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What It’s All About... We are excited to launch Rock Voltage magazine online, a modern rock and roll magazine profiling local artists and venues in the mid-atlantic region and beyond. We cover the lifestyles of local, regional and national rock stars, plus emerging artists, and offer insider tips on recording and breaking out in the music industry. Readers will also find music, concert and album reviews from our experts at Mid-Atlantic Rock Reviews, local journalists and industry professionals. We will feature exclusive band interviews, contests, reader polls and creative ways to interact with local artists. Rock Voltage was founded on the premise of educating and stimulating the local public about the musical talent that exists in our region. We also want to bring you the very best of a modern mixed-media experience: a familiar magazine reading format, available on your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device anytime, and that instantly connects to music, videos and your favorite advertisers with a single click.

Who Are We? Groundwire Records and Groundwire Entertainment are the publishing arm of Rock Voltage magazine, providing quality services to artists, consumers the Entertainment Industry. Groundwire Records and Groundwire Entertainment is committed to fairness in business practices and supports protection of intellectual properties of artist. A division of Milestone Media Group, which publishes consumer magazines and expos, Groundwire Records is an independent record label and music marketing company that was created to discover, develop, produce, and publish uniquely gied local artists and bands. Groundwire Records can be your company that takes care of your music business, allowing artists to concentrate on their creative aspirations and goals. Groundwire Entertainment is a companion company to Groundwire Records specializing in concert promotions, bookings and artist management services. We also produce a wide variety of marketing and image-building products designed to get bands the right identity and exposure. Mid-Atlantic Rock Reviews has a mission to promote a positive image of rock and roll and they work tirelessly to live up to their motto “Changing e World rough Rock And Roll”. MARR works with multiple charities and organizations to promote a positive image of rock and roll and to support their fellow man. Some of these efforts include selling MARR bracelets to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, sponsoring a MARR Rocks for MDA Benefit concert and working with Voice of Warriors, Fallen Blue and supporting multiple other charitable projects. As Mid-Atlantic Rock Reviews enters it’s third year, the founding couple has expanded coverage far beyond the Mid-Atlantic Region to literally cover music all over the United States and beyond. MARR has added multiple contributors in the form of photographers and writers M.A.R.R.’s founding couple who have helped expand their coverage of rock and roll and have a presence at live rock and roll shows and major festivals and rock K-Rock and Ms. MARR cruises all over the United States. One of the trademarks of MARR is that you will always find K-rock and Ms. MARR right there in the trenches with the crowds at shows where they meet and greet their MARR Rock Army members who are their readers and followers. eir unique way of covering music from a fans perspective surrounded by their followers and friends has legitimized their coverage by fans, bands promoters and record labels alike. More information can be found on their Facebook page, Twitter and on their website at



• When Embers Ign i te • Jason Newsted • Chemical Red • Bloodline Riot

Pg. 16

Pg. 32

Pg. 43

Pg. 46

• Matt Davis of 98 Rock • Hour Haus

Pg. 53

Pg. 64

ARTICLES • Otherwise

• Rock Asylum

Pg. 14

• Becoming a Rockstar

Pg. 20

• Rock the High Seas

Pg. 22

• If It’s Too Loud... • Forever Autumn • Leftstronger • Gorilla Music


Pg. 8

Pg. 27

Pg. 37

Pg. 42

Pg. 61

REVIEWS • Voivod

• Adam Ant


Pg. 62

• Ms. Rock Voltage

Pg. 13

• Concert Etiquette

Pg. 50

• Regional Hot Spots

Pg. 58

Publisher’s Statement: Rock Voltage Magazine,Volume 1, Edition 1 (c) 2013 Milestone Media Group, all rights reserved. No part of this publication, including images, may be reproduced, streamed, replicated, or downloaded for commercial use or re-publication of any kind without the written permission of the publisher. Single downloads for personal enjoyment are permitted, as well as quotations, references, downloads and other reproductions for purposes of reviews or for promoting Rock Voltage or its partners, featured artists, contributors or advertisers. All images and written material are used by permission of the authors or owners, except

as indicated, who retain all rights. All linked web sites, videos and music and other files are the property of the owners and we provide links for informational and convenience uses only. No warranty in offered or implied. Plus, we don’t even know if those links will work tomorrow. Let us know if you find dead links, we’ll be glad to correct them. All reviews, interviews and editorials are offered for education, entertainment and discussion purposes only. Views held in those articles are solely the opinions of the authors or interviewees, and not necessarily those of Milestone Media Group.

Rock Voltage Staff: Publisher: Mona Freedman Editor: Jay Freedman Lead Designer: Dallas Abramson Contributing Graphics: R C Lloyd Art Direction: Jay Freedman

Contributing Writers: K-Rock Ms. MARR Ivy Wells David Schroeder Dante Martino Brian Hardaswick

Chris Malone Sade Brown Jamesa Santiago Contributing Photographers: Glenn A. Miller Redhead LIVE! Photography Mid-Atlantic Rock Reviews



Written by K-Rock


t was a typically hot day in Las Vegas in October 2011. We were at the first 48 Hours Festival seeing a parade of live sets from one rock and roll giant aer another at this festival when we decided to head to the main stage and catch the set from Otherwise, a band we knew nothing about, except that they were playing in their home town on this day. When Otherwise hit the stage we had an experience that we have only had a few times in covering hundreds of bands. We (K-rock and Ms. MARR) immediately made eye contact and I knew we were thinking the same thing. Who are these guys, why haven’t we heard of them and why isn’t every rock and roll station in this country blasting the hell out of these tunes.


Little did we know at the time that as special as this show was to us it would become a bittersweet memory that the band Otherwise will never forget. On one hand, the show was a high point for the band who would present their demo CD to Jose Mangin of Sirius Octane who, as a result of hearing this demo, would add Soldiers to the regular rotation on the radio station where it would eventually become a number 1 tune, the first ever from an un-signed band on Sirius Octane. Despite the joy of 48 hours and the slingshot effect it had on their career, the band would soon experience their next low point when on Halloween they learned of the tragic loss of drum technician Ivan, cousin of lead singer Adrian Patrick and his brother lead guitar player Ryan Patrick.

Still basking in the elation and celebration of a bright future for Otherwise aer 48 Hours Festival, no one could have known that their cousin and crew member had shared the stage with the band for the very last time before his passing two weeks aer this performance. e roller coaster ride of highs and lows would continue for Otherwise as the band reached yet another high point in December 2011 when they finally landed the

on their new album and I learned that one of the amazing footnotes to the studio version of the song Soldiers is that the band used the backing tracks that their cousin Ivan recorded on the demo version of Soldiers with Ivan’s voice in drummer Corky Gainsford’s garage on the actual studio version of the album. As further tribute to their cousin, Adrian would point out the title of the album True Love Never Dies, was the tattoo Ivan had on

“ Fans are treated to the same amazing set regardless of the venue size.” record deal they had worked so long for. e band signed with Century Media Records and would begin production of their debut studio album “True Love Never Dies”. I spoke with lead singer Adrian Patrick last summer about the 48 Hours show, and how it impacted them

his neck. Adrian reflected “...So his voice is out there in the universe and every time someone calls in and requests that song on the radio it keeps his spirit alive for us”. In the year that followed the 48 Hours Festival we would see Otherwise perform live 9 times in 6 different states and watch this band gather fans and momentum at every show. We would learn that despite the emotional roller coaster ride that fate has dealt them as musicians, they have created one of the best album releases of 2012 in “True Love Never Dies” and have maintained an exhaustive touring schedule. Otherwise’s live set will roll you over and has an energy you simply have to see to appreciate. It makes no difference whether

Members of Otherwise pose with Ms. MARR & K-Rock

(Continued on page 10)


OTHERWISE: A YEAR OF TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY they are in front of fans at venues that range from stadiums to intimate nightclubs. Fans are treated to the same amazing set regardless of the size of the venue. e band’s touring resume’ is impressive to say the least. Otherwise has already become a fixture at the mega-rock festivals playing this year at mega-festivals such as Rock on the Range, Carolina Rebellion, Rock Allegiance and Rocklahoma just to name a few. Not being settled with only the festival environment, the band has been out on tour with a regular who’s who of giants in the rock world, closing out these types of tours late this year with dates with 3 Doors Down and Daughtry.

oen premium priced “meet and greet” experiences that many bands of their caliper charge admission to, simply by making themselves available to shake hands, sign souvenirs and pose for pictures. On occasion the band has even been known to bring a compressor and equipment to give fans temporary tattoos at shows featuring the bands logo, the Phoenix. Musically there is much to love about the band’s current album. Die hard fans will recognize that the band has actually been releasing albums since 1999, but “True Love Never Dies” is the first release from the band since being signed. is album is a “complete” solid rock album. It has all the elements in all the categories you want to hear in a great rock album.

Otherwise has already become a fixture at the megarock festivals such as Rock on the Range, Carolina Rebellion, Rock Allegiance and Rocklahoma just to name a few.

One of the things that impresses us the most about Otherwise is that despite the fact that they play the big shows mentioned, the band fills their nights “off ” by playing at some of the more intimate venues around the country. e beauty about these intimate shows is that the band brings the same “A” game set to the smaller clubs that they do to a stadium. e band embraces these intimate performances as a chance to meet their fans and does more than just offer lip service to the concept. We have witnessed the openness of these guys to hang out and get to meet their fans personally and provide the same excitement of the


e songs fall into categories including the “in your face” hard driving rock tunes in the form of tunes Full Circle and Silence Reigns. en there is a side of Otherwise that at times fringes on progressive rock alternating between head banging riffs and calming melodies within the same tune in songs like Lighthouse and Don’t Be Afraid. Of course, what legendary rock album would be complete without a rock anthem? Soldiers has that element to it and is a tune that has the crowd singing the tune on the

walk back to the parking lot. No classic rock album is complete without a little debauchery and this one has that as well in the form of Vegas Girl. Despite all of these strong elements, there is a sincerity and gut wrenching reality to the set of songs that seem to be straight from the heart on “True Love Never Dies” that describe the agony and the ecstasy that has been the storyline for this band’s past year of success and heartbreak in the form of the songs Crimson and Heaven. Both of these songs seem to have provided outlets for the band to grieve the loss of their cousin and crew member and it is the emotion and power behind these songs that seems to fuel the emotion and power this band evokes on stage. ey are a band that

is swamped aer each performance with new fans looking for T-shirts, CD’s and most importantly, the chance to get to know this band as we have. Otherwise is not only a seriously talented rock and roll band, but a “fans band” who will has clearly made it a mission to bond with their fans. As Otherwise continues to play in 2013, while we know the band will not ever forget their losses, we’re hoping that the band has all tragedies behind them and that positive karma follows them as they win fans over show aer show. You can rest assured that we will continue to follow them on their journey, listening to some great rock and roll all the way.


