Highwire Daze Issue #148

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M AY | J U N 2 0 2 3



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HIGHWIRE DAZE Sponsored by THE SANDGAARD FOUNDATION Publisher Highwire Daze Magazine A General Partnership Editor Ken Morton Managing Editor Danny S. Pasley Senior Photographer Jack Lue East Coast Editor Jupiter Lee Contributors Ken Morton, Jack Lue Jupiter Lee , Vivian Ortega James Grover, Joe Schaeffer Jessica Greif, Linda Emord Tony F. Corpse Proofreading Editor Jason Harary Cover Art by Vivian Ortega of So Finch Photography Cover Photos by Jack Lue (The Warning, Plush, Helloween) Jessica Greif (The Church) HIGHWIRE DAZE www.highwiredaze.com email: ken@highwiredaze.com Copyright 2023 Highwire Daze Magazine Opinions expressed within this publication do not neccessarily reflect those of the publisher. All rights reserved. Nothing may be produced in whole or in part without the express and written permission of the publisher. Supporting Noise Pollution Since 1990! TABLE OF CONTENTS INTERVIEWS with... Steve Kilbey of The Church.................................14 Sascha Gerstner of Helloween..............................18 Heavens Edge........................................................22 Angels In Vein.......................................................26 The Warning..........................................................30 Plush......................................................................34 Bai Bang................................................................36 Sweet Blasphemy...................................................40 Yungboi Gothic......................................................44 David Lee..............................................................48 Poppy Harlo...........................................................52 Speed Of Light......................................................54 Doll Riot...............................................................56 PLUSH POSTER by JACK LUE..........................................32/33 CONCERT REVIEWS Mori’s Memento.............,......................................59 Possessed, Putrescence..........................................62 THE NAMM SHOW 2023 COVERAGE...................................60 Derek Day and Classless Act, Bittersweethearts, Leah Martin-Brown of Evol Walks, Yeti Valhalla SKETCHES BY THE EDITOR................................................... 8 PRODUCT REVIEW BY JAMES GROVER...........................10 MXL 990 and 991 condenser microphones IN MUSICAL ORBIT BY JUPITER.........................................12 The Militants review HIGHWIRE DAZE May/June 2023 7 Listen To Highwire Daze Radio at Live 365! 24 Hours A Day - 7 Days A Week! Classic Rock, Hair Metal, Black Metal, Metalcore, Heavy Metal, Pop Punk, Punk Rock http://www.highwiredazeradio.net

Sketches By The Editor

The NAMM Show experience was an adventure at The Highwire Daze Booth this year! So happy and proud to post this picture in my column of The Highwire Daze Crew with Derek Day and Classless Act in the final hours of The NAMM Show. Very grateful to my staff in this picture, which includes Jack Lue, Vivian Ortega, Jessica Greif, Linda Emord, and Jason Harary! We made some incredible memories at The Anaheim Convention Center! Check out even more coverage and photos from The NAMM Show on Page 60!

All this and an interview with Steve Kilbey of The Church in this issue. The Church and Highwire Daze go all the way back to Issue #1 in 1990! And we have plenty of locals bands in this issue as well! Highwire Daze will always support our Los Angeles/Orange County music scene so stay tuned!

The Wright Wave Radio at Live 365

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8 May/June 2023 HIGHWIRE

Product Review by James Grover

MXL 990 & 991 condenser microphone recording package

When I set out to build my home studio I came across the MXL 990 and 991 condenser microphones. I have been using them for the last 15 years and those are the microphones that go back to because they have a unique sound that I enjoy when I record my guitar tracks, They also work great for vocals, acoustic instruments and for bass and guitar cabinets.

The MXL 990 and the 991 Condenser microphones are great for any recording application either you’re a musician, podcaster or recording audio for any production or project. It’s really an affordable way to start being creative in the studio.


Great For Voice, Acoustic Instruments & Cabs XLR Output for Hookup to Mic Preamp it does require 48V Phantom Power. It has a Cardioid Polar Pattern which Reduces Ambience noise, It is High Sensitivity for Hot Output Full Frequency Response 6-Micron, Gold-Sputtered Diaphragm with Internal FET Preamp and Includes a Carrying Case.


I like that MXL is budget friendly and you get a lot for your buck when recording in a home studio or professional studio. The 991 works great when placed over head for drums.


Not much to dislike about this combo recording package, however a shock mount would be nice if it was included.

Reach James Grover at: www.facebook.com/james.grover.311

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In Musical Orbit by Jupiter

Jupiter at Highwire Daze Online Crew East Coast Editor

Welcome to my page. It’s Jupiter Lee - East Coast Editor. Check out my record reviews here and be sure to add me on Facebook! Link is at the end of my column...

Signs and Symbols The Militants Aggressive Records

From Los Angeles, California comes the newest release from thrash metal titans THE MILITANTS. Members are keyboardist, drum programmer and vocalist CHARLIE ZEIGLER, and guitarist / bassist STONE CLEMENT

Dark, fast, slammin’ music with expressive guitar work, powerful vocals and a hellish middle section are evident on track 01 A Blood Oath. Track 02 Clash Of Civilization has more of a melodic sense to it, but just as much of a driving force with its creative drum work. It seems to set up the pace for the rest of the album.

Stomping fury is how I would react to track 06 Under A Pagan Moon. The title track 08 Signs And Symbols is one of my favorites with its gripping melody. Even from the start I could tell something was very different and unique about it. The album was mastered by the legendary BILL METOYER. With a reference to MINISTRY, SLAYER, and KREATOR, these musicians seem to have gone to the same school of rock. You can follow THE MILITANTS by hitting the link below.

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JUPITER on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/jupiter.lee.7

Steve Kilbey of The Church

The Belasco, Los Angeles, CA.,

March 11, 2023

Photo by Jessica Greif

The Church presents The Hypnogogue

The Church recently made their way back to the States to perform songs from their brand new album The Hypnogogue as well as classics from their vast and epic catalog of favorites. Opening night took place at The Belasco, an opulent theater deep into the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. A few weeks after that magical night of auditory intrigue, Highwire Daze caught up with founding member and captain Steve Kilbey to find out more about the mysteries of The Hypnogogue, touring the highways and cities of this great big world, the feeling of liberation with this current lineup, and more! Read on...

Is there any overall story or concept behind the brand-new album The Hypnogogue?

It’s set in the near future – and it’s kind of a broken-down future – it’s a future that’s running out of spare parts. A lady in Korea – a scientist – invents a machine. And it’s not just a machine – it has all sorts of things involved – occult and magic and drugs and vegetables – it’s like a real conglomerate of everything you can think of. She’s invented this thing that pulls songs right out of songwriter’s heads and throws them straight up the charts. She sort of like the Stock Aitken Waterman of the day. And we have our protagonist –a guy called Eros Zeta – who’s had a few hits. And he’s in a really big band called The Perfumed Guitars. I guess he’s like a futuristic glam rock star and he can’t write any more songs. He’s so dried up and he doesn’t know what to write. And he hears about the machine, and he goes over and uses it – and he falls in love with the woman who invented it. And it all goes disastrously wrong. And the songs end up being quite toxic to whoever hears them. It all goes wrong, and he ends up sitting in a gutter with nothing.

You are not the only original member left in The Church. What was it like making this new album without any of the other original members? I have a feeling it was almost liberating in a way.

Really good. Really good. It was totally liberating. I think about this a lot – what went wrong with them. And I don’t think it was them. I think it’s like the guy’s I’ve got now – they have to acknowledge that I’m sort of in control. It’s very hard work when you’ve been in a band for a long time with people you’ve been playing with forever, because eventually they go, “Why should I listen to you? Why should

we do things your way? Why should we work on this song? Why should we go here and do this?” The last album we made with Peter Koppes was quite excruciating for me. He was really in that mode of, “Why should I listen to you? Let’s just do whatever we want…” kind of thing. Consequently, I don’t think the album before this was a very good album – in fact, I think it’s one of the worst albums we’ve ever made. So yes, with all of them gone – and then the other guys going, “Well Steve, this is your band, because you’ve been in it for so long and you must know what you’re doing.” I didn’t have to keep drawing everyone’s attention towards the fact, “Look, I’m the captain of this ship.” Because many hands make light work, but too many cooks spoil the broth. You have to reconcile those two proverbs. So, I guess the short answer is that it was great making this album.

There were some bad things happening in Australia – there were these terrible bush fires – and then on a global basis there was Covid. And then during Covid, we’re all locked down – so I just jumped in my car illegally and drove to the studio and worked on it – often just me and the engineer. That was pretty good as well. Then there was nobody there. It was just me doing whatever the fuck I liked – and nobody to answer to. So, the story was once upon a time I was the king of the spare lot, and I told all the kids what to do. And then I sort of abdicated my position, and for a while it was good – everybody had input. And then everybody – they either got tired of it all, or they got too big for their boots, and they eventually left. And then new guys joined who wanted to do this thing – and I guess I’m the king again.

You are on tour now and your first show at the Belasco in Downtown LA. What did you think of The Belasco and the cultural experience that is Downtown LA?

Yeah, Downtown LA is quite a thing, isn’t it? We were staying at a hotel called The Hoxton. Downtown LA has been rejuvenated and renovated a bit – at least the bits I was in. It wasn’t quite like it used to be. I guess I didn’t go the right parts, but I remember once upon a time it was quite a no-go area – somewhere you really didn’t want to be. The Belasco was a wonderful theater.

You know, I don’t see much of anything, Ken. I just turn up in a bus and I go and do a soundcheck. I have a meal, and play a show, and then I jump on the bus and drive away. So even though I’ve been all around America and I’ve been to

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a lot of places, I really don’t know much about them except for one street and one venue. I’ve been to Houston, Texas ten times - do I know anything about Houston? Nah. I know a bus. I know a venue. I know one little area where I get a coffee and a veggie burger. I’ve been to all these places, but I really don’t know anything about them. I’m passing through. So, the difference of being someone on your own or a couple going around the world looking at places is a vastly different experience than going around with like ten guys. You don’t learn anything that way. You’ve got this sort of gang mentally. You’re really not out their on your own learning anything or meeting anyone – it’s all to do with you and it’s always focused on this one venue where you’re doing a show. There’s very little time to really learn anything or understand anything. And of course, when you go to Europe, that gets even worse. You could go all around Europe and visit all the capital cities. I’ve been to Vienna three times – I don’t know anything about fucking Vienna! I wouldn’t know anything about it. So, it’s a strange thing being in a band – it’s sort of like an extended permanent adolescence.

Beyond the music and all of that, you have the politics – and then beyond that you have the day to day living with a bunch of people. It’s a real complicated thing. I’ve been doing this for so long with different people. It’s a whole other world. It’s so much more than just playing music unfortunately. I wish I could be put in a box – and five minutes before showtime, someone let’s me out of my box, and I run onstage and play the gig – and then I go back in the box and hibernate until the next one. It’s not really my idea of fun being on the bus with 12 blokes driving around forever. There is a lot of giving and taking in the whole thing.

