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Intronaut 10th Anniversary Tour

INTRONAUT will hit the road again after a short break and their recent tour with TesseracT.  The band has been on the road in support of their current album Habitual Levitations ever since its release on Century Media in March of 2013. This special run of shows is in celebration of the band’s 10 year anniversary!

 Guitarist/singer Sacha Dunable had this to say about the tour:

 “We’re taking a break from writing a new record to celebrate our 10th anniversary as a band with this special run of shows. We haven’t finalized a set list yet, but expect at least one song from every release, and maybe a special guest or two to come out and help us play them. Joining us on these shows will be our Canadian friends Anciients, and the LA show will feature Ides Of Gemini, Silver Snakes, and The Great Wall. We are also planning a couple special 10th Anniversary releases, hopefully to be available by this tour, so keep an eye out for that. Thank you to everyone who has supported Intronaut for these past 10 years! We love you forever.”

 

NEW TOUR DATES:

11/6/14 - San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge w/ Anciients

11/7/14 - Sacramento, CA @ Starlite Lounge w/ Anciients

11/8/14 - Portland, OR @ Branx w/ Anciients

11/9/14 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile w/ Anciients

11/10/14 - Boise, ID @ The Shredder w/ Anciients

11/12/14 - Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater w/ Anciients

11/14/14 - Fort Worth, TX @ Tomcats w/ Anciients

11/15/14 - Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s Downstairs w/ Anciients

11/16/14 - Austin, TX @ Dirty Dog Bar w/ Anciients

11/18/14 - Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad w/ Anciients

11/19/14 - Mesa, AZ @ Club Red w/ Anciients

12/18/14 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy w/ Ides Of Gemini, Silver Snakes, and The Great Wall

 For more Intronaut visit here.

Pain Of Salvation PromoDaniel Gildenlöw has led his band PAIN OF SALVATION through a variety of fascinating evolutionary cycles since 1984, although the band’s first recording took place in 1996. Many amazing albums and memorable world tours later, they return to the States in September 2014. 

 Their first stop: two different shows on two different days in Atlanta, both under the umbrella of the ProgPower festival. The second show promises to be particularly special: they will perform 2002′s Remedy Lane album in its entirety on Saturday, September 13.

 From there the band plays 12 additional shows, taking them throughout the US and into Canada and even a stop in Mexico for the final date. Pain of Salvation is a cornerstone of the InsideOut label, releasing their first album, Entropia, for the label in 1997. Their latest album, Road Salt Two, was released in 2011.

DATES:

09/10/2014 - The Loft (Midweek Mayhem – ProgPower USA) – Atlanta, GA

09/13/2014 - Center Stage (ProgPower USA – Remedy Lane show) – Atlanta, GA**

09/14/2014 - Empire – Springfield, VA

09/16/2014 - Roxy and Dukes – Dunellen, NJ

09/17/2014 - Middle East – Cambridge, MA

09/18/2014 - The Marlin Room @ Webster Hall – New York, NY

09/19/2014 - Theatre Plaza – Montreal, QC

09/20/2014 - Coda – Toronto, ON

09/21/2014 - Reggie’s – Chicago, IL

09/24/2014 - El Corazon – Seattle, WA

09/26/2014 - Cheyenne Saloon – Las Vegas, NV

09/27/2014 - Ramona Mainstage – Ramona, CA

09/28/2014 - The Center Theatre – Whittier, CA

09/30/2014 - Jose Cuervo Salon – Mexico City, MX**

 ** PoS only

For more Pain Of Salvation visit here.

leprous band promoNorwegian cutting-edge prog metallers LEPROUS have announced a short but sweet string of North American dates. The seven-date jaunt sees them playing North America’s largest prog-friendly festival, Atlanta’s ProgPower, after which the band heads west then north into Canada, ending up with dates in New York City and Virginia before heading home.

 Leprous have appeared only once before in America, when in 2010 they played a ProgPower pre-festival gig in Atlanta. The band members played the festival itself a year later as back-up band for Ihsahn (the solo excursion of Emperor‘s guitarist/vocalist), a role they have fulfilled for nearly 10 years. This is Leprous‘ first-ever multi-show trip through North America. They will be supporting their phenomenal Coal album, released in 2013 on InsideOut.

DATES:

09/12/2014 - ProgPower USA – Atlanta, GA

09/16/2014 - The Token Lounge – Detroit, MI

09/17/2014 - Reggie’s – Chicago, IL

09/18/2014 - El Mocambo – Toronto, ON

09/19/2014 - Mavericks – Ottawa, ON

09/20/2014 - Studio @ Webster Hall, New York, NY

09/21/2014 - Empire – Springfield, VA

 For more Leprous visit here.

Fozzy-Do You Wanna Start A War CoverFOZZY

 

Do You Wanna Start A War

 

Century Media Records

 

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

 

Reviewed by: Jay Rybak

 

Before we start a war, I must start with a confession.  FOZZY, the band fronted by WWE Superstar Chris Jericho and consisting of members of Stuck Mojo, is one of the rare bands that provokes a humble admission from this critic- I was late to the party!  Let me explain; I was first introduced to the music of FOZZY back in 2010 (a mere 11 years after they got their start) when my friend Craig “Bam-Bam” Stegall gave me a copy of the band’s 2010 album, Chasing The Grail.  You see, it wasn’t that I hadn’t heard of them, it was rather more admittedly that because in 1999, when FOZZY first made their debut, the times were different.  New music was much less accessible without plunking down $15 and not being sure what you were going to get, especially for a college kid without a pot to piss in who knew exactly what he was getting when he plunked down $15 for a case of beer.  Call it misguided priorities, or simply call it being cheap.  Whatever you wanna call it I missed the train back then, and thankfully 11 years later I had a friend reach out his hand and pull me on.  Fast forward 4 years later and the ride continues with FOZZY‘s latest album, Do You Wanna Start A War, and the riders on this rock n’ roll locomotive won’t wanna get off.

The opening seconds of the album, and the air raid sirens of the title track almost serve as a warning; get ready because we’re about to launch an all out assault on your eardrums!  The next track, “Bad Tattoo” showcases the guitar prowess of Rich Ward and Billy Grey backed by the killer double bass of Frank Fontsere, and is highlighted by a Zeppelin-esque bridge that would make Jimmy Page blush.  Follow that up with the Ozzy-meets-Filter sound of the current single “Lights Go Out”, and we’re well on our way to one of FOZZY‘s best albums to date.

Now that they’ve gotten your attention, the boys throw us a curveball with the Sick Puppies sounding ballad “Died With You”, which shows Jericho‘s vocal range is much more than people give him credit for.  Traveling even further outside the norm, comes the pleasant surprise that is “Tonight”.  This upbeat rocker features a vintage 80′s sound with poppy overtones, so it should come as no surprise that they enlisted the vocals of Steel Panther’s Michael Starr to help out on this one.

Don’t let your guard down just yet, just around the corner is one of the highlights of the album in the form of the thrash rock face-melter “Brides Of Fire”.  I’d love to know how many drum skins met their untimely death on this recording!  Follow that up with yet another favorite in “One Crazed Anarchist”, Jericho‘s vocals backed by Ward‘s growling chorus put us right in that basement as the lunatic plots his evil plan.  Yet another that is sure to set the circle pits into rotation.