Rock Asylum

Article written by: K-Rock

ROCK & ROLL WITH A HEART Rock Voltage partner Mid-Atlantic Rock Reviews operates under the mission statement “Changing the world through rock and roll”. Each edition of Rock Voltage will highlight rockers who are living up to that mission statement.


ew York City’s ZO2 is a band that has had their hands in just about anything you can think of. eir experiences range from being a touring rock band who has toured with the likes of KISS and Poison, to having their own television show to the individual pursuits of Brothers Paul and David Zablidowsky (Paulie and David Z) and drummer Joey Cassata. e trio formed the group “e Z


Brothers” to perform for kids while pursuing their dreams of becoming mega rock stars. In addition, David is well known for being the bass player in Trans-Siberian Orchestra and has toured with other great artists such as Joan Jett. Paulie seems to have no end to his musical/acting pursuits which even include his appearance in the lead role of the musical Europa. Drummer Joey Cassata has performed with the Las Vegas version of the Blue Man Group. Recently Paulie Z has taken his passion for working to help children and found a way to merge his passion for helping children get a better education with his passion for music. He is the founder of Rock Asylum Foundation. e foundation’s mission

reads as follows:

The Rock Asylum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that creates opportunities for elementary age students to engage in learning the Common Core Standards through original music, both recorded and live. These songs are being written to target academic areas that many children find challenging. Rock Asylum has created the modern day equivalent of what those of us in our 40s will remember as “School House Rock” cartoons that taught us important educational lessons set to music. Rock Asylum has re-invented this concept and created songs “based on state standards and country-wide academic deficiencies” (Rock Asylum Facebook page). e band first released the music video “Scientific Method” in April 2012 which featured a hard rocking tune that describes the steps of the scientific method and stars ZO2 performing in the video along with students from New York School PS119.

free of charge to schools. In addition the band has scheduled a series of concerts to be performed in schools in New York City and looks to expand beyond the city to do a 5 concert tour. For those who may look at rock stars with a skeptical eye wondering what kind of role models they make with elementary school kids, one need look no further than Rock Asylum Founder Paulie Z. Paulie has been a musician who has debunked the stereotype of the heavy drinking, drug using rock star and in reality Paulie himself does not drink or use drugs and has avoided those perils throughout his career as a rocker.

These songs are being written to target academic areas that many children find challenging.

I asked Paulie how he managed to stay clear of these pitfalls. Paulie responded “I stayed clear because I had great parents who didn't do any of that stuff either. I also chose to hang around people who were as clean as possible”.e organization is one we believe is a great example of a band in the rock world “Changing the world through rock and roll.” Rock Asylum has another big fundraising event in March in CT for which details are not yet Check out the Scientific Method video available as the time of the release of this article. To learn more about Rock Asylum on or to donatez to the cause, you can go to Rock Asylum hopes to produce a series of their web site at or CD’s featuring similar songs designed to donate at: help students achieve in identified areas donate/index.html. where students across the country may be lacking in skills and provide these CDs


Written by K-Rock


ometimes you can see a band play for the first time and know within the first few minutes that you are going to be a big fan. However, it’s not oen that one has that same experience with a band while watching them perform their very first live set as a band together. is was the case for me as I watched the first live performance from When Embers Ignite.

out about this band from Baltimore, MD is the harmonies that grab you in all of their tunes. It is always tough enough for bands to belt out great harmonies on studio recordings, but When Embers Ignite not only does just that, but this band nails them at a live show as well.

e third thing that has grabbed my attention has been their great song writing. ere are really three things that jump out While this is a band who just recently at you right away about When Embers Ig- celebrated their one-year anniversary as a nite, whether it is at a live show or on a stu- band, they have created some incredible music already that has fans eagerly awaitdio recording. First is the incredible vocal ing an album release in early 2013. Rock work of lead singer and front woman Voltage’s K-rock had the chance to catch up Tawni Lee. Tawni has a amazingly strong voice perfectly suited for harmonic, heavy with lead singer Tawni Lee and talk about the band and the upcoming album release. rock music. e second thing that stands


lyrics are personal to me, they’re meaningK-rock: How would you describe When Embers Ig- ful to all of us and we put a lot of thought nite to fans who have not seen you before? and care into them. ey reflect a number of situations we’ve each faced in our lives or Tawni: have witnessed in the lives of others.  We I would describe us  as a careful and hope that anyone listening to us will be unique balance of mainstream rock and post-hardcore with strong female lead vo- able to relate to and appreciate that, as well as the sincerity and the emotion in the cals, solid harmonies, clean and thoughtlyrics. provoking lyrics, guitar lines that will be stuck in your head for days, strategically placed but never overwhelming scream parts, and drums and bass that complement and accentuate the song, all wrapped up in a big ball of adorable dorky energy. K-rock: ere seems to be a lot of emotion in the lyrics to all of the songs. Are these songs personal? Tawni: Everyone in the band contributes to the writing process, including the lyrics.  So while I can’t necessarily say that all the

K-rock: From the first time I saw you, I was impressed with the harmonies in the songs. Is this something you hear a lot? Tawni: We do get a lot of comments on our harmonies and it means a lot to us! It’s something we take a great deal of pride in and we practice them repeatedly to make sure they’re as good as they can be.  It’s also funny that when we went into the studio, our producer wanted more harmonies than we had done before, so you’re likely to hear some new ones on familiar songs.  We have (Continued on page 18)

When Embers Ignite performing live Photo courtesy of Redhead LIVE! Photography


a lot of work to do! K-rock: Is it tougher breaking out as a female fronted band, or is it no different? Tawni: I don’t think it’s any different in this day and age. All original bands have to work equally hard to create our music, get it out there, encourage the masses to listen to it, and hope to make enough money to sustain the cycle for years to follow.  It’s undoubtedly tough, but I don’t think gender makes it any more difficult. K-rock: You have not been a band all that long. How long have you actually been playing together and how is it that you guys have become so tight on stage so quickly? Tawni: at’s right – we’re just about to hit the oneyear anniversary of our very first show. Hard to believe!  As a total unit, we’ve only been together for about a year and a half. Before Josh and I joined the band, Drummer Mike, Mike D, and Bobby had been working on music for this project for about 9 months, so they had some pretty solid ideas in place when we got there and that certainly helped us get tighter live more quickly.  ose 3 guys had also played together in bands before, so they had a familiarity with one another that created a solid foundation.  Once Josh and I came in, adding our input was easy and seamless.  I think the fact that we’ve all been in successful local and regional bands definitely allows things to solidify faster.  Not to mention that we have some seriously talented dudes in the band!

K-rock: Is there a song that is a personal favorite of yours on the EP? Tawni: We’re hoping the EP will be comprised of 23 existing songs and 2-3 brand new tunes. So I don’t know how I’ll feel about the new songs just yet! Of the existing songs, my personal favorite is “Goodbye In Any Language,” the single we released about a month ago.  I think it perfectly showcases everything that we do well: anthemic lead vocals, catchy guitar lines, killer harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, Josh’s epic screams, and thumping rhythm from Drummer Mike and Bobby.  When we wrote it, it felt like we had found “our” sound for the first time. But don’t get me wrong – I’m very excited about the other songs and can’t wait for everyone to hear our second single.  It’s called “Siren Song” and it turned out unbelievably awesome. K-rock: What has been the high point of the past year for the band? Tawni: ere have been so many: playing our first show to a packed Recher eatre, opening for huge influences like e Letter Black and Blameshi, sharing the stage with so many ridiculously good local bands here in Baltimore, and recording in a pro studio with a producer who has worked with some of our favorite national acts, to name a few! We were super excited to release the first single from the EP, and we’re definitely getting excited to release the second one here shortly.  I think quite frankly we’re just thrilled to be writing the music we want to and seeing people react so positively to it.

Rock Voltage has been following When Embers Ignite throughout the course of their first year as they have exploded on to the regional music scene in Baltimore. We will be eagerly awaiting the release of their debut album in early 2013. You can find the band on their Facebook Page at


Written by Ivy Wells, Groundwire Entertainment


veryone has that moment. e moment when you realize that music is your life. You can’t live without it. Any other career is not an option. Maybe it happened during your first concert. Maybe it happened watching an artist perform on Saturday Night Live. Maybe you are just compelled, for no explanation at all. You will be a Rock Star.

sents you in one, two or even three words, make sure you can register its domain name. Do not pick a name that’s already taken. Do your research and then secure it. Choose what suits you, but please, I beg you, make sure you can pronounce it without stuttering. Choose simply and wisely and have a story to support your choice. No one wants to hear that you chose the You start writing. You take instrument les- name because it sounded cool; that’s just lame. Be smart and back it up with history. sons. You start putting the word out that One of the first questions asked of new you’re looking to form a band. You hold auditions and secure a garage or basement bands is, “How did you pick your name?” for practicing. Finally, your hopeful band is Make sure your story is worth it. People now a reality. You’re jamming, writing and love stories. Now take a cattle prod and brand yourdreaming of encores. selves. Every musician I know is either an So now what? artist or knows someone who is. Enlist his I’m here to help you. I will get you started or her help in creating your logo. It needs on your yellow brick road to the Blizzard of to represent you and your music. Your Oz. I have been in the local music business brand is your band. You can even have a for over 20 years. Heed my advice. design contest and accept submissions. It What do you call yourselves? Pay attention should be something that is instantly here, because this is very important. Before recognized. You can use a computer generated design or freehand. It’s up to you you choose the perfect name that reprebut be careful. No $ or 69s. Really.


Gigs… are you going to get gigs? You’re new, just starting and no one’s even heard of you. No one cares……yet. You can’t get gigs on that smile of yours. You need a press kit. You need photos, posters and a decent website.

about your experience, but keep it brief. We have become an information overloaded society. Too much detail and people will stop reading. Get a professional to print your media kits. Glossy paper is a must.

is is your band on paper and online. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Make it count. You need a few photos. Have a professional take them; not your best bud with an iPhone. Image is extremely important. What you wear in your photo-shoot represents who you are. Always dress for the job you want to have, not the job you currently have. What I mean by that is, dress like rock stars. Be original. Stand out. ere are thousands of blokes just like you; create an image unique to your band.

Your website is extremely important. Make sure its mobile ready. We are an eyes down society living our lives through the three inch screen we clutch in our hands . Your site needs just a few songs, videos, your schedule, contact information and a place for people to sign up for your email list and texting reminder list. Yes, texting is the wave of the future. Always text and email reminders to your gigs. is is just for starters. Photos are key. Take photos of garage gigs; get all of your friends together so it looks like you have a following. Action shots are a must and so is video. Get a decent recording of a montage of your music. Originals and covers. Get yourself into the studio and cut a demo. I know you already know this, but it bears repeating. You must have a Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, You Tube Channel and MySpace. ese sites are the new word of mouth. Use them to your advantage and create incentives for your fans to share information. Buy them a drink at your gig for sharing and showing up. Get my dri?

“Who are you? What do stand for? What kind of music do you write?... Create a story for yourselves.”

Helpful tip: Print your website address and QR code on the photo along with a phone number and band name. Not sure what a QR code is? Google it. ey are free and you can get one in 5 minutes. Next is your bio. Who are you? What do you stand for? What kind of music do you write? Include a song list. Include covers. You have to play covers. I know most original bands don’t want to hear that; but it’s the nature of the beast. Create a story for yourselves. People love stories, remember? Don’t just list the facts. Write how you met and what music means to you. Write

Next issue - Getting the gig.


