July 31, 2013 –THE WINERY DOGS (@TheWineryDogs) is sending a huge thank you to their loyal fans in North America for giving their critically-acclaimed self-titled debut album a strong debut on the Billboard charts. Not only did it explode onto the “Top Rock Chart” at #5, it also opens on the “Top 200 Albums” chart at #27.
The power trio–Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold), Billy Sheehan(Mr. Big)and Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison)—self-produced THE WINERY DOGS, which was released July 23 on Loud & Proud Records. The album has been hailed as “…one of the most intriguing releases of the year” by Loudwire.com, and in a recent reader’s poll on Revolver magazine’s website, fans called it their “Album of the Week.”
Success hasn’t been limited to the U.S. shores. THE WINERY DOGS recently kicked off their first-ever tour in Japan and South America to sold-out crowds wherever they played. After one more stop in Buenos Aires on August 1, they’ll head home for their first U.S. shows, starting August 3 in New York City at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. While they’re in town, THE WINERY DOGS will appear on “The Artie Lange Show,” which will air Monday, August 5 at 10pm ET on DirectTV and is streamed live on the show’s website. On Tuesday, August 6 at 7pm, the band will take part in an in-store signing session at Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ. For more information, visit www.vvinyl.com.
Once the first leg of their U.S. trek concludes on August 8, Portnoy, Sheehan and Kotzen will take a much-deserved break before heading back overseas for their first shows in Europe throughout most of September, which will include stops in England, Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal. The U.S. tour will start up again on October 3 in Agoura Hills, CA at the Canyon Club.
Meanwhile, THE WINERY DOGS will guest on the nationally syndicated radio show, “Rockline,” with host Bob Coburn on Wednesday, August 14 at 8:30pm PT/11:30pm ET. Fans are encouraged to speak with the band that night by calling 1-800-344-ROCK (7625). The show will be streamed on Rocklineradio.com for two weeks beginning the afternoon after the live broadcast.
Check out THE WINERY DOGS at any of the following U.S. tour stops:
DATE CITY VENUE
Sat 8/3 New York, NY B.B. King Blues Club and Grill Sun 8/4 Lancaster, PA Chameleon Club Tue 8/6 Fords, NJ Vintage Vinyl (in-store) Wed 8/7 Newton, NJ The Newton Theater Thu 8/8 Chicago, IL Reggie’s Rock Club Thu 10/3 Agoura Hills, CA Canyon Club Fri 10/4 Las Vegas, NV Vamp’d Sat 10/5 San Diego, CA Romana Mainstage Sun 10/6 San Juan Capistrano, CA Coach House Tue 10/8 Sacramento, CA Harlow’s Wed 10/9 San Francisco, CA Yoshi’s
Yes, you did read that right, 11 out of 10, we broke the scale on this one! The word triumvirate is often defined as a “rule of three”, in this case it’s “three that rule”. Guitarist and vocalist Ritchie Kotzen (Mr. Big/Poison), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), and drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater/Avenged Sevenfold) have long been considered three of the finest at their respective crafts, so it’s no surprise that when their talents collide we are left with nothing less than an Album of the Year contender.
From the opening riff of “Elevate”, you realize that this is going to be one of those albums where one can’t help but “feel” the music. A blues rooted rocker with a hint of Nugent-meets-Wolfmother, this opening track is just a pre-cursor of what’s to come. From “Desire” to “The Other Side” to “Regret”, the entire album is riddled with screaming, yet soulful guitar, pulse-pounding drums, killer vocals, and bass lines that would make Geddy Lee blush!
With such a great collection of musical genius, it’s hard to pick a favorite. There are, however, some highlights that cannot go unmentioned. One such highlight is “The Other Side”, which begins with Portnoy’s drums launching into a finger bleeding bass line from Sheehan, climaxing with Kotzen’s guitar solo, at which point he releases inner Eddie Van Halen.
Kotzen then takes that same style and melds it into “One More Time”. Yet another reminder that these guys are a force to be reckoned with, this track bears hints of Eric Johnson meets Van Halen’s“Eruption”. On the track “Six Feet Deeper”Portnoy’s drumming channels the spirit of the late, great, John Bonham. “Damaged” and “Not Hopeless” are two more favorites of mine that highlight just how much Kotzen’s voice sounds like that of one of rock’s greatest voices, Chris Cornell.
Perhaps the coolest song on the album is “Time Machine”. This track has a conceptual feel to it, in that it begins sounding very much like a modern day Alice In Chains tune, and transforms as we travel time, into some good old fashioned 80′s guitar power rock! Last, but certainly not least, the album culminates with “Regret”; a true blues based rock track that summons the air guitar and serves as a reminder that “blues gave birth to rock ‘n roll”, making our only regret not pressing the “Repeat All” button.
Every album has one or two band members on it that truly stand out, but The Winery Dogs smash that theory to pieces with their debut album. If you love blues-based power rock, July 23rd should be like Christmas morning for audiophiles everywhere. Hands down, the best album of 2013!!!
What are you waiting for??? Click here to pre-order The Winery Dogs debut album, and find out when they’ll be coming to your town to blow your mind in person!
Los Angeles, CA – July 15, 2013 – Avenged Sevenfoldtoday revealed “Hail To The King”, the blistering first single and title track from the band’s forthcoming sixth studio album due out on August 27th via Warner Bros. Records. Produced by Mike Elizondo, Hail To The King was recently proclaimed “the band’s crowning achievement” by Revolver Magazine.
Avenged Sevenfoldalso announced the Hail To The King Tour – a massive headlining U.S. arena tour to take place this October and the band’s first full scale American tour since 2011. The run of dates will kick off in Chicago, IL on Thursday, October 3rd and wrap up on October 26th in Las Vegas, NV. Supporting the band on all dates will be special guests Deftones and Ghost B.C.See below for a complete list of dates. Venues and on-sale information will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Additionally, starting today fans of Avenged Sevenfold can pre-order a special, limited-edition box set of Hail To The King (available on August 27th). The antique gold colored embossed foil wrapped “treasure box” will feature exclusive Hail To The King artwork and include a deluxe version of the album on CD with a download card to an extra bonus track, an exclusive Canvas Print, a 20-page photo book featuring photos of the band through out the years, a Death BatChallenge Coin, Death Bat Skeleton Key, an instant download of the new single, and a download of the album on street date. Fans that purchase the box set will also receive pre-sale access to the upcoming U.S. tour. The box is available for purchase HERE and once they sell out no more will be made.
Hail To The King is the follow up to Avenged Sevenfold’s 5th studio album, Nightmare, which earned the band it’s highest ever debut on the Billboard album chart when it took the Number One spot and spawned three Number One, hit-singles “Nightmare”, “So Far Away” and “Welcome To The Family”. “Nightmare” broke radio records and was the most played current song at Rock Radio for all of 2010. Throughout 2010 and 2011 Avenged Sevenfold toured the world nonstop. They have achieved Diamond, Platinum and Gold awards for album sales in nearly a dozen countries and have sold out arenas the world over and headlined some of the worlds biggest and most prestigious music festivals playing to over one million people. Due to an overwhelming demand from the United States troops abroad, Avenged Sevenfold embarked on a USO tour in the Middle East including stops in Kuwait and tour of Iraq performing for US soldiers stationed abroad.