At the show you opened with a new song Ascendence, and it was refreshing and magical. What has it been like playing these new songs live?

I’ll tell you one thing – it’s very gratifying when they get a good response. Very gratifying! Some of the new songs are getting a response as good as the old songs. Obviously, all musicians – we like playing the new stuff. We’re so tired of playing the old stuff. I really exist to play new stuff. Once something’s done, I’m sort of tired of it and want to move on. I wish we were just running around America playing The Hypnogogue and nothing else. But it’s going down

pretty well. I don’t feel like we’re forcing this stuff down people’s throats.

I think if The Rolling Stones came out and played seven new songs, I imagine the audience would all be unhappy. And that’s the great thing about being in The Rolling Stones – they play to 100,000 people a night – but the bad thing is they’re playing songs from like 60 years ago. I don’t envy that bit – that they forever have to play fucking Satisfaction. I know I’m really over all my old songs. There’s a few I gotta do. I’m really glad that we’re playing a big chunk of the new record and I’m really glad that people are liking it.

Do you have any messages for your fans out here in the States who are reading this now?

I love ‘em. I love the people – people that have been there right from the beginning. Everybody knows this – the Americans are the best audience in the world. They just are. This is the place that sort of invented this whole show biz thing. And the venues there, and the people who work in them, and the audiences – it’s just the best thing! I’m always really happy to be here. They understand – they dig it, and they get it. I’m getting pretty old now, but I hope I can keep doing this – coming to America and playing for American audiences in the great venues in the great cities in America for as long as I possibly can. It’s a really special experience and we all – despite the day-to-day travails of touring and all of that – when we fucking hit the stage, we are giving it 100 percent. I know this will get me in trouble everywhere else, but the American audiences are the most responsive and the best audiences there are. So, I love that.


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Pumpkins and Metal Over The City Of Angels

Legendary German heavy metal icons Helloween will return to the US and Canada this Spring as part of their ongoing United Forces world tour alongside supporting special guests, HammerFall. The trek will commence on May 13th in Dallas, Texas and wind its way through a total of thirteen cities, including a local stop at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood on June 2nd! Highwire

Daze recently interviewed guitarist Sascha Gerstner to find out more about the upcoming US tour, his 21 years within the ranks of Helloween, time spent with the almighty Freedom Call, and a whole lot more!

We’re here with Sascha Gerstner from Helloween. First of all, what are you looking forward to the most about this upcoming Helloween US Tour?

It’s been a while since we came to the US. The last time I think was in 2018 with the Pumpkins United Tour. Since then, we’ve had a little pandemic going on and there was not much touring around. But in that time, we released our actual album – it’s called Helloween – and we never came to the US with songs from that album. So, we’re really looking forward to finally tour again in the US.

You’re bringing HammerFall along in direct support. Have you had a chance to meet them yet?

We’ve been on tour already with them. We started last year in the UK, and HammerFall have been with us on tour since then. And

me, personally, I met them a long time ago when I was in Freedom Call, and we were a support act with HammerFall together with Virgin Steele. So yeah, we’ve known the guys for a long time.

This year marks your 21st anniversary with Hellow-

een. 20 years ago, your first album with Helloween was released called Rabbit Don’t Come Easy. When you look back on that first album you did with Helloween, what do you think of it now in retrospect? And the fact that it’s been 20 years.

For me, there’s a lot of memories coming up – and for sure,

Photo by Jack
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it was a starting point for me in my career again – to do something in the metal scene. I’m pretty sure it was for the boys as well, having a band again. Since everything happened so fast, because first of all, there was no plan to have me in the band as a band member. We had been talking loosely about making a record together. And it was really inspiring, because I was 25 by that time, and from today’s perspective, that’s really young when you join a legendary big band like Helloween. And for sure, that had a big impact on my life. And when I think back about that album –man, there are so many stories I could tell you! As a matter of fact, with Andi and Weiki being such talented songwriters was very inspiring at first. When I was listening to Andi’s demos, they just blew me away because it was almost like full production, and he would play guitar and sing and write amazing songs. So that was very inspiring for me as well to get better in the songwriting game. And then the unique humor in the band was catching me all along. And then Mikkey Dee in Motörhead – now he’s playing with the Scorpions – he would join us for the album as well to play the drums. It was a very inspiring time for me to join the band at that age.

Let’s go over to the latest Helloween Self-Titled album. Let’s talk about a few of the songs you wrote on the album and the inspirations behind them. First of all, Best Time – tell me a little bit about that song. That song – at first, it was an 80’s inspired synth-pop song which I just wrote for fun. And then at some point when we were talking about making the album and everything, I started to translate it to the guitar because I thought that would work – and then I came up with the lyrics. The whole song has this vibe where you would drive a new car into the future – like having your whole mindset positively about leaving the past behind and going into the future. And in the same line, I just wanted to have a dreamy feel to it – to have a cool metal classic radio type song you would turn up when you were driving a convertible or whatever through the night. So that was a feeling that I had with the song. It developed really well, because Andi – he really loved it – and then when I was about to finish the song, he told me he had a couple of ideas for the song as well. And then we would just sit down in a hotel room and finish the song within an hour or so, and it was a lot of fun doing it.

Another song that you wrote on the album is Angels. Let me know a little about that song and the inspiration behind it.

Our long-time fans know me for having a progressive influence in a couple of my songs. And we didn’t have a song like that for the album – and Angels is for sure one of those songs which is like a typical Sascha song, if you could say, in Helloween. And I had Michael’s voice in mind – so when I was writing it, I was imagining him to sing it – and

so I particularly wrote the song for his voice. He sang on the demo, and it sounded amazing already. I think that made the song ending up on the record as well, because it was a perfect fit for his voice.

And then there was one more song you wrote – the bonus track Golden Times. Tell me a little bit about that one. For me, it was a classic Helloween speed song with positive attitude, positive melody and positive lyrics talking about golden times – having a good time. If you would have the power to change the world, one would rather have golden times than dark times. It’s a classic, I think.

When you think back on your time spent in Freedom Call for two albums, what do you think of it now in retrospect? I must say that Freedom Call kind of introduced me into the metal scene, because I don’t have a typical heavy metal background. As a kid, I would listen to a lot of mainstream and pop music and jazz rock. I’m a big fan of Toto and Chicago and all those bands who had their peak in the 80’s.

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And then later when I got into playing guitar, I for sure got interested in hard rock and metal. But doing it myself with bands – that came later. Freedom Call was the band that introduced me to that type of metal, because I didn’t know what power metal was – I didn’t know what speed metal was. But for some reason, it was pretty easy for me to play – and it just felt right for me to play that music. So, Freedom Call was the reason why I got picked up on the radar for Helloween later on. Because if there was no experience with that kind of music before, I wouldn’t have the chance to meet Weiki for instance.

How does your other band Palast compare to Helloween? I would say it’s me having several personalities. There’s this one personality I could get out with Palast. As I told you before, I had a lot of different influences in my childhood when it comes to music. Like in the 80’s, I was very much impressed with synthesizers and the start up of electronic music – like the rise of it with Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Duran Duran and all those bands. I really liked that until I became a teenager. So, there was always this fascination for electronic music that I would have. So, a lot of people were asking me when I would do a solo record –and I didn’t feel like doing something like I’m doing with Helloween. I think my metal heart and the other personalities I have being onstage with a metal band – writing songs for a metal album – it’s completely fulfilled with what I’m

doing with Helloween right now. But artistically, I wanted to express myself differently. So Palast is something you could compare – I hear a lot of people are comparing it to Depeche Mode, because it’s the most famous thing they could compare it to – because it’s electronic music – it’s kind of dark and goth – so there’s some similarities. But also, I’m a big fan of Scandinavian indie music and what they’re doing, so I think there’s a big influence of that in Palast as well. And then also the visual part – I like visuals – I like to express myself not as the typical metal dude. I always wanted to do something that sticks out and is not the stereotypical thing. Palast is kind of a way to express myself artistically differently.

Do you have any messages for Helloween fans out here in the Los Angeles/Southern California area?

I have to say, I’ve always had a big heart for Los Angeles. One of my ex-girlfriends was from Los Angeles, and I was there for a lot of times. I love the place. Good friends of mine are living there, and it’s always great to be back there. And the crowd is just amazing! In LA, we have one of the best crowds in the US. It’s really nice concerts there and I’m really looking forward to that.


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Mark Evans of Heavens Edge

Photo by Joe Schaeffer

Getting It Right with Heavens Edge

Heavens Edge has returned, and are on the verge of releasing Get It Right, their next long awaited chapter of melodic hard rock on Frontiers Music Srl. Best known for their dynamic Self-Titled album which was released by Columbia Records in 1990, Heavens Edge is now in the midst of comeback of epic proportions. Highwire Daze recently interviewed founding member Mark Evans to find out more about the upcoming Get It Right magnum opus, their thoughts on their first recording from 1990, a huge coincidence involving their new bass player Jaron Gulino, and more!

Let’s go right to the new album. Is there any overall story or concept behind the new album title Get It Right?

The title of the album is actually a line in the song When The Lights Go Down and we recorded this back last summer. I had rough mixes of what we had done, and I was sitting out back with my wife – I think some of my kids were there at the time. And the band was working to try to come up with an album title. I was like, “If we could find something in one of the lyrics.” And we’re sitting out in the back and we’re listening to the rough of When The Lights Go Down – and in the bridge of the song I sing the line “Get It Right.” And my wife went, “Wait! Get It Right. That could work!” And I was like, “You know what? I really like that!” So, I texted the band and was like, “Wow! I really like that!” And the more we thought about it, the more we were like – not many bands – especially bands like us – all these years later, get another shot to do this. I mean, not at the level we were shooting for 30 years ago – but we get another shot to put out a new record on a great label, and get new music out there after all these years. It is something if you have this kind of a chance, you don’t want to blow it – you don’t want to screw it up. So, you’re trying very, very hard to Get It Right, because these chances don’t come that often, and we wanted to make sure that it was special for us and special for everybody. Hopefully in another week and a half, when everybody gets to hear the whole album, they will agree and think that we got it right.

How did you wind up signing with Frontiers?

So much that has happened to us over the past 10-11 years since we reformed and got back together again has been quite a surprise. Back 11 years ago, we were not trying to get back together to be a band. But we had gotten some offers,

and we talked and decided to give it a shot. So, getting back together again was a surprise., And then all these great shows – M3, Monsters Of Rock Cruise – the first one that kicked it all off was Firefest over in England in 2012. They were all surprises. Throughout this whole process, Reggie and I had been writing all along just to write – songs that had nothing to do with Heavens Edge – just some ideas we had. We had always kept in touch all these years. And we were continuing to write, but not for a new record. And then I guess it was maybe a little over two years ago, Frontiers contacted us. We weren’t shopping anything – we weren’t trying to get anything. And they messaged us, and we had a nice long talk with them. They wanted to see if we were interested and if we had material – if we were willing to go for it and do it right – not just, “Oh, let’s throw some shit together.” They made us a nice offer – and after all these years to be able to say you’re on the same label as Whitesnake and Winger and Nightranger and Journey and all these other bands – not a bad thing!

