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Buy tickets at livenation.com. To charge by phone (800) 745-3000. Limit 8 tickets per person. All dates, acts and ticket prices are subject to change without notice. All tickets are subject to applicable service charges.
Interview: As I Lay Dying ..............................................................................................8 Show Review: Punk Rock Bowling ...........................................................................14 Interview: Riverboat Gamblers...................................................................................15 Interview: Against Me! ................................................................................................16 CD Reviews ..................................................................................................................18 Show Review: Kid with Katana ..................................................................................20 Show Review: Blues Festival .....................................................................................22 Interview: Eric Burdon from The Animals .................................................................23 Show Review: Devin the Dude ...................................................................................24 Interview: Rootz Underground ...................................................................................26 Interview: Dani Filth from Cradle of Filth ....................................................................28 Norcal Metal Report.....................................................................................................30 Your Music Olympicks Calendar Centerfold .............................................................32 YMO Santa Cruz Finals Review:.................................................................................36 YMO Band Interview: My First Murder / Bomb and Scary .......................................42 YMO Band Interview: Cherry Nova / Almost Honest ................................................43 YMO Band Interview: TrickMechanics / The 5 Fingers of Death .............................44 YMO Band Interview: Montra / Downefall..................................................................45 Show Review: Otep @ The Avalon.............................................................................48 Interview: Earthdance founder Chris Dekker............................................................50 Interview: Psychostick ................................................................................................52 Interview: Jello Biafra .................................................................................................54 Show Review: In The Pit w/ Alan Ralph .....................................................................56 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 #79 June 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. 7
photo credit: Travis Shinn
Interview by Mat Weir
With the release of their newest album “The Powerless Rise” on Metal Blade Records, As I Lay Dying continue to dominate the metal world. With many young bands citing As I Lay Dying as one of their major musical influences, it seems they may be on their way to achieving the legendary status of bands such as Megadeth and Metallica. Currently touring Europe in support of their newest release, I had a chance to speak with vocalist Tim Lambesis and drummer Jordan Mancino. How did you two meet? Tim: Jordan and I both played in local San Diego metal/hardcore bands before As I Lay Dying. Our previous bands had played together a few times, so we didn’t really know each other’s personalities all that well. The main thing we could tell at that point was that we had a similar passion for music and Jordan was a very talented drummer. The Powerless Rise is much more intense than An Ocean Between Us, and in my opinion, your hardest to date. Was that a conscious effort or was it just a natural progression? Tim: I think it was a natural progression because An Ocean Between Us was more intense than Shadows are Security as well, in my opinion. We enjoy writing new songs that challenge us, and that is probably one of the factors behind the speed of The Powerless Rise. Also, as a vocalist, I find it hard to yell with intensity and passion unless the song also has that aggression to it. Jordan: I think the heaviness of this record 8 was both a conscious effort and a natural
progression for us. Every record since Frail Words Collapse has gotten heavier, so when we began writing The Powerless Rise we figured, ‘why not get even heavier than An Ocean Between Us?’ Along with doing our best to write heavier songs, we also took a conscious effort to write more wellrounded songs and improve our song writing and arrangement skills. Tim, you’ve said that many of the lyrics on Powerless were inspired by the music. Could you please further explain this idea. Tim: When we started working out some of the songs on “The Powerless Rise” for the first time I had a hard time being inspired because the feeling of a couple of the songs was a little different than what I first had in mind. In order to stretch myself to work on things from a different perspective I decided to write lyrics about how the song sounded to me. It definitely gave me the inspiration I needed. For instance, “Anger and Apathy” has very even and mid-tempo
Jordan, how did you start playing drums and what pushed you to become so intense? Jordan: Well, I started playing drums in 8th grade. I had wanted a drum set for sometime and that year my dad and my mom surprised me with a drum set for Christmas. I never stopped playing, other than when I was at school or my parents asked me to take a break cause they couldn’t handle the noise.. ha. My parents were extremely supportive of my passion for music (metal) and allowed all of the bands I was in, including AILD, to practice at their house for years and years. I developed the intensity in my playing mainly from the passion I had for playing drums and metal music. Intense music calls for intense playing, in my opinion, and doesn’t deserve anything less than that. The theme of the new album is based around the idea that we are living in an upside down society and that if we look beyond ourselves and try to help other people, we’d live a happier existence. Were there any specific incidences that made you want to write on this theme? Tim: We’ve had the chance to tour many parts of the world and gain perspective. However, the trip that was most influential to me was a personal trip with my family to Ethiopia. There I saw devastating poverty yet people striving for hope and helping each other. On the other hand, what most wealthy nations revere most is monetary or material gain, which is ultimately meaningless. Yet somehow, these are the nations that deal the most with depression and suicide. The foundational ideal for most societies can benefit from being turned upside-down. While that likely will never happen to masses of people, it definitely can start with individuals. So, the lyrics on this album are about how I want to reverse my thinking in many areas. Hopefully that will inspire a few others as well.
How does having a major in philosophy help in the writing process? Tim: I try to write with a certain poetic sense, but behind that my philosophical background keeps me accountable to having a greater point. It causes me to think deeper and analytically about what it is I’m trying to say.
photo credit: Alan Ralph
photo credit: Alan Ralph
sounding verses, but then the chorus evokes so much feeling in my opinion. Therefore, the lyrical contrast of anger versus apathy seemed to be excellent point to make while being supported by the music itself. There are other songs on the album with this type of inspiration as well, but I think that this is the best example.
You are known for always writing inspiring lyrics that continue to push your fans to work hard and forge their own paths. I’ve seen you play many times and noticed you write uplifting messages on your equipment. What inspires As I Lay Dying to keep pushing forward? Tim: Pushing forward is easy for us at this point in our career because we’re all still pretty young compared to our peers of similar success. We learn something new with every tour and every recording experience.
What can we as fans expect from As I Lay Dying in the future? Tim: We don’t see a reason to change the overall cycle that as kept this band running for 9 years. We write and record an album that we can be proud of. Each album is a progression from the one before it while not selling out on our fans. Then we go out on tour and promote the newest release in every city that wants to hear us play. I can picture myself repeating that over and over again for as many years as my voice can handle! Jordan: Our fans can expect a lot of touring from us for the next few years, at least we hope… ha! As we did with the last album cycle, we want to hit as many cities and countries as possible around the world to play for our awesome fans.
Photos by Brian Crabtree June 6th, 2010 Shoreline Amphitheater Mountain View, CA Wow! What an amazing day of music, beer and sun! BFD, hosted by Live 105, always promises a great day of up and coming bands, indie breakthroughs and mainstream legends, and this year’s lineup proved that BFD is still the Bay Area’s hottest summer kick-off! Amplive
NEXT MONTH’S ISSUE!! Exclusive BFD video interviews with SILVERSUN PICKUPS and local hooligans THE HOLDUP along with TONS more photos from the entire day! y
ords by Jo Photos & W
Rule #1: When going to Henderson, NV, don’t call it Vegas! Rule #2: Make sure it’s for Punk Rock Bowling! Welcome to the land of black band tees and tattoos! This past May was the 12th Annual Punk Rock Bowling Tournament, a full-fledged three day punk event designed by BYO Records and the great men of Youth Brigade. Flying into the McCarran airport of Las Vegas and meeting a good friend of mine, Jay, the anticipation was building rapidly for a weekend I knew I would remember for the rest of my life. With my trusty camera, note pad, voice recorder, and a $30 cab ride later, Jay and I arrived at the enormous Sunset Station and headed straight to the bar. Punks already filled the empty spaces throughout the casino/resort. The invasion had begun. We sat with anticipation, played video poker, sipped champagne (of beers), and waited for the rest of the heathens to arrive. Being a three day event, I wedged the idea near the back of my skull to pace myself and allow time for some rest…BORING! There was no way in hell I would be able to accomplish such a task! I was at PRB to witness amazing performances, meet some crazy individuals, and get kicked out of a club: there’s was no time for rest! The first show set the bar fairly high for the rest of the event with performances by NOFX, Hot Water Music, Fucked Up, Youth Brigade and more. Hot Water Music reformed, Youth Brigade showed aspiring punks how it’s done, Fat Mike told parents not to bring their kids to a NOFX show while describing a “rusty trombone” and making Hitler jokes, and Damian Abraham of Fucked Up smashed beer bottles over his head and swapped sweat with the crowd. I wanted to give the man a hug, but it was important to stay dry. The outside venue closed at eleven and people had two choices: go to Club Madrid for more music or scurry about the casino looking for Pabst on tap and lose some money. Not having tickets to the club show, I found myself at the bar with my good friend Raidy, and after a few hours annoying strangers, we discovered that dawn was approaching. Raidy proclaimed he knew a breakfast place in Utah that had amazing corn beef and hash, and it would only take us a few hours. Luckily I talked him down to dining in the casino at the luxurious Coco’s. He was satisfied and I kept my brother and myself out of jail. The early part of day two was dedicated to recovery and of course, bowling. There were a total of 210 bowling teams this year and most teams dressed to impress. Everything from crazy outfits, bowling puns for team names, ritualistic chants, to the crowd favorite, the “Strike Hi-Five.” I lost track of time while being entertained by the Old Man Markley team and “Crucified Pins” from Fallen Angel Records. The next show was already underway and I’m sure Old Man Markley was scheduled to be on stage soon. We hurried to the room for last minute beers and reached the stage just in time for my new favorite band, Riverboat Gamblers. Lead singer 14 Mike Wiebe found anything on stage he could jump off
of and the crowd quickly forgot about its hangover. Swingin’ Utters followed and kept the pit swirling at a steady pace into the sunset. During breaks, people scurried to purchase food, tall cans (could be food), and maybe some memorable merchandise if they didn’t spend the money on booze. Against Me took the stage and belted out each anthem with their bright tungsten lights and black denim costumes. With a few songs down I was becoming impatient and really wanted to see Flogging Molly. I’ve always told people and myself that I was a quarter Irish. So to hear the uplifting, energetic sound of this Irish-Punk eight-some, let’s just say I felt at home. Maybe I’m a little biased, being that one of my favorite skaters of all time, Matt Hensley, plays the accordion in this group, but that’s life. Once again the party continued all over casino grounds, but still no trips to Utah. The bowling tournament eventually came to a close on Sunday and the winners of the 12th Annual PRB was the Fat Wreck Chords Team, Pin Laden, which featured a surprisingly well composed Fat Mike. More recovery was needed before the last show but with winds hitting gusts of 60 mph, it was not easy. Easy-Ups were tumbled, tree limbs attacked, and porta potties were tipped over. Unfortunately no one was inside. The crowd thinned out a little bit but many, including my friends and I, raged on. The last amphitheater show featured a few more old school artists including; DRI, 7 Seconds, TSOL, Adolescents, and the Dickies. The weekend was taking its toll on the crowd but there were still some good fights and the beer flowed like wine. Hearing that there were some tickets available for the Me First and the Gimme Gimmes show, my friends and I hurried over and scored a few. We were ecstatic. I purposely left my camera in the hotel room so I could move around and enjoy myself. During the first band, St. Alvia, I was dancing around the floor with a water in my hand when I was pushed from behind into a small crowd. After apologizing to the now drenched in water by-standers, a security guard, thinking that I’m starting fights, grabbed me by the collar and escorted me out. Who would have thought security was not reasonable. After punching the man who pushed me, Jay quickly joined me outside. The head security guard threatened us with jail time and Jay went to the room while I walked around and noticed a change of the guards. Acting like I was just getting some fresh air I re-entered, sorry Alissa, and saw the end of the MFGG performance. I try not to sin, but it was in Vegas…I mean Henderson. Despite minor inconveniences, PRB knows how to organize and throw a party, and I will return next year, if allowed, for another adventure. Don’t waste your money on Coachella. Put on a Misfits shirt, come on over to sunny Henderson, NV, throw some gutter balls, and have something to tell your kids. Hell, bring your kids. As Jay testifies “Have the time of your life. Thanks for stopping by.” Well said.
RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS Sometimes all you need to do to understand a band and where they’re coming from is to see the name of the band, i.e.: Backstreet Boys=lame, A Band of Orcs=brutal, Oasis=misleading, but the Riverboat Gamblers=guys you definitely want at a party! When a band writes songs loaded with inside jokes, alcohol, gambling, and other addictions, the punk rock community goes all in! Have you ever heard a NOFX song? Solid gold, every time. RBG are constantly increasing their healthy following and with Volcom Entertainment on one side, a no holds barred mentality on the other, and now the influences of a new home in Austin, TX added to the mix, this band is taking names. I had the pleasure of sitting down with the two original members of this group of Texas renegades, Mike Wiebe and Fadi el-Assad, in hopes of preparing myself for the show I was about to witness. And believe you me, nothing can prepare you for a RBG live show, which is how it should always be. Are you guys competing in the tournament? Fadi: We just bowled our first round. I don‘t know how well we did, but it was fun. Mike: I was just walking around and drinking. I didn’t want to drag the team’s score down. Fadi: Ian took care of that. Ha! Ian bowled im the mid 60s. Mike: Oh God! Fadi:When we went home to “practice” he was doing a lot better; I think he was just nervous. Mike: Something you can’t account for is the pressure. Everyone thinks they can get that puzzle on “Wheel of Fortune”, but you get under those lights and you got Vanna looking at you, it’s a whole different thing. Crazy ladies and huge price tagged lapels, it’s a lot of pressure. Back to the business at hand; looking at the band’s albums and song titles, you guys seem to be having fun with it and are hilarious… Mike: We think we are! Fadi: Finally somebody else that thinks we’re funny.
Have you guys played PRB before? Fadi: Yeah, we played in ‘05 with Swingin’ Utters and the Briefs and it was much smaller. This is a lot bigger. Mike: This is way bigger. I was surprised when we first showed up. There’s no need for cabs and shuttles, which is great. Fadi: Are we in Vegas? No this is considered Henderson. Cab drivers at the airport get mad for taking them out here, but for $30, I don’t understand why. Mike: They want to stay close to Siegfried and Roy.
Where did “Biz likes sluts” and nicknames such as Teko Buller originate from? Mike: There’s a lot of inside jokes that we decided not to keep inside. We don’t explain them necessarily…we just wanted to put them out there. Actually my inspiration for that is the Beastie Boys. You can tell that there is a lot of inside references to their work and it helps give some personality to what we do.
How is playing a festival stage compared to smaller venues? Mike: It’s entirely a different animal. I’m still getting used to it but I love music festivals. I hate to sound like a hippie but you gotta connect with the crowd and there’s a different way of doing that at festivals, because it’s a bigger crowd and they are further away. I like that challenge though. Every crowd is a different animal and they all take to you differently, and that makes it fun. We are still a relatively new band to most people and I don’t usually start jumping around and get crazy when I’m hearing a band for the first time, so we just need them to take it in.
You guys recently moved into Austin. How’s that town doing for you? The band does SXSW almost every year right? Fadi: Austin is great. Mike: Yeah, we absolutely love it. It’s a very creative environment to live in and it’s also still very affordable place to live. I mean, it’d be great to live in NYC, I love that city but it’s just hard if you’re not a billionaire. Fadi: I couldn’t live there. It would be easier in any part of the world if you were rich.
I’ve heard the bands performances described as “deranged.” Do you agree with that? Do you do the “Fucked Up” thing and smash bottles over your face? Mike: Ha! I haven’t done that for a while. It’s just living in the moment and whatever happens, happens. Sometimes that results in getting cut or falling down. I just try to have fun with it and every show is different. There’s no choreography. How was Fucked Up last night? They’re a great band - we played with them in SXSW.
Austin sounds great man. They sell beers in movie theaters. Mike: That’s a big plus…fuck I love that man. Fadi: It spoils you. I don’t like seeing movies anywhere else. It’s called the Alamo Draft House and they play a lot of new and old weird independent films, stuff you won’t see at the megaplex. Fadi: They have a full menu too. Mike: We should keep name dropping them and they will gives us everything for free. Fadi: Yeah we could do one of those “don’t use your cell phones during the movie please” and it will just show a guy getting beaten with guitars, sticks and a mic stand and it will say “The Gamblers will take you out!”
Freaking Intense. Are you guys used to having a lil’ army of red/yellow shirts in front of you? Mike: We did a tour with Rise Against and Rancid and I got used to it there. You gotta figure a way to deal with it. It almost feels like you’re playing on a TV show cuz everything’s far. You can’t even hear what you’re playing because of all those screams, and tears, lots of tears. Good tears though.
READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW ONLINE AT:
To purposely sound cliché, Against Me has lived the “Rags to Riches” life, and lead singer/creator, Tom Gabel just might, to sound even more cliché, have created a monster. Starting in 1997, Tom Gabel played solo shows in Gainesville, FL with occasional help from an old friend, Kevin Mahon, on drums. Now, despite the early years of the bands existence being a bit rocky, Against Me! is signed with Sire records with their 5th album breaking out in June. Against Me! was one of the big attractions for the Punk Rock Bowling Tournament in Henderson, NV, and I was thrilled to sit down with Tom a few hours before the show. However, he didn’t seem to feel the same enthusiasm. Although he has five full lengths and many demos, in person, Tom Gabel is a man of very little words. It could be me and my horrible interviewing technique or maybe I needed to shower since he did avoid me near the elevators later that night. Tom, if you read this, I’m sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable in anyway…kind of. So this is the bands first time at this event? First time performing. We came out and bowled one year, I think in 2003. Seems like a good vibe all around. Have you had a chance to waltz about? Nah, I took a nap and showered. I walked around a lil bit and ran into some friends. That’s got to be one the coolest things about this event is that it’s genre oriented so you see a lot of familiar faces and people from punk bands that are not even playing like Pete and… Brian, yeah I just saw them. Yeah, you sit at the bar for a few minutes and you’re bound to see someone you recognize. The bar would be a good place to find a majority of the people, I’m sure. In the beginning of this project/band it was a solo project. Now you have a full fledged band with another album coming out, your fifth, on Sire Records. Being such a long journey, have there been certain times where giving up was an option? Yeah I started it around ‘97. It’s good times. With anything, you have your good days and bad days, but I like playing music and that’s what I want to do with my life. Well you can feel it listening to the recordings, and it’s awesome you guys can make it out to this event. Thanks man. Yeah it worked out perfectly with our tour schedule. Where are you guys headed after Henderson? We have a day off and then to Texas. We were in Albuquerque yesterday. We were in Canada for a month and then had a week break and went on this tour, which started on the East Coast for three weeks, and now we’re here. Is the band planning on going overseas soon? Yeah we’re going to Europe for a week after this and then coming back to the States and maybe back to Europe sometime in the fall. We’re going in August and doing a bunch of festivals like Reading and Leeds. Do you find the crowd a little different in comparison as far as vibe and energy? Not really, kids are kids, shows are shows.
So back to the new album coming out, tell us about it. It’s called “White Crosses,” comes out June 8 and it has 10 songs. Good times.
The Black Keys Brothers Nonesuch There’s been a flurry of hype surrounding Akron, Ohio’s The Black Keys, and with good reason – with their recently released 8th studio recording in 9 years, Brothers, they deserve the attention. Recorded under Nonesuch Records, Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach have revamped downtempo blues for today’s audiences. First and foremost, the production is nothing short of magnificent. Heavy drums and bass weave about Big Muff-dirty-blues guitars and simple yet resonating vocals that would make Elmore James, Eric Clapton and Howlin’ Wolf proud. The Black Keys have created a modern blues album that is one part Jimi Hendrix, one part Death From Above 1979, and one part BB King. Perfect in rain or shine, The Black Keys have carved their own position in a genre that is as American as apple pie. Sit down and enjoy. - Andre Estournes
Gogol Bordello Trans-Continental Hustle Columbia Records As if it wasn’t obvious enough from the lame cover art (the lead singer, Eugene Hutz, alone, leaning against a brick wall, really?) or the terrible-sounding album name, this is not exactly an inspired piece of work. Gogol Bordello has an unmistakable sound: bouncy, punk-influenced, shout-alongs with worldly instrumentation. To the layman: crazy sounding Gypsy music. It’s counterintuitive, then, that the better tracks on Trans-Continental Hustle are subdued, strippeddown tracks like “Sun is On My Side” and “When Universes Collide.” Other songs sound like forcedout repeats from their last full-length, Super Taranta! What the fuck? Rick Reuben produced this? I thought he was known for drawing the best from artists and helping them craft their groundbreaking recordings. Not here. This is Gogol’s fourth best
release after Underdog World Strike, Super Taranta! and their collaboration with Tamir Muskat (J.U.F.) What Trans-Continental Hustle lacks most are memorable songs. There are several good songs here including the ferocious, “Immigrianda (We Comin’ Rougher),” but many more that don’t stick. It’s like they’ve ramped up their musical complexity, focused more on their lyrics and still lost a little heart in the exchange. Perhaps Eugene Hutz has disobeyed his previous decree: “let rest originality for sake of passing it around.” It is a mortal sin for a musician to produce a parody of one’s self. This happens on the unbearable titular track. With a goofy, “hidy-hidy-ho” chorus, it sounds like the Disney version of Gogol Bordello. Gogol is a good enough band that even when they schlock it out like this, it’s better than most, but recordings are legacy and in the odyssey of Gogol, this is a battle lost. - Kevin Madness
The Melvins The Bride Screamed Murder Ipecac Age has a strange affect on personality. You can see it in the behavior of foul old men. You probably know one of the type: he’ll shit-talk anyone, fart publicly, he’s careless with his spending and drinking and he’s been wearing that same stained-up California Raison’s “Raison Hell” shirt for a month straight. He’s scary and sort of disgusting, but, somehow you have a special respect for him, for he has completely stopped giving a fuck what other people think---and that, my friend, is a point we all wish we could reach, that is nirvana. ...And that is where the Melvins are at musically. They’ve probably put out 20 records (I refuse to actually count). They’ve been underground, they’ve been prominent, they’ve had their experiments and their renaissance and despite their best aversions, they’ve become wise. Only wise men could make The Bride Screamed Murder, which is both a summation and a shenanigan. In one respect, it displays the full scope of the Melvins sound, 25 years in the making. There are big-rock riffs, sludgy-stoner-grooves, triumphant double drums and complex layered guitar voicings all sounding distinctly Melvins. Likewise Buzz’s voice sounds different-yet-familiar on each track, often recalling vocal sounds from past Melvin’s records. On the other hand, The Bride Screamed Murder has enough unrestrained weirdness to satisfy the listener’s need for something different. This comes in the forms of call and response drill chants (“The Water Glass”), madcap jazz breaks (“Hospital Up”), spooky organ accompanied by a creepy high voice (“I’ll Finish You Off”) and a whistling coda (“Pig House).” As it is, the Melvin’s seem to care a lot about having fun and none about how others regard them, and you can hear that on The Bride Screamed Murder—you just have to turn it up real loud. - Kevin Madness
Animal Mountain Hospital Better Children Independent The new Mountain Animal Hospital album Better Children is a progressive rock album with very original rhythmic composition and a vocal style that shows much range in both pitch and tempo. To call the album progressive might detract from it’s heavier moments or the more prominent drawn out vocal lines meshed with frequent changes in drum patterns and guitar melodies. There is a lot of sonic experimentation going on, which could have detracted from the songs if the melodies weren’t so appealing. The surrounding compositions are very strong, making Better Children a success. While the bass guitar often works together with the vocal and guitar, the drums more than adequately serve as a rhythm section on their own, frequently changing rhythms and at times dropping out all together. The guitar parts are forays into rich psychedelia, at times work together with synths, and at others break into and out of patterns. One highlight of the album comes when horns are brought in to accentuate a particularly strong climax to one of the songs. Fans of their previous album will notice less electronic moments and more psychedelia. There is also quite a bit of danceable music, which often goes on between vocals. The energy level of the songs ranges from intense to sparse, providing an ambient soundscape that is less aggressive and more varied than most metal and hard rock music currently being released. Those searching for something new and different will enjoy this album, one that never gets boring and has energy and edge. -Ben Baker
TheGrumpy Throes Of Contemplation Independent Throes of Contemplation by theGrumpy is a six song EP of alternative/metal rock that is deeply personal and showcases very strong guitar ability. The lead guitar, played by recent Sacramento Your Music Olympicks guitar solo champion Cameron (no last name given) paints portraits of dark agony and pain perpetuated by his own gruff vocals. The aggressive vocal and guitar style, which does progress into more melodic composition before growing back into heavier parts, is complimented by the electric bass guitar of Jake Ferguson and drums of JW Brooks. Ferguson’s bass often serves to drive the rhythm, providing plenty of power to the already strong lead guitar melodies. Brooks’ drums compliment the rest of the band while never stepping in the way of lead guitar, which clearly leads the way on this EP. theGrumpy never fails to let you in on the storytelling that lead singer Cameron provides, making this a memorable release that displays authentic guitar chops and composition. Of note is that this album allows the listener a sneak peek on the pain and terrific introspection of the lead singer, more so than most releases of the pop music and even heavy metal genres. The EP ends with a dark yet beautiful piano solo provided by Cameron that shows more range than perhaps was expected by someone already so gifted in an aggressive style of lead guitar playing. With plenty of energy supplied by the complimentary instruments, this release by theGrumpy leaves the listener eager to see what’s next from this hard rock trio -Ben Baker.