Avenged Sevenfold made an unprecedented appearance as characters in the Call of Duty Black Ops 2 video game in November 2012. The game was the biggest selling video game of all time and featured the band’s performance of a song written for the game, ‘Carry On,’ which then went on to Top the Billboard Monitor chart on January 13, 2013.
On August 26th, one day before the release of Hail To The King, Avenged Sevenfoldwill play a free show for their fans at the Hollywood Palladium. The show is a special thank you to their fans and for fans to celebrate the release of the new album with the band. Stay tuned for entry details, which will be revealed in the coming weeks.
June 26, 2013 – SOiL premiered the brand new video for “Shine On,” the first single from their forthcoming sixth studio album, WHOLE, on Loudwire.com yesterday. The song is currently gaining airplay on radio stations nationwide and will be available digitally July 2. The full album will be released August 20.
WHOLE is the first album with original frontman Ryan McCombs since 2004′s RE.DE.FINE (after which he became Drowning Pool’s lead singer). It sees SOiL returning to the classic sound that fans have come to admire, calling it the album “that could have come directly after the SCARS album in 2001.”
New Noise magazine recently called the album (in a 5-out-of-5 star review): “…dirty hard rock influenced alternative metal that’s got more piss and vinegar going for it than anything I’ve heard on the radio these days…To hear something like this is just fucking refreshing in all honesty; and it’s the best thing I’ve heard from alternative heavy metal in years.”
In touring news, SOiLwill hitting the road on June 19 for a show in Bowling Green, KY at The Rustic Room along with Pop Evil. The band is currently lining up shows for the entire summer, which will be announced in the coming weeks. One of the upcoming tour stops includes an appearance as part of the second annual Monster Energy’s Aftershock Festival on September 15 in Sacramento, CA at Discovery Park, along with Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Megadeth, Volbeat, A Day To Remember, HIM, Buckcherry, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, All That Remains, Falling In Reverse, Device, Steel Panther, P.O.D., and many others.
Check out SOiL at any of the following stops:
DATE CITY VENUE
Wed 6/19 Bowling Green, KY The Rustic Room (with Pop Evil) Thu 6/20 South Bend, IN Cheers Pub Fri 6/21 Wausau, WI The Fillmore Thu 7/18 Marion, OH Tink’s Rock House Fri 7/19 Battle Creek, MI Planet Rock Sat 7/20 Pecatonica, IL Winnebago County Fairgrounds Breast Fest Sat 8/24 Twin Lakes, WI Shadow Hill Ranch (WIIL Rock Fest) Sun 9/15 Sacramento, CA Discovery Park
When Disturbed frontman David Draiman stamps his name on something one can’t help but take notice. Armed with a plethora of superstar cameos, the debut album from Draiman’s latest incarnation Device is one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. What you are about to read may do nothing to curb that anticipation.
The album kicks off with the tracks “You Think You Know” and “Penance”, two songs that, upon first listen, scream Disturbed. After a familiar introduction, you do indeed think you know, but the first single “Villify”, a microcosm of the entire album, reminds us that this is a different animal. You see, many a closed-minded critic has said ”Oh this is just another Disturbed album.”, but upon further listen you realize it has just enough subtle difference to distinguish itself. Think the difference between Nickelback and Theory of a Deadman, except with some actual real talent and appeal! Actually forget I said that, those two don’t even belong in the same conversation. The point I’m trying to make is… you can’t expect someone with such a distinct voice and styling as Draiman to completely abandon his identity just to say he did so. I mean, did Ozzy completely abandon who he was when he left Black Sabbath? Exactly. In fact that is probably the best comparison that can be made. Ozzy left the slightly mellower, but still rockin’, Black Sabbathand found his inner madman; Draiman makes the return trip and leaves the madman behind, and finds his inner Sabbath on this album.
Appropriately enough, that brings me to two of the album’s highlights. The first is a duet with Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), a brilliant departure from the norm, in which they cover the Ozzy/Lita classic “Close My Eyes Forever”. Lest we forget about the Black Sabbath reference, in comes Geezer Butler to team up with Serj Tankian (System of a Down) on the politically driven “Out of Line”. In sticking with the political theme, the party would not be complete without the help of one of the greatest guitarists of our time, Tom Morello, lending his unique styling to “Opinion”.
As if that wasn’t enough, the album’s two closers are perhaps it’s pinnacle. M Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) lends his voice alongside Draiman’s to create the beautifully haunting, dark melody that is “Haze”; preparing us for the curtain call that is “Through It All”. A stirring ballad featuring Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Black Country Communion) that virtually hypnotizes the finger and has you pressing “Repeat All” before you know what happened.
All in all, the debut album from Deviceis an instant candidate for Album of the Year, and will make even the most rabid of Disturbed fans forget about their hiatus, and beg for the next Device album. This album comes VERY highly recommended, and if you don’t pick it up this Tuesday you might just be “Disturbed”!
For more Device, including Tour Dates and to pre-order the album visit the band’s Official Website here.
Device, a collaboration featuring modern hard rock icon David Draiman of Disturbed, has announced a series of US tour dates. They will be kicking off a string of headline shows on April 10th in Mobile, AL and will be performing at several spring festivals. Gemini Syndrome and Nonpoint will support on select headline dates.
This tour will support the release of their self-titled debut album on April 9, 2013 via Warner Bros Records, which Draiman co-wrote and recorded with Geno Lenardo [formerly of Filter]. Upon finishing the writing and recording process, Draiman enlisted Evanescence drummer Will Hunt and Dope and Rock of Ages guitarist Virus; the three comprise the touring incarnation of Device.
Device is already getting praise for its sound. They are nominated for a Revolver Golden God Awardfor “Best New Talent” and Artist Direct declared “welcome to the 22nd century of rock.” First single “Vilify” has been most-added at radio for the past two weeks and is heading toward a Top 15 slot. Watch the video for the track here. Their self-titled debut can be pre-ordered via iTunes here.
The album features guest artists like Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Black Country Communion), M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) and Lzzy Hale from Halestorm.
In an age where rock bands come and go with every flip of the calendar, it’s becoming extremely hard to find new bands that become mainstays in this writer’s musical rotation. Enter one of the few constants… Evans Blue. The world was first introduced to EB back in 2005, with the single “Cold (But I’m Still Here)” off of their debut album The Melody and The Energetic Nature of Volume. All they have done since then is sell over a million albums and hone themselves into staples in the active rock world. Not everything came so easy for them however, the band has endured lineup changes (including the replacement of original lead singer Kevin Matisyn), the perils of being major label artists, and personal tragedy along the way. While most bands that encounter these things get weak and dissolve, Evans Blue has not only managed to persevere, they’ve progressed with each album leading up to their strongest release to date, Graveyard of Empires. Recently, I had the chance to catch up with founding member and guitarist Parker Lauzon, on the eve of the kickoff of the Graveyard of Empires Tour, where we talked and laughed about everything from ”one-man orchestras”-to- one man’s fight for his life with the Czech injustice, err I mean justice system. So sit back, relax with a cold adult beverage, and join me as we go “Beyond the Stars” with Parker Lauzon.
