Best Buy Theater
Photos by: Slim Jim Keller
Best Buy Theater
Photos by: Slim Jim Keller
In support of their new release Winter Kills California Groove Metallers, DEVILDRIVER will be hitting the road this fall on a co-headlining tour with Trivium. Trivium will also be on the road in support of their new release, details on which will be announced soon. Support on the tour will come from After the Burial and Sylosis. Everything kicks off in Boise, ID on September 12th and rolls through October 17th in San Diego, CA
Frontman Dez Fafara cannot wait to be back on the road in North America:
“It’s been almost a year since DEVILDRIVER have toured the US. I am Stoked to finally be getting the chance to go back out and hit the road with “The Groove Machine”!
This tour will be a mixture of DEVILDRIVER favorites and a bunch of new stuff off of our new record Winter Kills. I cannot wait for the record to come out and to get back to what we do best, play live. Touring with our friends in Trivium, After the Burial and Sylosis is just the fucking bonus!
Come on out for a great night of metal, get ready to get down and dirty, see you in the pit!”
DEVILDRIVER will be releasing their sixth studio album Winter Kills August 27th via Napalm Records. Winter Kills is available in four configurations including a Deluxe Digibook with CD (including two bonus tracks: “Shudder” and “Back Down to the Grave”) and Live DVD (Featuring 45 minutes of live raw DEVILDRIVER power. No studio over dubs at all just the band at their best and includes fan favorites “Clouds over California” and “The Wretched“), standard CD version, digital version and for the first time in DEVILDRIVER history, and a 2LP Gatefold edition.
The band recorded the album in Florida at Audio Hammer Studios and vocals in Los Angeles, CA at Dez‘s home studio with Mark Lewis (Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, All That Remains) handling production duties. DEVILDRIVER has worked with Lewis previously on “Beast” and “The Last Kind Words” and producer Mark Lewis‘s prolific leadership of the new school of metal has yet again helped DEVILDRIVER deliver another Epic heavy Metal record. This record melds what the band does best. In your face power as well as the California Groove sound the band pioneered.
DEVILDRIVER has always been a band on a three-pronged mission: Work hard, rock harder, and kick as many asses as possible in the process. The band tours forever and has since its beginnings. Their live performances and circle pits are as legendary as their music.
DevilDriver with Trivium, After the Burial and Sylosis:
9/12: Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
9/13: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
9/14: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
9/16: Calgary, AB @ Macewan Ballroom
9/17: Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
9/18: Saskatoon, SK @ Odeon
9/19: Winnipeg, MB @ Garrick
9/21: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
9/23: Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
9/24: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix
9/25: Montreal, QC @ Corona
9/27: New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
9/28: Boston, MA @ House of Blues
9/29: New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place
9/30: Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of the Living Arts
10/2: Silver Springs, MD @ Fillmore
10/3: Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
10/4: Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
10/5: Detroit, MI @ Harpos
10/7: Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
10/8: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/10: Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
10/11: Wichita, KS @ The Cotillion
10/12: Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
10/13: Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
10/15: San Francisco, CA @ Regency
10/16: Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
10/17: San Diego, CA @ SOMA
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival
Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre at Walnut Creek
Mayhem (noun A state of violent disorder or riotous confusion; havoc.)
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival hit Raleigh, North Carolina for the second straight year on August 3rd. This year’s event boasted a stronger main stage than last year with Disturbed and Godsmack co-headlining the biggest rock festival in the US. With the inclusion of Machine Head and Megadeth you couldn’t ask for a better main stage group of bands.
Where the ‘mayhem’ failed to really occur was the side stages. Last year it seemed that bands like Shadows Fall, In This Moment, Chimaira, 3 Inches of Blood, Atreyu and more really took hold of the early crowd and amped them up and primed them for the headliners, Rob Zombie and Korn. But this year, outside of Suicide Silence, which put on a blistering set, and really had the biggest pit and most crowd participation it seemed to me, nobody really whipped the crowd into a frenzy and kept them there. I will say that I did miss Red Fang, All Shall Perish, and Straight Line Stitch due to being in the press tent doing interviews (which you will read later here at away-team.com), so I can’t say how the crowd responded to them.
