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May is a special month around the Your Music Magazine home office. May 5th 2002 was our unofficial 1st Birthday with the release of the Rock Wars 32-page program, the early version, or #0 of the magazine you hold in your hands. The Rock Wars (now Your Music Olympicks) program had a half page bio for each of the bands performing in that year’s event, as well as the calendar. The limited run print publication was a hit with bands and advertisers, so the following September Lyon Entertainment published the first Your Music Magazine with The Expendables (winners of the 2002 Rock Wars) on the cover. So it is our unofficial 8th birthday. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my hard working staff and faithfully loyal advertisers. Remember support YMM advertisers, they pay for the magazine so you don’t have to. This month Itay interviews legendary Bay Area vocalist Mike Patton. The interview was 8 pages long, so you know it’s good. Jon Hermison spoke with Spider, front man of Powerman 5000. Josh Peirson got the exclusive with Darkest Hour guitarist Mike Schleibaum. Brian Crabtree hit some shows and hung out with of Dave Wakeling and The English Beat. There is also a Slackers interview by Tanja Alvarez. Danielle Negrin is chillin with Ishi Dube and Rocker T. Brian and I did about 15 video interviews with Your Music Olympicks bands. Now on to one of the toughest jobs I do as the owner of Lyon Entertainment. Today I chose the Editors choice band for the Your Music Olympicks Finals at the Catalyst on Friday May 21st. The Editors Choice is the seventh slot on the bill but is not decided by votes, unlike the other 6 Finalists. I personally choose the last band of the night, taking into consideration all the different aspects of the bands performance and participation in the Your Music Olympicks (although you will never see a low vote earner as Editors Choice). This year I had a serious decision to make, as at least 5 bands were in the running. Hell I Feel, A Band of Orcs, Praetorian, Sonic Decay, and 3upFront all received high marks in skill, fan base support, stage performance, YMO solo event participation, and overall event participation. After much deliberation I chose...
The alumni band had one extra thing put them above the rest – last years date change for the Finals. The unexpected move from Friday to Saturday night (due to a Catalyst double booking error) meant A Band of Orcs could not play, due to a prior engagement. Unfortunately date changes and cancellations are a big part of this business and A Band of Orcs took it like pros. They stayed positive and came back to compete without being bitter. All bands should know that if I cancel a show or change the date or forget to publish your interview, I will always look for a way to make it up to you. This also applies to the top bands that did not make it to the Finals this year, I will remember you in next year’s event so stay positive and use this promotion to launch your band to the next level of your career. Hopefully I will be able to get you back in the years to come. If not you can call me a dick and tell everyone I ruined your career. Thank you and goodnight.
Interview: Mike Patton of Faith No More/ Mondo Cane..............................................8 Interview: Spider of Powerman 5000 .........................................................................14 Interview: The English Beat.......................................................................................16 CD Reviews ..................................................................................................................18 Interview: Beta Wolf ....................................................................................................22 Show Review: Travis Meeks of Days of the New ......................................................24 Show Review: Collie Buddz........................................................................................26 Interview: eightfourseven ...........................................................................................28 Norcal Metal Report.....................................................................................................30 Your Music Olympicks Calendar Centerfold .............................................................32 YMO Band Interview: Until We Sleep/ Usurper Vong ...............................................36 YMO Band Interview: Dimidium/ Cadent ...................................................................37 Your Music Olympicks Solo Event Winners .............................................................39 YMO Band Interview: Almost Chaos/ Hell I Feel .......................................................40 YMO Band Interview: Jackie Rocks/ Hollywood Scars ............................................41 YMO Band Interview: Locksmith/ Time & Pressure .................................................44 YMO Band Interview: Messages Left/ Fires Fury ....................................................46 YMO Band Interview: Alyssa Kayne/ Thirty9Fingers ..............................................47 Harmony Festival Preview ..........................................................................................48 Show Review: Train .....................................................................................................49 Interview: Ishi Dube/ Rocker T ...................................................................................50 Interview: The Slackers...............................................................................................52 Interview: Darkest Hour ..............................................................................................54 California Concert Calendar .......................................................................................59
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Content Editor email@example.com Contributing Writers Mat Weir, Kevin Madness, Numerous, Andre Estournes, Dave Pirtle, Josh Pierson, Jon Hermison, Marisa Lopez, Tanja M. Alvarez, John Lewis, Danielle Negrin, Matt Young, Brandon Adler, Ben Baker, Kait Martone Contributing Photographers Alan Ralph, D.J.Dougherty, Caroline Reid, Brian Crabtree Video/Online Media Daniel Lopez, Josh James ISSUE #78 May 2010 Copyright 2010 Lyon Entertainment Publishing. Your Music Magazine is a registered trademark owned by Mike Lyon. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced in any manner or form without prior written consent of the publisher. Lyon Entertainment and the Your Music Magazine staff is not responsible for claims made by advertisers. Your Music Magazine is published monthly by Lyon Entertainment.
When I was in High School, I would hear stories of a man who as legend had it once drank his own urine from a stinky boot during a show; A man who was known to recklessly climb shifty stage backdrops and riggings - all while belting out some of the most intoxicating and influential vocals in rock history. Thus is the legend of Mike Patton... or at least that’s the way I’ve known it. The voice behind legendary acts such as Faith No More, Mr. Bungle and Fantomas, as well as numerous side projects and oddball collaborations, Patton has once again surprised us all. Mondo Cane, which almost literally translates from Italian to “the world has gone to the dogs”, collects various selections from a short run of exclusive shows throughout Europe in which Patton performed covers of various 60s Italian pop songs backed by a massive orchestra and live band; At first listen, Mondo Cane confused me. It was definitely Mike Patton’s voice, but he wasn’t singing in English and I had no idea what was going on... Then the second track ‘Che Notte’ came on and my mood changed... The track was upbeat, almost jazzy. All of a sudden, I’m driving down a long country road somewhere in northern Italy; there’s a town up ahead. Rounding the sharp cobblestone turns in my speedy Alfa Spider, I drive straight towards the town’s piazza; Top down, scarf blowing in the wind, half-burned cigarette barely hanging from my bottom lip, I raise my hand politely to an old man on the corner with a gesture only an Italian could pull off: ‘Buon giorno, signore! Come stai?’ He flips me off. What the crap? Suddenly I’m back in the woods with my lovely girlfriend and my annoying cat... no Alfa Romeo, no fancy scarf, no air of brazen machismo... no rude old man. Just a beat up pick-up, an old band hoodie and a brand new shiny copy of Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane on the table. Man, I need a vacation.
By Itay K
Were there plans for the album before the performances themselves? No, no. This was never destined to be a record or recording or even a project of mine. It was just a string of dates, a couple of concerts I was doing. Considering how much time and energy was going into the arrangements and finding the right musicians, I realized that I should really document this, for better or for worse. I should put this down and see what happens. Once I did that, I sort of dug my own grave. Live concerts sound great, but are they perfect? No. So what I did was I created an illusion of a live record that sounds like a studio record. I cut out all the applause, corrected every wrong note or every mistake, myself included, and tried to make the best studio atmosphere that I could out of a live concert. There was a bit of magic in there. What was it like working with a 40-piece orchestra? That’s a huge group of people to manage... It’s a lot of people, yeah. Ultimately, yes, I am responsible, but there’s also a conductor that can keep them happy. The biggest challenge was making sure that the orchestra were not bothered by the sounds of the 15-piece electric band behind them. There were definitely physical challenges but also some aesthetic ones. An orchestra playing with a rock band? They’ve done it before. They don’t care for the most part. They think of us as heathens. The way they collaborate with us is, you know, like Metallica with a fucking orchestra. Yeah, I was going to mention Metallica... So there you go. That’s what I’m dealing with and that’s what any musician that’s not classically trained is going to have to deal with. I managed to do it and I got through it, but there are a lot of prejudices there, and for good reason. How were the shows originally received in Europe? Were there doubters? The first shows we played were in Italy. Those were our first three shows and were the ones that I recorded and were the backbone of the record. I probably could have chosen the concerts a little better and maybe recorded the last three shows
we played because we were much better, but hey, that’s the way it goes. But yeah, the concerts were received really well and from a mixture of people. I’m used to a sort of rock crowd; People who are fanatic about what they're coming to see and make their opinions known. There were some of those people, but very little. We played theaters where people subscribe to a whole season of orchestral music. They just come every Thursday night or whatever. There were a lot of curious heads out there and I was very thankful. Do you think it will be a challenge to market this album here in the US? I don’t know and I don’t care. Well, I guess maybe “I don’t care” is not an accurate statement because I wouldn’t be talking to guys like you. I’m not disparaging you, I’m just saying I wouldn’t be doing fucking interviews. There’s a certain amount photo credit: Alan Ralph
What inspired Mondo Cane? What drove you to put together an album of 60s Italian pop songs? It was a part of my life. I lived in Italy for six or seven years and while I was living there I fell in love with this music. I didn’t have to search too deep. It was present in everyday life. I got in really deep and started discovering who was writing this stuff and who was arranging it and learned more and more about it. The more I learned, the more fascinated and seduced I was. You know, at a certain point after listening and really loving this stuff, I realized…goddamn, someday I’d love to do my own version of this stuff. I’d love to recreate it in my own image. It’s a selfish point of view, but that’s the way I make a lot of my music. I hear things and then I think, “Well, what can I do with that?”
of humility you have to accept in doing things like this and it’s not my forté. I’m not great about talking about myself. I make music and I’m not that great talking about it. Do I think that it will succeed with an American audience? I don’t know. I have no fucking idea. I do think that if you listen to a record like this it pretty much doesn’t matter where you’re from or what point of view you’re coming from. I think that it will put a smile on your face. That’s my opinion. That’s the best sales pitch I can offer. Are there plans to press this on vinyl ‘cause that'd be great... Vinyl? Yeah, I’m working on that. There're a couple of options. I’ll decide on one of them because the artwork is - I just got the promos the other day and I was over the moon, man, so happy with it.