AWAY-TEAM: I’d first like to say congratulations on the success of Graveyard of Empires, I’ve been a fan for quite some time, and I think I can say it’s your best work to date…
PARKER LAUZON: Thanks! I appreciate it!
AWAY-TEAM: It’s well deserved! (laughs)
PARKER LAUZON: (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: …particularly form a guitar standpoint. The album seems to be more riff-driven than those in the past, what can we attribute that to?
PARKER LAUZON: I don’t really know… I guess I’ll start off by saying that this is the album that, personally for me being in this band from the beginning, and basically the founder of the band, this album is the pinnacle of what I’ve always wanted this band to sound like. There’s very diverse taste in music throughout the band. I’ve always been since high school, a metal fan, but then theStaind’s and the Deftones came out with the metal riffs, and the melodies, and that’s what I was kinda drawn to. So that’s the sound I was always going for, but the albums always turned out a little lighter than I wanted them, and this album turned out absolutely perfect in my eyes. It is exactly how I wanted this band to sound all along, so I’m very excited about it.
AWAY-TEAM: The title of the album seems to have many meanings to it, what was it’s meaning to you guys when you picked it?
PARKER LAUZON: The title, Graveyard of Empires, was actually the working title for the song “Thank You”, that Vlad sent in. We liked it, we had a few other album title ideas, and we decided to go with it just because of the state of the world, I guess in general, but the state of the music industry in particular; ya know, all the labels crumbling. We just think it’s a really good time for the little guy, to be independent, to make their mark on the industry. So we decided to go with that, and we like it.
AWAY-TEAM: You mentioned the industry crumbling to a point, and I noticed that a lot of bands are going the independent route. For you, having been on Hollywood Records, and seeing what it was like to be a major label artist, the pros and the cons, what do you make of the whole Kickstarter campaigning that seems to be spreading throughout the music community? It seems to be a great way for independent bands to work on a major label budget, but do you think it’s something that’s gonna last? Or do you think fans are gonna start saying ‘Ya know what, I already have enough autographed paraphenalia from this band. I’m gonna keep my money’?
PARKER LAUZON: Ya know, that’s a good question. I could take it, or leave it, it seems to work for some bands, but if I were to be giving money to a band to do their album, I would probably want something in return. So I would think you would have to make the package pretty good, if you give us something we’ll give you a little something. We’re lucky to have been in the industry to the level that we have that we can do what we want, I can tell you right now, if we were on a major label right now I don’t think the album would sound the way it does, and that would really disappoint me. Without having those big heads leering over you, we have our artistic say, and that’s really important to this band. We want to not be told what to say or do in our songs, we want to write our songs, we don’t want people to write them for us. I think bands on major labels are losing that luxury these days.
AWAY-TEAM: Yeah, someone’s always pulling the strings behind the scenes.
PARKER LAUZON: Yeah, it’s really unfortunate. People are scrambling to figure out how to fix this industry, and I think that the major labels are breaking it more than they’re fixing it right now.
AWAY-TEAM: Right. Now, the title track of this album is a little bit of a break from the norm, stylistically, you eluded to it earlier that you all had different musical tastes. It’s a “piano and a one-man 14 string orchestra”…
PARKER LAUZON: Yeah (laughs) Stevie Blacke and Al Jankowski… Stevie Blacke is on the strings, he is absolutely incredible! You can go to YouTube and watch him, he sets up his studio like an orchestra was playing in there, and he plays each instrument from the seat that instrument would be sitting at.
PARKER LAUZON: It’s absolutely incredible to see! So he did the strings on our album. Al Jankowski is, our studio is up in Traverse City, MI, he owns a Marshall’s Music up there, and we had the idea to throw a little bit of piano on the album. We were looking for a piano player in Traverse City, we obviously were there getting some stuff, and our producer Trevor Kustiak knew him. So he came in, and just owned all the tracks. The track ”Graveyard of Empires” wasn’t originally named “Graveyard of Empires” at first, we had the title of the album, but that part was just an extension of the song “Beyond the Stars” at that point. And then somebody, I believe it was our producer, came up with the idea to make it the title track, and we had no hands in that. We just had the idea to go into something instrumental there, with strings and a piano, but we let them have carte blanche to do what they wanted to do with the track. So it was really cool to have it come back to us and listen to it, and be like ‘Wow! That is absolutely incredible!‘
AWAY-TEAM: I was gonna ask you what that was, and I can’t believe that it really is truly a one-man orchestra! (laughs)
PARKER LAUZON: (laughs) Yeah, he does strings for everybody. He did like, Avenged Sevenfold, Coheed and Cambria, all the big metal bands. He’s on all those albums, so we’re really proud to have him on our album.
AWAY-TEAM: After the departure of your former drummer, Howard Davis, which actually delayed this album, the album was recorded entirely with session drummers. Who are you bringing out on the road with you for this tour? And what are your plans for finding Howard’s replacement?
PARKER LAUZON: We have a drummer named Dusty Saxton, from Austin, TX filling in on drums. He’s really, really good; he’s probably one of the better drummers I’ve ever drummed with. We’re not really in the market for replacing a drummer, like signing a drummer into the band per se. It’d be nice, eventually someday, but we’re gonna concentrate on the tours, and on the album. Right now Dusty’s out with us, he was actually suggested by Jason Pierce, the touring drummer for Paramore, who drummed on our album in studio. So he came with a shiny recommendation, but it was still kinda nerve-wracking, because we had a whole tour planned, and there’s alot of money that goes into planning a tour. So when we were coming into the studio and jamming with a drummer we had never met, and never jammed with… (laughs) and having the tour booked, so you can’t say ‘This isn’t working out.’ It was kinda nerve-wracking at first. (laughs) But he nailed it! In fact, he sings background vocals for us, and it adds alot to the show. So we’re happy he’s out with us.
AWAY-TEAM: With your last album, you had welcomed a new singer in Dan Chandler into the band about half way through the writing process. You hadn’t really known each other that well, even as you finished the album. This time around, after having spent countless days and nights together on the road, and sort of gelling as friends and bandmates, how has that affected the creative process this time around?
PARKER LAUZON: I think you pretty much nailed it. The first album with Dan, the music was half written before he got into the band, and anybody’s who has been in the industry knows that when it’s time for an album, it’s go-go-go, rush-rush-rush. So we were just finding melodies, writing lyrics really, really quickly. This album had time to ferment, to fit in, some of the songs on it were from just after the third album came out. We had been constantly writing since then, so we had time to sit back, listen to the demos, and be like ‘This is cool, but what can we do here…’ You know, how an album is actually supposed to be done, not ‘You guys have a few weeks, get it done.’ (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Right. (laughs)
PARKER LAUZON: So we had all the time in the world to get it done, and really take our time. And Dan really just went into the depths of his past, and all the trials he’s been through in his life, and just sing from the heart, and just what he’s been through. Some of it, he’s had a hard time, and some of the best songs that are written are the most honest songs. They say ‘This is what’s happened to me. This is my life. It’s not a nice part, but people need to hear it.’ I think people can relate to it alot, nobody’s happy all the time, I mean c’mon. (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) I hear you!