If you search the web right now, you will find that in the past several years a new way to enhance the concert experience is gaining momentum. The rock and roll cruise concept is becoming more and more popular and has grown to the point where the rock cruise planners can now charter an entire cruise ship for their event. Rock Voltage reporters K-rock and Ms. MARR have been out in the field, or should we say on the ocean, for the past


several years, and have learned all about these cruises first hand from experiences on the Vh1 Best Cruise Ever, Monsters of Rock Cruise and Shiprocked Cruise. In this article we give you an overview of what the experience is like, some of the pros and cons of rock cruises, and some helpful advice on what to do and what not to do to make your rock cruise the most memorable vacation of a lifetime.

Photograph courtesy of K-Rock


magine getting to see your favorite band in a small venue right up close. Imagine next that as you are watching you turn to your le and right and notice members of other great bands standing there with you watching the show. Imagine wandering around the ship and having the chance to walk up to your favorite artists and snap a picture, share a drink at the bar with them, play a round of miniature golf

or even join them on a excursion at one of the ports. No these aren’t dreams, they are all realities aboard the three rock cruises we’ve had the opportunity to experience. ese experiences are the reason that rock cruises are the only cruises for K-rock and Ms. MARR of Mid-Atlantic Rock Reviews. So you want to share the dream do you? Well let us offer some guidance on how to make that dream come true.

Which cruise do I pick?


he first thing you need to do is read Pick you genre and check the lineup. carefully about the cruise you are ere is much debate among rock cruisers booking and determine the band about the importance of the number of lineup. For many cruisers we spoke with artists on the ship. While each artist may the lineup will naturally make or break the play 2 or even 3 times during the cruise on experience. In addition, some rock cruises some cruises, share the boat with remember that the “regular cruisers” who more artists there are may or may not have the more potential any idea that they are for overlap of sharing the boat with performances which rockers. For purposes means you may not of this article, we have see every performonly experienced the ance on the cruise. cruises which are fully Our take on this has chartered by the rock always been pretty cruise events. To us simple. We want to the most important see as many artists as thing about the cruise possible on the ship, is who the artists are. even if it means some Most rock cruises are overlap. e ships “themed together”, Cruisers aboard the ships deck for a show have multiple venues featuring artists that and the more artists will in general attract similar fans. In the that are playing means more choices. e case of Monsters of Rock, the bands are all more choices, that we have, the happier we 80’s Hairmetal era bands for the most part, are. With a little planning on our part we whereas Shiprocked features a more mod- can decide who to see and at which venue ern much heavier lineup and Legends of on the ship to see them. Rock Cruise features all classic rock bands. (Continued on page 24)


The Experience: is it really what I think it is?


and quite frankly, we have found the ome of you out there may be a little timid about being out in international cruisers on the rock cruises to be more waters with thousands of rockers. Let polite that the people we’ve encountered on non-rock cruises and at other public us put that fear to rest. Yes, you will be events. ere is a sort of fraternity that surrounded by people covered in tattoos forms and a common bond and piercings. No, you will amongst the cruisers that not stand out like a sore seems to make people more thumb if you are not willing to be tolerant of dressed this way. I urge any each other, say please, of you who would stereothank you and excuse me type these cruisers to spend and help each other out in some time getting to know need. You may be skeptical them the way we have and at first, but we have seen it you will find that the stereotype of the typical “rock fan” K-Rock, Ms. MARR and Geoff Tate three times now, and cruisers we spoke with have covered in tattoos and piercconfided that it is the people and the ing being someone to keep an eye on is friends they make on the ship that brings ridiculous. people from all over the world together e behavior of the crowd on all three cruises we have covered has been amazing that makes these cruises the experience of a lifetime.

Protecting your savings account:


he cost of the cruise can add up quickly if you don’t pay attention to a few things. Drinks can be a bit pricey and if you let the drinks start flowing without periodically checking your bill, you might be surprised with your bar tab at the end. Most Cruises offer drink packages where you can pre-purchase a number of drinks at a reduced rate. Buying the drink package not only reduces the prices of drinks, but helps you to “budget” your consumption. Most cruise lines have a feature where you can monitor your bill from the television in your room. We recommend checking this daily.

phone service. Call your provider before you go to find out what the rates are to the various countries you’ll be traveling to. Rates in other countries can vary widely. We actually recommend turning off data roaming as well. Also, check the time settings on your phone. If you plan to use your phone as an alarm clock, you’ll need to turn off the automatic time update feature or the time may not be accurate on your phone.

Call your credit card company before you leave home and make sure they know where you are traveling and the name of the cruise line so that they do not disable Another cost that can add up quickly is cell your card assuming you have been the vic-


booking a room as a single will pay more than those sharing cabins. Keep in mind you will also likely need a hotel the night before the cruise unless you live in close proximity to the port of departure and that you will need some cash for tipping the drivers and bag handlers who assist you. e cruises themselves can vary in price Tips on the cruise ship itself may or may based on the cruise line, the number of not be included. Check the fine print in the days at sea and especially depending on your room selection. A typical cruiser such pricing for each individual cruise. as a couple traveling together can plan on If you are spending your savings on the spending anywhere between $550 - $1500 cruise, consider insurance that protects you on average per person (based on sampling in the event you need to cancel. No one exof Kid Rock Cruise, Monsters of Rock and pects a death in the family or an auto acciShiprocked). e main two components dent on the way to the cruise, but we have determining price here are the type of seen both happen to folks. Don’t let a bad cabin and the number of cruisers in cabin. situation become worse if you have to Interior rooms with no view cost less than cancel. a room with a view or a balcony. A cruiser

tim of fraud. We have witnessed this happen to cruisers. Be careful to use good judgement about what you post on-line. Remember that when you post live from the Bahamas that you are telling the world your house is empty back in the States.

Common sense & safety advice: • Even though you are surrounded by • Pace yourself with drinking. You need people sharing a common interest, you to make sure you can navigate your are still surrounded by many strangers way around, especially while in a port as well. Use common sense precau- city in a different country. You don’t tions in deciding who you invite to your want to lose your way in a another room, share personal information with country and leave yourself vulnerable. etc. Travel with a group and take care • Be mindful of the time while at port. of each other, especially if everyone is Allow extra time for the return trip to drinking. the port, especially of you have to • Place your cash and credit cards in the catch a cab or shuttle. If traveling to room safe when not at port. You won’t another country, have a passport with need them on the ship. Everything is you just in case you miss the ship. paid for with your ship card issued at • Consider paying cash when possible debarkation. when in other countries. We have heard • Bring sunblock. Even though it may be cold where you are, the sun in the southern climates and tropics is very strong.

instances of cruisers who charged items at port in foreign countries later finding credit card fraud on their accounts. (Continued on page 26)


Tips for meeting your favorite artists: • Do your homework and look at recent pic- • Have your camera set up, ready to go and tures of all of the artists. Consider printing with you at all times. You never know when their pictures so that you can discretely that sighting will occur. This advice applies reference to help identify who people are as while in port as well. a cheat sheet. • Bring lots of extra photo batteries and • Look for the “Artist” badge. Almost all of the memory cards. We also recommend bringing a 6 outlet artists are wearing a extension cord for pass on their belt or on a lanyard that says charging these items “artist”. Don’t be as there is afraid to just politely normally only one ask “Which band are outlet per cabin. you in”? Remember • Don’t rely on cruise they are just people. scheduled “meet and On rare occasions you greet” sessions. These may meet some artist are usually mass meet that is full of themand greet sessions selves and acts rude, with hundreds of fans but we have found this where the event photo be the exception. tographer will take a Normally they simply very quick photo of tell you who they are. you with the band. You If they are rude or conwill likely not be aldescending, our lowed to take your philosophy has been own picture or get that we probably items signed. These didn’t want to meet events are crowded them anyway. and bands may have to leave before the • Give them room to A cruiser chats with a Gator Guard conclusion of the breathe. Treat the event. If you simply artists like humans. Don’t approach them while they are eating, must be a part of these events, consider using the bathroom, trying to order food buying a VIP package for the cruise which etc. Some common courtesy goes a long often allows you to be in the front of the line. way towards getting the photo you want.

Ms. MARR, Gator Security & K-rock


I F I T ’S TOO LOUD YOU’RE TOO OLD Written by K-Rock

ontrary to what many people may think, more and more people attending rock concerts have come to the realization that even though it is fun to hear the great music with unprotected ears, there could be a cost to pay in the form of hearing loss. I write this article with the full understanding that I may not fit the profile of the typical concert attendee in the sense that I oen attend multiple concerts within the same week. However if me protecting my ears at a show makes me un-cool or too me a nerd and sign me up for a senior center.


they are standing near us, obviously trying to cover their ears with their hands, and in some cases trying to remain cool looking while doing so. e funny thing is the reaction people have when we offer them a set of earplugs. We don’t preach to folks. We simply hand the ear plugs to the struggling person. If they decline we walk away and say nothing. We normally receive one of two reactions. Many folks gush with gratitude, practically hugging us for the relief we have provided. e other reaction we get is a startled look of “who me?”. Some folks have even seem offended by the offer.

e wake up call came for me aer a show where we stood in the second row, about 4 feet from the speakers in a small club. I had been used to the normal “ringing in the ears” until the next morning, but this time it was different. e ringing didn’t go away for a day or so and quite frankly it scared the daylights out of me. Music is my life...what if I can’t hear it anymore?

ink about it this way. If the vast majority of the artists on stage are wearing hearing protection, shouldn’t you? Aren’t they still cool? In 2009 the Milwaukee(Continued on page 28)

From that day forward I have always worn ear protection at a show and we actually carry extra ones with us that we have purchased to hand out to those we see obviously struggling at shows. e typical scene we see in a person that is struggling is that


Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported on concert and noise induced hearing loss. As they wandered around the 2009 Summer Fest they reported the following: Fans who rocked out to No Doubt on ursday night at the Marcus Amphitheater experienced 107.5 decibels halfway back at the venue. At 10 rows back at the English hard rock band Whitesnake, we measured 105.4. Even standing outside the bleacher seats, Whitesnake still hovered near 100 throughout its set. According to the National Institute of Health: e louder the sound, the shorter the time period before Noise Induced Hearing Loss can occur. Sounds of less than 75 decibels, even aer long exposure, are unlikely to cause hearing loss. Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. According to many experts, for 95 decibels, the limit is four hours per day. For 102 decibels it's an hour and a half. Our goal here is not to recommend any specific type of hearing protection. We do


not possess the expertise to make that recommendation. Our goal is simply to encourage you to think about it.and wear something! For those curious, I personally wear a set of custom molded earplugs from Radians that look like “silly putty” and fit to you ear, are quite comfortable and really don’t distort the sound of the music very much in my opinion. Whatever you choose, we hope that protecting your ears enables you to attend, enjoy and hear concerts well into your Golden years as we plan to do at Mid-Atlantic Rock Reviews. One final thought: If you choose to ignore this advice we completely respect your decision although we will disagree with it. However, if you bring a child to a concert, we plead with you to provide hearing protection designed for a child and protect their hearing. So crank up the music, stand up front, scream at the top of your lungs...but be smart. I don’t want to have to scream it to you.

