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THE AMERICAN SPRING IS NOW!

MAY 26

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CD • LP • DIGITAL americanspring.net spinefarmrecords.com

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FINGER PICKIN, HEAD BANGIN, DEEP FRIED

versions of the greatest rock songs of all time! Steve ‘N’ Seagulls take AC/DC, Metallica and Led Zeppelin to a barn dance and blow the doors off.

May 12th

www.stevenseagulls.com

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STEVE ‘N’ SEAGULLS Farm Machine

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they “converted the basement of the punk house” into a studio. “We had the space. Then, someone asked me to do their [record]. Word spread.” It was Ballou who gave Maas his break, working together with Christian metalcore band Seventh Star.

RECORD MAKERS:

JAY MAAS BY HUTCH

J

ay Maas may be a guitarist for melodic hardcore band Defeater, but he is equally renowned for his production skills. Maas has a professional home studio attached to the new house he shares with his wife and child in Haverhill, Mass., which has allows him to work with a regionally diverse clientele. “I can

be anywhere,” he says. “Most work is mixing and mastering, which is location free.” Maas spent his 20s in a punk house a few towns south in Wakefield. At 19, he met Kurt Ballou, mega-producer and guitarist for Converge. Maas recorded a demo for his band, after

Maas says that experience provided the street cred for his next big opportunity. “Eventually, when Shipwreck [A.D.] got signed to Deathwish, Ballou stuck his neck out for me and told [them] I could handle it. Big moment. I had to succeed. Sink or swim.” He swam like Michael Phelps. “From that, I got work from Soul Control, I Rise, Verse, Cruel Hand. People were like, ‘You are the real deal now.’” With humility and perspective, Maas came into his own. “My records didn’t sound like Kurt. I have my own sonic brand,” he says. “Kurt taught me that different equipment can be used, but it will all sound like you. You can’t do what other people do. They can’t do what you do.” Interacting with bands is the crux, the reward, and occasionally, the bane of Maas’ work. “Some bands come in really worried about their sound or what their fans think,” he says. Maas tries to reassure them, saying, “Just make a good record. If you just make the same [record again], people will hate it. If you do something new, people will hate.”

Maas also advises bands to come in prepared and “well-rehearsed. There will be things you never thought of. […] I like to have time in the backend. I want to press play and listen and talk about it; pre-sequence. Analyze. ‘Damn, that song drags. Well, throw in a chorus. We need a tension builder here or a guitar line there.’ That is what I like. That is a fun role to be in.” Maas also encourages his clients to consider the record’s place in the scene. “They have to know people and play awesome at shows. […] Make what you want to sound like at the moment; make it resonate with people.” Maas also has plays the role of mediator, “figuring out group dynamics, the power positions.” After sifting through the egos, Maas finds his own place in the group. “Ultimately, this is the band’s record, but I see myself as sixth member, just the least important.” The final step, according to Maas, is encouraging the band to be confident in their instincts, rather than seeking out the formula of a successful album. “No one gave me the secret code book to be a great musician,” he says. “There is not a definitive secret answer.”

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ters Nifelheim closed the fest over at Brooklyn’s St. Vitus Bar that Sunday. A vicious, hate-fueled vortex of punk energy and blackened metallic evil, it was a beer-saturated indulgence for all.

At time of writing, Defenders Of The Old Festival III (March 13– 15) is but a drunken fog lingering from the weekend gone. And while it might’ve been over in a denim-clad flash, the significance of Exciter playing on U.S. soil for the first time in 30 years should fill anyone’s quota for violence and force for a long time. Needless to say, the legendary speed metal power-trio were a finely tuned shred machine, pounding metal for every heavy metal maniac in attendance, and beyond… Cheap 6

setlist puns aside, the ever-furious, leather-and-spike championing Swedish blackthrash mas-

Intense weekends come and go, so back over in day-to-day reality, we have to rely on the constant flow of thrash releases to keep our pulses ticking. First up, the exotic but by no means unestablished Asian scene has gifted us with a three-way split from Singapore’s Axagon, Witchseeker, and Sintoxicate, cleverly entitled Threesome in Thrashville (Feb. 28, self-released). Containing two tracks by each band, their styles cover a crossover/thrash revival sound not too dissimilar from Violator, while Witchseeker carry a more Venom-ish D-beat in the line of Inepsy/Children Of Technology. Bare-bones sorta stuff, but well worth a listen! And if Witchseeker is your vibe, then the recent split from Australia’s Bastardizer and Whipstriker shall deliver on all fronts. Strike of the Bastard (March 6, self-released) is one part self-styled blackthrash‘n’roll and one part metalpunk-centric speed that keeps the Aussie reputation for underground integrity alive and well! Dipping back to last November NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

for a release that slipped under the radar, Traffic Death’s Don’t Be a Projectile is a gloriously chaotic thrashcore explosion that is sure to be a firm favorite among Crucial Unit, skateboard, and beerbong aficionados. As for upcoming releases, please make a very bold note of Overdrive (March 30, Punishment 18 Records) by German tech-thrashers Running Death. Consistently heavy on the sci-fi infused prog, never cutting on the sonic velocity, and punctuated by futuristic melodies, a Vektor-meets-Voivod comparison wouldn’t be unfair. Here’s hoping it’ll see a vinyl release following the initial CD run—hey, if Exciter can still rage this many decades on, so too can old-school formats!

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THE DWARVES SNODGRASS PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALAN

EAST COAST

TOUR

DIARY BY BLAG

adamant. The show was fun, but for some reason I can’t figure out, they have a big hole in the middle of the stage covered with carpeting. I stepped right in it and sprained my foot. If there are any young punkers left, I advise you to pursue EDM immediately. All the sluts are there and you don’t have to move around onstage.

Mar 16 – Wilmington, Del. – Mojo 13

Dutch Ovens is the first non-American in the history of The Dwarves. I mention this because he’s now been fired and replaced with someone better. […] Bottom line, Dutch is out, Forest [Shittaker] is in, and we’re now 100 percent American again. […] Fetish rockers GASH opened the show and came onstage to whip me during our stripper anthem “You Gotta Burn.” I can’t stand pain unless I’m inflicting it, so I tried to get the singer’s shirt off and she dared me to take my dick out. Clearly, she didn’t know I had no shame. Check the back of our new Fat Wreck single if you don’t believe me. […] Even though I insisted they airbrush my whitening chest hair, that cock pic is completely unenhanced by technology. Can you say, “Desperate for attention”? Thanks to Steve and Mojo for the show. They assure me that Wilmington will be a major tour destination soon, but my money’s still on Camden, New Jersey.

MAR 12 – NEW YORK, N.Y. – “THE DAILY SHOW”

Mar 17 – Richmond, Va. – Wonderland (SOLD OUT)

New York City! Land of a million vaginas. Where else can you get a white chocolate crossbow and a mile of Persian carpet at 4 a.m.? It’s the city that never sleeps and by the smell of it, never washes the piss off itself. Now that liberalism has officially gone off the rails, there is only one organ of the Left I still subscribe to: that would be “The Daily Show.” I loved it then, I love it now, and fuck you if you don’t. So, I went to a live taping! […]

Can you really brag about selling out a venue that holds 12 people? If you’re us, you can. Derek from Creep-A-Zoids is a bad influence, causing me to drink my first shot since 1992. Then I had five more. I hate drinking and I never do it, but it felt good. The drugs felt even better. Special thanks to Chad for helping me destroy myself in the lung cancer capitol of North America. Good looking out!

Now that [Jon Stewart] is retiring, life as we know it will suck. Who else can openly mock the powers that be and the powers that wish they were every night for 17 years and still have everybody love him? The man is a national treasure. Even when I’m being nice, people think I’m a prick. (That’s probably why I’m playing 10 shows in nine days in a minivan!) Long Live “The Daily Show”!

This show was the best sound and the best crowd of the tour so far. I can’t even think of anything snotty to put here. After the show, I got a foofy salad and a tea. It turns out Raleigh is just like San Francisco, but with nice people in it. Dirty Souf Forever!

Mar 13 – New York, N.Y. – Bowery Electric

Bowery Electric is a great venue—Jesse Malin, punker for life!—and we were so good, I wanted to bronze us and make a statue for the pigeons to shit on. I still have a voice, because it’s the beginning of the tour, and the band sounds amazing. I am a lucky son of a bitch to get to play with these musicians, (but don’t mention that to them, they might want a raise). This is a great version of the band: Chip Fracture on bass and “vocals,” The Fresh Prince Of Darkness on guitar, Dutch Ovens on drums, and the best looking man in show business—me—on vocals. Why does Chip get a “vocals” credit? Because every once in a while, he remembers the lyrics. (Hey, a lot of our songs have 10 words in them, sometimes more!) However, Chip is the official cute guy in the band, because he has one of those emo beards the youngsters can’t get enough of.

Mar 14 – Cambridge, Mass. – The Middle East (Early)

The Fresh Prince Of Darkness had the bright idea to do two shows in one night. What could go wrong? The Middle East has been hosting Dwarves shows for over 20 years now, but they still make the worst falafels in America. (At our age, food takes on an importance that sex had before we fossilized.) […] The Atom Age was on the bill, a young garage band with a dynamite fashion sense and an old Farfisa organ. They rocked and rolled, in that order. And some of them are even cute. I suggested they put those guys up front, but they didn’t seem to appreciate that comment. Touchy bastards!

Mar 14 – Providence, R.I. – Firehouse 13 (Late)

Two shows in one day is always tough. When you’re approaching 70, it’s even tougher. I felt a cold coming on and looked around for cocaine to use as a decongestant. The Skinny Millionaires opened the show and what they lack in musicianship, they made up for in… cocaine. I love this band!

Mar 15 – Atlantic City, N.J. – The Boneyard

Paul the promoter was great; what a sweetheart. He’s determined to make Atlantic City a place to see shows. I explained that it was in New Jersey, but he’s

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Mar 18 – Raleigh, N.C. – The Pourhouse

Mar 19 – Charleston, S.C. – The Tin Roof

The Tin Roof has heart aplenty, and we had a great show. Shout out to Will and the whole crew at Tin Roof for this one. Atom Age slayed the crowd, as did openers Space Fags. (I had no idea homosexuals had the ability to traverse the interstellar fundament, but now I know.)  Lloyd Nickell, CEO of FEAG films, showed up to try to talk me into doing a Dwarves documentary. […] The seven-figure offer was tempting, but  I refused.  I think the Dwarves story is best told as a sweeping historical love saga  à la “Gone  With the  Wind.” […] Look for trailers before the next “Transformers” epic.

Mar 20 – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Club 77

Jose Javier and Kristin Fink were the ideal hosts, and because this is P.R., cocaine was never far from our nostrils. During the song “Free Cocaine,” the local dealer even got onstage and handed out free samples, just as the cops walked in to stop two Americans from fighting. (Never trust a white dude with dreadlocks.) Shout out to Necronazis, Diente Perro, and Los Pepiniyoz, and to our special guest Fabio who sang “Fuck You Up and Get High!”

Mar 21 – Orlando, Fla. – Backbooth

Any chance to be in the same room with The Queers and Richie Ramone is a good one, even if it means going to Florida. The crowd was wild, the night was hot and sweaty, and my old bones are creaking like a ghoul at Disney’s haunted mansion. It’s been a wild tour. The Dwarves are bloodied, but unbowed as we continue our worldwide The Dwarves Invented Rock & Roll juggernaut of shows. Special thanks to Recess, Fat Wreck, Burger, Riotstyle, and all the other labels who fly the Dwarves banner. I dedicate this diary to Lisa Root, the best looking editor in rock, and to my friends and accomplices in the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time—THE DWARVES!

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PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER DINITTO

S H A D O W

A G E

INTERVIEW WITH GUITARIST/VOCALIST AARON TYREE BY NICHOLAS SENIOR

out May 19—and you’ll be surprised they aren’t from the U.K. Shadow Age evokes the great post-punk and darkwave of yesteryear. 6131 Records’ latest signees make moody, evocative music that doesn’t feel shackled to its reference points. The EP is an uncompromisingly dark and dreary listen in the best way possible, swallowing the listener in bright guitars, pulsating synths, haunting vocals, and complicated, impressive drum work. Shadow Age hail from Richmond, Va., but one listen to the band’s debut EP, Silaluk— In modern metal and hardcore, you need to be unique and compelling to stand out. North Carolina based Dwell are able to offer listeners both. The group’s upcoming self-titled EP harnesses a metallic hardcore sound that feels fresh and passionate, old school and inventive. Drummer Isaac Gilchrist agrees, describing their sound is a charmingly honest way: “Some people say we’re Advent 2.0, but we’re nowhere near as good as them [laughs]! Shoutout to [Advent vocalist] Joe Musten.” Interestingly enough, Joe guests on a track on the EP, and fits in nicely. Dwell is much more than just an Advent clone. They harken back to ‘90s metalcore as

Silaluk is the Inuit word for “storm,” and

references a harrowing experience from vocalist and guitarist Aaron Tyree’s past. During a previous winter, he was injured while working on a fishing boat in Alaska. He then spent four nerve-wracking days waiting out an ice storm before he could be flown out for medical attention. “I do think that places can stay with you, influence or inspire you,” he explains. “I mean, the title track deals with a very specific place.” Shadow Age has a busy year ahead of them. “We are currently booking 10 dates in late

DWELL

well as the epic songwriting of Oh, Sleeper, making the Dwell EP a fascinating listen. One of the most striking facets of the EP is how surefooted Dwell sound, considering this is their first formal release. A large part of that confidence comes from the ease of their DIY methods. “[The] writing was so easy, the easiest process I’ve ever been a part of with any band,” says Gilchrist.

at the helm. The process went so well that White is now going to recording school.

After some issues with a previous production team, Dwell decided to produce the record themselves, with guitarist Jeremy [White]

While there are no solidified tour dates yet, the band’s debut EP begs to be heard live, so look out for Dwell in the future!

The band is not resting on their laurels, either. Gilchrist shares Dwell’s upcoming plans with excitement: “We’re in the middle of writing a full-length, and we’ll hopefully be recording it in the summer. Besides that, we’re just gonna tour and hang out!”

M O N O L O R D

churning atmosphere staggers through speakers into the ears of awestruck audiences.

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If Silaluk leaves you wanting more, Tyree says Shadow Age has you covered: “We are also fleshing out new material. Hopefully, we can get back in the studio  before the year is up.”

INTERVIEW WITH DRUMMER ISAAC GILCHRIST BY NICHOLAS SENIOR

INTERVIEW WITH DRUMMER ESBEN WILLEMS BY HUTCH

Monolord came out of nowhere with Empress Rising less than a year ago, and metalheads quickly placed it in a top slot of their year’s end lists. Initially forming as a side project in 2013—from the ashes of Marulk and Rotten Sound—Monolord rose from the Swedish scene to decimate eardrums. Together, the trio—guitarist and vocalist Thomas Jäger, drummer Esben Willems, and bassist Mika Häkki—cranks out slow, fuzz-soaked doom metal riffs. Heavy as hell and plodding, the nefarious,

May,” Tyree says. “We will be going south to Texas, which we have been wanting to do for some time now, but have sadly had to keep pushing back. We will also be going through Chicago, Detroit, and  Cincinnati again, which we are beyond excited about. They are all wonderful cities.”

April 28 via RidingEasy Records, Monolord releases Vænir, an album of completely new material. Willems explains, “We always work on new stuff. We started preproduction directly after the masters to Empress Rising were delivered. Itchy fingers, you know. It wasn’t an elaborate PR plan, we just love making new music.” They garnered enough focus to create a final track for the six song album that stands at 17 minutes. This relays the fervent energy and dedication these musicians have. “We’re pretty efficient when we record,” continues Willems. “Our studio is my portable equipment that is more or less permanently set up in our rehearsal space. We produced it. I engineered, mixed, and mastered it. In a band, it comes in handy to be a professional sound tech.”

They bandied about the idea of an objective producer, but decided against it. “That’s both a discussion of budget, and finding that perfect person who’s brilliant at her or his job and, on top of that, understands and likes the band’s ambitions. And we’re skeptical old fucks,” Willems laughs. That formula has worked exceptionally well. The bass line is accented and utilized to propel sinister doom riffs. Vænir is a more focused album, with cleaner production, without losing a sense of the heavy. “We see Vænir as a natural development of our sound,” Willems says. “The foundation is the same, but we keep evolving our songwriting. At least, that’s our ambition.” Monolord is currently exposing audiences to this new material across Europe. Willems recounts, “We just came back from a European tour almost three weeks long. The next upcoming show is opening for Candlemass in a town nearby, Uddevalla,

NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

[Sweden]. After that, it’s Roadburn Festival and Berlin. And some festival dates during the summer that we’ll announce soon.” Once a side project, Monolord has become the trio’s main focus, according to Willems, “but there are always other side projects going on, which I think is really good for the drive and the inspiration.” That inspiration is the usual dark doom themes. “Our permanent theme is more or less misanthropy. The disgust for what humans do to each other is an endless source of inspiration.” A few minutes of world news coupled with Monolord’s restlessness and another eight months, and fans will likely have album number three. “We’re usually eager to make new stuff,” Willems concludes. “As soon as we’ve caught our breath from our recent tour, we will start jamming out some new fuzz, that’s for sure.”

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Led by brothers and virtuosos Jake and Pete Adamson on guitar—the latter is also in Baroness—Virginia’s Valkyrie have truly found the secret to making good rock ‘n’ roll in 2015. Their mix of twin guitar harmonies, rock solid doom, and a never-ending supply of shredding make their Relapse Records debut Shadows a massive force to be reckoned with. When did you start writing Shadows? What was the band’s mindset going into that process? Some of the ideas that came together to create Shadows have been in motion for many years. […] The great thing about this new record is that the songs have had time to stew and ferment, and to develop some dynamics that they probably wouldn’t have without the benefit of time. That being said, the only definite mindset we have had since the last album has been to create dynamic songs that are fairly well developed, but without overdoing it.

VA L K Y R I E

INTERVIEW WITH GUITARIST/VOCALIST JAKE ADAMS BY BRANDON RINGO

What was it like getting back to shredding for the first time in a few years? It was definitely a blast to write and record this album! We had a great time in the studio with our friend [producer] Sanford [Parker]. Most people in the press assume that when Pete starting playing with Baroness that Valkyrie stopped, or went on a hiatus or something. We have always been working towards the next album and playing as many shows as possible. Have your other projects had an impact on your songwriting for Valkyrie? Pete has always added a unique dimension to the riffs that I bring to the table, adding harmonies and pushing my songwriting skills forward. Inevitably, Pete’s experience writing with [Baroness

S T E V E

‘ N ’

vocalist] John [Dyer Baizley] over the years has helped to hone his approach to guitar playing and writing, but it’s hard to point to a specific influence or impact. You are often labeled “retro rock” and “proto metal.” Did that sound develop organically? While it was clear from the beginning that we had a huge ‘70s [and] ‘80s influence in our songwriting, we have also kept ourselves rooted in the present and aware of our influences, which are much broader than just classic rock sounds. We remain skeptical of bands who try too hard to recreate the ‘70s or ‘80s aesthetic; we all love music from that era, but we live in the now and our music should reflect that. Is the release of Shadows a sign that you’ll be doing a lot of touring and recording in

S E A G U L L S

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST/BASSIST PUKKI KAALINEN BY JAMES ALVAREZ

“The current lineup is about a year and a half old, but we all knew each other from before and have been playing together in different groups for quite some time,” says vocalist and double bassist Pukki Kaalinen. “We’d been mostly making our living playing in electric bands, so going completely acoustic seemed like a nice change.”

YouTube sensations and metal/ bluegrass revivalists Steve ‘N’ Seagulls have already conquered the Internet with their viral videos, covering classic metal tunes from the likes of AC/DC and Iron Maiden. Now, Finland’s finest folk shredders have a full-length—the aptly titled Farm Machine—set to drop this May on Spinefarm Records.