Take 5 parts FOZZY and mix in one part Christie Cook, and what you get is “Unstoppable”.  A catchy rocker that beckons comparisons to Halestorm, not simply because it features a female vocalist, but because it features a female vocalist with pipes on par with those of Lzzy Hale backed by a monster band with a catchy hook that leaves you begging for more.  Bring on the doom and gloom of “Scarecrow”, perhaps the only dud on the album.  Not that it’s a BAD song by any means, it’s just not a GREAT song in comparison to the rest of the album, not to mention it’s odd placement betwixt two high energy rockers.  Fear not my friends, “No Good Way” picks up the energy with a Shinedown-meets-Godsmack reflection on life and death that is sure to be a staple at rock radio for years to come.

Nothing can prepare you for what happens next…“S.O.S.”… a cover song… originally done by… ABBA!  I know you’re probably thinking “Fucking ABBA!?”, among other choice words, but there are two reasons to choose your words wisely: First, the song is an absolutely brilliant rendition that is in itself a perfect reason to own this album, and it  is guaranteed to be a favorite by anyone with a pulse.  Second, Chris Jericho can kick your ass!  Finally to end the album, FOZZY get back to their roots with “Witchery”; a song that begs comparisons to early All That Remains and when it’s finished makes you put down that pinky finger, take your hand out of the air, and while keeping that index finger extended, press repeat!

All in all, Do You Wanna Start A War is a must own, and comes highly recommended!!!  I waited WAY too long to get on the FOZZY train, don’t be like me!  Head out to your local record store now (yes, they do still exist), or if you can’t wait click here and purchase the album!  All Aboard!

 

nick menza promoThe Supermoon is the result of Earth’s Moon making it’s closest pass to our planet, but did this last Supermoon bring something else with it?  Former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza took his kids out into the backyard of his Studio City, CA home to see the phenomenon and, as the cell phone video below shows, he may have gotten more than he bargained for.  You be the judge…

As you can see, the appearance of the triangular shaped light arrangement lasted about as long as Menza’s 2004 reunion with Megadeth.

PrintAustralian powercore-metal pioneers, A BREACH OF SILENCE have revealed the cover art and track listing for their upcoming sophomore album The Darkest Road, out October 7 on Eclipse Records (Mushroomhead, Our Last Enemy, Bobaflex). The cover art was designed by Gabriel Serbanescu, who also designed art for the band’s 2013 debut album, Dead or Alive.

Additionally, a mix of four song snippets from the album has been posted online at this location.

The track listing for The Darkest Road is as follows:
1. T.P.N.E
2. The Darkest Road
3. Vultures
4. Silhouette
5. Hang ‘em High
6. In Reality We Trust
7. Lost at Sea
8. This is the End
9. Immortal
10. Hannibal
11. A Place I Know
12. Dead and Destroyed
13. Krazy B!tch
14. Time Still Remains

For this, their sophomore album, A BREACH OF SILENCE brought back legendary Swedish producers Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd (Bring Me the Horizon, Arch Enemy, In Flames) flying them “down under” to record at Acolyte Studios in Brisbane, Australia. The masters were later mixed at the infamous Studio Fredman in Sweden. A BREACH OF SILENCE are known for their unique mix of modern metalcore and power-metal vocal breakdowns which many of their fans refer to as ‘Powercore’. Clocking in at over 56 minutes, The Darkest Road delivers fourteen tracks of technical, impressive songwriting that will forever be remembered as the band’s defining moment in music history.

A BREACH OF SILENCE was thrown into the spotlight when they won Australia’s prestigious Q Music Award(2012) in the Best Heavy Song category. Shortly thereafter, the band inked a worldwide, multi-album deal with Eclipse Records, released thier debut album Dead or Alive (October, 2013) and have toured with bands such as Born of Osiris, Adept, The Amity Affliction, and Upon a Burning Body. In March of 2014, the band released their controversial Night Rider ‘first-person shooter’ music video which was inspired by their obsession with FPS video games and 1960’s classic westerns such as Hang ‘em High and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

THE DARKEST ROAD is scheduled to be released on October 7, 2014.

For more information on A BREACH OF SILENCE, please visit these websites:
www.EclipseRecords.com/A-Breach-Of-Silence
www.Facebook.com/abreachofsilenceband
www.Twitter.com/breachofsilence

theguessinggame_band

HOLLYWOOD, CA (July 23, 2014) – Seattle’s latest rising rock band, THE GUESSING GAME will kick-off tour dates in their hometown of Seattle for some intimate exclusive dates before heading down to the Guitars Under The Stars festival in Lebanon, OR. From there they will embark on a slew of Southern California dates including Hollywood’s Sunset Strip House Of Blues. More dates to be added in the next few weeks.

The band’s album Holy Crow, released on April 15th, on Guessing Game Music, and has been catching like wild fire. The Guessing Game has a knack for blending the energy of more traditional pure rock with great pop hooks, spiked with hair-raising guitar solos.

Formed in the summer of 2013, THE GUESSING GAME is the brain child of Jeff Rouse, long time bassist of Duff McKagan’s LOADED. “In the summer of 2013, I found myself with some much needed time on my hands. I knew it was time to find the right people to finally bring these songs I had been writing to life. Having spent the last 14 or so years writing, recording and touring in Loaded, it was time for me to get the “other” songs I had been working on out of my head, onto tape, and see what happens.”

Seeking out long time Seattle rock luminaries Kathy Moore (Brad, Satchel), Gary Westlake (Peter Frampton, Flight To Mars), Keith Ash (Star Anna), and Shawn Zellar(Redneck Girlfriend), Rouse knew this was something special – “They all breathed life and beauty into the songs and it was magnificent.”

Holy Crow drips of heartache, regret and finally redemption. Like that first drink Friday evening to that last sermon Sunday morning.

 SHOW DATES – More to be added~

 Sat, July 26th: Slim’s Last Chance, Seattle, WA, 9pm (on at 10pm)

w/ Kim Virant, Stereo Embers

Thurs, Aug 7thAdmiral Neighborhood Concert Series in Hiawatha Park, West Seattle, WA, 6:30pm-8pm

Sun, Aug 10thGuitars Under The Stars, Lebanon, OR, 2:30pm-3:30pm

w/ Lita Ford, Pat Travers Band, Gary Hoey

Fri, Aug 22ndNectar Lounge, Fremont (Seattle), 8pm 

w/ Strong Suit, Palooka and Jamie Nova Band

Fri, Aug 29thFoundation Room in the House of Blues, Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, 8pm (on at 10pm)

w/ Mark Knight & The Unsung Heroes and Karma Dealers

 

For more information go to www.facebook.com/TheGuessingGameBand or www.theguessinggameband.com.

 

rock_for_rubenLOS ANGELES (July 22, 2014)Grammy award winning rocker Rick Springfield is hosting a charity concert tagged “Rock For Ruben” to benefit his good friend and guitar tech Ruben Velasco.    Rick Springfield and band will perform a full concert along with John 5 (Rob Zombie) joining the stage for some serious shredding. More special guests to be announced in the following weeks to come. This is not a usual Springfield concert –Expect the unexpected!

 “I have been with Ruben since 1998. He has been my guitar tech for many years and a very close, dear friend,” explains John 5, guitarist for Rob Zombie. “It was heartbreaking to hear this news and it is so important to raise this money to help Ruben in his battle against cancer as well as raising awareness.”