This was your first recording in like 25 years. What was it like to go back into the studio and record new Heaven’s Edge music after all this time?

It was great! It really was! It was very surreal to be honest with you. That and the last time we were in the studio, things were still on tape. A lot has changed since the last time we were in the studio. A lot of the technology has changed, but the basics of it were Reggie and I had written the songs. We worked on some of the songs with a great, talented guy named Jacob Bunton. Steve had an idea on one of the songs. After we had written these songs, we handed these over to the band to learn these songs and to put their own little flavor on it – and getting together with them in the studio for the first time as a band and playing all of these new songs as a band –that was great! Having that experience with all of us together in the studio running through the new stuff with everyone throwing their own ideas in was great!

Were you familiar with Jacob Bunton from his band Lynam or Adler’s Appetite?

I knew of him, and I knew of Lynam. And I did know of him from Adler’s Appetite. Jacob stands out in a crowd. He’s a little taller than most people and just has that look. And the strangest thing is when Dave, our drummer suggested Jacob to Reggie and I – I looked him up online and I said, “Wait a

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second! That guy looks familiar!” And it turns out that he’s been on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise when we’ve been on and has seen us live on the cruise - and obviously if I saw him somewhere, I’d go, “I think I remember that guy.” But he was amazing to work with – and we’re looking forward to working together with him again on the next one.

At one point during your comeback did your bassist George G.G. Guidotti pass away, and did you know about his cancer at the time?

Yes, he did pass away in 2018. Yes, I did know about the cancer. It was strange – the December before that, I remember he called me up and said, “Mark, did you ever sneeze and throw out your back?” And I was like, “Yeah, I’m old. I’ve done that.” And his lower back just kept on bothering him. He went to the doctor, and they were checking this and that out, and he started having some other issues. And it took them a couple of months before they realized – which amazed me –that it was cancer. But he started feeling it on December. I guess it was March or April when they finally told him it was cancer – and he was gone by August.

You have a new bassist – Jaron Gulino of Tantric. How did Jaron become involved with Heavens Edge?

After George had passed, we still had some shows that were booked. We had the Monsters Of Rock Cruise coming up early the following year – and then Covid hit, so everything kind of shut down. But we knew we had shows coming up and we knew we wanted to continue on with the band. Because we didn’t want the legacy of the band and George’s legacy to go away. We were thinking of different bass players that we knew from here in the area. So, I had – maybe ten years ago – I was on Craigslist selling a bass amplifier –because I’m also a bass player – just not in this band. And I was selling the amp on Craigslist – and Jaron was the one the ended up buying the bass amp. I had never met him, but it turned out that he was a fan of the band. At the time, he was probably like 23-24. Ironically, he was in Tantric – he’s no longer in Tantric. He’s currently in Heavens Edge with us and he’s also now the bass player in Lynch Mob. And he’s also got a band called The Life Project with Josh from Stone Sour. He’s actually on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise as we speak with George. But the funny thing is he’s now in Lynch Mob and he’s also in Heavens Edge. The day that I met him, I said, “Okay, you’re in a band. Nice to meet you. Are you on Facebook?” And he said, “Yeah.” And I said, “I’ll look you up on Facebook, I’ll friend you, and I’ll keep an eye on when I can come out and see your band.” And I looked him up on Facebook right after he left the house with the amp, and his cover photo on Facebook was a picture of Lynch Mob playing at M3 from ten years ago. But the weird thing about it is it’s a picture of George Lynch onstage – and in that picture, my wife and I are standing directly behind George Lynch. I text him and I said, “Are you aware that I’m in your cover

photo?” And he’s like, “Oh yeah, yeah!” And now all these years later he’s in Heavens Edge and he’s also in Lynch Mob.

When you look back at the Self-Titled album from 1990 now, what do you think of it in retrospect?

In retrospect, I’m still really, really proud of it. I still think a lot of the songs stand up – not everyone, but a good amount of them. I’m really happy with the sound of the record. I think Neil (Kernon) did an amazing job producing and mixing it. And I’ve got to be proud of it. 30 years later, people that we didn’t even know still remember it. Because when we got back together again, we were like “Do people even still give two shits? It’s been all these years!” And the first few times we played, the crowd was amazing! We had no idea! So, there are a lot of people out there who are still listening to that record.

Do you have any messages for Heavens Edge fans here in the Los Angeles area who haven’t seen you for a while?

I’d like to just tell all of our fans out there in Los Angeles and on the West Coast that we are hopefully going to be out there at some point in the near future. We always had a great time out there. And for any of you out there that still remember us and are hoping to have us come out there and play, thank you for remembering us. Thank you for any of the support you’ve given us – and if any of you people know anyone at The Whisky, have a word with them. We would absolutely be honored to play there.


24 May/June 2023 HIGHWIRE DAZE

At Last: The Arrival of Angels In Vein

Angels In Vein was formed in 2015 when founding members Chris VanDahl (Cherry Street, Pack Of Wolves, L.A Guns) and Todd (Taz) Anthony (Cherry Street, Spinning Chain, The Union Underground) renewed their collaborative efforts with the intention of writing a rock album for the ages. As the process progressed and the musical direction began to define itself, bassist Adam Kury, (Pack Of Wolves, Legs Diamond, Candlebox) and drummer Troy Patrick Farrell (White Lion, Gilby Clark, Enuff Z’ Nuff, Tantric) were recruited into the fold to contribute to and further refine the bands sound and identity. The end result is Long Time Coming - now available worldwide via Perris Records! Highwire Daze recently interviewed Chris VanDahl to find out more about the arrival of Angels In Vein and the truly epic making of Long Time Coming. Read on....

We’re here with Chris from Angels In Vein. Let’s go right into the new album. Is there any story behind the new album title Long Time Coming besides the obvious?

You know – the obvious – it hit me the same way it’s hitting everyone else now that it’s out – it took us so long to actually

get this record released. We played with a couple of different album titles – at one point we were going to call the album Love Dies Screaming – and it took a long, long time to get this thing done. To be fair, not entirely through fault of our own – we had 2-3 years of pandemic time, and the record was sitting there ready to go. It just didn’t make sense to release it, because if the band did decide that they wanted to tour –they wanted to go out and play live – there was absolutely no way they could go out and do that. There was nowhere to do that. Everything was closed down. Live music wasn’t a thing -it wasn’t happening. So, we just decided to wait – and that was pretty much the reason.

What has it been like working with former Cherry St. bandmate Tom Mathers and Perris Records?

Tom’s been great actually. If you know about Cherry St., we’ve got a really long history. We go back to the 80’s. So essentially that would be the three of us at that point – which is 3/5 ths of Cherry St. Because Taz was the other guitar player in the band. Tom and Taz were the guitarists. So, it was just a very natural fit. Tom had brought it up a couple of times in the past back in ’16 when we released a couple of singles before this was actually even a band. We had released



the singles and things started to explode before there was an album. And Tom had expressed some interest in handling it. Obviously, it’s right up his alley – it makes sense – that’s what Perris Records does. They keep that genre alive and available. And they’re known for taking some of those great bands that came out during those years in the 80’s – and they release new albums. So, when it came time to do this, it seemed like it made sense. That’s what we did, and it’s been great! The first hard copy release was sold out in under two days. I mean go figure – you never know what to expect with something like this. It’s been a good experience!

Of course, you mentioned Taz from Cherry St. is involved with Angels In Vein. What has it been like doing another band with Taz?

You know, Taz and I have been doing stuff all along. Albeit maybe we’re not releasing the stuff that we’re doing or whatever. We’ll take a break for a while and then we’ll start working together – writing together. It’s been going on ever since before Cherry St. We founded Cherry St. together. We moved from the Detroit area in Michigan to California together back in the 80’s. so, when it was time to do this record, he was the guy that I thought of. I was performing as Steven Tyler for Legends In Concert all over the world. I was doing 11 shows a week, six nights a week – and I’d be doing it for years. It was an amazing gig, but I got pretty burnt out. I needed to do something original. So, I called Taz up and said “Hey, do you want to do a record? Just for the sake of the music. I don’t care if we release it. It’s not about getting rich. It’s not about being famous. It’s just about the music.” And the next day, he sent me 13 songs he had sitting in a drawer.

You have Adam Kury from Candlebox and a bunch of other bands on your album. How did Adam become involved? Adam and I have been close friends for half our lives. Cherry St. was touring, and we ended up doing a show called La Semana Alegre Festival in San Antonio, Texas back in the late 80’s – maybe the early 90’s. Anybody who knows La Semana knows it’s a huge, huge deal. And Adam was the bass played for Legs Diamond – a great old school rock band. And Cherry St. was also on the bill. I think it was Cherry St., Legs Diamond, and April Wine on the bill that night. And Adam and I met, and we became fast friends, and we just stayed friends. We were in Boneyard together, which was the band I joined when I left Cherry St. back in the 90’s. And he was just a logical choice. He was actually the logical choice from the very beginning – but the thing is the guy is the bass player in Candlebox – and he’s also doing a lot of other things – and they’re all on radar – they’re bigger things. So, his schedule is prohibited – he’s a busy guy. But when I approached him about it, he said, “Yeah, man, I’d love to.” So, we always take every opportunity to work together.

And then of course Troy Patrick Farrell of White Lion and a zillion other bands somehow has managed to be in Angels In Vein too. How did that come about?

Well first, let me just say that the zillion other bands is a testament to how good Troy is. And that’s not just with being a drummer – but it’s everything else he does. That guy wears a lot of hats. I know he manages bands – he books bands – he’s got a radio show of his own called This That Or The Other. He’s super, super involved. But the interesting thing about Troy is the guy that picked him for the band – because I didn’t know Troy. In fact, I don’t think any of us knew Troy. Vik Foxx from Enuff Z’Nuff was originally going to be our drummer. What happened was at the last minute something came up. Vik and his wife have a business, and I know part of it is handled outside of the country. He got a call and he said, “Man, I’m sorry, I’ve gotta go. But look. This guy’s amazing. He fills in for me with Enuff Z’Nuff” and he just gave him his full stamp of approval. And that’s how Troy came to be the drummer of the band. Vik handpicked him. So, I called Troy up and I said, “Would you be interested in this?” And he said, “Let me check it out.” And he did and he said, “Yeah, this is cool!” So that’s how Troy became our drummer.

Has Angels In Vein ever played live or do you plan to do so now that the album is out?