Prepare to have your preconceptions shifted. Bio-Cancer are an Athens, Greece, based thrash band with album art that may be bold for some tastes, but the band’s affinity for violence is rooted in history rather than shock value. Recently signed to Candlelight Records, the band dropped their second record Tormenting the Innocents on Feb. 23. Was it your goal to make the craziest, ugliest thrash record possible? Yes, our intention was to create a really fast and aggressive record, as we are all fans of extreme music and over the top speed. How did you want to follow up Ear Piercing Thrash?

The record provides folksy, down home renditions of more awesome metal anthems than should be legally possible. Metallica, Rammstein, Pantera, and more all get the banjo treatment. “The instrumentation is really nothing new,” says Kaalinen. “We just brought a drum kit to a ‘folky’ setup. That being said, we’ve really been having fun trying to come up with unconventional ways of utilizing traditional instruments. Our

As far as the tracklist goes, “it came together surprisingly painlessly, considering the whole thing was recorded in a couple of months,” Kaalinen says. “We arranged some of the stuff on Farm Machine the same day we recorded it, so it should be fresh enough. Now, it’s too early to reveal any details, but there are a couple of bonuses that didn’t make it to the album…” Kaalinen admits their evolution comes as a surprise, but says, “We’ll take anything. It feels pretty sweet, I have to admit! And of course, we owe a huge thanks to our fans all over the

the future? As much as our schedules allow, we will be playing our new material live, and in an ideal world, we will put out an album in much less time than it took to release Shadows.

world. Thank you. This is huge!” Many consider their melding of bluegrass and metal to be pretty genius, but Kaalinen is staying humble. “The word genius is being tossed around quite freely these days, but hey, whatever suits you!” he says. “We’re happy to break genre boundaries, and if some kid happens to take up an acoustic instrument after watching our stuff, then we can actually call ourselves useful.” So, when can their U.S. fans catch Steve ‘N’ Seagulls live? “There are people working on that right now,” Kaalinen says excitedly. “So, if everything goes as planned, we’ll get there before the end of the year.” You hear that? Prepare yourselves, North America… You’re about to get thunderstruck. Banjo style.

BIO-CANCER

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST LEFTERIS BY MORGAN Y. EVANS

We wanted our second album to be more complex, more fast, and more “catchy” in terms of songwriting, and with a better overall production, of course. You’re reminiscent of “speed metal,” which no one mentions anymore. Many bands have forgotten about the speed. It makes for way better pits than metalcore. Well, there are some emerging speed bands as far as I know, and a lot more thrash bands from all over the world, so I don’t think that it is a forgotten sub-genre. Now, metalcore pits… Well, they aren’t pits anyway. [Laughs] Many are desensitized to metal imagery, but “Obligated to Incest” may still turn some heads… Well, I guess it depends on who’s listening. I mean, a death metal [or] grindcore fan would not be scared by such a title. A glam and/or whatever guy would most certainly change the tune immediately! [Laughs] Anyway, the song refers to real life incidents that took place in the second war between the Japanese and the Chinese, also known as the “Rape of Nanking.”

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influences come from all over. We should soon be ready to introduce blast beats to hillbillies. The songs we cover are basically just stuff we grew up listening to. That’s been the whole point of this band from the start.”

PHOTO: NICHOLE BUTLER

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Is there a subject matter you wouldn’t approach because it is too taboo? I don’t think so. We don’t believe in taboos, either. Music is freedom and everyone should speak about whatever they want without worrying what their fans, friends, or whatever will say about it. “Haters Gonna Suffer!”… Do you torture your critics? This song is not targeting people who simple don’t like our music—and express their opinion with respect—our vocals, or whatever. After all, we are an extreme thrash metal band, so we can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Of course, every critic—good or bad—is valuable for us, as long as it is not displayed like this: “Yeah, you guys suck. Worst band ever. Kill yourselves now.” “Life Is Tough (So Am I)” is a survivors’ anthem. Was that for the true diehard fans? It was for those people who choose to end their lives instead of dealing with their problems. I just can’t take that. I’m not talking about some stupid religion stuff, like, “God gave us life, only He can take it away,” but no one should give up that easily. Your interpretation is pretty good though, too!

Do you ever feel funny listening to metal alone with your pets? I have a dog, and the funny thing is that whenever I listen to something except metal, he leaves the room in a matter of seconds. How is the metal scene in Greece? The scene could not be stronger right now! I mean, we have bands like Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh, Suicidal Angels, etc., who have already visited the States on numerous occasions. I don’t know if we are the craziest [band in the scene], but we are certainly trying to be, no doubt about it!

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B A N D I T O S

INTERVIEW WITH DRUMMER RANDY WADE BY JOHN B. MOORE

to Southern rockers Banditos in 2014. The Nashville crew descended on Austin and impressed the folks at Bloodshot Records, who will be releasing their self-titled debut May 12.

PHOTO: ALBERT KUHNE

It seems pretty naïve to think your band will play at SXSW, and someone from a label will happen to catch your set and offer to put your record out. Naïve, perhaps, but that’s what happened Richmond, Va., based pop punk band, Broadside, is set to break out in 2015. Victory Records’ latest signees have all the hallmark traits of successful punk: hooks, honest lyrics, and a record with lasting value. Their new record Old Bones will be available May 19. Victory swooped in in the nick of time to avert potential disaster for the up and comers. “We were kind of on the outs as a band,” admits vocalist Ollie Baxxter. “Andrew [Dunton], our drummer, moved out to San Francisco with his lady. I got an email from Victory’s scouting team about doing a showcase for them. With one of our members living the good life in California, and us sad sacks moping around in Virginia, it was the perfect time for that email. This is what I want to do, and I can’t keep from doing this, you know?”

“We all met years ago through the Birmingham music scene,” recalls drummer Randy Wade. “Most of us played in other bands in our teens, then Banditos kind of formed on a whim in late 2010. Ever since then, we’ve been going strong.” Moving to Nashville, he says, “was just a means to an end. […] We already had friends in Nashville, and could clearly see that the music scene held much more opportunity for us to grow as a band and as individual musicians.”

“We love Birmingham,” Wade assures, “and it will always be home, but we saw an opportunity to better ourselves and we had to take it.” Banditos’ music is reminiscent of ZZ Top and the Muscle Shoals sound. “It’s funny that most of the bands [and] artists we are compared to nowadays are what we all grew up hearing our parents listening to,” muses Wade, “but we actually met at all ages punk [and] hardcore shows in Birmingham.” Still, Wade note that their influences vary. “[Vocalist and tambourine-ist] Mary [Richardson] grew up singing in church choirs. I was kind of a band nerd, and when I first met [vocalist and guitarist] Corey

BROADSIDE

“I felt the need to really get a lot of stuff off of my chest, so I wanted all 11 tracks to feel like an individual experience,” he continues. “If I had to sum it up, the record is about not knowing the answer to things until you get older or go through the experience, and then actually feeling good about those things over time. I wanted it to sound like a self-help book.” “I don’t want people to feel bad for me,”

N U C L E A R

Baxxter clarifies. “I just want people—I don’t care if it’s through the lyrics or the music—to just feel like, ‘Man, that was a moment.’ It would be super rad if people felt that way about different moments in the record. To me, I’ve always gone off this rule, ever since I was a kid banging my head to Gorilla Biscuits: I always thought if you can listen to a record from start to finish, and think, ‘Oh, that was awesome, give me more,’ then it’s successful.” “I feel like our first single, ‘Coffee Talk’ is going to resonate well, because it’s a neutral song, you know? It’s not all like, ‘I’m so in love…’ [laughs]. It’s more about being happy, right here, in the comfort of this place. We can watch Netflix, do nothing, or just complain

S A N T A

C L A U S T

INTERVIEW WITH BASSIST/VOCALIST ZACH GAJEWSKI BY JANELLE JONES

from what we’ve done in the past, but it’s definitely a little bit different.”

Brooklyn based trio Nuclear Santa Claust rip it up on their second offering Je Ne Sais Claust—available via Don Giovanni Records—an album filled with gloriously sleazy garage-tinged hardcore punk. As Zach Gajewski explains, “It’s not a huge departure Nudity formed a decade ago in Olympia, Wash., with the mission to play the best psychedelic underground rock the Pacific Northwest had ever heard. They have since gone through many different lineups, with founder, vocalist, and guitarist Dave Harvey being the one constant. Despite growing up in the hardcore scene, it was Harvey’s love of rock music that led him to form the band. “Even as a young hardcore tad, I was always so into the one rock ‘n’ roll song that might appear on those records,” he says, “like The Joneses tracks on the Somebody Got Their Head Kicked In comp or something! Or the odd rock’n’roll band that would end up playing some show I was at.” It’s a new year and the band just released another album, Astronomicon—on Iron Lung Records—with new lineup, featuring

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“It definitely has a few more poppy elements,” he admits. The record’s first single, “Sayonara Baby,” “has a more melodic chorus and still aggressive verses. We thought it gives a good overall idea of what the record sounds like and we just like the song a lot. On the last record, we recorded with our buddy in his basement studio in New Jersey. We’d just show up, drink a couple cases of beer, record for the weekend, and that would be our record.” “This one was a little more planned out,” Gajewski continues. “We recorded with Jonathan Schenke here in New York, and he really dialed in on the sound we were going for. We

The band have been touring for years, and will continue to do so throughout the summer to support Banditos. But Wade admits life on the road can be challenging. “I think we can all agree that living out of a van with five other people for weeks at a time can make you a little crazy.”

PHOTO: HANNAH VERBEUREN

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST OLLIE BAXXTER BY NICHOLAS SENIOR

Revitalized, the band is ready to support the new album. “We titled the record Old Bones,” explains Baxxter. “The idea behind that is you’re fractured, bruised, and you’ve gone through this tarnished life, withering away, but they’re all experiences, and these bones that hold you up are still strong.”

[Parsons] and [bassist] Danny [Vines], they were playing in a grindcore band at a skate shop that [guitarist and lap steel-er] Jeff [Salter] worked at. [Banjo man] Steve [Pierce II] was a shredder too; we met him not long after that.”

fooled around with all different guitar sounds to get it exactly how we wanted it to be. I think [“Sayonara Baby”] especially showcases some of those sounds and it sounds more like what we sound like live than our last record.” Gajewski shares lyrical duties with guitarist and vocalist Jim Ogrin. “A lot of it’s kinda tongue-in-cheek, but some of it’s more serious than a lot of people probably think,” Gajewski explains. “A lot of the songs on this record are about dejection; coming from an experience and feeling very useless afterwards.” But that is all he’ll reveal. “Being too specific, I think, is a little lame. But also, you don’t want it to be so all over the place that it’s some mystical reading of I don’t even know what the hell.”

about everything else that sucks. I feel like that, to me, is a great place to be, and you should stay there as long as you can.”

The singers’ vocal collaboration is very distinct. “We like that band The Spits a lot; how they doubled up on vocals,” says Gajewski. “But it’s weird, because you go back and listen to the first two or three Ramones records, Joey Ramone did two vocal tracks; […] it has this weird dueling effect. We always thought that was really cool.” But it’s not all part of some master plan. “Jim and I, when we first started singing, had no idea what the hell we were doing and thought if we both [sing] at the same time, maybe it’ll even out.” “We went for it and found we liked it so much, we decided to do it all the time,” he continues. “Sometimes, we’ll play these basement shows when we’re on tour and they’ll only have one microphone, […] which can be a total mess, because we’ll be running into each other while we’re trying to sing. But it goes with the territory, I guess.”

NUDITY

INTERVIEW WITH SINGER/GUITARIST DAVE HARVEY BY THOMAS PIZZOLA

Stephie Crist on guitar, Abigail Ingram on bass, Tanar Stalker on drums, and Rachel Carns on synth. It’s also one of the longrunning band’s hardest rocking incarnations.

nine in your face songs. It especially takes off when Harvey and Crist trade dual guitar jams, exchanging licks in a way that would make MC5 proud.

Their psychedelic tendencies are still there, but they have moved into heavier territory. “We’ve always been a rock ‘n’ roll band with psych tendencies,” says Harvey, “but some of the newer tracks are getting into harder rock statements, while still attempting to retain the psychedelia. […] We’ve tilted a little more toward a concise sound.”

The band has also added a non-musical member, underground filmmaker Joaquin De La Puente, who will provide visuals when they perform live. “Joaquin is a totally awesome person, a technical wizard, and complete MacGyver when it comes to video and cinema equipment,” says Harvey. “More importantly, [he] has super cool aesthetics— and thoughts behind those aesthetics— that translate to his visual craft. I want seeing Nudity play to be the most dynamic experience it can be, so it makes perfect sense to enlist another member to help with

While their last record, The Nightfeeders, features one 22 minute track on the A-side, and an equally long remix by producer Tim Green on the B-side, Astronomicon features

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this element that the rest of us can’t exactly manage while playing.”

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Break Anchor sound like every band from early Warped Tour got thrown into a blender and poured into a recording studio in the woods of Detroit. The Michigan quartet began as lead singer and guitarist Jay Navarro’s brainchild. After making a few phone calls to old friends who he wanted to play with—who then called their friends who they wanted to play with—guitarist Kyle Green, bassist Cris Golan, and drummer Dan Stover came aboard, and Break Anchor was born. The band’s new album, Van Down by the River, dropped April 8 on Paper + Plastick. “That’s a Chris Farley skit from ‘Saturday Night Live,’” Navarro explains, edifying the young’uns. “He’s this motivational speaker and he’s always saying, ‘You gotta stop smoking the marijuana or you’re gonna live in a van down by the river.’ That was the idea for the title and the artwork, kind of like what happens to all these people who

BREAK ANCHOR

INTERVIEW WITH GUITARIST/VOCALIST JAY NAVARRO BY GABI CHEPURNY

are in bands. First we struggle, and then end up at just the bottom, just normal.”

It doesn’t matter to me if people like it or not. We don’t care.”

He says that the new album came as a result of whiskey, gin, and being locked away in Mark Hudson’s secluded recording studio, as well as listening to music from his own childhood, like Jawbreaker and Smashing Pumpkins.

Being a part of the punk scene for almost 30 years means that Navarro has seen it all, and he appreciates the current resurgence of DIY networks. “I think there’re some genuine people in bands and genuine promoters who run these beautiful, genuine DIY venues,” he says. “I feel like there’s that moment again in time for this world of music. Really compassionate people, and they’re doing it for the right reasons. It’s like back to the early ‘90s.”

While they love making music, each member of Break Anchor has a day job, which Navarro actually appreciates. “We all work jobs, but we don’t stop [playing music]. Love it too much,” he says. “But that’s the kind of freedom that having a job gives: we don’t have to worry about the music being something we live off of. It gives you complete freedom. Oh what, we sound like a fucking super pretty Green Day? Guess what? I don’t care, fuck you, that’s what we want to do.

T H E

Above all, Navarro seems to value sincerity. “I think that being yourself is one of the hardest things to do in life,” he admits. “Maybe it’s because I’m at the point where I’m older now and it’s easier for me to be myself, but it’s a hard

G H O S T

thing to do. I think that all four of us are pretty fucking awesome at just being ourselves and knowing who the fuck we are. I feel like that’s when a human being is at their best.”

W O L V E S

INTERVIEW WITH CARLEY AND THOMAS WOLF BY THOMAS PIZZOLA

from being intimidated, they went in there with a confidence befitting for a “bad ass rock ‘n’ roll band.”

PHOTO: DAWN LAUREEN

The Ghost Wolves are a hard charging husband and wife duo from Austin, Texas. They formed with one simple goal: “We wanted to start a badass rock ‘n’ roll band, be way too loud, and make music without having other people tell us how to do it,” says Jonny. Judging by the 10 tracks that make up their debut long player Man, Woman, Beast—released last year through Cheetah Chrome’s Plowboy Records— they are a major success. Their music drips with bad attitude, bad thoughts, and way too much fuzz. They recorded the album at Austin’s world famous Arlyn Studios, but far

“Die inside the Crack House!” is the new mantra. Crack House delivers the ugliest of extreme music in the vein of—and with the subtlety of—Eyehategod. The band’s members have years of experience from other Philly institutions: Bitchslicer, Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza, Call The Paramedics, and Eat The Turnbuckle. Guitarist and vocalist Shlak Rock identifies the members as, “Chubb Rock on guitar and vocals, [Shlak] on guitar and vocals, Shifty Shane on drums, and random junkies on the free base. The band is a year old at most, age-wise and mentality. We hail from the worst parts of Philly.” The Hits Just Keep On Coming, released on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, is a brutal, crushing EP. With tracks named “Junkie Fucker” and “March of the Crackhead,” Crack House ensure exhilarating, sweat-drenched metal punk. The lyrics were cultivated from the Philadelphia streets and slums, and relay the mistakes and desperation of those areas. “We are

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“We were just there to get a job done,” they say. “We had the best team in Gordy Johnson and Ben Richardson, along with their engineers. We were nervous going in, but once we got started, things were flowing rapidly. We were incredibly excited to work in a studio of that class, to know that the sounds we were going to make were going to be captured in the best way possible.” The couple enjoys their status as a duo, and they won’t change the dynamic anytime soon. Not only does it strip down the music to its base core, it also makes intra-band decisions much easier. “We love being a duo. Let me say that,” says Jonny. “We made a conscious choice to keep it this way. If we wanted other musicians, we could have them. But we don’t. We’re much more nimble than bands with more members in so many ways: musically, logistically, personally. Everything is faster,

cleaner, better. We make decisions in seconds that would take a band of six people a week to figure out, because it’s just the two of us running this show and we’re constantly together. Other bands have to bounce ideas around, schedule rehearsals, email each other, return phone calls, all kinds of bullshit to achieve the same results.” Others may not be so enthusiastic about playing music with their spouse, but to The Ghost Wolves, it’s the perfect way to merge their personal life with their musical life. “So many people think it’s a horrible idea,” Jonny recalls. “I’ve even had family members and close friends point the finger and tell me I’m an idiot for starting a band with my wife: the whole mixing business with your relationship, family, etc. I think that’s bullshit. If you can’t work closely with your spouse, why the fuck did you marry them in the first place? I didn’t marry Carley so I could see her every once in a while, after work or after a tour with another band. I have a huge admiration for her personally and creatively, and am super lucky that we have the chance to do what we are doing right now and love it.”

PHOTO: DAWN LAUREEN

CRACKHOUSE

INTERVIEW WITH GUITARIST/VOCALIST SHLAK ROCK BY HUTCH

as real as it gets, my friend,” Shlak assures. “All this shit is spoken from experience. We don’t actively go out looking for crack anymore. But, if you happen to be selling it, or want to share, we will gladly partake in the festivities. Everyone in the band will pretty much do whatever you put in front of their face, with the exception of dope, because that shit is garbage. Not that we haven’t done that before. We will try anything. Three or four times.” Shlak breaks down the audio experience as “tons of street lingo screamed like a doper Dr. Seuss over music that sounds like methamphetamines shooting out of your speakers.” Crack House’s music is belligerent and unapologetic. The production is straightforward. Raw and brash, the tunes are low end heavy hardcore mixed with blackened thrash rock ‘n’ roll. The EP was mixed and mastered at Mark-It-

Zero Music in New Jersey by Dan O’Hare, who is the guitarist for grindcore legends Brutal Truth. “I think it came out great for our first slab of shit. Could always be dirtier. Expect another six song EP in a few months,” Shlak states frankly. That attitude mirrors the blue-collar work ethic of its members. “The band consists of a maintenance man at a high school, a bartender, and a tattooer. Our day-to-day consists of a lot of fucking off, getting stoned, and playing music.” This year will see Crack House doing more shows and gaining momentum. “We are scheduled for Pray for Death Fest III in Connecticut and Grind Your Mind in Montreal this year. We will be doing a bunch of weekend runs to the surrounding states, and dropping the sister EP to The Hits Just Keep On Coming, entitled Today is a Nice Day for an Overdose.” Shlak

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condenses the experience of a live Crack House show, saying the uninitiated can expect “horrible drug influenced jokes in between nonstop face-melting pocket tempo thrash metal.”