Emily Moldy E is for Eleven Independent Emily Moldy’s new EP “E is for Eleven” is a beautiful and moving collection of four songs that paint a picture of sorrow, hope, intrigue, and passion. Themes of identity and confusion in the world today are explored, as her tone and presence delicately walks between sadness and happiness. Lyrics containing vices, dreams, hopes, age, monsters, and relatives weave amongst the instrumentation to present a beautiful landscape of emotion. One of the most staggering aspects of Moldy is her ability to effortlessly present her perspective of the world today. “A Little Obsessed” begins with a soft, quiet voice that comes and goes throughout the EP. A song about searching for love already found, “A Little Obsessed” slowly gains momentum as the emotions start to build and weave together to prepare for you for what’s yet to come. “Stone to Stone” effortlessly picks up where “A Little Obsessed” leaves off. A bit more introspective, Moldy gives the listener a deeper look into the beauty that can come from sadness. Utilizing a single violin and piano to create a hauntingly melodic track, “Stone to Stone” displays incredible composition abilities while remaining optimistic. Track 3, “Old Man (Mistaken a Monster)” is my favorite track on the EP. An unbelievable summation of the complexities and beauty of “E is for Eleven,” her sing-song lyrics and rhyme-scheme walks along a line of rap and hip-hop surrounded by instrumentation that would make the likes of Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and Connor Oberst (Bright Eyes) jealous. Probably the most moving track, while still not resting too hard on your shoulders, “A Monster (Mistaken for a Man)” is incredible and sets you up nicely for the EP’s conclusion with the aptly titled “Solid Ground.” “Solid Ground” plays off of prior themes while eloquently dealing with thoughts of disconnection from the surrounding world. She opens up her vocals and lets the music speak for itself. Simple yet extremely moving lyrics force the listener to either sit and reflect for a second or start back at “A Little Obsessed” for another round. Artists like Billy Holiday, Erykah Badu, Mariah Carey, Coldplay, and As Tall As Lions came to mind when thinking of the musicianship and vocals. Production and engineering reminded me of The Smashing Pumpkins, Prince, and Brand New, due to the amount of attention to each arrangement. These four songs have a spark of genius that catches the listener’s heart but doesn’t hold on too tightly; and at just over 20 minutes, one short listen can bring immense pleasure, but sometimes it demands multiple listens to truly hear the depth and beauty hidden between each note. - Andre Estournes
KID WITH KATANA Great American Music Hall San Francisco - 5.28.10
By Tanja M. Alvarez
All kids are familiar with the following rules: no running with scissors or playing with knives, particularly not Japanese Samurai swords. But there are no rules for Kid with Katana, whose music has a lot in common with their legendary namesake. Just like the handheld weapon it is very distinct, skillfully crafted, and powerful. Kid with Katana took the stage of the Great American Music Hall as the fourth of six acts presented by Sean Healey. Eager to perform for their fans they did not waste any time with introductions but immediately began their set with “Don’t Know”, an up-tempo song from their debut album “Shape and Shine”, which was just released on May 6th. Then followed a mixture of new and previously released songs. All songs were delivered with great skill and lots of energy. “Corpriotic” was probably the most rock-infused number and was greatly appreciated by the audience. “Galapagos” started out very playful and joyous but had a longing chorus and pensive ending showcasing singer Jonathan’s vocal talent. “Fog of War”, the last song of the set, was very dynamic and could have lasted all evening if it would have been up to the audience. Throughout the performance, each band member got to exhibit their skills. Lead singer Jonathan Walsh not only impressed with great vocals but also with nice guitar work and charming stage presence. Drummer Peter Granquist was forceful but very precise and provided amazing background vocals when given the opportunity. Peter and bassist Sam Welles were very much in tune with one another and formed a solid rhythm section, which laid a strong foundation for a very skilled performance. It was particularly entertaining watching Sam on stage, because he seemed so genuinely immersed in the music that he was literally bouncing up and down throughout the entire set. Guitarist Pat Kenna demonstrated his talent by complementing Jonathan much of the time but knowing when to step up and take over the lead. Kid with Katana’s musical style is refreshingly different from anything I have heard before. I was immediately captivated by the fact that their music doesn’t fit into any known category and felt challenged not to let my pleasant bewilderment and lack of words become detrimental to this review. All of their songs are extremely complex and include clever tempo changes and arrangements, which are telling of the band members’ skill level. Yet, Kid with Katana’s music is melodic, easy to follow, and draws the listener in with its energy and distinctiveness that’s neither pure rock, nor alternative, psychedelic, or any other style. Despite their music’s complexity, Kid with Katana make their performance look effortless. They are so genuine and do their own thing while obviously having a great time, and possibly even being somewhat oblivious to how exceptional they really are. These guys appear wise beyond their years but present their songs in a very contemporary manner that makes me speculate that there would be similarities to legendary artists such as the Beatles, if they were at the beginning of their career at this point in time. Anyone in the Bay Area looking for a dynamic show with captivating, upbeat, and category- defying music should definitely check out Kid with Katana.
This past weekend, I had the great pleasure of taking in the Santa Cruz Blues Festival in Aptos, California. Over two bright, sunny days, I saw ten of the hottest acts in blues, with styles ranging from folk to funk with plenty in between. With a jaw-dropping list of performers, the stage was set for a legendary festival. The weekend began with a set by Northern California raised bluesman Eric Lindell, who kicked things into gear with some light, airy grooves, soon to be followed by Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk. Featuring two cousins that Review & Interview by Ben Baker are sons of the Neville Brothers, Dumpstaphunk played a thick brand of funk blues that made everyone want to dance. After Dumpstaphunk came a change of pace in the form of Joseph Arthur, who utilized a looping pedal for his folk blues songs. The slower pace of his songs allowed everyone a chance to catch their breath in time for the great Taj Mahal. The crowd seemed familiar with his songs and after several hours of pounding heat were up on their feet again. Even though it seemed that a lot of the young crowd was there to see Ben Harper’s band, many of them were quick to catch on to Mahal’s fiery brand of blues. That set the stage for the day’s final performers, Ben Harper & Relentless7, who never failed to excite with their high-energy style of play. Harper commanded the stage with a high level of bravado not often seen in the blues world and the crowd was pleased. By the time the day was done, everyone seemed ready to get on the shuttle bus for the ride home. The second day got off to a hot start with Was (Not Was). Starting things off with some psychedelic funk jams, the crowd was whipped into a frenzy. Following Was (Not Was) was Coco Montoya and his band, who melted the crowd with white hot licks that kept the stage on fire. Next came Eric Burdon & The Animals. It was a sight to see Burdon moving the crowd, leading his band through versions of many of his hit songs that have more than stood the test of time. After Burdon & The Animals was Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band. Tedeschi showed off her soulful voice and Trucks laid down some lean, mean slide guitar. Finishing off the night, and the weekend, was blues legend Buddy Guy. Holding up the stage with charisma and unsurpassed storytelling ability, Buddy Guy gave us all a performance for the ages, venturing off the stage for one of his trademark guitar solos and leaving the audience stunned. Undeniably, Buddy Guy still has it and has never lost it. All in all. it was an amazing weekend, and I can’t wait to see what happens next year. In the meantime, I’ve got some blues to listen to.
What is the current line-up of the Animals? The current line-up of the Animals is Billy Watts from LA on guitar, and Brannen Temple is the drummer. He’s from Austin, Texas. Terry Wilson on bass is an old friend of mine - we’ve been working together on and off since the ‘80s. Another old friend of mine who I’ve worked with since the ‘80s is on keyboard. His name is Red Young. Are you writing new songs? Yes, at the moment I am about half way through putting songs together for a new studio album to be released in 2011. I have a new live album that will be available this summer, which was recorded in Germany at the Herzberg Festival. I’m hoping that the live album, which is a very exciting piece of work, will give me some breathing space to write more original songs for the studio album. What’s the songwriting process been like recently? The process at the moment is really interesting. There’s a song that wasn’t written by me called, “No Regrets” that I wanted to attempt to record. It was originally recorded by French icon Edith Piaf. I wondered how a New Orleans rhythm and blues band would interpret the song so I sent it down to a friend of mine, John Cleary, and he did an arrangement that excited me. It became what I wanted it to be so I recorded it in New Orleans. While I was down there, I had an idea and I was in the middle of writing a song about
Hurricane Katrina, but being in New Orleans, I was surrounded by the truth of what actually happened at that time, which lead me to a gospel based song and extended my stay. I cut several tracks in New Orleans. That’s the process. You begin something, then do some research or meet people that influence you and the song grows. Then you have to edit and cut the song, make decisions about length, decide if you’re taking the right approach and find out if you’re losing something by editing. It’s a game of advance and retreat to approach the song differently. That’s what I’m in the middle of at the moment.