The concert’s goal is to raise money to help pay for medical expenses associated with Ruben’s battle against cancer. Ruben Velasco, our friend and guitar tech extraordinaire is fighting for his life,” says Springfield. “He has been diagnosed with fourth stage cancer and has a lot of medical expenses coming up in his fight. Any and all donations would be loved and welcomed.”

This special benefit concert for Ruben will be held on August 20, 2014 at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.  The event will also include some exclusive VIP opportunities including a private pre-concert dinner with Rick and only 18 guests. For further details on the “Rock for Ruben” benefit concert, please visit: http://rickspringfield.com/rock-for-ruben.

Ruben’s favorite animal charity organization, Fur & Feather Animal Sanctuary, is also accepting individual donations on his behalf and will channel 100% of your donation directly to Ruben.  Donations can be made at:  www.youcaring.com/rubenscancerfund.

 

Photo Credit: Diamond- Getty Images

Photo Credit: Diamond- Getty Images

ICP

July 23, 2014-Subpeonas for evidence are issued daily in the American court system.  Most are for evidence in the form of testimony, some are for evidence in the form of text messages or emails, but the real anomoly is when an iconic rock star is asked to produce evidence in the form of a glass dildo!

Thanks to attorneys for Insane Clown Posse, Kid Rock will be asked to do just that.  As part of an ongoing sexual harrassment suit against ICP, Rock (whose legal name is Rob Ritchie) is being asked to produce the glass phallus that was given to him a couple of years ago by “Dirty Dan” Diamond, a former employee of ICP and Psychopathic Records.  Ritchie now has 14 days to respond and produce the item.

Diamond testified last Friday in Las Vegas that he attempted to give the alleged victim Andrea Pellegrini (another former employee of Psychopathic Records) the glass guy-part as a gift.  When she refused to accept it, Diamond did what any rational person would do and offered it up to Kid Rock.

According to Pellegrini‘s 17-page complaint she was consistently subject to sexual advances and bullying by her colleagues, in addition to being asked to perform legal work she dubbed unethical during her 3-year career at Psychopathic Records. She says she was given the toy by Diamond after he learned that she was single.  Diamond admitted under oath that he made sexually explicit remarks to Pellegrini.  Furthermore Pellegrini describes her experience at the 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos as “a living hell”.

Also named as defendants in the suit are ICP members Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler, whose stage monikers are Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, Psychopathic Records, and the group’s manager William Dale.

You may remember ICP being involved in a lawsuit against the federal government surrounding the findings of a 2011 FBI report that the group’s fans (known as Juggalos) be labeled with the gang-designation.  The group unsuccessfully contended that the gang-designation was causing ICP to lose fans, and violated the freedom of expression rights of the Juggalos.

Moral of the Story:  If a representative of two rapping clowns gives you a glass dildo, he is either giving you several STD’s, or a ticket to courtroom embarassment.  Choose wisely.

nonpoint-the returnNonpoint are set to release their next album entitled ‘The Return’ on September 30th.  Fans can hear the first single, “Breaking Skin”, at Nonpoint.com, or check it out below.  On releasing the band’s first album in two years frontman Elias Soriano explains, “Last record we stepped in a direction we’ve wanted to for years and our fans revered us for it. This record we have gotten up to speed and dropped the pedal to the floor. I think our fans will embrace this record in a way no other Nonpoint record has been viewed or loved. We left no room for question of what we are trying to accomplish with our music or who we are. We haven’t gone back to old school. We didn’t reflect on our past. We didn’t discuss what works. We are not ‘Statement’ Nonpoint or even ‘Bullet’ Nonpoint… The Return is Nonpoint right the fuck now.”

Fans can preorder the album at Nonpoint.com, or if that doesn’t satisfy your hunger, you can preorder CD and Merch bundles featuring ‘The Return’ CD, work shirt, zip-up hoodie, trucker hat, and sunglasses at MerchNow.  Nonpoint hits the road beginning August 9th in Birch Run, MI.  Tour dates are listed below.

August 9 – Birch Run, MI – Birch Run Expo Center
September 5 – Ashwaubenon, WI – Green Bay Distllery- Razor Edgefest
September 13 – Janesville, WI – Southern Wisconsin Airport
September 14 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Café
September 16 – Waterloo, IA – The Reverb
September 18 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
September 19 – Ft. Wayne, IN – Parkview Field
September 20 – Dayton, OH – Oddbody’s Music Room
September 21 – Erie, PA – BT Theater
September 24 – Pontiac, IL – Freaksters Roadhouse
September 25 – Chesterfield, MI – Diesel Concert Lounge
September 26 – Libertyville, IL – Austins
September 27 – Ringle, WI – Q&Z Expo Center
September 30 – Lacrosse, WI – The Cavalier Theater
October 1 – Mishawaka, IN – Smith’s Downtown
October 2 – Macomb, IL – The Forum Live
October 4 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life

 

otherwise-2014 band promoPeace comes through struggle. It’s a reward that’s earned rather than simply given. It’s the product of tireless work and an unbreakable spirit against all odds and opposition. OTHERWISE are no strangers to that struggle, rising up to become rock ‘n’ roll contenders in the face of a tumultuous musical climate and a series of personal hardships. The Las Vegas hard alternative rock quintet-Adrian Patrick [vocals], Ryan Patrick [guitar/vocals], Corky Gainsford [drums/vocals], Vassilios Metropoulos [bass], & Andrew Pugh [guitar/vocals]-catalog the next chapter of this journey on their second full-length album, PEACE AT ALL COSTS via Century Media Records.

 Lead single “Darker Side Of The Moon” quickly debuts on the U.S. active rock charts.  The guys have just confirmed a headline tour with Like A Storm & Islander.  Check out the dates below…

08/01     Las Vegas, NV @Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

08/21     Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory

08/22     Spokane, WA @Knitting Factory

08/23     Central Point, OR @ Lithia Motors Amphitheater

 09/11     Tempe, AZ @ Pub Rock Live with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/13     Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/14     Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival

09/16     Colorado Springs, CO @ Sunshine Studios Live with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/18     Ringle, WI @ Q&Z Expo Center with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/19     Racine, WI @ Rt. 20 with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/20     Green Bay, WI @ The Watering Hole with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/21     Battle Creek, MI @ Planet Rock with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/22     South Bend, IN @ Cheers with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/24     Ft. Wayne, IN @ Piere’s with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/25     Morgantown, WV @ Schmitt’s Saloon with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/26     York Sprngs, PA @ Fall Jam 2014 

09/27     Parkersburg, WV @ West Virginia Polo Club with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/29     New York, NY @ Webster Underground with Like A Storm & Islander 

10/01     Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballrooom with Like A Storm & Islander 

10/03     Flint, MI @ Perani Arena with Like A Storm & Islander 

10/04     Louisville, KY @ Louder Than Life Festival

10/17     Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Ballroom (with Buckcherry)

For more info visit weareotherwise.com

 

liason records logoJuly 21, 2014 – On August 19, Liaison Records will release the 25th Anniversary Edition of Better Than Ezra‘s first studio album, SURPRISE. Originally released on cassette only in 1989 by Swell Records, SURPRISE has been commercially unavailable and highly sought after by “Ezralites” for over two decades. You can check out the lyric video for the first single, “Circle Of Friends” below, and it is also available for download on iTunes & Amazon.

Newly re-mastered, SURPRISE is the only Better Than Ezra album to feature all four original members–Kevin Griffin (vocals, guitar), Joel Rundell (guitar), Tom Drummond (bass) & Cary Bonnecaze (drums).

