of a bitches came on the TV and said “What’s wrong with you people? There are people that are hungry here! Let’s figure something out!” These people are fucking soulless! I don’t understand what they’re leaning on. And these homeless people in our country, we have something like 3 million homeless people in America. This is something that is now tragic and a disgrace to an American legacy, that we would turn our back on our elderly and our homeless. This is a political discussion one that could go on for hours, but we’re almost out of time.

Cherri: Ya, I feel ya and I could talk for hours about the state of our country and how unsatisfied we all are and don’t get it. That’s why music is so important to me so that people can get out what they want to say, or feel - even if it’s in a mosh pit. Didn’t you used to go by Sgt Mosh at one time?

Billy: Well, Sgt Mosh was from the S.O.D. records - a character or a guy portrayed. They called me Mosh because I’d go into the pit. The word Mosh a lot of people don’t know where it comes from. We’d say “let’s go in the pit and mosh it up” like mash and mosh...the sound kind of the same but Mosh came from [the name of] a road going up from New York state called the Mosholu Parkway. That’s the road we took. The real nickname came from the singer of the punk band, Murphy’s Law - I was always eating Milano cookies and drinking cold milk and all my skinhead friends would be like “there's milk and cookies” - and he said “every time I see you, you’re eating those godam milano cookies. That’s what your name is now, Billy Milano.”

Cherri: I don’t know what it is, but I love those cookies in that bag! They stay so fresh!

And just as it began, it was over. I think back while transcribing the interview and listening to Billy have such passion and fervor for things that he loves and believes in, I can see where this record for him did really, just happen out of a place that was created - he created years ago. How it manifested itself now, is from him because he loved what he did. It came from HIS a place of love. Love of his family, where he came up from, his country and his own skin. Love of life - even the things that piss him off - piss us all off, really. This is where the passion comes from, these places. Ya know what I’m saying?
****


MOD Broken Busted

“Busted, Broke and American” - M.O.D. (Method Of Destruction)

Drops: 07/07/2017 Megaforce Records

“Billy Milano, a voracious reader, avid cook and a Proud and Loud Republican, 
inadvertently resurrected his hardcore punk rock band in a time when he needed it most.You'd be mistaken to assume anything when it comes to Billy Milano. For M.O.D. and
their new album, which finds the band returning to original label home Megaforce Records after two decades, there was no pre-determined mission. At all.

It was born of love.”

LORNA SHORE IS NSYNC TO PLAY MUSIC

REBEKKAH RAVEN CATCHES UP WITH MEMBERS OF LORNA SHORE IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS AT TOMCATS WEST DURING THE BEG FOR DEATH TOUR

SKOM met up with the lads from LORNA SHORE on THE BEG FOR DEATH tour, before their show at Tomcats West, in Fort Worth Texas. Tom (vocals), Connor (guitar), Adam (guitar) and Austin (drums), are a young, enthusiastic bunch with probably the heaviest sound I’ve heard this year. Touring behind their sophomore album FLESH COFFIN, released earlier this year, the guys talk all things Justin Timberlake, Home Depot and taking over the universe.

Lorna Shore2 webRebekkah Raven: Looking at your Spotify you have 48K monthly listeners. You’re on your sophomore album release, Flesh Coffin, how have the fans been responding to your music? You have what, 9 dates left on THE BEG FOR DEATH tour?

Tom: Everyone has been really into the songs we’ve played live; the crowd has really been getting into it. We’ve really only been playing new stuff, some old stuff, but primarily songs from the new record.

Connor: If they didn’t like Flesh Coffin before, they’ll love it by the time we’re done with this tour.

Rebekkah Raven: I saw some play through of your music posted to your band page. What drives you to connect on a personal level with your fans?

Tom: We interact with our fans as much as possible. We’re pretty straight up guys. I’ve always tried to talk to everybody; I’m not always on the internet, so being in person with people is important. We’re just naturally the type that talks to everyone, so we don’t really see it as a duty, just as something fun to do. This is our first tour with someone sitting at merch tables, before we were running it ourselves.