Yeah, the cover looks great. I’m definitely interested in seeing the rest of it. Oh, it’s really cool, but wait until you see it. Wait until you hold it, man. I’m telling you. It’s one thing on the computer screen, but trust me, there are surprises for you when you hold it. Are you planning to take Mondo Cane on the road here in the States? I am, yeah. I’m doing a month-long tour of Europe in July and then I’m working on the States. Unfortunately, a project like this is very difficult to do in the States and I’m realizing that. There’s plenty of great musicians and plenty of people that are curious about it and plenty of people that would come to the shows, but it’s just different over here. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s expensive. A whole orchestra and a 15-piece band? It’s not something that I can just do on my vacation. For whatever reason due to state funding and sponsorships and blah blah blah, in Europe it’s much easier to realize a concert like this. In the States... so far it’s been a bit of a struggle. If I just do two or three shows in the States I’ll be happy. What can I say? There are definitely more opportunities in Europe. That being said, there’s nothing as satisfying as making your own music and not being a state-funded whore. A lot of European composers - I mean, hate to talk shit, but hey, if you’re getting funded by Obama or Berlusconi, who are you working for? Who are you making art for? I definitely have that sort of resentment towards European policy and European artists, but it’s tough love. So what kind of music do you listen to, then? Where do you want to start? I mean, I’ve been doing this a long time. You can’t ask me, like, my favorite artist, okay? Jesus Christ. Help me out here! Do you want recently? How about that? Yeah, how about recently? What have you been listening to? Okay... I’ll tell you about a group that I really like called Pivixki: P-I-V-I-X-K-I. Australian piano and drum duet that plays grindcore. Really amazing. The piano sounds like a guitar... It’s fantastic. It’s really incredible if you like that kind of stuff -
completely up your alley. That’s just the first thing I saw on my desktop here, so… So I was told I have one Faith No More question. So that’s the way they do it, huh? Funny. Well, good. One is too many for me. No, I’m kidding, man, I’m kidding. I’m bummed because I missed both Coachella and the three Warfield shows... Oh, no shit? You should have come to the Warfield, man, it would have been easier to do this there. Yeah, I’m bummed. It’s been years since I’ve seen Faith No More. You’re too busy living in the mountains up there! It’s okay. We only played three shows, you know, it’s no big deal. Whatever. Maybe next time around... There won’t be no next time, my friend. Damn, really? So what was it like playing on stage again with FNM? It was great! What we did was construct three different evenings with different bands playing with us; not even bands at some point, acts playing with us. We constructed a bit of a freak show every night that we were really proud of. It’s kind of the first time that we’ve been able to really take control of an evening and sort of sculpt who sees what and what they hear. In the past I think we’ve cared a lot less about that. Why do you think it was different now? Because we’ve got nothing else to worry about. There’s no record. There’s no press. It’s very easy to just focus on musical concerns. And for the first time in two decades I think we were able to construct a series of shows that we were super proud of and that we controlled every single aspect of; The way it looked, the way it sounded, who was playing with us... Yeah, it was pretty satisfying.
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By Jon Hermison Not much needs to be said about a band with 20 years of experience notched into their belts. Two decades and seven albums strong, Powerman 5000 (PM5K) has shared the stage with more bands than in your iTunes library and the loyal following to boot! That notorious industrial metal sound is back taking names and front man/PM5K mastermind, Spider, is enjoying every minute of it. Spider took roughly 20 minutes out of his 20 years of band management expertise to tell us what his secrets are. You guys are on tour right now in the U.S. How’s it going so far? We just flew into Vegas from Texas, and we play here tomorrow. How’d Texas treat ya? Texas is great man; we always kill it there! It was a bunch of bands like Three Days Grace and Fly Leaf, big shows like that, and it was awesome! No hard feelings with the “20 miles to Texas, 25 to Hell” track? Yeah, we never play that one in Texas. We should start dusting that one off! See how people swallow it. This tour seems pretty busy. The band plays a show almost every day with the occasional day off. That has to take it’s toll? When we go on tour it’s pretty crazy. We average about five to six shows a week, but it’s good to do it that way. When we have multiple days off, we tend to get off rhythm. That’s true. You want to keep that energy going, right? Yeah and the logistics of it is that a tour is expensive. If you’re not playing, you’re not making money, so you want to play as much as possible, but it can be brutal! Sounds brutal man! Especially for doing vocals in the type of music we play, after about the fifth show in a row you can start tearing your voice up.
PM5K’s newest release is “Somewhere on the Other Side of Nowhere,” which came out in October. Are you guys touring to promote this album or are you guys showing off newer material? Well I guess we are promoting the album on this tour, but we tour a little differently than we used to. It used to be that you released an album, toured for it for 11 months and disappeared for a while, you know what I mean? Now we just tour all the time, just to be out there. I guess the only thing we are promoting is just the band itself. I guess you never need a reason to want to play live shows, it’s just good to get out there. Yeah, if cool shows come up, we don’t think about whether it being relevant, or if we have something to promote, we just want to play. Do you have any tour stories that stick with you? Man, there’s so many memories. Any band can write a book about tour stories. Everything from full-on Rock n’ Roll moments to embarrassing Spinal Tap moments. But for me, I grew up a music fan and worked in a record store when I was young and I got to share the stage with bands that I was just a fan of before, like Metallica and playing the Ozzfest Tour. Absolutely man! You guys have definitely had time to play with all sorts of artists! The band is also creeping up on a 20-year anniversary, right? Does that trip you out when you think about it?
It’s very strange; it feels like it’s been six months, you know what I mean? That time just flies by. With all the tours and albums, I’m still figuring it out and learning something new everyday. Well, considering all of the time whizzing by, PM5K is pretty much your brain child, with seven albums and 20 years under your belt. How do you keep pulling strings and maintaining its strength? Haha, I know man! Every time I come up with a couple songs I feel like the tank is empty, and then all of a sudden another one pops in your head. I’m like “Wow!” But there’s always two parts to it. The creative part, with yourself and other band members tends to find its way naturally. The logistical part of it like forming a band/crew and keeping it together is the tougher challenge. It’s alil’ different now in the industry as well. The business is different too. You just got to keep in contact with your audience and keep them happy. On your 2003 release, “Transform,” and the following album the band created more of a punk sound. But listening to this latest release of yours, with tracks like “Super Villain” and “V is for Vampire”, the band seems to be revisiting that driving, industrial metal sound that was established with your earlier releases. What initiated that decision? Yeah, you’re right man. We are probably most well known for that electronic metal sound ’cuz of “Tonight the Stars Revolt”(1999), which was our biggest record, and that was our signature sound, very science fiction based. But we had a few more records, tried new things, some different band members, and for this album, that’s exactly what we did, we went full circle
and back to the sound that, I think, most people associate us with, and probably like the most too. Looking at some of the band posters and song titles, I noticed maybe a little fascination with the Japanese culture and anime? Yeah, Japan is a great spot for us. It’s been one of our strongest markets. Their culture has always been an influence on me. I always loved Japanese animation and Japanese monster movies, I grew up kinda a dorky Sci-Fi kid, and it’s always a thrill to play there. Powerman is the perfect band for Japan! So, being that Rob Zombie is your big brother, the two of you ever plan for a collaboration, exchange ideas on music/movies, or influence each other? Yeah we always talk, and he actually sang on a track before, but in a very subtle way. Just something fun, we didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. We talk about music and movies all the time but we haven’t planned anything big, but you never know. Mainly just brothers in the same industry. Yeah, it’s what we both do so if we talk or hang out it usually starts with one of us complaining about a situation or somewhat we know and the discussion starts rolling. Well, thanks a lot for your time man, and I hope you get some rest in Vegas, ’cuz you’ll probably need it. I’m gonna try to take a nap and I hear there’s a big poker tournament tonight, so I’m gonna try to lose some money.
He is referred to as a song writer, a hell of a nice guy, a story teller, and sometimes people have even called him the Legend of Ska. Dave Wakeling has been rocking stages all over the world for over 40 years, since his beginning with The English Beat in 1979. To get a chance to personally sit down and chat with Dave before his show in San Francisco at Bimbo’s 365 club was a thrilling experience for me, and I was amazed to find out how fast a half an hour can go by while listening to the stories and tales of this “Legend of Ska.”
By Brian Crabtree So tell me a little about yourself... Dave Wakeling is the name. The English Beat is the band, and another group called General Public, too. The English Beat started on March 31, 1979. We brought out three albums in a big hurry, toured ourselves crazy, and then dropped out of the business for a moment. We then turned into General Public with four or five other guys. We did that for a bit. Then I moved to Los Angles in 1986 or ‘87, where I worked for Green Peace for about five years, which always was a dream of mine. I had always dreamt of saving sea mammals and stuff, yet it turns out those people are really highly skilled and trained. So that was a disappointment, because when I was a kid I always wanted to be a pop singer, work for Green Peace and to be a Buddhist monk, I really wasn’t into anything else. Actually, I am still not interested in much else. So, I took an opportunity to work with Green Peace when I move to Los Angeles, where I was connected with a guy I had worked with on benefit shows. He let me know they were opening an office in Los Angeles that was working on a benefit CD that had come out in Russia, soon to be recorded in the USA. The guy working on the project was looking for an assistant that could speak record company language, and notwithstanding the forgoing, I was his man. So my dream came true: I got to work for Green Peace. We worked to record a live album; we recorded, mixed, and mastered the album “Alternative Energy”. It was all about global warming. Fifteen years later, everyone is like YEAH!! Even republicans are lining up to take their “green” pictures around election time; this is tremendous, I just hope it is not too little too late. . Who are your personal influences, who got you into the business, who are those pop stars that made you want to become one too? Some of them are not even pop stars, but singers. I’d include Van Morrison, Tim Buckler, Jimmy Cliff… Were these artists you were able to see when you were younger, or from recordings? Mainly from the records. And then the records became so much a part of me I could sing the whole album. Not so much now; because I have not done it in a while. I could sing Astral Weeks from beginning to end with an Irish accent. Then I moved
bit of Bryan Ferry to woo the girls. So I really didn’t think I had an original voice at all. I have gotten used to it now after 25 years of people telling me I have a distinct voice, very original, yet all I can hear are the influences. At any point during any one of our songs I could turn it into Van Morrison, RIGHT!!
on to a passable Bryan Ferry. At sixteen, Robert Plant was just down the road from us, and could just about sing every note, better than him sometimes, yet I was only sixteen, so what did I know? I still had some young tubes. I liked Elvis Costello, mainly for his lyrics more than his singing, and I could do a good Elvis Costello. But then when I started singing people would say they liked my voice, that they thought it was unique, original, with a taste of: Van Morrison, Tim Buckley (when I could get up there), and a To my dismay, the show at Bimbos 365 was sold out at the door, a 700+ venue. Photos of the legends were nearly impossible to get through the wild and rapt crowd. Luckily, The English Beat found their way back up to Northern California, to Don Quixote’s in Felton for another amazing night that was also packed with people trying to see the legends. So, two packed shows in less than month and the chance to talk with the “Legend” himself proves the English Beat are still going strong after all these years. And now they are playing more shows than ever, so if you get a chance you should check their upcoming schedule and get out to skank it up.