Mayhem (noun Infliction of violent injury on a person or thing; wanton destruction)
Raleigh, North Carolina is in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record. We are caught in an oppressive heat wave, and they day of Mayhem was no exception. 103 was the high temp of the day, and the side stages were actually in the gravel parking lot. With no shade, and no relief from the blistering sun and boiling temperature, it wasn’t the bands that we causing the mayhem on this day, it was Mother Nature, and boy was she pissed. The ridiculous heat and the unrelenting sun were causing many to fall out long before the main stage even opened. And once it did we found reprieve from the sun, but not the heat, and any breeze that may have acted as a cooling agent was blocked by the building itself which turned the pit and the front part of the audience into a pressure cooker. The temperature at the front of the pit was hotter than it was out in the parking lot under direct sunlight. Again, the heat may have been the biggest cause of mayhem all day.
As I have already said, I missed Red Fang, All Shall Perish, and Straight Line Stitch due to being in interviews so I can’t say anything about their sets other than I was really disappointed in missing SLS after having interviewed Alexis and Seth right before they were to go on stage. And In Flames did not perform because they had just dropped off the tour due to an illness in the family. So the following are my notes of the bands I did get to catch, and I am adding in my tweets as it is the best indicator of what I thought as it was happening (you can follow Away Team on twitter and read our live streams from the various shows we’re attending at www.twitter.com/awayteam ).
Kingdom Of Sorrow: Jamey Jasta & Kurt Windstein’s side project is pretty good. It more up tempo than Crowbar, and a little more straight forward metal than Hatebreed, but it just sounds like Hatebreed with a little more metal riffage to me. This isn’t a problem really, but if you are going to do a side project or different band, then the sound should really be different, otherwise, what is the point of having another band?
Suicide Silence: Had a huge pit. Probably had the greatest pit interaction of the crowd all day. I expected Unearth to take that title, but Suicide Silence took no prisoners and the crowd gave back everything they could under ridiculous conditions.
Unearth: Unearth performed four years ago in Raleigh at a small theater, and it was the bloodiest pit the venue ever had. There were more broken bones and noses during that show than at any other show in the history of the venue. And at the end of the night when it came time to mop the floor, the normal beer and sweat covering it was pink with all the blood that had been spilled. I really thought that given the conditions that day and the size of the crowd that it was going to be an insane pit. However the heat must have really gotten to them by the time Unearth took the stage, because while they were raucous they were no were close to the frenetic pit that was the previous Raleigh Unearth show. The band, sounded good, even though they weren’t on the Revolver stage (bigger PA, better sound), but they went balls out for 40 minutes and got the crowd jumping. Unearth always put on a spirited performance, and Raleigh’s Mayhem was no exception. I realize that these festivals are really the first time that most people have heard or seen these bands on the side stage, so it’s great for the 10 bands or so that share the stages to get that exposure. But I’d really rather have maybe 7 bands total, and let them all play longer. I’d really have liked to see Unearth have a few more songs to pummel the crowd with. Of course in that insane heat, we may have lost the bands as well as a portion of the crowd. So maybe considering the environment it was a good thing that all the bands played shorter sets.
Trivium: Another first for me was getting to see Trivium. However, as much as I tried, I just could not connect with their performance. I am sure it was me, it was late in the day, I was starving but didn’t want to leave the parking lot and miss the bands, so I waited it out for the transition from side stages to main house before I ate. The heat may have finally started to take its toll on me. But try as I might, I could not get into their set. It sounded great. The Revolver stage boasts itself as the loudest stage and it may well be, but even as loud and as good at it sounded, something for me was missing and Trivium’s set left me disappointed.