V OIVOD TARGET EARTH Album review by David Schroeder


f you've never heard of (or heard) the French Canadian band VOIVOD, imagine gene splicing the music of King Crimson, Pink Floyd, e Dead Kennedys, Motorhead, and Van Der Graaf Generator, with the minds of Ridley Scott, Rod Serling, Stephen Hawking, and H.G. Wells. You might get something similar to what VOIVOD creates lyrically and musically. en again you might get something that is so strange, it's better off that you kill the experiment. If you are new to VOIVOD and are willing to open up your mind, you'll be in for one amazing ride, but be prepared, because this isn't you're "girls, drugs, cars & sex" kind of band. For those of you that have been fortunate and cool enough to follow this band's career from the beginning when they unleashed "War and Pain" onto an unsuspecting world in 1984, you'll know that the band have evolved, mutated, and transformed over the years but somehow always been able to be identified as VOIVOD. VOIVOD’s latest release Target Earth takes you back to the classic days of Dimension

Hatross, and Nothingface; yet, like these albums (and most of Voivod’s catalog) it doesn't sound dated, or sound like a rehashed version of a previous album. One of the main reasons is that the original bass player, Jean-Yves "Blacky" eriault, is back in the band and his playing had a major impact on the unique sound of VOIVOD. Not taking anything away from Eric Forrest or Jason Newsted who helped keep the VOIVOD machine running aer Blacky le the band; but, their sound and vibe was nothing like what eriault creates with his "Blower Bass". Also helping create Target Earth are drummer/album artist (and only member who has been on every album) Michel "Away" Langevin who is still laying down his tribal grooves and monstrous patterns, and singer/lyricist Denis "Snake" Belanger who continues to take you mind into uncharted territories with his brilliant wordcra and distinct vocals. en there is the guitarist. For many fans of VOIVOD, when original guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour passed away in 2005, from complications of colon cancer, they (Continued on page 30)


thought there could be no one that could fill his shoes, and VOIVOD would eventually cease to exist once the band finished using all the music Piggy had created, amassed, recorded and le them on his computer for future albums. In order to play concerts and keep the spirit of Piggy alive the band tapped the shoulder of fellow Canadian Dan "Chewy" Mongrain who was the guitarist/singer for the technical death metal band (for lack of a better description) MARTYR. Mongrain grew up on VOIVOD and was very influenced by D'Amour's playing, and made the perfect replacement to pay tribute while the band toured. A bond was formed and the foursome started writing new music that was without a doubt VOIVOD in every shape and form. Now that your history lesson has concluded, lets get into the masterpiece that is Target Earth. Note that these are just my interpretations of the songs, and like most great art forms, each song could mean something else to different ears. I'll touch on a few of them and leave the rest for you to discover on your own.

chords, and time changes while adding his own signature style to the sound of VOIVOD. Next up is "Kluskap O'Kom", which aer a bit of online research I found out Kluskap is from Indian folklore and was a sort of like Prometheus ... a human with God given powers. O'Kom is Dutch for "Oh Come". e lyrics encapsulate Kluskap's journeys and adventures. "Empathy for the Enemy" begins with a nice acoustic guitar that changes into an electric riff before the entire band blasts through and then slows down, speeds up, slows down... as the story of a soldier's view on war and his enemy transpire. e first single to come off Target Earth was "Mechanical Mind" and it's great way to introduce, or reintroduce yourself to VOIVOD. An awesome song that begins with an interlude that reminds me of an outtake from RUSH's 2112 album before the song kicks in. e pace slows down considerably and the doomy "Warchaic" begins. From doom & gloom to swirling and building, which fit perfectly with Snake's vocals about the destruction and reconstruction of the planet.

he album begins with the title track, and aer some sci fi sound effects, Blacky makes his presence known with a killer bass groove and we're off on Snake's lyrical adventure of world destruction via computer viruses, and hacking from a character who claims "I am the God eraser / I am a planet killer". What a start, and the journey has only begun.


"Rise up, speak loud, move on, scream, shout, protest, about..." so begins "Resistance" and we're groovin' along. If you don't find your head moving or your foot tapping, or entire body convulsing, you best check your pulse, because you're probably dead. Stand up and fight for what you believe in. "We may just crush them, like little ants..."

You're immediately drawn into the music; and, if you follow the lyrics it's easy to create images in you head as the stories unfold. You also realize that Mongrain channels the spirit of D'Amour's dissonant

"Kalieidos" speeds though with riffs and leads that get your heart rate up and head reeling. Is this about a psychedelic trip or some kind of interrogation tactics... or maybe something completely different. I'll let you decide.


"Corps Etranger", is all sung in French. e title means 'foreign body'. Feel free to babblefish the lyrics, I didn't... yet. But I sure enjoy the ride this song takes me on, even without a clue of what is being communicated. A reoccurring VOIVOD theme rears it's head again with the extraterrestrial tale of "Artefact". is song just tears it up and gets your blood pumping and heart pounding. e final track (unless you purchased the limited edition mediabook, box set, or Japanese edition which have 2 extra live tracks - the Japanese version having different songs than the other releases mentioned) is "Defiance". Clocking in at around a minute and a half it's like an epitaph for the album with a final line that says exactly how I feel aer listening to this timeless masterpiece: "knowing your life won't be the same..." roughout the entire album there's insane time signature changes, stops and starts within songs that allow you to catch your breath and then pummel you mercilessly as it takes off into another realm...basically everything and anything you can image to keep the album exciting, intriguing, and mind blowing. Because that's just what VOIVOD does. Away and Blacky created some interesting spacey interlude pieces that start off a handful of the songs on the album. e grooves are so incredibly addictive that you'll find yourself playing this album over and over and over again until it becomes part of your DNA.

and insightful, genius lyrics with a unique delivery of both that has always made VOIVOD stand out from so many other bands. Oen imitated, never duplicated. For those of you, like me, who are a bit "collector obsessive", there's plenty of ways to purchase this album: • the regular ten track jewel case version; • the limited edition 12 track mediabook that contains live versions of "Target Earth" and the Die Kreuzen tune "Man in the Trees" which also has guest vocals by Dan Dubinski; • the box set which contains the mediabook release, the live at Roadburn 2011 Festival (which was previously only available on vinyl), a VOIVOD belt, 3 Target Earth postcards, and a black and white poster; • the 12 track Japanese release which contains live versions of "Tribal Convictions" and "Nothingface"; • the double 12 inch black vinyl; • the double 12 inch limited edition red vinyl; • the double 12 inch limited edition blue vinyl; • and there's a rumor of an orange vinyl and a purple vinyl edition, but we'll have to see about those; • there's also a red, a blue, and a black 7 inch single sided vinyl of the song "Mechanical Mind" which has a cool etched 'b-side' of Away's artwork.

It might only be January, but I'll have a So, the future looks very bright for hard time finding another #1 album for 2013, even with all the great bands that are VOIVOD, and who knows where they'll transport us to next time? - RV releasing material this year. Target Earth just has everything that excites and electrifies me about music. Brilliant musicianship


Interview with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Former Metallica Bassist Jason Newsted interviewed, talks new band “NEWSTED” and new music “Metal” Interview by Dante Martino Dante: What’s up man how are you? Jason Newsted: I’m good man thanks. Dante: ank you for doing the interview. Jason Newsted: No problem at all. Dante: I know it’s been awhile since this happened


but, first I want to congratulate you on the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. It must feel great to be apart of that. Jason Newsted: It’s pretty surreal, really. It was a great honor and I tried to take it all but it was pretty over whelming to try to think about that in any reasonable terms. e people you are elbow to elbow with once you are put in that place, it’s quite a feather in the cap, and I don’t think I have fully fathomed it yet now that you mentioned it.

Dante: How did your new band “Newsted” come about? Jason Newsted: I have been jamming with these guys for a while, but I think it was pretty much Lars’s fault. He called me in October of 2011 and asked me to come jam with those guys for the 30th anniversary thing. I didn’t really know what to expect I just knew I was going to have a good time. I was looking forward to seeing the family again. It’s the same people that have worked with Metallica for decades, all the crew guys and everyone so it a pretty tight knit bunch. I was just looking forward to seeing everybody. I went down to check it out. I started to hang out with my people and the crowd started reacting to me being there and we started playing on stage and it was just overwhelming, the energy that they were directing toward me. And each day it just got heavier and heavier. So yeah Lars, asked me to do it and the people took over and called me back. It really was that. at’s why I am doing it now because I got such a strong feeling from the fans that night.

Dante: When did you decide to put “Newsted” together? Jason Newsted: I started figuring out my options in December of 2011. I started to ask myself what I could do. Could I go play with Flotsam, could I put a super group together? I could go play with some guys I have some history with. So I played some shows with “Flotsam And Jetsam” in early 2012 we got the original line up together and played “Doomsday For the Deceiver” for a couple of different days. It was the 30th reunion for the Flotsam guys as well and 25 years for the Doomsday record, so it was an appropriate reunion for us. We just jammed it and had a good time. But I didn’t see it for anything more than what it was. So I started putting together what I was going to do for a band. ese guys that I am with now, we have been jamming for a few years. We got together, and I got on my iPad last year, I think it was in September and wrote all these tracks. We recorded 11 tracks so far in a couple weeks time. I wrote all the songs on guitar and recorded all the tracks and had these guys learn the songs for when we would record them for real. I played all of the rhythm guitar on the record. All of the bass, some of the leads and all of the vocals. (Continued on page 34)


It was quite an undertaking, about 14 month’s time; Metallica said I need to take it to the people again. So that was it. It was because the people ask me to do it basically.

CD will be out by the summer and will be out in all forms by the end of the year. Dante: Do you have any tour plans yet?

Jason Newsted: ere is a lot of stuff on the table. ere was a lot of interest generated over the holidays. When everyone came back to work on the second of January everyone started Jason Newsted: Yes, mostly bass but I should be playing blowing the phone up. I’ll be going out to guitar as well and if everything falls L.A. in the next week or so to meet with together the everyone to way we want find out what it to, we the real deal should be is because playing as a there is alfour piece. ways a lot of talk in this Dante: business. So I Do you have want to meet any ideas who with people your guitar to find out player is what’s going going to be? on for real. Jason ere are a Newsted: few offers I do have my domestic and person chosen but I am not telling anyinternational festival stuff. ere are some body yet. cool mid size to big club gigs. I would like to do some 4 or 500 seaters to bust the rust Dante: off and sweat and stuff like that. And there When is the full length version of this are some support slots with a few hero going to be released? bands. So all those things are being talked Jason Newsted: about. My quest has not changed from the We have 11 songs, we are going to do 3 time I started in Flotsam And Jetsam, take E.P.’s and at the end of all that we will the music to whoever will listen to it anyrelease the full album and that will be rewhere on the planet. Anywhere that acleased on vinyl and all other formats but in cepts our westernized music, I want to take between the CD’s will be available 2 weeks it to them. I have already played in between aer the iTunes E.P. releases. So Jan 8th 40 and 50 countries and I plan on playing was the Itunes release, preorders for the in more than that. Anybody that will have CD of the E.P. start on the 15th and the CD us, we will go and take care of business if ships on the 22nd and ultimately the full everything works out. Dante: Live are you going to be playing guitar as well?