As far as live shows – you know, the only answer I have to that is the album is out now. It seems like people are getting behind it – they’re rallying. The reviews I’ve seen for the most part have been great. I think we got slammed really hard in one review – which there’s gotta be one – right? (Laughs). People are digging it – and I guess if there’s a real demand for it, then the band will sit down, and we’ll talk about it at that point. I don’t think anybody’s opposed to it, but it has to make sense. Because that means Adam will have to leave Candlebox for that period of time. Troy has to break away from Gilby Clarke or whatever else he’s doing. Taz

HIGHWIRE DAZE May/June 2023 27

has been out with Union Underground. Everybody in this band is busy – they’re all doing stuff. It was a labor love. They’re great players – and the reason they’re great players is because they’re doing stuff. If people really want it, we’ll know – and we’ll figure it out at that point. Never say never.

Looking back on the American Hardcore album you did with L.A. Guns, what do you think of it all now in retrospect?

Well, hindsight in 20/20. I wouldn’t trade the experience. It was great. It was also very challenging. Maybe that’s a part of what made it great. Originally, we were going to change the name of the band – and of course record labels came knocking and they said, “But we don’t want to sign this new band – ‘insert the name here.’ We want to sign L.A. Guns.” So, in order to get the record deal, we had to go back to L.A. Guns. And I knew it wasn’t L.A. Guns – in the traditional sense at least. I’d always been an L.A. Guns fan. I was a huge L.A. Guns fan when I was asked to join the band. Which was the craziest thing, because I thought we were going to make this really cool rock record. But Tracii had different ideas. He’d seen me perform in Boneyard, which was the band I was in with Adam Kury. And ironically, Johnny Crypt was the guitar player in that band – and when

I joined L.A. Guns, I brought Johnny with me. That was one of my conditions to join the band that they had agreed to. But it was a great experience – I knew it wasn’t an L.A. Guns record – and I knew people – they were going to slaughter us for it. And they did. The funny thing is, I think more people like that record now than did at the time it was released. I’m proud of some of the things that happened on that record, but it’s not the record I was dreaming about making with that band.

Do you have any messages for Angels In Vein fans who are reading this right now?

Yeah! Thank you for being as great as you are. Thank you for being as patient as you have been. And if you want more, let us know – and we’ll get you more. If you want to see the band – if you want to make things happen – that’s in your hands. Take it to the streets – go on social media – promote it – let people know what you think! If you love the band, let people know. Hell, let me know what you like about it – let me know what you don’t like about it. I’m interested in what people have to say. I think that our fans have panned out to be some of the greatest in the world – and I’m very grateful for them. So, thank you! www.angelsinvein.com

Fri June 23 2023 6:45PM w/BulletBoys

Fri August 11 2023 7:30PM w/Trixter

28 May/June 2023 HIGHWIRE DAZE


Photo by Jack Lue

The Warning Rocks The World

The Warning is currently on a headlining tour of the States in celebration of their recently released single More. After that, their very first European Tour is on the horizon. Consisting of three very talented sisters, The Warning has arrived and they are ready to take on the world!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Warning, and how long the band has been together. We are a 3 sister band. The very first time we played together was in 2013 for a school event: Dany, guitar and lead singer (23), Pau, drums (21), Ale, bass (18)

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?

We are based in Monterrey, Mexico, there’s a lot of young bands starting to take risks and trying to take their music out there.

How has the current tour with Plush and Holy Wars been going and what have been some of the highlights?

It’s been going great! We were so pumped when we announced this tour! And playing with HolyWars and Plush every night was just like we envisioned! These bands rock hard! And they’re full of female power and every city we’ve visited so far has been special, so every night is a highlight.

What could one expect from a live The Warning show? A lot of energy, we get so pumped each time we set foot on the stage, we set a beautiful connection with the audience and have tons of fun.

How did you wind up signing with Lava/Republic Records? They showed interest when Jason Flom saw our show at the Mercury Lounge in 2019. We had two sold out dates that time, and things started to move forward slowly until we ended up signing in July 2020.

What was the inspiration behind the lyrics for your upcoming single More?

It was a new experience for us writing with more people, so it was different from our usual writing process, and was just fun

Select two other The Warning songs that you are playing live and what inspired the lyrics.

Narcisista: is born from the criticisms we recieved for being a Mexican band singing in english. Z: this song is inspired by gen z and the way we are living now

What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming show in Berlin, Germany?

We are looking forward in general to tour in Europe for the first time!

What was it like touring with Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?

It was an awesome experience, we got to hang and became friends with Halestorm, we learned so much from that experience and we will cherish it forever.

What is the best and maybe not so best part about having three sisters in the same band? There are way more pros than cons the best part is that we understand each other perfectly!

What’s up next for The Warning? New album, Europe, South America, Asia

Any messages for fans here in the Los Angeles/Orange County area?

Thank you for all your support! We love you!


HIGHWIRE DAZE May/June 2023 31


Rock band Plush returns with a brand new single, entitled Left Behind, which showcases the band’s heavier side. Left Behind was recorded in Nashville with producers Zac Maloy, Blair Daly and Kile Odell, and is available via Pavement Entertainment. Now out on tour with The Warning and Holy Wars, Plush did an interview with Highwire Daze and a photo shoot with photographer Jack Lue while they were in the midst of their Southern California dates. Included is a mini poster of Plush right here in the very center of the magazine photographed by the one and only Jack Lue! Read on as we chat with Plush as they tour across America!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Plush, and how long the band has been together.

Moriah Formica - Lead vocals/rhythm guitar

Bella Perron - Lead guitar

Ashley Suppa - Bass/backup vocals

Faith Powell - Drums

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?

We are from all over but we’re based in Albany, New York. The local music scene is pretty active and there are many great local artists, bands, festivals, etc.!

How has the current tour with The Warning and Holy

Wars been going and what have been some of the highlights?

It’s been absolutely amazing so far! Its so awesome to have this lineup of female bands and just get to listen to each other each night. Also not to mention, everyone is so nice and supportive!

What could one expect from a live Plush show?

We hope to bring an energy packed set of straight up, raw rock n roll! And we really just wanna connect with people as well!

How did you end up signing with Pavement Entertainment?

Moriah had been doing some social media cover requests during the pandemic quarantine that had gone viral and garnered attention from management companies and record labels. One of those labels was Pavement. After speaking with the President Mark Nawara and VP Tim King, Moriah decided that was the right fit. From there, Moriah, management and the label began putting the band together.

What was the inspiration behind the lyrics for your just released single Left Behind?

The song was written about feeling like a misfit or outcast. All of us were different growing up and felt ostracized. We feel like the rock and metal community are treated that way also. So it’s a song for anyone who can relate to that feeling.

Interview by Ken Morton - Photos by Jack Lue
34 May/June 2023 HIGHWIRE DAZE

Select two Plush songs other than Left Behind you are playing live and what inspired the lyrics. Two songs we’re playing live other than Left Behind are our songs Hate and Sober.

Hate is a song about classic heartbreak and hating the fact that you still love that person even after all they did to you.

Sober is a song inspired by people struggling with or anyone affected by addiction. A lot of people have someone or have had someone in their life who struggles with addiction and it changes who a person is and wreaks havoc on their relationships. And you wonder if you’ll ever be able to trust them again.

What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming appearance at Rocklahoma? What we love about festivals like Rocklahoma, is just

It was absolutely amazing getting to tour with Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. Genuinely some of the best and nicest people we’ve ever met from the band to their crew. They sounded unreal every night and took the time to hang out with us and support us!

How did you photo shoot go with legendary photographer Jack Lue?

It was awesome getting to work with Jack! He is totally legendary and so kind and professional. And not to mention, he takes amazing photos!

What’s up next for Plush?

We are hoping to keep expanding our horizon and continue to grow and share our music. We are in the process of working on album two and cannot wait to finish writing and recording!

Booking now

Liquid Music Group LLC
HIGHWIRE DAZE May/June 2023 35


Bai Bang is a melodic rock / glam metal band from the wilds of Helsingborg, Sweden whose beginnings date back to the 80’s. They’ve opened for the likes of Alice Cooper and Nazareth, headline all over Europe, and even made a trek to the iconic Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip for a very special show. The band has just released a brand-new album entitled Sha Na Na Na via Pride & Joy Music, jam packed with dynamic anthems rock fans from all over the world will want to revisit time and again. Highwire Daze recently interviewed founding member Diddi Kastenholt to find out more about this long running band, how his son became involved with the making of Sha Na Na Na, stories from the road with Nazareth and Alice Cooper, and other topics of intrigue. Read on…

First of all, tell me about the creation of the new album

Sha Na Na Na?

We started not directly after the last album. We did tour a lot. And then we had this little pause due to the pandemic and we had this coronavirus going on in Sweden. So, we couldn’t actually be in the studio as much as I wanted. But me and the producer, started to write songs. I wrote a lot of songs. As soon as we got the chance, we went into the studio. And as usual, I’m always writing the hooks – I like to have a big hook – and if not, then I throw it away! So, there were many songs that didn’t catch my attention to release it,

because there was something missing. But then I came up with a lot of songs. So, then the album finally got done.

Let’s talk about the very catchy title song Sha Na Na Na. What was the influence behind the title track? Actually, we went on a tour through Spain, and we were away for two weeks, I think. And I came up with this Sha Na Na Na on the bus as we were touring around Spain. And I recorded it directly on my mobile phone. I always have ideas recorded directly on my phone, because you forget so easy. And I had this girl that I was in some kind of love or fascination with – she always sang about something like “Sha Na Na Na Na” or something like. So I continued with that phrase when I was sitting there for a couple of hours in the van on a tour in Spain. And then suddenly I found the melody too, so I recorded it on my phone – and then I wrote the lyrics. Many, many touring artists have experienced the same thing with a summer love tour. So, it was something like that.

Who exactly is your Favorite Enemy?

My Favorite Enemy – true story – I always told my son when he was playing soccer or when he was playing handball – he had too much pressure on him – he was very good. And I always told him you have to stop thinking about how you have to succeed, and you have to score, and you have to do this – because your favorite enemy is yourself. So, it’s

36 May/June 2023 HIGHWIRE DAZE

actually my son who wrote that title. I was alone with him since he was 3 ½ years old and he actually came up with this – because I’ve always told him “You know, skip all this pressure on yourself” because he always wants everything to be perfect here and there – so don’t be your worst enemy yourself. He actually wrote it.

He was born into rock and roll. He was with me on the tour bus – he was always with me in the studio – he has been with me all the time and grew up with long hair and a leather jacket since he was three years old. He’s a hard rocker. And now he’s a top hundred house DJ in the world. He’s touring all around the world doing lots of great songs – producing songs – writing songs. He lived in Las Vegas for 5 ½ years – now he moved to Netherlands.

Not to forget, I always mixed an album together with a producer. We always got good reviews and good credit for the sound. But I said to myself, this time I need somebody else to do it. And I wanted my son to do it, because he’s young – he’s got fresh ears and he’s got some new ideas. So, he mixed the whole album. When I compare it to my own mixes, this is “in your face.” He is pushing everything to the front. You hear my vocals as much as you hear the guitars, the solos and everything. So, he did a great job. I’m so proud of it.

What is your son’s name?

His name is Mick Kastenholt, but his artist name is KAAZE. You can Google him. He’s got millions and millions of streams. He just got back from the Nations Tour – he was in Japan and Thailand, Bali, and India.