Are you still acting? What else have you been doing outside of music? I can only say that I’m always acting. I’m acting when I’m singing...I’ve made a handful of appearances in films, most of them European, but from that experience, I found out that it’s not something that I want to seriously pursue. It’s a lot of waiting around for hours doing very little and watching the crew do all the real work. I enjoy the side of filmmaking that involves the technology that goes into it. If I had to be involved, I would be involved in the production/ design aspect of filmmaking. If someone offers me a part and I think that I’m capable of doing the part and I like the script, I’ll do it, but I don’t pursue acting as a career. I heard you were writing a screenplay. Is that true? I am a movie fanatic. I often write down ideas that I think will be good for film, but they don’t go anywhere. They stay at home. That may be a bit of a shame, but I’m not a part of the movie world. I’m part of the music world, and that takes up all of my time. What was your childhood like? How did you first get into music? My early childhood, I have to admit, was horrific. I was born in 1941, which was one of the most active periods during World War II. The war didn’t end completely in 1945. We still had rationing of food and luxury goods like sweets and cigarettes until 1953. I remember clearly that I saw my first banana when I was 12 years old. The countryside was strewn with evidence from the war. My friends and I secretly collected weapons and had our own “gun club,” which was quickly disbanded when one of my friends shot himself in the knee. My escape was swimming and movies, and later on I went to art school, then became interested in folk music, then jazz music, then modern jazz music and back to traditional jazz again. After that rock and roll became a reality. It was playing on the juke boxes and I was exposed to people like Jean Vincent and Elvis Presley. I later came to realize that the real musicians were the black dudes. Then it was Fats Domino, Little Richard and the roots of rhythm and blues. Singers like Jimmy Witherspoon, Ray Charles, and Big Joe Turner became my heroes. I wanted to be like them and that’s why I became a singer. I tried to play other instruments, but I was more at home with a microphone in my hand. What do you think of the current music industry? There are some really great bands out there. There are some unknown people who are doing some really great work. For a long time, my favorite band has been Calexico. The current music industry seems to be in a state of influx. It seems like the radio doesn’t matter anymore. New technology is allowing artists and writers to express and market their works in new ways. That’s affecting the formula of music. I’m not a great lover of the TV shows that are in search of talent. I know what happens to the young people who suddenly find fame. Fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it can be detrimental to your health. My heart goes out to those kids who are being molded to fit an idea that was created by agents and managers who don’t really know anything about music. I’d also say that the term “music industry” is a misnomer. It’s more like a slaughterhouse.
DEVIN THE DUDE COUGHEE BROTHAZ The Catalyst, Santa Cruz - 4.20.10
By Danielle Negrin Photos by Brian Crabtree
Santa Cruz was approaching an epic month of hip hop and I had to be there for the first act. Straight from Houston, Texas, Mr. Devin the Dude definitely got Santa Cruz in the mood. Following a comedic act, Devin sparked the crowd and left them burning all night. Blunt in hand, Devin spit all-time favorite songs such as “Duby Ashtray,” “What a Job” and “Lacville 79”. Unfortunately, he did not play “My Dick is So Clean,”- as crude as that name sounds, it is one of his most chronic acts. Devin certainly was not alone on the stage. He was surrounded by a halo of smoke, a master DJ and an energetic entourage. The fumes of cannabis filled the room and the smoke in the air was so thick I could touch it. The lighting was simplistic, and the crowd was positive and fully enthralled with the performance on stage. Devin made the effort to get very interactive with his audience, keeping the flame lit all night. As most of Devin the Dude’s songs rave about marijuana, I was not surprised to see Devin and his crew smoking blunts on stage. There were two young fans in the front trying to get Devin’s attention by flashing a couple half-ounce blunts. Apparently waving them in the air worked because Devin looked over and his eye’s lit up. “Damn,” he screeched, and he was magnetically drawn to the giant doobies. The crowd roared as he took a long and dramatic puff of one of the ridiculously large blunts the two fans had teased him with. Devin proved that the game was over and he was getting down business. All of the sudden tons of lighters flash flames around the venue. I noticed that multiple people around me sparked their own blunts to join Devin. He seemed to start a smoking movement; I have never seen a man influence so many people to burn one down. The haze of smoke around him was so thick you could barely see his body, let alone the crowd. This was quite the entertaining scene. Overall, Devin the Dude was truly a great performer. Holding low expectations going into the show, I came out satisfied. Unfortunately we were deprived of a proper encore, but as Devin was about to walk off stage another MC on stage said “hey Dev, I still got another blunt,” and they played one last song to end the show. The whole crowd was dancing and clearly enjoying the concert, creating quite the hyphy atmosphere. Devin the Dude was definitely a great start to a ridiculous lineup of hip hop artists that will bless Santa Cruz, yet again.
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By Numerous I was blessed enough to run a couple questions by Charles Lazarus, the lead guitarist for Rootz Underground. Fresh in from Jamaica, Rootz Underground is getting ready to set the US ablaze with soulful and powerfully conscious Reggae music; here’s what Charles had to say… Ok so, first question, one can deduce why you chose your name, but what does the name Rootz Underground mean to you? Our name has evolved, from my perspective, many times over the last 11 years that we’ve been using it. As with all things that blossom over time the name “Rootz Underground” just happened. As a group of friends we always chose exploring the countryside and more earth conscious vibrations over the late night partying happening in Kingston at the time, and as our group of friends enlisted their other friends the massive fanbase that would make the country exodus after work on Friday grew. Our good friend Shana Sibblies-Shayegan nicknamed us the Rootz Underground because we were an alternative compared to what she was accustomed to and the name stuck. Nowadays it means other things to us; for instance it represents the path we have chosen, one of family, commitment, and service to the positive power through the vehicle of music, and leading by example as best we can. Your debut album “Movement” seems to have a wide variety of influences, how would you describe this album’s sound? I would say that “Movement” is a snapshot of our lives at the time. We were all finding our common groove and naturally as a very diverse group of musicians we listen to all sorts of music. This album was the end result of Wayne Armond (our producer) teaching us how to make the most of a studio. We learned to lay out our ideas and not become overwhelmed by the enormity of the goal. We had been playing live shows at this point for about 6 years, and coming from a performance standpoint of trying to keep the show always moving and interesting, I would say that energy came through in the record. “Movement” represents the explosion of our enthusiasm to officially enter this life of music and we’re very proud of it, “GRAVITY” is the continuation. Tell me more about “GRAVITY”... We have just released our second studio album “GRAVITY” in Europe on the Soulbeats imprint, and its also available from our website as a digital download if you’re based in America, Canada, South America and the Caribbean. We took a very different approach to the project this time, working with Rory Gilligan of Stone Love as our producer, who also produced “Time is an Illusion” from our first album “Movement.” The positive synergy has been there since the first album and we wanted to explore it further; the result is this collection of work. I would say Gravity is far more focused than Movement but it’s for you to decide; both represent our ideas, beliefs and direction at different stages along the path. We are also about to release a live DVD from our performance at “Reggae Rising 2009” in California, as well as a new mixtape project with Rob Paine of Solomonic Sound System out of Philadelphia. 26 And most naturally we’re in the studio once again
recording yet another album. Speaking of shows, there’s two off the top of my head that you have coming up that stand out; care to tell us more about that? That would be Reggae on The River and Earthdance for sure, naturally we’re very excited. First off let me say the band LOVES California, the energy is tangible. It’s a treat to be back playing in this zone and being received so warmly. For the last year we have been in Europe heavily, which has been amazing for us and also very intense, and as a result we haven’t been able to schedule tours on the West Coast till now; it feels like a homecoming to me at least. We look forward to delivering the performance, with the pent up energy waiting to explode from being away for so long. It will also be nice to introduce the tones and dynamics which have become a part of our sound through the creation of the “Gravity” album to our friends and fans there, a delivery that’s been fine tuned from all the touring between the last West Coast visit and now. I’m also looking forward to DJ’ing at Earthdance in the afterhours (at the Temple of Electronica), I’ve been playing house music for more than a decade and never had the chance to indulge in both passions on the same night. Where would you like to see Reggae music go over the next couple of years? I don’t even know if I’m the best person to answer this question, I wish Paul was here to do it for me, it has his name all over it. I would love to see the band format take off even faster than it’s doing at present. There’s a large wave building in Jamaica right now in this regard, and it’s going to be exciting to experience the fruit it bears, I just hope that promoters support all the talent rising from our little island. We are blessed to be able to travel and experience the reggae coming from all over the planet as well, it’s amazing the quality and the consistency of the message, it’s all born of positivity; therefore only good can come of it. I would love to see that vibrant youthful energy with no boundaries on creativity shine through the vehicle of reggae and world music, bringing an even younger audience to the sound and the message. I feel as if that’s already happening. Any final words for the fans out there? Thank you for supporting us all this way, it gives us the strength to persevere when we experience doubt along the journey. As long as you are listening rest assured we will be channeling this inspiration that comes from the Most High, voicing the concerns and pointing to the direction that we all need to be focused on. Help us spread the music in any way you can, burn CD’s, tell people about the shows, visit us at our webblogs and homepage, e-mail songs, follow us on tour. Then most importantly, take care of yourselves so we can all be a strong, healthy family in the many years that lay ahead.
By Tracy Forsyth-Lundy
Close to celebrating their 15 year anniversary, Cradle of Filth has been producing stellar music for the dark music lover in all of us to enjoy and rock out to, and I for one can’t thank them enough! Cradle of Filth is by far in a league of their own when it comes to Dark Metal, and won’t stop for anyone who dares to stand in their way. Cradle of Filth consists of band members Dani Filth (Lead Vocals), Paul Allender (guitar), David Pybus (bass), and Martin Skaroupka (drums). When they tour they have 3 more members who join them for live performances; Charles Hedger (live guitars), Sarah Jezebel Deva (backing vocals) and Rosie Smith (live keys). Cradle of Filth plays to please their fans - they bring a theatrical and extremely lavish stage show to every performance. Nine albums into their career and a with book as well, one can only admit that this band has certainly MADE IT within this ever so critical and difficult industry. Dani took the time to sit down and talk to me about the newest album, the album’s concept, the band, about the industry itself, and what fans can expect from the band down the road. Just to start – why Cradle of Filth? Who came up with that name for your band? DF: I was just reminded by someone, he said “Do you realize that the band came out 15 years ago next year?” and I went NOOOOO!” Then I though “SHIT! I must run out and get some wrinkle cream or something then!” (laughing) It made me feel really old! I obviously can’t remember that far back in time, but I know that I just came up with it quickly off the top of my head; I would say it’s something that is in the eye of the beholder. For example it could represent the world, or “Cradle” being almost like a chalice, or you know, something that is infected. It’s kind of a marriage of extremes really. Now you guys are a band of 7 members? We are actually a band of 4 on the record, but live, yes we are 7. Your new album ‘Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder’ is out – what can your fans expect from this album? This album is a conceptual record based around the medieval serial killer de Rais, who was the bodyguard, or right hand man as it were, and protector of France; he actually became the Grand Marshall of France after Joan of Arc’s death. As her right hand man he fought against the English; he was pretty much the wealthiest man in most of Europe at the time. Because she was looked upon as a messenger of God, after her death he literally turned completely to the opposite side. He had enormous fortune, which he wasted quite quickly. He was like the Bill Gates of the time. He did a complete U-turn in faith; he was eventually hung for his crimes. It was a real dark roller coaster ride of a life, and the album is very 28 representative of that; it’s very theatrical. 28
Who is involved in the writing process when you’re writing a new album? Most of the album was written by Paul, our guitarist. We sort of collaborate from there cause we are all from different countries, you know. I sat by candle light over Christmas and wrote the lyrics. We worked with our producer at his “farm house,” so to speak, on this beautiful tract of land in the countryside in Derbyshire; it’s like in a valley. Right away we’re locked away from everybody. That sort of situation helped everybody in the band sort of focus inward ‘cause in the past we’ve recorded right in the heart of a busy metropolis, like Liverpool and London, being too close to the sort of, ummm…the temptations of night clubs and parties. THIS time, unless we wanted to party with local sheep (laughs), we were right in the typical ‘American Werewolf in London’ scenery. I’m reading a quote from the information that Roadrunner sent to me, and where you describe the album you say “By far this is our most extreme, dramatic and deeply disturbing album to date.” Yeah, the subject matter, I mean I think it is beautiful in the way it’s done – in the story itself there are huge themes of redemption there…bear in mind there is a song called “The Death of Love.” Basically the origins of the story went: He was deeply aligned with Joan of Arc; he was in love with her, or her aesthetic with the closeness to God, and everything like that. That is what sent him off the rail when she was burnt as a heretic, and that’s what sent him off into this sort of mad parade of ill intent. He went the other way to obtain his mass of wealth and sadistic lifestyle.