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S H AT T E R E D S U N PHOTOGRAPHY BY ARNOLD GARZA

ing tour. It was pay to play for $5,000. The band coughed up $2,300 and got the gig, using their merch money to survive day to day. With no previously negotiated arrangements, halfway through the tour, Shattered Sun were told their time was up, and left penniless with no way home. As the caravan left them by the side of the road, Leal says they reached out to their initial contact for the tour and were met with the response, “I’ll pray for you.”

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST MARCO LEAL BY GABI CHEPURNY

Shattered Sun—a heavy metal six piece who hail from the tiny town of Alice, Texas—have opened for legends like Exodus and Testament, and just signed to Victory Records while being managed by none other than Testament vocalist Chuck Billy and Maria Ferrero of Adrenaline PR. Their debut full-length, Hope Within Hatred, will be available April 21. Their story started in 2005 when vocalist Marcos Leal, guitarists Daniel Trejo and Jessie Santos, bassist Joseph Guajardo, keyboardist Henry Garza, and drummer Robert Garza

With After The Fall’s fifth full-length, Dedication—available via Bridge Nine Records on May 12—the Albany, N.Y., based band have crafted 10 highly personal songs in dedication to founding bassist Brian J. Peters, who succumbed to cancer in 2013. Vocalist and guitarist Mike Moak explains, “He was a great person to start this band with and a great friend.” This is your first album on Bridge Nine. How’d you get with them? Right before we went to record, we played this festival called Oneonta Punk in upstate New York. I’d met with an old friend who works at Bridge Nine and he said he’d keep in touch; he’d love to hear [the record]. A few of our friends put records out with Bridge Nine, like Iron Chic, Defeater, Lemuria… It’s always been a label we’d wanna be a part of. Our last label—Paper + Plastic—is still part of this release. They’re releasing a 7” with two of the songs before the record comes out, and then they’re gonna have 100 exclusive colors with this full-length also. Why release “Dedication” and “Indian Ladder” on a separate 7”? We recorded at the Blasting Room [in Colorado]. 14

began playing music together. As high schoolers, they only performed for fun, putting on shows in their hometown and getting paid in beer and pizza. Leal recalls, “It wasn’t until 2011 that we really buckled down, looked at each other and where our lives were going, and decided, if we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do it right.” After working hard handing out EPs and playing regularly, they received a seemingly big opportunity to play on nu-metal band Spineshank’s upcom-

Through that experience, Shattered Sun became friends with Spineshank vocalist Mike Sarkisyan, who helped the guys by discovering they had been shorted $1,000. Sarkisyan did the band another favor by sending their first official album to Ferrero in hopes of getting them a PR deal. At the time, Breaking Bands Management was just an idea between Ferrero, Billy, and Jon and Marsha Zazula, former owners of MegaForce Records. As soon as Ferrero heard Hope Within Hatred, she asked the band if they wanted a manager instead. “It was nuts, how it all happened,” Leal says. “Getting kicked while

We were finished with our prior record, Unkind, and it was about to come out when we found out Brian was sick with cancer. Our drummer Chris [Millington] and [guitarist] Tyler [Paige] grew up with Brian

Leal’s positivity is just a taste of what you’ll find in Shattered Sun’s music. The album’s title track alone overflows with the message that listeners can still find hope if they look for it. “That song started as me holding on to a lot of things in my life that were bringing me down, and it’s basically about overcoming at all costs,” Leal explains. While many still stereotype metalheads as bloodthirsty Satan worshippers, Leal always rebelled against that image. “Growing up, I always hated that some people are so closed-minded,” he says. “I wanted to empower people with the lyrics and really showcase the message that there’s hope in humanity; there’s still hope in people, there’s still hope in the world, you just gotta go find it. You can’t just lay down and accept that everything is as fucked up as the media makes it sound.”

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A F T E R T H E FA L L

[…] So, Karl [Alvarez] played on those two songs, and Chad [Price] and Jon [Snodgrass] sang on “Dedication.” We were absolutely amazed that we could have them be a part of it. Brian would’ve been amazed. We’re happy with the record start to finish, but I think those two songs lyrically and musically convey what the whole record’s about. The record is very affecting… The album cover is a painting of Thatcher Park, which is near us outside of Albany and along the Indian Ladder Trail. And the cover of the 7” is a photo of where we spread a portion of Brian’s ashes. The lyrics to “Indian Ladder” are about that and revisiting that place, and with the cover art, it all ties in, full circle. There’s a part of [“Indian Ladder”] we’d written nine years ago. We recorded that part at the Blasting Room on our first record and we put it in the last song on this album to end the record. It kinda just ties everything together.

you’re down, having no money, and thinking that everything’s gonna crumble, and lo and behold, another road opened for us. So, it was pretty awesome.”

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST/GUITARIST MIKE MOAK BY JANELLE JONES

since kindergarten. There’s a huge bond and friendship with all the members. After he passed, we knew we wanted to dedicate an album to him and try to make it our best for him. On “Lived Fast” you sing, “You are the reason this band exists.” In high school, Tyler joined my band before After The Fall and that’s how I met everyone. As soon as that band NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

was coming to an end, Brian was immediately like, “Let’s keep writing. We’ll do a new band. I’ll play bass.” I’d say he was the founding member just because when our old band was breaking up, we weren’t very enthusiastic or positive about doing a new one and he made it happen for us. [He] definitely kept us all moving.

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VICTORIAN HALLS

BE ANS O N TOA ST

PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVEN FADELLIN

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST SEAN LENART BY NICHOLAS SENIOR

INTERVIEW BY JOHN B. MOORE

Chicago based indie-synth-punknoise band Victorian Halls has been lurking ever since its Victory Records debut, Charlatan, in 2011. Fast-forward four years, and they’re on a mission to create startlingly melodic music. Hyperalgesia—due out May 19 via Victory—sounds like a band maturing in all the right ways. Victorian Halls is a danceable force to be reckoned with.

The one man acoustic punk show Beans On Toast is hardly a household name, but he sure as hell should be.

Why the long wait? Vocalist Sean Lenart explains, “We were on sort of a hiatus. We did the first record cycle— release, touring—and then we wanted to reevaluate where the band was. With the first record, like all debuts, that was sort of an accumulation of everything we’d done up until that point. With [Hyperalgesia], we really took a lot of time with it. We actually wrote about two thirds of it and scrapped a bunch of it. [Afterwards], it was a little more focused, which is how we wanted to it come across.” Recording was an organic process. “It was fun recording it, because we did a lot of it in our own studio,” Lenart recalls. “So much of the writing was done while we were recording. […] It was challenging, because we had such an idea of what we wanted to do, and I think that caused the rewrite about halfway through. We had written a bunch of songs, and it felt a little too similar to what we’d done. The only song that survived that initial cut was ‘Firearms,’ but we kept that one @ NEWNOISEMAGS

because we liked the message in it. It captured some of our punk roots, and it was a song that we knew we would want to play every night.” Hopefully, they want to play all of them live. Lenart laughs, “We do, sure, but when you’re writing and recording, you think about what’s going to be engaging live. Some stuff will come across better on record than live. It’s a fun process going through these new songs and finding ways to make them come across best for the audience.” Lenart feels confident about their move away from a guitar-centric sound. “I like the fact that we only have guitar on the record when we need guitar,” he says, “or when we want to get something across that only a guitar can deliver. I like the way that the synth is embedded in the songs.” What is next for the band after Hyperalgesia’s realease? “We have a few shows lined up in Chicago, around the CD release,” Lenart says. “It’s always fun playing our hometown. We’re hoping to hit up some bigger things in the summer, but nothing’s official yet.”

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For the past six years, the distinctly British musician—even his name results in furrowed brows from all but the anglophiles—has faithfully turned in a record each year on his birthday, Dec. 1, featuring everything from catchy rants against “Angry Birds” to tunes about noodle shops. He’s toured with everyone from Frank Turner to Flogging Molly, and is playing with both acts later this year on the Flogging Molly Salty Dog Cruise in support of his latest album, The Grand Scheme of Things. You’ve put out an album a year since 2009. Was that a conscious decision? The idea came about pretty naturally, originally spawning from the idea of throwing a birthday party and album launch combined to get more people to come to the show. The following year, the next album was ready to roll, so it felt right to put it out on the same day. Since then, it just became a bit of a thing. My years now work on a cycle of tours, festivals, more touring, recording, putting out album, and then repeat. This is perfect, because it means I’m nice and busy. The new album features a song titled “Wagamama.” What is “Wagamama”? [Laughs] It’s a ramen restaurant chain that is all over England. The food is actually really nice, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that every restaurant is identical and owned—obviously—by the same company; they—along with property developers, supermarkets and shopping centres—are on a mission to make the whole country look like one big, bland, boring identikit town, and that sucks balls. Once

it’s the only noodle bar, I bet you the food isn’t all that nice anymore. What’s the story behind “Fuck You Nashville”? I didn’t wanna be the guy who went to Nashville and didn’t leave with a song. However, in the middle of a fantastic tour, we ended up just having “one of those nights” in Nashville where it didn’t go to plan. Then, played a gig to an empty room and wrote the song off the back of that. I hope it’s not taken too much to heart; I intend to go back as soon as possible and write a new song called “It’s Not You, It’s Me. I’m Sorry, Nashville. Can We Give It Another Shot?” What surprised you the most about the U.S. when you toured here with Frank Turner? It’s fucking massive isn’t it?! I know it’s cliché for Englishmen to talk about the weather, but I find it insane when you play a show one night in the snow, and the next day, after a bit of a drive, you’ve got shorts and a t-shirt on. That’s nuts. Are audiences in Europe different than in the U.S.? Can one take a joke better than the other? When I was planning my first trip out, people at home kept asking if I thought American people would “get” my music. Personally, I didn’t give a shit and was over the moon at the opportunity to find out. I love playing [in the U.S.]. Some slight things might get lost in translation—Wagamamas, for example—but I think the overall vibe is perfectly understood. That said, nobody gets the name Beans On Toast, which comes from a cheap, easy, and traditional English dish, so I’ve started to call myself “Hot Dog.”

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DEEZ NUTS

M I L E S AWAY

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST JJ PETERS BY GABI CHEPURNY

Deez Nuts often get branded a party band, but there’s more to the Melbourne, Australia, and New York City based quartet. “I feel we’ve been pigeonholed by the media. Mainly as a one trick pony or ‘party band,’” says vocalist JJ Peters. “There’s a lot more [to us] than meets the eye, and you don’t have to delve very deep to find this out.” Their newest album, Word Is Bond—out April 27 on Century Media—is a 14 track recording that shows a different side of the band. It’s darker than past efforts, and was recorded in short order. Written in three weeks in NYC and recorded in three weeks at the Brick Hit House in Cape Cod, Mass., Peters says it’s their most aggressive material to date. “It was inspired by real life, the same as every other Deez Nuts album,” Peters says. “The only difference being that whilst writing past releases, life for the most part was a nonstop party. During the conception and writing of Word Is Bond, I’ve gone through some rough shit. I do think it’s the best thing album we’ve produced.”

Deez Nuts’—which includes guitarist Matt “RealBad” Rogers, bassist Sean Kennedy, and drummer Alex Salinger—work ethic is nearly unsurpassed, as they’ve toured almost constantly for the past seven years. “It’s just commitment and love for the music and the lifestyle,” says Peters. “Also, it’s all we know. I’ve been doing this since I left school, as have the other members, so this is our ‘nine to five,’ our routine. Plus, it’s the best job in the world in our opinion. […] The idea of a [traditional] nine to five seems insanely bizarre to me, so it’s all relative.” That passion that has kept band members going while they manage their personal lives. While Peters won’t divulge too much, he says Word Is Bond is a clear indication of what he’s been dealing with. “I chose not to spell out the woes of my personal life for people, but if anyone’s interested, this album explains a lot of it so I didn’t have to, and it’s certainly not encrypted in metaphors.”

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I N T E R V I E W W I T H G U I TA R I S T A D A M C R O W E B Y G A B I C H E P U R N Y

Australia’s Miles Away have been quiet since the 2010 release of Endless Roads, but it’s not because the band broke up, as many fans recently thought. The group’s newest release Tide—out May 5 via Six feet Under Records—is an effort that Miles Away chose to take their time on, from recording to mixing to choosing the artwork. “We do this purely because we enjoy it so much. We’re never doing it because we look at it as a payday, it’s just a nice little escape from normal life,” says founding guitarist Adam Crowe. Miles Away began in 2002, and 13 years down the line, the band can say they haven’t suffered from conflicting egos or creative differences, and still enjoy spending time together. Even their lineup changes were due to personal reasons or distance. Crowe credits their longevity to the fact that they never force anything to happen and stick to a more organic creative process. “We get to do something with our best friends rather than people we’ve been forced to be in a van with for 10 years straight,” he says. “We love spending time together and doing what we’re doing. It means a lot to us, for sure.”

While the band was already with Century Media in mainland Europe, they recently signed with Century Media in North America, providing them with stronger exposure Stateside. Peters says the band is thankful for the exciting times ahead.

The time spent between Endless Roads and Tide wasn’t intentional. Each member has a life outside the music, which explains Crowe’s current location in Berlin, Germany. He’s working on post-graduate studies, focusing on the effects of gentrification in Berlin. Guitarist Cam Jose is a professor and bassist Jarred Crowe, Adam’s brother, is currently playing in a few other

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bands, including The Others and Flowermouth. While Miles Away might not be the center of their lives, the guys enjoy being part of Australia’s hardcore scene, one that Crowe considers vibrant and fun. “The scenes are pretty great,” he says. “They’re pretty strong considering the size of the Australian population.” That being said, Australia’s hardcore scene doesn’t get to hear new material from the band very often. Recording is a challenge, as Crowe is in Berlin more often than not, and vocalist Nick Horsnell lives in Brisbane, across the continent from Perth, where Jose, Jarred Crowe, and drummer Jackson McCutcheon live. Thanks to technology, the band is able to overcome the distance. This time around, they journeyed Stateside to Getaway Recordings near Boston to record Tide. The record began toward the end of 2013, when Miles Away found themselves together in Australia. The five piece started bouncing riffs off of each other and decided it was time for another record, which they were finally able to record in the summer of 2014. Crowe concludes, “It’s just a fun thing for us to do on the side, so that’s how it’s taken us five years to put out another record. We’re all really happy with it: the way that it sounds, what we’ve written, the content of the lyrics. I think that we’ve done something that we’re happy with and are proud of, and now we’re pretty excited to play some new songs.”

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NEUROT RECORDINGS STEVE VON TILL A Life Unto Itself

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NR092 CD, DIGITAL & LP

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KEVIN DIVINE

new song of mine since the Kickstarter records came out. Then, I’m recording my song for the split with Tigers Jaw when I get home from the tour. The fourth partner’s song is already in, and I’m going to record mine for that probably in May.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LORI GUTMAN

I N T E R V I E W B Y J O E F I T Z PAT R I C K

Brooklynite Kevin Devine is a staple in the music scene, but it is unclear which genre he considers home. This past March, Devine celebrated the completion of his eighth year performing at SXSW in Austin. He recently completed his winter and fall tour, supported by his backing band, The Goddamn Band, and his touring mates Dads and Field Mouse. Devine is currently recording a six part split series, and released its first installment with Matthew Cawes of Nada Surf in February on Bad Timing Records. Throughout 2015, you’ll be creating Devinyl Splits—a six part split 7” series—with musicians including Nada Surf ’s Matthew Cawes, whom you performed with at SXSW, as well as The Front Bottoms, Tigers Jaw, and

Korpiklaani is Finnish for “forest clan,” and it’s a fitting name for this folk metal ensemble from Lahti, Finland. Originally formed by Finntroll’s Jonne Järvelä as Sámi group Shamaani Duo, then later morphing into the more aggressive Shaman, the band fully embraced their metal elements as Korpiklaani in 2003. Their ninth album Noita will be available May 5 via Nuclear Blast. How did the recording of this album go for you?  Well, let me say it took a lot of effort from every one of us. But it was all worth it. I think we created something we haven’t been able to do before. We are very happy.  Did you try anything new during the recording process? Yes. First thing was preproduction, which included demo recordings in the studio and lots of arranging. It helped us  very much in the real recording process. [accordion player] Sami  [Perttula]  and  [violinist] Tuomas  [Rounakari]  did amazing work with folk arrangements, and you can really hear the difference compared to previous albums. Now, the violin and the accordion sound like they should.  Your last album,  Manala, came out in 2012. Why the three year gap between albums?   The band has been touring  very intensively  all over the world after [the] Manala release. [Vocalist] Jonne  [Järvelä]  also recorded his solo @ NEWNOISEMAGS

Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy. How much progress have you made on this project? We have the first three partners lined up. The Front Bottoms are no longer able to be part of it, because of something that is out of my control. They are still our buddies, but they just can’t do the series. Matthew is first; Meredith is second; and Tigers Jaw is third. We haven’t announced four through six yet, but we have them lined up. We’ll announce that later this year. The Matthew one is out, and people seem to really like it. I really like it [too]; he is one of my favorite songwriters, so it is a treat for me. Meredith’s is done and ready to go out to be printed and everything; I love what she did, too. That will have the first

It’s all moving. Progress is being made, and I’m excited. It’s something I have wanted to do for a while, so I’m stoked about it. Can your fans expect the unexpected from any of your songs on these splits? It’s kind of gonna move around. The first two were pretty much acoustic-centric songs. The Nada Surf cover is an acoustic performance with light accompaniment. The original song for the second split with Meredith was the same way. It is a new song I wrote acoustic, and I play guitar and bass on it with harmonies and stuff. There is some percussion, but it’s like a full band thing. The third and fourth songs will be full band performances, and the fifth one will be more collaborative with the partner I have chosen. We might do some writing and performing together. The sixth one will be closer to the kind of folk thing, and it’s kind of gonna be split between some new material, some covers—sometimes covering the other artist on the split and vice versa—and sometimes that

artist will pick another band and we [both] will cover that band. After this tour, you will be heading to London in May to play a series of shows where you play your whole discography, including a show of all requests. Are you looking forward to not having to prepare the setlist? It’s a three night stand at a church there called St. Pancras Church. We put up the first two, and the first night was going to be Circle Gets the Square through Put Your Ghost to Rest, and then the second night was going to be Brother’s Blood through Bubblegum. The first night would have some Miracle of 86 songs too, and the second night would have some Bad Books songs. It’s kind of a career spanning [performance]. We put them up, and, happily, they both sold out pretty fast. So, we decided to put up another one and make that something else that is fun and in the same spirit, and that one will be the audience requesting. I think what I am going to do with that—I am still figuring out the mechanics of it. I may need to have some guiding contours, or have all the lyrics with me in case someone pulls out some crazy-ass wild card that I don’t remember. It will be fun to be that open, for sure, and it will definitely be a test of whether I still know how to play everything [laughs]. We’ll see how quick I am on my feet.

