Grammy Nominated rock act Godsmackhas had their share of surprises in their careers, but being accused of Satanism? Well that’s definitely a first! The St. Mary’s Parish (aka Westboro Baptist 2.0) led by Rev. Timothy Nelson [insert Father Nelson joke here] in Jackson County, MI has asked that Godsmack’s performance at the Jackson County Fair be cancelled citing that the band’s lyrics degrade women, children, and the weak, and wait for it… they promote Satanism!
Yeah, that’s right, the same band that has donated to Children’s Charities, and played for the troops that protect the very freedoms these morons use to spread their fear-mongering. I’ve personally seen the band nearly 30 times so I guess that makes me a regular Aleister Crowley! If these folks are so concerned about family values, where was the uproar when the famous homewrecker LeAnn Rimes took the stage at last year’s fair? It’s mind-blowing to see what lemmings people can become when their church leaders paint the picture of a fantasy world in which they think we live. Read for yourself and make your own judgement on their sanity…
JACKSON, MI – The metal band Godsmack promotes evil and Satan — that’s what the Rev. Timothy Nelson from St. Mary’s Parish and a group of residents believe.
The group was hoping the Jackson County fair board would cancel the Aug. 5 show at the 2013 Jackson County Fair, but fair organizers say that won’t be happening.
Denise Owens, the Jackson County Fairoperations director, said tickets are selling really fast and there is no chance it will be canceled.
Nelson distributed a flier to parishioners Sunday, July 21 urging them to contact the county fair board members to express their disgust with the band’s presence at the county fair. In that flier he states that the lyrics of the band are “evil, strewn with obscenities and violent.”
“If you look at the name Godsmack, what does that mean? Do you smack God?” Nelson said. “The name is irreverent and when you look at the lyrics it’s less than edifying.”
He also has issues with the band Pop Evilopening for Godsmack.
“It leaves the suggestion that evil is not that bad. Evil is very bad,”Nelson said.
Jackson resident Billie Buda attended the Tuesday, July 23 fair board meeting with her husband. About 35 to 40 residents who are against the band playing attended the meeting and about 15 spoke during public comment.
Buda has grandchildren who will be attending the fair — but not on the day Godsmack plays.
“I don’t want them to be at the fair when this concert is going on and they are not going to the concert, I know that,”Buda said.
Her oldest grandchild is 15.
“Their (fair board) mission statement says it is a family-oriented venue. This goes against their own mission statement,” she said. “There are a lot of bands that are good and some that are into witchcraft and the devil.”
Nelson tied the issue into his Sunday, July 21 sermon where he told parishioners they should be “prudent” about who they let in their home.
“You need to be hospitable and kind to people ,but you also have to be prudent about who you let into your home,”Nelson said. “ I just think that the Jackson community deserves better.”
He is hoping the fair board will reconsider the type of bands that play in the future at the county fair.
Owens said a county survey was conducted in the past five years and residents asked for bands other than the traditional classic rock bands that were popular 30 years ago.
“We had a lot of input on the different types of music they wanted to hear,” she said adding that ticket sales for Godsmack have been “really good.”
Nelson said he will pray for Godsmack, Pop Evil and the members of the county fair board.
“I’ll keep them in my prayers,” he said.
Here’s hoping Sully and the boys play the show of their lives and rain down a plague of rock ‘n roll locusts unto Nelson and his lemmings!
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
POP EVIL DEBUT BRAND NEW SINGLE “TRENCHES”
All New Album “Onyx” Due Out May 14, 2013
(NEW YORK, NY) – Rock powerhouse, POP EVIL have debuted a brand new single this evening called “Trenches” via their Facebook Page. Click HERE to listen!
The band has been hard at work on their upcoming full length freshly titled “Onyx” due out on May 14, 2013. The message of “Trenches” applies to the world of art as well as the world of sports, the military, or anyone struggling with the economic downturn, like POP EVIL’s home state of Michigan.
“It’s about our battles,” Kakaty says. “Not focusing on the things we can’t control, if we really want to be a band that stands the test of time we have to write the music that connects. We have to dig our way out of the trenches.”
During a slump in the music industry, POP EVIL is living proof that you can still make a living following your dreams. “It’s a matter of time before rock and roll is in the forefront again and we want to be part of that.”
After three Top 5 songs at Rock Radio, a fourth in the Top 10, a half million digital singles sold and over 1,000 shows a few short years into their impressive career, POP EVIL’s return with strong>“Onyx” is a swaggering, fist-pumping, ball-busting ride through American rock. The grandiose melody of the ‘70s, the danger of the ‘80s, the emotion of the ‘90s and the loudest of modern riffs all have a home in POP EVIL, who fashion a fresh sound that looks to the future through the prism of rock’s past. “Onyx” will be available Tuesday, May 14, 2013.