May 2010 for me will go down as one of the worst months of my life. My car has been in the shop twice for unrelated yet equally frustrating issues. We lost a god among men and one of the most revered artists of our time in Ronnie James Dio. The death clock timed out for Lena Horne, Slipknot’s Paul Grey, Dennis Hopper, Gary Coleman, and Art Linkletter. Thankfully, throughout it all, music has been a shining light. I now turn that light upon you with the NorCal Metal Report. By Dave Pirtle Add another band to the resume of drummer Burton Ortega. After recently (well, relatively recently) being recruited for Bomb & Scary and the reunited/revamped Defiance, he has now been tapped by ex-Forbidden guitarist
LD/50 Glen Alvelais to sit behind the kit for his LD/50 project after the departure of Jeremy Colson. Look for Ortega to make his live debut with the band in the near future. Meanwhile, the band is preparing to enter Trident Studios to record two new tracks with producer Juan Urtega. As long as we’re discussing Glen Alvelais projects, he has recently reactivated his 90s thrash/ groove project Bizarro with a new lineup still being assembled. Glen will be handling guitars and vocals, along with a yet-to-be-announced drummer and a bassist yet-to-be-found. The band’s past incarnations have included the likes of guitarist Nick St. Denis (ex-Raze The Stray), bassist Cornbread (White Witch Canyon/exVicious Rumors), and drummer Kevin Jackon (ex-True to Form/Lavabone). You can
check out their 1998 demo at their MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/bizarrogroove). Might as well update you all on three more related projects. In case you missed it, Imagika has parted ways with drummer and founding member Henry Moreno, as a result of his relocation to Florida. There was talk of trying to make it work, but the decision was eventually made to move forward without him. Attempting to fill his big shoes behind the kit is Wayne De Vecchi (Hellhound/ex-Doom Society). Oh, and that new guy on guitar is Robert Kolowitz. Next, vocalist Norman Skinner has returned to Machine Called Man after things with Mark Schlageter didn’t work out. They plan to hit the studio soon to lay down tracks for their oft-delayed sophomore full-length. Finally, the long-dormant, Skinner-fronted Tramontane is being resurrected with a new lineup that also includes former In Virtue vocalist Molly Jacobs providing some operatic pipes, bassist Elena Repetto (Bomb & Scary/Machine Called Man), guitarist Curtis Morrell (ex-Kategory V) . . . and Henry Moreno.
VENGINCE Vengince has been added to the lineup for the Rockstar Mayhem tour’s July 11th date at
Shoreline Amphitheater, and will be opening the Jagermeister stage for the likes of Hatebreed and Shadows Fall. This is the only northern California date on the tour so be sure to check it out and show up early to learn what your neighbors and thousands of Europeans already know: that Vengince is a force to be reckoned with, and can more than hold their own against the genre’s heavyweights. Legendary NWOBHM act Raven has been confirmed as the headliner for day one of this year’s Tidal Wave Festival, to be held July 24th and 25th at McLaren Park in San Francisco. Also added to the festival lineup are Desecrater, Anvil Chorus, Elk, Go Like This, Vastum, Witchhaven, and Amber Asylum. The event organizer, KUSF’s Tonus The DJ From Hell, has set up a Facebook page for the event, so make a friend there for the latest updates, complete itinerary, and more.
RAVEN WITH METALLICA IN THE 80’S Il Malocchio is Italian for ‘The Evil Eye,’ an ancient belief of how the sickness begins with a fascination of power derived from a pact with the devil. It is also a metal band from Oakland formed in 2010 by lead vocalist/songwriter/ guitarist Fabian Vestod, along with bassist Snake Green (Skinlab/Re:Ignition), guitarist Dana Lindstrom (Sentinel Beast), and drummer Wes Anderson (Kehoe Nation). Part black, part death, and all heavy, Il Malocchio sound straight out of some dark European forest. With a handful of live shows already under their collective belt, the band continues to play around the Bay Area and work on their debut album. You are strongly encouraged to visit http://www.myspace.com/ ilmalocchioband and listen to the demo tracks. I’m excited to tell you about Spontaneous Maximus (also known as SpoMax.) Why? Because this San Jose band is still in their infancy, only recently having played their first show. But to their credit, they have some very promising demo recordings - albeit very rough ones - posted to their MySpace and Facebook pages. Its clear that they are quite technically sound and have a clear vision of what they want
their music to be. So head over to one of those aforementioned pages and get in on the ground floor. So boom goes the dynamite, as I draw this edition to a close. Got some news to report? A band people should know about? A demo I need to hear? Then let me know at norcalmetal@ksjs. org. Remember: a good review can make you famous; a bad review can make you a martyr; but no review at all could leave you toiling in obscurity.
Top 10 Playlist for period:
5/6/10 - 5/27/10
(NorCal Unleashed airs on 90.5 FM KSJS on Thursday nights at 11pm. Contact madman@ ksjs.org to submit your music for airplay)
1. Imagika - Portrait of a Hanged Man 2. Son of Aurelius - The Farthest Reaches 3. Brain Drill - Quantum Catastrophe 4. A Band Called Pain - Beautiful Gun 5. Zed - The Invitation 6. Judgement Day - Peacocks/Pink Monsters 7. Kaos - The Pits of Existence 8. Ludicra - The Tenant 9. Cormorant - Metazoa 10. Damnweevil - Its Always Darkest Before It Goes Pitch Black QUICK BITS: Cormorant will make their South Bay debut as main support when Woods of Ypres plays The Avalon in Santa Clara on June 30th... thrashers Laceration have made their new demo Realms of the Unconscious available for free download at their MySpace page, or more accurately, one of their blog postings there... alternately, Vastum (featuring members of Saros, Infest, and Acephalix) have a new demo available for sale at http:// vastum.bandcamp.com/... Shadow of the Colossus, formed from the ashes of Fate, will release their debut album on June 12th... Mudface and bassist Ron Pitchford have parted company... on the other hand, Nihlotep is (still?) looking for a bassist... Kinetik are currently working on a foursong demo, and it should be a doozy... NAME is looking for someone to handle drum duties for their upcoming summer tour... Repaid in Blood will enter the studio in August to begin work on a new demo... remember the name Blood Fire, and I’ll tell you more about them later.
MUKAGEE – RELAPSE – DOWNEFALL - TBA
“DRUM SOLO” & “BASS SOLO” EVENT
Thursday 7/15 THE AVALON
BOMB & SCARY – MONTRA - THE 5 FINGERS OF DEATH Special Guests LD/50
“GUITAR SOLO” EVENT
Thursday 7/8 THE AVALON
email Brian at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
BANDS!! Sign up now!
SACRAMENTO YMO Starts Aug 19th
Friday July 30th
SOUTH BAY FINALS!
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
THE TOP 6 BANDS MOVE ON TO THE FINALS!
POWDER TRAIN - TRICKMECHANICS – ALMOST HONEST
“VOCAL SOLO” EVENT w/ BIGEYE
Thursday 7/1 MOUNTAIN CHARLEY’S
Thursday 6/17 MOUNTAIN CHARLEY’S CADENT – BIGEYE - HIGHER EDUCATION
Saturday 6/12 THE VENUEZ DIMIDIUM - UNTIL WE SLEEP – TOLTECA EXTRA - ZED
UPCOMING YMO SHOWS
21 and over for nightly entertainment
Review By Mike Garing Photos by Brian Crabtree
What an amazing Finals for our 10th year; 7 bands on the Catalyst Main Stage competing for over $5000 in cash and prizes in front of hundreds of frenzied, music loving fans. I want to personally congratulate all of the SC bands who participated in this year’s event; without their hard work and dedication to their craft the Your Music Olympicks would not be possible. I also wanted to thank all of the venues and sponsors we worked with; these are the people aside from the bands themselves that are necessary for local music to continue to thrive here in Santa Cruz. We started the night off with Almost Chaos; they burst onto the scene in last years YMO Finals, and at an average age of 14 this year, they are still the youngest participants in an SC YMO Finals event. This 3 piece is truly amazing; most bands this young are used to hearing that they’re good for their age, but AC is just good period. Jose is a talented vocalist who also has excellent stage presence and charisma; Derek is already a shreddin’ guitarist with nowhere to go but up, and Mack (drummer) is the foundation from which each song is built upon. They work well together, and if they can stay together through the ongoing evolution of their music we might all soon be saying “I knew them when…”. The second band up, Hollywood Scars, is a newer band that specializes in 80’s style rock music (with a few covers). Jimmy was our 2010 SC YMO “Best Vocalist” winner, and his performance was indicative of his talent. Congratulation to
Ryan also, our 2010 SC YMO “Best Guitarist” Bronze award winner. Once again we see that in the Finals the cream really does rise to the top. Pariah Faction has strived to make the Finals the last couple of years, and it was great to see their hard work finally pay off. The band has continued to improve every year, and with Morgan as their front man, they have arguably the most critical piece of the puzzle, a talented singer. With the addition of Brian on guitar (our 2009 Monterey “Best Guitarist” Gold winner) and Gizmo on bass (our 2010 Santa Cruz “Best Bassist” Gold winner) Pariah Faction has achieved a balanced line-up that will rock out even the most casual listener. Definitely worth a second of your online time. Although our other 2010 Finalists deserve kudos for getting to the Main Stage and bringin’ it, the night belonged to Mordor. Congratulations to our 2010 SC YMO “Live Performance” Gold winners, they worked hard, played harder, and in the end they earned the title. For those of you unfamiliar with Mordor (and they are fairly new to the scene) their brand of hard rock is a little bluesy and more danceable than you might expect. Their music draws the audience in but tends to elicit more smiles than hard looks. I can’t wait to watch their continued development in the coming year, and I expect them to build on their current success. This brings us to Cylinder, our 2008 SC YMO “Live Performance” Gold winners. With their pounding hard rock riffs and incredible stage performance, Cylinder has continued to impress me with their musical evolution, especially considering how difficult it is for any band to maintain their original line-up. As our 2010 SC YMO “Live Performance” Bronze winners, they have also been able to
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maintain a dedicated fan base through this difficult recession. Congratulations also on the release of their debut album, Fueled by Fire, available now. On an evening dominated by rock acts, Eliquate brought their unique brand of Hip Hop to the stage, and in my opinion won over numerous new fans. Front man Elliot Wright is a charismatic magnet when on the mic, and thanks to strong support from the audience they were able to win the 2010 SC YMO “Live Performance” Silver award. Even if you’re not a fan of Hip Hop you should check out Eliquate; they won over “rock” fans at the Finals for a reason. Plus they have hot groupies! A Band of Orcs was our closer this year, and what a great way to finish our Finals event at the Cat; 4 costumed “Orcs” (made by the same guy who made the costumes for The Lord of the Rings movies) leading the audience on a Metal march through their music. Very heavy, but very entertaining. Don’t be surprised to see these guys play with Gwar in the near future (they like to throw blood and brains on the audience during their shows). Thank you once again to the bands, fans, venues, and sponsors; without everyone actively participating in the Your Music Olympicks it would not have been possible for us to have achieved 10 years of successful shows here in Santa Cruz. See you next year!
s i r y h n C n a Tim D Booking info:
Contact info: myspace.com/rapidfiresc facebook.com/rapidfiresc 40
July 14 Henflings Tavern 9450 Highway 9 Ben Lomond
Jul 23 Battle of the Bands @ The Refuge 19624 Homestead Road Cupertino
July 17, 6pm Santa Cruz Relay for Life Cabrillo College Track Aptos
Jul 24, S.C. Public Library Teen Battle of the Bands Across from the Central Library
路 BRAND NEW DOUBLE WALL CONSTRUCTION 路 SOUNDPROOFED 路 VENTILATED 路 GROUND FLOOR FOR EASY LOAD IN ROOM 1 // 23 X13-$17 HR. FULL BACKLINE INCLUDED ROOM 2 // 18.5 X 13 - $15 HR. PA SYSTEM INCLUDED ROOM 3 // 18.5 X 13 - $15 HR. PA SYSTEM INCLUDED ROOM 4 // 15 X 10 - $13 HR. PA SYSTEM INCLUDED SANTA CRUZ REHEARSAL STUDIOS WERE CUSTOM DESIGNED AND BUILT BY MUSICIANS FOR MUSICIANS.