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KO R P I K L A A N I

album during this gap. This project grew a little bit bigger [than] what he thought. We record an album when we are ready for it; when we have enough good songs. Not thinking about breaks between album releases. What’s the inspiration behind this album? There is no particular source of inspiration behind this album. It is, in general, like it has always been: the love [of] this kind of music, the joy of playing and writing songs. The energy and the power for that comes from nature and everyday life.  How has it been since Perttula  and Rounakari joined the band? Everything has been extremely well. Both of them have been bringing so much more energy to this band and to our sound. They are working very well together and, like I already said, they did such awesome work with the arrangements on the new album. I really like how they sound at the moment. They are developing all the time, so this is just the beginning.  What does the title  Noita mean?  “Noita”  is a man or a woman, similar to shaman or medicine man: a person who has wider knowledge and unnatural abilities. This is the traditional meaning of the word. After Christianity started to hunt these people, the word “noita” got a negative [connotation].  Nowadays,  noita  is connected more to magic, devil marks, and stuff. If you translate the

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PHOTOGRAPHY ALAN SNODGRASS

INTERVIEW WITH GUITARIST KALLE “CANE” SAVIJÄRVI BY MIRIAM USMANI

word, [the] result is usually a witch.   Is there a difference between playing in Finland and other countries, like the U.S.? There  are  some cultural differences  in audiences. Not that big, but still. Sometimes, it feels  [like]  it’s easier to   get people going in the U.S. than in Finland. We [are] not always the easiest people to perform. It could take few minutes more to warm up and get the party started.  Do you prefer big festivals or smaller shows?   Of course, it depends on the circumstances. [A] packed club is clearly better than [a] rainy, big festival

stage with no people. I really love festivals [because of] the big stages, but sometimes, it’s hard to get connected with the people. Festival sets are usually too short, also. Maybe I can say that I prefer smaller shows. Are you planning on touring after the release of Noita?  Yes! Lots of touring [is] coming finally after this little break in the beginning of the year. First,  Paganfest  shows in Europe, then Russia, and in May, there is the North American tour coming. In summer, we have plenty of festivals to play, and in the fall, we are planning to tour more [in] Europe and Scandinavia. So pumped about all this! 

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D A R I U S KO S K I

in the Filthy Thievin’ Bastards catalog are basically solo songs that I let go, so they’d at least be heard. I want to be a solo artist because I want an outlet that’s controlled by me, where I’m in charge and calling all the shots, not having to sneak in a mellow song at the end of a punk record more out of desperation than anything else, and just not making any compromises with my music. What are the oldest songs  on this record? “The  Sound of Waves”  and  ”Contacts and Contracts”  were written around 1999, and there are a few others, like  “Bells”  and  “Everybody Leaves,”  that are probably around seven or eight years old.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALAN SNODGRASS

INTERVIEW BY JOHN B. MOORE

As a writer for The Swingin’ Utters, Darius Koski has plenty of opportunity to exorcise his songwriting demons, but it can be hard to get a punk rock band to get behind a country song. Sure, he’s managed to incorporate some of his mellower songs into his sometimes project Filthy Thieving Bastards, but Koski has always had a solo album on the back burner. Now, it’s time to move that pot to the front of the stove. As of April 7, Koski has finally put out his first solo record, Sisu, via Fat Wreck Chords, a beautifully stripped down take on traditional folk, country, and just about everything but punk. Why put these songs out solo instead of recording them with one of your other bands? Since 1991, Tampa, Flo., progressive metal powerhouse Kamelot has been constantly challenging the limits of the genre. Though the band has been consistently churning out albums over the last 20 years, their passion and drive has never wavered, especially not with their new release Haven. With their May 5 debut for Napalm Records, the band has unleashed their most emotional, operatic masterpiece yet! When did you begin the process of writing Haven? We started roughly a year ago with some ideas. Then in the summer, I travelled to Germany and joined our keyboardist Oliver [Palotai] to start the framework of Haven. We worked for several weeks, and then, our singer Tommy [Karevik] and producer Sascha [Paeth] got together to work on the final parts. [It was] pretty much nonstop until about three weeks ago. Did you want to achieve a particular sound, or did it develop organically? A bit of both. I really feel that songs should grow organically to 20

Well, that’s a good question! I guess it’s mostly that I’ve always wanted to be a solo artist—it’s sort of been my ultimate goal forever, really. I’ve always had a load of songs—in genres other  than punk rock—just floating around in limbo with nowhere to go. Since I’m in a punk band, I could only sneak in a few here and there. They made their way onto Swingin’ Utters, and then Filthy Thieving Bastards albums thanks to the open minds of my bandmates and our label. We’ve always wanted to be more than your average punk band, more genre bending. Songs like  “Watching the Wayfarers,” “Shadows and Lies,” “My Glass House,” “All That I Can Give,” “Fruitless Fortunes,” and most of my songs

So, why now…? The only reason I haven’t done anything is basically laziness, and a little bit of fear mixed in with that laziness. You know, it actually is a lazy kind of fear, because it’s not this all-encompassing albatross that paralyzes me with stage fright or anything. The fear thing is just that I can’t consistently remember lyrics very well. That’s a bit terrifying when it’s just you and a clean guitar. So, I play with a music stand that has a binder of lyrics, and that seems to work. I’m pretty low-key, and not particularly extroverted, so getting up there all alone with a guitar and being the “sensitive songwriter” guy can be a little harrowing. Oh, and I’ve talked about doing solo

shit forever, but it’s not like record labels were banging down my doors, clamoring to release it or anything! Your influences seem to run the gamut. What were the musical inspirations for this album? They really do run the gamut, and they always have and always will. I just listen to too many different types of music to not have tons of different influences. I would have lost interest in the bands that I’m in if we were just straight up punk bands, and didn’t experiment a little. I played classical music when I was younger, and that’s probably my biggest influence, really. You know who’s a great fucking songwriter? Fiona Apple. She’s a fucking genius. Aaand there goes all my punk rock cred!  Did you bring anyone with you into the studio to record? I handled most of it myself, but I brought in a few friends. Mike Luke and Ryan Davidson played upright bass, [and] Ryan played some Bouzouki as well. Karina Denike played vibes, and Miles [Peck, from The Utters and toyGuitar] played some drums and percussion. Any plans for another solo album? I’m ready for another one now! Seriously, I’d like to get into the studio at the beginning of the New Year. Hopefully this one doesn’t bomb!

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K AMELOT

be the most true and natural. But we did feel the need to add some modern elements to Haven. How does the band’s creative process work? Is everything written collectively? Songs are written in many ways now. Sometimes, it’s based on a riff, like the opening of “Insomnia,” and grows from there. Other times, it might be based on a vocal melody or lyric. Along with Oliver, Tommy, and Sascha, we all work together on the songs, and also had some collaborators like Bob Katsionis. Is there a specific lyrical theme or narrative on the album? We touched on many subjects, and it seems to have a red-line throughout some of the songs. Again, we always want to have the ebb and flow of all emotions; that’s really what music is about: emotion. So on Haven, we decided to make the record more in the now and future, versus the 17th century as the previous record is. So, you will find songs about the environment, corporations, government, religion, and also love and pain; heavy subjects.

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INTERVIEW WITH GUITARIST THOMAS YOUNGBLOOD BY BRANDON RINGO

But at the end of the day, we want the record to have a signal of hope and something to make you feel good about future. Songs like “Veil of Elysium” and “Under Grey Skies” have uplifting parts that remind you life is good. We wanted to spark a revolution, so to speak, and that’s why we ended the album with the song “Revolution.” How did you end up signing to Napalm Records, and what led you to NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

choose them specifically to release the album? We talked to many labels, and in the end, we felt Napalm was the right choice for Kamelot. They have a strong belief in the band and potential for growth. [They] also [have] a strong emphasis on marketing and promotion. The fans will be happy with the pairing; we have a very special album and many formats for them on Haven.

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21


SKINNY LISTER

crazy lasting friendship emerged. MC: We also added a drummer! Thom [Mills] is great. He adds a new level of depth to the band that we didn’t have before. Some of us were reluctant to add drums to Skinny Lister, but none of us can see a band without him now. Not only is he a great drummer [who] brings a lot to the table, but he’s laid back as well. When you’ve been on the road for a bit, you can use all the laid back you can get.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRETA BRANYON

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST LORNA THOMAS, BASSIST MICHAEL CAMINO AND VOCALIST/GUITARIST DAN HEPTINSTALL BY JOHN B. MOORE

British band Skinny Lister play music that’s hard to pin down. There’s Celtic elements. There’s traditional folk. There’s a very obvious punk vibe. There’s a lot of acoustic instrument: mandolins, a stomp box, and the occasional tin whistle. Regardless of genre, it’s infectiously fun music and every show involves a jug of communal rum, so definitions be damned! Recently signed to Xtra Mile Recordings, the recently refurbished six piece is about to release their sophomore record Down on Deptford Broadway on April 20. Vocalist Lorna Thomas, and vocalists bassist Michael Camino and guitarist Dan Heptinstall discuss the new record, the new lineup, and explain what a “flagon” is. What is a flagon, and how does it fit The Philadelphia scene has always been pretty vibrant; the rest of the world has just finally started to notice it. Based on their stellar debut, Telemetry—out May 12 on Wednesday Records—Fire In The Radio is the latest Philly band to keep the streak alive. The record is a creative amalgam of Jawbreaker, Weezer, and a slew of other great ‘90s punk bands. How did the band first get together? EO: [Guitarist and vocalist] Jon [Miller] and I knew each other from college. We ended up at the same house party one night after our previous bands had broken up. We were both looking to start something new. Jon and I got together to jam a few times till he connected with [guitarist and vocalist] Rich [Carbone], who was living with Jon’s sister’s boyfriend. Anyway, we were a three piece looking for a drummer. We put ads everywhere. One day, this guy shows up at our practice space in some fetching running gear. He’d had our ad for several months, but neglected to call. That was Adam. He secured the position almost as soon as he walked in the door. Seriously talented and cool dude! The lineup was solidified. What about the videos you made to go 22

into your shows? LT: The flagon is the seventh member of the band, and just like everyone else, has equal importance! He’s a sturdy, little ceramic guy. We fill him with rum and pass him around to the crowd at shows. Not the cheap rum, either: the good stuff! Basically, we cut our gigging teeth on the U.K. festival circuit, and at festivals, you share drinks. Well, we like that, so we thought we’d make it a permanent feature. Who doesn’t like free booze? There have been lineup changes since the last record…? LT: Ahhh, there’s been a bit of jiggery pokery, that’s for sure! Dan Gray, our original bass player, bowed out shortly after Vans Warped Tour 2012, which is why we now have the unlikely candidate of a Hawaiian wielding double bass in the group now. We met him on Warped Tour, and a beautiful, along with the record? AC: As we were finishing the album, we thought about creating a series of videos to go with each song. We wanted to do something different than a typical music video, but still wanted each video to be connected with the music somehow. We came up with the idea of doing a short film that centers around a fictional eccentric character named Donald C. He’s a drummer with an inferiority complex. He is dead set against the stereotypes he faces as a drummer—as some kind of “less than” musician [or] band member—and seeks to break down this hierarchy, much like his idol Phil Collins.  The concept for the first video [“Episode 401 – Crickets”] began from a conversation about recording crickets for a song, “Luna, I’ll Be Home Soon”—which we did on a hot August night last year—and evolved from there. [It is currently featured on Funny Or Die.] As a band, we are interested in finding new ways of sharing our music. How can we present the music in a different and original way?  Even though the music isn’t necessarily “funny,” our group dynamic is far from humorless. Playing in this band is fun. These guys are great musicians and we have a great friendship. A funny, fictional story that

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What is the tone of the new album? Did you approach it differently than the first record? DH: The essence of Skinny Lister is there on both Forge & Flagon  and  Down on Deptford Broadway,  but there’s a definite sense of evolving. Big experiences in between the two albums, such as playing seven weeks on the U.S. Vans Warped Tour, doing a U.S. tour with Flogging Molly, and shows with Dropkick Murphys, helped to shape our live show, which in turn, influenced the sound of the second album. t Also, it was out with the stomp box and in with the drums for this album, which gives the Skinny sound a bit more thump! Though, there’s still a folk thread that runs through the tracks, and it still has its more delicate moments.  MC: The album definitely captures the vibe of what Skinny Lister is all about. I think our live show is one of the strongest aspects of our band, and our producer Ted Hutt—who’s worked with both Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys—caught the live energy, bottled it up, and threw it into the mix. Ted really pushed our songwriting and playing, but at

the same time, it was very organic. Your music is hard to categorize… Folk? Celtic? Pop? You’ve been adopted by the punk community, too. Is it difficult to get noticed when people have a hard time describing your music? DH: We started off doing traditional English polkas and sea shantys down our local pub, and everything has grown from this. When we kicked off, doing U.K. festivals, etc., there weren’t many people going as “traditional folk” as us. Combining that with a spirited attitude and punk ethos certainly helped us get noticed and get our foot in the door. Having said that, we don’t like to pigeonhole ourselves, and there’s a definite pop sensibility goes into the mix! Because of that, you’ve surely had some odd show pairings before. What has been the most bizarre? LT: It is, without doubt, Boy George. By the end, I reckon we won a lot of new fans—not our usual crew, but nevertheless beautiful in their own right! I totally get where they are coming from with Boy George, though. He’s amazing. A totally charismatic star! What’s next for the band? Any U.S. tours planned? LT:   We’re in the process of getting that together. We’re so excited to release  Down on Deptford Broadway  on Xtra Mile Recordings through INgrooves in the States at the end of April. We really don’t take it for granted that we now have our own base of supporters, so we can’t wait to party with them again!

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FIRE IN THE R ADIO

INTERVIEW WITH BASSIST ED OLSEN AND DRUMMER ADAM CALDWELL BY JOHN B. MOORE

features our music feels like a good fit. what’s important and try to make great music.  Philly attitude is legendary. Philly has a pretty impressive punk scene. How tight is your music commu- Do you plan to tour behind this album? EO: Yes, we currently have a tour lined nity? EO: Philly has really always had a up for the Northeast coast, commenctight and vibrant scene, and many ing in Montreal at Pouzza Fest where bands have relocated here because of we are opening up for Knapsack, that. It’s like three degrees of separa- which we couldn’t be more excited tion; you may not know every single about. Stay tuned for a city near you! person, but pretty close. In the scene, We hope to play as much as possible people are not shy to give you their and have our music make a lasting imhonest opinions. I think it’s rubbed off pact on the people we play it for! on the way that new bands focus on

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/04

out 5

SIGH

Graveward

“adept at the avant-garde, Sigh are fearless.” - Invisible Oranges

Bio-Cancer

Tormenting The Innocent

“as brutal as anything I’ve heard... a metal gem.” - New Noise

The Sanity Days

Evil Beyond Belief

new band featuring members of Onslaught & Grim Reaper

Taake

Deflecting The Flow

“one of the darkest lights in the labyrinth that is black metal” - Metal Injection

/16

out 6

Demon Lung A Dracula

“Candlemass on valium” - Metal Hammer

Falloch

This Island, Our Funeral “haunting & evocative” - Terrorizer

/04

out 5

Voices London

“a shattering of the senses.” - Metal Hammer

Ultra-Violence Deflecting The Flow

“the potential here is enormous.” - Teeth of the Divine

candlelight

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23


NAI HARVEST

UNLEASHED

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST/BASSIST JOHNNY HEDLUND BY CHAD HENSLEY INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST BEN THOMPSON BY JOHN HILL

Fun is the most important thing on earth, aside from shit like food and water. Self-described “Pop Scum” duo Nai Harvest from Sheffield, England, is going to beat the fun into you, no matter what it takes. Their new record Hairball—available April 18 via Topshelf Records—shows the band moving into even faster and more fun territory, not caring if you get lost in the stale beer-soaked carnage in their wake. Nai Harvest is fairly new. What was your prior experience playing in bands? We actually formed in 2012, but stayed a little quiet. [Drummer] Lew [Curry] played in a really cool hardcore punk band before called Grazes. I did the odd bits and bobs with shit bands, so Nai is my first real band, I guess. Online, people often lump you in with British bands like Moose Blood and Basement. Is that something you’re comfortable with, or do you feel disconnected from that scene? We actually don’t feel connected to those bands you mentioned at all. We haven’t played shows together and don’t play the same kind of music at all. Not that what they do isn’t rad, but we’re not a pop punk band and never have been. We’re more associated with the DIY “indie” scene, and mostly play shows in the U.K. with our friends in Best Friends, Playlounge, The Black Tambourines, [and] Bloody Knees. We feel very connected to those bands and are all part of a collective “scene” if you will. Each record has changed up your sound, and Hairball is pretty poppy and in your face. How do you figure out where to shift the band next? Yeah, we tend to mix it up per release. That’s due to the fact that no one wants to listen to a band put out 24

the same record over and over, but there is no real rhyme or reason to the change; it just happens naturally [and] depends on what vibe we are feeling at the time. I think, also, it’s taken us a while to find the sound we wanted to stick with, which I think we found in Hairball. What’s the dopest part of being a duo rather than a bigger band? More food and booze on the riders for us. It’s easy to tour as two people. People always come up to us and go, “Wow! I didn’t know there were just two people in the band.” We’ve developed an “E.T.” type connection. How do you write sad shit without taking yourself too seriously? I don’t think we really do write sad shit. We write weird shit, but to us, none of our music has even been sad. We’re a summer band. Is there a difference between U.S. and U.K. shows? What is the most stoked city? Hmmm, they’re pretty similar. Americans are more enthusiastic about everything and don’t get our sarcasm. In the U.K., London is always a riot, and Sheffield obviously, ‘cuz it’s our hometown. In the States, I think we popped off in New York and Chicago well. We’ve had a lot of people ask us to come to California, so we’re gonna do that soon. If you gave Hairball to someone who’s never heard your band, and they went to listen to it alone in a room, what would you hope they get out of the experience? We’d hope to sneak our heads ‘round the door about halfway in to catch them dancing around naked, full of joy, smashing all the things in the room into bits.

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Are you happy? We are very.

A frigid Nordic wind wails from afar across the snow-covered countryside. Out of the frost and ice strides a battle hardened warrior, Johnny Hedlund, founding vocalist and bassist for the Swedish death metal band Unleashed. A former member of Nihilist and Entombed, Hedlund is an Odinist—a type of Germanic neo-paganism— who embodies the spirit of the modern day berserker. After forming in December of ‘89, “Unleashed chose that name simply because that is what we are all about,” he explains. “Our music and lyrics deal with issues that are normally considered taboo by the average person. During our live shows, we unleash everything that we have inside us.” Unleashed is far from being a typical death metal act. The band dares to tread where few others in the genre can follow, away from the trappings of Satanism and the occult. The demonic imagery is gone, replaced with honor, faith, and pride drawn from their ancestral Norse history and mythology. As a result, the band was at the forefront of the genre dubbed Viking metal. “The upside down cross in our logo is not a symbol of the devil,” explains Hedlund. “The Christian cross is usually a symbol that people want a leader. We turned it upside down to show the people that we don’t need a leader. We want to be free and we want people to think that way.” “We still believe in the same symbols and values that our ancestors did,” Hedlund continues. “The Thor hammer is the symbol of Odinism; it means that you are an honest person and that you will fight for your family. It also means that you care for your country and your culture. But also, that you respect other cultures, of course. It also means that you are a bright person and that you fight for what you believe in. You will not surrender for anything that would try to make you think differently.” “I do not believe in the existence of gods,” confesses Hedlund. “A thousand years ago, our ancestors believed in the physical existence of Thor and NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

Odin, but I chose to use them symbolically in our lyrics. When I say, ‘Odin, guide my sword,’ it is a symbol for justice. People need symbols these days: something that unites them. I find that very positive. We do not call Odinism a religion.” Hedlund explains a bit about the band’s 12th studio album Dawn of the Nine, released April 24 on Nuclear Blast. “Our new album and the previous one [Odalheim] take their story from a book I have been working on for many years now, ‘Odalheim,’” he says. “‘White Christ’ means ‘cowardly Christ’ according to the Icelandic sagas in our forefathers’ tales. Being ‘white,’ at the time, meant being a coward. White Christ is the name of the Christian forces in the future world of Odalheim, and on Dawn of the Nine. Their social and political structure looks somewhat like the fascism of the 1940s. Meaning the freedom and needs of the individual is secondary to the needs of the state and its political force. In the future, White Christ will turn this into a much different and harsh fascism.” Hedlund elaborates that Dawn of the Nine represents nine characteristics a person must have to survive in the new world of Odalheim. “A future warrior and a member of a Hammer battalion—a group of Midgard warriors who play a key role in several of the songs on Dawn of the Nine—need to possess these skills to be successful in Odalheim. The nine skills are inspired and drawn from the nine worlds of Yggdrasil: an immense tree that is central to Norse cosmology.” “In short, you need to be the fire filled with hatred towards the unjust,” Hedlund continues. “You need to be the light, driven by passion and lust. You need to lead a life guided only by nature. You need to be your own god, master, and slave, free from all leashes. You need to be a warrior holding high the sword of courage. You need to be a giant crushing the world of lice. You need to be good and evil; whichever suits you best for the moment. You need to be death to all who oppose you. You need to be the shadow. If you can’t get vengeance now, wait… Your time will come!”