Dante: How would you describe “Newsted” “Metal” compared to everything else you have done? Are these songs from a different place compared to Flotsam, Voivod, Metallica, Echo Brain and Papa Wheelie? Jason Newsted: Yeah, this is quite a bite different in a lot of ways. I have been out of the serious performance business since 2006; I did the Rock Star Super Nova thing. A little bite with Ozzy and Voivod surrounding that. at was the last time I was out amongst the people besides for a few Papa Wheelie club shows. at part is going to be different, going out and assuming new rules as the lead vocalist, bass player and guitar player as well. ese are things I’ve never done. I have done it with Papa Wheelie but that was just improvisational, sloppy, slabs of metal that doesn’t have to be too precise. In this band it’s a little more serious. I did construct all the songs myself, I am putting my name on it and I am singing lead vocal on the recordings too. So it’s a lot of new steps. With all those things in mind this is a pretty fresh approach to things. I really have to be on my toes. I have to work a lot harder and I have to remember a lot more. It’s a lot more to take on personally as far as performer goes for sure. I am ready for it and I am a little scared. I would say I am excitedly scared. Dante: Since you mentioned Ozzy, I wanted to add that was pretty cool seeing you at Ozzfest playing with him.

Jason Newsted: Yeah that was my third dream come true. I got to play with Metallica, Voivod and Ozzy and I am working on my fourth dream right now man. Dante: I have an off topic question for you if you don’t mind? Jason Newsted: Go for it? Dante: Was that Rock Star Super Nova thing fixed? Because it sure as hell looked fixed? I remember watching the first show with my wife and we picked the winner from day one. Jason Newsted: No, not as far as I was concerned. I know where my vote was. I know how honest I was about everything and I know who I wanted to win. I put in my vote like I was committed to at the beginning when I signed the contract with those people. I said I was going to do this and this and this, for this much money and that’s what I did. I never agreed to do the tour or anything like that. I fulfilled what I said I would fulfill. It was a way to Hollywood for me, bro. I learned a lot from the experience, that’s for sure. e money was incredible and the actual time that Tommy Lee and I got to hit as a rhythm section was killer. We only practiced about 4 or 5 times but it was killer and I had a lot of fun with it. When it gets down to making (Continued on page 36)


the volume I am all about it, but the rest of the things that surrounded it, and everyone gets so distracted with all of their Hollywood bull shit, that’s just not for me man. at is the opposite of what I want to do. If we are not going to plug in and make noise I would rather not be there. You have to let the music do the talking and everything else flows from that. Not the other way around. Just because you wish it’s going to be great does not mean it’s going to. To put three guys in a room from bands that did ok and say “We’re not asking for much, just give us the next Stairway“ is crazy, and they were serous. ey wanted a Bad Company or Led Zeppelin song that was going to sell millions of copies. at’s how clueless the T.V. guys were. It was a weird experience but I’m glad I did it because it made me better. Dante: How does it feel to have been in a band that ment so much to so many people? Jason Newsted: I really didn’t know. Looking back its good to know I have made more people smile than frown. Just now, these last 5 or 6 weeks. Aer getting a handle on social media and talking to people from all corners of the globe, parts I have not


played yet, but the music still reached there. It’s a pretty big deal and I am just now figuring out what you’re talking about. I am just now fathoming, the seeds that I have planted by giving people the time of day while touring around the world is now coming back to me with this beautiful fruit that I just did not know would be there. I know Metallica ment a lot to people because they meant a lot to me before I joined them but when you are in it, it is hard to stand back from it and see what’s going on. It’s kind of awkward. I am able to reflect now through people words and expression and their positive energy. Dante: Is there anything you want to say to your fans before we wrap this up? Jason Newsted: I just want everybody to realize the truth of this. I was inspired all the way through to come back again by that feeling, I tasted that feeling again, and I want to thank everyone for helping me realize it was ok to come back with new music. It feels really good because I am doing it for everybody and because I want to do it. And it has nothing to do with anything other than that. And just so there is no confusion, it’s “Newsted”, it’s “Metal”, so you know what you are going to get.–RV


THROUGH ROCK & ROLL More Than Just a Mission Statement Written by K-Rock


he title of the post is much more than just that. It is our mission statement here at Mid-Atlantic Rock Reviews. We would like to take credit for the wording, but that credit goes to Dawn Botti from the band New Day Dawn who dropped the phrase on us as we were having a conversation one night, and it was obvious to both Ms. MARR and I that this simple statement so perfectly describes why we do what we do.


n the past two years we have had the honor of covering live music all over the country and we have seen bands demonstrating time and time again that the rock and roll community consists of the most caring, giving, thoughtful and aware people this world has to offer. On Decemver 22, 2012, we had the honor and privilege of covering the Forever Autumn memorial event at the TLA in Philadelphia, PA. For those who may not know the story, Autumn was a beautiful child and family member of the band e Electric Boa who’s life was senselessly taken for no good reason. Autumn’s untimely death le not only her family asking “why”, but le her family and extended family in the band e Electric Boa, e Philadelphia rock music scene, and the world who watched this story unfold across global media, asking the same question - “Why”? Quite simply there is no answer that we know of that can explain Autumn’s loss. What we do know is that while we may not be able to answer why, we are le trying to figure out what we can do to ease the pain of Autumn’s death for those who loved her, and seek to find ways to bring peace and healing to those le to mourn her. While nothing can bring Autumn back, guitar player Joe Fortino of e Electric Boa managed to find a way to honor Autumn that simply blew us away. Joe organized the “Forever Autumn” memorial event which featured 12 bands from Philadelphia and beyond who came together to celebrate the life of Autumn and to help each other heal. e effort that Joe put into organizing such an event is deserving of more recognition

that we could ever begin to bestow upon him. is was a top notch event with incredible bands and auction items from all facets of the community including memorabilia from national artists, collectibles, and donations and even some gis that honored Autumn by featuring some of her favorite things in life such as a BMX bike and her favorite candy. We want to publicly recognize Joe and e Electric Boa for putting on a show that was a tribute to Autumn. I hope that this incredible event provided some measure of healing to those suffering this loss. For us the show demonstrated something about the rock and roll scene in Philadelphia as well. e musicians who performed at this event were amazing talents. Even more important, we were so impressed to see the camaraderie of the members of all of the bands, many of who have shared the stage with each other for years, and who have traded band members and band names over the years come together for a untied cause. We had the opportunity to simply sit back and observe from back stage as band aer band appeared and worked together to honor Autumn and support her family. We saw no ego trips, no petty squabbling over dressing rooms, no prima donnas. We saw a community of musicians who were proud to be a part of the live rock and roll scene and who were especially proud to be a part of the Philadelphia music scene. We saw musicians who put aside other things in their lives during the busy holiday season to help a friend. We saw fans who love these bands come out in full force and support their favorite band, and the rock and roll lifestyle as well.



ey played a few more local shows and then rounded out the year performing at one of the largest NYE events in the region called Charm City Countdown in Towson, MD. ey had a great year with CD sales high, an agent in NY and great shows on the books! ey are continuing to rock out this ey had an amazing time in Virginia with year and working on their next full length pay and paid accommodations. ey rocked album-the sky's the limit for this talented at Rock Out Colon Cancer, a charity cancer band! Chcek out their latest video “One Hot fundraiser when they donated their performance to the cause and were asked to Rocker” on play longer at Noise in the Basement concert and when the crowds wanted more! Matt Davis came over to join the fun. At the Island Bay Free downloads on www.le Day Concert, they shared the stage with National Acts and headlined the Hammerjacks, 98 Rock and Groundwire's Battle to Rock the Shore aer Bad Seed Rising and King Belvedere and others took the stage.

estronger has had any great shows in Maryland and surrounding states this year. e Honor Ride: a weekend of remembrance biker event drew huge crowds for Lestronger in Winchester, VA, during the day and the at the Aer Party at night; they blew the roof of the Blue Fox!


By K-Rock


hemical Red is a band out of Baltimore, MD which was formed from a group of veteran rockers from the Maryland music scene. Chemical Red has released their debut album entitled “Hollywood Scars”, and we could not be more excited about a release than we are about this one. We had the chance to talk with Chemical Red at e Deep End Studios while they were recording Hollywood Scars. K-Rock Give us a flavor of what Chemical Red is musically. Jarred (Guitar): It’s definitely a step in a different direction. We’ve got two former members of Cold Harbour who everyone in the Baltimore music scene knows. It’s a step off from that direction, and we’re actually a bit mellower than Cold Harbour was. K-rock: How did this band come together? Joe (Drums): I just came back from retirement. For seven years I didn’t play. Mark and I use to play in Carolina with the band Influx. It kinda just died off because I guess we weren’t ready back then.... I did the family thing for seven years, and Mark gave me a

call and was like, hey, why don’t you come play, and I got back on the horse and started riding. Jarred (Guitar): It’s been an odd trip. Mark and I were the first two in as Chemical Red. Cold Harbour had just split and I was in Roll it Over . I’ve always respected Mark musically a lot and I feel like he and I share a lot of influences, a lot of similar styles. We sort of had the opportunity originally where we were going to try to pick up where Cold Harbour le off. As we got together and started playing and played more and more together... the songs just started flowing. Eric (Guitar): I was in Cold Harbor, and actually I was going to retire for a while myself. I love playing with Mark. He hit me up and was interested in what they were doing with Chemical Red. I was going to do the studio thing and become Dr. Luke, you know and produce all the stars. One night we had a couple shots and hung out, heard a couple demos and I was sold. Jarred (Guitar): It’s cool for me to finally play with Eric. What a lot of people don’t know is that when I moved to Baltimore, I joined a band that Eric had recently le. So I went


the first single and the first tune the band has produced a music video for. I think my favorite tune on the album is Flickering Judas, which is a mellower tune, but which has an edgy chorus that still hits you pretty hard. It is the tune that I think best captures that painful dark side that permeates so much of the bands music. It is a dark but You can see the entire video interview rocking tune at the same time. I have to with Chemical Red on our Youtube give the nod to Never Gonna Change as the Channel for Behind e Bands. tune I think is the most ready to grab the So now that the album is complete, what airways and start earning fans quickly for do we think about the finished product? the band. While it is indeed the most mainHollywood Scars is an absolute masterpiece stream of the tunes on the album, it still from this band who seems to have paid has that edgy style that is both melancholy their dues for so long in so many different and rocking at the same time. I was a fan of bands, and has Cold Harbour prior finally found what to the breakup and I believe is the while there are chemistry needed hints of the legacy to explode in 2013. of Cold Harbour in this release in the Hollywood Scars is style of music, there an album made up is an evolution as of six fantastic well. At times this tunes. e songrelease reminds me writing on this of that style of music I still don’t have a album is truly worth paying attention to name for, that has been made popular by and the tunes are infectious. Singer Mark bands such as 10 Years, Janus, Tool and Richey has never been one for writing Chevelle. I think that fans who like any of happy go lucky tunes about sunshine and these bands will find a great deal to like in rainbows and the dark emotional themes Hollywood Scars. that run through much of the past music he has created are ever present in HollyI cannot say enough good things about this wood Scars. e dark themes are not a album. I give it the coveted Rock Voltage detractor on this album, in fact, one finds “must own” status and would encourage themselves drawn to the emotion in a way you to check out the tunes on the band’s that has you wanting to listen over and over facebook page at again as you wonder about the stories /chemicalredmusic. behind the songs. You can also check out the video for the I am not exaggerating when I suggest that first single, which is also the title track to there are six tunes out of six with great the album, Hollywood Scars at radio potential on this release. Hollywood is is a band we Scars has a slow but heavy riff to it and is are expecting to see big things from in 2013.

in and learned everything Eric was playing for a different band. en I joined Roll It Over and Eric was in Cold Harbour. When Cold Harbour split, Mark called me and I went and learned all of Eric's stuff again... (laughing) I feel like I should just let him write my stuff and then learn it.