Machine Head: Being from the Bay Area of California I am no stranger to Machine Head, however, in their 20 years of being together, I have never had the opportunity to see them. They were really the last big metal band out of San Francisco that I haven’t seen at some point. So I was really looking forward to their set, and I was not to be disappointed. Machine Head are a very underrated band, they have never really gotten their fair due here in the states, and I’ve never understood why. While the European press and fans have all embraced them wholeheartedly it seems to me the US press and fans continue to pass them by. They had what I consider to be the best album of 2007 (The Blackening) and live they simply laid the crowd to waste. Robb Flynn makes for an interesting frontman. Having never seen them, I had in my mind what they must be like live. And while the performance lived up to or surpassed my expectations, Robb himself changed my expectations of him. He seemed genuinely happy to be there, and while the music may be aggressive, dark and mean, he certainly did not come across that way when he spoke. He came across as sincere and really appreciative of the crowd and the opportunity to perform for them. A stark contrast to the music and vocals, he was almost cheery on stage, throwing a party instead of churning out riff after monster riff. And while the crowd seeped into the main stage area, the band cranked out one massive neck shredding song after another. By the end of their set, they had most of the sun weary crowd on their feet cheering for them.
Megadeth: After watching The Big 4 DVD from Sophia Bulgaria, and watching the show simulcast to theaters all over the world, I was hoping Dave Mustaine’s voice would be better than it was for that memorable show. When Dave goes for the high notes, his voice sounds like he is inhaling while trying to sing. Do it, right now, I’ll wait… It sounds like you’re singing in a vacuum. It sounds plain wrong. But over the years most vocalists can’t maintain the range they had when they were young. Dave unfortunately is one of those that can’t hit the notes he used to back in the day. And instead of dropping down a note or two to compensate, he still attempts to hit it, and misses. It isn’t screechy thankfully, but as I said it sounds like it he is singing while inhaling deeply. And it is very off putting. That aside, the man and the band put on a hell of a show. They are unbelievably tight. And the solos continue to shred and show up the younger bands out there today. From the father of speed metal to his newest guitarist Chris Broderick, they continue to show up and teach the younger bands out there how to properly shred. No real surprises from the set musically, a mix of the old and new, with a couple of songs from the upcoming release TH1RT3EN. A great set by a great band, so glad to see Dave Ellefson back in the fold and I think Megadeth may have the strongest guitarist next to Dave that they ever have in Chris Broderick. I look forward to seeing what new elements he brings to the Megadeth arsenal both in recordings and live.
Godsmack: Having seen Godsmack about 5 times in the past, and on consecutive nights no less, I think I’ve seen the best and worst that they can do. I will say that I like a lot of their songs, I think if you combine all the albums they have done and taken the best songs off them then you will have one kick ass album. Live though, I think the music and band are a little boring. I am sure I am going to get a ton of shit for saying this, and the leader of the shit brigade will be our very own Bam Bam who swears Shannon Larkin is an amazing drummer and the second coming (for clarification Shannon is a great drummer, I think his talents are lost on Godsmack however), and beats me up (verbally) whenever I say a bad word about them. Those of you following Away Team on twitter will remember I said that this show was more energetic than the ones I’d previously seen, and I was actually enjoying the set until ‘IT’ happened… I have for years railed against guitar solos and drum solos, by anyone. Even Eddie Van Halen. I know you can shred, I know you can play; I get it, that’s why I am at your show. Quit jacking off and play a song! The only thing worse than a guitar solo or drum solo by a headlining band (fine give your bandmates a break while you jack off on the crowd, I get why they do it, but really, if you can’t play a 90 minute set then get your lazy ass in shape!) is a solo by a support band. We have even less time to see you and you are going waste our time stroking yourself off in front of us? What could be worse than a guitar or drum solo by a supporting band? I’m so glad you asked, how about TWO DRUM SOLOS?!??!?! That’s right, in the middle of Godsmack’s set a second drum kit is wheeled out onto the stage and Sully and Shannon have a ‘drum off’. We get it, you used to be a drummer, but now you play guitar, and sing. So… play guitar and sing! Let your drummer drum. That’s his job. Otherwise put the guitar down and get behind the kit. This isn’t the Sully Erna show… This is Godsmack, so let Godsmack… ALL of Godsmack… play. If that weren’t enough they broke into songs snippets from AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and Black Sabbath. What’s worse than doing a medley of your own tunes? How about a medley of someone else’s tunes! Ok, so the ‘drum off’ finally ended. A couple more songs, and then an encore. And what do they do for an encore, let Sully yell at the crowd for 10 minutes to ‘get ready to get crazy’. Fuck you. Stand out in the heat with us all day and see how ‘crazy’ you get 8 hours into the show. And fuck your sing along too. I paid to see you sing. Not to hear 15,000 of my closest friends sing. So put the drums away, stow the sing along bullshit, and perform songs. Thank you… please drive thru.