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Tau Cross INTERVIEW WITH BASSIST ROB MILLER BY JOHN GENTILE

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was riding my Harley Softail behind a bus when a car swerved between the bus and me. I hit the side of the car, tumbled over the bonnet… and then my bike tumbled over the bonnet as well,” says Rob Miller, vocalist and bassist of Tau Cross, reflecting on a 1990 incident that left him shattered. “I could hear the crack as my arm broke, hitting the pavement,” Miller continues. “You feel that. Then, I’m tumbling along the road and I can see my bike—the big fucking thing is tumbling along, coming after me! Man, you’ve just got to keep rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling…” Miller survived the accident, though it quite clearly could have gone the other way. What made the wounds worse was that, not 20 minutes prior to the accident, he had said goodbye to his son after a painful, extended breakup with his partner. On top of that, a few years earlier, Amebix—the band Miller formed

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in 1978 with his brother, Stig—had broken up. Legendary in both punk and metal circles, Amebix is one of, if not the first band to combine the two genres. They forged a trail of Crassstyle politics and a sort of neo-pagan spirituality, all driven by their famous, bass-heavy chug-chug-chug riffage. They’re credited as the fathers of crust punk, but like many originators, the band has always shied away from labels. Paradoxically, the winter following the accident wasn’t one of prolonged depression and heartache. “It was the end of a period in my life,” Miller says. “My arm was in a cast. I was in Bath, [England], but I was really happy at the time. It’s difficult to explain. Everything had gone. I had nothing, but I was completely free.” Shortly thereafter, Miller moved up to remote Torrin, where he got himself a cottage not 10 minutes from the mysterious Scottish Moor. While there, he took up blacksmithing and swordcraft, and over the next two decades,

became a world acclaimed master of the art. The man who once fronted the massive metal-meets-punk behemoth of Amebix, who once squatted in the epicenter of the anarcho punk scene, who was once in the British Armed Forces, was now living a quiet life, forging swords with little more than a furnace and anvil. But life is a cycle, and he once again found himself at square one in 2012. The mighty Amebix, which had reformed in 2008, had once again fallen apart. “Amebix is now done,” Miller explains. “Best wishes to everybody. I hope everybody finds their way through. I would not do Amebix without my brother. It’s our thing; it’s who we are. I had to give up the name and step into the darkness again. In order to articulate the musical ideas that I had, I had to clear my head.” After demoing some material with Amebix producer and drummer Roy Mayorga, Miller became intent on setting up a band. He began to talk with two crust legends: Misery guitarist Jon Misery and War// Plague guitarist Andy Lefton. Mayorga was tied up with other projects, but Voivod drummer Michel “Away” Langevin rang Miller up by chance to see what he was working on. By luck or destiny, Tau Cross was birthed.

in my lifetime repeatedly, and very much as a blacksmith. It’s the Hammer of Thor. It’s the base of the Egyptian Ankh. It’s an ancient symbol that can be found in alchemy.” It seems that a certain alchemy drives the band. With Langevin’s speed metal background, Misery’s classically crust background, and Lefton’s punk background, the band’s new self-titled record touches on all those genres without being confined by any. For every charging power chord, there’s a crusty stomp, or maybe a Sabbath-esque acoustic interlude. Miller’s tar-and-glass voice rumbles over the top, spitting out metaphysical abstractions throughout. “When I was looking for an outlet for my music, I knew that I had to confront it head on,” Miller says. “I needed to face the issue right away, and take all the visceral, primal energy and apply it. One of these days, that mentality will [find] me unable to do that, and I’ll fucking die. Until then, I will tenaciously grab ahold of opportunity and try to reinvent the wheel again for myself.”

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Tau Cross is available May 19 via Relapse Records.

Miller explains the name: “The Tau Cross is a symbol that has occurred

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STEVE VON TILL BY BRANDON RINGO

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here are few men in the world who possess a voice so powerful that it instantly sends tidal waves of soul-crushing emotion to the very fiber of your being. As vocalist and guitarist of sludge doom icons Neurosis, Steve Von Till’s tortured, colossal howl comes across with the subtlety of a nuclear bomb. Von Till is also a highly accomplished solo musician with three albums under his own name and three under the guise of Harvestman. Von Till’s raspy, world-weary timbre holds dominion on his solo projects. He is accompanied primarily by acoustic guitar on his upcoming fourth release A Life Unto Itself, another stunning juxtaposition of beautiful, non-traditional folk music against his powerfully profound delivery. Von Till’s creative process with Neurosis may be more intense than his solo efforts, but the two aren’t mutually exclusive. “When you get possessed by the muse, or whatever it is—that spirit that links human beings to sound and to music and to spirit—those places feel very similar,” he admits. “My entire adult life has been making Neurosis music: these huge epic movements that take on a life of their own, and come through possessing five different guys and moving five different minds and spirits along in harmony into these really epic soundscapes that don’t really have rules. Not that this stuff has rules, but it’s more of an homage to folk music and traditional music, which does have form and it does have patterns. And I think the words take on a bit more significance when they’re hanging out there all alone.” While recording the album with Seattle based producer Randall Dunn (Boris, Sunn O))), Earth), Von Till didn’t have to look far for inspiration. “We went and put down the basic guitars and the vocal, and we did some interesting things. We borrowed from my Harvestman project where I’ve gone pretty way out there with using the guitar more as a textural piece, and finding really interesting ways to use guitar and different voices where it’s not even guitar anymore, where it’s more atmospheres or abstract instruments that only exist by treating a guitar in a non-traditional way.” Though Von Till is the main man on the record, the spirit of collaboration in the studio contributed to the album’s diverse sound. Recruited by Dunn, one of the major contributors is Seattle composer and violist Eyvind Kang. “He took the cues from the music,” Von @ NEWNOISEMAGS

Till explains. “I gave some direction in very abstract language and he interpreted [it] in a way that I could not have thought of myself. He brought his gift, listened to the spaces in the music, and put out things that really brought out the harmonics and reacted to the lyrics in certain ways. It brought these elements of Americana into it, where it almost sounds like a fiddle crossing the prairie at some other time in history; other times, it sounds like some Scandinavian violin, or even like it’s travelling some road to the East.” To further diversify the sound of the record, Von Till turned to another frequent Dunn collaborator. “We also worked with this guy Jay Kardong,” Von Till relates. “[He’s] a really great traditional pedal steel player. Again, bringing in the Americana vibe, a western element, which is definitely something that flows through my music and I’d like to think transcends all of the styles into something original. I’m not a good player of any of that kind of music—I can’t pick bluegrass, I can’t pick celtic music—but I love it and I think it must have had an influence on me somehow. So, he helped bring out that Americana vibe, but also approached it from a textural vibe as well.” Working with other musicians in the studio is something that isn’t foreign to Von Till, but doing so outside the framework of a normal band can be challenging. “When you get good players—I think a mistake somebody younger, more inexperienced, or more controlling might make is to think that you know better,” he admits. The beauty comes when one simply steps back and lets the magic happen. “You know what you want,” Von Till says. “You should be clear about trying to get what you want out of your tunes, but when somebody’s a player and that’s their gift, and they’re, like, in their element, I’ve found it’s best to just bring ‘em in, give ‘em the vibe, and let ‘em do what they do best.” Another difference Von Till has learned to embrace is the fragility of standing on stage by himself. “I think we’re driven to be artists by this weird, unspoken drive, and we’re not what you’d call performers in the traditional sense of the word. But when you have this thing flowing through you and you have this art, you feel this obligation to the music and to the spirit of everything to share it. So, you just have to confront that stuff and get out there.” Still, he admits, “It’s much easier to be standing next to four brothers, making a shitload of noise, and being able to disappear.”

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY NEILA VON TILL

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALAN SNODGRASS

I N T E R V I E W W I T H V O C A L I S T D E Z FA FA R A B Y E R I C M AY

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t’s been a long time since anyone’s heard the name Coal Chamber, but after a long silence and buried hatchets, they’re back with a furious new album in the form of Rivals. Vocalist Dez Fafara opens up about his anxiety with the former band members, his raw approach on the record, and whether or not the band will go back to wearing their S&M fetish gear… cvv Due to the tension surrounding Dark Days, did Rivals feel like a “now or never” situation? It did feel like we either do this now or we don’t, and I’m glad that we did. The feeling in the band is great, and the record came out absolutely phenomenal. I’m excited to share the whole record! You’ve said Rivals is the first record you’ve done with lyrics that are not about your band members. How did you overcome your anxiety with the other members of the band? Did you have similar struggles with Devildriver? I’ve managed to tap into a vein of feelings that lay dormant for some time, and once I started to compose the lyrics, it was as if the music they had given to me started to dictate the themes. To say it wrote itself would

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be an understatement; at times, I found myself in the studio for 10 to 14 hours a day writing, sometimes getting up at 5 a.m. and working till well after  midnight  in order to stay in it. I hold no anxiety regarding past members of any band I’ve been part of. Bands are like real life and people come, people go, but you should never be detoured from your vision of your own life and where it’s going. You mentioned that you wanted a raw approach to the production of  Rivals. What was the recording process like?  Raw: that’s a word reserved for punk rock bands and/or blues. That being said, we captured that exact feeling on this recording due to having a producer who understood how we

wanted the music to be recorded. We used a click track, so the music both pushes and pulls. Everything had to be played or sung, as you cannot cut and paste with Pro Tools [and] get a very old school feel that doesn’t feel manufactured and is very close to a live show. Many of the vocal takes are first or second takes. The instrumentation was recorded in such a way to utilize the sound that Coal Chamber created in the past, yet push boundaries, as if to move the music forward; I think we did a good job of it, as it feels very now and very fresh. In the old days, you wore bondage gear onstage. Are you reviving that look? You can only hit the way-back machine button so hard [laughs]. So,

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nah… It’s definitely going to be black up the eyes, throw on a killer t-shirt, and kill the stage. This time around, it’s more about the music. That being said, I look like a freak just rolling outta bed, so… It seems like you’re more in control than when you first started out. Is that due to your beliefs in paganism? Do you feel that you’ve become a better person since you discovered it? Witchcraft and ritual in general is something I take very seriously, and I believe having faith in something is important. That being said, yes, I’ve found myself through this path over the years. Anything that brings you closer to the spirits and closer to yourself is a positive thing.

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DANCE GAVIN DANCE I N T E R V I E W W I T H W I L L S WA N B Y N ATA S H A VA N D U S E R

he genre-transcending experimental post-hardcore band Dance Gavin Dance have had some serious ups and downs. Constantly switching vocalists and lineups, their sound has been ever evolving for the past decade. 2015 will mark the release of their sixth studio album, Instant Gratification—available April 14 via Rise Records. One of the only remaining founding members, guitarist and vocalist Will Swan, offers a look at the upcoming album’s new sonic twists and turns. What was your mindset going into writing and recording Instant Gratification? Like always, I wanted to explore new territory and better myself as a player by writing outside of my comfort zone. I feel like this album is the most diverse of any Dance Gavin Dance album so far.  What were some of the major musical influences for the album? I listen to all kinds of stuff. Lately, I’ve been into Cloud Nothings, Iceage, Beach Fossils, Connan Mockasin, Little Dragon, Protomartyr, Deftones, etc. I’ve always been heavily influenced by Parliament @ NEWNOISEMAGS

[Funkadelic] as well, especially when I want to get funky with it. This is the first time in years that Dance Gavin Dance has had the same vocalist pairing for two back-to-back albums. Did that consistency contribute to the record? It was a relief, really. Acceptance Speech really displayed what [clean vocalist] Tilian [Pearson] could do, and I used that knowledge going into writing for this album. He is really versatile, so I felt like I could tackle just about any genre, and this record pretty much does… Except for country. How was it working with producer Kris Crummett? It was a pleasure recording with Kris; he’s always been cool with my controlling nature. I don’t like to change any [of] my parts or the song structures, ever. [Laughs] I feel like the songs should really capture that moment or feeling from when they’re written. Crummett makes sure we get the best takes we possibly can, though. He gets the best tones and “stuff ” out of everyone. I consider him a master producer, and we’ve developed a great

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trust over the years working together. What made you want to release “On the Run” as the lead single? This was heavily debated. There are so many songs that could be singles, but each one is a different genre. “Death of a Strawberry” or “Legend” could’ve been pop singles. “Eagle vs. Crows” could’ve been the indie single. “Shark Dad” is definitely the metal single. It really just came down to which face of the album we wanted to show first. “On the Run” is kind of a mix of the heavy Dance Gavin Dance sound with the new progression of our sound. “Stroke God, Millionaire” ends with the powerful question “Is there a God?” What is the story behind that track?  We wanted to tackle a lot of different topics on the new album and, of course, religion came into play. Different members of the band have different beliefs on the subject, so we thought it would be good to leave that question open ended. I’m sure our fans have as many different opinions on religion as we do. Where did the title Instant Gratification come from? A lot of the album takes place from

the perspective of different characters, and most of them are pricks. [Laughs] There’s a lot of sarcasm in the lyrics. Instant gratification is a common theme between some of these entitled characters and perspectives we feel a lot of people have these days. I don’t think we spend enough time appreciating what we have, and the title and theme of the album reflect that. How has the band grown musically since Acceptance Speech? With every album we make, we get better and explore new sounds. This record is no different. I’m constantly adding new FX pedals to my repertoire, as well. I messed with some awesome new FX on this album. Kids have already been saying that they think there’s keyboard on the new single. There is no keyboard on this album, though. It’s all just my guitar in disguise. What can fans look forward to on your upcoming tour?  They’ll get a taste of the new stuff, old favorites, and a live show from a band who loves what we do.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOE CALIXTO

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I N T E R V I E W W I T H G U I TA R I S T TAY L O R M A D I S O N B Y N I C H O L A S S E N I O R

ennsylvania based group Superheaven (formerly Daylight) has circumvented the sophomore slump. After enduring a name change following successful debut Jar, the band’s upcoming release proves the band is back and better than ever. Ours Is Chrome— out May 4 via SideOneDummy— sees the band clicking on all cylinders, producing some of the best alt/ grunge since the genre’s heyday. What was the writing and recording process like? It wasn’t much different than the first one, although with Jar, we had a chance to demo everything out way ahead of time. This one wasn’t laid out like that ahead of time; we had a lot of holes to fill in the studio, like with vocal melodies, lyrics, certain arrangements, etc. We did it that way because we like [producer] Will Yip’s input, and, I’ll admit, if we write something a certain way, it’s hard for me to separate from that, you know? I just wanted to keep as much as possible open ended before hitting

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the studio with Will. It worked well, because Will has a good ear for this sort of thing, but, sure, it made it a little more stressful on us [laughs]. What are your thoughts on the album? I don’t know if I like it better [than Jar], but I think it sounds better. It’s a little more thought out than Jar. I definitely like the record, but it’s different from what most people expected us to sound like. I feel like that could either go well or badly [laughs]. I think most people expected this to be darker and heavier, and maybe a little more out there than Jar was, and it’s not. To me, it’s like a poppy rock record. To me, some of it has more of a Weezer vibe. Like, I think a lot of the lyrical content is darker and heavier than before, and it might sound a tad heavier, but it’s a little more bright. I think it sounds cool. It’s good you like the music, since you’ll be touring on it for a while. For sure. If anything, I’m known for—once we do something, I get over that shit really quick. I don’t want to play that shit anymore

[laughs]. We did that; now I’m onto the next thing. Jar is the first record where that didn’t happen. We’ve been playing those songs for a couple years now, and I’m still into those songs and really enjoy playing them live. Because this record has taken so long to come out, there’s that feeling that I’m getting scared of being sick of playing [the songs] before we even start. It’s just a weird fear I have. I’m psyched on the new stuff and anxious to play it. I’m just always pushing to do something new, you know?

What’s the meaning behind the album title? It has sort of a double meaning. My home life is a mess, and that’s a long story. The title refers to how our life is not normal in any sense, but also how, when you explain the touring life to family and friends, like, how you’ve performed in Japan and such, it sounds crazy interesting. Yet, we’re not exactly super famous and rich [laughs]. It seems interesting to the outside world, but it’s a lot more, you know?

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It helps to have someone in the band who’s happy to provide the creative kick in the ass… That’s another thing that was different about this record. I’d say the majority of the songs on Jar were mostly based off of riffs I came up with. […] On this record, Joe [Kane], our bassist—I’d say the majority of the songs were written based off of riffs that he had. It’s weird for me, because every other record we’ve done, it’s mostly mine, but for Ours Is Chrome, Joe was a machine. NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOE RUSSO

IN TE RV IE W

W IT H VO C A LIS T/ G

UI TA RI ST

brought things in, let everyone jam on it a bit and do what they want with it, and if I have something specific in mind, we talk about it. We did a lot of rehearsing and recording jams to kind of work things out.