An expanded Carolina Rebellion returns May 4 & 5 at Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte. After uncharted success in 2012, the Mid-Atlantic’s biggest rock festival is growing to two full days in its third year and will feature more camping and VIP space at its new location.
Carolina Rebellion 2013 features a lineup full of rock heavyweights, including: Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Limp Bizkit, Rise Against, Bush, Deftones, 3 Doors Down, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Bullet For My Valentine, Buckcherry, Volbeat, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, All That Remains, Steel Panther, Device (with David Draiman), Hollywood Undead, Sick Puppies, In This Moment, Escape The Fate, Pop Evil, Nonpoint, Otherwise, Aranda, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red Line Chemistry, Young Guns, Tracer, American Fangs and Heaven’s Basement.
The bands listed above will perform on one of the three festival stages: the Monster Energy ‘Carolina Stage’, the Monster Energy ‘Rebellion Stage’ and the Jägermeister Stage. In addition, f.y.e will have a special artist tent where bands will stop by throughout the day to meet fans and sign their CDs.
“After wrapping up our last U.S. tour, we were planning on recharging our batteries for awhile, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play with the mighty Soundgarden in what will be one of the only shows we’ll play in the U.S. this year,” says Tim Mcllrath of Rise Against.
Michael Poulsen of Volbeat comments, “In Europe and the U.S., we have enjoyed the experiences that come from being a part of the festival environment, just as the fans do. Looking forward to Carolina Rebellion!”
“The ‘Rebels’ spoke and we listened,” says Gary Spivack, Co-Executive Producer of the event for Right Arm Entertainment. “More days, a new venue, huge bands…It’s our mission for Rebellion to be the biggest and best rock festival in the entire Mid-Atlantic region. We have our home at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and can’t wait for May 4 and 5!”
Full Weekend General Admission tickets for Carolina Rebellion go on sale to the public Friday, February 8 at 10am EST, as do Single Day General Admission tickets, all at www.CarolinaRebellion.com. Full Weekend tickets will be available starting at $99 plus fees, and Single Day tickets will start at $59.50 plus fees. Parking is included with all tickets.
To get access to the special internet presale, which will be held from Wednesday, February 6 through Thursday, February 7, go to the Carolina Rebellion Facebook page or www.CarolinaRebellion.com and sign up to receive the Rebellion newsletter. Those who sign up can purchase the Full Weekend General Admission tickets for just $89 plus fees during the presale only.
Once again, ticket discounts will also be available for active military. For full details about military ticket discounts, go to www.CarolinaRebellion.com.
Carolina Rebellion will feature an even greater variety of Camping, Hotel and VIP Packages and upgrades. All Camping and Hotel Packages will also include access to the Friday night campground party. Details for all Camping, Hotel and VIP packages can be found at www.CarolinaRebellion.com.
“Holding Carolina Rebellion at Charlotte Motor Speedway gives us the ability to create an even better experience for our fans,” comments Joe Litvag, Co-Executive Producer of the festival for AEG Live. “We have more space to expand, easier access in and out, upgraded tent and RV camping opportunities, and lots of participating hotels to cater to our crowd. But most importantly we’re able to continue to offer incredible value by keeping our ticket prices low while the festival grows in stature each year.”
The daily band lineup for Carolina Rebellion is as follows:
Saturday, May 4 Alice In Chains, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Bullet For My Valentine, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, Sick Puppies, In This Moment, Device (with David Draiman), Young Guns, Otherwise, Aranda, Tracer, Monstro
Sunday, May 5 Soundgarden, Rise Against, Bush, 3 Doors Down, Buckcherry, Volbeat, Hollywood Undead, All That Remains, Steel Panther, Pop Evil, Escape the Fate, Nonpoint, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red Line Chemistry, Heaven’s Basement, American Fangs
Carolina Rebellion is proud to be sponsored by Monster Energy, Jägermeister, U.S. Army and f.y.e.Carolina Rebellion is produced by Right Arm Entertainment and AEG Live, the same team that produces the highly successful Rock On The Range in Columbus, OH.
Michigan rock band POP EVIL has announced their participation in the recently announced SHIPROCKED TOUR 2012. GODSMACK & KORN are slated to headline, along with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, P.O.D., SEVENDUST, IN THIS MOMENT plus many more supporting.
“We are very excited to be a part of this heavy weight line up of bands this year on Shiprocked. It’s going to be the Mother of all Cruises. Pop Evil is ready to set sail,” says frontman Leigh Kakaty.