What made you decide to cover the Abba song Rock Me?

The story began – I know Frida from Abba. On her birthday I wrote to her Happy Birthday. And she wrote back to me “Diddi, Rock me. Give me that kick, now rock me. Show me that trick, now rock me.” And I didn’t know what she meant. What is this? (Laughs) And then, I looked up what was Rock Me and figured out it’s a song from Abba. I listened to Abba – everybody from Sweden did. I remember that song, but it wasn’t a big hit compared to the others. So, we did a cover and we put the glam and hard rock into it.

And which song on the album is about your mother? Has she heard it?

All Alone. And no. I will make sure that when the album is there, I will play it for her. Perhaps she will not understand the lyrics because it’s in English – but I will tell her that I wrote a song about her and for her.

Let’s go way back in time. What was it like opening for Nazareth.

That was my first major tour. We toured almost a month

with those I looked up to. I loved the songs from Razamanaz and all this. And every night was so fun and so nice. We were so proud. We had our old tour bus with us, and we had parties on our bus. It ended up with me and Darrell Sweet, the drummer – we shared hotel rooms together. So, we were very close friends with them. And as it is now – Darrell Sweet – he’s dead – and Manny Charlton – he left the band some years ago – he’s also dead. And now Dan McCafferty died. But Nazareth has still been touring with Pete Agnew, the bass player’s son on drums. So, we met them a couple of years ago when we played in Switzerland, and they played – but that was when Dan McCafferty was with them. They played in another location, so I went up and saw them. We’ve always had this good contact.

And I will tell you a story. They invited me several times to go to Scotland – and I never did. And one day we were talking about kilts – the Scottish guys wear kilts. And I said one day I would like to buy a kilt. It would be so fun to have. And they came and they played in Copenhagen – and Copenhagen is only an hour away from here in Denmark. They asked me to come and watch and I said of course, I had already planned it. “And come up to the hotel room – I have something for you.” And I came up, and there was this big package there. And I opened it, and it was a kilt. Many, many years after our first tour, they gave me a kilt. And it’s not only a kilt – Darrell Sweet, he is also related to the clan Stuart – and if there’s going to be a monarchy in Scotland, the family Stuart are those who are going to reign. So, you can’t wear that kilt – if you’re not a family member or a family of honor or something like that. And Darrell Sweet, he made me a family member of honor. So, I’m allowed to wear their kilt and their sword on the side. And every New

HIGHWIRE DAZE May/June 2023 37

Years Eve I wear that kilt in honor of the dead guys.

What was the experience like when you played out here at the Whisky on the Sunset Strip?

That was so nice, and we had a great audience – a big crowd. And we also had a guest onstage – Rolan Bolan – Marc Bolan’s son. We stayed at his house in Beverly Hills. So, we didn’t stay at a hotel. His mom Gloria Jones, she was my manager for many years, so I came to know Rolan as well. He came up onstage and joined us and sang with us.

What was it like opening for the legendary Alice Cooper?

Oh, that was great! We played the big shows everywhere – and he had a big show every night. We had lots of fun together with all the guys in the band – and he showed up sometimes too. And I have to tell you a story about the shows with Alice Cooper. First of all, he’s a golf freak. He is very good at golf. He plays a lot of golf, and he has a very low handicap. I play golf too. So, we got to talk, and he said do you have any sponsors or endorsements for your golf sticks? I said no, and he gave me some names and after that I was sponsored by the same as Alice was. So, I got the sticks I’ve had in Sweden for years from Calloway Clubs

And we played 80 kilometers from where I live where my golf course is. I decided me and Alice, let’s play golf together tomorrow. I fixed everything in my club -we had a tee time – there were some photographers who would take some pictures of us. It was me and Alice and I think the drummer from Ratt who played with us. And my tour manager went to Alice’s tour manager and said, “You know, Diddi and Alice are going to play golf tomorrow.” And of course, his tour manager said, “No, they are not, because Alice is going to do some interviews. So, he told Alice “you are going to do an interview” – and Alice was so pissed. He told me later he sat the whole day at his hotel room waiting for a guy from a fanzine to phone him and ask him five questions when he could have been playing golf with me.

Thanks for sharing that! And now the final question. Do you have any messages for Bai Bang fans out here in the United States?

You ought to check this album Sha Na Na Na out. We really hope to come and play in America again as soon as possible. So come on, rock on, and rock it!


38 May/June 2023 HIGHWIRE DAZE

Sweet Blasphemy

Photo by Vivian Ortega of So FInch Photography

Into The Realm of Sweet Blasphemy

Sweet Blasphemy is an inspiring hard rocking post hardcore band from the Los Angeles area ready to explode onto the worldwide music scene in an epic way! With dynamic energy and the massive songs to back it all up, Sweet Blasphemy is sure to leave quite an impact on all who give a listen. The band has played the notorious Viper Room on the Sunset Strip, and at press time opened for A Skylit Drive at the world famous Whisky A Go-Go Sweet Blasphemy participated in an interview and photo shoot day with Highwire Daze at Dystopian Studios in the heart of Downtown L.A. Read on to travel into the realm of Sweet Blasphemy

We’re here with Sweet Blasphemy at Dystopian Studio. First of all, introduce yourself and tell me what you do in the band.

Jeremiah: Hi, I’m Jeremiah, I play bass.

Jason: I’m Jason, I play lead guitar.

Sebastian: I’m Sebastian. I play rhythm guitars and I do vocals.

Davey: And I am Davey and I sing.

What do you think of our local Los Angeles music scene and how do you guys fit in?

Davey: I think it’s really, really cool. There’s a lot of different things going on, which is really cool to see. There’s a giant community for it as well, like with the LA Rock Collective and everything like that. How we fit in? I’m not too sure – but I think that’s okay. We’re a bit different than some of the bands – and that’s cool.

The name of the band Sweet Blasphemy is named after a Black Veil Brides song. How has Black Veil Brides and their fan base affected you as a band?

Jason: Basically, Sweet Blasphemy is a collective favorite song of ours from Black Veil Brides. That song kind of inspired the band, but as far as the fan base

– since we have a similar kind of style and are kind of openly inspired by Black Veil Brides, the fans of Black Veil Brides kind of converted to our fans – and they have been super crazy supportive. And it’s awesome to see them just resharing and coming forth and being like “Hey you guys, your song has helped us. It helped me and I’m going to keep sharing it. We hope to see you and Black Veil Brides work together.” Maybe go on tour with them hopefully. They had a big impact on our music.

Let’s talk about your new song Devil’s Smile and what was the inspiration behind that song.

Davey: Lyrically, it was pretty much based off a toxic relationship. I think we’ve kind of all gone through one, so I think we all collectively helped with the lyrics of that song along with Eric Emery. The basic inspiration behind it is being in a toxic relationship. And the last chorus is basically a resolution to all of it – like you finally get the strength to pull yourself out of it and not let that person have a certain amount of control or dominance over you anymore. And you finally see that you were worthy of things, and it’s all sort of about growth and that certain sort of aspect.

What could one expect from a live Sweet Blasphemy show?

Jeremiah: We just want to be out there and have fun and have people enjoy what we’re doing.

Jason: What they can expect from a live show is a place where they can go after dealing with whatever they have going on in their life – like some people have it really rough. Just enjoy themselves and relate with us and other people who are coming together with music.

Sebastian: And also, to have them just let loose and let their frustrations out.

Davey: I think live shows are kind of like where we really, really shine, because there’s like only so much energy you could put into a song recording wise. I think that was our main goal – to make everyone in that venue

HIGHWIRE DAZE May/June 2023 41

have a good time. That’s what we’re here to do – we’re entertainers. You’re supposed to have fun – you’re supposed to be entertained.

What was the experience like playing the notorious Viper Room on the Sunset Strip?

Davey: It was really cool. Honestly, I like that they had a curtain so we could do sound check without having to be pretty awkward. I hate doing sound check in front of people. But it was cool. The stage was kind of small, but that’s kind of why I jumped into the pit for that last little bit. But it was really cool – everyone there was super nice. It was really nice.

You guys are about to play The Whisky opening for A Skylit Drive. What are you looking forward to the most about that show?

Sebastian: What I’m looking forward to is that’s a band I’ve been listening to a lot – almost exclusively in high school. So now that I’m opening for them, that’s just like crazy to me! I’m just looking forward to just open for them.

Jason: I’m just excited to play in front of a crowd that would usually listen to our type of music but just doesn’t know us. It’s a good way to branch out and meet new people and get them to listen to us, and hopefully connect with our music.

Let’s talk about the LA Rock Collective since we are all members of that. Tell me about the LA Rock Collective and how you became involved?

Davey: I think that the LA Rock Collective is a very, very cool thing. We were introduced by Eva Black of Eva Black Management and Nico from Thriller Records. They brought us to one a while back. And we met with the dude who runs it – and we know the people from Hvnted and all that good stuff. It’s overall a really good experience. To have a really alive rock scene whenever rock isn’t necessarily the biggest thing in the world – it’s really great to have that sort of community. I’m all for it.

Jason: It’s cool to have rock bands come together and

support one another and play shows and get to really bring the community together.

What’s up next for Sweet Blasphemy after the A Skylit Drive show?

Davey: Hopefully by the end of May there will be another single. And besides that, just recording more and playing more shows.

Jason: And June 25th we also have another show –we’re coheadlining the Whisky A Go Go alongside a Marilyn Manson tribute band Deep Six www.instagram.com/sweetblasphemyofficial/

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JUNE 2023 COME TOUR WITH US! Follow us for Regular Updates Starting June 19th Watch our sold out show at The Whisky A Go-Go with LA Guns, April 15th 2023 Tour Schedule 06/22 – Ruby Room 06/23 – Sam’s Bar 06/24 – Meguro Rokumeikan 06/27 – BCRRH 06/28 – Cyclone 07/01 – Haremame 07/02 – Momki (Acoustic Set)

Yungboi Gothic

Photo by Vivian Ortega of So Finch Photography

The World of Yungboi Gothic

Yungboi Gothic is a recording artist from Redding, whose music is beginning to leave quite an impression above and beyond his Central California hometown. He recently played a local show at The Mint in Santa Monica, performing smooth indie alternative hip hop straight from the heart, while am absolutely raging rainstorm was happening outside. Highwire Daze recently invited Yungboi Gothic to Dyspopian Studios for an interview and photo shoot to find out more about this amazing artist on the rise. Read on...

Introduce yourself and give us a little background on Yungboi Gothic.

So, I started a couple of years ago and my first drop was in the Summer of 2021. And I’m influenced by – I’d say my top five are like Smrtdeath, Lil Peep, Juice WRLD, Oliver Francis, and Lil Skies. And somehow, I just took like a combination of those guys and wanted to make my own thing with it. I come from a background of rock and metal. I’ve been in a lot of bands. So that was definitely like a foundation for it – rock music.

Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there?