Interview by K-Rock loodline Riot is keeping the phrase for years in various bands who finally find “Detroit Rock City” Alive. If you each other and the right combination for a look around at pretty much any city great album or more. In Detroit, Michigan, with a thriving music scene, you’ll find that we have found another example of such a band in Bloodline Riot. e collection of special band that is made up of a collection of musicians who have paid their dues veteran Detroit rockers came together and

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Rock Voltage: You guys hail from Detroit which has had its challenges in the recent economic times. is release was no garage band producWhat is the Rock and Roll Scene like there tion. It was produced by Andy Patten (Sponge, Taproot) and mixed and mastered now? by Chuck Alkazian (Pop Evil, Trust Jason: Company). A quick listen to “Burn” will e Rock scene in Detroit is interesting. have you eager to hear the rest of the band’s ere is an amazing amount of raw musical EP “Keys and Clockwork”. Each song on talent in Detroit. I'm proud and honored to the four-song EP is a strong effort worthy say that I know a lot of amazing bands and of some significant radio play. In fact, the musicians who easily hold up to what's band started to catch some of that coveted being played out there on mainstream air time with “Burn” in their hometown, as radio. at said, the Detroit music scene well as stations in Las Vegas, Texas and has had it's share of challenges due to the beyond. economy as well as smoking being banned in clubs/bars. e thing about the people Bloodline Riot’s music has a great of Detroit is this however: e people of combination of melodic verses, meshed Detroit are not only some of the hardest with a pounding backbeat that keeps you working people you'll meet, but they're energized throughout all of the tunes. ere is a certain versatility to their sound survivors. released their first single as Bloodline Riot entitled “Burn” in May, 2011.

that has a bit of something for the metal fan, while at the same time finding some pleasing choruses for the fan of more progressive sounding rock. Perhaps the best example of this style is also perhaps the strongest tune on the CD: “Element”. e blending of sounds in Bloodline Riot’s style seems to have been recognized by the live music world as well, as they have shared the stage with a diverse collection of acts such as Drowning Pool, Fuel, Taproot, Soil, Nonpoint, Powerman 5000, Dope, 12 Stones, e Dreaming and many others. Bloodline Riot’s EP “Keys and Clockwork” features some nice work from guitarist Jason Caine. I had the chance to catch up with Jason and ask him about Bloodline Riot’s music and the music scene in Detroit.

I'm happy to say that despite the challenges to the scene, I know bands that are thriving and adapting to the changing environment. I think to be a musician/ band with any sort of longevity, you have to be adaptable, strategic as well as talented and versatile. I know several bands that have been signed to label deals within this past year or so & have been touring with some of the biggest Rock acts out there. Ghosts of August, Battlecross, & We Came as Romans, for example, are all Detroit-based acts that have been doing amazing things and a great example of what I'm talking about. Also, we're fortunate that Detroit is considered a main touring hub for national acts as well, so that definitely helps local artists gain exposure to the mainstream audience through opening slots. Detroit is alive and (Continued on page 48)


an emphasis on songwriting. However, I've always considered myself more of a guitarist than a singer and studied guitar in RV: college, so to shake things up, I'd throw in a Tell me about the video for "Element". Where as it shot? Anything special about it? crazy shred guitar solo in the middle of our set that led into one of our fastest songs. Jason: People really seemed responsive to that e video for "Element" is a live performpart of the show. We toured, won a contest ance video that was shot by our good and opened for KISS, were nominated for friends Nick Barry & Terrance Centofanti Detroit Music Awards and had a great run, at Visual Zen studios. It's kind of funny but in my heart I always wanted to focus on because the video was taken during a live songwriting with more guitar involvement performance we played at the Detroit Pub with a singer that could focus solely on in Clinton Township, Michigan. It was all vocals so I could really focus on playing just one video take, since we were playing a guitar. Amber and I decided it was time to show, without any staging or real plan follow up on that other than us and write heavier playing our material. show. I was We wanted to do unfamiliar with our best to find their work at the musicians that time, but once I were the best at saw the final their instrument product I was in their bands really impressed. that had the same Especially since drive, positivity we weren't and goals that we playing to a click did. It was also or the recording very important to of the song itself, yet they managed to sync us that it felt like more than a work envieverything perfectly, grabbed some ronment. We wanted a band that felt like amazing footage and made us look great! family. We had a very strong idea of what RV: we wanted to do and had a strong plan of You each come from different bands. Did action. Matt Marriott (original drummer) you know each other well before forming was someone we'd met through the music this band or was it an audition type of thing? scene and had known for a while. Seeing him play in his band, not only was he a Jason: great drummer, but his showmanship on Amber (bassist of Bloodline Riot) and I the drums was something to behold. He is have been in bands together now for roughly 5-6 years. Our former band was a one of the most entertaining drummers I've had the honor of completely different kind of band. It was playing with. When we were ready, I called more of a Pop Punk type of thing where I sang and played guitar with much more of him up and we had a three hour phone well as far as our music scene and gaining momentum every day.


discussion about the entire idea, and he was in. Aer we had the core group, we put out the call for vocalists anywhere and everywhere. It was actually very difficult for us because not one bad singer came in to audition. Some had some amazing background and experience and others were total diamonds in the rough that were awesome. Mike Hughes was recommended to us through a mutual friend. I was familiar with all of his previous bands, and had probably been in the same room with him a dozen times at shows and clubs, had a ton of the same friends, but for some reason had never met him in person. He came out to talk about things to make sure we were all on the same page then came out to sing with the band. Although every singer that came out was great, Mike had the right chemistry with the band, experience in the industry and a unique vocal quality that we wanted to explore. It was tough. Every singer that came out could be or have been in successful bands. Aer the band was finalized, we recorded our first single, "Burn" at the Lo with Sponge guitarist Andy Patalan, which won us a spot on Rockstar Uproar 2011. From there, we went to Pearl Sound Studios in Canton, MI with producer Chuck Alkazian (Pop Evil, Trust Company) and recorded our CD "Keys and Clockwork" which was just released this Fall. RV: Are there any big tours/shows/plans

coming up in 2013? Jason: Our immediate future plans include recording our new single, writing for the next album, a full production video and regional touring. We also plan on some promotional photo shoots and videos for our endorsement companies, Krank Amps and Unlocal Clothing as well as shots including gear we love and use such as Schecter Guitars, Coffin Case, etc. We have a great show at the Token Lounge in Westland, MI for the RawRadioX Launch party on Feb. 23 for those in the area. To stay on top of our schedule, visit our website at or our Facebook at under the band profile tab. RV: Since I've never had the pleasure...What can folks expect to see at a live Bloodline Riot show? Jason: A Bloodline Riot show has everything you'd want from a live show. It is a highenergy event filled with theatrics, lights, lasers, fun & tons of great crowd interaction. Everything we do, we do for our friends and fans. ey're the reason we do what we do, and we do our best to give them the best show we can every single time. You have to see it to get the full picture. We promise a great time for everyone.



hen we came across this posting from Drum Tech Brian Hardaswick on his Facebook page we immediately got in touch with him and asked if we could include it in Rock Voltage. Brian shares his observations of concert fans and provides some proposed ground rules to make us all happy concert and festival goers.Whether you agree withall of the rules or not, it certainly provides some great food for thought from an industry insider. Well, it’s almost that time of year again, the 2013 concert season. New tours, new artists, new bands, and the concert goers! Now don’t get me wrong, concert attendees are great! They support the music, the artist, and the venues. The problem is what these first time concert goers are doing. Attending hundreds of concerts in my life, I’ve

seen the same stupid people, doing the same stupid s*** time and time again. So I’ve decided to make a list of “street rules” that all true concert fans should follow to show respect to their fellow concert goers, the artist, and the venue. -Brian Hardaswick Drum Tech, Pop Evil


Don’t bitch about ticket prices! Do you know how much it costs to put on a concert? Oh, you don’t? Well I am not going to break it all down but here is an idea. Venue (needs power, staff, janitorial staff, bar staff, HVAC, security, production, rental costs, production engineers, green room staff, parking attendants, promotional costs, booking the band (which includes a bus, trailer or bandwagon costs, paying the crew, eating, diesel, equipment) ...the list goes on.



This should be pretty standard knowledge. There’s going to be a lot of people smashed in a small space for a long period of time. The standard concert wear consists of cut off shirts, shorts, thin strap shirts, and in most cases no shirt. Wear some deodorant, no one wants to smell your nasty ass B.O. when you walk by, or in the worst cases when you have your hands up right next to my head. A shower and clean underwear is not a bad idea either. I will be the first to admit, I do not shower religiously, but I always make a solid attempt to at least wear deodorant and cologne.



If it were up to me I would allow the first 3 songs to be shot/filmed on a phone. If you get caught after that its taken away, marked with a number and can be picked up after the show. Nothing is more annoying than when watching a show and all you can see is a glow of small white screens. Did you really pay $30 to 100 to watch a show through a small screen? The other night I was in Vegas at a theater style show and all I could focus on was the little screens all over the venue, bouncing around, turning on and off and making noise. Granted you cannot hear them during a show, but either way its rude, disrespectful, and a waste of money. Watch the show, enjoy it, you paid hard earned money for it!


I get it, the band is playing the first song you heard when you and your significant other met at Wal-Mart. That’s great, but no one wants to see your hand inside of your girlfriends shorts while you’re trying to taste what she had for lunch with your tongue. You want to slow dance, maybe a peck at the beginning and at the end...completely acceptable! Making your 7th child in the middle of the floor is disgusting! No one wants to see it. Take it to the car in the parking lot! (I hear girls like that)

If it was supposed to be free then there would not be a price tag on the merch in the first place. If you are a lawyer, will you give me a free case? If you are a convenience store clerk, can I have free beef jerky? Oh, I can’t? The same rule applies here. No you can’t have a free shirt. Merchandise is one of the main areas where an artist makes profit to continue their musical career. In many cases that money goes back into ordering more merchandise so you can have a memory of the show since you don’t remember it due to filming the entire thing and followed by baby making on the arena floor! Buy merchandise, support the band.