PARKER LAUZON: And if they are they’re faking it! (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Speaking of your self-titled album, “Erase My Scars” has been a vehicle to promote your band’s charity. Tell me a little bit about that charity, and what brought you guys to create it.
PARKER LAUZON: The song “Erase My Scars” was written for Dan’s nephew Chase, who unfortunately lost his battle with brain cancer at the age of eight. So that song is very, very emotional for us. I lost my mom to cancer, everybody involved with this band has been touched by cancer, (bassist Joe) Pitter lost his father, so that song is very close to our hearts. We just wanted to do something, we’re not out here making millions of dollars, but if we’re making some money, we want to give some of that money to somebody to help make their life better. Maybe not help find a cure, but if we can help them get to the hospital, or anything small like that, ya know, one more doctor’s visit or something. So we just started the Keeping Chase Foundation to put some of the percentages of our sales into helping people’s lives that have been affected by cancer, make their lives a little bit better. Just before we left for tour, there’s a friend named Chrissy in Houston, TX, who just sent us a wonderful picture saying that she is cancer free as of right now, and we were helping her out through the foundation. That was exactly our goal, and such a beautiful story, I can’t wait to get down to Houston so I can hug her. It’s such a wonderful story, and I hope we can make more of those stories. The more money that comes in, the more people we can help.
AWAY-TEAM: That is so awesome! Congrats! Back to touring, I’m sure you guys have seen your fair share of over-zealous fans, but what do you make of the whole situation with Lamb of God’sRandy Blythe? And do you think that if that were to happen in North America, it’d be treated the same way?
PARKER LAUZON: That’s a tough one. I mean, from the video you can’t really see much, and you can’t see what happens to the kid once he goes into the crowd. I don’t wanna say anything negative, I don’t think he should be in jail for it, that’s a bunch of B.S. right there. But, if it happened in North America, no. It’s obviously, blatently, not his fault. There’s no way he could control it. They’re saying that the kid kept jumping up on stage, and getting in their face, and when it comes down to it what I view it as, is ever since Dimebag was killed, that shit is just not cool! You just can’t come up on the stage, it’s not cool! He needs to get out of that jail, and I really feel sorry for the fans there because once he’s released that band’s never coming back there. It’s just a really crappy situation, it’s unfortunate, I hope for all the boys in Lamb of God, and Randy, he’s released soon. It’s a rock show! You can’t be held liable. I hate to say it, but part of me thinks it’s because he’s in another country, and because he’s American that they’re holding him. Because he’s in an American metal band, and they gotta set an example, and I think it’s a bunch of bullshit! It’s a rock show, people come to a rock show, you know you’re gonna get roughed up a little bit, there’s gonna be a mosh pit. If a band tells you to stay off the stage, don’t try to get back on the stage!
AWAY-TEAM: Absolutely! I liken it to someone running out into a gun range and getting hit by a stray bullet, the guy had no intention of killing you, you didn’t belong there. It’s not his fault, it’s yours!
PARKER LAUZON: There are son many variables that can come into play in the situation. What happened after he got into the crowd? The crowd caught him? Or the crowd caught him and he got beat up in the crowd. You can’t blame one person for that, that’s just making an example of an American lead singer of an American metal band! Because, you know, metal’s bad, and we’re related with Satan, and evil; it’s just a bunch of bullshit! It’s just stupid, just let him out and be done with it. It is good press for that city, I’ll say that. (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: Yeah, not for the fans though! (laughs)
PARKER LAUZON: These people want attention, and it’s really dumb. He needs to be let out and come back home.
AWAY-TEAM: Amen to that! I know you’ve just released an album, but what can we expect from EB in 2013? Any kind of live album, or DVD in the works?
PARKER LAUZON: I’d love to do a DVD! 2013? We’re not that far ahead into the planning, I think we have a lot of ammunition on this album to keep us on the radio, and keep us out for quite a while. The more touring, the better for us, that’s where we want to be. In front of the fans, playing shows. You know this tour, I’m saying this as I’m looking at the stage setup, we have this enormous backdrop, we have all these light trusses, and production, we haven’t done anything like this before. It’s such an exciting time for this band, especially being independent, we’re just recycling our own money back into our tour, and I think that’s what the secret is. You stay out on the road, you play shows over and over again, you make the show better and better, because albums (in general) are selling less and less. But 2013, to answer your question at all, I’d like to see us go to the U.K., maybe Australia would be nice. Maybe some Sweden, stuff like that, we wanna get overseas because we’re growing a fan base over there, and it’s been a long time coming to get over there and play some shows.
AWAY-TEAM: Hey, do me a favor, stay the hell out of the Czech Republic! (laughs)
PARKER LAUZON: (laughs) No, no rock shows for your for a while Czech Republic! (laughs) At least not at a club that condones stage diving, I can’t do that! (laughs)
PARKER LAUZON: That’s another thing! You just brought up a good point, that’s gonna kill the national rock scene over there. Poor fans. No band’s gonna wanna go over there now! It’s so ridiculous.
AWAY-TEAM: Last but not least, you guys recently became the first rock band to have your own tattoo ink color. Tell me a little bit how that came about, and have you gotten any pieces done with that color yet?
PARKER LAUZON: I am going to soon, actually. It was just, Dan had been talking with some guys, and they had an idea to come up with some Evans Blue ink. He flew out to Oregon, where they’re based, and got some ink done, he actually got an 8 hour session with two guys, one on each arm. I’m like ‘Man, that must’ve felt really good!’ (laughs) So he went out there, they released it, and they’re actually doing really well. We’re playing a show in Hampton Beach in a couple weeks, and they’re flying out for a convention, so I’m working on getting my chest colored in by them. So Evans Blue ink will definitely be on my chest. I can’t wait, we all love tattoos. Dan and I, I’m covered in them, and he’s catching up, it took him a while but. Yeah, Evans Blue ink, it’s a no-brainer, why haven’t other bands done it before. I mean, rock n’ roll is so connected with tattoos, and all that. We just got an email, ‘Hey, we’re thinking about making an ink. How do your guys feel about it?’ And it came out the same day as the album was released, we were like let’s do it. Dan’s got it on his arm, it’s a really cool vibrant blue, and I can’t wait to get mine!
AWAY-TEAM: What are you gonna get?
PARKER LAUZON: I’m gonna get my chest colored in, but I’m not sure exactly what I’m gonna do. I have my son’s name written across my chest, so I’m gonna just get it filled in with stuff. I think it’s about time I got the butterfly logo tattooed on me somewhere. (laughs) So I think that’s what I’m gonna do.
AWAY-TEAM: Well hey Parker, thanks so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure and an honor…
PARKER LAUZON: Hey man, anytime, my pleasure. It was fun. Some of these are not so fun, they’re kinda like pulling your hair out! (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: I hear you. Sometimes it’s like that on the other end too. (laughs)
PARKER LAUZON: (laughs) I bet dude! (laughs) I’ve met some real characters out here, so I bet. It’s on both ends for sure! (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: Yeah. Best of luck with the tour, and the album. Hopefully if all goes well, I’ll be seeing you next month when you make your way to Florida.
PARKER LAUZON: Yeah man, definitely hit us up, come out and have a beer!