Disturbed: Having seen Disturbed three or four times the past 2 years I went into this show expecting this to be the last time I saw Disturbed live (not because of their just announced indefinite hiatus, but because of David’s trouble singing as of late). The more time goes on the worse David sounds live. Unless you catch the band within the first two or three weeks of a tour starting (with a ton of downtime before the tour), you get a screechy David Draiman. And it seems to get worse as time goes on. However, I was pleasantly surprised Wednesday night when Disturbed came out and David sound the strongest I’d heard him sound the last 7 or 8 shows I’d seen. The band as always is very tight, and while I felt a little melancholy that this would in fact be the last Disturbed show for some time, I was happy that for me at least they went out on a high note and David sounded so good. My only complaint, ok two… is that #1 we got 65 minutes of a headlining set, and #2 we got the same set we’ve gotten for the last three tour cycles. I understand you are still touring in support of Asylum, but that doesn’t mean that for two years straight you give the fans the same show without changing it up. You have 5 great albums and a lot of material to choose from, yet it seems the last 4 shows I’ve seen are the exact same shows front to back. It isn’t like there is a ton of pyro they have to contend with, or special lighting, it’s just plain laziness it seems. If you are hitting the same market 4 times in 2 years, why not give them a new show at least 50% of the time?
All in all it was a great day for music, but was it Mayhem inducing? Did it stand up to last year’s Mayhem Fest? You’ll have to be the judge of that yourself. It had its highs and lows, as did last years, but all in all a good time was certainly had by myself and those around me.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This interview was originally published on 2011/08/13
Away-Team: I’m here with Corey Beaulieu from TRIVIUM, thank you Corey for taking time to talk with us today! So you were born in Maine, and TRIVIUM hails from Florida, how did you end up hooking up with them?
Corey Beaulieu: After I graduated High School, I needed something to do. I always wanted to be in a band, but up there I didn’t have a band, there just wasn’t anything going on up there. I couldn’t find any musicians. Up there it isn’t really much of a metal scene…
Away-Team: You mean Maine isn’t the hot bed for metal in America?!?!?!
Corey Beaulieu: You’d think… but no! (laughs) it was very hard to find people that could actually play the kind of music I wanted to play. So after I graduated High School I needed to do something and I was always interested in recording so I moved to Orlando, Fl and went to Full Sail for recording. And before I even started classes, I heard about this club right around the corner from where I was living that had a metal show. I went there and TRIVIUM was one of the local bands, they were a three piece at the time. And when they played I was like, ‘Wow, these guys play the same kind of shit I am in to.’ I ended up meeting Matt’s Dad who was managing the band at the time. He gave me some info on the band and said they were playing this thing at Full Sail the next week so I went there. I got introduced to Matt, we became friends, emailed back and forth, I’d see him at other metal shows and whatever. Then a year later I saw on their website they were looking for a second guitar player so I hit them up and told them I was interested in trying out. He knew I played guitar, but he had never seen my play guitar he just knew we had some of the same influences. I went over to his house one day and we jammed, I had learned a few songs of theirs before I went there and we just jammed. After that he asked me to come jam with the band, so I jammed with the band and they were like, ‘you wanna be in the band?’ and that’s all I’ve been doing ever since.
Away-Team: Did you complete Full Sail or just blow it off for the riches and fame of TRIVIUM?
Corey Beaulieu: (laughs) I joined the band about a month before I graduated, so after I graduated I just went full on with the band. And eventually it all took off and did what it’s done and we are lucky enough to make a career out of it. Luckily I didn’t have to go schlep around for a job, because a job in that field that I went to school for is every difficult to find a job today. Since there’s no studios, the only people that have studios anymore are like in their own homes or whatever. Nobody goes to traditional studios anymore. Even people I went to school with at Full Sail seven years ago, nobody has a job in that field anymore. I was very fortunate that even going down there to do that, I was able to actually do what I wanted and that was be in a band. I always say I paid $35,000 to join a band (laughs).