SHIPROCKED sets sail November 27th through December 1st 2012, For full details and to purchase tickets, go to their official website HERE.
POP EVIL current tour dates: 7/25 Belton, TX Bell County Expo Center
7/26 El Paso, TX Speaking Rock Entertainment Center
7/27 San Antonio, TX Freeman Coliseum
7/28 Beaumont, TX Ford Pavilion
7/30 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
7/31 Evansville, IN Ford Center
8/1 Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music
8/2 Lima, OH Harry’s Hideaway
8/3 Battle Creek, MI Kellogg Arena
8/4 Wausau, WI Wisonsin Valley Fair
8/5 Cleveland, OH Jacobs Pavillion at Nautica
8/7 Syracuse, NY SRC Aren and Events Center
8/8 Falls, NY Glens Falls Civic Center
8/10 Scarborough, ME Scarborough Downs
8/11 Lancaster, PA The Village Night Club
8/12 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance
8/14 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
8/15 Hartford, CT Comcast Theater
8/17 Worcester, MA DCU Center
8/18 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
8/19 Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
8/21 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Uptown
8/22 Knoxville, TN Knoxvillle Civic Coliseum
8/24 Oklahoma City, OK Zoo Amphitheatre
8/25 Rio Rancho, NM Santa Ana Star Center
8/26 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theater
8/28 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Palladium
8/30 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
9/20 Oklahoma City, OK State Fair of Oklahoma
w/ Black Label Society
10/18 Halifax, NS Halifax Forum
10/21 Niagara Falls, NY Rapids Theatre
10/23 Guelph, ON Guelph Concert Theatre
10/24 Toronto, ON Kool Haus
10/26 Thunder Bay, ON Community Auditorium
10/27 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings
10/28 Saskatoon, SK Odeon
10/30 Calgary, AB MacEwan Hall
10/31 Edmonton, AB Edmonton Event Centre
11/3 Cancouver, BC The Vogue Theatre
POP EVIL has debuted a new music video for their latest hit single, “Boss’s Daughter” exclusively on VEVO today. Featuring the likes of Playboy Playmate Jessa Hinton and co-writer Mick Mars of Motley Crue, the video leaves you wanting more.
“This video is the best depiction of the energy we bring during our live performance. Mick & Jessa were terrific to work with! Nathan and his crew made a killer all american rock & roll video,” says frontman Leigh Kakaty.
Directed by Nathan “Karma” Cox, the video comes on the heels of the band announcing their participation in this summer’s Tresspass Across America Tour.
Fast cars, hot women and good ol’ American Rock and Roll are three main ingredients that make up POP EVIL, and all of the above hits you square in the jaw in this new video.
Tresspass Across America Tour dates: 5/26 Pryor, OK Rocklahoma Festival
5/27 Amarillo, TX Midnight Rodeo
5/29 Billings, MT Manny’s
5/30 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
6/1 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex
6/2 Denver, CO The Summit
6/3 Colorado Springs, CO Black Sheep
6/7 Houma, LA The City Club
6/8 Montgomery, AL Rock Bottom American Pub
6/9 Chattanooga, TN Riverbend Festival
6/10 Joplin, MO Kitchen Pass
6/13 Burlington, IA Burlington Steamboat Days
6/16 Comstock Park, MI Fifth Third Ballpark
6/23 Bay City, MI Veteran’s Memorial Park
6/28 Central City, IA Linn County Fair
6/29 Appleton, WI Luna Lounge
7/1 South Bend, IN St. Patrick’s Park
7/4 Hagerstown, MD Breakaways II
7/7 Kalamazoo, MI District Square
7/8 Traverse City, MI National Cherry Festival
7/9 Lansing, MI Common Ground Festival
7/12 Byron, IL Byron Dragway
7/14 West Fargo, ND Red River Valley Fair
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.
Upon first glance, Taddy Porter looks like just another young rock band ready to take on the world. While that may be true, there’s much more to this quartet from Oklahoma; I had gotten all of thirty seconds deep into Taddy Porter’sdebut offering when I realized this. In fact, I found it quite fitting that the band whose moniker is that of the “World’s Original Beer”, is about to serve the world it’s own original musical brew. Recently, I had the chance to speak with Taddy’sfront man, the aptly-named Andy Brewer, about their odyssey from college parties, to haunted hotels, to the creation of a new musical genre.
AWAY-TEAM: First off, Congratulations on your self-titled debut album which comes out on June 29th.
ANDY BREWER: Yeah. Thanks.