Better Than Ezra formed in 1988 by Kevin Griffin and Cary Bonnecaze while attending LSU in Baton Rouge. With the addition of Joel Rundell and Tom Drummond, they moved into a house together and began focusing on writing their own songs which they would perform live and ultimately release on their debut studio album.

Cary recounts, “We recorded SURPRISE in a garage studio (literally) during the evenings and after classes, in the course of 5 days.  Once we had the cassettes made, we approached a local record store off the LSU campus to sell the album and within days it became their biggest selling album. We played bars and frat shows throughout the Southeast and sold SURPRISE wherever we could. Things seemed to be going well. Little did we know that within that year our world would change forever.”

“On August 8, 1990, after playing a show at Murphy’s Bar in Baton Rouge, Joel unexpectedly passed away. There is nothing like losing someone who you genuinely love and care for. It wasn’t ‘like’ losing a brother, we did lose a brother. This 25th Anniversary release is dedicated to Joel.

Continuing as a trio, Better Than Ezra released their second album, DELUXE, in 1993 on Swell Records. In 1995, Elektra Records re-released DELUXE and the single, “Good,” which helped push the album to Platinum status by the end of 1995.

As SURPRISE celebrates its 25th anniversary, Better Than Ezra has gone on to scan nearly two million albums in the United States.

messagetovenusMIAMI, FL – Florida’s 21st Century rock outfit, Message To Venus, has teamed up with Revolver to launch a brand new song, “Hollow,” from the band’s upcoming debut album, Victims & Villains. Stream “Hollow” today exclusively at RevolverMag.com by clicking here.

“‘Hollow’ is a track about living the life you want,” vocalist/guitarist, Jandre Nadal, told Revolver. “Making your own choices as a person. Not following a shadow of what someone wants for you. This song has a powerful chorus. A lot of people can relate to this subject.”

Message To Venus recently launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the release and promotion of Victims & Villains. The campaign, available online here, seeks to raise $10,000 during the months of July and August and offers several unique Victims & Villains perks, including advance music, a personalized Message To Venus comic book and more. Money raised during the campaign will be put toward a music video, touring expenses, marketing and more.

Commented the band:

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The same applies to an album that goes unheard. And we want to be heard!That’s why we’ve decided to make our new album available to you, our closest fans, in advance of the official release date. With your support, we can raise the money needed to properly release and promote our new album, ‘Victims & Villains.’ For your contribution, you’ll receive exclusive perks in return, from an autographed copy of the new album, a limited edition poster to even having your own personalized comic book!”

Victims & Villains was recorded in the band’s native San Juan, Puerto Rico with producer, Leo Alvarez.

Victims & Villains teaser video can be seen below.

The upcoming album follows the 2011 EP, ‘The Envelope,’ which, along with lead single, “Universal You,” drew praise from established artists such as Godsmack and Halestorm while receiving weekly spins at SiriusXM Octane, MusicChoice and more. The track was also featured in the motion picture, The Witness (El Testigo). Stream the “Universal You” music video on YouTube, or scroll down to check it out.

Following the release of ‘The Envelope,’ Message To Venus made the decision to relocate from San Juan to Miami, Fla. “Puerto Rico is beautiful…it’s our home,” explained guitarist, John Feliciano. “We play there as often as we can, but in order to expand globally we want to be planted on soil where touring opportunities are more frequent.”

After being nominated for a Latin Rock Award in the ‘Slam Alternativo/Rock’ category in 2012, as well as participation in the International Day of Non-Violence, Message To Venus successfully employed the help of fans through a crowdfunding campaign and toured the U.S. in 2013.

The quartet is now seeking its dedicated fans’ help again to bring Victims & Villains to the masses. Stay tuned to the campaign page and Facebook for the latest info and updates.

Soundtrack Of Summer Tour 2014According to TMZ.com, and verified by the bands publicists, two tour buses on the Soundtrack Of Summer Tour featuring STYX, Foreigner, and Don Felder caught fire Wednesday afternoon in Philly.  The buses were parked and unoccupied when one of them burst into flames and the fire quickly spread to the second bus.  The buses in question were “crew buses” and not “band buses”, and no one was injured in the blaze.  The bands still plan to play their scheduled show on Thursday night in Camden, NJ.

KIX-Band Promo 2014June 18, 2014 — For KIX, not recording any new music for two decades has been far too long. Fans have made it known for years that they want new music. And now, the time has finally come. The Maryland band is primed and ready to ROCK YOUR FACE OFF with their seventh new album set for release August 5 on Loud & Proud Records. It’s everything fans know and love them for: a raucous, roaring and real display of rock ‘n’ roll. The first single, “Love Me With Your Top Down,” will be released to radio and online retail outlets later this month. Eddie Trunk will exclusively world premiere the song during his “Friday Night Rocks” radio show originating from Q104.3 (heard in New York City, Long Island, NJ and CT) this Friday, June 20 from 11pm-2am ET. It will then air via his numerous North American syndicated affiliates on Saturday, June 20 and he’ll play it on Monday, June 23 during his “Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk” show that airs on SiriusXM’s “Hair Nation” channel (39) at 3pm PT/6pm ET.

As guitarist Brian “Damage” Forsythe explains, “When we first played ‘Love Me With Your Top Down’ live just a few months ago, it went over like gangbusters with the fans. It’s a catchy little tune with classic KIX flavor, a perfect choice for the first taste of the record.”

What makes the new album even more exciting and anticipated is that it features most of the band’s original line-up: Steve Whiteman (vocals), Brian “Damage” Forsythe (guitar), Ronnie “10/10″ Younkins (guitar), Jimmy “Chocolate” Chalfant (drums), with the exception of Mark Schenker (bass).

With ROCK YOUR FACE OFF, KIX stirs up their truest statement to date in 2014. “It’s still hot women, fast cars, and great moments,” concludes Whiteman. “I want everybody to end up on their feet, whether they’re working out or stuck in rush hour traffic. This is a release, something to lift your spirits when you need it. You can party to this one.”

KIX gracefully eased back into the public consciousness in 2008. After sold out hometown gigs, the quintet hit the stage at Rocklahoma in front of over 20,000 people, venturing out of the Mid-Atlantic for the first time in 13 years. The band was hailed by many music websites and attendees as “Best Performance” at the festival, where they played alongside Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Tesla, Queesryche, Ratt, and more. After capturing their fiery reunion on 2012′s LIVE IN BALTIMORE CD & DVD, the band agreed to enter the studio once again.

“In many ways, this is for the KIX diehards as much as it is for us,” guitarist Brian Forsythe explains. “When we started doing this again, tons of fans came out of the woodwork. They’d show up with their kids, and it was just incredible to see. We had to deliver for them.”

In order to deliver, the band enlisted the talents of producer Taylor Rhodes (Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne), with whom they had last collaborated on 1991′s HOT WIRE. Also, for the first time in the group’s history, each member contributed to the writing process, fostering an extremely creative and free environment in the studio. A new dawn commenced as they simultaneously harnessed their classic spirit.

“It was more free-flowing because everybody got to write and come up with ideas,” says singer Steve Whiteman. “We encouraged this new freedom within the creative process.”