SANTACRUZREHEARSALSTUDIOS.COM 831.425.SCRS (7277) BOOKING@SANTACRUZREHEARSALSTUDIOS.COM 41
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The purpose of these interviews is to get background information so people can learn about the bands participating in the Your Music Olympicks. This is the general info I learned…. David plays a Yamaha BB800 bass from the late 70’s. It was in the backyard for a long time. He has an old late 70’s Peavy head and an SWR 4x10 with a blown out speaker. He is influenced by Steve Harris and that’s it, well maybe Cliff Burton too. Phil sings and plays guitar, his early influence was Bon Scott. Then in the 80’s he got into Jello Biarfra and a lot of the punk stuff that came out at the time. Sick of it All is a big influence, early Sepultura. Slayer of course, then he got into New York hardcore like the Cro Mags, Crown of Thorns, and local bands like The Hoods. In the 90’s it was Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine. Chris is the new drummer; he is heavily influenced by his father who was also a drummer. Chris would help his dad load-in when he was 4 years old. Joey is the guitar player; he plays through a Marshall kit and could not be here for the interview. Describe your first murder, was it bloody? Phil: I was forced into it, I was defending somebody and it just happened. I have actually changed my looks since then so I think I’ll be all right. Dio passed away 2 days ago; how do you feel about that? Phil: He changed my life, this is a true story. In the late 70s or early 80s my cousin took me over to a friend’s and he showed me this record. It was Holy Diver and that was my first heavy metal record I ever held when I was a kid. We put it on and I’ll never forget the opening bass line, I was sold. And I never went back. Describe your song-writing process. Phil: Coors light, medicinal grade marijuana. Actually we just like to get in studio and work it out. What’s your favorite new song you are working on? Phil: I would say “Ring The Siren” cause it has an old Fugazi sound, it’s got that punk in it. It’s got a big sing along right off the bat. It goes, “We are divided, those pigs are violent.” “I’m never satisfied we are defiant!”
myspace.com/myfirstmurder Watch this entire video interview by Mike Lyon unedited @ YourMusicMagazine.com
Brian Crabtree interviews Bomb and Scary at Guitar Showcase. Bomb and Scary have been together since birth and started as a two-man project. They wrote a record together with a lot of crazy bomb sounds and weird samples, and they would play video screens sync’d behind them on stage. After a while the band wanted to take it to the next level, the electronic drums weren’t cutting it. Bomb and Scary decided to get a drummer and bass player about a year ago to go for a heavier sound. The next record will be with a full band. Who’s missing from the group today? Bomb: Len is the bass player and Burton Ortega is the drummer. How much has it changed from the original Bomb and Scary? Bomb: I’m surprised at how well it’s coming along. The first record we didn’t work with any other musicians. We had a producer from Germany, he’s in Gravedigger and Rebellion; he’s part of our sound. Scary: He’s the “and” in Bomb and Scary. Bomb: We’re going to bring him over again for the second record. This one will be a little more organic; not as industrial sounding. Scary: We’ll still have some killer samples but overall less electronic. I just saw you do a show at The Avalon with W.A.S.P. What other great bands have you played with? Scary: We’ve played with Death Angel, Exodus, Forbidden a couple of times, and we did a mini tour with Vicious Rumors. Bomb: We just played with Green Jelly; look for us playing a lot of local shows. We have a sponsorship from ManDown Productions, Mike is doing a great job locally for the music scene. Mike’s new wave of great shows has helped us a lot to get our name and band out there. What is your song-writing process? Scary: The song just writes itself, pretty much. After listening to the music I hear the melody and the lyrics behind it; then I just write them down. A lot of them are about weird stuff. Bomb: He writes about bologna fighting Cheetos.
myspace.com/bombandscary Watch this entire video interview by Brian Crabtree unedited @ YourMusicMagazine.com
Craig-Bass Emme-Vocals, Guitar Cameron-Drums
Drew Orepeza- Vocals Justin Florence- Guitar
Lets talk to the new bass player, what kind of groove do you bring? Craig: I just joined the band 2 weeks ago. I started out trying out for lead guitar but it didn’t mesh very well. So now I’m playing bass with the group and it fits really well. I think I bring a kind of a fresh groove just because I’m kind of new to playing the bass. I just follow Cameron and it’s a joy being part of the rhythm section. Cameron: He has a natural feel; we really like what he brings to it. How would you describe your sound? Emme: I would say it’s, “pretty grungy” “pretty dirty.” Cameron: I would say we are influenced by a lot of the 90’s stuff. Emme: Definitely a big Veruca Salt fan, The Breeders, Jen Trynin. Cameron: I like a lot of Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins but I also like a lot of the 70’s stuff like Zeppelin and Hendrix. Who writes the lyrics? Describe some of the things you write about. Emme: I do most of the writing; Most of the stuff is a consolidation of ideas from years back up until now. Mainly a lot to do with my life and relationships, drug addiction, alcoholism, things like that. Lets talk about CDs, Have you guys put anything out, any thing in the future? Cameron: We have recorded two three-song demos but right now we are working on a full album, which will be about 10 songs. We have a nice rehearsal spot where the drums sound really big. They almost have that Nirvana “In Utero” sound and the recording is coming out really good. Emme’s guitar sounds like chain saws, I’m looking forward to how the bass is going to mix in with her vocals. It should sound really good. We are designing new art for it. What is the title? Cameron: We don’t have any thing yet but we’ve taken some great pictures with Emme’s husband’s Nova. Emme: Hey, that’s my car! I have a special license plate that says CHRY NVA or something like that. I thought it would be cool to somehow use the car in there. It could be me driving the car with them (Craig, Cameron) tied up in the back…or in the trunk.
YMM: I am here in the Your Music Magazine office with the band Almost Honest. Almost Honest is participating in the 2010 South Bay Your Music Olympicks July 1st at Mountain Charley’s. Who else do you guys work with that is not here? Drew: That is an interesting thing. We are a duo, but we are cutting a record right now. We have a bass player Juan Nelson from the Innocent Criminals and on the record Kenny Aronoff played the drums. YMM: Well there are some mentionable names there. Justin: We Are lucky. When we started this project everything we recorded back in our original days was simply acoustic. Singer/ Songwriter duo. But when we started this album we had a vision of what it would sound like with a band and some particular artists we wanted to work with. YMM: Can I get one of you to tell me a little bit more about how you got started? Drew: We can start with you <Justin>; you got the cool background. Justin: I have been in the San Jose Rock a scene since I was thirteen years old. I played as many clubs as I could while in a rock band for most of the early years. We did a bunch of touring, and then I decided to go my separate way. That is when I meet Drew here, through my older brother who worked with Drew. I listened to one of his recordings and loved it. Drew: Then we moved to LA where I had a friend who worked with a record label.
Watch this entire video interview by Numerous unedited @ YourMusicMagazine.com
Watch this entire video interview by Brian Crabtree unedited @ YourMusicMagazine.com
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Mike - Vocals/Guitar/Keyboard Anthony - Bass Travis – Drums
ET-VOX & GUITAR JASON STYLES-VOX & BASS FRANKIE CARBON-GUITAR YMM: I am here with the band Trick- KAKA MENG-DRUMS Mechanics. You guys are participating in the 2010 South Bay Your Music YMM: Today I am here with The Five Olympicks on July 1st at Mountain Fingers of Death, we are here to talk Charley’s in Los Gatos, but before we about the 2010 South Bay Your Music get into that can I get someone to give Olympicks, in which you are participatme a little more information about ing on July 8th at the Avalon. But beTrickMechanics. Travis: Mike and I fore we get into that, I was wondering started jamming about two years ago. We start doing whatever and looking if I could get a little introduction to the for new people, so we put an ad out on group? Craig’s list and found Anthony. Anthony: ET: The Five Fingers of Death started I didn’t murder them. Mike: That would back in July of 2008, so we are coming have sucked. Mike: So we jammed up on two years. We are a hardcore puck for about a year, and then started get- band, 80’s style influences. Carbone and ting gigs and playing around San Jose. I grew up in the 80’s. Carbone: That was YMM: When you started, what style probably when Kaka was born. ET: That of jam band were you? Mike: We are like an electronic rock, kind of, with the would be influences of Suicidal Tendensynthesizers and rock guitars. Some- cies, Agent Orange, FEAR; a lot of southtimes we get a little dance style, like The ern California punk rock. YMM: How Faint. Anthony: It is a little psychedelic does San Jose take to your 80’s style at times, but we just have fun. YMM: of punk rock? Carbone: There is kind of What influences help for the sound of a niche; there is a scene for it. Some say the group? Mike: Like I said before The that punk died in the 80’s and they were Faint, Muse is a big influence on all of kind of right, but there are still places out us. Anthony: We all have our different there that let you play it and people that influences and musical backgrounds. It makes it fun to brainstorm songs. I know want to see it. Even the younger generathat Travis and I are into metal a little tions like Kaka who know the old school more, so we bring that to the table. Trav- stuff that we know, from being skaters is: Sometimes we just end up with metal back in 80’s. ET: Even teenagers, we parts. Anthony: So we have a nice little played the punk invasion tour in Sacratable. YMM: So are you still at that jam mento last year where a lot of fourteen or band state where you can just throw fifteen year olds were listening to FEAR anything out? Mike: We do like to be a and D.I. It’s good to see that kids are follittle more coherent than that; it needs to lowing the grass roots of punk. mix well together.
myspace.com/trickmechanics Watch this entire video interview by Brian Crabtree unedited @ YourMusicMagazine.com
myspace.com/the5fod Watch this entire video interview by Brian Crabtree unedited @ YourMusicMagazine.com
Joshua Egan – Guitar Chris Paradela- Bass/ Vocals Lorenzo Madrid – Guitar Ciro Abraham- Drums YMM: I am here today with the band Montra, how’s it going? Band: Good… YMM: Since I know you are based out of the San Jose area, can someone give me more history about the band? Lorenzo: We have been around for about two years now. We just added Ciro as our new drummer, and we’ve recorded a few new songs on our EP. The music scene is a lot different than our sound; we are trying to bring back that older sound. The other bands we play with are the kind of stuff you see on TV, and we are trying to bring it back to where people own the records. Ciro: Older sounding new wave. YMM: What is the sound and style that you are trying to bring back? Ciro: RAWWWWWWWW. SMASH….. Explosions and dragons and stuff. Joshua: Yeah dragons, yet outside the powers of metal. Ciro: Magic. Lorenzo: Well nothing like that actually, like early Metallica, trying to go back to thrash. Joshua: Dragon Metal. YMM: So are you just a speedy thrash group? Ciro: We go fast, and we go slow. Fast for all the girls, and slow for all the metal heads. (Band Laughter) YMM: Just wondering, how old all of you are? Ciro: I am the youngest at sixteen. Lorenzo: Nineteen. Joshua: Eighteen. Chris: Eighteen. YMM: Any last words? Joshua: I will destroy you all, and don’t vote for any other bands.