I’m based out of Redding, California. And the local music scene is actually beginning to grow really well right now. It’s really cool to see. Like when I got into it, I did not know that there were dozens and dozens of singers and rappers, instrument players and bands. Cuz I was coming from a band metal community, so I knew that mostly. But when I got into studios and singing and realized how many rappers and singers there were, I was like holy crap! Then I heard their music and it’s like out of this world good, and I was like “what the heck?” I never realized all these people were chillin’ right here in our town. And right now, the scene is beginning to grow really well. Like Redding really didn’t have that scene for the younger music style, but lately I’ve been seeing a lot of shows where a lot of people are showing up and supporting. A lot of the local artists have been putting on the shows and they’ve been really good!

Let’s talk about the inspiration behind some of your songs. Let’s discuss Happier and are you happier?

I actually am a lot happier right now. I met this girl that makes me really happy – and this opportunity is super cool – and just the music in general has been on the way up. I’ve

gotten a lot of features with a couple of different artists like Rezcoast Grizz – I have a song coming out with him on April 28th and I’ve been looking forward to that. But the song Happier – one day I was playing the beat because I had it saved on my computer – I woke up one morning and I just heard the song in my head, and I started singing it to myself – and I thought “I’ve got to record this right now!” But the inspiration behind that was just wanting to be happy – like always being in a sad state and feeling bad about yourself – whether it’s something that’s happening to you or problems in your life. Mostly insecurities and just being down on yourself and everything. But just wanting to be happier. What if there’s a possibility out there in your life that you could be happier than you are now? I think there always is, you know?

Absolutely! And this perfectly segue ways into the next song to discuss – I’ve Been So Depressed. Tell me about what inspired you to write a song called I’ve Been So Depressed.

That song I actually went into the studio with my friend planning to record a song that I wanted it to sound like Blackbear at first. And then we really got into it. I really have ADHD; I feel like sometimes. So, I was like “this is taking too long” and I was like “let’s just look through beats.” We found this one that was like an MJK bit or something. And I thought “Let’s run this, I think we could write something to it.” And the producer iHATEYOUTRAVY – he helped me produce that song and write some of the lyrics on it on some of the verses. But the chorus was totally my idea. But I’ve Been So Depressed – I was just feeling it at the time. I was going through it with some things and I just kind of threw it all into that song on how I was feeling – and then recorded all of that song that night. And then he mixed it and we put it out. It was a really quick process – it was super fun, but not what I expected to make that night at all.

Tell me about Red Flag with Rui and how that collaboration came about?

That is so cool that you even know about that. That song just came out. He hit me and my friends up on TikTok I think. He hit us all up separately which was cool. We’re all friends – very close – all the people he hit up for collabs were close friends. And there were other artists too. But he didn’t know they were my close, close friends – and he hit me up –and then one day I heard like Timentes and Bluetenn were doing a feature with him and I was like, “You know what? No way! I’m doing a feature with him!” But yeah, he hit us

HIGHWIRE DAZE May/June 2023 45

up on TikTok wanting to do that, and I liked his music a lot and thought he had a good following. So, it was like alright, let’s run it – and so he sent me some music and we ended up recording that at Bluetenn’s house and had Ayem mix it – he’s a producer we like to use – he’s a close friend of ours – super talented – should be at the top. So yeah, that’s how that happened.

In 2021 you released an album called Heartless. Tell me a little about the album title and song Heartless. I felt like the reason I named it Heartless was because it was me dumping all this emotion and ego – just all into one song – and it was me not really giving a fuck about nobody’s opinion – and feeling like I had my heart ripped out from the previous stuff in my life – like relationships or losing friends – you know, stuff like that. And just feeling like you’re numb inside and you don’t have the emotions – you just don’t care. And that song is like I don’t care how people perceive this – don’t care if I’m alive – it was just a lot of don’t care. It was just a lot of bad emotions – I feel not like there with my heart, so it’s Heartless.

I know a lot of people care. I showed it to a friend of mine before it was mixed or anything, and he was like, “Are you okay?” And I just kind of laughed and I was like “Dang, that song is kind of crazy.” I was never actually going to put it out – it actually was not one of my favorites at the time. And Ayem, the guy I mix for – he actually made the beat for that song. So, he remixed it and added some more stuff to it that I liked – and then I heard it, and I was like, “Dang! This sounds super cool now!” And I was like, “Okay, let’s run it.” And I ended up naming the EP Heartless because I feel like that song was not going to do well, so I wanted that song to be on the forefront. It wasn’t one of my favorites on the album, but now everyone likes it and I’m like, “Huh. Maybe that song is cooler than I thought it was.”

You did a recent show at The Mint where it was in the midst of a historic torrential rainstorm that we had here in Southern California. What was that like playing that show with a crazy rainstorm going on outside – and what was it like to drive from Redding to LA in the rain?

Well, my friend likes to surf, so that just ruined that whole thing for him. Yeah, I didn’t know it was going to be that crazy. I wish it would have been a little bit better, because maybe more people wouldn’t have been scared to get out in the rain. Because everywhere we went, there were warning signs that said to not go out or be on the streets or in traffic. It was just crazy! There were floods everywhere. I actually got my fender ripped off by this giant puddle – it was already hanging off my car. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I just went through this big puddle – and then the next morning I noticed my car – and “Oh, my side skirt is gone!” It was completely just missing! (Laughs). It had to have been when I went through that giant puddle. But it was that night for sure. The giant storm that took the side skirt of my car. (Laughs).

I was supposed to go to that show because I’m friends with Superblood. But that rain kept me away. Yeah, they did really good – Cam did really good. I’m super fortunate to know him.

And what’s the first tattoo you ever got?

The first tattoo was on my arm right here – and it was the “Hang In There.” And these two roses – it was kind of like all in one. And it was like from my grandma – because it’s the last thing she told me pretty much like ever. She was on her deathbed, and she was like “Hang in there.” Because I told her I was going on this music journey and I was going somewhere to a show or something, and she was like, “Hang in there,” And I didn’t have any tattoos at the time. I was always like wanting tattoos. I was always like looking at people that I looked up to that had tattoos. And I was like, “I want to get a tattoo.” And then she said that, and I was like, “I want to get that tattoo for her!” I just thought that would be a good tattoo to always have that reminder to hang in there.


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Modern Thingers Arrive Post Wuhan-Virus Armageddon

Hollywood hard rock band We Are The Black Things arrive on the sunset strip music scene. Armed and loaded, the new all original 5-piece hard rock band established 3/8/18 in West Hollywood California at Whisky A Go Go

The modern epic Wuhan band delivers a promise with it’s new all original 12 song hard rock epic Down In Wuhan album available world-wide on all major platforms and on CD!

(The band is on it’s Drop the bomb,”bat on my back’,B.O.M.B 2023 Tour ! )

The newly We Are The Black Things formed just prior to the pandemic in March of 2018 at Whisky A Go Go with Tone Raven - gtr/voc, Frank Garrett - bass, Luthario Mitcho - turntable, Rae Owl Starling - keyboard, and Carrie Cane on drums.(Keeping things sweetened up!)

Partially frazzled ‘n pissed off from the pandemic, and yet wide-eyed and optimistically crazed exploit their new rock, black things outfit of new hard rock!

“It just hit me one day when the pandemic hit, I just buckled down to songwriting with my pro-tools rig at Tone

Raven Music studio and crafted the new pandemic album Down In Wuhan track for track,and it took on a little bit of virus of it’s own. It spread and here comes another virus song, and another, it’s Chinese virus songs, period,” replies Tone Raven!

Hollywood transplant from Colorado Tone Raven had starry eyes for the Hollywood music scene. Tone, upon starting to play acoustic guitar in 7th grade, and studying classical and electric guitar playing, would eventually make his way out to Hollywood out of I-70 West out of Denver over the Rocky Mountains in early 1993, thanks to Craig Goldy of Dio who took a shot on Tone, and invited him out to Hollywood.

“I met George Lynch on the 2nd Lynch Mob tour in late 1992 outside the bus, outside Bangles Bar, and at the hotel in Denver, bugging him for guitar lessons as a kid, and eventually being guitar tech in Lynch Mob on the Revolution Tour ten years later in Hollywood.

I am so honored to open up for Lynch Mob on May 12 2023 opening at 7:45PM at Whisky A Go Go with my band We Are The Black Things. It’s unbelievable the honor I feel.

I’ll have my ESP Guitars with me,” exclaims Tone Raven!

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Photo by Vivian Ortega of So Finch Photography

From The Heart with David Lee

Meet David Lee, a 17-year old solo artist on the rise! Not only has David released a full length album entitled Before It’s Too Late, he is also a member of an up-and-coming boy band called ‘Bout Last Night. With a dynamic presence on social media and a memorable new single and video entited Runaway, David Lee presents it all from the heart, and the world is definitely taking notice. David Lee was recently invited to participate in a Highwire Daze interview and photo shoot day at Dystopian Studios in Downtown L.A. Check out our interview with David and the Vivian Ortega photos here...

We’re here with David Lee at Dystopian Studios. Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there?

I’m based in Los Angeles and there’s so much diversity in Los Angeles. There’s so many different artists. I came from a rock background so there’s a lot of rock bands that I’m familiar with and that I’m friends with. There’s also the pop scene which I’m kind of going into. That’s what’s so cool about Los Angeles is that there’s so many different types of music here. And that’s what I love so much about this city.

What was your NAMM show experience like?

Aw man, I love NAMM! I go every year. This year I didn’t perform – I usually do – I just wanted to enjoy this year. I had so much fun just looking at all the booths –specifically your guys’ booth – that was awesome to see. And yeah, I had a lot of fun. It was great to see a couple of friends that I hadn’t seen in a couple years because of quarantine and all that. It was good to reconnect and see that whole music scene again.

You have a new single out called Runaway. Tell me a little about the single and the story behind it. I wrote the song and produced it literally ten days before I released it. I produce and write all of my music. And

I had this idea in Berlin – I was in Germany for a music trip with my boy band – and this guitar riff just came into my head. So, I asked my girlfriend “Can you record this real quick?” And I tracked it, and then once I got home, I just laid everything down – and it just kind of like flowed out of me. I can’t even explain it – it’s just like the music and guitar made me write that. And so, it’s unexplainable – it just kind of came out. And yeah, I spent ten days to produce it the way I wanted it to, and I released it.

You have a previous album out called Before It’s Too Late. What is that title Before It’s Too Late referencing? Well, I was joining this boy band, and I was very, very excited about it – and I just wanted to put out a solo project right before I joined the boy band. And I named it Before It’s Too Late because I wanted to show the world that this is my music and I’m going to go on this other adventure – this is what I’m working on for the last year and a half – and I thought that Before It’s Too Late was just perfect for the title.

Select two songs from Before It’s Too Late and what inspired the lyrics for you.