Here’s the complete track listing of ROCK YOUR FACE OFF:

1. Wheels In Motion
2. You’re Gone
3. Can’t Stop The Show
4. Rollin’ In Honey
5. Rock Your Face Off
6. All The Right Things
7. Dirty Girls
8. Inside Outside Inn
9. Mean Miss Adventure
10. Love Me With Your Top Down
11. Tail On The Wag
12. Rock & Roll Showdown

Stay tuned for new tour news, but check them out at any of the following stops in the meantime:

DATE CITY VENUE

Sat 6/21 Idaho Falls, ID Rock The Falls
Thu 7/10 Hughesville, PA Lycoming County Fair
Fri 7/25 Royalton, MN Halfway Jam
Thu 7/31 Leemore, CA Tachi Palace Casino
Sat 8/2 Leonardtown, MD Southern Maryland Brew & BBQ Fest
Sat 8/16 Greencastle, PA Greencastle Legion Grounds
Sat 9/13 Berlin, MD Soundwave Festival at Airlift Acres
Sat 9/20 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
Sat 10/25 Camp Hill, PA Radisson Convention Center
Sat 12/20 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live (KIXmas)

Watain 2014 promoThis past Sunday (June 15th), Swedish black metal tyrants WATAIN returned to North America to deliver their infamous stage ceremony of blood, fire, and death. During this special performance at the Brooklyn Bazaar, the band hurled pig’s blood into the crowd, baptizing NY fans in filth as part of their Satanic ritual. For a video clip from the show, head over to TMZ.com for the exclusive, “disgusting” footage:

While WATAIN‘s Brooklyn concert will be the trio’s only US appearance of 2014, the band promises to bring their uncompromised live show back to the States soon. Fans abroad can catch WATAIN at various European festivals throughout the summer, where the band will be playing in support of their critically acclaimed fifth full-length album, The Wild Hunt, which was unleashed last year worldwide via Century Media Records. To purchase The Wild Hunt, please visit iTunes for a digital copy or CM Distro for a variety of physical formats. For a preview of WATAIN‘s “most daring album yet” (Decibel Magazine), the video for “Outlaw” can be viewed here.

WATAIN live:
Jun. 20–Hellfest–Clisson, France
Jun. 27–Grasspop Metal Meeting–Dessel, Belgium
Jul. 26–Carpathian Alliance Metal Festival–Volosyanka, Ukraine
Aug. 1–Resurrection Fest–Viveiro, Spain
Aug. 7–Party San Open Air–Schlotheim, Germany
Aug. 8–Getaway Rock Festival–Gavle, Sweden
Aug. 16–Summer Breeze Open Air–Dinkelsbuhl, Germany
Sept. 5–Meh Suff! Metal-Festival–Hüttikerberg, Switzerland
Sept. 6–Fall of Summer Festival–Torcy, France

Sevendust Band Promo 2014June 17, 2014 –The City Drive Entertainment Group has announced it has made a deal to film Atlanta-based hard rock icons Sevendust for a landmark multi-show live DVD and documentary.

Production on the feature-length documentary is set to begin immediately and take six months, and will include historical footage; footage from the band’s current “An Evening With Sevendust” acoustic tour; interviews; and cameos from Tommy Lee, Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge), Scott Phillips (Alter Bridge and also a member of Sevendust guitarist John Connolly and bassist Vince Hornsby’s band, Projected), Wolfgang Van Halen and many others. City Drive/DC3 will film the concert portion of the project in New York City. They expect to film two full-length shows back-to-back: an acoustic show followed by a plugged-in show—the band’s last plugged-in show of 2014. The band will offer tickets for both shows to fans at one price and they’re expecting a very quick sell out. Tickets will go on sale sometime in late June. On sale info will be announced soon.

The plugged-in show will showcase more firepower than Sevendust has ever deployed, with pyrotechnics, spectacular lighting, video projection and screens, and special effects. Drummer/vocalist Morgan Rose promises, “We’re going to bring on so much production, it will amaze people. We’re going to blow sh** up, we’re going to have fire, we’re going to have dragons, we’re going to have fire-breathing dragons. It may be the only time fans will ever get to see us this way!”

Guitarist Clint Lowery explains, “The essence of this band is playing live and that’s what we’re finally documenting for this project. What’s unique about it is that it will share both sides of this band—the melodic and the aggressive—with our most die-hard fans. This film is a heartfelt way to show them, our children and the whole world who we were, who we became, where we are and where we’re going.”

“We’re already on the road to make this project happen,” says award-winning film director Daniel Catullo III, CEO of The City Drive Entertainment Group and DC3 Music Group, the director and producer of the project. He started shooting Sunday, June 8th at the band’s show in at the Starland Theatre in Sayreville, NJ, just across the river from New York City. “We aim to capture the band’s live essence—acoustic and plugged-in—as well as to document their long history of genre-bending innovation in the hard rock arena.”

“Fans will be part of the films, and how could they not be?” Catullo adds. “They are the heart of Sevendust’s success and literally made the band’s current album possible.” The film will feature interviews with up to 100 fans. Catullo urges fans that want to be interviewed for the film to put in their requests at Sevendust@citydrivefilms.com. City Drive/DC3 expects to release the DVD/CD project in early 2015.

Atlanta-based Sevendust, comprised of Lajon Witherspoon (vocals); Morgan Rose (drums/vocals), Clint Lowery (guitar/vocals), John Connolly (guitar/vocals) and Vince Hornsby (bass/vocals) formed in 1994 and released their first eponymous record in 1997, which was certified gold.

Sevendust released their critically acclaimed tenth (and second acoustic) album, TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES, on the band’s 7Bros. Records label, in conjunction with ADA Label Services, on April 15. The album of new and re-recorded acoustic material debuted at the top of Billboard’s Hard Music Albums chart. Crowdfunded with a PledgeMusic campaign, which kicked off in November, fan response was so great the band was able to start recording TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES at Architekt Music in Butler, NJ—where they recorded their previous album “Black Out The Sun” in January 2013. By the time the campaign ended, they’d reached 235% of their goal with almost 3500 pledges.

The band is currently headlining an acoustic tour, “An Evening With Sevendust,” to support the release. The tour kicked off this past April in Athens, GA and has dates booked through the end of June, with more dates to come throughout the summer.

Daniel E Catullo III has produced over 200 music videos and 150 live TV specials in his 20-year career. Catullo was an Executive Producer of the Oscar-nominated 2013 documentary THE SQUARE. That film, chronicling the uprising the toppled Mubarak regime in Egypt, the went on to win many awards at film festivals from Sundance and Toronto to Dubai and Carmel. It also won the 2013 IDA Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Catullo has won or been nominated for multiple awards including Grammy, Telly, Golden Eagle Cine, IDA, Demmy and Webby awards in his career. In addition to Sevendust, Catullo has worked with recording and performing artists including: Alter Bridge; Rage Against The Machine; Godsmack; Creed; Chickenfoot; Black Eyed Peas; Guns N Roses; Slash; KISS; Rush; and many others. Catullo is also founder of former production powerhouse Coming Home Studios and the DC3 Music Group.

The City Drive Entertainment Group, Inc. is a finance, production and distribution company with offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, Sacramento and New York. City Drive specializes in documentaries and live concert DVD’s. Recent projects include Mariah Carey Live In Central Park; THE SQUARE; TED x Hollywood; and Alter Bridge Live From Milan. The Company currently has a number of productions in the works including four new documentaries and several high profile music projects, including a co-production with Electus and Eminem’s Shady Films. For more information please visit www.thecitydrivegroup.com.