Fallen House Sunken City
Columbia Records Strange Famous MGMT’s latest album Congratulations is more of a psychedelic rock album than their last album, Oracular Spectacular, or any of their previous EP’s. Instead of trying to establish a cohesive style, it seems that co-songwriters Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser have set out to mash together several old styles to create something new. While this effect can prove dizzying at times, it doesn’t take away from the quality of the musical patterns throughout. The album as a whole goes in many different directions, achieving an anarchic songwriting style that is crisp and energetic, sometimes uplifting, other times haunting. Utilizing synths and guitar styles not often heard in popular music they have carved out their own niche. The catch seems to be that it is hard to anticipate what’s next at any given moment unless you are already very familiar with the content. There are a few styles and themes that are featured several times in the album. Ballads, a fascination with the unknown, reverence for past musical pioneers, high pitched choruses, and a mix of high energy and low energy rhythms are all vital to the album. It’s going to be hard for MGMT to keep the buzz going from the first album, but it seems they are making a decision to solidify themselves as songwriters and musicians rather than aiming for a pop sound. The creativity they show on this album leads me to believe they will be making great songs for a while. - Ben Baker
This record just might be the antidote for my yet unnamed condition—the one that leaves me comatose in front of the television with Cheetos-stained fingers, emotionally passive to injustice and globalization. You could call it complacency, but that term connotes a certain lack of selfawareness. Yeah, the government sucks and corporations are manipulating us in anyway that can turn a profit, but I don’t need some asshole undermining my intelligence by telling me things I already know. B. Dolan gets passed all my defenses. He’s clever like that. Throughout Fallen House Sunken City it seems like he’s broadcasting from some shitty future distopia where everything is all fucked up. With dark, descriptive lines, he peaked my ears with portrayal of this place. There are people living in ruins, elites with totalitarian agendas, medicine being used as a means of financial control and excavators building cities where they don’t belong. It wasn’t until the third or fourth listen that I confirmed he was, in fact, describing the present. This is George Orwell rap. With great wit, Dolan chronicles modern culture with a perspective so seeming distant that it appears as though he’s describing a different time and place all together. There is a time to be righteous and that time is always, but in the loop of communication, righteousness can induce fatigue so one must be artful. This is. Alias’ production is elemental to the feel of Fallen House Sunken City--mean, grimy, unsettling music that sounds less like a Pro Tools expansion pack and more like the march of an angry mob. Some of the tracks, such as “Fall of T.R.O.Y.” could easily work as instrumentals, but sound dire combined Dolan’s torrential lyrical release. Wordiness can be troublesome, unless you choose your words wisely. B. Dolan’s relentless delivery recalls a noble desperation - that of a man making the most of his only chance to speak to the world. The way it seems, this won’t be it. - Kevin Madness
The Chop Tops
Portugal.The Man’s newest record American Ghetto is a bit hard to define. The album is filled with ballads that display a guitar style that at times sounds like folk rock and at others more like funk. The vocals show range and switch tempos often, which keeps things interesting. This provides the ability to really build up the beat in a way more often heard in electronic dance music, yet this is definitively a rock record due to its live feel, especially between the electric guitar and rhythm section. It seems the band would rather make a rock record than a dance record, but they don’t shy away from incorporating aspects of that genre. Fans of Portugal. The Man’s previous work will probably enjoy this as well, as it contains the ingenuity of composition they have shown on previous albums, while continuing to branch out and make songs that you can sing along with and dance to. American Ghetto succeeds because it has the lyrics of a great folk album while containing the vocal range and searing guitar parts that makes them a rock band. Separating themselves from folk and borrowing from electronic music, they have created a sound that is fresh and original, powerful without being overdramatic or preachy. The themes of their songs are rooted in folk tales and deep observational prose, giving Portugal. The Band a leg up on many of their progressive rock peers. - Ben Baker
Santa Cruz’s own revved-up rockabilly hooligans may be on Brian Setzer’s personal shit-list, but that didn’t stop The Chop Tops from releasing one hell of an album. And what was that? It’s available on blood-red vinyl? Sign me up! Their 5th album to date, Deadly Love proves yet again that the pairing of guitarist Shelby Legnon and stand-up drummer Gary Marsh is unstoppable. Regardless if you’ve been a fan for years or just now hearing about this band of miscreants, go do yourself a favor and pick up this album. Not only will it instantly become a favorite to blast on your hi-fi stereo system, but you can sleep well knowing that you helped pay their rent. Check out www.thechoptops.com to order a copy today! - Itay K
Vinyl 180. Dedicated to keeping alive the format of choice for anyone serious about listening to music. New editions of classic albums, remastered from original analogue tapes and pressed onto 180g heavyweight vinyl to capture the warmth and depth of sound that currently only vinyl can offer... just as they were meant to be heard. The Cult Love (180gr 2LP Reissue) Vinyl 180 One of the best-selling albums on The Cult’s roster, and one of the more underrated rock albums ever, finally gets the proper vinyl treatment. And man does it sound good - I’d go as far as saying better than the original vinyl release. Paired with an updated gatefold sleeve, this is a must have for any rock and vinyl enthusiast!
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By Kait Martone You guys recently changed the name of your band; tell me more about why? Grant: We used to be called Takota (he pauses to take a big swig of whiskey) and we were around for about 3 ½ years and about half way through we signed with a record label and made a record. By the end of the process, things were different; we had grown into a new band. Our drummer decided to pursue another avenue in life. Instead of trying to explain to people why things were different we decided to have fresh energy, ‘cause it was a new thing anyway and that’s where Beta Wolf comes from. Any particular reasoning for the namesake? Grant: Yeah, with wolves there is a very defined board with who’s in charge. The alpha wolf is what people are really familiar with, that’s the wolf that’s in charge of the pack, and it takes care of everybody. The Beta Wolf is second in command and when the alpha wolf dies, the beta wolf ascends to become the alpha wolf. Metaphorically speaking it really hit home for us because this band that we were in, we were signed to a major label and toured all over the world. We had grown beyond that, we’d grown into the band that we’d always wanted to be. So it was a metaphor that just sort of mattered to us. You said that you had to replace your drummer - I read that you found your current drummer through MySpace. Grant: Yeah, I found Brett, Danny and Sergio on MySpace. I was just e-mailing hundreds of musicians seeing if people would be interested in getting together and that’s how I found them. We fit together.
Beta Wolf, out of Orange County, CA, is comprised of Grant Arnow (vocals), Sergio Ruelas (guitar), Brett Anderson (guitar), Danny Roddy (bass) and Drew Langan (drums). I met up with the band before their show at the El Rey Theater in LA; they performed a five-song set and really sounded amazing live. They have a huge sound and a great stage presence. You guys got “discovered” by Atreyu’s Brandon Saller. What is it like working with him? Brett: it’s great! (everyone laughs) It’s so good. Grant: We kind of knew him from a while back, in Takota, and kinda just in passing knew him. We asked him if he wanted to work on our record with is, our very first one, and he said “yeah” and it was fun. Yeah, he is a super cool guy. Who are your biggest influences? Sergio: I think everyone has their own influences that they bring to the table. For example, I really like The Edge from U2, Jimmy Page. And I have other influences as well that stem from Latin, Jazz and Blues. I think Grant pulls from a lot of the Classic Rock, big melodic vocal stuff. Brett has a very… he is kind of the riff master. He has a very unique way of approaching guitar chords. And Drew’s got this groove… Grant: He listens to a lot of rhythmic music, like gospel and hip-hop. Sergio: Yeah, gospel. I think he takes a lot from the gospel genre and kind of turns that into rock in some way. And that’s one of the reasons why we picked him. Why I liked him was because his groove was so unique and it brought something completely different to the band that no other drummer could’ve brought. You have an EP coming out pretty soon? Grant: We’re going to be putting out six songs FOR FREE very soon; we are just waiting for the mixes to come back, and as soon as they are back we are going to put it up everywhere. So we are going to have the music up in a lot of different places so it’s easy for people to find. It is important to us to get things into people’s hands for free, you know, we want people to hear this stuff.
Sat May 8 @ West Valley College West Fest featuring Insolence, Anonymity, Symphathy Ends, Park Lane, Northern Son, A Four Star Affair + more! Sat May 15 @ Britannia Arms Cupertino Silent Treatment, The Devil Himself, Stoic Nai Thurs May 20 @ Mountain Charley's Saloon Caveat anda band TBA Thurs May 27 @ Mountain Charley's Saloon Caveat and band TBA Sat May 29 @ X Sports Bar + Music Lounge (Homestead Lanes) Cadent, Boom Boom Stereo, Undergone, 3WAH Sat June 5 @ Britannia Arms Cupertino Los Bastardos de Amor, Back Pocket Memory, Blue Serra Sat June 12 @ X Sports Bar + Music Lounge (Homestead Lanes) Lucky Lucianni CD Release Show
For Booking please send email to:
More info online: www.barbrocks.com www.myspace.com/barbrocks
DAYS OF THE NEW’S
CHERRY NOVA / FAMOUS TAXI RED SKY / NOVA The Avalon, San Jose - 4.28.10
By Matt Young I’d been dispatched by Your Music Magazine to cover Days of the New, or, rather, Travis Meeks doing one of a number of solo shows. It was an added bonus to find out that San Jose’s own Cherry Nova was opening the evening. Members Emme, Cameron and Manny rocked in all their grungy glory. This band is like the bastard offspring of Veruca Salt, Old Soundgarden and Nirvana and maybe a little of Hole’s new song, “Skinny Little Bitch.” Watching them is like observing original grunge critters first crawl out of the bay of Seattle. They did their staples, like “Spiderman,” (filmed that) laced with a nice mix of sludge and snap. I’m a sucker for their brand of grunge, and this stuff could be a Sub Pop release between ’87 and ’92. If it had been just about any other city, there might have been a frothing mosh pit. I snapped some pictures that Cherry Nova would have been great on a better camera, save for the rampant red-eye (cherry eye?) that dogged most of the shots. My scheduled photographer had to bail last-minute due to a number of valid reasons, so I was flying solo. I overheard some guys from the venue saying that Travis Meeks was pretty much out of his mind on drugs. I knew something was up when the guy running the show told me that things were awry when he leaned toward my ear, frustration on his face, saying, “Travis is in no condition to be doing interviews – he’s completely out of it.” This is apparently a longtime problem for Meeks, even after the filming of the A&E substance abuse and recovery show, “Intervention,” which featured him in 2005. This is where the evening took a real turn. Alice in Chains was blasting from the house’s sound system, and the ghostly voice of Layne Staley was serenading the crowd with stories of drug addiction, pain, and death. It was a true foreshadowing. An hour after his scheduled time, a security guy escorted Meeks out. Some people (I included), gasped audibly. He was cadaverous – absolutely emaciated, like someone with advanced cancer or some other wasting disease. After all the hale, hearty, high-energy opening performers, Meeks was shockingly thin, moving his body in strange ways, with odd twitches and facial expressions. His clothes hung on his body, failing to veil his condition. (At this point, I was relieved that I couldn’t shoot pictures, and I could hear people near me making comments about drugs and his appearance). His roadies set up an array of acoustic guitars (his hallmark) and after tuning and whispering things to one of the sound guys, he began to play. He started with a long, rambling instrumental piece, akin to a scarecrow behind his large dreadnaught acoustics, hunched over his guitar while crouching on a stool. The music was haunting, and he weaved various melodies together with bits of dissonance, throwing in down-tuned elements, actually using his tuning pegs to alter the pitch and tones while playing, and then moving into a more middle-eastern sound for a bit. It wasn’t until around twenty minutes in, with people whispering questions to each other about whether he would sing or not, that he finally did. The first song, appropriately enough, was about wasting away and dying. His voice, while still recognizable, was hollow and missing the depth of what he
had done on the first Days of the New album. Famous Taxi He went through one of his principal hits, “Shelf in the Room,” and then through songs from the other two albums and his upcoming release, “Days of the New Presents Tree Colors” (a play on the series of self-titled albums with the cover picture being a large tree in various colors, depending on the album). He was definitely still amazing on the guitar, which sang more surely than his withered vocal chords. It should be noted that the crowd had really dwindled at this point, to perhaps less than a fifth than were present for opening act Nova. Between songs, one guy yelled out, “We’re your inner circle, Travis!” while other people called out “Maestro!” which he has also been going by. It smacked of pity. I honestly believe many left because it was hard to watch this still-young man with so much talent so visibly wasted and stripped, and I could hear them saying so as they left. The music was interesting and intricate, but the sight of him so frail and with wild, disheveled hair was hard to watch, compared to how he looked in the video for his first hit, “Touch, Peel and Stand,” back in ’97. I couldn’t help but think he’s younger than me… He didn’t stick around at the end for the few who’d stayed. For me, the personal tragedy will always cut through the talent. Perhaps the torment drives the talent, but there is no talent without the person. Just ask Layne Staley, whose songs preceded Meeks’ entrance. Let’s hope there are new days ahead. Sometimes, “we die young,” when we don’t have to.