PARKER LAUZON: Alright man, good talking to you.
AWAY-TEAM: You too man, talk to you soon. Bye.
PARKER LAUZON: Bye.
For more info on Evans Blue, including Tour Dates visit the band’s official website here.
Special thanks to Parker Lauzon for so graciously giving me his time, and to Kenneth Nixon at New Ocean Media for making it all happen.
One year, one major label debut album, countless festival dates, one cutting edge video, and three hit singles that are taking America by storm… what have YOU done this year? The aforementioned is just the status quo for Cale Gontier and the boys from Art of Dying. The Canadian quintet first infiltrated our borders and burst onto the scene in early 2011, and has played the part of Rock n’ Roll’s Pied Piper leaving a trail of followers all across the States. Recently, this lemming had the chance to catch up with bassist Cale Gontier to get the forecast for this musical monsoon. So sit back, relax, and grab a cold one as we touch on everything from AOD-to-ESP-to- another Canadian weather phenomenon that involves Leafs that blow year round.
AWAY-TEAM: Congratulations on the tremendous success of Vices and Virtues. It’s definitely well-deserved…
CALE GONTIER: Thank you so much man, appreciate that!
AWAY-TEAM: Now, it’s well documented that the band takes it’s name from part of an even longer phrase, ‘The art of dying is my life to live…’, but where did that phrase actually originate?
CALE GONTIER: Ya know man, I think that whole phrase just kinda, it’s kinda how we roll as a band. It’s just about enjoying your time, and making the best of your time realizing that you’re not gonna be around forever, and just having fun. Day to day having fun, and doing what you wanna be doing, and that’s what we do as a band. I think that’s how we all came together, and it’s just sort of our motto.
AWAY-TEAM: The current single, ‘Sorry’, your third off the album, has probably the coolest, most well done lyric video I’ve seen in a long time. Where did the idea come from for such an artistic lyric video?
CALE GONTIER: Yeah, that lyric video has taken off. It’s almost gone viral online, it’s getting tons of hits on YouTube and stuff. Usually all the videos that we’ve done in the past, the band’s been involved in, and the lyric videos have been fairly simple, but with this one we decided to go down a bit of a different road. We got a couple of actors from L.A., who did a great job, and the people at Warner Brothers had alot of input on it, and it turned out really cool. It tells the story of the song within that three minute lyric video, and it was just really well done, and I think that alot of people can really relate to that song in one way or another. Just needing to apologize for something, whatever that may be, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the relationship like it is in the video. But yeah, we actually just recorded an acoustic version of the song in Chicago with Dan Donegan from Disturbed, who produced it. We’re doing this really cool thing on Facebook where, Jonny our singer started this thing after that lyric video, the last scene in the video is where the girl holds up a piece of paper that says “Sorry” on it, she’s apologizing to the dude, so we’re doing this cool online thing where all of our fans and followers online have been changing their profile pictures to a picture of them saying “Sorry” in one way or another. Most of the time it’s them holding up a piece of paper that says “Sorry”, or they’ve written it on their arm, or gotten creative with it, and that’s kinda taken off online as well. So what we’re gonna do is choose the coolest pictures, and they’re actually gonna be in the new video for the acoustic version of the song. We’re actually in the process of doing that right now, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that turns out as well.
AWAY-TEAM: Yeah, I noticed that myself. That was actually gonna be my next question. But getting back to the lyric video, I wanted to ask, being that music videos are now mostly relegated to the web, do you think videos such as the one you’ve just put out are the wave of the future?
CALE GONTIER: Yeah, I kinda think so man. We were just experimenting a little bit, but I think with alot of the Fuse, MTV, and MuchMusic it seems like videos are getting less and less air time. For that same reason, people are spending less and less money on them, and I think Facebook and YouTube is where it’s at right now. That’s where it’s gonna get seen, so if you can do something that is creative, and that is cool, and is different, and spread the word online, kinda like what happened with that lyric video, I think that’s the new way to go. It’s not like we spent a ton of money on it or anything, it’s just it was something cool and creative, and people were digging it, and they can be a part of it with these profile pictures and all that, so it does seem to me that that’s happening more and more for sure.
AWAY-TEAM: When you joined the band, you had been playing with Thornley at the time, how did you end up in Art of Dying? And more importantly, I’m gonna make an assumption here, how did a Leafs fan end up in a band with a bunch of Canuck fans? (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) That’s a great assumption! (laughs) You know what man, we are all hockey fans by the way, but I don’t wanna talk about the Leafs too much, they let me down this year! But as far as how we all came together, I guess the conduit was our drummer Jeffy Brown, he is from Guelph, Ontario, and he used to play in a band with my older brother in Guelph. He ended up moving to Vancouver, and he hooked up with Jonny and Greg, and they started playing together. Me and Tavis were living in Toronto, playing in a bunch of different bands, we were playing with Thornley/Big Wreck for like five years… and even how that came about, my cousin Adam sings in Three Days Grace, and on their first album I was on the road with Three Days as a guitar tech, even though I had no idea what I was doing, I was just helping out and having fun with Adam, and I went to high school with all the other guys too. So I was out with them, and Thornley opened for Three Days, after a little while I befriended Tavis and Ian (Thornley). A year later when that tour was done, Ian was looking for a bass player, and Adam suggested that he give me a call. He did, and I started playing with them, and that’s how I got super tight with those guys. We played for five years, and me and Tavis are best buddies. Then the original Art of Dying, with Jeffy playing drums, came to Toronto to play Canadian Music Week, which is kind of like Canada’s SXSW, and I put the guys up at my place for like 7 or 10 days. They just crashed on couches and floors at my place, and we just really hit it off as friends. Everyone was super cool, and we had a good time as friends first, we’d just go out and have some drinks and have a good time, and the idea of Tavis and I going out on a little Canadian tour they had booked came up one night, and we thought maybe it was crazy enough that we could pull this off. So Tavis and I cancelled a few things, the first time we ever played together was during a sound check at the first show at the University of Calgary, for like eight people! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: But, once we started playing together on that little Canadian run, we were already good friends, and musically we just really connected. One of our things, Tavis and I sang our asses off in Thornley for a bunch of years, and we just love singing harmonies, so we just jumped in singing three-parts on all of the Art of Dying songs. Then we started writing new songs, and we just felt that we had something special all of a sudden. That’s so hard to come by, and that’s the most important thing, in my opinion, being in a band, you gotta live with these people ten months a year when you’re touring. When you get something special like that, you really better lock it in, so that’s what we did. Everybody dropped everything basically, and we decided to solidify Art of Dying. That was about five years ago, and it didn’t take long after that. We started to get on some better tours, Disturbed took us out a couple times, and at that time we didn’t even realize that Dan and David from Disturbed even had a record label. We just thought they were buddies, and digging our music, but they were watching from the front of the house every night, at our sound checks every day, and in hindsight the couple of tours that we did with Disturbed were actually showcases for their label, Intoxication. Then they flew us down to Chicago, and said they wanted to sign us. We were super stoked, and everything’s been moving pretty fast, and going great since then.