RESPECT: This is a BIG one. I have seen time and time again rude, obnoxious, pushy concert goers pushing their way through the crowd, spilling one of the 17 beers they are trying to hold above their head and making rude comments to other concert goers.First off, did you wait in line for 6 hours to get up front, in some cases overnight? No, well then stay in the back where you belong. The fans in the front earned those spots. They waited in the blistering heat, freezing cold, pouring rain, or maybe even a tornado to be where they are. Do not try and be a tough guy and take their spot. This is where more fights than any break out during shows. Some rude, drunk asshole is pushing and shoving their way to the front and eventually pisses someone off and they take a swing.

(Continued on page 52)



I don’t blame them. Know your spot, stay there and have a good time. I also have to give the artists and security crews props for handling these situations with the utmost class. With out great security and the artist keeping an eye out there would be so many more unnecessary injuries and possible deaths.


You know that giant stage your favorite artist is performing on, with all that sound you hear coming from those big speakers, and that thing with all the buttons on it? Yeah, that is called FRONT OF HOUSE. An audio engineer has spent countless hours making sure the sound can be as pleasing as possible to you, the listener. Please do not disturb the FOH guy by making suggestions, asking questions, or by flailing your drinks around by the console. When the show is over 75% of audio guys will be happy to talk shop and answer any question you may have. But right before or during the show is rude, disturbing, and downright annoying.

OMG! COOL YOU ARE ON THE BUS?!? This is a big one. First off, know that this is our home. It is where we live all year long. Yeah, there are bus parties and drinks, and good times are welcome, but there are some pretty simple rules to follow. The Tour Manager, Band and Crew are in charge. If you are disrespecting our home, anyone in it or anything in it. BYE. No questions asked. There is no reason to act a fool, spill drinks, throw s***, or break s***. That’s the bands job. Unless the band approves photos on the bus, don’t take them. I have seen some pretty nice cameras get smashed out. The back lounge and bunk area is a PRIVATE area. There are personal belongings, personal items and our beds. It is not a place anyone belongs. If someone tells you stay out, STAY OUT! If you are invited in, you are welcome, but do not over stay your welcome nor act a fool. Also, if you are offered a drink you may accept, but do not roll up and play bartender, that’s a good way to get thrown out.


SECURITY: This is very simple. They are there to keep everyone safe. The artist, the fans, the crew, and the venue staff. Don’t get mad when they tell you to go back to your assigned seat. There is probably someone wanting their seat. Don’t get mad when they take your drink. If you are beyond hammered and spilling on people and causing a disturbance, chances are they are probably doing you a favor. If you are going to surf, be smart and don’t kick people, don’t hit people, and when you get to the front allow security to catch you and get out of the way!


It’s a rock show, drink, smoke, do whatever it is you wanna do, but please be careful. Not only for yourself, but others around you. Especially with festivals coming up. It’s going to be hot and packed with people. Drink beer, liquor, support the venues, but stay hydrated. I, just as everyone else, have had too much to drink at shows and probably pissed someone off. Watch your booze intake, have a gatorade and drink some more. Its a party not the MMA’S.

With this said, I wish everyone a very ROCK & ROLL 2013 concert season. I’m ready to get in the bus and tour the world this year. Keep your eyes open for the new Pop Evil record and tour dates! VERY BIG THINGS ARE COMING THIS YEAR!


Brian V. Hardaswick, Drum Tech, Pop Evil

Interview by Chris Malone

Matt Davis is the Sunday night DJ on Baltimore’s 98 Rock (97.9FM) where from 9-10pm he hosts the local band feature “Noise in the Basement.”

Rock Voltage: Explain the primary purpose of the Noise in the Basement program. What is your mission statement?

ment off the ground, as far as your time here at 98 Rock goes? How did that happen?

MD: Well, I actually inherited the radio show Matt Davis: Well, to give you a quick little background from Kirk McEwen, who was here for on it, this is something I’ve been doing ever many years, and when he signed on to do since I was very young. I’ve been promotthe morning show, the torch got passed to ing bands since I was a teenager, so this is me, because he knew I was just so involved very close to my heart. We have an amaz- with the local music scene anyway. As far as the live show goes, the live show ing scene, and I guess my goal is to give launched years later in 2003, and that’s just bands opportunities that maybe I didn’t have growing up, and at the same time ex- something that I was fortunate enough to pose our music scene to the general public, have develop. One of our sales people here who really doesn’t have any clue about this was very involved with the music scene as well, and we just kind of put our heads sub-culture. together and helped to launch this thing RV: along with Brian Fletcher, who was the And how did you get Noise in the Base(Continued on page 54)


owner of Fletcher’s at the time. e three of which has to be some testament to how us kind of spearheaded this whole thing effective your program is. By the numbers, and launched it. about how much exposure is your average band getting when they get onto 98 Rock? RV: So, you’ve been doing the live show since 2003. How long has the radio program itself been on the air? MD: I’ve been the host since 1997, but Kirk… I can’t remember how long he did it. He did it for many years before I did, actually. So, I’m not sure the exact start date of when Noise in the Basement was. RV: Do you think it’s safe to say it’s been on the air for more than twenty years? MD: Absolutely!

MD: It’s hard for me to give you an exact number of people that listen, but you know, I think with especially the amount of support from the different bands over the years, and the musicians that are regular listeners, plus the other bands promoting the show as well, you get an extra boost right there. I will say that my boss, Dave Hill… as far as program directors go, he’s been the most supportive out of everybody. He gives the show a lot of promotion, as far as promos during the week saying, “Hey, Noise in the Basement is happening on Sunday night,” and allowing the DJs to read liners and talk about the fact that the show is coming up, so it gets a lot of promotion. It really does.

RV: Twenty years on the radio is a long time! How many notable acts have come through RV: your program? Having that support, obviously something MD: is going right with the program. ey’re You know, just in my time, some of the not trying to fill the time with something people you guys would know would be else. Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, of course. All MD: Time Low, who is huge right now, those No, absolutely. Dave has been one of the guys were one of our very first Band’s of biggest supporters of this whole thing, and the Month, and Halestorm! We’re really proud of that, too – those guys used to play has slowly given me more and more freedom and support with this as it’s grown Noise in the Basement on a regular basis for many years, and they’re out touring the over the years. world now! RV: Talk about growing over the years, ’97 is a RV: long time to be on the program. You’ve Obviously they’ve had a lot of success,


seen a lot of bands come through! What are your tips for a good radio interview when you reach this Noise in the Basement countertop with the microphones? MD: It’s interesting you say that, because there’s a happy medium when a band comes to a radio station. You know, there are the bands that are tough to interview, because they just want to sit there and be interviewed, and then there are bands that want to go off on crazy tangents. I think a happy medium is a good place to be, and I think also remembering that this is your time to promote yourself. is is your time to shine - it’s your time to be memorable to the radio audience, so really bring something to the table. e easier you make it for interviewer to interview you, and make something interesting out of your band, the better the interview is going to go. More people are going to pay attention to you, and you’ll probably be invited back.

there. We’re dealing with the Youtube generation. You should also choose something catchy, something that best represents your band, and something that’s going to be memorable to the audience, I would say. RV: How about the kind of quality you are looking for, in terms of the sound for radio play? Are bands expected to have a studio recording, or can we really do something in the basement and then bring it to Noise in the Basement?

RV: But obviously the interview is just one half of the opportunity. You’re also playing a song selection. As far as what song you’re playing on the radio goes, do you have any tips for that?

MD: It’s probably best if you wait until you have something studio, you know? People I think even these days, with their basement recordings, are able to get a polished sound, and I think whether the general listening public is listening to the radio or the internet – I think they’re used to a general sort of quality. If you want to be taken seriously, I think you have to have something that sounds pretty good, even if it’s only one song. I don’t think you necessarily have to have an album’s worth of music, but if you just have that one nice polished song, you’re going to use it to market yourself through broadcast and internet.

MD: Well, I mean if you’re looking for tips for 98 Rock, obviously a song that would fit the format is going to be the best, but if you’re looking tips for general radio, I would just say something that isn’t a super long song. Some people’s attention spans just aren’t

RV: Are there any Do’s and Don’ts to approaching Noise in the Basement? Like, if there’s one thing you should definitely do, and one thing you should avoid at all costs, what would it be? (Continued on page 56)


MD: As far as getting booked on the show? You know, I think it all kind of fits into one, because you really want to have a nice solid package as far as your promo kit goes, and when I say that, I mean an all-encompassing package. You want something to market yourself, your EP – you want some way to get your music out to people, whether it’s digitally, a demo to sell, something like that. You should have something to promote and you should have your stage show pretty much ready to go, I think, and I think you should’ve marketed yourself enough to where you can bring a crowd out to the show, you know? Even though we like to give everybody a shot, it really is a big opportunity. It’s a lot of radio promo, and you should be ready to show off your best side when you do the show. RV: Now, you mention the actual live aspect of the performance piece of Noise in the Basement. It’s been since 2003, and you’ve been through a few venues at this point, you started at Fletcher’s…at this point you’re on your forth venue, e Ottobar. How are things working out at these live venues? MD: I think it’s great. It’s the real deal concert venue. Huge sound system, huge lights, great promotion, we’re right in the heart of Baltimore, and the bands seem to love it, and that’s obviously a very important thing to us as well. I think the people like it, too.


RV: You mention having your stage show ready. What should a band do to prepare for e Ottobar? MD: You know, I think there’s different things that different bands do, whether it’s playing around and town and getting in your own groove – I know there are bands I’ve talked to over the years, that in addition to them practicing their songs and writing new material and things, they actually go through their set with their stage theatrics and practice what they’re going to look like on stage. So, I guess whatever that means to you, whatever you goal is as a band, be as polished as possible, and just be ready to hit the stage. RV: In a live show, where do you rate showmanship vs. musicianship? Where do you rate putting on a show vs. playing the music? MD: I really think it’s an even balance. I don’t know if you can put one over the other. I think you really need to have both if you want to have excellence in the business. RV: Finally, you have a new project called “Out of the Basement” – do you want to explain or elaborate on what that is? MD: Sure, Out of the Basement is an audio feature we’re doing now, and the goal is to educate and bands and to help share ideas. e

topic is pro-motion and marketing, and the goal is to help people get their music out there, gain new fans and pack clubs and things like that. We’re doing that by interviewing different national artists, who will share some ideas, but also act as an inspiration for people. We’re also interviewing independent artists from the area who have done particularly well in a specific area of marketing and promotion. We want to highlight that and in the future, we want to talk about things. How do you get your bands booked in other markets? How do you sell hundreds of tickets to every show? How do you form a street team? ings like that. Everybody knows flyers,

but do you know the art of the flyer, how to hand it out and really connect with people? e goal of that is to make our scene bigger and to help get their music out there and get them a ton of fans! If you’re in a local band, Matt Davis would love to help you out, too! Just be sure to drop off your band’s demo with contact information on Monday nights at e Ottobar in Baltimore, or stop by the 98 Rock studio to drop off your band’s promo package! Check out the studio’s website online at


Regional Hot Spots Written by Sade Brown

The Ottobar


irst you have to find it. Positioned in a sketchy alley off of North Howard Street, with no discernible signage, sits one of Baltimore’s best concert venues. e Ottobar, a premier music venue, is a cache worth discovering. Large names like, the White Stripes, Jimmy Eat World, Tune Yards, Queens of the Stoneage, and Lamb of God, have all graced the stage at the Ottobar. Voted Baltimore’s Best Rock Venue countless times, the Ottobar’s multi-floors and holein-the-wall appearance is a secret worth discovering. And now it’s the new home of 98 Rock’s Noise in the Basement on Monday nights. Located in the diverse Charles Village the

outer appearance of the bar isn’t much to look at but, as Laure A. stated, “its the inside that counts.” e small setting of the venue creates a communal hub of personality, and a free flowing ambiance that gives the Ottobar its charm. is location features both up and downstairs seating. e bar is fully equipped with light displays and welcoming bartenders that add to the magnetism of the venue. e Ottobar is the perfect place for happy hour, with its everpopular Two for Tuesdays. Outfitted in combat boots, band tees, funky haircuts, and good taste in music and atmosphere, the frequent patrons of the Ottobar are just as interesting as the venue itself.