Let’s start with Lifestyle. Lifestyle was actually a joke between a couple of my friends. They were making fun of one of my songs Falling Part 2 (which I’ll get into in a second). Basically, I wrote this diss track about them and it was just purely joking. And I realized I could turn this into a pretty good song. So, I went back and rewrote a couple of the lyrics and reproduced it – and it ended up being Lifestyle – which is just this fictional thing in my head that “I’m all that” and all that stuff. (Laughs) Also Falling Part 2 – there’s this girl I liked at the time, and I wanted to write a song about her because I was falling for her pretty bad. But she didn’t feel the same way. But yeah…

You have a song called Marilyn Monroe – who is one of my favorite actresses and a legend. Tell me a little about that song.

I had a huge crush on Marilyn Monroe growing up and

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I think she’s just like a top tier woman –especially in Hollywood. And this line came into my head, “You’re my Miss Monroe, you’re my everything” – like this goddess to me. I love Marilyn Monroe. I recently watched a documentary about her. She’s very interesting and I really appreciate her work.

What was the experience like playing at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip?

I loved playing at The Whisky. I played there a couple of times. Just the fact that some of the legends that I look up to have performed there – like Guns N’ Roses – is literally a dream come true. I remember when I was little, I actually opened for Duff McKagan’s band, who is the bassist for Guns N’ Roses – and that was really a crazy experience – to not only perform on the stage where the legends have performed at – but to also meet him backstage was crazy! He was so nice! I remember he signed my guitar case. It was so cool!

If you could open for any band or artist either now or from the past, who would it be and why?

I’d say Guns N’ Roses – I’ve looked up to Guns N’ Roses my entire life – Slash and Axel Rose. But I feel like my music has changed so much. I’m a big fan of Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, so if I could have opened up for one of those two artists, that would have been awesome!

Let’s talk about the boy band that you’re in. I’m in a boy band – it’s called ‘Bout Last Night. We’re an up-and-coming boy band, and we want to change and innovate boy bands. We don’t want to do all this poppy stuff – we also want to incorporate the rock stuff. So, it’s a mixture between a pop boy band and a rock band – which is really interesting. And I can’t wait for everybody to hear the music, because it’s truly incredible. I love all the guys – they’re super sweet. We’re hoping to just change the world and have fun. I’m excited for it to launch.

And what’s up next for you?

I’m hoping to launch an EP – coming soon hopefully. It’s going to be called The End and it’s kind of the sequel to Before It’s Too Late. It’s just going to be some of the songs that didn’t make it on the album – including Runaway the single. I hope you guys enjoy that one. Once again, it’s fully produced by me – written from the heart. So, I hope you guys enjoy it.


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Poppy Harlo

Photo by Jack Lue

The News on Poppy Harlo

Poppy Harlo is an up and coming SoCal-based rock band that exudes its Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Alice In Chains influence in their original music as well as their live shows. The band features Ethan Maxwell on drums, Sean Michael Howe and Sean Bierman on guitar, Chad Bierman on bass and Cooper Jones on lead vocals. Here is an interview Highwire Daze conducted with Poppy Harlo at Dystopian Studio just weeks before their show at Beachlife!

We’re here with Poppy Harlo at Dystopian Studios in Downtown L.A. Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in the band.

Cooper: My name is Cooper Jones – I’m the singer of the band.

Ethan: And I’m Ethan Maxwell, and I’m the drummer.

What do you think about the local Los Angeles music scene?

Cooper: I think it’s really unique. There’s so many different areas in L.A. County where you find different types – like the Orange County punk scene or the South Bay music connection in the South Bay area – that’s all mostly classic rock. So, I think it’s really unique in different areas that we have – and it’s really a great scene to be a part of in general.

Ethan: It’s a really cool community – getting to know all these bands has been really great. We’ve become a lot closer with a lot of these band members – kind of helping each other out – it’s been really cool and supportive.

Select two Poppy Harlo songs and what inspired the lyrics. Cooper: One of our biggest songs is Porcelain Doll – I wrote it about a girl where on the surface she seems all perfect – but if you go under the surface, it’s not as perfect – it’s cracked – cracked skin all taped together. And our other big song is called Ink – and that song doesn’t really have any deep meaning. I had the chord progression for a long time, and I was struggling with the lyrics for a while. I eventually came up with the imagery of ink flowing down an inkwell – so I came up with that – the song is more kind of abstract, I guess.

Your band is playing Beachlife – what are you looking forward to the most about playing Beachlife – besides everything

Ethan: I would say for me it’s to meet other bands that I haven’t met yet. Because I could go on and say we’re technically in the same lineup as the Black Crowes and stuff – but that’s really not what I’m looking forward to the most. I’m looking forward to meeting more local bands that we could form a connection with – and that we could play more shows with. This is the best opportunity that we’ve gotten to really express ourselves – and I’m really looking forward to the communal

aspect of it. Because I’m a local from here – I’ve always heard of Beachlife because I live two blocks away from it. It’s just a five-minute walk and I’m there. But the communal aspect is what I’m looking forward to the most.

Cooper: I’m really excited to play the same festival that Jane’s Addiction and Smashing Pumpkins has played. I really love those bands, and it’s cool to be on the same festival that they played.

What could one expect from a live Poppy Harlo show?

Ethan: The best thing that I could say to look forward to for the show – for me it’s hair, because I go crazy and my hair flips all over the place. Energy! We bring a lot of energy to our songs, and we really try to make the most of the space we have – so the best thing to look out for us is energy.

What was The NAMM Show experience like for you?

Cooper: Well, to be honest, it was a little stressful – kind of overwhelming for me – but it was cool seeing all the gear and all the people there. It was kind of interesting.

Ethan: I didn’t go this year, but I have been twice before. They were really fun. I really loved seeing all the gear. I’m a gearhead – drums, cymbals, toms – I really enjoy that. The NAMM Show was cool because I got to network – that’s sort of my thing – I like to meet other people and the community aspect of it. I wasn’t there this year, but I look forward to going again next year. I love going!

And if Poppy Harlo could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?

Cooper: I would say Alice In Chains. The whole band is a big fan of Alice In Chains – especially their early stuff. Maybe one day…

Ethan: Alice In Chains definitely – that’s definitely the band’s favorite. If I had to say though, then Soundgarden Soundgarden – they’re my biggest inspiration right now – so I would choose them.

And what’s up next for Poppy Harlo?

Ethan: We’re going to be recording an EP after Beachlife. We have a few shows here and there – nothing too crazy though. Beachlife is definitely the pinnacle of what we have planned so far. But expect a Poppy Harlo EP and/or album coming up this summer or fall.

Cooper: We’re going to record in June. We have five new original songs that we’ve been working on. So, after Beachlife, we’re kind of going to be in studio mode to get ready for that.


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Speed Of Light

Photo by Jack Lue

Catching Up with Speed Of Light

Three siblings from Southern California, Speed of Light is an alt hard rock band with one foot in punk. The power trio is fronted by sister Riley, vocals and bass, with her brothers Cameron on guitar and Tyler on drums. Here is an interview Highwire Daze conducted with Speed Of Light at Dystopian Studios!

We’re here with Speed Of Light at Dystopian Studios. First off, introduce yourself and tell me what you do in the band.

Cameron: Hi, I’m Cameron – I play guitar.

Riley: I’m Riley – I play bass and I sing.

Tyler: I’m Tyler – I’m the drummer.

What do you think about our local Los Angeles music scene, and how does Speed Of Light fit in?

Tyler: I think it’s really, really cool and just a huge family. Like everyone really supports each other. We’re all working together and it’s really nice.

Speaking of family, what is the best and worst part about having three siblings in the same band?

Riley: The best part is we can rehearse anytime and we’re on the same frequency 24/7. But an issue is sometimes we drive each other crazy because we’re related.

Tyler: I would say the best and worst part is that we spend a lot of time together. And you can interpret that either way.

Cameron: The best part is that you really can’t kick each other out of the band. It would be really awkward on the way home. (Laughter)

Select two Speed Of Light songs and what inspired the lyrics.

Riley: One song that we wrote is Insane, and it is about embracing who you are and being yourself, despite not fitting in with the group.

Cameron: We have a song called Teeth – it’s about authenticity – about being yourself .

What are you looking forward to the most about your show at Punk Rock Bowling?

Tyler: It’s our first major festival show. That’s really, really exciting.

Riley: I’m super excited to see all the other bands like The Damned and Rancid. We’re opening for The Chisel on the 29th, and I’m really excited about that.

What could one expect from a live Speed Of Light show?

Riley: You could expect a lot of visceral energy.

Tyler: I like that! You could expect a lot of energy. And maybe contrast. We can go really hard and we can go the other way too and bring it down a little bit.

What has it been like playing local iconic venues such as The Whisky and Chain Reaction?

Riley: It has definitely been fun to walk through music history and grace the same stages that bands like Guns N’ Roses has played on.

Tyler: Or even legendary spots like Chain Reaction, where everyone has come through – tons and tons of huge acts. It’s really cool and kind of surreal a little bit. And the t-shirt wall.

Riley: I think the t-shirt wall is beautiful.

Cameron: That’s just like one of the cool things about venues in L.A. – like you never know who’s played there. It’s pretty cool.

If Speed Of Light could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?

Cameron: If we could open for one band, it would be Queens Of The Stone Age. They’ve been a huge inspiration for us since the very beginning when we first started. So that’s a big dream, to open up for Queens Of The Stone Age

Riley: This might be biased because I was listening to them this morning, but Turnstile.

Tyler: (After Cameron and Riley took his first two choices for bands) I want to say Deftones maybe. I think that would be cool. Opening for Deftones would be sick!

If the music of Speed Of Light was a donut, what kind would it be and why?

Riley: I would say a bear claw because it sounds scary, but it’s a little bit sweet. (Much laughter)

Are you guys involved with any other bands or projects outside of Speed Of Light?

Cameron: No, not really. It’s just the three of us.

Riley: Our whole heart goes into this.

Tyler: We have a little 10x10 lockout and we just live in there really. Some families are soccer families and support their kids playing soccer – basketball families or whatever sport – we’re just a music family – that’s what we do.

Be sure to catch Speed Of Light at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas on May 29th!


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Doll Riot

Photo by Jack Lue

Discovering Doll Riot

Doll Riot is ready to rock and rage in your world! With prime spots at the Shabang Festival and Punk Rock Bowling on the horizon, Doll Riot is primed to launch their way into the stratosphere. Here is an interview Highwire Daze conducted with Doll Riot at Dystopian Studios!

We’re here with Doll Riot at Dystopian Studios in Downtown L.A. First of all, introduce yourself and tell me what you do in the band.

Ella: I’m Ella and I play lead guitar.

Elena: My name’s Elena and I’m the lead singer.

London: My name’s London and I play bass guitar. Lillee: My name’s Lillee and I’m the drummer.

Give me a little background on the band and how it all began for Doll Riot?

Elena: Basically, me and Ella met through a mutual guitar teacher – and then we found London from a Craigslist’s list ad – and then Lillee we stole from a different band that we played with. We were like, “Hey, you wanna jam with us?” And she’s been with us ever since.