COLLIE BUDDZ The Catalyst, Santa Cruz - 4.16.10
By Danielle Negrin Finally the herbs come around…and Collie Buddz came to my hometown! I got to the venue and was immediately stimulated by the pulsing lightshow and swirling smoke. DJ Don-ette G was blasting classic hip hop songs, followed by the very talented disk jockey Peewee. I had been anticipating seeing this show for months, and couldn’t believe the time had come. The venue was packed so full that I could hardly move. The line to the bar was about 50-people long, the crowd so thick, yet each person had a smile on their face. I have seen shows at this venue dozens of times and never seen it so packed in my life. I immediately got into the groove of the show because the excitement of the fans was contagious. After I grabbed a drink at the bar, the crowd roared as Collie Buddz made his grand entrance on stage. Straight from Bermuda, Collie Buddz was one of the most confident artists I have ever seen. He made an immediate connection with his fans and got everybody in the audience grooving to his songs. He consistently turned the microphone out to his fans so they could recite all the lyrics. He played hit tunes such as “Come Around,” “Tomorrow’s Another Day,” “Mamacita,” and my all-time favorite, “Blind To You.” The show ended abrubtly as the audience was chanting out his name for an encore, but he never came out. The only complaint I really have about the show is that his performance was too short. All in all, Collie Buddz appeared to be classy, genuine and is a very talented artist. After the show I was pulled back stage to interview Collie. He was swarmed by people and every eye in the room was looking his way. As I was waiting to meet him, I struck up a conversation with this older man that was standing next to me. He introduced himself and told me that he was Collie’s father. We spoke about what it was like having a son who is famous worldwide. He described how strange it is to see his young boy famous, although people have said that Collie has maintained humility throughout the infamous ride. It was very interesting to get the parent’s viewpoint behind the scenes. He then brought me over to meet Collie Buddz. The impression that I got from him on stage proved to be valid. He was an incredibly down-to-earth and personable man. He listened to what I said, showed great interest in me as a person, and didn’t treat me like some random fan. He was extremely overwhelmed by dozens of people pushing to get his attention, on top of his parent’s traveling hundreds of miles to see him, so I was not able to interview him. It was a very special experience to meet my favorite artist of all time and it was a show I will never forget.
Lance Jackman | Vocals/Guitar Sean Bivins | Guitar Ben Conger | Drums Anthony Sarti | Bass/Programming/Synth
By YMM Staff Does your name have anything to do with the TWA flight that got hijacked in 1985? Anthony: We’ve been asked that before and the answer is “no.” Our name is complicated. Let’s just say that we wanted to create a band name that doesn’t mean anything. We chose a name that would later be defined by our music. Also, we never use the numbers “847,” we always display our name as “Eightfourseven.” In a way, it’s become a new word with a new meaning. Eightfourseven is what is created when Lance, Anthony, Ben and Sean join to make music.
styles and many more.
It sounds like you enjoy both alternative rock and electronic music. What sort of music did you guys grow up on? Anthony: Although we share a common collective of bands that we enjoy. We all have different musical backgrounds. I enjoyed Big Band music from Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw played for me by my grand parents. Also, my older brother introduced me to 80s electro bands such as Duran Duran, Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears. Later I got into different types of Hip Hop and electronica like Hieroglyphics, Del Tron, Sneaker Pimps and Lady Tron. I have a place in my musical archive for all types of music; the list grows everyday. Sean: Anything I could get my hands on that was on Victory Records, Initial Records, Jade Tree, Vagrant, etc. But the biggest influence for me was the actual live shows that I went to as a kid. I started seeing shows at the Cattle Club here in Sacramento when I was 14. Watching bands play live was where the magic happened for me. There was always an energy to those shows that I’ve tried to project at our shows. I want kids to get the same feelings that I felt growing up watching bands play live. Lance: I grew up on mostly 60s and 70s rock. But I remember hearing Sonic Youth on the radio when I was about 12 and I knew I was going to be hooked on alternative rock and grunge. I used to listen to electronic pop in the 80s when I would spent time with my aunt in San Francisco but it wasn’t until I met Anthony in high school that really started paying attention to it. Ben: I was fortunate to grow up with parents that have good tastes in music. I grew up on bands like The Beatles, Talking Heads, The Clash and The Smiths. In my youth I got in to a lot of punk and heavier music and still enjoy those
If you could add another instrument to your band, what would it be? Anthony: For many of our more experimental instrumental songs it would be cool to have a string section or Cello to fit our melodic drone. Sean: That’s a hard question to answer since we use as many different kinds of instrumentation as we can already. I guess if we had to add another live instrument, I would probably have to go with what Anthony already said. Or, a choir. I’ve always liked the sound of voices layered over one another.
What were you thinking about when you wrote the song Phantom Limb? Anthony: The song was originally created for a movie soundtrack. We were provided with a limited synopsis and the music was created to fit a dark mood. Lance will have to explain the lyrics. Lance: Really that song is a contradiction. It’s about wanting something so bad, you don’t want it at all. Ben: The song is about the loss of something important.
Who do you like in the Sacramento music scene? Anthony: On the electronic front we have some great bands and artists like Dusty Brown and Sister Crayon, whom we play with and enjoy their music. The scene seems to be in a transition period. Heavier bands are becoming more mellow and the styles are all over the map. Currently, Sacramento has a larger DJ nightclub scene than original music. We’re trying to aid in changing that paradigm. Sean: Doom Bird. Lance: Sacramento is in a transitional stage right now. A lot of talent and no where to put it. The venues that are here are alright but we need a great all ages venue in the middle of town, a place that will attract national acts. I will always be a fan of Will Haven, Far, Deftones, R3d Tap3, I’m Dirty Too, and Tinfed. Ben: The bands we grew up with like, Far, Will Haven, and the Deftones hold a special place in our hearts. Some of my local favorites are/were; Red Tape, Dusty Brown, Deathray Pocket For Corduroy, Tinfed.
Warfield shows at the More reunion e. So nc rie pe ex The Faith No ing az h were an am these on es ey eir this past mont th tal world had year ’s me t e th las of ng wi ch llo mu fo for rst in the area shows, their fi those scheduled ly a handful of f conventionalism on d (an ion un of re ipcontinued to fl luded the year.) They acts that inc arre opening , and biz ow sh ok te bo sti ve d an trans e we Hamburger, a rs il wo Ne r n fo dia or r me tte co r be t saw squad. And fo bu er , ad ht rle nig ee e ch on a nt en in for it. I only we me I hadn’t se th all loved them r faces, and so wi ilia up d fam lle fi ny lls ma wa so ok es and Facebo tion. years. News sit ter reviews, and other adula n arac ene ca details, 150 ch w great the sc this reminder of ho mes through in It was a great co pe ho I at th rt. g po lin Re fee tal a , Me re al he be NorC r edition of the he ot y er ev d an
By Dave Pir tle The famed Tidal Wave festival returns this year on July 24th and 25th at San Francisco’s McLaren Park, as usual. Confirmed to perform so far are Stone Vengeance, OR3O, Near Life, Giant Squid, and Abysmal Dawn, with more to be announced in the coming weeks. I’ll bring you the latest information as I get it. You can also visit http://www.thetidalwave.org for more information as needed.. Testament’s Chuck Billy has dropped some information on a new album from super group Dublin Death Patrol. Well, that’s the jist of it, really. There WILL be a new album from the band that also features (or has featured) members of Laaz Rockit, Vio-lence, Machine Head, Exodus, and Tesla, along with a myriad of musicians from the Dublin, CA area. Just like it’s predecessor, DDP’s sophomore album will feature some choice cover songs from classic metal bands, including one from Accept that is expected to not be “Balls to the Wall.” With any luck, recording will be finished before Testament heads out on the American Carnage tour with Megadeth and Slayer, and the album will see the light of day before year’s end. Antagony is currently on hiatus, but a few members have new projects they will be working on. Guitarist Nick Vasallo has formed Fractals, which combines extreme metal with elements of classical music and noise, all set to lyrics based on aspects of science and nature. Their first recordings, dubbed Book 1: Remnants of an Early Solar System, can be streamed at their MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/fractalsets). Meanwhile, vocalist Carlos Saldana is providing bass and vocals for Pretty Color. Guitarist Kyle Anderson has teamed up with former drummer Justin Hughes in the jazz/grindcore band Intact. Finally, current drummer Luis Martinez has started a “grindpossi” band
Dublin Death Patrol called Apply Yourself. The name From The Fog seems to come up a lot lately, so why stop now? The band recently parted ways with drummer Coale Perry. Shortly thereafter, they announced the addition of Sean Mallet (X-Rated Porno Machine) to the lineup.