Baltimore Soundstage


hunderous bass, inexpensive bar, and clean bathrooms, what more can you ask for in a concert venue,” stated a regular patron of one of the Baltimore harbor’s newest locations. e Baltimore Soundstage is a combination club, bar, and concert venue, located in downtown Baltimore, across from the Inner Harbor. is location features national touring artist like Grace Potter and Halestorm with many appearances from regional performers in its intimate club setting. e Soundstage is outfitted with a sizeable stage, three full bars, state of the art sound/light features and plenty of space to dance and rage all night; or until the


lights come on. Regulars of the venue take pleasure in the décor, stating that the framed guitars and chandeliers over the bars deliver a, “classy melodious feeling” to the club. e revelry of this location makes it a great play to rock out, either in your seat or on the floor. e view of the stage is ideal from any spot in the venue due to the two-step. e venue also has table seating and the fully equipped kitchen allows patrons to enjoy a meal with their show. With its weekly college nights and plethora of live performances the Baltimore Soundstage is a treasured addition to the Baltimore performance scene.

9:30 Club


he 9:30 Club sits on the corner of 9th and V St. in NW, Washington, D.C. When you enter the club random sections of indigo painted walls draw you in. Once inside the main room, you’re taken back by the large space and above seating, which reminds you of an amphitheater. When the show begins, it really begins. Whether it’s an indie act like CocoRosie, or a soul stirring artist like Adele, the 9:30 Club is the perfect canvas. From the spectacular light display to the amazing acoustics and sound, you are submerged in live atmosphere surrounding you. e lighting creates a transitive spellbinding pulse of visual waves that

seem to only enhance the sound and your overall experience. e structure of the club makes it so that no matter where you’re standing, there is a clear view of the stage. Up above, in the balcony area, the view is much the same. e spacing is comfortable enough for you to enjoy an uninterrupted view of the stage. With all of its great aesthetics it’s easy to get lost on the ambiance of the club. Close your eyes, and you can feel the music and flashing caresses of light li and enhance your experience. Once you’ve experienced a show at the 9:30 club you will find yourself wanting to go back for more.

The Black Cat


lack Cat is a music venue located at 1811 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009. ey feature local, national, and international independent and alternative music on two stages. is venue also offers the Red Room Bar and Food For ought Café, seven nights a week. is venue has maintained its identity and dedication to proving the area with great music since 1993, despite the arbitrary changes in the local music scene and, the ever-varying rock music industry. “Nevertheless, we remain committed to our community-oriented atmosphere and our established identity as an alternative/ independent music venue,” says a quote

from the Black Cat website. e Red Room features a fully stocked bar, pool table, pinball machine and a jukebox for patrons to gel to. e setting is laid-back and comfortable melding regulars and new comers alike. If you’re looking for an even more relaxed space to meet friends and grab a good meal the Food for ought Café is probably more your speed. e café features everything from sandwiches to salads and even provides vegan friendly options for those interested. e Black Cat has a little bit of everything, making it treasure to the community it supports.



Gorilla Music — a music management and promotional organization

that helps to lay the groundwork for emerging artists.


s many new and struggling musicians soon find out, possessing killer talent and melodic flare isn’t enough to make it big in the music business. In many cases artists have to commit considerable amounts of legwork and a constant exertion of effort to achieve the desired results of fame. One organization that understands the seemingly endless grind musicians face, especially in the early stages of development, is Gorilla Music.

Gorilla Music is a management and promotional organization that assist novice musicians—of many genres—in the beginning stages of conception. John Michalak and Dan Cull, co-owners of Gorilla Music, have over 40 years of experience in the music industry, from performing, and running a recording studio, to owning and operating Peabody’s concert club in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. ey also operate one of the most successful concert production companies in the country specializing in music festivals and battle of the bands competitions. ey have been booking and managing local bands across the country for the past 15 years. Aer realizing how effective hosting battle of the bands competitions were to the Cleveland, Ohio (the birth place of Gorilla Music) local music scene, Dan Cull decided to start Gorilla with the hopes of

Written by Sade Brown helping numerous emerging artists. Gorilla Music is currently the largest company that aids in the promotion and development of local musical acts. Event coordinator, Bryan Pauley, explained in an interview the positive impact Gorilla has in the local music scenes across the country. He described how the company uses many different live performance opportunities like: competitions and festivals; along with business advocacy—song writing, networking, and design—to usher bands into a level of self-sustaining independence. Gorilla also offers its services as managers in which they help musicians to record songs that grab the attention of not only fans, but large record labels, while teaching and guiding them on how to become the next big act in their market. One famous artist Machine Gun Kelly (MGK), a Cleveland native, found that working with Gorilla and dedicated persistence, can result in an unimaginable payoff. “He would show up to shows and work hard which got him a $1.3 million dollar deal with Diddy and Bad Boy Records,” stated Pauley. He could not over stress how large a role personal responsibility and hard work plays in becoming a successful musician. “You have to put in the legwork.” (Continued on page 66)


Review by K-Rock


OPEN FOR BUSINESS Q&A Chat session with musician and engineer, Mike Franklin at one of Baltimore’s most original venues, Hour Haus Studio. Written by Jamesa Santiago Rock Voltage: What's your title? Mike Franklin: I serve as production manager and chief engineer at Hour Haus Recording RV: How long have you been working at Hour Haus? MF: I have rehearsed here for the past 10 years and have been handling the studio and live production since 2009. RV: Tell us about your Staff:


MF: We are a collective of Baltimore-based musicians. e space is managed by Ray Schafer who has a deep appreciation for local music and the arts. Together with his brothers Chris and Joey they have maintained the building as a musician’s sandbox for the past 15 years, although the history of the Hour Haus as a rehearsal hall, studio spot, and underground venue goes back at least 25 years. I have been operating out of the studio since 2009, in 2012 Jeff Boyd joined the team with audio production and artist relations. RV: What type of gear are you guys rocking?

MF: e gear we have now is the result of 15 years of my personal music habit. We currently run a Mac-based pro tools LE setup with Lacie hard drives for data storage. We do have some front end processing by Presonis, Focusright, and others. Our two house consoles are vintage Allen and Heath and Amek/TAC. We stock Shure, Sennheiser, Blue, Cascade microphones, and a few other fun odds and ends. We are always adding to our inventory, there is a partial gear list on our Facebook page and website. RV: What does Hour Haus pride itself on? MF: As long as I’ve been here, the Haus has been an oasis for music and creativity. Talk to anyone who has played or recorded here over the years and they will tell you some of the best times playing music in Baltimore have unfolded here. I personally take pride in providing a creative environment for people to create, record, and perform their music. RV: What services does Hour Haus provide? MF: We operate as a private rehearsal hall, full service recording studio, and live music venue. RV: How many people can Haus "Haus" in its venue?

MF: All of our pricing varies depending on the needs of the project. Rehearsal wise we offer private rooms and storage space with access to our stage for dress rehearsals with the option for full PA, lights, video, and recording. is space can also be rented for private and public events. Recording rates are based around the overall time spent, equipment needed, and other needs. Block and day rates are available. RV: What kind (quality) of product can a client expect to walk away with upon leaving the Haus? MF: As far as the studio goes, the quality of the recordings really depends on the amount of work the artist puts in. We have professional gear, attitudes, and work ethics. at being said every band is different in terms of what they are looking for. I have worked on everything from voice-overs, live demos, EPs, to full length recordings. When I get a call or email from a prospective client, I talk them through what we do and where they see their music going. If everyone is on the same page then we take on the project from start to finish. RV: What artists major/independent have recorded or performed at Hour Haus?

MF: Most of our clients are local and regional independent artists, but we have had MF: several national and international artists Comfortable capacity for our main room is through at one time or another. Last year 150-200 people we hosted the first annual Ratscape, a mini festival that coincides with Artspace in RV: which we hosted over 45 bands in three How much do you charge for your days. at was our biggest milestone that I services? have been involved with to date. Since I


have been here we have worked with and hosted promoters and projects that have acts such as; Rusko, Biodiesel, Tsunami Rising, Grey March, and way too many others to name. We also got involved with Betascape, a string of 8 bit shows, and local musicians networking meetings.

Roll. I would say most of our business comes from the rock and roll community; Jeff specializes in hip hop production. I would say, though, that the more difficult the genre is to describe, the more fun it is to work with. I would never limit myself to any one style of music.

RV: What has contributed to Haus's longevity in the business?

RV: What other things would this company like to branch off and tackle, if any?

MF: We have a great location being at the corner of North and Howard streets in the heart of the Arts and Entertainment District, and that has been a great starting point for us. Fortunately the city has been giving the area a lot of attention in terms of development in the last 5 years and you can really see the neighborhood changing. It’s great to be a part of.

MF: ere has been talk of converting to a non- profit entity to support the local arts, that has appeal to me and is hopefully a possibility as we move forward.

RV: What industry trends does Haus follow? MF: We have always been a DIY establishment run by whoever is here at the time, so the bands and people involved has always made it what it is. RV: What genre does haus usually work with? MF: I personally have worked with acts ranging from Salsa to R&B, Country to Rock and


MF: We have just upgraded our PA and have plans to install at the end of January. At that time the Studio will also have some moderate construction improvements to separate recording and live production spaces. RV: Why choose Hour Haus? MF: I tell people that if they are looking for a place to develop their music to come check us out. More than likely, we’ve got a lot in common.–RV

(Continued from page 61)

Gorilla provides many opportunities for advancement and business assistance, but none of it means anything if artist aren’t willing to put in work. Pauley went on to talk about how many of the popular artist currently in the lime light don’t possess half as mush talent as many of the local bands


RV: Tell us about some upcoming changes and how you think it will affect business.

he encounters at work possess; “But they worked hard to get where they are.” e main message expressed by the Gorilla Music team was that, “talent and song writing can only take you so far. Hard work will beat out talent any day.”

Rock Voltage 1.1  

Rock Voltage is a modern rock and roll magazine profiling local artists and venues in the mid-atlantic region and beyond, published online.

Rock Voltage 1.1  

Rock Voltage is a modern rock and roll magazine profiling local artists and venues in the mid-atlantic region and beyond, published online.