Connor: Yeah, we have this cool dude Jake working for us and he’s a pretty cool guy to have around.

Rebekkah Raven: If there was one song off the new record that would tell a prospective fan what Lorna Shore is all about, which would it be?

Connor: If you’ve never listened to metal before, FLESH COFFIN, for sure. If I show someone anything about metal or my band, that song is what I’ll share with them.

Austin: Yeah, and if you’re already a metal fan, FVNERAL MOON will blow your face off.

Rebekkah Raven: So aside from the serious questions, we have a couple popular fun questions for bands. What is your favorite smell?

Connor: Oh man, Tom really likes smelling things.

Tom: I do like smelling things...My favorite smell is Home Depot!

Lorna Shore3 webRebekkah Raven: Oh! Do you like the lawn and garden side, or the lumber side?

Tom: The Lawn and Garden side, for sure. All the chemicals smell great... I’m not saying I huff paint or anything like that *laughs* but I have great memories as a child going there with my dad, and it’s just a really nice nostalgic smell for me.... Or weed. *laughs again* What about you, Austin?

Austin: Oh man... Definitely not an Asian food market... I hate fishy smells. I would say new sneakers. They smell so good.

Connor: I would say Dan Ward... a friend from back home. I hug him and you’re like Oh yes, Thank you for your smell.

Rebekkah Raven: If you could tell your 16 year old self anything, what would it be?

Tom: I’d say don’t take anything too seriously. I use to take shit really seriously.

Austin: Learn better etiquette... I think?

Connor: Play more guitar!

Lorna Shore4 webRebekkah Raven: What band or artist, outside of the metal genre, is your greatest influence?

Adam: Without a doubt, Justin Timberlake.

Tom: All around, and in all amount of seriousness, yeah absolutely Justin Timberlake. I saw NSYNC when I was a kid, and I was like, Yes. This is what I want to do.

Rebekkah Rave: You saw all the girls going crazy and thought 'Oh yeah, I want that life?'

Adam: No, not at all. I just wanted to dance and sing and entertain people. It really motivated me.

Connor: For me, Backstreet Boys. Every boy in my grade wanted to be a backstreet boy.

Tom: No way, NSYNC was better. On another note, Soundgarden is still a huge influence for me.

Lorna Shore1 webRebekkah Raven: Doing a headlining tour is epic for any band. What’s next? Every band has incremental goals they’re looking to achieve.

Tom: We’re playing SUMMER SLAUGHTER TOUR this summer, which is exciting. We also want to go overseas.

Rebekkah Raven: Really, SUMMER SLAUGHTER? That’s exciting!

Tom: Well, I don’t know if it’s announced yet... but yes.

Adam: By the time this comes out, it will have been announced. But yeah, aside from that we definitely want to go to Japan, Australia, Europe.

Connor: Once we see what the world has to offer, we also want to do an Intergalactic Tour... Maybe Mars?

Rebekkah Raven: (Referencing Dude: Where’s My Car?) So you want to get a continuum transfunctioner and take over the universe?

Connor: YES! ZOLTAN! It’s not about signing a local record deal you know; it’s about those Planetary Record deals.

Rebekkah Raven: Thanks so much for your time guys. Take care and be safe.

Lorna Shore: Thanks!Lorna Shore5 web

Follow LORNA SHORE  on Facebook and look for the remaining dates left on THE BEG FOR DEATH TOUR.

 

 

Rebekkah Raven is a freelance writer and photographer. She is also a Co-Creator/Founder of The Bird's Nest in Dallas, Texas. Follow her on Facebook.