myspace.com/xmontrax Watch this entire video interview by Brian Crabtree unedited @ YourMusicMagazine.com
Downefall will be performing live for The Your Music Olympicks at the Avalon July 15th; here is some basic info on the band. Matthew Herrera is the bass player; his influences are Disturbed, As I Lay Dying, Avenged Sevenfold, and Bullet for My Valentine. Jason Terrazas is on vocals and guitar, his influences are Matt Heafy from Trivium for a guitarist, and on vocals M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold or the singer from Stone Sour; also Corey Taylor from Slipknot. His favorite bands are Metallica, Trivium, Bullet for My Valentine, and As I Lay Dying. Brandon Terrazas plays a Dean Razorback V 255. Daniel Hernandez is on the drums his influences are Matt Greiner from August Burns Red, Chris Adler (Lamb of God), and Mike Portnoy from Dreamtheater who is going on tour with Avenged Sevenfold. Alfredo Barocio plays an Epiphone Les Paul. Tell us about your debut CD “Dead Carnival”. Jason: It’s a 15 track CD, we produced it ourselves, it took the past two years to write it, and we recorded it at Indopendence Studios in Fremont which just moved out to San Francisco and is owned by Brian DeLizza. The CD was mastered by Mike Wells also out of San Francisco and the art work is done by Dave Corel. What is the song “Blind To You” about? Jason: It’s mainly about not appreciating someone when they’re here with you, then after they are gone you realize you were blind to that person or how much they meant to you. It’s about not taking things for granted. Last night the band played at The Avalon with OTEP, how was that? Brandon: It was a pretty awesome. Matthew: I really liked OTEP a lot, I hadn’t heard their music till yesterday but I really got into it. I’m going to download a bunch of their tunes. The band is obviously influenced by Avenged Sevenfold, how do you feel about the death of James “The Rev” Sullivan? Jason: It did affect us because he is one of our favorite drummers. We didn’t know him but have always looked up to that band so it really sucks, but time passes. We cover a song “Unholy Confessions” as kind of a tribute in his honor. They just released a new song “Nightmare”; you should check out.
myspace.com/downefall Watch this entire video interview by Mike Lyon unedited @ YourMusicMagazine.com
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Letter from Mike Garing, Coordinator for the Your Olympicks and Director of and Marketing for Your Magazine:
Sat June 5 @ Britannia Arms -Cupertino Los Bastardos de Amor Back Pocket Memory, Blue Serra Sat June 11 @ Pine Streer Bar -Livermore Fabulous Under Fire, A Four Star Affair, Northern Son, Pounders Sat June 12 @ X Sports Bar + Music Lounge (Homestead Lanes) Lucky Lucianni CD Release Show Fri June 25 @ South First Billiards Barb Rocks Presents Stage @ Left Coast Live featuring: Careless Hearts, Northern Son Ambience, A Four Star Affair, Caveat, Montana 1948, Dynamite Truck Moon Cadillac, and more! Fri July 2 @ Britannia Arms -Cupertino Barb Rocks Birthday Bash featuring The Golden Hour, plus more TBA!
For Booking please send email to:
More info online: www.barbrocks.com www.myspace.com/barbrocks
Event Music Sales Music
As difficult as it is for me to believe, 10 years have come and gone since we started the Your Music Olympicks event here in our hometown of Santa Cruz. During those 10 years we also started Your Music Magazine (currently distributed from Sacramento to L.A.) and launched the YMO event in San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, and Monterey. But it all started here in SC in 2001 when Ribsy’s Nickel won the 1st YMO event at Palookaville (most of you probably don’t remember Palookaville, but in it’s day it rivaled the Catalyst for quality national acts). Year after year I continue to be impressed with the new talent that makes it to the SC Finals, and this year was no different. Only 2 of the 7 2010 Finalists had previously been in a SC YMO Finals (Cylinder won in 2008, Almost Chaos participated in 2009) but this is not unusual. Many top local bands can frequently go through what I call “Battle Burnout”; it takes so much time, energy, and hard work to reach for the brass ring that when you don’t win (or even sometimes when you do) there can be such an internal and external backlash (from your bandmates, your fans, other bands, their fans, etc.) that some local musicians feel they are better served avoiding the drama that comes with a competition. Other factors beyond my control also affect our relationship with the local bands; although we pride ourselves on the integrity of our event, I can say that some “Battle of the Bands” promoters are far less scrupulous, which of course makes our job even more difficult. But what most local musicians don’t understand is that an established event like ours is one of the few opportunities local bands have to draw attention from the community in ways they would have difficulty achieving otherwise; in the short and long run we help to strengthen the scene. But through all of the adversity we have helped 100’s of bands play bigger stages and for more people than they ever had before, and over the last decade we have awarded over $70,000 in cash and prizes exclusively to SC bands (and over $100,000 in cash and prizes throughout all of our YMO event markets). And most importantly, we continue to provide a free music magazine that gives local musicians interviews and content in every issue. Your Music Magazine is your voice in your community (and the last free music magazine in Northern California); the biggest mistake a local, unsigned band can make is not appreciating the opportunities we provide. I am extremely proud of what we at YMM have been able to accomplish in the last decade; while other NorCal free music mags have gone under (Zero Magazine (SF/SJ) July 2008, Alive & Kicking (Sac) Sept. 2008) we persevered through the toughest times and came back stronger than ever (the magazine had it’s best year ever revenue-wise in 2009). In closing, I can say with confidence that, not only are we going to still be here in 5 years, we are going to be stronger and more successful; without help from sources like us can your band say the same?
Event founder CHRIS DEKKER interviewed By Numerous Earthdance! This 3-day long camp-out festival is an experience like no other. This year’s Northern California portion of the festival (also the main site for Earthdance) will once again take place at the famous Black Oak Ranch located in Laytonivlle CA. The lineup is quite extensive as always, but here’s a glimpse of who’s playing this year: Michael Franti & Spearhead, Matisyahu, Zap Mama, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Beats Antique, Heavyweight Dub Champions, EOTO, Blue Tech, At-Ten-Ae, and Vibrant EYEris. For full lineup info and tickets (tickets will sell out quickly this year) visit www.EarthDanceLive.com! I sat down with the event’s founder Chris Deckker and the conversation proved to be quite intriguing... Let’s go ahead and give a brief overview for anyone who might be new to the experience; what is Earthdance? Earthdance is a globally synchronized music/dance event in support of world peace and many charitable causes around the world. The concept is; anyone in the world can join in, from your living room all the way to big festivals and clubs/ venues/outdoor events. As a promoter you have to commit to a few things; if you’re making money you have to donate 50% of your proceeds to a local charity. You also have to play a synchronized global prayer for peace (that’s a music track that gets played at the same time all around the world, a spoken word, very simple prayer). It’s been going for 14 years; we have about 370+ locations taking part this year in about 65 or 70 countries. That is massive! How did Earthdance start? I’ve been doing club and electronic promotions for many, many years, and I’m also a musician in the band called Medicine Drum. In the 90’s we were one of the first electronic-live music hybrid bands around (Medicine Drum did extensive international tours, signed with Virgin Records, and toured with artists such as The Chemical Brothers and Moby). We got to know a lot of promoters, and we had a club we were running out of England. It was called “Return to the Source” and at the time it was a Psychedelic/Progressive/Trance electronic music club. So that became pretty successful, and then we took it over to Japan, Mexico; all over the world actually. Through all this I got to know a bunch of promoters as colleagues; when I got the idea for Earthdance I just rang them up and said “Hey, why don’t we give something back and have it all synchronized on the same day?”. I’ve always been really interested in the power of the dance-floor, people dancing together, listening to good music. Multiply that feeling on the dance-floor across the world, regardless of time zones. The concept is; at one moment all the time zones and literally the whole world is dancing to the same beat/prayer. Everybody stops for a moment regardless of what genre of music they are listening to and they all focus in on the same prayer (which is also translated into a number of different languages). We’re the only event of this kind; no one has quite replicated this. The power of the collective mind 50 when you focus is pretty potent, especially when you
add music and dance to it, people are in the ritual state of letting go to the music/dance-floor. Tell me more about the concept of collective consciousness... Modern science has now shown that there are quantitative effects when people focus their minds on one particular thought or intention, you can have profound effects of change. There is also studies on that called Coherence; when people focus their energy it creates this intensely powerfully wave of intentionality that actually creates form or physical change. We as humans used to do it and it’s sort of one of those lost parts of our humanity that we used to do when we were living more tribally, and more connected to the Earth. So Earthdance is a modern interpretation of that, it’s a fun way of bringing people together using the one thing which can crumble boundaries, which is of course music! So word around the rumor mill is that this year’s Earthdance at Black Oak Ranch is a little bit special... Very special because we’re actually leaving the Black Oak Ranch, it’s been our home for the past 8 years for the Northern California festival. We’ve just literally outgrown the site now; it’s caused too much pressure on the pristine land there. We’re needing to move and find something a little bit more turnkey. We’re looking at the moment; it could be a big piece of private land but we just need more acreage, something that we can breathe a bit more in. Do you have any advice for any first time Earthdancers who are heading up to Black Oak Ranch this year? Well I would say just come prepared to have a really amazing time, it’s very, very eclectic. We have all kinds of incredible activity, all-night drumming fire circles by a creek that you can swim in, there’s also a sacred music chant. I call those the festival gems. We go 24 hours with music and various entertainment. This is our last year at Black Oak Ranch so I recommend to everybody: please get your tickets in advance, we have a feeling we are going to get a bit of a rush this year (they have already sold all their early-bird tickets earlier than ever before).
By Itay K Photos by Brian Crabtree
With a slightly new lineup and a few new songs, Psychostick invaded Santa Cruz’s Catalyst on their Parental Advisory Tour with Green Jello, NashvillePussy and Riot Brides. It’s no surprise that co-headliners Green Jello have been a massive influence on Psychostick’s sound with their hilarious and at times disturbing brand of comedic metal. Ever since blowing up on YouTube with DIY videos for their songs “Beer” and “Two Ton Paperweight” they’ve been touring consistently around the country causing havoc and amassing a veritable army of fans. I got a chance to sit with lead singer Rawrb and drummer Alex before their set... How’s it going? Have you guys been to Santa Cruz before? Rawrb: I’ve got a beer, I’ve got pizza... My drummer’s here though. And the other two guys are wandering around... But I’m good, I’m good. We’re happy to be here. We like Santa Cruz so far. (turns to Alex) Have we ever been here? Alex: No. Rawrb: No, we haven’t. Alex: We’ve played in San Francisco before, but that’s a whole different area.