From The Fog They’re not expected to miss much time away from the scene. I’m actually not as much worried about how they will fare going forward as I am about the status of the always entertaining XRPM, who don’t seem to have done much of
live circuit very soon. They’re also looking for a second guitarist - just in case one of you was looking for a band in the SF/North Bay area. Not that I expect a lack of activity any time soon, but I’m thinking about doing another review special, or at least including more album demo reviews here. What do you think? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use that address to send news, feedback, corrections, or whatever else. Just promise you won’t add it to any insipid mailing lists.
Mica Maniac anything lately. I had to rub my eyes and slap myself across the face a couple of times to make sure I was reading this next bit right. I wish it had made a difference, but it didn’t: The Venting Machine and longtime bassist Chad Murphy have indeed parted ways. The reason behind the amicable split appears to be the all too common musical differences, but saying anything beyond that would be speculation. The remaining members will search for a replacement while continuing work on their oft delayed third full-length that will mark the recording debut of vocalist Ben Pena. No word yet on what Murphy’s next move will be. Arise is gearing up for their sophomore release. Although a title has yet to be determined, they have revealed that it will feature contributions from a number of guest vocalists, including Pete Pontikoff (Agenda of Swine), Makh Daniels (Early Graves), Justin Coote (Alcatraz), Carl Schwarz (First Blood), and Alex Hoffman (Fallujah). On a side note, all the bands just mentioned are either working on new material or about to release new material, starting with Early Graves’s Goner on June 22nd. Sol Asunder vocalist Mica Maniac has landed himself a sweet gig as the new vocalist for Origin, and has spent the past month touring all over Europe. If I’ve interpreted the text right, he is still set to record vocals for the next Sol Asunder album still in the works, but the band will be seeking a replacement vocalist after that, or at least for their live shows. Congratulations are in order that that crazy mother effer! Oh, and on the topic of Sol Asunder, the next time you’re depressed and want to wallow in it, feel free to check out Crow, a new black metal band featuring members of Sol Asunder, Ancient at Birth, and Devour the Masses. They have some demos available on their Myspace page (www. myspace.com/crowsinblack) and hope to hit the
Top 10 Playlist for period 2/25 – 3/25 (NorCal Unleashed airs on 90.5 FM KSJS on Thursday nights from 11pm-midnight. Contact email@example.com for information on how to submit your music for airplay) 1. Judgement Day - Peacocks/Pink Monsters 2. Thunderhorse - Haulin Ass 3. Abscess - Dawn of Inhumanity 4. From Hell - The Walking Dead 5. Zed - The Invitation 6. Kaos - The Pits of Existence 7. Cylinder - Fueled By Fire 8. Imagika - Portrait of a Hanged Man 9. From The Fog - 2010 Demo 10. Jackie Rocks Band - 2009 Demo QUICK BITS: Saviours will perform on the second stage during the six dates of the somewhat resurrected Ozzfest tour this summer . . . War Prayer has parted ways with bassist Dave Robbins . . . shredding instrumetalists PDR hit the stage in the South Bay once again on May 28th at The Quarternote in Sunnyvale . . . stay tuned for more information on Continuum, a new band in development featuring members of some of NorCal’s heaviest . . . Vomit Trough has recorded two new tracks for an upcoming split 7” release with Altar of Giallo via Horror Gore Pain Death Productions . . . Vengince has signed a deal with Germany-based Ivorytower Records/Cargo Music for the release of their latest album A Turn For The Worst across Europe via mail-order and all major retailers . . . the debut release from Zed, The Invitation, is now available . . . All Shall Perish and Decrepit Birth have landed slots on the Summer Slaughter 2010 tour . . . due to health and family issues, vocalist Kirk Salazar has exited And All Was Lost.
SANTA CRUZ YMO FINALS AT: THE CATALYST -1011 Pacific Avenue Santa Cruz
email Brian at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
BANDS!! Sign up now!
THE VENUEZ -3546 Flora Vista Ave. Santa Clara MOUNTAIN CHARLEY’S -15 N. Santa Cruz Ave. Los Gatos THE AVALON -777 Lawrence Expressway Santa Clara
Thursday 7/8 THE AVALON BOMB & SCARY - TBA
Thursday 7/1 MOUNTAIN CHARLEY’S THE 5 FINGERS OF DEATH – TRICKMECHANICS - TBA
Friday July 30th at THE AVALON
SAN JOSE FINALS!!
Saturday 6/12 THE VENUEZ DIMIDIUM - UNTIL WE SLEEP ¿ANONYMITY? - TBA
Thursday 6/17 MOUNTAIN CHARLEY’S USURPER VONG – CADENT - TBA
Thursday 7/15 THE AVALON MUKAGEE - TBA
Saturday 6/5 THE VENUEZ MONTRA - TBA
UPCOMING YMO SHOWS!!
21 and over for nightly entertainment
S A N J O S E
USURPER VONG Aaron Feldman - Guitar, Peter Allen Bass/Vocals Derek Gomez - Vocals Joyce Kuo - Drums/Vocals
Until We Sleep
Ken is the lead guitarist of Until We Sleep and has been playing for over ten years. His style is shred. His favorites are Van Halen and Jeff Loomis on the metal tip. He plays a Schecter and an Agile guitar. Brendan is the singer, some of his influences are Deftones, Thrice, and Tool. He also plays guitar and one of his favorite guitar players is Teppei from Thrice. Previously he was in a band with Mark called Blessings of Affliction. Obe is the drummer and plays a Tama Starclassic birch. He is a fan of Carter Beauford from the Dave Mathews Band and Danny Carey from Tool. His past bands include SufferTree and AudioChild. The bass player is Mark, he has played in Blessings of Affliction and Dimidium. Mark participated in the Your Music Olympicks last year at The VooDoo Lounge with Dimidium; they took home the Silver Medal. Mark plays a Gibson Tobias Killer B 5 String Bass and is influenced by Victor Wooten, Flea, Les Claypool, that “funk” style. YMM: Who writes the lyrics? Brendan: That would be me. YMM: What is the song “Cutter” about? Brendan: It’s about upper middle-class rich kids that cut themselves for attention when they should be a little more thankful for what they have. The jist of the song is if your going to do it, do it. Get it over with, if not live your life. YMM: Do you have an EP out? Brendan: We just have a 3-song demo, we are going back in the studio to record 4 more. YMM: Where are you recording? Brenden: Tone Freq Studios with Don Budd. YMM: Name some of your favorite bands from the South Bay. Obe: Kinetic, those guys are cool. Brendan: Dimidium, Left of Christ. Mark: Rejection Trigger, Repaid in Blood. YMM: What can people expect to see at your show? Brendan: A solid set, singing, screaming, melodic, brutal, and a little bit of shredding.
Everyone knows the Usurper Vong were born and bred on the planet Zonama Sekot. What most people don’t know is the story of how you arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area. How and why are you here? We’ll be honest. When we first came to your planet, it was for the drugs. Just kidding. Really, we came to usurp control of your civilization. Unfortunately, the rest of our fleet got lost along the way and left us behind. It would’ve been pretty hard to conquer the world on our own, so we decided we needed to build a movement of like-minded usurpers to help us. When studying your modern cultural history, it was obvious that the most effective vehicle for building that movement would be a rock band. And, we decided, if you’re going to start a movement to change the world, the best place to start is the Bay, baby. It seems like a lot of your songs are about specific people. Tell me about those people and that will tell us about most your songs. We dislike humans who talk on their phones while driving, and it really doesn’t matter if they’re using their Bluetooth. It’s just plain rude. If there’s a central theme to the characters in our songs, it’s rudeness. That’s probably because it’s the most common trait in your species. So much so that it’s become heroic. As for our songs about your women, you’ll notice they’re mostly rude as well. We don’t feel the need to get into the specifics of our characters because many of them are based on humans we know in reality. We prefer that our audience view the cast of our songs with a fresh perspective, based only on the information we give them in our lyrics. This allows the imagination to take flight and opens the human mind to our message of global usurpation. Usurper Vong participated in the Your Music Olympicks last year and is performing again this year at Mountain Charley’s June 17th. Any skills learned last year that you will employ this time around? What can we expect? We learned that if you don’t promote a show, it doesn’t make a sound. You can expect us to pack the house with eager fans ready to vote early and often for Usurper Vong! (We’ve also got some new tunes, so watch out!)