Nothing More ST Album Cover

NOTHING MORE

 

Nothing More

 

Eleven Seven Music

 

9.5 out of 10

 

Release Date: 6/24/14

Every year a new band bursts unto the scene and takes the rock world by storm. In 2014 it’s nothing less than inevitable that the head-turner will be Nothing More.  For proof of that one need look no further than their forthcoming eponymous debut.

The album opens with “Ocean Floor” (or as radio listeners know it, the intro to “This Is The Time (Ballast)”), building with each note until plunging us headlong into the first single “This Is The Time”.  Now that the blood is pumping, enter the Escape The Fate-meets-My Chemical Romance sound of  “Christ Copyright”, and you’ll surely sign on the dotted line!  Buckle up kids, the roller coaster ride is just beginning.  “Mr. MTV” and “First Punch” show no mercy before the instrumental olive leaf that is “Gyre”.  While not a huge fan of instrumentals, this is one that could easily be placed on Metallica‘s …And Justice For All, and none would be the wiser.

The album’s second half is a true testament to the band’s diversity.  From the contrasts of the hard hitting “The Matthew Effect” to the radio friendly ballad “I’ll Be OK”, we can easily see why frontman Jonny Hawkins stepped out from behind the kit despite having what he described to me as an “atrocious” voice.  The anthemic “Here’s To The Heartache” continues the journey through the album’s third quarter, until we reach two of my favorites, “Jenny” and “God Went North”.  These are two songs that are not only a microcosm of the entire album, but the most powerful in their meaning.  “Jenny” is one of the rare songs where you can actually “feel” the music from the moment it hits your ears, in fact I challenge anyone to sit completely still while listening to it.  You’ve got better odds of seeing Charlie Manson in a church choir.  Speaking of church, “God Went North” is an ode to Hawkins‘ mother’s final year and her increasing religious beliefs, that draws from his emotional depths to bring us the softer side of Nothing More, before closing out with another instrumental in “Pyre”.

From the opening track “Ocean Floor” to the pounding rain of “Pyre”, this album is a non-stop onslaught of prog-rock perfection.  The only thing keeping this album from garnering a perfect score is my personal adversity to instrumentals.  All in all the self titled debut from Nothing More is nothing less than one of 2014′s best albums.  This album comes extremely highly recommended!

Well, what are you waiting for? “This is the time” when you make your ears happy and click here to pre-order 2014′s Top Album Contender! And don’t forget to check out Nothing More on Tour this fall with Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, and Hellyeah!

Nothing More Promo 2014My first introduction to Nothing More came in the form of an announcement in March of this year that Eleven Seven Music had signed the band to a five album guaranteed contract.  Having known the type of bands that Eleven Seven rosters, my interest was immediately piqued.  My curiosity further grew when I found out the quartet from Texas would be headed to my neck of the woods to perform at Fort Rock, but when I received an advance of their forthcoming album I was completely blown away!  So when approached with the idea of interviewing the band, my answer was as obvious as Axl Rose‘s weight gain.  Little did I know that I would not only be treated to a mind-blowing live show, but I would get to sit down and chat with two of the nicest guys in rock and have a rare interview that literally lived up to the old quote: “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’ll change your life.”  So join me as we talk, laugh, and even cry (sort of) about everything from beating drugs-to-beating the drums-to-beating the meat. (Yes, you read that last one right)

AWAY-TEAM: First I’d like to start off by saying Congratulations on the upcoming release of your major label debut album! It’s definitely one of my favorites that I’ve heard in a while! You guys really killed it…

JONNY HAWKINS: Awesome! Thanks man!

AWAY-TEAM:  Take us back to the beginning.  How did Nothing More come to be?

JONNY HAWKINS: I originally met Daniel (Oliver, bass) and Mark (Vollelunga, guitar) when I was in 7th grade.  We played in different projects, and school bands, and things like that for years; and then Daniel, by a stroke of fate, ended up living with Mark while they were in college.  They were a little bit older than me at the time, but then at some point we convinced Dan to join our band, Mark and I were in Nothing More.  Dan didn’t want to at the time because he thought we were way too committed, (laughs) and he was like “I don’t know if I wanna do it…”

DANIEL OLIVER: They spent the night at each other’s houses for band practices, and they were like full blown; I was like “I don’t know if I wanna do that” ya know. (both laugh)  I lived with Mark though, and i just kinda lost my mind, I was 20 years old, I quit everything and moved to Colorado.  I road 1,000 miles in a day on my motorcycle with just a tent and my coffee pot, just to kinda find myself again, and find a place where nobody knew me.  That whole experience, I met these amazing people that just, that’s how they lived, they went out and did what they loved despite any adverse reactions from family, or anybody pressuring them to make money or settle down.  This group that just did what they loved, they traveled, and rafted, or they were ski bums.  I came back and, I was studying mechanical engineering, and I just felt like I had to come back.  I lived with Mark and I saw what he was writing, and I was just like “Wow! This is awesome!”   I vividly remember going to a show and Jonny was the drummer at the time before I was even in the band, and it was this epic show, and Jonny does this drum solo; I was like “I can write some grooves with that guy!” (laughs) After that, I was like “I’m in!” We kinda pulled it together and were like “Let’s go out and do it!” Noone’s gonna tell us to drop out of school and not get normal jobs, but there’s nothing stopping us from going out and doing it for ourselves.

JONNY HAWKINS:  And we kind of adopted Daniel‘s philosophy on life.  we each kind of learn from each other, and one of the biggest things we learned from him was “Fuck Plan B! Throw it out the window!” because if you wanna do something that requires a lot of risk, you just have to go at it 100%  A lot of times when the going gets rough, it’s that “Plan B” that becomes your escape route.  So for us we united around that philosophy, and that’s why we’ve got these scars on our arms. (lifts sleeve to reveal scars caused by the band branding themselves for each year they spent on the road)  It represents our commitment to each other, and to the vision, and that we wouldn’t stop until we saw it through to it’s fruition.  We were on our way, and then about three years ago the final piece of the puzzle, Paul O’Brien (drums), joined the band.  We used to tour with his other band, Pandemic, they were from Louisiana and we were from Texas, so they were kind of our neighbor, brother band.  They ended up calling it quits, and Paul still wanted to go.  He always really respected what we did, and vice-versa we respected what he did in Pandemic, and it was just the obvious choice when we were looking for drummers.  The rest is history!

AWAY-TEAM: I know you used to be the drummer…

DSCN4529JONNY HAWKINS: Yeah, when I started out with Dan and Mark I was the drummer for about maybe 5-8 years.  At some point, the band kind of filtered down through a lot of going out there and touring, and it was just kind of a filtering process.  We had Mark, Dan, and myself, even though we had other band members throughout the process; we were at this point where we were like “What are we gonna do? We don’t have a singer…”.  I really felt this, I don’t know what the word is, but my gut, my subconscious; I had listened to it in the past in other really big life decisions, and in hindsight had seen that it would always lead me in the right direction.  I started getting that really strong feeling about being the singer, even though I had nothing but fear and doubt at that time.  Even my parents, who support me in everything, and people around me were all telling me it’s a bad idea because I was not a good singer.  If you would’ve heard me then, it was atrocious, and you would’ve thought the same thing, and I even thought the same thing, but I’ve trusted my heart in the past and I don’t think now is any different.  I really had that strong feeling, so I started learning how to sing over the next few years, and the guys supported me in that.  And it really turned out to be the right decision, and I’m happy that I followed that instinct.