AWAY-TEAM: You guys formed in Stillwater, Oklahoma…
ANDY BREWER: Correct.
AWAY-TEAM: How did you all get together?
ANDY BREWER: Uh, well actually, I was attending Oklahoma State University at the time, and uh, I happened to walk into a party one night and I heard live drumming going on at this party. And I didn’t immediately walk into the room with the drums at first, but after a few drinks I gathered enough gumption to walk into the room. And uh, I had been like playing, ya know, and writing my own songs at the time, and so I just walked into this room and my drummer now pointed at me and he goes “Do you play?”, and I was like “Yes I do” and I picked up one of the guitars that had been laying around the room and started playing one of the songs that I had written. We like meshed together real well at first, went together real well, ever since then we’ve been a band ever since.
AWAY-TEAM: Awesome. So your guys’ name, I’m sure you get this a lot, but uh, the world’s first beer? Is that correct?
ANDY BREWER: That’s correct, yeah.
AWAY-TEAM: How’d you come up with that name?
ANDY BREWER: Well uh, we were looking for names, like trying to come up with cool names. None of them which went over very well, we came up with some horrible names like “Honey Drip” and umm “Red Giants” and “Scissortail” (laughing). Just many, many of these really bad names, but uh, me and Doug (drummer Doug Jones) were at a bar just kind of going over names, and I went up to the bar and looked at the import fridge and I was going through them by price, because I was broke, I’m pretty much still broke (laughs), but uh I saw one that was $8.50 a bottle and I was just blown away that one beer could cost $8.50. So I went from price, over to the name and it was Taddy Porter, and it sounded like somebody’s name to me, and how it came about was the brand name was Tadcaster and the nickname given to it wasTaddyPorter. And uh, thinking about it, it was like you know how like Lynyrd Skynyrd sounds like someone’s name, and just thinking about these bands where it’s two names that sound like a first name and a last name. And it sounded kind of like a sophisticated beer, so I was like, what we played was like kind of like a southern jam, ya know, and I don’t know I just kinda felt like it had matched what we were playing. So that’s how it happened.
AWAY-TEAM: Right. After hearing the album, it’s funny you mention Lynyrd Skynyrd because I kind of get a little bit of that sound with you, but uh, I’ve heard it and I absolutely love it. It has a pretty unique sound for a young rock band in this day and age, which in my opinion kicks ass, but… is your sound more of a product of your musical influences, or not wanting to be just another cookie-cutter rock band?
ANDY BREWER: See, it’s a mixture of those. Because, ya know growing up we uh, I had been listening to my father’s rock n’ roll music and I loved it. I knew at an early age that I could mimic older rock singers like Paul Rodgers and Lynyrd Skynyrd and stuff like that. So when it came to making our own music, that just sort of came naturally. And ya know, I mean I love all the rock bands they’re all great, but I just didn’t want to be another one of those bands where they’re like “OK, well Taddy Porter, they sound like this band…” that’s like what’s on the radio right now. I didn’t want to be one of those bands, because then you know you get like lumped into a category and that’s as far as you go. So whenever it came to us making our sound, we felt it should be an eclectic mix of modern rock and classic rock. Some bands have started doing that like Wolfmother and The Black Keys seem to be like playing an older style of music, but they’re playing it right now with their own modern spin on it, and that’s kind of like what we want to do.
AWAY-TEAM: I’m glad you said that because you’ve enlightened me a little bit, because I’ve kinda had a hard time describing your music; other than just blues mixed in with good ole’ southern rock n’ roll. For our readers out there who aren’t familiar with your music, how would you describe your music?
ANDY BREWER: Umm, I can’t say hard rock, and I can’t say classic rock, we kinda came up with a little idea, we call it “Swagger Rock”. It’s kind of like a cool, like I didn’t want to call it “Jam Rock” or like “Guitar Rock” or something like that. So I would just say it’s kinda like a southern jam rock, yeah I don’t even know how to explain it really, but “Swagger Rock” is usually the term I use when people ask.
AWAY-TEAM: Well there you go, you just coined it here…“Swagger Rock” (laughs)
ANDY BREWER: (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: How was it working with Skidd Mills, who also produced your former tour-mates Saving Abel, how’d that work out?
ANDY BREWER: He’s great man. He uh, we have the same manager as Saving Abel, and that’s how we got hooked up with Skidd. When ever we went in there we weren’t really familiar with working with a producer and things of that nature, it’s kind of funny because the first like co-write experience we went in and we wrote “Shake Me”, that was the first song, we were in there for eight hours and we wrote and tracked all of “Shake Me”, and it was weird to me that it could happen so fast, to write that type of song so fast. But uh, Skidd is great, he’s got a great ear, he knows what he’s doing, he’s been doing it for years, and uh, he’s just a great guy.