REBEKKAH RAVEN MARK

REVIEW ** NEW RECORD ** few ** from HE IS LEGEND ** REVEIW

HE IS LEGEND - THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER

HE IS LEGEND COVER ART FOR FEW 2017


DROPS: April 28, 2017
BAND FOUNDED: 2002
HEADQUARTERS: WILMINGTON, NC
RECORD LABEL: SPINEFARM RECORDS

CURRENT LINEUP
HE IS LEGEND PROMO 2017Schuyler Croom: Vocals/Piano
Adam Tanbouz: Lead Guitars
Denis Desloge: Rhythm guitars
Matt Williams: Bassist

HE IS LEGEND have come from a place that is the host to the best parts of rock music. These seasoned musicians not only know what all that is, but what pairs with it & that bag of chips. Look, if you’re a band that’s been playing professionally since 2002 in some form or fashion, what you do is do what you want. You know you can do more when you are inspired by something bizarre as hell like a drop here and down a 16th there - mix it all up in a way that surprises even you longest running fan. 

All of the things that start separate in a musician, that they might find appealing about them - are melted together to make the tastiest fondue. For these guys it's the cut time/tempo and some drop tuning. little changes, the breaks and all of the other yummies rolled up. In “few” they take what they love and shove these lit parts right in the center of their energy, toss them into the atmosphere and quietly wait to hear the screams of a Phoenix burst - BLAMO!! The creation of 12 huge treasure tracks of songs occurs; little balls of glittering goodness that stream out of the speakers, falling into your ears...

HE IS LEGEND has crafted their sound by playing what they want. They’ve fished in a sea with fishermen that are trying to pull something alive out of the water - but while so many are coming up short, HE IS LEGEND, is not. This record is stellar. It really doesn't have any weak spots that I could pinpoint; but that isn’t my job. My job is to tell you how I loved it and what it did to me and how it made me feel listening to it. I hope you get just an inkling of what I got from "few"...

Let’s do this, shall we? 

AIR RAID - thugga-thugga chugs of a low guitar on one side compliments the higher tones of the one on the other side; just a few steps above in the background, but it’s noticeable and pretty!. Dig the way the tempo changes at the chorus. What I love about Schuyler's vocals here, is the seemingly sea salty, gritty vocal of his that’s made to clean out the cobwebs in your mind and replacing those dusty strands of old rock with some smart sounding guitars, a walloping bass that the drums kinda makes me feel like I’m on a horse galloping away from a burning barn. Mother of god this is just beautiful. Love it when the ending is the ending of a song. BOOM!! It’s done.

SAND - Immediately the bass and low AF guitar rattle my insides to make me feel like I’m driving a healthy muscle car; like a Cutlass or an old sup’ed up Camaro - and at the pause I can kinda catch my breath but with the verse, comes this badass groove and then it lurches forward jumping towards 60 in under 5 seconds. SAND has a sound that literally pushes your senses to the places you want in a massive amounts. Big opening, swelling verses that you can bounce or bang it out with your head - your choice. I am drooling over the structure HE IS LEGEND uses to write their music on few. “Stay with me, I’m not a fool, not just for anyone”. Dammit the guitars are not "bad meaning bad, but bad meaning GOOD"!!

BEAUFORT - here again they grab you by the hair like a caveman putting the doom on his woman for letting that giant bison get away during the morning’s hunt. There’s a lyric “kick in the door” and that’s what happens in my mind by the tiny wizards in my earphones. I realize I was thrown to the earth by the lure of a few notes, the life of the song flows out in the exhale of the guitar solo and just as it reaches your mouth, you can’t believe that not only is it going in your mouth, you’re about to inhale it and hold it in.

SILENT GOLD - there’s nothing silent about this number. I wanna pee my pants the bass line is so righteous, gawwwdd!!! Right at the chorus or maybe it’s a pre-chorus - the song gets down and dirty. Then right back to a light melody with a heavy dose of bass. I love it when the bass mix is in front. Silent Gold is really packed full of those micro-breaking chord progressions, while the rhythm guitar punches it out a pattern that could be unique to each listener because there is a lot to absorb - and that is not a bad thing. The beauty of HE IS LEGEND is that they are full and bring a ton to this record. I love the “dun dun dun dun dun” sound - what is that like a progression? An archipeggio? How did i even know how to spell that? Swear to god I didn’t look it up.