AWAY-TEAM: And I know you’ve got a lot of fans that are happy about that as well! So when I received your album advance, the first song that I heard was “Christ Copyright”.  I immediately loved the sound.  My first reaction was that you guys had this Escape The Fate-meets-Coheed & Cambria or My Chemical Romance type of sound, but there’s a lot more to your sound.  For those who’ve never heard it before, how would you describe your sound?

JONNY HAWKINS: Umm, I would draw a symbol on the wall and say “It sounds like that.” (everyone laughs) But in all seriousness, it’s most definitely in the rock-progressive world.  Sometimes we joke around and say we’re diet metal.  Really we have a variety of influences, and I guess our vision for our music now and in the future, we really wanna extend beyond a particular genre and a title.  So when people ask us who we are and what we sound like, I get real reluctant to answer that question too specifically.  I really just wanna have a pair of headphones and go “We sound like this!” 

DANIEL OLIVER: I think one really cool thing about this band is that as a unit we’re all writers, we all push each other to write.  Ya know, there’s not only one guy writing songs and showing them to the band, it’s really this collective idea based on whatever our influences are.  Like I know for me personally there aren’t a lot of good bass players in the rock world, I don’t think; or it’s not like a prominent instrument anymore.  So to be able to play with a group of guys where I’ll do something, or write something just on bass, and to have it accepted and change how they were writing.  It’s all about building off each others ideas, and I think that’s the only way to get somewhere different.  It’s like the song started out sounding like a particular thing, and then each person threw in an idea that changed the writing of the other individuals to get it to where it’s complete and we’re happy.

JONNY HAWKINS: It really is, we sound like democracy.

DANIEL OLIVER: (laughs) Yeah, we sound like democracy! Democracy pushing it, moving it along.

AWAY-TEAM: (laughs)  There’s the answer I was looking for! (all laugh)… You mentioned having many different influences, who are some of your biggest influences?

JONNY HAWKINS:  Very hard to narrow down…

DANIEL OLIVER:  A huge one is Thrice for sure.  Both musically and lyrically, even philosophically.  That’s a band that really goes out and speaks their mind, they dig deep and they create interesting stuff.  It’s heavy, but then they’ll release something like “The Alchemy Index”, which is all of their interests in a full EP release kind of thing.

JONNY HAWKINS:  We’ve always found a lot of our strongest influences come from bands that, not necessarily musically are progressive, but conceptually are progressive.  What I mean by that is people who really think in layers, and have a deep quality to their lyrics and the music.  Ben Folds is an artist that does that with a lot of his songs.  Tool is a big influence, a band called dredg, The Mars Volta.  Even artists real outside of our genre like Alanis Morrisette, Imogen Heap, Jurassic 5.

DANIEL OLIVER:  There’s a band Fair To Midland, out of Texas, that’s been a big influence of ours.  We run across bands that really push the envelope sometimes, and to have it impact us, them doing something so crazy, I think that’s what really influences us the most.

AWAY-TEAM: You guys recently signed a five year guaranteed deal with Eleven Seven

DANIEL OLIVER: Five albums.

AWAY-TEAM: Five albums. (laughs) Geez, five years, like your baseball players. We’re at the baseball park so I’m thinking baseball deals! (all laugh)

JONNY HAWKINS:  It’s more like fifteen years! (all laugh)

AWAY-TEAM:  A deal like that is nothing to sneeze at.  How did that all come about?  Was it through shopping demos? Was it through someone caught you out on tour? How did that come to be?

Nothing More_Daniel OliverDANIEL OLIVER:  Well honestly there was one other time, like a year and a half ago, before Eleven Seven found us, that Red Bull Records was hot on us.  They ended up passing because they’re owned by an energy drink. (laughs) But, I don’t know, it was a cold call honestly.  No shopping, no great effort to meet labels.  We were playing L.A., en route to Sacramento to play the Aftershock Festival last September; we heard about them (Eleven Seven) about a week before, they said they were gonna send a deal proposal, they sent a couple scouts out to the show and that was kind of it with Eleven Seven. Then that festival out in Sacramento happened, we were the second band of the whole festival, first day, second band, Side Stage; we kinda went in there like “Oh man, you never know with festivals. We might be laying for nobody.”  Our manager was with us and he’s like “Guys, there is industry here.  Just go out there like you always do and slay it!”  Turns out, one it was an epic show, the audience was great, and we got asked to play the second day on the Main Stage at 3 p.m. in front of 15,00 people.  After that everything kinda blew wide open, but at the end of the day after different labels came to us and we talked with them, Eleven Seven was just so passionate about it.  Ya know, there a smaller label, they have a lot of huge bands, and they just dug it, and they got it, and they wanted to push it, and that’s all that mattered.  It doesn’t matter the name of the label, or how much money they have, it’s all about the people who are in charge caring and doing something for you.

AWAY-TEAM: I have heard that about Eleven Seven in the past.  Ed (Sloan) from Crossfade had a lot of great things to say about them. Tremendous label to be with… and there goes Jonathan Davis (as the Korn singer walks by our table)

DANIEL OLIVER: (in a cartoonish voice) Hey Dude! (all laugh)

JONNY HAWKINS: On a deeper level though, it was really just a “Build it and they will come.”  It was not really trying to fight to get on a label.  We had kinda given up hope that we’d even be on a label.  We thought we were gonna be DIY the rest of our lives.  we jsut focused on building ourselves and our show, and it really just came to us.  I think that was a huge lesson, not only about that, but about everything in life, ya know.

AWAY-TEAM:  Now when you signed with them, I’m sure things changed a little bit, you’re still you, but what was the first thing you bought when you signed with them? I know Will (Tour Manager) mentioned you guys were driving a taco truck, so I know it wasn’t a new bus! (all laugh)

JONNY HAWKINS: A ton of cocaine, a Corvette, umm. I’m just kidding…

AWAY-TEAM: (laughs)

DANIEL OLIVER:  No, we really just stuck to what we’ve always done, and that was just reinvesting in what we did.  We spent the money on equipment, and pushing to be a national band, and to do these festivals. We kind of have a complicated stage set up, so to really do it how we wanted we had to reinvest in a bunch of equipment.  we also took that opportunity to set it all up to where we can begin forwarding the next live show, which we’ve always been kinda known for.  So we’re just reinvesting to reinvent for ourselves.

AWAY-TEAM:  That’s probably the smartest answer I’ve ever heard to that question! (all laugh in agreement)  I wanna get to some of the songs that are on the album, I’d love to talk about the entire album but we don’t have enough time! (joking in reference to the 15 song album which will be reviewed right here in the coming weeks) But, the aforementioned “Christ Copyright”, what was the inspiration behind that?  It seems like Texas has kind of a strong Christian belief system, is that how you guys grew up? And is that kind of where this song came from? What was the inspiration? 