Away-Team: (laughs) And Full Sail can use you for the job placement advertising… ‘Join Full Sail and you too can become a Rock Star!’
Corey Beaulieu: Yeah, well, no one’s ever hit me up from there. (laughs)
Away-Team: You and Matt share lead and rhythm guitar duties in the band. While not the first time for a band, it is definitely unique. How did you come up with this style for Trivium, and how does it benefit you and the band?
Corey Beaulieu: Well….
Away-Team: I mean, you normally have two guitarists, and your lead guy is the shredder, he’s the one that stands out and rips out a solo as guys throw horns into the air and girls throw their panties on stage… You have some great licks; you have a great talent on the guitar…
Corey Beaulieu: Wow, thank you…
Away-Team: Does sharing that with Matt take away from that ‘guitar god’ status a little bit? Do you lose a little individuality when you share lead guitar with another guitarist?
Corey Beaulieu: Not Really… We both have different styles of playing; we both like playing lead, so we chose to both do it. We just divvy it up evenly as much as possible. And it is cool because we have different takes on playing lead so there are different dynamics within the song and within the solos by trading off. Ever since I joined the band as he was the only guitar player, since I could do lead also, just right out of the box we said let’s both do it. It was a natural thing for us, so we just did it, and a lot of our favorite bands growing up except for Metallica had that, Megadeth was Mustaine and Friedman, Slayer both play lead, Iron Maiden had… well they have three lead players now. I just always liked the multiple lead guitar thing, especially when you have one guy with a monster solo and it just leads into another solo by the other guy… It’s just always been a natural part of our sound. I think now on the new album too it has really worked out because Matt just found the sound that thing he was going after on it, a certain style and feel, and what suited his playing the best. He’s doing more melodic old school, kinda simplistic solos, and I’m doing the melodic slash shreddy stuff. It is very easy to decipher who’s playing which solo because our styles on this album are so different and distinct. We’re not treading the same waters playing the same fast crazy shit all the time. Since we both like to play lead that has just always been our signature sound and part of our songwriting.
Away-Team: Your musical style has changed over the years, you are no longer thought of as metalcore, which I never pegged you as, but more straight forward thrash. Was that a conscious decision on your part, or was it just maturing and stretching as musicians?
Corey Beaulieu: We just play every record as we just play whatever we feel like playing. It’s all very natural for us, we don’t go, ‘oh let’s do this record this way, and then we’ll do the next record sounding like that.’ We just start writing the songs and in that moment and time it just takes its own shape and sound. The style just dictates itself we don’t consciously decide, ‘oh on Crusade we’re going to do this.’ Musically it just came out naturally. We always find new influences to incorporate into the new album; we don’t want to keep churning out the same shit every album, so we’re always pushing the boundaries of what we can do with our songwriting. This last album (In Waves out now!), we decided we needed to define our sound. Because the last couple of albums we were experimenting with different tunings, different sounds, and different styles of songs and just seeing what we could do. On this record we just knew what the record had to be and we just wanted to write a record that was a career defining moment. Just put our foot down, like we’re fucking serious here, this is a serious fucking metal album, and just solidify our sound. So you’re like, ‘oh, that’s TRIVIUM! That’s their sound, that’s what they are all about.’ The other thing we wanted was to make the album sound cohesive, we wanted the songs to flow, to have the same style and sound, so that none of the songs were like an odd man out and didn’t fit the record, they all have the same…. vibe or sound or feel to them, that they belonged on that record. We just wrote a lot of songs and made sure that the songs worked well and fit with the other songs on the record. And we also made the heaviest record we have ever done. The heavy stuff is heavier and more intense than anything else we’ve ever done.