AWAY-TEAM: I gotta tell you man, you’re pretty good, this is the second “next question” that you already answered for me! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) I keep doing that, shit! (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) No that’s good, you’re making my job easier! (laughs) You mentioned writing new songs, I understand that the writing sessions for this record involved getting together in some weird locations. Tell me about some of those locations, and what place was the most inspirational, or productive?
CALE GONTIER: Well, because we live on different sides of the country, when we’re not on the road we’re not all together as a band. Jeffy, Jonny, and Greg all live in Vancouver, I live in Toronto, 3,000 miles away, and Tavis just kinda floats around wherever, he’s a gypsy when we’re not touring. (laughs) So when we do an intentional writing trip, we always try to go somewhere cool, somewhere inspirational, like you said. But we’ve done a few different ones, like we met up at our buddy’s house in the interior British Columbia. This kinda small ski town, just outside Colona, and we just set up shop there for a few weeks. Set up our gear in the basement, it was just a good vibe, we were barbecuing for ourselves every night. Most of our songs come from just sitting around with an acoustic, just bouncing ideas off each other. When we do get together for a little writing trip like that, we’ve all been writing on our own, so we just bounce ideas off each other; and they get better and better, once everyone puts their own twist on it. Jonny‘s just sick, and comes up with good melodies, and stuff like that. So that was a good one, when we went to Colona for a few weeks, got alot of good stuff done there. Another one, we went to Chicago, which Chicago is like our second home now with our connection with Disturbed, and we ended up doing half of Vices and Virtues there. Dan Donegan produced, and we went to a studio called Groovemaster, Johnny K’s studio in Chicago, that’s just a super cool old building that Al Capone used to own, and just good things always seem to come when we put ourselves in a situation like that, ya know.
AWAY-TEAM: You mentioned Dan producing, what’s he like in the studio? Is he more of a demanding hands-on type? Or is he more of a “Do what you do, and we’ll tweak it later” type?
CALE GONTIER: Danny is really more of a hands-on guy. He’s obviously a super talented musician, and he’s got great input. He’s not always diving in, or getting in there too much, he’ll sit back… but he’s not shy, and usually when he does jump in and say something he’s got a great idea, ya know what I mean. He’s great, and a super hard worker, we’ll start at 10 a.m. and we’ll go ’til midnight, so we’re not messing around. We’ll get alot of work done, and he spends 3 hours a day on his hands and knees dialing knobs on the guitar heads to get these sick tones, and he’s got a bunch of cool little tricks. I think he really respects us, and likes our songwriting, and likes our band, which is probably why they signed us in the first place, so. He doesn’t dive in too much, he sits back and lets us do our own thing, but when he does get in there he’s got some really sick ideas.
AWAY-TEAM: You guys have been touring your asses off, as a matter of fact, you just mentioned Chicago, you just played there last night…
CALE GONTIER: Yeah, it was great! We opened for Shinedown at the House of Blues, and it was off the hook. It was a good show.
AWAY-TEAM: When can we expect to see you back in the studio recording the next studio album?
CALE GONTIER: That’s a good question man. We are ready to go, whenever the time is right. We’re writing on the road, and we’re always writing when we’re at home, so we feel like we’re ready to go whenever the time is right. But at the same time, we didn’t wanna rush into anything. We’re super excited about Vices and Virtues, and we’re really proud of that record. We have been touring it hard, we’re on our third single now, but “Sorry” is doing really well at the moment. It’s in the Top 20, and still picking up steam, so we’ll see how far we can take that. Then I’m pretty sure we’ll get to another single after that, so I think there’s alot of different factors involved. We’ve got a bunch of different tours lined up, we finish this little run at Rocklahoma on the 27th, and then we go home for a few weeks, then we’re coming back out at the end of June. We’re gonna be going pretty hard again, as of then, so. Ya know, we wanna be on the road supporting Vices and Virtues as long as we can. So we’ll see what happens. My best guess is that we’ll tour Vices and Virtues until December-ish, and then we’ll take a look at it then. Maybe even get out early next year on Vices and Virtues, and then think about the studio, or maybe once we take a break at the end of this year, maybe that will be the time. I think we’ll just have to see what’s going on with the singles, and what kind of tours we’ve got lined up, and all that. We are ready to go, and I’m pretty sure the second album is gonna be a step up from the last one.
AWAY-TEAM: Speaking of touring, and the next single, alot of bands have that, for lack of a better word, that “B-Side” that they’ll break out. A song that might not have been released as a single, but the crowd goes nuts for it. What’s your “B-Side”? And does crowd response ever factor into the selection of a new single?
CALE GONTIER: Yeah, absolutely man. I guess for us, right now, a song that is on Vices and Virtues and hasn’t been released as a single, but people really seem to be stoked about, and always ask for is “Best I Can”. Which is kinda one of the mellower tracks on the record, but it’s a really special song for us. To be honest, it’s one of my favorites on the record, and alot of people seem to be into that song. It’s tough when we’re out on all these opening festivals, you only usually get like 30-35 minute sets, 40 if we’re lucky, so we gotta be really selective. Often we’ll only get to play six songs, so we can’t sneak in a song like that. People are hitting us up on Facebook the next day, saying “Great set, but I really wanted to hear ‘Best I Can’” It is, I guess a bit of a ballad, for lack of a better word. But people really seem to dig that song. I don’t know if it’s because they can relate to it, it seems to be a special song for alot of people. We’ve actually had some really cool moments with it live. Like, we were playing on the Uproar Festival last summer, and one of our more special moments was when there was a huge mosh pit in the middle from the song before, and we kicked into “Best I Can”, and at the back of this mosh pit all of these shirtless dudes fucking picked up this dude in a wheelchair and passed him 80 feet through the crowd, up and over the barricade where the security grabbed him. That was while we were playing “Best I Can”, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that, I was blown away! That was a pretty special moment.
AWAY-TEAM: Now, you mentioned this earlier, but you actually have two major label recording artists in your family, which is a bit of a rare feat, especially when it’s not a sibling, or someone in the same band. Who inspired yourself and Adam to become musicians? Do you come from a musical family?
CALE GONTIER: Yup. Absolutely man. I think our biggest influence would be my older brother, Josh, he’s 3 1/2 years older than me. He taught me and Adam, both to play guitar when we were twelve or thirteen. Josh is a monster guitar player, and he’s a great singer. Everybody in our family is quite musical, ya know. Josh plays music for a living, he’s not signed to a major, but he plays five nights a week in clubs around our hometown of Peterborough, which is just outside of Toronto. My mom sings and plays guitar. Adam’s mom is like a lounge piano player/jazz player, she plays for a living. Their brother, my Uncle Tom is a monster musician, as well. So we definitely come from a musical family. But Josh taught us to play and it just kinda snowballed from there. Once we were old enough, we moved from Peterborough, up to Toronto. I was crashing on Adam’s couch, and we were hosting open stages and stuff like that, playing acoustic, and singing harmonies for $40 and free drinks, and just having fun with it. That kinda spawned the Three Days Grace thing, and I touched on that story a little bit before. Adam and I are super tight, we’re pretty much brothers, our moms are sisters, and our dads are brothers, and we’re two months apart in age. Ya know, we’ve just grown up together, and he’s my best friend, we talk every day. It is pretty special, it’s pretty cool to look at now, I just wish we could tour together more. (laughs) To be honest. We did that Uproar Festival last summer, like I said, and Three Days was direct support for Avenged Sevenfold, we were on the second stage in the afternoon, but it was cool to be on a big two month run like that. Every morning I’d walk up to the main stage area and have coffees with Adam on his bus, and every afternoon he’d come out on our stage during our set and sing “Raining” with us…
AWAY-TEAM: God damn! Three times! (laughs) That’s the third one Cale! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: That’s the third time? (laughs) I’m sorry man, I’m stealing your thunder! (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) No man, like I said, you’re making my job easier! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) No but, that was super special for me. To be able to do that every day, and have Adam up with us every night. Yeah it’s awesome man, really cool.