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t may have taken six years and an entirely new rhythm section, but Built To Spill are finally back with the follow up to 2009’s critical favorite There Is No Enemy. The wait was clearly worth it, as Untethered Moon—coming in at a tight 10 songs—is a nearly flawless indie rock masterpiece. It is available digitally and on CD April 21—with a special Record Store Day vinyl release April 18—and the band will be touring this spring. Recording had already begun when the band’s bassist and drummer quit while on tour in 2012, leaving founding frontman Doug Martsch, and guitarists Brett Netson and Jim Roth with a major hole in the lineup. They pulled in drummer Steve Gere and bassist Jason Albertini, and went back to work on the follow up record. Gere and Albertini joined the band a few years ago, but this is their first time recording with Built To Spill. How did you connect with them? Well, Jason’s been traveling around with us for years. He was in the band that was on our same label years and years ago, and he went on tour with us—maybe 10 or 15 years ago. Then, he started roadie-ing for

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us for about 10 years, doing monitors and selling merch for us. Steve is a Boise guy I met a few times doing music. He’s a lot younger—well, so is Jason—but Steve ended up going on tour with us for a bunch of different reasons: one time to record us, one time as the bass player for Jason’s band that was opening for us. That was the tour when [drummer Scott Plouf and bassist Brett Nelson] just quit, and so Jason and Steve just joined in. I don’t think I even remember formally inviting them into the band, I think they just sort of knew they were in the band. They both play multiple instruments, so they decided that Steve was going to play the drums and Jason would play bass. So, it just sort of happened, really naturally and easily. They just both rule. They were able to learn all of the old songs. They’re a couple of musician I have always wanted to play with in some form or another. You, Brett, and Jim have a long history together. Were Steve and Jason intimidated in the studio? The process changed a little with them in the band. We kind of

Did you purposely wait so long between this record and There Is No Enemy? We actually started recording this record in the summer of 2012 with the old rhythm section. We recorded basic tracks and I did at least half of the overdubs. Then, we went on tour and those guys quit the band. So we decided to sack it and start over. And you’re happy with the way it turned out? Oh yeah, absolutely. The old rhythm section did a great job, but we didn’t really rehearse a lot beforehand. It was a lot simpler, a little less complex than the way they are now. When I was doing overdubs, I just wasn’t that inspired at the time; maybe I just didn’t know where I wanted to go with them. So, when those guys quit, I was a little relieved that I didn’t have to immediately finish up the record. It was nice to go away and then revisit it. We recorded something like 16 songs and 10 ended up on the record. And of those 10, I think five were from that old session and five were newer songs. This album is coming out on vinyl before it’s available for download. With a record, you have to listen to the songs in order. How important is the sequencing of the songs? It’s really important, but when I was younger, I think I put a little more forethought into those things. I didn’t think of [sequencing] when NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

DO UG M A RT SC H

BY JO H N B. M O O RE

we were recording this one until we were finished. […] Originally, I wanted to have all 16 songs on there and to make it a double record. I was pretty excited about that and confident about all the songs, but when I started sequencing it and playing it back, I couldn’t make it all the way through it. So, I took out the stuff that I thought was too similar to what was already on there. And there were a couple of songs that were a little draggy and upset the flow of the record. You guys are already slated to play a few festivals this summer, and there seem to be more each year. Do you like playing festivals? We enjoy them. We didn’t when we first started playing, because they’re kind of weird. It takes a while to understand how to make the stage sound good, and it takes time playing these to know what to tell the monitor guys to do. It can also be kind of awkward and embarrassing playing to people who don’t really seem to be interested in you, but I am totally over that. I enjoy playing for people who don’t give a fuck. A few years ago, we played some shows with the Kings Of Leon and we were playing for thousands of people who did not give a shit. That’s kind of how I feel about festivals. Another thing is that we are so old that there are people who know about us. That’s one thing about getting older is that people are a lot nicer to you. They appreciate you more; you’re not competition to them, you’re just the weird old guy playing music.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT KINKADE

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST AND BASSIST “DIXIE” DAVE COLLINS BY HUTCH

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ixie” Dave Collins is a stoner-doomsludge legend known for his slippery, filthy riffs and his seasoned liver. When playing live, he will down an entire handle of Jack Daniels by himself and still deliver a killer show. “Dixie” Dave was once a guest for a Noisey spot in which he played sommelier to a tray of cough syrup. Collins has laid down bass for sludge icons Bongzilla and Buzzov•en, but Weedeater is his baby, and they have been banging out heavy ass music for 15 years. Their new album, Goliathon, is about to drop on May 19.

Collins responds quietly, yet honestly, “Every night, I don’t want to drink.” But here he is again. He doesn’t seem to be changing the formula, and Goliathon is a beefy, dirty album.

Collins is at a local dive bar. He is drinking Jim Beam on the rocks, “doubles, with lime for my scurvy.” Does he ever want a break from maintaining his hard drinkin’ reputation?

Weedeater has paired with riff mongers Southern Lord for their previous two albums. This time around, Season Of Mist handles the duty. Collins anticipates “a good time with them.

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Collins finds this one “a little simpler. It’s cave metal, with gospel hymns and banjo. The music is self-explanatory.” The album features a banjo blues tune, just like its predecessor Jason the Dragon. The risk of boring the metal crowd is never a concern for Collins. “We do it for ourselves. If people don’t like it, fuck them. At the same time, we had fun and I think it works. If someone does not dig it, come see it live.” The song in question, “Battered and Fried,” is catchy as hell.

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Let’s see. Should it matter? We are doing the same thing we’ve ever done.” Collins and his boys, guitarist Dave “Shep” Shepherd and new drummer Travis “T-Boogie” Owens, truly are doing it the same. Goliathon is a heavy groove album that embraces Southern sludge-driven doom metal, as Collins has for decades. “You just do what you do. You don’t really fuck with formula.” There is no experimentation here, just truckloads of awesome.

explains Collins. “We stay on site. The people are awesome.” They mixed with Billy Anderson, with whom Collins hopes to “work more in future.” In the end, Collins found the recording process “very smooth. The process we do is not rocket science, it’s chainmail.”

Collins and crew will take Weedeater’s new tracks across the pond soon. March 6, they play in Belgium, three shows in England, then Germany, Holland, and France. They will be at South By Southwest, then tour the U.S. with grinders King Parrot.

From drinking to writing killer sludge riffs to imagining titles like “Claw of the Sloth,” “Bully,” “Cain Enabler,” and “Benaddiction,” Collins’ laid back attitude can be seen. But the solid quality and consistency of his work cannot be denied. Collins simply enjoys puns that are “funny or roll off tongue. I just spout off stuff that sounds good to me.” That approach works for the slow pounding drums and thick riffs.

Goliathon saw Weedeater team up with Steve Albini again. “Doing a full-length there is very comfortable,”

Taking another sip, Collins plainly concludes, “We are very happy. Great job.”

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an ounce of pretension in him, and he knows his shit. […] It means a lot to see someone who believes in what you’re trying to say, especially someone like John, who’s put a lot of time into making great albums. INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST/GUITARIST FRANCES QUINLAN BY NICHOLAS SENIOR

Hop Along is an “it” band who lives up to the hype. No one captures sonic joy quite like this Philly group, whose potent brand of indie rock has grown more powerful on their sophomore release, Painted Shut. No matter how honest and harsh their lyrics seem, the band genuinely relishes the opportunity to do what they love. Painted Shut will be widely available May 5, but Saddle Creek will ship out preorders April 21. What did releasing Get Disowned and signing to Saddle Creek mean to you? Has it all sunk it yet?

was 18, thank goodness.

We’re very lucky in that things sort of took their time for this band. I was definitely surprised at the warm reception that Get Disowned got over time, even initially. But it’s been a pretty slow growth overall, and it’s given us the opportunity to adapt with a better handle on things. Also, to appreciate all the great experiences and people who got us here. I will, until my dying day, be grateful to the people who booked the first house shows I played.  Now, we have the best booking agent in the world, and we’ve only worked with labels we trust and admire. 

Did you feel any pressure to live up to Get Disowned with Painted Shut? I think we felt the normal pressure that it had to be a great record, we had to be able to stand behind it. It was pretty clear right off the bat that this wouldn’t be like Get Disowned; nothing’s going to be like that record and I’m glad about that. […] [Guitarist] Joe [Reinhart]—before he joined the band—coproduced it, which is why it worked. He rolled with our screwy process and my ridiculous ideas. He was down for adventure. I think making that record meant a lot to all of us.

When Saddle Creek approached us, that was sort of like a dream. It was the first label I found in my younger years that I realized had a great story. Before that, I had no idea a label could be a collective, a group of caring friends. I figured they just made you famous. So much time has passed since I

By Painted Shut, though, we were well aware that we had to go into the studio ready; we couldn’t just book time and see what happens. You get older and you become increasingly aware of a general responsibility for others’ time and efforts and trust. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We’re all better musicians because of it. I’ve also never felt compelled to put something out just to put something out. I’ll take five years to put a record out if I have to. It’s just got to be our best work. Get Disowned was very layered, while  Painted Shut  feels more unified, resulting in a more assured first listen. [Producer] John [Agnello] had each of us record all our parts together, which was a lot more fun for me as a guitarist. […] I think that’s definitely where that unified sound comes from. Joe’s guitar and my vocals came after, and that is always the most rigorous process for me, getting the vocals how I want them.  Can you expand on the writing and recording process, and working with John Agnello? Writing for this one felt a lot more intense to me. We edited

Take us through the first single: “Waitress.” “Waitress” is a pretty personal song that I have a hard time getting into without feeling like a total fool. […] The lyrics aren’t vague at all, which scares me. I don’t know what people are going to think of me after this, but those experiences during which I saw myself at my worst were valuable to me, and I felt there was value in recording them.  […] I want to be a better writer more than anything, and I’ve found the best way to do that is to write with trust for the person/people listening. You can’t lose if you are honest. Again, I’m pretty scared of some of the lyrics, even the stuff that isn’t about me, but I think that must mean there’s something to them. It means they have power.   Does the album cover have a deeper meaning or tie in to the lyrics? I sort of cheat by assuming that, since I am the one doing the cover, it inherently ties into the lyrics. But I was certainly thinking about excess and avarice when I put all that fruit together. Poverty and desire both come up in the lyrics a great deal, and avarice most definitely. This bowl of fruit is impossibly huge and no one can have it; it’s just going to rot somewhere. What are your upcoming touring plans? I can’t believe we get to tour with [The War On Drugs]! And in the late spring, we are going out to support the record, and we’ll be traveling with our good friends Thin Lips, then Field Mouse and Lithuania. All wonderful people. We are extremely lucky.

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things and then re-demoed them, and then changed them again. We couldn’t fall in love with anything; if it didn’t work, it had to be changed or thrown out. […] Some of the songs that didn’t make it had lines I really liked in them, so I found ways to put them in the songs that did end up on the record.  John is a fantastic human. There isn’t

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ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEN LAPWORTH

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here’s a song on Rocky Votolato’s new album Hospital Handshakes that serves as a reminder for the singer-songwriter. “No matter how hard the past has been, you can always start again,” he sings on “A New Son.” It’s a simple but powerful message, and one Votolato is apt to remember, considering the last couple of years he has had. Depression, self-doubt, writer’s block—he even considered giving up music completely. “This past year was a real transition,” Votolato says, calling from his home in Seattle. “You reach those points in your life when you’re not sure about what’s going on.” Votolato has no problem discussing the challenges he’s recently faced and explaining the effects they’ve had on him. If anything, he’s worried that he’s not explaining himself enough. (After the interview, he calls back to elaborate on some of his previous points, revealing more personal details.) He’s determined to tell his story as honestly as possible, both in interviews and on his eighth solo album, Hospital Handshakes, out April 21 via No Sleep Records. To really understand Hospital Handshakes, you have to know what inspired it: a lack of inspiration.

Toward the end of 2013, Votolato realized he hadn’t written any new music since releasing 2012’s Television Of Saints. This was a first for Votolato, who began his music career almost two decades ago and is best known for playing guitar and singing in Waxwing. He was accustomed to writing a constant stream of songs, but in October 2013, that stream dried up, as did Votolato’s desire to continue his music career. “I was feeling super burned out, and I couldn’t keep going through the motions and playing music. I didn’t feel inspired,” he recalls. “Things had built up enough for me that I was like, ‘Okay, fuck it. I’m done with music for now.’ I just wanted a normal life. I wanted to be off the road. I wanted to spend time with my family, which I was sorely missing.” Votolato was also disappointed with the way Television Of Saints turned out and, as a result, became extremely self-critical. “I worked so hard on Television Of Saints, and it didn’t live up to my expectations of what I wanted when it was all done. I felt like I poured everything I had into it, but the songs weren’t there for me,” he admits. “I was so hemmed in by this construct of who I thought I was supposed to be from a musical [and] stylistic standpoint. I had these really preconceived boxes for what I thought was okay and these patterns for how I’d write music. I needed to break out of all that and realize why I started playing music. It’s more like a kid who just wants to have fun and wants to express something, but when we get so serious and worry too much about what other people think or [start] putting those boundaries and criticisms on art even before we’ve created it, I think that’s what, for me, was stopping it from being able to happen. I think I read one too many bad reviews or maybe had just taken too much criticism to heart, and just had gotten hurt without even knowing it. I was unable to function as an artist.” In the past, creating music helped Votolato deal with whatever challenges he was facing. Music was his release valve, but once he stopped writing, the pressure built up, causing him to sink into severe depression. “That’s when shit got heavy,” he says, “because there was nowhere to put it anymore. That’s when the depression came on super strong, and it was really a dangerous situation for me.” Votolato has dealt with depression on and off throughout his life, but this time was different. It was as if his struggle to write opened up other issues he had kept buried for years. “It’s so funny how we can go through our lives and think we’ve got everything under control,” he says with a slight laugh. “You think that

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everything is running along fine, and then something happens, and you realize that there’s a lot more to deal with.” For him, that meant dealing with issues from his childhood. Votolato and his three siblings—his younger brother Cody plays in The Blood Brothers—grew up in an abusive household. His father was in a motorcycle gang and whenever he drank, he became violent, both physically and verbally. When Votolato was 12, his mother divorced his father and moved her children to Houston where she met Votolato’s stepfather. They married and moved the family to Seattle three years later. However, the problems with his father didn’t end once his parents divorced. “He always threatened to kill [my mom] if she ever left him, and none of us doubted that he would do it,” Votolato recalls. “He’s the kind of man who wears a pistol in his belt everywhere he goes. Before we left, my father tried to convince me to drop out of school and join the gang and stay to live with him. When we did finally leave, I lived in fear of him hunting us down and killing us all for years.” After leaving Texas, Votolato didn’t talk to his father for over 10 years. Eventually, he reestablished contact with him and they now occasionally talk on the phone. “I’ve done what I can to forgive him and make peace with our past,” Votolato says. Although the abuse is in the past, the effects are still present. Votolato calls them “a backdrop for my struggles with self-hatred and depression.” “[My childhood] informed my whole life of course, but I hadn’t really processed a lot of it, and that’s what started to happen,” Votolato explains. “That’s been a major factor in the depression and not understanding the point of life or not wanting to be alive. Those kind of thoughts and feelings I’ve lived with most of my life, and [I had to put] that stuff aside and get more into why do I feel that way? Why is it that way? And then going a little deeper into what needs to happen, which is cleaning up those experiences.” Sifting through those experiences wasn’t easy for Votolato. He had to acknowledge his past traumas and deal with the effects they had on his life. There was a time when he thought he had beat depression. He had to come to the somewhat harsh realization that depression isn’t something you ever really beat. “I realized that [depression] is part of my makeup, and it’s something I have to learn how to cope with,” he explains. “It’s not something that’s going away, and that’s big for me… I’m a little bit more humble

about it. I’m recognizing that this is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m just going to have to deal with this one day at a time. Music is what’s helped me get through that, and it’s always been there for me. That’s really the story behind the record for me.” As tough as the last couple of years have been for Votolato, they led to Hospital Handshakes, easily his most personal record and the one he is proudest of to date. “The Hereafter” plays like a diary entry with Votolato opening up about his break from music. “I thought I could write/I thought I’d trade it for another life/Now I realize songs are fossils,” he sings. “I’ve been way too hard on me/Please be gentle, be gentle please,” he goes on to plead in the song’s break. The serious nature of “White-Knuckles,” about coming to terms with your past demons—white knuckling through the tough parts, if that’s what it takes—is balanced by its up-tempo guitar-driven melody. This happens often on Hospital Handshakes: juxtaposition of heavy lyrics paired with uplifting music. He does it again on “So Unexpected.” Lyrics about dealing with severe depression while trying to be there for his family are paired with a twangy acoustic guitar. “It feels like the lyrics and the music almost don’t go together at times, but they do,” Votolato says. Although the album is the product of darker times, it isn’t a dark album. Sure, it has its moments—the despondent verses of “So Unexpected” and the somber honesty of “Royal” come to mind—but Votolato approached Hospital Handshakes the same way he approaches real life: he acknowledges the darkness without allowing it to dictate his life. This is especially clear on the title track. No other song better sums up everything Votolato has dealt with: abuse, self-doubt, depression, and loss of creativity. And yet, he has come out on the other side. “We must each be broken if we’re ever to be made new again,” he sings in the chorus. Three years ago, Rocky Votolato was ready to walk away from music. But he didn’t. He’s currently finishing a run of intimate acoustic shows, and will follow them up with a two month European tour. After that, he’ll be back in the U.S. for a tour in July with Dave Hause. He’s no longer under the impression that he has everything figured out, and he’s accepted that depression is something he will always have to deal with. He’s in a much better place. “I hope the creative energy and inspiration that’s infused into these songs will keep going,” he says. “That’s really what I’m excited about, and I want to hold on to that.”

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ive years ago, I was working at AMP Magazine and my assistant was a young, ambitious music industry nut named Jake Round. He had just started a label called Pure Noise Records and his second release was a band called The Story So Far. Fast-forward five years… They’re his top grossing band and have breathed new life into the pop punk scene. He will release their third record, a self-titled, on May 19.

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That they’re called The Story So Far is very fitting; they’re young guys still in the early part of their ride. The band members have all been friends since middle school, and their families still gather together for the holidays. They’ve recorded all of their full-lengths with Sam Pura of Panda Studios, and put them all out on Pure Noise. Longtime friend Brad Wiseman handles their booking. “That’s what’s important to us,” says guitarist Will Levy. “We’ve been able to stick with the same guys who knew us as kids. They’re still helping us today.”

The Story Back Then

The band casually started playing in high school, though drummer Ryan Torf was still in eighth grade. Levy initially helped with merch, but even-

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tually slid into the spot vacated by Kevin Ambrose—whose older brother was in Set Your Goals—when Ambrose went to medical school. Levy met Round by attending local shows, and eventually gave him their demo at a show at the Red House, a recording studio and venue in their hometown of Walnut Creek, Calif. Round signed them to his fledgling label. The first full-length, Under Soil and Dirt, came out while Levy, guitarist Kevin Geyer, bassist Kelen Capener, and vocalist Parker Cannon attended college, worked, and bided their time waiting for Torf to graduate from high school, which rendered him unable to commit to tours. Capener travelled to record his parts on the album, then headed right back to school without even hearing the final product. “Usually, when you record an album, everyone’s there for the entire process,” he explains. “I was in the middle of school, so I came home, recorded what I had to record, then I went back to school.” “He had no idea what it was going to sound like,” adds Levy. Under Soil and Dirt burst onto a scene that was already hungry for it. “The kids were already there and looking

to jump on to something,” says Levy. “Music was going in a weird direction. […] We just wanted to write good, honest songs; simple as that.” “To the roots singing, nothing crazy, just good melodies and high energy…” Capener chimes in. “…And sick guitar riffs,” Levy concludes. “We hadn’t even made it out of California when we got our first tour offer, and that was with Senses Fail,” Levy recalls. “We did the full-length, it came out in June, did the U.S. tour with Senses Fail, went to Japan— where Jake played with us on bass, since Kelen was still in school—came back. Went on tour in Oct./Nov., looping the country. We went to England, then we did this Wonder Years tour where we opened. […] Our crowd response was like we were the direct support. It was just weird.” “I just remember that first tour, because it started out slow and we didn’t have big crowds or anything,” recalls Capener. “Then, we hit St. Louis, Mo., and I remember, like, 200 kids came out for that show and then left right after we finished. And we were opening. It was weird, because there was a point in the tour where the bands

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would say, ‘Look, you have to play after us.’ And that’s when I got the impression that our music was going viral to that community. Because these people hadn’t heard our music even a couple of weeks before.” The fan response was almost too intense for comfort. “I think it rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, with us being young. We almost felt like we weren’t worthy, in the ‘Wayne’s World’ sense,” laughs Capener. “When you’re asked to play over bands that you grew up listening to, out of respect you almost can’t do it.” “But you don’t get to choose,” Levy interjects. “And at 19 to 20 years old, it’s kind of intimidating when you’re touring with bands who have been hustling and haven’t popped off yet. They’re, like, 25, 26, and they all dropped out of school and have been doing it for years. It’s awkward as hell.” The band proudly hailing from Walnut Creek—rather than generalizing their roots as “Bay Area,” like many— led some to assume they’d been born with silver spoons in their mouths. “The hardcore bands we love all hail

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their cities,” Levy argues. “It’s all based around that. Have Heart putting Boston all over their stuff. Bands like Go It Alone putting Vancouver, [B.C.], on their shit, and Comeback Kid repping Winnepeg, [Manitoba].” Capener adds, “With punk, it’s more in the songs: like AFI referencing Petaluma, [Calif.], Saves The Day and Lifetime and all of their New Jersey references. Pop punk seems to hate its hometown and we definitely don’t.” By 2012, they were touring as headliners, and playing Warped Tour. “I can count the tours that didn’t sell out on one hand. It was insane,” says Capener. And the labels came knocking… “The whole label thing kind of scared us. We just weren’t ready for it,” admits Levy. “We had friends who had bad deals before us, and we were able to [recognize them] and say, ‘This is a snake in the grass.’ I guess, by nature of these bigger deals having all of these caveats and scaring us off, we just stayed [on Pure Noise],” shrugs Capener. In 2013, The Story So Far toured for over nine months and released What You Don’t See. “What we had done for the past two years was play a lot of shows. So, that was all we knew,” explains Levy. “We wanted to bring that into the songs; have high energy, in your face songs. People naturally kind of went wild during our shows. We needed that in the record and we wanted to make it as big as possible.” The album debuted on the Billboard charts. The next year, they were playing the Warped Tour main stage.