Nothing More_Jonny Hawkins 2JONNY HAWKINS:  Totally.  We most definitely grew up in the “Bible Belt”, and there’s usually one of two paths people typically take when they grow up in a very religious area.  They either stay very religious, and they’re just as hardcore as their parents were, or they’re equally as rebellious and opposite of that.  I think “Christ Copyright” was our intent to sort of find the middle ground between the two polar extremes, and try to find the root of these differences.  America is very, very polarized, whether politically or religiously, and with “Christ Copyright” we were trying to put a spotlight on the real problem at hand, that everybody is trying to preach about, or sell to you, or fix.  It’s not what’s appearing on the surface, it’s not what religion you are, or what political party you happen to subscribe to, it’s whether you’re dogmatic or not.  And dogma, which sounds like a complicated philosophical word, is really about whether someone is humble or not, and open to the idea that they don’t know everything, and neither do you, and neither do I.  So I think if we approach each other from this point of view that “Yes. I’ve lived my life, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons, and I do have beliefs and opinions; but I realize that at any moment I could learn something that changes all of that. Because there’s new information that I’d never considered before.” To be open in that way is the way of growth, and really the way of being a real man or a real woman, not a pawn.  I think you become a pawn the second you buy into the idea that red team’s the winner, or blue team’s the winner, or I’m this religion, or that political party.  Because it’s not really about that.  That’s all smoke and mirrors.  It’s really the heart of all of that.  So “Christ Copyright” was trying to convey that, but also say that there’s so many talking heads and pastors who are trying to sell you on this idea of heaven.  You can buy into it, and it may or may not be true, but at the end of the day what I do notice is that when you do buy into it usually somebody makes money!

AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) So true!

DANIEL OLIVER:  And I think even more pointedly, like for instance when I lived in Nashville for a year, and we all kind of grew up in the church, I got involved with this crazy charismatic group.  They literally just used fear in the name of God, to try to change people to be what they felt was right.  Just straight up fear.  When you really look at that it’s like, if someone is coming into the presence of quote-unquote God and their first emotional feeling for him is that of fear, out of some unreasonable death sentence to hell that we were all born out of, that’s the same thing as a woman’s first experience with sex is her being molested.  It’s just not right! It’s not right, and there are a lot of people that just fucking don’t see that!  They don’t see that they’re using fear, and they’re manipulating people because of that out of their own penance to God, because of their own guilt.  In the bridge it’s like “If they scream loud, they’ll muscle the crowd.”, and that’s all it is.  It’s just that you’re screaming louder than I am, you’re no smarter, you’re no better.  You happen to have a proclivity to not masturbate at night, so therefore you feel you’re a better Christian than I am? (all laugh as Tour Manager turns his head from a nearby table) You know, it’s like “Fuck You!” Anyway, if that makes any sense.

AWAY-TEAM: Amen!

JONNY HAWKINS:  Amen! (laughing)

AWAY-TEAM: I went to Catholic school up until my Senior year of High School, so I know what you’re talking about man!

JONNY HAWKINS: Oh Really? So you know. (laughing) That’s crazy.

DANIEL OLIVER: Will‘s like “Did I just hear masturbate in an interview?” (all laugh)

JONNY HAWKINS: And it ended with “Fuck You!” and “Amen!” (laughing)

Nothing More_Jonny Hawkins 3AWAY-TEAM:  (Management has given word that we only have another 2-3 minutes. Time flies when you’re having fun)  So there’s a couple songs I wanna touch on, and I know they’re probably a little bit painful for you (Jonny), but “God Went North” and “Jenny”.  I know they’re kind of straight forward and you get the message, but if it’s cool with you I’d like to know the back story behind them.

JONNY HAWKINS:  Yeah, totally.  My mom, whom I had a very great relationship with other than the normal annoyances of having a mom, was a painter.  I learned my creative side, and everything that I do in music from her.  She really instilled that in me.  As I was in High School, I got the news that she had an extremely aggressive cancer that was a 99% death rate.

AWAY-TEAM: Wow! Man.

JONNY HAWKINS: There was no chemo, radiation, none of that did anything for people who had this type of cancer.  So with that news, basically my family went a few different directions, as do most people when they’re given that kind of news.  First we tried to fight it every way we could, through health food and healthy living, and it didn’t really change what was happening.  Then the next thing, my mom had desperation to be here longer with her children who weren’t grown up yet all the way, she got more religious.  As we went through that time, I was becoming an adult and I was in college, my sisters were younger so they really had it harder going through that process.  One of my sisters is named Jenna, which is what the song “Jenny” was about.  As my mom got more religious, in hopes of getting healed, she joined one of those faith-based healing churches as kind of a “Hail Mary”, if you will.  The only way, those churches teach, that it works is that you really truly believe in it.  So she bought in, and the weird thing about it was that she did have a spontaneous remission after one of the weird experiences in those healing services.  It really did go away 100%, or I guess not 100%, but according to the doctors they could not find it anymore.

AWAY-TEAM: Wow!

JONNY HAWKINS:  So her life was extended another year or so more than it should have been.  So that really caused her to further believe this faith-based healing stuff, and as time went on she started getting more and more hardcore, and I was getting less and less religious because I saw a different point of view than she did.  I didn’t think that it was because of the beliefs that she had, as much as it was about this emotional state that she was in during that process that people of other religions have also had spontaneous remissions in.  I had a different theory as to why it was happening, and so it was a struggle for us to be going different directions but to still hold on to her as my mother through that sickness.  And at the end, I loved her and I didn’t want her to die, but she was suffering so much when the cancer came back a year later.  She was down to skin and bones, and had tumors just protruding out of her stomach, her legs were bloated like someone who had been submerged in water for days.  It was just heartbreaking to watch her live like that for us.  So I really wanted her to die, because I didn’t want her to be feeling like that anyomore.  That’s where the whole “If you won’t save her, please just take her” lyrics came from.  And at the same time, the song “Jenny” was written about my sister who at that time was going through her own denial and grieving process.  She got, unfortunately, involved with a lot of the wrong people, and she ran from the problem and got addicted to some hard drugs.  She also had some mental, very clinical level bi-polar mixed in with that.  When you mix a mental illness with hard drugs, that’s usually a cocktail for destruction.  She went down this spiral, and it got so horrible, it was breaking my mom’s heart because she was holding on for dear life trying to hang in there to get my sister through it, as a mother.  There’s a lot more to the story that I don’t have time to go into, but basically it just, those are the two most heartbreaking things I have ever been through in my life.  The one thing my mom… (visibly getting choked up) Sorry.  The one thing my mom taught me, bringing it back to why I started this story, she was a painter, and growing up as she’d teach me to paint and draw, she always taught me that there was no such thing as a mistake.  To be a good painter, you never viewed any stroke of the brush as a mistake, you viewed it as an opportunity for a new purpose, and you went with it.  She was an amazing painter because of that simple view.  With her death, and my sister spiraling out of control, I learned from my mom to look at that as an opportunity, so we wrote those songs together.  I felt like those things were just meaningless, purposeless, God-awful suffering; but I decided at the end of it that it could either be that, or I could make meaning out of it and give it purpose.  With the guys’ help, together we wrote those songs and we gave it purpose.  Now it’s touching other people who have gone through similar circumstances, and I feel healing through those songs.

AWAY-TEAM:  It takes a lot to put that out there for the world, and I appreciate you telling me the story behind it.  I hope everything works out well with you and your family.  Thanks so much for your time! Best of luck with the album! I look forward to doing this again sometime soon.  I feel like we could talk all day about your album, and I appreciate you giving me your time.

JONNY HAWKINS & DANIEL OLIVER: Thank you!

Nothing More is currently out doing a few dates with Killswitch Engage, and will be heading out this fall with Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, and Hellyeah.  For more info including tour dates and to pre-order their killer debut album, which comes out June 23rd, click here.