AWAY-TEAM: That is cool. We recently lost MCA of the Beastie Boys who, alot of people look at him as an MC but he was actually under-appreciated as a bass player. Name the top three bass players that you appreciate for having an impact on the way you play.
CALE GONTIER: I think probably my biggest influence is Mr. (Robert) DeLeo from Stone Temple Pilots. I think he’s a monster bass player, and he’s also a great guitar player, and he writes alot of their songs acoustically, which I try to do. I play alot of guitar, and I’m always writing on the acoustic as well. But I think his bass lines are the tastiest, they’re not too much, they’re just perfect. I don’t know what it is, but he seems to have a knack for putting the perfect bass line in there, ya know. So he’d definitely be my number one. John Paul Jones, of course, he blows my mind. If I could ever get to a level like that, I’d be surprised. (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: He’s a monster. Besides that man, I think just a couple of my friends. I think Brad Walsh from Three Days, he plays Ernie Ball Manta just like me, he plays it down just like me, nothing too flashy, but tasty little pieces here and there. Just a good solid player. One of my other best friends, Tommy Gardner, he plays in a band called Before The Curtain, from my hometown of Peterborough, and actually Adam just signed them to his record label called Sludge Factory Records. But those two dudes are a couple of my oldest and best friends, and they’re super solid bass players, so I definitely put them on that list.
AWAY-TEAM: At Coachella this year they brought back another deceased artist, in Tupac, as a hologram. There’s been rumblings of perhaps bringing back Freddie Mercury to play with Queen; which Roger Taylor, the drummer, said he’d have no part of. What are your thoughts on that concept? Is it good or bad for the industry?
CALE GONTIER: Wow, umm, it’s a pretty crazy idea. A hologram of somebody that’s passed away? I don’t know. I don’t know if I really feel it man. I think that it’s definitely gonna be like actually seeing them perform live, it’ll be a different experience. I haven’t thought about it too much, but I think my initial reaction is that I’d rather see them just leave it be, and not mess with a great thing, ya know?
AWAY-TEAM: Right. My thought is that it might water down the concert experience. They might come around and say, Art of Dying is playing in San Francisco, but if you wanna see them in Chicago here’s your hologram, ya know. I don’t know…
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) Yeah. It’s a strange idea. But yeah, my initial reaction, I don’t really like it. I like the idea of an old school rock show. When the band comes to your town, get your ticket, if you wanna get up to the front get in line early and work your way to the front. I think there’s something special about that whole concept.
AWAY-TEAM: Absolutely! Okay, last but not least, we touched on this a bit, but being from Peterborough you’re probably just as big a hockey fan as I am, so who’s winning the Cup?
CALE GONTIER: Ooh, tough one! It’s been a crazy year in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, that’s for sure. I think right now, I’m putting my money on L.A. I’m not specifically a Kings fan or whatever, but I think once they knocked off the Canucks… Jonathan Quick is a guy that could stand on his head and get them there, it just seems to me they’re playing real well, and with alot of confidence. I think they’re gonna be tough to beat now.
AWAY-TEAM: That’s where I’m at. I’m a Pens fan myself, and was a little disappointed, but I have a good buddy who’s a huge Rangers fan, and he already beat me with his damn Giants in the Super Bowl, so I don’t wanna see that happen twice.
CALE GONTIER: (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: Plus Jonathan Quick went to UMass, and I’m from that area, so.
CALE GONTIER: Yeah, it was pretty crazy to see L.A. knock off the Canucks in the first round like that. It was a bit of a disappointment for all the Vancouver fans on the bus here. (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Yeah, that must have been a quiet ride! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) Win the President’s Trophy, and get knocked out in the first round, that’s kind of a tough pill to swallow. But maybe since L.A. knocked them out, maybe that’s why I keep pulling for them. (laughs) It feels a little better! (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Well at least there wasn’t any riots this year! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) Yeah exactly, right? Thank God. That was pretty silly that whole thing.
AWAY-TEAM: Yeah it was. Well, hey man, thank you so much for your time. Best of luck in everything you do, and I look forward to catching up with you when you get back here to Florida.
CALE GONTIER: I hope so man. My pleasure. Thank you so much for doing this.
AWAY-TEAM: The pleasure is all mine. Appreciate it.
CALE GONTIER: Alright Jay, take care man.
AWAY-TEAM: You too. Bye.
For more Art of Dying, including tour dates and to purchase merchandise visit the band’s official website here.
Special thanks go out to Cale Gontier for so graciously giving me his time, and to Andrew Steinthal and TJ Tauriello at Warner Bros. Records for making it all happen.
Have you ever been entranced by a band at first listen? Knowing that, even though you can’t pinpoint it, there’s something special about that band? Revelation Theory, as they were known then, first took our ears by storm back in 2005 with the hit single “Slowburn”. I remember being taken back by the soaring vocals of Rich Luzzi, backed by the harmonies of Matty McCloskey, and the heavy riffs of Julien Jorgensen, and having just that feeling. Turns out I have good instincts. Since then, they’ve added more fuel to that “Slowburn” with the addition of killer axe man Rikki Lixx, an abbreviated name, and a sophomore album that produced four hit singles. Six years later, as Rev Theory prepares to release their third major label effort entitled “Justice”, I had a chance to chat with guitarist Julien Jorgensen about everything from producers to presidents. Keep reading, but be careful… my theory is that this “Slowburn” is about to become an inferno!
AWAY-TEAM: First off I wanna congratulate you on the upcoming tour, and the release of your new album “Justice”, which hits stores Feb. 15th. It’s an amazing piece of work.
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Thanks bro!
AWAY-TEAM: Your last album “Light It Up” was a tremendous success. This time around you’ve enlisted the services of super-producer Terry Date. Aside from his stellar resume, what made you pick a guy like Terry?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Umm, I think it wasjust obviously, like you said, we’re such big fans of all the records he’s done, and the bands he’s worked with. And ya know, I talked to my A & R guy in Kansas City, we were playing Rockfest in 2008 I think it was, we were in the middle of the cycle for “Light It Up”, and… I’m sorry 2009, and he had said to me “Man, to capture the sound and energy of you guys live…”, which is what we wanted to do, “I think Terry Date would be perfect”. I looked at him and was like “Absolutely”. So he reached out to Terry, and Terry was interested, and we felt like it was just the right fit. Definitely the right guy for the music, and the record we were making.