YMO 6/12 @ The Venuez
Cadent Nichole (singer) - Jonathan (Guitar) - Nate (Bass)Spencer (Guitar) - Kern (Drums) I saw online you describe your sound as “Incubus and Kelly Clarkson made a baby.” Could you elaborate on that a little more? Lol. A lot of people asked us what our band sounded like before we had any recordings. Everyone knew we spent a lot of time practicing and writing but we never really could describe the genre we were. It would take forever to tell someone exactly what we hear in our own music, Pop? Rock? Alternative? R&B? Everyone is so versatile in the band, Nichole (singer) has such a soulful voice, yet our music has been influenced by bands like Breaking Benjamin, Incubus, and Flyleaf. So we just thought it would be sort of funny to say that if Incubus and Kelly were mixed together in some sort of musical arrangement that CADENT would be the product. Cadent seems to be fairly new; how did the group come about? Cadent is definitely just stepping out into this local scene, but we were formerly known as “Pridian” who played cover shows for about one year in the bay area. We all met in ’07 because Nichole put an ad on Craigslist. Jonathan (Guitar) and our former drummer Jeff responded, who knew Nate (Bass) who knew Spencer (Guitar). In Pridian we played Tapestry and Talent, Campbell festivals, and also Britannia Arms in Downtown San Jose and then we finally decided we wanted to write our own music. We had written about five songs when our drummer decided he wanted to go to school to study music at Berkley. We then decided to audition and that’s when we met Kern who had moved here from the Mojave Desert to pursue his music career. …And that’s when CADENT happened!! How would you describe the music scene found in South Bay, do you find that people enjoy your style of music? The music scene in the South Bay is totally AWESOME! We love playing shows no matter the size of the crowd, but somehow whenever we start to play, it seems like people come from out of nowhere. We sometimes don’t all have time to promote our shows so it’s a blast to watch fans of other bands come and enjoy our music. The only issue we are facing at this point is one that we think everyone in this country can relate to. As kids we looked forward to playing shows at places like the Gaslighter in Downtown Campbell and because of the economy it just seems like venues for local bands are getting harder to find. We really appreciate companies like Barb Rocks and Pinup Productions for helping us get out there and share our music with the scene, yes ,THANK GOD FOR BOOKING AGENTS : )
YMO 6/12 @ The Venuez
Dimidium Todd Graham- Vocals Ryan Urdiales- Guitar Mike Chavez- Guitar Tim Duffy- Drums Matt- Bass YMM: I am here in the YMM office with the band Dimidium. I know there has been some reorganization in the group; can I get someone to give us an update with the changes? Mike: So, quick rundown, these two (Todd & Matt) left the band in July of 2008 because of musical differences, nothing personal. We had some other members come in (Scott and Mike specifically) so we didn’t have to cancel our upcoming Your Music Olympicks show. Fortunately they were able to learn our songs quickly. Following that Tim went on tour with another band. But when he got back, we started to get everyone else back also ,and now we are back to our original line up. Everything’s been going good since and we are going to be hitting harder than ever. YMM: Does it feel good to be back with the original cast of characters? Matt: It was like we never left, right? Mike: We lost a lot of fans when we had to switch it up, and now we have gotten a lot of them to come back. Todd: Drunken brawls and gay jokes have continued like we haven’t missed a beat. Matt: Yeah, it’s like it never happened, everything just flows. Tim: It’s not a band practice without some shenanigans…
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S A N J O S E
2010 BAND OLYMPICKS VOCAL SOLO EVENT WINNERS: Santa James Durbin (Hollywood Scars) GOLD WINNER Danny (Rapid Fire) SILVER WINNER Cruz Gogog (A Band of Orcs) BRONZE WINNER GUITAR SOLO EVENT WINNERS: Dave (3upFront) GOLD WINNER Danny (Rapid Fire) SILVER WINNER Ryan (Hollywood Scars) BRONZE WINNER BASS SOLO EVENT WINNERS: Gizmo (Pariah Faction) GOLD WINNER Jaime (Euphoria v. SC) SILVER WINNER Jeff (Praetorian) BRONZE WINNER DRUM SOLO EVENT WINNERS: Oog Skullbasher (A Band of Orcs) Robert (Praetorian) GOLD WINNERS (tie) Mike (Hell I Feel) BRONZE WINNER
YMO FINALS Friday May 21st @ The Catalyst
www.yourmusicmagazine.com Britannia Arms
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Jose Picazo: Bass, Keys, Vox Derek Mather: Guitar, Back Vox Ty Wallace: Drums
Hell I Feel
Vlad Kost- Guitar/Vox Mike Rude- Drums Stephen Hawkins- Guitar/Vox YMM: Today I am here with the Josue Monroy- Bass guys from Almost Chaos. Just wondering who is missing from the YMM: I’m down in Aptos with the band interview? Derek: Our new drummer Hell I Feel. Can I get one of you give a little history of band? Vlad: The Ty Wallace. YMM: How long has he band first started out in Russia, in the been with the group? Derek: Two Black Sea region. In 2002, the band Days. Jose: Just a couple days, our moved to the United States, in the old drummer left. YMM: Since last Washington D.C. area. While on the year, what has the band been up East Coast, the group played quite a to? Derek: We have recorded a CD few shows and headlined a festival with seven original tracks. YMM: And in Chicago. The band received some that is out now? Derek: Yeah, con- recognition on the East Coast, but the tact us on our MySpace if you need a metal scene was not as fascinating as copy. Jose: It has been reviewed in out here in California. So, we (Mike and Your Music Magazine already. YMM: I) moved to Santa Cruz to be part of the What’s the title? Derek: “A Simple Bay Area metal scene. We have been here for about a year and half and are Spark of Insanity”. YMM: You also enjoying it. YMM: Was it just you two have been involved in the School (Vlad and Mike) who moved from the Jam USA contest? Jose: In Janu- east coast? Vlad: When we moved ary we competed online, and then from Russia there was a whole band, went down to Anaheim to play in the but when we moved out to California… finals. YMM: How did that work out Mike: Well let’s just say the other 2 are for you guys? Jose: That was cool. no longer part of the band. They beWe didn’t win, we were four or fifth. trayed us and left the band to move to Yet it was still fun. We competed to Florida, where they are going to get old raise money for our schools’ mu- and die. But we are the original line up sic programs. YMM: And are those of this band, and we started it in 1998 in Russia, so the core is still alive. schools here in Santa Cruz area? www.hellifeel.com Jose: Yeah, the schools we go to. YMM: The finals were held at the Watch this entire video interview NAMM event, right? Derek: Yeah, by Brian Crabtree unedited down in Anaheim. YMM: Any insight @ www.yourmusicmagazine.com to the NAMM event? Jose: It was great! Good equipment… EDITORS NOTE: These guys
myspace.com/josederekmack are an amazing new metal
Watch this entire video interview band and were next in line for the 5.21 finals. I want everyone by Brian Crabtree unedited @ www.yourmusicmagazine.com to check out Hell I Feel!
Jackie Rocks Band Hollywood Scars Jackie- Vox/Guitar/Songwriter De’Andre- Bass/Vox Caroline- Guitar/Vox Greg-Drums YMM: This is Brian Crabtree with Your Music Magazine with the Jackie Rocks Band in the Your Music Magazine office. Since I know there has been a change to the group, who’s new? Caroline: I’m the newest member of the Jackie Rocks Band. I’ve been with the group for about a month now. YMM: Has the sound of Jackie Rocks Band changed with the new addition? Jackie: We have definitely evolved into a heavier band. The addition has added a thicker sound with the two guitars. Caroline has brought a new energy to the band. YMM: What else is going on with the Jackie Rocks Band? Jackie: We recently shot a video which is going to be out in about a month. It was shot by Chin of Santa Cruz Media. Also we just released a new album. YMM: Does that album include the new member? Jackie: No, it was recorded last summer and she wasn’t in the group yet. De’Andre: We recorded the CD at the Compound up in Boulder Creek. YMM: Jackie, I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about that shiny guitar you are holding there? Jackie: Well this is a Daisy Rock Guitar, the model is the Star Dust Elite Isis. Beautiful name for a beautiful guitar. I got the sponsorship about two months ago…
Hollywood Scars describes themselves as glam, sleeze, arena rock polka. Ryan DeBauchery is the attractive one on guitar; he played in Steel Asylum prior to Hollywood Scars. Some of his favorite guitarists are Izzy Stradlin, Joe Perry, and Johnny Thunders. He plays a Jackson King V and an Epiphone Les Paul Prophecy. Jimmy Levox is the Your Music Olympicks “vocal Solo” event Gold Medal winner two years in a row. Jimmy previously sang in the band Whatever Fits. He is the primary song writer and likes to write about sex with women and having a good time; one of his best songs is about whores. He is influenced by Dio, Robert Plant, Janis Joplin, Dio, Steve Marriott from Humble Pie, Michael Matijevich from Steel Heart, Dio, and Dylan Rosenberg from Archer. Steve O is the bass playa. He has played in a couple hardcore screamo bands not good enough to mention. His dad was his biggest influence growing up watching him play bass all his life; he also likes Duff from Gun’s n Roses, and Nikki Sixx. JC Cross is the new guy on drums. He has been with the band only three weeks at the time of this interview. His influences are Carl Palmer, Steve Smith from Journey, and Dave Weckl. YMM: Are you working on new music? Jimmy: We are recording with JC Cross producing in the woods at Dome studios. We are working on six or seven songs for the EP possibly called “Scarred for Life.” YMM: What are your plans? Ryan: Other than being the biggest band in the world? YMM: Yes, confidence is key. Ryan: Especially in this genre, you have to be a total dick. Steve O: We are concentrating on the upcoming Olympicks show and in July we will be playing with Bug Girl from Australia at The Blue Lagoon. myspace.com/
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Since Locksmith is a new band I’ll ask you the basic questions so our readers can get familiar with you. How did the members all meet and form the band? Lead singer Brett Freshour moved up to Northern California from Southern California and met guitarist Branden Aguon; they started the band Locksmith. Bass player and Brother of Brett, Brandon Freshour was first choice when we needed someone to play bass. After playing a few gigs here and there Brett ran into piano player Eric Rowe while attending a recording class, and they became fast friends and band members. The band was formed about a year ago and has transformed over time; we believe to better the over all sound. Are you an all acoustic band? We have acoustic sets for gigs here and there but no, we are not all acoustic, we love to turn the electricity up loud. What kind of guitars do you play? Branden: SG7 Silvertone, Brett: LTD Les Paul, Brandon: Dean Bass Who is the main songwriter? We all pitch in the best we can but for the most part the music is written by Brett Freshour. Brett, how old were you when you wrote your first song? I wrote my first song when I was 14 years old. What was it about? It was written for an ex girlfriend at the time. It opened a new road for me and ever since then I have written my own music. What is the song “Never Crossed” about? “Never Crossed” was written about a short story I came up with in my head about a hypothetical situation to open ones eyes to the reality of finding what your really looking for in life and those who never get that opportunity. How does Monterey influence your song writing? Well to be honest it helps us to keep the drive to push out of here, because though we love playing for those who like to listen here, it seems that the other places in Southern California are a little more appreciative and supportive of what it is we are doing. Where is Locksmith going from here? The band will continue to spread our message and our sound for as long as we can find the people who want to hear it. It has always been about more than a girl or a guitar or being like our favorite artists. It’s about speaking the truth and doing what we by Mike Lyon love, music.