The Story Right NoW

Going into their third album, The Story So Far kept the formula the same, but were armed with the lessons of their past. “We made a closed studio, with less distractions,” says Capener. “We demoed some of it with Chris Conley of Saves The Day in Chico, [Calif.], and that was super fun. He was inspiring and a creative catalyst.”

“I never really knew what people meant when they say something sounds ‘mature,’” Capener adds. “When you’re young and playing instruments, you have this tendency to show off and play things that aren’t appropriate to a moment in a song. You don’t have that finesse. […] We trimmed the excess, and it’s straight to the point of The Story So Far.”

CUTTIN' RIFFS with the DUDES PHOTOGRAPHY BY KYLE CAMARILLO

The Story Goes On

With the release of their self-titled album, the band is getting ready for a headlining tour with Four Year Strong, Terror, and Souvenirs. “I saw Four Year Strong when I was 15 or 16,” Levy recalls. “They were touring with Pierce The Veil [and] Further Seems Forever, and they opened at Slim’s. I was like, ‘This is the greatest band ever.’” The band met Terror and Four Year Strong—as well as Conley—on their Warped Tour stints. One advantage of being part of what is essentially a summer camp for networking is being able to feel out which bands you would want to spend time with on the road. “Parker hung out with [Terror vocalist] Scott Vogel pretty much every day,” says Levy. “I would go and hang out with Four Year Strong.” Levy sums up their story so far: “A lot of us in the band are younger siblings, so we’ve learned from watching. And we all are totally OK with taking a step back and observing and reassessing. We can’t kill ourselves on tour. Let’s really pace ourselves, and make it as good as it can be. However long [it lasts], who fucking cares? Every time we go out, we’re gonna make it the best time ever.” It is this sincerity and heart that fuels the band’s success. It makes their fans excited to learn the story so far and eager to read the chapters yet unwritten.

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“We just understood that we needed to make an album that—cliché as it sounds—was truly us,” Levy asserts. “And, at the end of the day, this is the first album that we’ve actually been able to write together.” 44

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signed to Spinefarm. Their 10th studio album is slightly more polished compared to previous efforts. The 14 track record features guest appearances by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, clear indicators of the hard-hitting punk tone, while songs like “Set Yourself On Fire” and “Break Something” are a pop-induced departure from the Anti-Flag most people know.

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Lead vocalist Justin Sane explains, “I believe it’s like every Anti-Flag record; it’s the same, and different. We’re very cognizant of the fact that we built a community who cares about our band, and that community was built on songs that were aggressive, driving punk songs. We don’t want to take too extreme of a turn from that, because I remember when bands that I loved made a record that was so out of left field that I was like, ‘I can’t even relate to this.’”

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Artist Doug Dean put together the album’s artwork with a cover image unlike those we’ve seen in the past: cast on a grey background, a flower the color of springtime shatters in front of a Muslim woman’s face. Number 2 says that they chose the image because, although it “screams violence, there is no violence on the cover at all.”

INTERVIEW WITH BASSIST CHRIS NUMBER 2 AND VOCALIST JUSTIN SANE BY GABI CHEPURNY

ittsburgh punks Anti-Flag have been using their music to call out the U.S. government on their shenanigans since before most of the band’s young fans learned what “police state” means. Now, with their newest album, American Spring—due out May 26—they’re doing things a little bit differently.

The band began 2015 with a switch from SideOneDummy to Spinefarm Records, an unexpected move considering the Finnish label has a roster of mostly heavy metal acts. “It’s an interesting label for us, because they’re coming from a more metal background,” bassist Chris Number 2 explains. “We’ve always felt like outsiders of all communities, so when Spinefarm came and said, ‘Hey, we’re looking to expand our roster, what do you guys think?’ we had this small conversation about how do we—maybe not sonically—fit in with that. We fit in with our agenda and our message.” Anti-Flag like that Spinefarm is a global label, meaning records won’t have to be imported to different regions, and fans won’t have to spend as much money to get their hands on new material.

Number 2 has personal ties to American Spring. Two and a half years ago, he began an emotional rollercoaster after the end of a 17 year relationship that left him in a raw, vulnerable state, without a frame of reference for his own identity. While he struggled to cope, the events of Ferguson, Mo., unfolded after an act of extreme police brutality that resulted in the death of unarmed, 18 year old Michael Brown. As protests gathered, Number 2 watched as the Brown family was denied a trial. He immediately recalled the death of his sister and her fiancé, and how their killer was found not guilty despite his confession. Number 2’s outrage was being felt across the country. “You know how you have to be in a right frame of headspace to fully understand something?” he asks. “I felt more empathy and sadness for [the Brown] family than I had in previous instances of when this happened in the world.”

The band completed American Spring—artwork and all—before they even

Since that time, Ferguson has largely disappeared from the public eye, a possible byproduct of the very real sense of apathy that permeates

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not only punk rock, but society as a whole. Both Sane and Number 2 agree that after eight years of the Bush Administration and almost a decade of hyper-political music coming out of the punk scene, people are burnt out on politics and the never-ending problems within American government. While many are frustrated about the overall lack of change, Sane and Number 2 know that their efforts made a difference. Sane says, “I know it made a difference, because I would meet people on the road who would say, ‘I was going to join the Marine Corps before I found punk rock.’ […] So I know, because I saw it first hand. Punk rock made a difference; we reached some people. We made a difference in some people’s lives.” “It’s the easiest thing to do to say, ‘Fuck everybody, my life sucks, the world sucks,’” Number 2 adds. “The hardest thing to do is say, ‘These are the issues, this is how they get corrected, this is the work we have to do.’” The Punk Rock Bowling Festival in Las Vegas appears this spring in opposition to the usual indifference and negativity. This year will be Anti-Flag’s first on the bill, joining a stellar lineup that includes Rancid, The Refused, and GBH, just to name a few. Sane says that festivals like Punk Rock Bowling are what the genre is all about. “Ultimately, for me, punk rock was about the people,” he says. “What I have found is if you treat people respectfully and are good to people, people are willing to let you be yourself and there’s a great community spirit within that. Events like Punk Rock Bowling are 100 percent celebrations of that spirit of punk rock.” Sane also feels that while the general feeling of apathy is real, there is plenty of conversation about current events brewing. “I really believe that we’re on the precipice of a time of intense change,” he says. “I believe in the spirit of people doing the right thing and people taking care of each other, because I’ve seen it over and over and over again in my lifetime. I really believe that people are going to wake up and put a foot forward for equality and for justice.”

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THE KINGPIN OF

PUNK ROCK BOWLING

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ark Stern first appeared to most angry kids of the ‘80s on their turntables or TV screens. Playing in Youth Brigade, Stern got to express himself and cultivate a national scene. Scraping through the U.S. with Minor Threat and Social D, Stern spread the gospel of hardcore. He and his brother Shawn started their own DIY label in 1982. Four decades—and multiple releases by most of the punk bands you like—later, BYO Records is a template for business in the underground scene.

Now, Punk Rock Bowling is Stern’s next enduring gift to punk, shedding its small party structure to become a multi-day fest in downtown Las Vegas. “It’s our sixth year as a fest; our fifth downtown,” he explains. Why Vegas? “‘Cuz it’s Vegas!” Stern says. “24 hour bars. You can get away with anything. Now, we’re downtown. You get three days of outdoor shows and four days of club shows.” The shows are placed strategically around two hotels within easy walking distance. “We used to have it just outside of the city, in Henderson,” he continues. “It got to the point where we just took over.” It had been going well until a general manager made s o m e changes five years ago. “He increased the price of the drinks. I had wanted to keep drink prices down. He also allowed reentry, which I didn’t want. And I knew what would happen. The hotels were across from a Costco and a Wal-Mart. People bought tons of beer there. Then, they partied in their rooms and planned to come back for later bands.” Or never came back. 4000 punks power-drinking in the afternoon. Things got broken. Police were called. Stern took what was started as a private

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party for bands and labels, and looked for a larger venue. He wanted it to be a small punk city for a few days. PRB—which still embraces the bowling as seriously as the music—found a friend in Zappos founder Tony Hsieh. Hsieh owned some land downtown and they moved the fest. “It helped spark restaurants and clubs and venues. Everything is new. It’s becoming a real city,” Stern explains with a contented exhale. “There will be comedy shows, poker, art galleries,” he continues. “We have classic punk rock photographers showing in the gallery. […] The pool party is awesome.” This aquatic shindig begins at 3 p.m. Friday and kicks off the event. Each day has a film screening. Stern explains that he has been putting on shows since he was 18. “I put on the first punk show at the Hollywood Bowl.” Even with his pedigree, four days with this many cogs has to be intimidating. Stern recalls what made the rapid growth feel so natural: “The punk scene, we were tight. It was a complete DIY vibe. In 1999, it was a cool party.” In May of 2010, PRB had to upgrade to outdoor shows. Stern begins to list every country that punks abandon for the weekend to join this melee. He could have saved time by listing the two dudes from Ghana who missed the plane. So many people. So many bands. “I’m stoked to have Frank Turner finally—been asking him for years,” says Stern. Stern can’t contain the enthusiasm for some killer sets from the main stage bands. “We got Murder City Devils, Rancid doing Out Come the Wolves 20th anniversary, [The Mighty Mighty] Bosstones, Dropkick [Murphy]s doing their first album, and since Street Dogs are in town, maybe [vocalist] Mike [McColgan, ex-Dropkick Muwrphys] will come out? We have Refused. Turbonegro.” “Then, there are five club shows at venues each night.” There’s a lineup for every shade of punk. Stern spills the formula. “Not the same genre, but I keep it cohesive. You approach it like it’s a compilation or a setlist. I have been making those for 40 years.”

September, and “get things rolling by October. We like to announce headliners before Christmas.” How many people does he have working with him on all this planning? “It’s just me,” he announces. “I personally book each band. We have a hundred plus bands. I designed the fest grounds, picked the themes. We have some cool ones this year.” He sounds like he just set a table: spoons lazily placed in proximity to knives. “Some people come just for the room and pool parties. It’s a smorgasbord.” If you’re feeling overwhelmed, Stern insists PRB is just a laidback theme park with every possible option. It’s easy to get distracted by the music and forget that there is competitive bowling and tons of pickup games. Stern plans PRB with sympathy, as he is a truly seasoned participant. “That’s why I sell the drinks cheap,” he assures. “People can plan to drink all day. And eat. Hang out and catch up with old friends and make a bunch of new ones. Have some time off.” Stern wants everyone to hang out; call it the casual approach to punk mayhem and chaotic indulgence. Where will Stern and PRB go from here? “I don’t want it to grow,” he admits. “It sells out each year. But, if we grew, we would have to be in a big desert or field, add TV screens. Who comes to a concert to watch it on a screen? And honestly, I don’t want to contend with 25000 people. I’d rather have 4000 people together.” Stern may be a promoter, but he’s foremost a member of the audience and the subculture. “Last year, I had Cock Sparrer play to 400 people. It was crazy. They were incredible. Bands love it. They get nervous. But, I have seen these bands play their best sets. Angelic Upstarts played an amazing, tight set. And they ain’t young.” Most of the scene isn’t. Despite our growing list of adult responsibilities, Mark Stern has matured this fest into a place where a real punk community—youthfully overindulging and thriving on DIY ideals—can forget about their troubles for a few days.

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The list goes on. “There will be a hundred little parties and DJs and room parties. There’s a beer garden. Cheap drinks. Handpicked food trucks. We make sure there is a variety: vegan and vegetarian and meat. I want it to be the Anti-Fest. Not Overwhelming.” Not shocking is that they sold 6500 tickets for each day. Stern has to start planning in

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DON’T MISS THESE PUNK ROCK BOWLING BANDS! PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHAWN MCLUNG

SUCCESS!

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRETA BRANYON

THE REZILLOS INTERVIEW WITH FRONTMAN AARON ‘REV’ PETERS BY JANELLE JONES

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uccess! vocalist and guitarist Aaron ‘Rev’ Peters says the Seattle based five piece play “punk rock from the heart.” That vibe comes across loud and clear on their recently released album and first for Red Scare Industries, Radio Recovery. How’d the band get together? The majority of us have been friends since high school. We all were in different bands playing around the Seattle scene. […] We all came to this realization that the way a band should be run is by being great people first— being positive and making that the focus—then happening to play good music on top of that. How’d you get with Red Scare? It’s kinda crazy. We’re from a small town in Washington, a small farming community called Enumclaw and [Red Scare head] Toby [Jeg] is originally from that same town. So, we kinda knew him from before. We’d been playing for a long time, and finally, our paths crossed. Your Red Scare page mentions “posi-punk.” Like “posi-core.” Totally. What’s funny is that term’s been dropped a few times, the “posi-punk” thing. I wouldn’t necessarily label what we’re doing as that, but it definitely is positive punk rock. […] I always feel the term “posi-core” sounds like tough guy hardcore that happens to be about good stuff. And we’re big wusses, for sure. Sometimes the labels get a little crazy… Definitely, the terms got weird. If you say “pop punk” to a 16 year old, they think kids with comb overs and neon merch [laughs]. We need a new term. I don’t know if it’s “posi-punk,” but I want a new term. I like to tell people it’s like an early to mid ‘90s punk sound, or for a lot of people, I say it’s as if a band from the “Tony Hawk’s

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Pro Skater” soundtrack listened to too much Tom Petty. You previewed “Lives That We Deserve.” What made you choose that one? I love that song. It’s partially about my grandfather and his life of working super hard, and just represents what the new record’s about: realizing those heroes are all around you and allowing people who work every single day to become your heroes, rather than the people you’re Googling on the Internet. What about the cover art? [Laughs] My friends Meg [Marie] and Ryan [Koreski of The Damage Done and Jefferson Death Star] are the two models on the cover; [the photo is by Josh Daniels]. I wanted to get a shot that, when you’re looking through records at a record store or you’re looking through iTunes, made you go, “What the hell is going on with this?!” What about “Revolution Schmevolution”? That’s another one we redid. It was one of the first songs I wrote for the band. At the time, I was really fed up with everything around me. I wrote that song about looking around and being like, “Why is no one being inspired?” The chorus is “Where’s the revolution?” and that’s the idea: “Come on guys, let’s get focus and motivated.” That reminds me of The Clash’s ideals: looking for meaning. Totally. That’s a huge compliment. Everything Joe [Strummer] would say about the message and tying it in with politics. They used to say they’re not a punk rock band, they’re a political band. They’re more of a movement, and that’s what I absolutely love. Even one person hitting one chord and yelling about something they’re frustrated about is beautiful.

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INTERVIEW WITH CO-VOCALIST FAY FIFE & EUGENE REYNOLDS BY BRETA BRANYON

The Rezillos—a unique group with dynamic female and male co-vocalists—arose from Edinburgh, Scotland, in the mid ‘70s. Their 1978 debut Can’t Stand the Rezillos is a must-have in the collection of any new wave, punk, or rock fan. The Rezillos have been touring and working on new material, releasing their second album, Zero, via Metropolis Records on March 10. Vocalists Fay Fife and Eugene Reynolds discuss their new album and upcoming tour. What made you decide to release new material now? ER: Just ‘cuz it takes us bloody ages to come up with songs, and the band did not exist for an extended, frozen period of time, but we seem to have got over that hurdle now. The band is moving forward and we can taste that. FF: Desperation—it just had to get out! How do you feel Zero compares to your first album? ER: It’s up to the listeners to decide. Now that we’ve had some feedback from people who have heard it, they’re telling us we’ve hit the right spot for them and it looks like the reviewers are saying the same thing. That gives you a boost. FF: The first album was released in the midst of a great musical and cultural shift—the birth and early days of punk. That’s not the situation now, although there is a great appreciation for that period. This album is a further development by a great band, but it’s not part of a cultural explosion. The new album is unique, it’s us, and it’s great rock ‘n’ roll—that’s how it should be listened to. Music and culture are much more diverse now; this latest album fits into that diversity and is also a very strong representation of The Rezillos’ present day identity. Make of that what you will! NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

How do you differ as songwriters and performers today? FF: The songwriting thing is a major thing for me. Developing this further is a chief ambition at this time of my life. Songwriting changes according to your life and interests. […] As for my voice, I think it has rather improved! Well, I would say that! The new songs are more demanding vocally and that’s good, ‘cuz I always want to develop. To be honest, I’ve no idea where my voice comes from. I open my gub and the thing comes out. […] ER: Hmm. I’m always immersed in a multitude of interests, so there’s been plenty of opportunity to take life experiences and see songwriting from newer perspectives. People are commenting on darker and deeper aspects in the lyrics and musicality, which I’d hope might be the case in “the now” of it. What has caused the resurgence of interest in The Rezillos in the last few years? FF: Fashion! But also, word gets around. If you’ve seen a Rezillos live show, you’ll know what I mean. ER: And I’d like to think the music has something to do with it! Having a new album out will definitely help us. In relative terms, we do have a long history, so there is depth, and we are moving forward with our music, which opens the door to the future positively. The Internet unlocked a box for us… Broke the hinges in that we were not hidden from view. It must be hard for new bands that don’t have history. What are your U.S. tour plans in 2015? ER: I’m looking forward to The Rezillos playing the Punk Rock Bowling For Soup festival in Vegas.

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ON THE ROAD WITH

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BY VOCALIST ZACH QUINN

wake up with my girlfriend in a Motel 6 in Fargo. After a month in Europe, I feel worn down, thin. I feel like a dirty dishrag, one that’s been used to clean ancient filth from the corners of kitchen equipment. I’m not sure why our room can’t be a smoking room. I know that they all are intermittently—or at least, I think they are—and maybe they just become nonsmoking rooms so they might have time to air out any evidence of someone else who may or may not have been chain-smoking with their head in their hands, tired and wishing for rest. Though, like the convenience of a smoking room, I am not afforded rest. We shall forever spread the gospel of whatever the hell we’re talking about. It’s a funny thing to believe so passionately in nothing. So, I’m sure I don’t need to express the juxtaposition experienced when you travel from Paris to North Dakota in two days. I may feel it more had I not been too sick to go out and take in Paris after our show there. I have been sick since Amsterdam the day before. I wonder if I will be able to get well. I sit drinking coffee, watching my girlfriend and a buddy of ours play a pretty weird game of Scrabble. They drove up from New Orleans with our van and gear, as we had been using rented gear in Europe, and they will be flying out of Minneapolis a couple days later. The turns in Scrabble drag on for an eternity, and a girl at the table beside us sings along to the terrible Jason Mraz song that faintly pulses through the awkwardly large coffee shop. As I listen quietly to arguments about made up words, I wonder how anyone can live here, and then, how anyone manages to live anywhere. It is odd now to be in America. I unwisely became quite accustomed to the safety of the silent culture divide and language barriers. In my mind, I was allotted a larger margin of social error in Europe, and it was quite comforting. Now, as I prepare myself to perform for the first time in the United States in 2015, I am more nervous than in a long time. Here, everyone will know what I am. Everyone can smell the fear that has soaked and dried a thousand times through my clothes. A boy tells me Gretzky is God, and we now have 47

different t-shirts for sale; act fast, we have one of each. The show is all right. Off With Their Heads are a fucking great band. We get to the Triple Rock extremely early, so we join hands, begin to hum quietly, and hang our heads. We do this for three days, until it is time for loadin, at which point I immediately leave for coffee. I eat the innards of a sandwich with my bare hands. Fun show. One of my favorite PEARS shows ever, but I look kinda dumb. Oh, and there is a guy with face tattoos who keeps getting onstage to help us host our set. Thanks, guy! I sit after our set and talk in the bar with my girlfriend until very late, and when I walk back into the venue, it is completely empty and an absolute mess. It’s so strange to see a place full of people and totally buzzing with life, and then abandoned, with only reminders of our night adorning the floor. Ready to call it a night and get to a motel, we call a cab, and much to my delight, the cab driver asks to use my phone’s maps app to get us to where we are going.