ALLEY CAT - y’all Schuylar’s voice just kills in this song - not to mention the whole record.. It’s strong and full, like a big Tom cat lying on the back of a wood fence after snacking on a backyard bird. And meow - does he belt out some beautiful tones in the chorus - I love that there’s literally a complete change up in the song that I had to look at my music player to see if the song had changed. Nope, it didn’t then it went right back to the original melody. Perfect. Alley Cat grabs a hold of the nape of your neck with his paw and keeps you still with a firm bite until the song is over - and even then you dare not move.

HE IS LEGEND SO WHAT PHOTOJORDAN - the drums on this track are nomadic with a native resonance as the rest of the band follows suit like they’re moving across the plains to hunt and gather more. The cut time is godam perfect. There’s nothing sexier than that kind of dredge, it reminds me of 4 strong fingers that starting to scratch your back. The drums continue to slap your heart to revive you from the coma you’ve been in since the birth of nu-metal...

GOLD DUST - starts out slow and then with a very 1978 - 1981 kinda guitar sound this beautiful and slowly, the song plays . It’s so damn smooth. Like chocolate silk pie - “been waitin’ on a memory” my god it sends chills...just wait til you hear the chorus of #7 - I don’t get how major notes can pluck out the feelings in me like machines pluck feathers out of chicken. There’s nothing wrong with diversity - when it flows and corresponds with the rest of the record. The way they write songs is like how my head translates the things it absorbs having ADHD. I can only describe it like a ping pong ball that won’t ever stop bouncing even when the song is over. Not to mention that last couple of measures will kick your ass, just wait.

CALL INS - boom bum bum boom bum bum - “there’s a man inside my mirror” I’ve always thought there was something in between the glass and reflections - but that’s another story for another day. The guitar echoes in the background with the accompaniment of the drums with Schuyler's voice comings in really soft and staying with you, right between the back of your eyes. You know what I’m talking about, right? Where that dark place resides, where you put all the things you need to sort out in piles because there’s enough room here, always. It’s where I retreat when a song drops clues for me to go work it all out...

“I’ve learned my lesson, paid my time - this blank expression - prepare to die - hear my confession - my doubtless pain - this house that’s haunted is holding me...”

it’s so soft there are times I think it’s going to just fade out only to come back and scream at me through the speakers but it doesn't. It just walks around my head, dragging all of the transgressions in a burlap bag, behind it...

EASTERN LOCUST - once more, here’s Matt showing off again...holy crapppp, this bassline brings some hustle and hum that should be illegal in some states - what is legit about this track is the change in time and then with the groove; man oh man, it’s like how tight your butt clenches on the bicycle seat if you were pedalling like a mother, gearing up and simultaneously thinking about having to coast down with using no brakes. It’s that tight! Patient and prominently placed harmonies start pulling up similarities out of Great Grandfather Grunge's Garden, mimicking his beginnings but much, much better now!! Wow! Schuylar again breaks my limited concentration by the tone and how his band follows him. His band is actually accompanying him, you know that difference.

FRITZ THE DOG - this is a sly little number that goes from funky dee dee-ing to the chorus that picks it up and rocks it heavy. I’d love to see a crowd hear or watch them perform this song. It’s fun and everyone knows there’s no going wrong when you sing about a dog in a rock song. The band’s decision to highlight their ability to rock, groove, swing, ska (sans the brass), punk it up, slow it down, or bang it out when you’re all alone - wait, now that I’m thinking about it - it probably isn’t a conscious choice. It’s probably just the way they create and write music. Truthfully, I dig the hell out of them letting us listen to it.