Time and Pressure Face - Vocals and Guitar Valerie - Backup Vocals “El” – Bass Coop – Keyboards Mondo – Drums YMM: I’m with Time and Pressure at the Music Tree in Morgan Hill. Can I get someone to tell me a little about the group? Face: We’ve got a blues based alternative sound, and as the band is evolving there are some jazz and harder rock influences. Everyone here in the group has known each other for a very long time, for about ten years plus. YMM: So you guys are really close. Face: El and I have been in bands together in the past, but it seemed that all of a sudden all of our musical paths converged within two weeks to form Time and Pressure. It was like a bomb exploded, and everything happened. And that was about nine months ago now. YMM: And is the group mainly based out of the Morgan Hill area? Abe: San Martin baby...Valerie: Yeah, San Martin Face: Remember that- San Martin. We might be the only thing that comes out of there. YMM: Where can people go to check out the group? Face: Go to YouTube and search under Time and Pressure. Mondo: We also have a FaceBook page. Face: Google Time and Pressure. Go Google it… myspace.com/timeandpressure
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Fire’s Fury Messages Left
Neil: Bass and Vox Chris: Drums Eli: Guitar
Drew - Guitar/Lead Vox Scott - Lead Guitar/back vox Katie - Drums/Back vox YMM: Tonight I’m hanging out with Pecos - Bass/Back Vox
the guys from Fire’s Fury. We are here in their practice studio in Santa Cruz, California. Can I get someone to tell me some history of Fire’s Fury? Neil: Well we have been friends from way back. We all have been in different bands at different times here in Santa Cruz. Chris: But, as Fire’s Fury we’ve probably been a band for about two years. Neil: This will be our third Your Music Olympicks event. Chris: It is? Then we are going on three years. YMM: What are some of your goals for Fire’s Fury, where do you guys want to play? Chris: I want to play at the Civic. Eli: To pack the Civic. Neil: Or just to play to the Catalyst. Chris: That is on our way to the Civic. YMM: Other than the YMO coming up, what else is Fire’s Fury up to? Chris: The band is also fronting this little CD that we recently recorded, called “Fire’s Fury: Fighting On”. YMM: Where can people get the CD? Neil: At our shows. Chris: That’s it for now. Neil: We also have some T-shirts coming. Neil: But yeah, we just love playing shows. We will play anywhere we can. Chris: We will play shows anywhere, even on the side of the road…
YMM: Right now I’m kicking back with the group Messages Left at the Your Music Magazine office. To start off, Can someone put into words how to describe the sound and style of Messages Left? Drew: When people come by and ask, “what kind of music do you got?” I answer it by saying it is like funk with a rock crescendo, mixed with some very passionate hip hop lyrics to top it off. That’s right. YMM: Well that’s a very poetic way of saying it. As one of the groups who participated in the March 26 Your Music Olympicks show, how was your YMO experience? Pecos: It was a pretty epic show, the house was packed, and everyone was paying attention to us. You can read the crowd; when you play in front of enough crowds, you see the people standing there talking to each other, or they are walking outside to go smoke a cigarette. But that night, I just felt like people were glued to us, and if they weren’t dancing, they were paying close attention, with their heads bobbing through the entire set. It was great. YMM: And you are a fairly new group right? Drew: Our first show was in the end of January or the beginning of February at the Britannia Arms in Aptos…
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Aaron- Drums George- Lead Guitar Ritchie- Vocals & Guitar Jen- Bass & Vocal
YMM: This is Mike Lyon interviewing the band Thirty9Fingers at the Your Music Magazine office. Ok the first question, who is missing a finger? Ritchie: That would be me. YMM: Ritchie on lead guitar and vocals, are you the primary song writer? Actually Jen and I do most of the song writing together. A couple songs I have done myself, and a couple songs she has done herself, but most of the song writing is mutual the whole band participates. YMM: Jen, you are a vocalist too, how do you share the responsibility of the vocals in the songs? Jen: Sometime we trade lines, some songs he sings most of the lyrics, and usually we sing the chorus together. YMM: Jen, what bass players inspired you? Cliff Burton, Geezer Butler…Bock. YMM: And vocalist influences? Jen: I don’t even know where to pull that from… I can’t even say I am trying to use anyone’s style. I sing a lot of guy songs. If I were listening to a song, I would just try to be like that guy, but I don’t know who I primarily follow after vocally. YMM: What about stylistically, do you emulate specific groups? Jen: Pantera, Metallica… YMM: While I am on the subject of influences, George (lead guitar player), who do you like? George: Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath of course, I have been following him for a long time….
Alyssa Kayne (AK) YMM: This is Mike Lyon in the Your Music Magazine home office with Alyssa Kayne. So you are a hip hop artist, yes? AK: Yes, I would say that. There is a little range to it; I try to throw in some singing at parts. It is a different vibe, since I am a girl. YMM: Do you write all of your own lyrics? Yeah, I do all my own writing, but I do get a lot of inspiration from all different things that happen in life. YMM: How long have you been writing lyrics? When I was younger, like thirteen, writing poetry was my focus. I started writing actual song lyrics when I was fifteen, and at sixteen I started getting beats to write songs. YMM: Did you get your writing skills at school in a class, or have you been mostly on your own? On my own, it was right as Napster started up. I tried to download some songs and ended up just getting the instrumental tracks instead, and was like that’s cool. I had already written some stuff, so I just started rapping over it and people told me that it sounded really good. I began my journey like that and then started getting my own beats. YMM: How do you go about getting your beats? There are a lot of good beatmakers in Santa Cruz. I used Love Life Music and some others back in the day. Castaway Beats and Scott Wilson helped me out a lot. These days I just look on the internet…
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Ms. Lauryn Hill
THE WEST COAST’S PREMIER MUSIC AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE FESTIVAL! Celebrating 32 years with a mission to support progressive social values, sacred community activism, trans-partisan politics, and conscious uplifting music, a taste of this year’s HARMONY FESTIVAL includes a very special performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill, plus Steel Pulse, Galactic, Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, The Expendables, Zappa Plays Zappa, the North Bay debut of 7 Walkers, and many more performers. Speakers include Dr. Bruce Lipton, Paul Stamets, Caroline Casey, Dan Millman, Mike Ruppert, Swami Chidanandji, Nicki Scully, Swami Beyondananda, among others. Harmony Festival rocks and rolls with the 11th annual two night Techno-Tribal Dance plus the return of its newest attraction, The Eco-Rally Action Sports Zone. 350 vendors, camping, kids under 6 are FREE!
Tickets are on sale NOW at: WWW.HARMONYFESTIVAL.COM Camping/VIP options also available!!
The Fox Theater, Oakland - 4.10.10
By Tanja M. Alvarez When I arrived at the Fox Theater, I could hardly remember why I had volunteered to see a band that could be considered way too mainstream for my taste. However, my friend proved that she at least occasionally pays attention to my anecdotes by reminding me that I saw Train many years ago before they had their first commercial success at a college campus and thought they were the best band of the entire lineup. Regardless of my past inclinations, I felt as if I stood out like a sore thumb being surrounded by countless forty-something folks with 1.5 kids and above-average salaries. There wasn’t even a mosh pit, let alone standing room in front of the stage. So I decided to have a drink, sit back, and take in the show. Train opened with “Parachute” a song from their latest album “Save Me, San Francisco,” and a tribute to the band’s former hometown that “cultivated their identity and foundation.” The crowd immediately went crazy, surprising me with an incredible level of energy not only in the first few rows, but throughout the entire theater. The band wasted no time with long introductions but immediately started “Get to Me,” which was instantaneously followed by one of their greatest hit songs “Meet Virginia.” During “She’s on Fire” vocalist Pat Monahan sported a cowboy hat and appeared as relaxed as if he was performing in front of a few good friends. In the middle of the song, he invited six female audience members on stage with him, encouraging them to sing along and to demonstrate some “bad ass dance moves.” The newly formed “Trainettes” did as they were ordered by Monahan, and the audience devoured every moment of it. Not long after dismissing the stunned fans from stage, the band dropped another bombshell on the audience by announcing that they were about to film their video for their new single “If It’s Love.” As part of their encore they played “If It’s Love” for a second time in order to get some more shots of the audience. By that time I was not surprised to see almost every single person in the entire theater stand up and dance, even people on the balcony up to the last row. Train maintained their energy level throughout the set, which was longer than previous shows of this tour. Highlights included “When I look at the Sky,” “Drops of Jupiter” and their latest single “Hey, Soul Sister.” A special light display consisting of hundreds of halos throughout the venue set the mood for “Calling All Angels.” Introducing this song, Monahan revealed that it was inspired by his therapist’s comment that everyone has two opposing forces within them, and that this had “brought out the angel in him.” Train has made it public that they attempted to recapture the energy of their early days with their new album. It was refreshing to see that they were able to back up their claim with their live performance, even though a crowd of devoted fans made it easy for them. Original band members Jimmy Stafford (lead guitar) and Scott Underwood (drums) stood out as excellent musicians while stepping back just enough to give vocalist Pat Monahan enough room to capture the crowd’s attention with his endearing antics. Toward the end of the set, he even “crowd-surfed” and performed almost an entire song in the midst of a stunned audience. The 17-song set came to an end with the Van Halen cover “Dance the Night Away,” during which the opening act’s vocalist, Butch Walker, joined the performance. Although everyone had an assigned seat and appeared extremely mainstream, I enjoyed the pleasant atmosphere and was not at all bored. I may have even gained a new respect for the forty-something crowd, who seem to know how to have fun at a good show. However, I still firmly believe that everyone should have been in a fierce mosh pit at least once in their lifetime.
By Danielle Negrin
Two legendary reggae artists, Rocker-T and Ishi Dube, graced the town of Santa Cruz with their stunning performances. These two men are official members of Lioncamp, who travel the country spreading the rasta vibes. I got the opportunity to talk to these talented artists and hear what they are all about. Hey guys, great to meet you both. I’ve seen you live at huge reggae festivals and feel very lucky to be able to chat with you today. Ishi Dube: Jah girl it’s a pleasure to be here. Rocker-T: Much respect.
When did you first start to get into reggae music? Ishi Dube: I was introduced to reggae at a very young age by the adults I grew up around. Theres actually a cassette tape that is floating around of me at 4 years old singing about smoking a splif down by the rivers of Babylon! That shows that it must have affected me at a young age; it has never gone away and I embrace it fully. But my career really took off at age 14. It’s my passion - I don’t favor any music more than I favor reggae music. Rocker-T: For us in New York, the first reggae show was Musical Youth. We were all real little and it opened up a whole new world. I just started building a collection of reggae and just studying it like crazy. I’ve been singing in the choir since I was young but the first paid gigs I had was when I was 14 years old. Now I’m 41 and I’m still performing. How has your career progressed over time since then? Ishi Dube: Back then we were all a democracy of musicians and we made our decisions together. It developed out of the love of the music; I put all of my eggs in a musical basket and I am riding it until the wheels fall off. In other words, I released an album in 2006 and my career has taken off since then. Rocker-T: Long story short - a lot of different projects over the years.
Ishi Dube: I’ve got to interject right here - my man is a reggae veteran…he was one of the first Americans to bust into the reggae scene. Everybody who is doing reggae now owes a little somethin’ to Rocker-T. Rockert-T: Rah-spect, wow, rah-spect. I’ve been into stage shows since 1987 and played with several amazing different artists. I’m a producer and creator of amazing music and want to help people who have the same interests. What is Lioncamp? Ishi Dube: An association of reggae artists who are all working on the same page. We all love each other and respect each other’s music. There’s seven of us: The members, Soulmedic, Jah Sun, Rocker-T, Stevie Culture, Winstrong, Jahworks the Revolutionary and myself. The concept was born with me and Jah Sun. We both realized that everyone that we perform with is dope so we should get together and cross advertise each other. When one person is making moves, seven people are making moves. Rocker-T: We’re always going to make tracks together, but it’s always going to be conscious music and good music. How involved are you in the recording process of your albums? Ishi Dube: I have a billion ideas and a billion ideas waiting after that. I bring those ideas into the studio; along side I bring my good friends and we create an album. Rocker-T: I write about 99% of my lyrics. I treat all of the music I am making as if it was a living being. I get into the reality of the track based on that approach.
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While they stopped in San Francisco to promote their new album, I had a chance to chat with the legendary ska band “The Slackers.” Marcus Geard (bass), Jay Nugent (guitar), and Glen Pine (trombone and vocals) were extremely generous with their time and patiently answered all of my questions. Although it was not easy to return to more serious matters after describing their famous annual “booze cruise” around New York City, they managed to tell me a little bit about their responsibility as artists to write about relevant social issues and the inspiration for some of their songs.