AWAY-TEAM: Now, that single, “Shake Me” has sort of become a staple around Citifield in New York. Tell me about that.
ANDY BREWER: Yeah, it’s uh, my father is a pitching coach in the Mets organization, and like every summer when I was growing up, I would go out where my dad was and work at the stadium, just to spend a little time with my dad. It was 2006, I think, and I went down there and I got to meet Mike Pelfrey and he was making his way up through the minor league system, and I got to know him, he got to know me, and so with the big league guys pretty much everyone’s got intro music…
ANDY BREWER: …and as he was going to pick his, he was hanging around my dad, and Mike Pelfrey was trying to figure things out, and John Maine, who’s another starting pitcher for the Mets said “Well how ’bout you use Brew’s son’s music”, Brew’s what they call my dad ‘cuz his last name’s Brewer. So he listened to it and was like “Yeah, man. I want that song”, so he picked “Shake Me”. It’s crazy to think that whenever he goes out to pitch or hit, “Shake Me” gets played all throughout Citifield. I haven’t had the chance to make it out yet to hear that, but I mean, it sounds so huge in those giant baseball stadiums. I gotta make it to a game sometime when he’s pitching to hear that, it’ll probably give me goosebumps, being the singer and what-not.
AWAY-TEAM: Hell of an audience to have that played for. (laughs)
ANDY BREWER: That’s for sure!
AWAY-TEAM: You guys have got a few big shows coming up, I see you’re playing “Rock on the Range”, with alot of other great bands. Who do you most look forward to sharing the bill with there?
ANDY BREWER: Uh, man I can’t uh, Limp Bizkit probably. I just wanna see that guy play, it’s been such a while since they’ve been touring and I just want to see the production. I heard they would breakdance on stage, and I think that would just be a sight to see. But uh, Chevelle, I’d like to see Chevelle, I think they’re playing it, and the Deftones, I’ve seen them a couple times and they’ve always been amazing live. But all the bands are great.
AWAY-TEAM: You also were on the “Class of ’09″ tour with Saving Abel, Red, and Pop Evil. Any good stories from the road there?
ANDY BREWER: Man, we had a lot of good times, we had a chance to be on the road with them during Thanksgiving, and we were at, I wanna say it was, shit I don’t remember, but the hotel was supposed to be haunted and so it was funny because some of the guys in Saving Abel are superstitious, so they were like “I can’t stay here” (laughs) because they freaked out about it and I was like “C’mon guys, nothing’s gonna happen to you” But, we got to know Saving Abel and Red pretty well, and us being the opening band, they were very welcoming to us. We partied, we learned, we learned how to be professional, and how to work because ya know they had like tour managers and everything and they have a set schedule and if you’re not on that schedule you’re gonna get bitched at. So we learned that when your on a schedule, you have to be prompt, you can’t just go wander off and do whatever, you have to be ready for what’s going on. So we learned how to be professional, and it was very easy for us to have a great time because they’re all just great guys.
AWAY-TEAM: A couple of the songs on your album, weren’t originally on there. How did the addition of those come about?
ANDY BREWER: When ever we started to put together everything, we went to Nashville and we were doing some co-writes, and we were also writing more and more of our own songs. And as the time came about we started writing more with Skidd and some of these writers, and alot of the songs we did with the co-writers we didn’t even use, but some of them we did add to the album.
AWAY-TEAM: Well I’ll tell you what Andy, you guys put together a hell of an album, and I wish you the best of luck, thank you for your time; I know it’s only a matter of time before you guys are household names.
ANDY BREWER: I hope so! (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: Keep at it man, best of luck to you, and I look forward to seeing you come to Florida sometime in the near future.
ANDY BREWER: Hell yeah, man, I’m looking forward to it too. The south is always the best.
AWAY-TEAM: Right on, man. Well hey, next time your in town, I hope to meet you and talk some more.
ANDY BREWER: Yeah man, I got your phone number I’ll give you a call.
AWAY-TEAM: Sounds good. Thanks bro. Take it easy.
ANDY BREWER: Take it easy. Bye.
Be sure to pick up Taddy Porter’s self-titled debut album, when it hits shelves June 29th (you may have to look in the new “Swagger Rock” section). This album is very highly recommended. For more info on tour dates and where to pick up the album head over to http://www.myspace.com/taddyportermusic
Special thanks to Andy Brewer for so graciously giving me his time, and to Julie Lichtenstein at SKH Music for making it all happen.