THE VAMPYRE - My, oh my - if you’re a fan of sharp teeth that suck another’s blood or Anne Rice, then The Vampyre will resonate with you. It did me - I thought about Armand from Interview With A Vampire” and was transported to walking up to the gates of his lair, knock on the heavy door that the bass and drums pretend to be waiting for us. It opens and the vocals come slithering around the corners in different tones, even one with a low growl in the very back...while the guitars slide down the banister of the staircase that shouldn’t go that high. There’s a heaviness in the back and while I listened I wanted it to burst through. And it does - again with the change in tempo -

“I wear these mortal ___? - like snakes around my ankles - I’ll be thankful - I deserve no less - spent my last days - I turn to red...”

 - I think this is my favorite song - I dig the fuck out of songs that have the ability to dig up the dead and beat the shit out of them for you just because you said so, to get it all out, ya know?

THE GARDEN - this song must have been written on the Sabbath because it’s very much like what we might expect a song to sound like if You Know Who, wrote it you know when (back in the day). It’s slow with a cadence that’s evilly monotone til the chorus knocks the dumb off you - and then it reaches into that dark place they’re talking about in the song at the verse “my beloved...” The drums MAKES this track.

I'LL GO AHEAD AND SCORE THIS RECORD A 12 OUT OF 12 POINTS. PA- POW!!

This record: it’s fresh, not fancy and right out of the deep parts of their minds that spill out of their gear, making sounds front of them spill all over the audience.. Like I said at the beginning - the elements that HE IS LEGEND - have perfected long before "few" are called out like a good ol' fashion incantation that’s meant to just tickle your subconscious, herding all of the Nasties all in a line...well, until they’ve been released with the conclusion of the record. Then my Lovelies - it’s for you to scoop up all of them up, run out and around the corner looking for a place to dump them. 

If I were you, I’d drop those bastards down into a well and walk away smiling ear to ear...

HE IS LEGEND EU/UK TOUR DATES:

04/28 - Hamburg, Germany @ Kleiner Donner
04/29 - Meerhout, Belgium @ Groezrock Festival
04/30 - Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melkweg
05/01 - Frankfurt, Germany @ Nachtleben
05/02 - Paris, France @ Les Etoiles
05/03 - Cologne, Germany @ Artheater
05/04 - Berlin, Germany @ Cassiopeia
05/05 - Munich, Germany @ Oranjehouse
05/07 - Southampton, England @ The Joiners
05/08 - Manchester, England @ Rebellion
05/09 - Newcastle Upon Tyne, England @ O2 Academy Newcastle
05/10 - Glasgow, Scotland @ G2
05/11 - Birmingham, England @ O2 Academy Birmingham
05/12 - London, England @ The Dome
05/13 - Nottingham, England @ Rescue Rooms
05/14 - Bristol, England @ Exchange

Check out Gold Dust streaming and look for the Pre-Order link below to get your copy.

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BREAK OUT HIP HOP/RAP ARTIST: WHITNEY PEYTON

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HOME BASE: PHILADELPHIA, PA
RECORD LABEL: CURRENTLY SEEKING 
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CURRENT ALBUM: REFRESH EP (click here to listen/order on SoundCloud)

 

Even though SoWhat?! Music Festival was a couple of weeks ago, and all bands are probably back at home or finishing their leg of tour that brought them to Dallas. But I think the purpose of a festival the size of SoWhat?! is not just for fans to see three days of back to back bands on three stages, but it is just as important for the artists that participated to be dropped in on fans that may need to be reminded of an artist they saw for the first time. 

So, in the spirit of keeping SoWhat?!'s memory alive with fans and those new artists fresh in the hands of fans, SomeKindOfMedia decided to stretch out the interviews and do one or two a week. Last week we featured Mime Game and Plaid Brixx and I hope we hope y'all checked out those two rad groups! Man, talk about both bands just killin' it!! 