How’s tour been? What are some of the memorable venues? Rawrb: It’s been good. It’s opened a lot of doors for us; it’s been a very productive tour for us as a band. Shows are pretty good. Y’know, there’s hit and miss sometimes, but they’ve been really solid and we’ve been really happy with how things’ve been on this tour. Absolutely. Alex: Skillman Street in Dallas was awesome. Rawrb: Yeah, that one! Alex: That place was run really well. Rawrb: Yeah, we really notice when a venue and a promoter are working really well together because the promoter takes really good care of you, the venue is just super friendly. Another great place is the Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan. Alex: Always. Rawrb: We’ve been there four times now? Five times? Alex: Yeah, like fourteen! Rawrb: Yeah, they just take such great care of us? Alex: Oh, The Roseland in Portland, too (thumbs up). Rawrb: Yeah. Alex: Awesome place. Don’t be sad if you were at a venue we didn’t mention. We like you too, I promise. Rawrb: Maybe... I hear you guys did a little bit of restructuring with the band right before this tour. Has it been a smooth transition so far? Rawrb: It was a little rough because our morale was down at the end of 52 last year because we lost our bassist and our second guitarist. But then
Josh and I got together and just started hashing out some songs (we have three new songs that you can get on our website), and when we started working on those, morale came back up because we seemed to get creative again and started having fun with our music, which we kind of lost sight of there for a couple of months. Then we found Matt through Billy Rymer from Dillinger Escape Plan and that worked out really well; super smooth transition. He came in, learned the songs, and this is his first tour. He’s been doing really well. Have you guys been writing together with Matt, the new bass player? Rawrb: Well, Matt right now... (turns to Alex) Sorry, I’m taking over. The spotlight’s on me. Alex: Nah, you have the voice, dude. I haven’t trained my voice the way you have. Rawrb: Haha. All you do is go “RAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!” for about ten years then you’re fine. Matt is more like trying out right now. He’s our touring bassist. He’s not officially in the band because of drama and other things. It kind of just made us a little burned out on adding permanent members. So we’re just, like, being extremely cautious and being extremely like, “Alright, we need to just keep it the three of us (me, Josh, and Alex),” and keep it very simple for now, and if things work out with Matt then he’ll be added permanently, and if not we’ll just keep doing temporary bassists. We’re probably going to do some temp second guitarists too, eventually, nothing permanent. Are you guys working on a new album? Rawrb: Well, we came up with some album titles recently that we’re tossing around. We’ve just released the three new songs, we have a laundry list of song ideas, but nothing’s really written. Only some verses, song titles. Alex: Should I tell them about the one I’m in the process of writing? Rawrb: We can, I mean... Alex: I have a song about not wanting to listen to metal. Because after every single show we play, it’s like “Alright, the show’s over! DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUHDUHDUH!” It’s just like the PA starts blasting metal. I’ve been here for, like, six, seven hours, you know? All I want to hear is NOT metal. Rawrb: Most of our songs are written in frustration and they end up being funny. You three also have another band, Evacuate Chicago. What’s the difference there for you guys, in terms of writing? I mean, it’s a completely different sound. Alex: Well, that was more me. 9 of the 12 songs on the album I wrote, as opposed to the Psychostick stuff where I write maybe a couple songs on an album. It’s mostly Josh writing, so it’s kinda the opposite on that particular record. And we started that band in 2004 when Psychostick was kinda... Not on hiatus, by any means, just not really doing much; idle. So I got really antsy and I wanted to play more music because our bassist at the time had moved to another state; he was going to college and, y’know... so we weren’t really doing much. I just got kinda idled and starting writing down stuff and realized that I could. Rawrb: Yeah, funny thing about that is that we put out ‘We Couldn’t Think of a Title’ in 2003 and, like, two weeks after the CD release party he moves to Texas, and we were like “ARRRRRRGHHH!” So then we kinda went on a break and he’d come down every few months and we’d play a show...
What are the advantages of being as independent as you are? Rawrb: Well, there’s pros and cons. Mostly pros because you have all the freedom you need, you get to a certain level where you’re making enough money where you can live kind of comfortably. You’re not rich, by any means, but, y’know, you get your bills paid and you have to eat Ramen noodles more often than you’d like to, but it works out. The cons are pretty much you don’t have the big connections like a huge label has and you don’t know big names in the industry, but that’s actually starting to change now. This tour is a good example; we’re starting to meet some people and get our name out there a bit better. Alex: Yeah, right now it’s a big industry and the big labels are starting to go under anyway, so it’s kind of irrelevant, you know? Rawrb: Yeah. Alex: I’d rather own our music, make our own music that we want to make than be a puppet. Rawrb: ‘Cause, the big labels are getting desperate and they’ll pretty much just be like “Okay, you have to do exactly what we say and you can’t do anything on your own.” And that, in itself, will prevent you from putting out the really good music ‘cause then you’re just a formula and then there’s just no soul in it, you know what I mean? Which we see a lot, and it’s sad. Like, we’ve had friends get signed to a big label and the label just (wrings hands) rinses them out. So, we try to stick to our own guns and we’re very DIY. Our label pretty much works for us. Alex: We work together, it’s a team effort. Rawrb: Yeah. We “hired” them, per se, and they…we put out the music and they distribute it. It’s a very good, symbiotic relationship. So, we both win. How important is social networking for a band these days? Rawrb: Nowadays it’s vital. Alex: It’s very important. Rawrb: If you’re not on top of your game there, it’s going to affect you at shows. Alex: People are interested; they want to talk to you. They don’t want rock stars. They don’t want you to be there like “Hey, I’ve emailed you fifteen times and you never said anything” you know? You gotta say hi, you gotta talk to the people who are buying your music and making it possible for you to be on the road. Rawrb: Yeah, there’s just no room for rock stars in this industry now, it just doesn’t happen anymore. If you see it happen it’s like this Justin Bieber or something like that, he’s just one of these kids with weird hair. What do you guys listen to in the van when you’re on tour? Rawrb: What was I listening to the other day? Alex: It depends on the day. Honestly, we listened to Gigantic Brain the other day, which is, like, the most hardcore grindcore you can find. But other days we listen to Tegan and Sarah. Rawrb: Yeah... Alex: Whatever, you know? Rawrb: I’m actually an old school, not new school, but old school Jewel fan. Alex: He is. Rawrb: Yeah. Her first album, that’s my favorite album. It’s just so genuine and she’s playing all that stuff live. She’s... Alex: Metal points! Rawrb: I mean, Uh... she sucks! Where’s the distortion pedal, Jewel? Why don’t you get some more tattoos?
JELLO BIAFRA’S ACTUAL ANSWERING MACHINE MESSAGE:
Jello Biafra conjures up different images and reactions, depending on who you talk to. To a young punk, he’s an icon. To the PMRC, he’s the enemy. But Jello has always been Jello: outspoken, satirical, brash and intelligent. His new band, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine recently released the album “The Audacity of Hype”. I noticed there were a couple songs you posted online that weren’t on the album. One of them was Dot Com Monte Carlo. Can you tell me what that’s about? There’s about five songs that we’re playing in the set that aren’t on the album; we didn’t have room. We all agreed that albums come across better if they’re lean and mean and putting every single song you recorded on there would turn it into double vinyl. So, that song will come out either on an EP or the next album. The title is fairly obvious. I flashed on that during the height of the dot com holocaust around the turn of our current century, where our flamboyantly corrupt mayor at the time, Willie Brown, was handing out building permits right, left and center. Artists, people of color and service workers were being bulldozed out of San Francisco by the tens of thousands to make room for more snooty little yuppies. Eventually, of course, the first dot com boom collapsed, but a lot of those people never went away. They just moved over from startups to Intel. There are still a lot of yuppie storage kennels going up in San Francisco as we speak. Look at that
giant middle finger of a building they put up by the Bay Bridge. Our current slimy mayor wants to put up at least half a dozen more of those stretching across south of Market. Hey, what a great idea! Private corporations will pay to build the new bus station as long as we let them put up a building as tall as the Empire State Building on top of it. Never mind it’s on slippery landfill land, by the Marina district, where the buildings collapsed in the ’89 earthquake. No problem, technology is better now. Trust me. I wouldn’t trust Gavin Newsom as far as I could throw a feather. I’d almost trust Dick Cheney or East Bay Ray before I’d trust Newsom on anything. You’ve always been involved with different projects. Are you going to stick with your current one for a while? Right now, it’s my main focus because I finally have a band of local people that’s my band. So, I can go a little bit more in depth in the songwriting and the sounds and bring back some of the psyche and surf edges of Dead Kennedys back into the music, as well as things I’ve learned since then, about how to construct the beast.
This is a band that will hopefully be around for a while. We can do more local shows, touring, more recordings, you name it, as long as they’ll put up with me. It also means spoken word is suspended for a while. Not only to concentrate on the band, but because I want to see where the dust settles on Obama. Although so far the signs are not too encouraging. Who would have thought that someone riding into office advertising themselves as an agent of hope and change would then allow a socalled health care reform bill to be a big handout to the insurance companies. If this backfires as badly as it has so far, it would not surprise me if it costs the Democrats the congressional majority this year and Obama the White House a couple years later. Do you think the Internet has ruined independent record labels? I don’t think the Internet itself has ruined independent record labels. Back when Napster was around, it actually helped. But then the technology came through where people could just upload CDs and file share with all their friends. Which, in a way, is cool for spreading the music, but in the end it’s the small artist who are getting hurt the worst. File sharing major label artist is fine because the major labels go so far out of their way to rip their artist off anyway. I think more than one band on Alternative Tentacles has given up prematurely because they just couldn’t sustain their band. For every one who bought an album there were another 15 or 20 who got it free through file sharing. At a time when rents are so damn high, student loans are hanging over a lot of people’s heads and the health insurance issue rears its ugly head yet again, people are afraid to quit or lose their jobs because they might lose their health insurance. It’s really hurt a lot of underground artists and been the major reason that many underground labels have pulled the plug in the past few years. Not to mention a lot of my favorite record stores going out of business. It’s tough out there. The good and the bad of the Nirvana and Green Day booms was that all of a sudden there more and more cool bands and more and more cool labels than ever before, but the audience didn’t grow in the same proportion. The slices of pie just get smaller and smaller and smaller. File sharing is all the more tempting and even necessary when the economy is collapsing and people don’t have very
much money. They’ll file share for free but they are far less likely to buy an album or go see a band play live. Has it hurt Alternative Tentacles? Badly. We’re still hanging in there. But it’s being run at a loss; I put in money to sustain it. Having Dead Kennedys swiped by greed-heads didn’t help, of course. But even Dead Kennedys seems to be tanking now, in part of the dumb way they run things. The final verdict was even a shocked to them, judging by the look on their faces. They’d gotten away with so much wholesale perjury and somehow confused a jury of yuppies and doctors to believe the music industry works totally differently than the way it actually did. And that a person who doesn’t run advertising in major publications who don’t care about our music anyway should be punished for it. It’s a very, very vicious situation that still goes on to this day. Now they have this manager in Hollywood who’s other main client is a Christian folk act. He’s apparently been running around trying to get corporate commercial Hollywood to put up money to make what will probably be a Metallica style documentary about Dead Kennedys. They can’t understand why I don’t want to be in the movie. There comes a time when Dead Kennedys and myself have been exploited enough. Originally, they were asking for damages because their solo releases didn’t sell as well as Dead Kennedys releases and that was somehow some evil conspiracy on my part. But at least that part didn’t fly. I didn’t see them live when they came through San Jose because I didn’t like the fact they labeled themselves as Dead Kennedys. I don’t think it speaks well for some sectors of the punk audience that they’re so willing to put up with fraud. There’re some arguably worse examples of people running around calling themselves the Germs and there’s an actor who played Darby Crash in a movie playing Darby Crash on a stage complete with nothing but old Darby lines for stage banter. How many Misfits are still in the Misfits? One? Even the baby boomers that we all make fun of demand a little more of their ‘60s performers than this. Punk used such a no-bullshit, volatile instrument of rebellion. It kind of discourages me that this goes on. So, I like to focus my energy on new bands. I’ll occasionally go see reformed bands; some of them are still worth seeing, like Dictators or T.S.O.L. I’ll go because they’re my friends and they make the effort to write new songs that are good. I’ve seen you at shows every now and then. Do you like getting back with the people? It’s kind of weird when I think back on the shows I go to and I’m the oldest person in the room by far. But, in a way, that’s kind of cool. I’m still a fan, what can I say? But there are so many bands around here I can’t possibly keep up with them all. I try. I don’t want to go to so many shows where it turns into a job. But at the same time, people ask me, “What bars do you hang out in?” I say, “What makes you think I have time to hang out in bars?” It’s been years since I’ve done anything like that. It never happens. But I go where the bands are.
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BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE May 16, 2010 - Regency Ballroom, SF
NASHVILLE PUSSY May 17, 2010 - The Independent, SF
RONNIE JAMES DIO you will be missed... HORNS UP!
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Published on Jun 11, 2010
June 2010 Issue 79 Featuring AS I LAY DYING-Jello Biafra-Punk Rock Bowling w/ Riverboat Gamblers & Against Me!-Earthdance-Psychostick-Kid wi...