AWAY-TEAM: Was there a certain quality that you feel like Terry was able to bring out in you this time around? I mean, what was the recording process like?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Terry is great at capturing the true essence of the band. And ya know, he’s really great at capturing the character of a band. I think that’s why his records stand the test of time. Recording with him was awesome, he pushed us to… basically we recorded the bass and the drums live off the floor. The record was really raw, and it was a really good experience. We didn’t take any shortcuts, we really dug into the parts, and he was just a wealth of knowledge. So the whole process was awesome, from stories from what he had done before, to all the little tricks he had up his sleeve, the whole thing was just a treat man. It was a good time.
AWAY-TEAM: On first listen, the title track “Justice” gives you the impression that the song was written for a certain someone in Washington, D.C. The video for the song even further supports that belief. Is that a correct assumption to make?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Well, I think ya know, we had written the song a while back with some good friends of ours… our intention was kind of a bit political, we were a little bit upset about what was going on in the country at the time. We’re really not a politically driven band, so we weren’t really going to use the song, and it sort of brought itself back into the fold when we were writing this record. We just felt it was indicative of a lot of things we were going through. Ya know, socially, stuff that we were pissed off about in our own industry. Just a little frustration going on in the music industry in general. So we felt like it was the perfect song, it says a lot about our fight, what we’ve been through the last eight years as a band. It also encompasses the full body of the record as a whole, so we felt like it was the right song to use as the title track.
AWAY-TEAM: The song “Hollow Man” features your bassist, Matt McCloskey singing leads. How did that come to be?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: It was just… Matt had actually written that song when we were on tour, probably a year and a half ago. It was just one of those that came out in the back of the bus, and literally made it all the way through. And I think it made it because it was just a real honest song, and Matty had sung it originally and just kinda did it on the record as well. It was from him, and from his soul it sounded great with him singing.
AWAY-TEAM: So was this just a one shot deal? Or is this maybe the start of an Alice in Chains type thing where, as Jerry Cantrell would put it, you have two lead singers?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Well, I mean we’ve sort of felt that way for a long time, we just never had the right opportunity to showcase it. I think that this record we do alot of sort of, I mean obviously we’ve done alot of harmonies in the past, there’s alot of counter-melodies and counter-vocals in there. We just try to feature Matty as much as possible, and we feel like this song is definitely the stepping stone…
AWAY-TEAM: With the last album, the WWE took notice. They actually made “Light It Up” the theme song for Wrestlemania 24. Then you went on even further to work with them, giving them “Hell Yeah” and “Voices”, and you were even part of a WWE skit?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Yeah, we did a couple of skits with them backstage. It was actually pretty funny, we’re big fans of Festus and Biscuits and Gravy…Jesse & Festus, they’re funny, they’re characters. So we actually got to do some skits with them backstage. It was fun.
AWAY-TEAM: Cool! Now “Enemy Within” seems like a song that’s tailor made for the WWE. What inspired that song? And are there any plans for the WWE to use any of the songs off of “Justice”?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: That song was written as a full collaboration with the whole band. I’m really proud of that song. It’s just a sort of “Take the world over” song, and “take a look at yourself in the mirror”, and all that type of thing. We felt like it was a bad-ass tune, I mean if you think it could be for the WWE that’s cool. We wrote it kind of for ourselves, and it’s fun to play live so we’re excited to put that one in the set for sure.
AWAY-TEAM:As we speak, you guys are on the road making the 20 hour drive up to Denver. You guys have toured relentlessly, and with a new album to kick off 2011, there appears to be no end in sight. When you’re out on the road like that, how do you escape and find solace, just to keep from going insane?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Well this one’s a little.. we’re on a radio tour right now, we’re in a van and it’s really close quarters. We’re actually having a bit of fun with it, because we haven’t done something like this in a while. We’d been fortunate to have a bus during the last touring cycle; we’re all taking turns driving, and so we haven’t had much time away from each other in the last two weeks. When we are on the road in the bus each of us have things we do during the day to kind of… we have our own tour regiments, ya know, some of us like to go to the gym and at least get a shower, and other guys just chill in the back, play video games, and watch movies. Ya know, write songs, nap… some guys nap a lot, ya know what I mean? (laughs)
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Everyone’s got their own thing, and when it comes to like an hour and a half before gametime, before the show, we all start getting in the same mode. We have a pre-game warmup that we all rock out to, and we put a playlist together, and the cameraderie kicks in, and we take the stage together. So when it’s like an hour out, we’re ready to go.
AWAY-TEAM: What do you do to get amped up for a show like that? Is there a certain song or album you listen to?
JULIEN JORGNSEN: Yeah. We have a ton of go-to’s. I mean, on the last record, the last cycle we had “Whiskey in the Morning” by Buckcherry, some newer stuff from Filter, we had some Avenged Sevenfold, some Pantera on there. Followed by some Jäger and some Monster Energy Drinks. We have the Matty Mayhem special cocktail, which consists of Monster Energy Drink, and the Monster shots (The Hitmen), and Jäger. So we usually pound a few of those before we go out there.
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Sounds like you’d have to pound them! Holy Shit!
JULIEN JORGENSEN: (laughing) It’s a good time brother, it’s a good time. Well back in the day we used to drink Jäger and Monster out of a bowl. Cuz we didn’t have cups, ya know we drank them out of those cereal bowls.
AWAY-TEAM: (laughing) Lap it up!
JULIEN JORGENSEN: (laughs) We’ve graduated to shot cups that Jäger gave us.
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Despite the tremendous success of “Light It Up”, ya know, aside from the wrestling fans and the true rock fans, to the casual fan Rev Theory is still a bit of an unknown for some reason which is a sin. Is that a role you’re comfortable with? Or crave? Ya know, cuz some bands don’t want the spotlight if it means sacrificing who they are. Or is that something you’d like to change?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: I mean, we wanna get our music out there to as many people as we can. Ya know I think that the last record was a great stepping stone for us. I think it got our music out to alot of people, and I think that we’ll be able to kinda build on the success of that, and I think this record is that record to do it. I think it’s a defining record for our band, and we’re really proud of the whole record. We’re really excited to present this, I think that if we can get it to the people’s ears, they really gonna dig it. It’s not that we love the spotlight, but we’d definitely love to grow the band, and grow the listenership because we feel like we have a really great record.
AWAY-TEAM: I agree. I think after this one you’ll be drinking outta pint glasses. (laughs)
JULIEN JORGENSEN: (laughs) That is awesome. I hope so brother, I hope so.
AWAY-TEAM: Well hey man, thanks for your time. It’s been a great pleasure. Best of luck with the new album and the tour, I know you’re gonna do great. Look forward to seeing you when you make your way through Florida, and we’ll do this again.
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Yeah man. Stay in touch. Come out to a show.
AWAY-TEAM: For sure. Thanks again Julien, talk to you soon.
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Be good. Thanks Jason. Bye.
Rev Theory’s latest album “Justice” hits stores February 15th, and the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour featuring Rev Theory, Pop Evil, Hail the Villain, and The Black Cloud Collective kicks off February 16th in Phoenix. For more info on Rev Theory including tour dates, and to find out where to purchase music and merchandise visit http://www.revtheory.com/
Special thanks to Julien Jorgensen for making the time to speak with me, and to Steve Karas at SKH Music for making it all happen.