This interview is with (believe it or not) the only female artist I had sit down with me. This is Whintey Peyton and she is a force of nature! She's young, smart, on her toes, and best of all - she loves finding ways to entertain her fans. There is a video you can watch and as always, her social media links are below; just click on the icons.

Enjoy!

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CB
Hey Whitney! Thank you for giving me the time this afternoon. I gotta tell you, I was sitting here listening to you do the on camera interview and I thought to myself, "Man this kid's really got it going on!" You're just darling and I'm so looking forward to chatting a bit here in the Media Room at SoWhat Festival 2017!! I know you had your set earlier this afternoon and I was interviewing another band. But I did hear you from the balcony and I say your pink hair!! Love it! I was totally into the song you were doing at the time! Killer! Ok, so now we are going - well you are going to pick questions ouf of this pile of questions on paper. Some are funny some are serious, some are music related some are not. This just throws some fun in the mix so I'm not asking everyone the same boring questions! Ready? Pick a question! 

WHITNEY
Name a character in Greek mythology?
Wasn’t Aphrodite the goddess of love? YES! I got one! IS this like jeopardy?

CB
Yes!! *humming Jeopardy theme* Only I am not Alex Tribeck! Ok, good job on the Greek mythology question! Next question!

WHITNEY
Pick a Broadway Musical and sing a song from it. I’ve seen The Waitress... but I can’t remember any songs from it.

CB
Someone earlier got the same question and they picked "The Lion King".... 

WHITNEY
Did they sing it? 

CB
Ya, he did - LOUDLY!! It was awesome, you know that loud yodelling like part from the beginning of the movie - it was a member of the band MIME Game. It was ballz!! So, How long are you in Dallas for and tell me where y'all are from again? 

WHITNEY
I just came in from this festival, and my backup band is from Phoenix. Music brings us together and the traveling at times feels like I live in a musical!

CB
Obviously you can’t rehearse, so do you use like pre recorded ideas and file share them? 

WHITNEY
We do use that at times. But we usually come in (a few days) early and rehearse. I just really like to be prepared and imagine it, and I pretend the crowd is there and how it goes. I’d be so nervous if we didn’t.

CB
Technology is killer, no? I know a lot of bands to this especially if they live out of town. Ok, pick another question. 

WHITNEY
Ok, let's pick this one. Ha! Favorierite chewing gum flavor? Favorite flavor of gum...I always have gum because when I meet fans after sets I don’t want my breath to smell.

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CB
I hear ya - I'm the same way. I have been chewing this gum for a few hours. It's terrible - but I don't want to throw it out. I think it might have a little more mint...haha! So, getting back to you - what is one of the worst things about being on a tour for a female?

WHITNEY
Well, I guess when you’re a guy, you can just roll out of the van and jump on stage and be like YEAH that’s me. And the girls are like, Oh my god he’s so hot! One of the hardest things is curling my hair and doing my makeup. I wish I could just roll out of bed and be done. I love ripped jeans and being comfortable, so my hair and makeup are really the major feminine things about me.

CB
I bet that would be difficult to have "fresh" hair at every appearance and sometimes I bet you just don't want to wash your hair in a sink or on the bus. So I ask a variation of this question to most everyone I talk to but it's very interesting to me. When or what or even who was the deciding with you or for you rather, in deciding to do music full time? Like putting everything else down and focusing on being a hip hop/rap star?

WHITNEY
I worked night audit at Marriot Hotels, updating my website, writing my songs, but I had to make the decision to tour. Knowing that I’m coming back to no job, you find ways to make it work because you don’t have that to go back to. You have to go in 100%.

CB
Was there a particular show that you saw that made you want to pursue your dreams, as a role model?

WHITNEY
Oh yeah, I remember watching Missy Elliot, TLC and Will Smith. I rap and MC, so it’s in me to look up to them. I think music videos back in the day used to have crazy outfits and story lines, the more theatrical outlet. I’m more about putting on a show, and being an entertainer. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re playing, you can entertain a crowd if you’re versatile. I’ll pick and choose songs for my set based on the environment I’m in, although I feel like I’m being genuine because the songs all come from me.