London: It’s been about 2-3 years with all four of us. And looking forward to the future.

Let’s talk about a few of the songs. Those Days – tell me about the inspiration behind that song.

Elena: Those Days – lyrically it’s kind of talking about how you wake up in the morning some days and it’s like you know it’s going to be a shitty day – and your attitude ruins the whole day. I think it’s relatable. Ella wrote the riff for that song, and it felt like a good song to talk about being depressed over.

B-29 is the name of one of your other songs. What is the inspiration behind that one?

Elena: B-29 – I’ve always been interested in the bomber planes of that era. And so, it’s basically a story I made up about a connection or a parallel between the bombing in Hiroshima and the Enola Gay – which was a B-29 plane – and just like a toxic relationship or something like that. It’s a weird parallel, but I just kind of put it together

The relationship that bombed?

Elena: Basically. Exactly!

How did the Punk Rock Swap Meet go with Agent Orange, and did you get to meet Agent Orange?

Ella: (Laughs) He’s like my Uncle. That’s not why we got this show though. It just happened. He just introduced us. It was fun.

Elena: I have a cool video of Mike introducing us and he’s like “my favorite band from So Cal!” It was just really cool to see a bigger band like that really interested in having us there.

What are you looking forward to the most about the Shabang Festival?

London: Honestly, everything. I’ve never heard of that Festival, and I’ve never been there either. It’s in an area that I’ve never been to. I’m excited – it will be a new experience. Like a whole new crowd – and I’m super excited to see that and see how it goes.

Lillee: It’s an exposure to new bands and other people with a different sound. Basically, the crowd – how they have a different taste – but they’ll see us for the first time and maybe catch their ears. We love to broaden the audience.

What could one expect from a live Doll Riot show?

Elena: Doll Riot shows – I would say it’s a lot of fun. It’s really loud – so you might want to put in some earplugs or something. We like to have a lot of energy – a lot of fun with the crowd. We encourage people to move around and push each other around. It’s exciting!

Ella: There’s a lot of people that like different styles. You see all kinds of people – and it’s really fun to see that. It’s a super diverse crowd.

If Doll Riot could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?

Ella: We’ve played with Destroy Boys before at a festival, but yeah, I would like to open for them sometime.

Elena: If I had to choose right off the top of my head right now – obviously a weird band like Butthole Surfers. They have a diverse style of songs and I think we are kind of like that too – so I think it would be a cool show.

London: There’s this band called Scowl that I’ve been wanting to play with. They played with Destroy Boys – and Destroy Boys is a band that we’ve played with. So maybe we could get that mutual connection. Another cool band is Deftones. I don’t know if that would ever happen – but if it did, that would be super dope!

Lillee: I think off the top of my head, I would want to open up for Scowl or Nice. I think that would be really cool.

What’s up next for you guys?

Elena: As of right now, we’re working on producing and releasing an album. We haven’t got to the recording phase yet, but we’re writing viciously.

Ella: And we have a lot of shows coming up – like the Shabang and Punk Rock Bowling – a ton of big shows! https://dollriotband.com/

HIGHWIRE DAZE May/June 2023 57




It was time for another edition of the LA Rock Collective, an organization bringing local bands and fans together to strengthen our local music scene. And opening up the show was the dynamic Against The Sun, unleashing a vibrantly rock-solid set of genre melding intrigue. Presenting songs from their just released Truth’s Wake EP as well as some exciting newer material, Against The Sun sent the early arrivals into a rapturous state of rockin’ sonic bliss. From the explosive reveries of the opening selection Search To Find and beyond, Against The Sun delivered an impassioned, powerhouse performance. Featured within the ranks of Against The Sun is Brad West on lead vocals and guitar, Brad Mitchell on guitar, Alex Galusha on bass, and Conner Eddy on drums. Highlights of the set included the premiere of a brand-new song called JAD featuring co-vocals from Seth Perez of Chasing Desolation. At the end of the set, Against The Sun unveiled their soon-to-be released single The Enemy, leaving the audience a glimpse into the next chapter of this amazing band on the rise!


TemperMental set the Lucky Strike on fire with their fierce amalgamation of punk and indie rock. Definitely a band ready to explode above and beyond the local Los Angeles music scene, each and every member in TemperMental exude a massive amount of talent and star quality. Opening with the slamming one two punch in the head of Come With Me and Teenage Outcast, TemperMental set the room into supersonic overdrive with their wickedly wonderful tunes! Vocalist Kristina Van Horst delivers tenfold, bringing in the audience with her stunning singing and vibrant stage presence. Marilaine delivers the fiery guitar interludes with a dynamic flair, aggressive and impactful. And the rhythm section found within TemperMental is first rate and through the roof, featuring the super intense performances of Ruby Imes on bass and newest member Miles Elze on drums. Stay tuned, because you will be hearing a lot more from this amazing band in the months ahead – including their debut album by the end of the year!


KingQueen was up next, and their scorching set was so hot and precise that it literally caused a power failure – right in the middle of their third song. But just within the span of a few short minutes, one could easily witness the heart and

passion to be found within the music and overall world of KingQueen. Vocalist Ina delivers such a powerful display of emotion and conviction, and along with the entire KingQueen lineup, this is a band ready to leave an impact above and beyond the City Of Angels. Opening song Tornado spun through the room with its captivating lyrics and melodies followed by the gorgeously expressive delivery of Beautiful. And then it was time for the devastating Wanted, the song that was ultimately responsible for the power outage throughout the Lucky Strike club and bowling alley. Although the set was abbreviated, KingQueen left the audience with full hearts enlightened by their inspirational pop rock tunes as well as an entire Hollywood Blvd venue in the dark.


Unfortunately Chasing Desolation was unable to play because of the power failure on the fateful night. Be sure to check into an LA Rock Collective show and discover a brand-new band or four in our local music scene. And if you are a band, be sure to contact LA Rock Collective to become involved in something very positive within our local Los Angeles music.


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Mori’s Memento


Bittersweethearts played the Highwire Daze booth at The NAMM Show this year, presenting two absolutely amazing shows! Their guitarist Alexis Angel stayed after to talk about all things Phantasm and Scream – as well as mentioned he was in another local band named Mori’s Memento. Seeing how brilliant Bittersweethearts was, it was definitely agreed upon that we would cover Mori’s Memento’s show at Molly Malone’s later on in the week. Rocking hard and heavy with influences all over the map, the sonic entreaties of Mori’s Memento are vibrantly imaginative within a live setting.

Original compositions such as Throw Me To The Wolves and Little Narcissist left an indelible impression to be sure. And what a kickass selection of covers this female fronted band presents, including a thrilling standout rendition of the Dokken classic Into The Fire and a wickedly wonderful interpretation of the Ice Nine Kills song Savages.

First and foremost is lead vocalist Charlotte La Rue, whose passionate performance channels modern rock great such as Lzzy Hale and Taylor Momsen, while displaying a uniquely powerful presence throughout. Alexis Angel and Alan Garcia rip it into the stratosphere on dueling guitars, injecting a world of intrigue into the exhilarating Mori’s Memento sound. And what a blistering rhythm section Mori’s Memento possesses, featuring explosive performances from Jason Austan on drums and Jacob Lucero on bass.

Mori’s Memento concluded their set with the gorgeously haunting refrains of their first single Endless Nightmare, it’s “I’m heading straight to hell, could anybody save me from myself?” inflections reverberating throughout. Mori’s Memento is a compelling band on the rise, and it will be interesting to see where such the wondrously diverse collective journeys onto next. Check out Mori’s Memento’s next show at The Mamba in Huntington Beach on May 26th! https://morismemento.com/

Review by Ken Morton - Photos by Vivian Ortega of So Finch Photography
HIGHWIRE DAZE May/June 2023 59
Malones Los Angeles, CA. April 21, 2023

The Highwire Daze Magazine Booth at The NAMM Show 2023

Highwire Daze magazine had a booth at this year’s edition of The NAMM Show which took place at The Anaheim Convention Center on April 13-14! Amongst the bands and artists who performed at the booth were Derek Day and Classless Act, Bittersweethearts, Leah Martin-Brown of Evol Walks, Yeti Valhalla, Taylor Sackson, Giancarlo Floridia of Faithsedge, Brad West of Against The Sun, Black Rock Candy, and Sik Sik Sicks. Signings included Mixi of Stitched Up Heart, S8nt Elektric, Lit Soul, and The Militants. Thanks to all who stopped by our booth and helped us celebrate our 3rd year at NAMM. Watch for even more photos on our website from NAMM by Jack Lue, Vivian Ortega, Jessica Greif, and Linda Emord. And special thanks to Jason of Sweet Blasphemy for all your help at the booth! And thank you to The Sandgaard Foundation for making this all possible! We’ll see you all 2024!




Possessed Putrescence

The Whisky

March 21, 2023

Review/photos: Tony F. Corpse

Fire-primed thrash mongers descended upon The Whisky like rabid dogs salivating for carrion. For tonight not even gratuitous thunderstorms could halt the dire assault of Possessed.

Opening the portal to hell were Los Angeles death metal marauder’s Putrescence, who channeled the disturbing grotesquery of The Bleeding era Cannibal Corpse with the primally unhinged carnality of Leprosy era Death. Ah, the demonic children of a lesser god resurrecting the noble blood of the ancients. The pit definitely approved.

Suddenly, an ominous intro started, and seven vigilant trumpets were sounded by seven malevolent entities. Possessed were here to anoint our damned souls. “No More Room In Hell” opened the fiery furnace. Jeff Becerra’s thrash bark belted ever true. His lungs enforcing powerful bursts of grim and beastly satanic dogma. Daniel Gonzalez’s rancorous riffs slashed the timid like eager scalpels. Emilio Marquez’s inhuman battery was beyond belief, punching holes in the vanity of heaven with every pummeling strike. Much moshing erupted with devouring aptitude and an endless sea of flailing craniums tested their exuberant stamina. Classic spine wrencher “My Belief” cut like a chainsaw, “Swing Of The Axe” dutifully decapitated and the ungodly sonata that is “Burn In Hell” finalized an evening of glorious luciferian might. Bow before Possessed, the exalted gods!



The Whisky

April 28, 2023

Review/photos: Tony F. Corpse

On earth as it is in... Hardlyweird? Yes, Angel- those interstellar cherubs perpetually cast in 1978 once again landed on our planet to rock the devil out of The Whisky. Bedecked in omnipotent white regalia and surging with pompously progressive glam ferocity, Angel serenaded us like gods from the empyrean realm. Frank Domino’s soaring mezzo soprano reached fever pitch, especially during fan favorite “The Fortune”.

Sovereign guitarist Punky Meadows enraptured his acolytes, navigating the frets with a tone, melodicism and bombastic fervor unparalleled in the industry. His vibrato alone able to rupture the earth’s crust. The solo during “Rock ‘n Rollers” is ample proof of that. All things considered, this group is White Hot. A Helluva Band indeed. And it would be despairingly unwise and Sinful to miss their next manifestation on our plane of existence.

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