Away-Team: The band came out after Shogun, and said that it was what it was, that you couldn’t describe what/or who it sounded like. It was Trivium and it stood on its own. Were you guys really that concerned about the comparisons to Metallica or other bands then? Isn’t there some sense of flattery of being compared to one of the biggest metal bands in the world?
Corey Beaulieu: When people listen to music, they are always gauging shit, always comparing them to someone else. If you read a review it is always, ‘for fans of this,’ or ‘if you like this band you’ll love this.’ I guess being compared to the biggest metal band of all time is not a bad thing I just felt it was kind of limiting as far as… Take The Crusade record, I listen to that and there are influences on there, riffs, songs, tones, styles, that are just in no way comparable to Metallica. And Matt’s vocals may style wise remind you of James, but he doesn’t sound like James. I just think a lot of the songs and riffs on that record are just very Un-Metallica. I think Shogun stepped away from that more and this record (In Waves out now!!!) that , ‘oh they sound like Metallica clones’ has been put to rest, at least by us. If people say that now, then they are fucking idiots. You’re obviously not listening to what we are playing. Don’t get me wrong, they are obviously a big metal influence, but so are Megadeth, Testament, Slayer, and Iron Maiden. There are a lot of stuff in there. Over the years we have found a way to take those influences, with other elements outside that style of music, and put our own twist on it, so that now what you hear is TRIVIUM only. I think In Waves sets us apart from other bands out there today, it ensures that we don’t sound too much like anyone else, it sounds like TRIVIUM in vocals, and in guitar riffs, so that if we are to be compared, it is them to us.
Away-Team: On a festival like this, the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, you play about 35 minutes, what do you do the other 23.5 hours of the day to keep from being bored out of your mind or trapped on the bus?
Corey Beaulieu: We try to catch a lot of the bands on the side stages, just hang out and watch them perform. We try and do a lot of press, and there are a lot of people on this tour, so it’s always a lot of just hanging out with other bands. There’s always something going on. After our set, we shower, dinner, and then go watch Megadeth. There’s always something going on, a party here and there, enough people to make something happen all the time.
Away-Team: In Waves comes out next week (at time of interview… In Waves came out last Tuesday! Go. Get. It.), Mayhem ends in a few weeks, what’s next on the horizon for TRIVIUM?
Corey Beaulieu: Yes, In Waves comes out, go pick it up! After Mayhem we have about a month long tour with Dream Theater from mid September to October. Then Europe from early November through almost Christmas. We haven’t properly toured over there in fucking ages so that should be a blast! We’re touring there with In Flames so that should be killer. Then next year is Australia, South America which hasn’t been announces yet.
Away-Team: Is that headlining?
Corey Beaulieu: No! We’ve never been there before so we are going with some other bands that have. We felt the safest route was to go with someone who has done it before, instead of going on our own and guessing and making huge mistakes. We’re going with two other bands that have been down there a few times before, and we have a lot of demands to play down there and a lot of fans down there so we are really looking forward to that. Hopefully in the spring we’ll be back in the US touring again. Yesterday our first active rock radio single went out to all the stations, so hopefully that takes off soon, some stations already have it in full rotation and hopefully more pick it up. And if it really takes off on the radio and gets us new fans it could really change the landscape of what we do tour wise in the spring. Call your local rock radio station and fucking request some TRIVIUM!!!
Away-Team: Yeah DAMNIT!
Corey Beaulieu: Yeah, we need that shit! (laughs)
Away-Team: Good luck with the single, new album, the tours, and continued success Corey, and thank you again for taking the time to sit in this wonderful 100 degree heat and talk with us!
Corey Beaulieu: Thank you, the album is out, you can check us out online, if you like what you hear buy it please! And support music!
Away-Team: And… Trivium sounds like… Trivium.
Corey Beaulieu: Yes… Heavy Metal Baby!!!! (laughs)
There is a long list of people to thank for making this and all of our Mayhem Fest interviews happen, so, forgive me if I forgot anyone, but thanks to Lilly at Roadrunner, Bill at eOne Music, Rikki, Natalie, and Jessica at Adrenaline, and Laura Jean with Mayhem.
For more TRIVIUM click here.
Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival
Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
Raleigh, North Carolina