CB
Totally! I love it when musicians or bands know that they are entertaining people; their fans. I think it makes for a better show and the fans/audience has a great time. That's when you connect with your audience because as they're paying attention, they'll pick something out of a song and that will be it - fan for life, you know? Let’s pull another question.

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Ok, the question is...Is Happiness an inside job?

Oh, that’s hard. As long as you’re not letting someone else control your happiness, I think so. Especially as an artist you put yourself out to be judge and criticized. It could be making me unhappy because of their criticisms. The best revenge is success and happiness.

CB
Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

WHITNEY
I think fate is a product of our own decisions. Everything happens for a reason, sometimes it’s something we did or brought onto ourselves. The confusion makes for good song writing, especially not knowing the answers.

CB
A lot of musicians tell me that music is an form of expression or a way to help process their emotions over something good, sad, bad - if they're happy, angry, pissed - any emotional strife they say that not only does their favorite artists help them during rough times, but they use writing music or colaborating - getting that emotion out is helpful. How do you release your "baggage" if you will? 

WHITNEY
Yes, I do write (about perosnal experiences).. I think especially when the fans relate to it, and connect with it, it makes it worth it. It makes it worth for me to know I influenced someone, maybe? I think my music can and does make a connection to my fans. 

CB
Ok, well I know you're probably wiped out. You've had a long day and I am so happy to have met you - you're badass and you have an amazing career a head of you. Oh, I heard you say this phrase during the other interview - you said something about "I don't or we should give zero F*ck$" and it totally reminded me of Otep. Are you a fan of hers?

WHITNEY
Ha! Yes, I do like her and what she stands for. It's kinda awesome that she doesn't want to care or doesn't care what people think about her views, I guess. But yes, I like her.

CB
She's amazing and while I'm like totally opposite in opinions and such - I can tell you I am down with the way she views equality and how she lives for herself. I've learned a lot through her this past year. Ok, so I hope you have a great rest of SoWhat?! Fest and if you come through Dallas, make sure you let me know so I can come to a show! 

WHITNEY
Oh, I will. Definately. Thank you - this was fun. I loved the questions. Thank you and have a great rest of the day!

Y'all I was very impressed with this young lady that has bright pink MLP hair and is from Philly. She is stunning, smart and she can get down with the best of them. I had a great time getting to know her for that 20 or so minutes and really see great things in her future!

Here's a video I pulled off her YouTube page that I not only like the beats, I love the message she's spreading about self-image and the emphasis it is put on girls, teens and women from a very early age. And that's what I love about this click the most - she doesn't take her talent or gift or desire to be an artist for granted. She uses it to talk about relevant and important things that music sometimes is the worst at personifying; the image a person has of themselves and of those around them.  Don't forget to follow her and go see her when she's on tour in your town! You won't regret seeing this "firecracker" tear up the stage and entertain the audience!

 

MORE ON WHITNEY PEYTON: 

Whitney Peyton is a unique emcee, with a firecracker personality, hailing from the outskirts of Philadelphia, PA. Beginning close to home she became, and generally still holds the #1 spot on The Hip Hop Charts on Reverbnation.com in Philadelphia. Her continuous drive has also gained her several nominations (and wins) at the Lehigh Valley Music Awards (PA) for categories including “Best New Artist”, “Best Lyricist”, “Best Live Performer”, “Best Female Solo Artist” and “Best Hip Hop Performer” from 2010 through 2014. Whitney was nominated in the 2014 Tri-State Indie Music Awards (PA, NY, NJ, DE, MD) for “Emerging Hip-Hop Artist of the Year” and won.

Follow her on social media and get to know this girl - I promise she's going to make a few dents in the industry in the not so distant future!

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