By Tanja M. Alvarez Your new album has just been released. Can you tell me a little bit about it? Marcus: It’s “The Great Rocksteady Swindle,” out on Hellcat Records. It’s the first studio record we have done in a couple of years. We recorded it live in Berlin where we went into a studio and just knocked out 25 tracks in a couple of days and … yeah, it has a very live fresh feel to it and we are really pleased and proud of it. Listening to the new album I was really impressed with two songs in particular. “Sabina” and “Anastasia” take on women’s issues. What inspired these songs? Glenn: Well, “Anastasia” for example, I know a lot of women, still to this day, they raise their children alone without a father in the picture, and it’s all up to them. They’re ultimately some of people’s first heroes; do you know what I mean? And they’re never given a song. So, sometimes I think about that, like sometimes you try to think of different angles, and I knew somebody who had that experience. So I thought that person is never going to have anything written about them. So why not spotlight one person’s life that many people can relate to? That’s what inspired that song. I’ve heard that you have sold out Slim’s a few times before, I believe at least three times in the past…. Marcus: Hopefully by the time this is published it will be four times. How do you like playing in San Francisco? Marcus: Oh, I love San Francisco. I thought you were going to ask about Slim’s. I love San Francisco.
Jay: And we love Slim’s, believe me. That’s why we keep coming back. Marcus: It’s a great venue…it’s the perfect size - it’s not too big and it’s not too small. There are so few of these perfect size venues around. Glen: It’s also nice to play in San Francisco because that’s where all the great music is. It’s a city of literature and everything else. It’s very artistic, so it’s nice to actually come here and make music for people that, you know, love music and have a lot of fun with us. We come here all the time. Speaking of having fun, I’ve heard you do something really cool… It’s an annual boat gig? Marcus: Yeah, we do an annual boat cruise around New York City. The boat sails around the harbor and down to the Statue of Liberty and then comes back up. Jay: It doesn’t do a lot of sailing, does it? It’s more like a yachting experience. Marcus: Well, it’s a yachting experience with more of a …well, I suppose they call it a booze cruise, it cruises, that’s what it does... Jay: It’s like the Royal Navy, except like without the flogging and the scurvy (laughter). Marcus: That’s why we think it’s fun. We promote it as less flogging and fewer cases of starving. Other people, they just play music, but we cure diseases and… Jay: Same amount of buggery though, let’s be honest, you know? Alright, let’s move on to something a little bit more serious… Jay: Good luck with that…(more laughter) Well, let’s give it a try. It seems like a lot of your songs have something to do with what’s going on in society
today. Do you see yourself as social commentators? Marcus: Sure, that’s the history of Jamaican music. Jamaican music has always been a social commentary. The idea is not to be too overt about making your social commentary. We all love punk rock and hardcore but it’s a pretty overt lyrical style. Whereas the Jamaican tradition is not to hide what you’re saying but just to phrase it differently and present it in a story, something people can relate to rather than an overt message. Giving them a parable they can relate to then they’ll understand it – empathetically understand it as opposed to linguistically. Glenn: Yeah, we don’t want to make a speech, you know; tell people what to think and whatever. It’s got to be accessible, where, you know, people may not, they want to read into it and what they can get out of it, or get the point without just saying you’re wrong for thinking this, or you’re right for thinking this and, you know…. Marcus: It’s important to create a landscape and let them fill in the details. I’m frequently amazed when people have come to me and asked me about a song I’ve written and have a completely different interpretation from what I intended. Sometimes it’s a little wacky and sometimes it’s really cool. Yeah, the example I’m thinking of I don’t really want to discuss… But that’s also the beauty of art, or at least good art. Marcus: Good art gives you the ability to interpret it. And that’s something I think we always strive for is to make art. We live in our time; do you know what I mean? Whether you intent to make this commentary about what’s going on, inevitably you’re going to speak, you’re writing a little song, minding these reference points that are just currently what’s happening in the world. Just because we’re living in this world, do you know what I mean? So it’s going to come through whether it’s overt or not. It’s going to come through.
Growing up as a Bay Area thrash fan makes you part of a very elite group of metal fans, but in the not so distant past a few bands started to mold genres of thrash and metalcore together to create a brand of thrash that By Josh Pierson has created bands such as Darkest Hour; their intent? To boldly go where no band has gone before. Darkest Hour does it so well that it has earned them accolades on almost every album they’ve done, as well as a new label to boot. Darkest Hour seems to fly pretty under the radar at times because they don’t consistently get to be on big tours such as Ozzfest and the Rockstar Mayhem Festival, but they do consistently offer up insanely brutal guitar riffs along with almost brilliant lyrics. Whenever I hear that Darkest Hour is coming around I almost dread going because you’re almost guaranteed to see hardcore teenie-boppers dancing around in the pit, when in fact they need to learn how to mosh the right way because this band is not one to dance to (ex. See Exodus). I was able to catch up with the band on an off date in Sacramento from their current tour with The Dillinger Escape Plan, and was very pleased with what I saw and heard; I was also able to catch up with guitarist Mike Schleibaum for a few minutes before the show. How’s the tour going? Well we have one more show left on the current tour with The Dillinger Escape Plan, Animals As Leaders package that went around the U.S. and Canada. Then we have four dates back with Periphery from Washington D.C., and we’re going to end this album cycle, the Eternal Return, the Victory [Records] era is ending at this kid’s house, he won a contest to have us come play there. I think they’re going to move it to some other space because Mom was trippin’ but anyway, we’re going to play in this kid’s honor and then we’re going to go into hibernation, write the next record. Heard there was some tour trouble coming down from Portland.. Yes, snow, it’s crazy, we had to put chains on the van. I had to drive today, the first time ever with chains on a vehicle, but it was sick dude. Someone broke out your window
too from what your tour manager said…? No, that was a unique freak accident, but that’s’ hopefully going to get fixed. We have van problems, our van has been with us since 2004, she’s a Ford Econoline, grey E350, I love her, takes synthetic oil only, and has done us right, so I really hope she hangs in there. But dude, we abuse this thing and this band that I recorded a song for Dead To Fall had a song called Sleeping Bag and it was about their van, I always thought it was an amazing interpretation about being in a band but also in a van. Any big tours this summer or just recording? No, we’ll probably play some dates. It’s go time, we’re finally away from Victory Records and we just want to go out and write the sickest record ever and we just want to go do it. What new label is it?
We signed to E1 as of, announced today. If you were to google Darkest Hour today you probably would have seen it. The Eternal Return was the last one on Victory. It was time for it to end, so it finally did. Where do your influences come from? The band has changed a whole lot over the years, in the beginning the influences were like early 90’s metal, metal hardcore like Earth Crisis, Snapcase, Damnation A.D. all birthed Darkest Hour. In that time I kind of got into Swedish Metal, that’s when I kind of found In flames, At The Gates and got into that style. I met Ryan in ’98, and he was already into that kind of metal, so when those styles collided you got the sound of Mark of the Judas, and then Hidden Hands we took to Sweden. It’s kind of evolved from those early bands, to the Swedish bands, now to all types of bands. What would you tell newer un-signed bands that are trying to mold these kinds of metal together as well? As someone who’s tried to meld punk and metal together, which other people have done successfullyThrash-I mean, thrash was done a certain way in the 80’s and then metal hardcore kind of revived the idea of what was metal and what was hardcore and what was a combination. But that is the direction to go, copying anything that’s been done just sucks, and there’s so much shit happening, just fucking get over it. Go in your little room, don’t make touring, don’t make being rockstar’s important to you. Make writing good songs that you and your buddies like, nobody else has to tell you they’re good, only you and the dude’s that are in the band, then, they’ll rock. But pay attention to the music and try and do something creative because I think it’s just lost, there’s such a machine now, people don’t think of it as just getting in a room and jamming with dude’s. What do you think E1 can do for you that Victory could not? I don’t know, I think we just have a way to regroup and re-present the band. Victory had a way of presenting the band that was tied to the way we were in the 90’s, and we’re a totally different band
now. The music’s different, the show’s different, I mean it’s sick dude, we worked a long time at it. We’re stoked on it, we’re getting there, the playing is, you always feel like you want your playing to be somewhere else but it sounds way cooler. This E1 gives us a chance to just take a rag and wipe it off and be like, here’s the fucking new burrito from chipotle, not the old one. Undoing Ruin was critically acclaimed across the board… Is it that that was more critically acclaimed than the other records, or was it that it was marketed and shipped the most, because we don’t know. They’ve all been critically acclaimed, the only one that sold seemed to be the one that got presented and distributed right. We’ve seen a lot of bands, we’ve toured with a lot of bands, and to me it seems like more of timing and networking than it is writing the right record, but some bands rise above that and right a sick record, some bands, they don’t have to play that game, and we hope to do that. Do you ever check out and hear local bands you play with? Never, this is weird, we never play with local bands, this is an off date. When you’re on tours now, tours are packaged kind of pushing local bands out because the local bands are forced to do the promoters job and forced to sell tickets. The promoters look at it as a way to be the ringleader, the pimp, the one who outsources to local bands, who love the music so much they’ll bleed for it and that’s just not cool.
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05/07 Martin Sexton 05/08 Drive-BY Truckers 05/14 Lucha VaVoom 05/19 Frightened Rabbit 05/20 Roky Erickson & Okkervil River 05/21 Kaki King 05/22 Y & T 05/24 Revolutions Pre Minute Tour 05/26 OK Go 05/27 Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros 06/02 Enrique Bunbury 06/03 LCD Soundsystem 06/04 Sage Francis
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Shattuck Down Low
05/13 Aceyalone & Sunspot Jonz 06/17 Barrington Levy
Santa Cruz The Catalyst (Main Room)
05/09 Wiz Khalifa 05/13 dredg 05/14 Electronic Garden of Eden 05/15 Groundation
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Britannia Arms (Aptos)
05/06 Larry Hosford and Friends 05/08 Back to Nowwhere 05/11 Singer-Songwriter Showcase 05/13 Larry Hosford 05/18 Singer-Songwriter Showcase 05/20 Larry Hosford 05/22 Isadora’s Scarf 05/29-05/30 Snap Jackson & The Knock on Wood Players
Hip Shake (Blues)
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Mountain Charley’s (Los Gatos)
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The Music Tree (Morgan Hill)
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Sierra Nevada Big Room
05/11 The Chris Cain Band & Ron Thompson 05/24 The Greencards 06/14 Robben Ford w/ Renegade Creation
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Published on Jul 17, 2010
Lyon Entertainment Presents: YMM May 2010 Featuring interviews with: Mike Patton from FAITH NO MORE-MR. BUNGLE-MONDO CANE, Spider from POWER...