The next morning, we see our New Orleans companions off and head to Green Day. When we get to the venue, we order pizza at the bar without realizing it will be frozen pizza, which is a huge relief. After thoroughly enjoying our high-end meal, we step outside to smoke and meet a couple of kids who are super stoked to meet us. That is really bizarre and I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s just so strange for everyone to finally realize how cool we actually are. I try to do some writing at this show; I write something about candles. For the most part, I’m having a hard time finding a headspace clear enough to make observations. I feel mostly like things are just happening to me, and I’m blank, empty, hardly reactive. I feel like a conduit, like I’m carrying things that do not belong to me, like I haven’t a real stake in anything. I am thoughtless. The show is really fun, but I’m getting sicker and I have a significantly troublesome time breathing during this set. For a town called Green Day, I gotta say, it sure lives up to its name. To be continued… For the exciting conclusion of Zach’s existential reflections, visit newnoisemagazine.com!

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INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST SHANE TOLD BY NICHOLAS SENIOR

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY JACKI VITETTA

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ilverstein is the exception to the rule of diminishing returns. The band’s upcoming eighth album—and first for Rise Records—I Am Alive in Everything I Touch is due out May 19 and will establish that Canada’s foremost post-hardcore band is the fine wine of the 2000s “screamo” craze; they just keep getting better with age. Silverstein seems driven by one ultimate desire: to make the music they want to make. How is the Discovering the Waterfront  10th Anniversary tour going? How do you feel about the songs a decade later? We just wrapped up the North American leg, and next, we’re taking it international to Europe and Australia. The tour has been absolutely insanely great in every way. Going into it, we weren’t sure how doing the album front to back was going to go, you know, because recording an album and putting it out is just a different beast entirely from a live show. But once we started, people came out in droves and were just so excited. These songs we still feel really strongly about.  A couple of them have a little bit of immaturity to them in some of the ideas and songwriting, but in a way, that adds to their charm.   Explain the writing and recording process for  I Am Alive in Everything I Touch. Was this second album with Paul Marc easier or more difficult?  As with all of our albums, we just got in a room and started jamming out some ideas.  We feel like it’s important to do that, rather than have a great big discussion about what the direction is going to be. I think if you do, that you start trying to force a certain sound, and we’ve had a lot of success just with going at it naturally. That being said, Paul Marc took a much more active role this time. The last album he was a bit more reserved; I think he didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes. But he is just a great songwriter. So, this time, we worked even harder, spent even more time on all aspects: writing, recording, @ NEWNOISEMAGS

production. Paul Marc even helped me with writing some vocal parts, melodies, and even lyrics. Traditionally, I’ve been on my own there, so it was great to have someone else pushing me. Usually when I record vocals, it’s just me and the producer, but this time we had a third guy there. It made for a longer process, but I’m way happier with the parts and performances.  Are you more comfortable writing concept albums, since this is your third?  Yeah, it’s gotten easier for me. Not easier in that it’s actually less work or comes with less difficulty, it’s just that now I’m

prepared for what it all entails. In a way, if making a regular album is like playing checkers, a concept album is like playing chess. It’s just that extra dimension in every way. You have this constant bridge between the music and lyrics, and also from song to song. But as much as it’s a challenge—and sometimes a fucking pain in the ass—it’s well worth it at the end of the day. It’s much more rewarding for me as a creator to have this album that is tied together, and that really is saying something, speaking from my soul, rather than just 12 songs that we wrote

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in bits and pieces and decided the order afterwards. This album is a bit different. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s different from the other two concept albums and a lot more personal. It seems like you’re peaking over a decade into your career. To what do you attribute your recent success? I don’t really know! I think every album, we get more experienced and that makes us better. We also seem to push ourselves harder and harder. We want to beat ourselves every time, and I think we’ve always done that. If it takes us spending more time writing or agonizing over parts, rewriting

parts, etc., we do it. We have to, because if the new record isn’t better than the last, we won’t put it out. The two new songs are heavy. Is this album just as diverse as 2013’s This Is How the Wind Shifts?  It’s always funny what people consider heavy. Some people thought “A Midwestern State of Emergency” was really soft, because it has such a big melodic chorus; other people thought it was heavy, because of the big riff. It’s just as diverse as the last record, if not more so. There’s

an acoustic song, there’s a really vibe-y middle of the record jam, and there’s some really poppy melodies here and there. Of course, there are some rippers, for sure. We’ve always had diversity in our music, and this album is no different.  “Milestone” has a hardcore stomp that makes the hook even more melodic. Do you have any favorite tracks from the album? “Milestone” is definitely a favourite of mine, but the whole record I think has some gems. There’s a song called “The Continual Condition” with a huge riff. I love the vibe on “Late on 6th,” and “Toronto” might be

the most personal song I’ve ever written. What plans do you have for the near future? Any tours lined up? Yes, we’re taking Discovering the Waterfront international, then hitting the entire Warped Tour!   Do you have anything else for our readers? I just want them to check out I Am Alive in Everything I Touch on May 19!   Last time, I said our new record was our best and I was right! And this time, I’m saying it again!

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his Swedish four piece may have begun as a relatively potent emulation of the death metal of their peers, but in recent years, the band have evolved into something altogether different. With The Children of the Night—released on March 17 via Century Media— they take their Formulas of Death a step further and reach out into the cold blackness of the… ‘70s? If The Beatles ever decided to experiment with black metal, then it might sound something like this. The Children of the Night almost sounds like it was inspired by a horror film…? It originally comes from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” I read it for the first time when I was on tour in the U.S. six years ago. I bought it at some secondhand store and it was actually mouldy all over. I got sick, and it felt 54

like the book was keeping me sick for the weeks to come when I read it, because it always got worse when I was reading it… It was strangely comforting for some reason. [The title] sounded very superficial and obvious to begin with, I thought, but after a week or so, we all knew that it was the title we were looking for. It encompasses the feeling of the entire album I think, and welcomes you in to the nighttime world that is Tribulation. In the past, you played straightforward, yet menacing death metal, but with Formulas of Death and this album, you seem to be moving beyond those realms. What made you want to experiment? It was mostly time, I think. It’s been eight years now since we recorded the first album that was a lot more straightforward death metal, and

even on that one, I think you can sort of sense that it’s bound to head somewhere else. […] We see what we do as art, and as such, we can’t really tamper that much with where it’s all heading; we leave a lot of it to intuition and try not to analyze it too much. Critics seemed rather upset that The Formulas of Death “wasn’t death metal.” Did you feel pressured to rehash your older material, or did you ignore it? I’m afraid it’s not hard to upset people in the metal community. Even if it’s actually some kind of rock ‘n’ roll we are dealing with here, people are still often times very conservative. We are not. We are not making music to satisfy other people’s expectation; we are doing it because we have the need to express ourselves, and at this point, it’s more or less become a job for us. I understand that people who like NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

that kind of music want to hear more of it—I know I’ve felt the same for other bands before—but that’s not our business. We know where we started and we respect that, but we won’t let that hinder our creative ambitions. There are a ton of other bands playing death metal, but there are no other bands doing The Children of the Night. Since The Children of the Night is radically different from anything you’ve made in the past, will your next record continue the trend? I’m sure it won’t sound the same, but my guess is that it will be more similar to this last one than anything we’ve done in the past. We don’t really know, and that’s the beauty of it I think! Creativity, for us, is to let go, to really try to stop thinking about what you’re doing and just do it.

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AN ALBUM BURSTING WITH DARK MELANCHOLY, AGGRESSIVE METAL AND SOUL-SOOTHING MELODIES!

FEAT. ALISSA WHITE-GLUZ (ARCH ENEMY), TROY DONOCKLEY (NIGHTWISH) AND CHARLOTTE WESSELS (DELAIN)!

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sin is worth total indulgence. Abominator produced Evil Proclaimed with Sam Johnson on the boards and Alan Douches of West West Side Music mastering. Seeking premier professionals is “a product of the way we chose to do things. We’ve had enough experience to know what does and doesn’t work. Money wasn’t really a factor, as we paid for some of the recording ourselves.”

Abominator INTERVIEW WITH DRUMMER AND VOCALIST CHRIS “VOLCANO” BROADWAY BY HUTCH

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t all started on a blood chilling day in late 1994, when I forged a pact with [guitarist] Andrew [“Undertaker” Gillon] to write beastly tunes for Satan,” says drummer Chris Volcano. The bold mission statement is precisely what defines Melbourne, Australia, metal band Abominator. Despite many lineup changes, the core of Volcano and Undertaker— and recently recruited bassist BM Brad—recently delivered their new album, Evil Proclaimed, on Hells Headbangers Records. Their sound may have evolved, but the fire inside burns brighter. “Today, it feels as though we have

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started the band all over again,” says Volcano after commenting that recording this album took a long time. “We remember what it was that motivated us in the beginning, but we have wiser heads on our shoulders. The band can continue in the darkest possible direction for the next few years. The new album is massive, but also harsh and scathing.” Volcano is direct about the disease of current metal bands’ grand production techniques. He reinforces Abominator’s oath: “not falling victim to a weak, overly digital production. It is absolute black chaos from start to finish.” Volcano’s pride is palpable, as

According to early reviews, it appears some purists wanted a strictly generically defined album. Volcano laughs at these rigid “wimps.” After the two decades, their fans should expect change. “It is impossible for a band like us to go into a studio and replicate the sound from our first album, it just doesn’t work like that,” he says. “The album is relentless, heavy, raw, and chaotic. It is more or less straight black metal, but it does have the aesthetic of that time-honored tradition of the bestial sound. If you are a true black/death maniac, there is enough variation in tempos and riffing to get your head around.” That 1994 pact Volcano undertook with Undertaker has been fulfilled by creating savage war metal for a very special someone. “Satan, and the portrayal of it, is very important to us, but it is crucial to express it in the right way,” Volcano explains. “It represents the duality of our human condition, and I have some deep demons to deal with. I use this music as a focus for that dark, primal energy. It has been fascinating for me to learn

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about Satanism and various branches of occult knowledge. It is not necessarily about the outright praise of evil, but an understanding and acceptance that the darkness is a fundamental aspect of life on this Earth plane.” “Besides,” he continues. “God and Satan are very subjective in terms of the forces that currently influence this world. Somebody like myself may be closer to the truth than your average hypocritical Christian. Look at the rich and greedy elite, how they ravage the environment, brainwash people, and send people off to their doom in wars they have created.” For Volcano, this is not just an image. “For me, it is a way of life, especially having experienced the spiritual dissociation from the rest of society. That is the extent of it. I perform Satanic art, but I haven’t got time to go out and burn churches or sodomize goats. That is not how it works anyway. Literally, there is a divine force in the universe, as well as a force opposing it.” But Volcano seems happy on the fringe. “I don’t think metal could get any more popular in such a fickle society, unless there was a massive paradigm shift away from shitty mainstream culture. If that were to happen, you can be sure that others like me will have had nothing to do with it. None of the true fans want it to get that big anyway, it just wouldn’t be the same.”

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Goat Semen Atomicide INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST ERICK NEYRA BY LORD RANDALL

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entral and South America have made their mark on extreme metal with Sepultura, Krisiun, and the mighty Sarcofago. Now, in Lima, Peru, a quartet of warmongers called Goat Semen battle for Baphomet, filth-ridden and caustic blackened death as their weapon of choice. Vocalist Erick Neyra discusses their debut album Ego Svm Satana, which is over a dozen years in the making, and available via Hells Headbangers Records.

shorten the time it takes for us to know a band from Russia or Malta or Borneo! Technology has helped a lot, in this sense. Many think of South America as mostly jungle, but Lima is the third largest city in the Americas… Peru is fucking great! […] If we gather all [the] metalheads, we are maybe just 2000 in all of Peru. I mean those who are really into extreme metal! We have many good bands now, and the scene is growing really strong!

What’s the extreme music scene like in Peru? When you started in 2000, were you doing something different from what was going on there? There have always been good bands in Peru since mid ‘80s, but back in ‘99 for example, there was only a small amount of [black metal bands] and most were interested in making something with [a] European sound. When we formed Goat Semen, we wanted to keep the old tradition of South American extreme metal. […] Sarcofago is the band responsible [for] what Goat Semen is doing now, if we need somebody to blame!

How did you come to the attention of Hells Headbangers? I have a distribution list in Peru, and have for very long had contact with HHR, and [co-owner] Chase [Horval] has also known of Goat Semen since the demo times. We worked the live album En Vivo en Lima Hell some years ago, and I really liked the result of this cooperation. […] HHR is the strongest label now in the U.S., and has great distribution worldwide.

Do South American bands struggle with being compared to Sepultura or Krisiun based on the size of Brazil and how big both bands have gotten? They had their own struggle back in their days, but Sepultura and Krisiun had in their favor [that] they come from the strongest rock/ metal scene from South America, and one of the biggest [in] the world! I might say that the Internet has helped a lot to let bands be known abroad now, and

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You’ve released 10 demos, splits, and live albums, but this will be your first full-length. Did you know that only the best would do for your first album? I am the most critical concerning the compositions in the band, and I always demand the music fits perfectly with the atmosphere I need for the lyrics. Ego Svm Satana holds what twisted music we could create at the moment we did it, and also some old songs I think represent well the early stage of the band. Still, I think there is something more brutal and blasphemous we can unleash! The next album will tell!

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I N T E R V I E W W I T H B A S S I S T A N D V O C A L I S T AT O M I Z E R P B Y H U T C H

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tomicide are a Chilean death metal band who unleashed the monstrous Chaos Abomination this January via Iron Bonehead Productions. The production is excellent; not too crisp or polished. A powerful, thick, and raw approach summons true old school death metal. Apocalyptic and violent lyrics express trepidations about our future. The stark cover art depicts a monolith amidst a grey, stone chasm devouring lemming-like humans. Hailing from Iquique, a city located on the north shore of Chile with extremely hot weather, where the metal scene is “very poor,” according to Atomizer, “there are only a few maniacs immersed into the occult and obscure underground.” However, he says on the whole, Chile “nowadays, [is] one of the most brutal and active scenes worldwide, full of amazing bands, zines, rituals.” Atomicide produced this album on their own and nailed it. “It was recorded and masterized at DM6 studio in Santiago, Chile, by Pablo Clares, our comrade in charge, between August and October 2013 A.B. It was an incredible experience,” says Atomizer. “A mile a minute. We had only three days to record the entire album. But it all came out perfectly brutal!”

metal. Chaos Abomination hones in on the band’s severity without pause, but the journey to achieve this quality was long. “It took us a year to have the disc ready to step into the studio, to create and rehearse,” Atomizer says. “We could have used more time, I think, but we had to vomit quickly the new Atomicide!” The artwork reflects this vision. While Atomizer created the spiked logo for his band, the album art is an oil painting from Daniel Corcuera. It is a visualization of Atomizer’s ideas, and he adds, “Daniel is an incredible artist well known around the world for his works in the metal underground.” Atomizer praises this new work as “even more chaotic, hateful, and faster, with a more elaborated composition” than previous records. He simplifies, and glorifies, the topics of this new material: “blasphemy, chaos, war, obscurity, and destruction.” Chaos Abomination is a clear soundtrack to each of these concepts. The dirty, crunching guitars, the pulverizing drums, and the searing vocals intertwine black metal focus with furious death metal. Combining elements of legends like Death, Morbid Angel, Hail of Bullets, and Darkthrone, the result is intimidating and ferocious.

Having slung three prior vicious albums and a few demos, Atomicide are seasoned in treacherous death

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The pen is mighty and it will someday topple fists, Tasers, chokeholds, & religious fanaticism. – Tony Reflex

M ’ S T N E C S E L O D THE A New

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I N T E R V I E W W I T H V O C A L I S T R U S S R A N K I N B Y D O U G N U N N A L LY

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n 2007, the punk rock community was taken back by the news that beloved punk rock band Good Riddance would be splitting up. In the five years that followed, fans of the Santa Cruz quartet found solace in the members’ new projects— like Only Crime or Outlie—but while these bands were garnering acclaim and fanbases on their own, the Good Riddance hole in the punk world still seemed impossible to fill. While the band’s touring reunion in 2012 was welcome news to many, there still seemed to be something missing. As the band announced plans to release their eighth album this year—their first since 2006’s My Republic—the void began to disappear. The punk community is gearing up for the release of Peace In Our Terms through Fat Wreck Chords on April 21, and it’s great to finally say that Good Riddance is truly back. With this return—or any return, really—expectations are bound to be high, but vocalist Russ Rankin is putting those thoughts out of his mind, seemingly for the first time. “The dynamic has changed for me in that I don’t feel any pressure to sell more records than before or play to more people or worry about what our peers are doing.” Rankin says that in the past, the pressure kept him from enjoying the band, and admits that’s it all out the window now, mostly due to the band “marking our tiny spot in musical history.” He further explains, “We’re having a lot more fun now, and are less caught up in the small, insignificant pressures of being a punk rock band.” With the pressure off, Rankin says the new album came together very quickly. “Once we got in the same room to practice, it was like we were right back to where we were before.” The band relied heavily on riffs and sections that Rankin and guitarist Luke Pabich had cultivated during their breakup. “It was a really organic and natural process for us to start writing again,” Rankin says. “When we were rolling before, there were expectations like, ‘Oh, it’s been two to three years; time for a new record. Two to three years again? Time for a new record.’ This time, we had no pressure, and with the added bonus of the stuff Luke and I had written already, we were already ahead of the game as far as the bulk of this record.”

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Longtime Good Riddance producer Bill Stevenson stepped in once again, to the shock of no one and the delight of everyone. “He’s been producing our records since 1999,” Rankin recalls. “He’s got a really strong relationship with Luke, [bassist] Chuck [Platt], and [drummer] Sean Sellers, and knows how to get good performances out of us and what we’re really capable of.” Stevenson—of the legendary punk band Descendants—has perhaps the strongest relationship with Rankin, as the two are in Only Crime together, but as Rankin explains, it is easy to separate the two groups. “Only Crime has a bit of a different vibe, and Bill would tell you it was different with the Descendants, too. In the end, we’ve always felt, since we started working with Bill, that he’s the best man for the job as far as helping us accomplish what we’re trying to do on each record.” All of this indicates that Peace In Our Terms might be one of the quartet’s strongest records. “It’s very much a continuation and a distillation of what Good Riddance does well,” Rankin summates. “I think we’re able to say we like these songs, and we feel like they represent what we’re about right now and also what we do well. So, we ran with it.” Despite Rankin’s apparent excitement about the record, the future still remains wide open. “We don’t really know [what will happen], and that’s okay. That’s the beauty of it,” Rankin clarifies. “We hope this album is successful, of course, and we hope people like it, but we don’t have any real pressure on us. It’s not the end of the world if it’s not hugely successful. We’re really excited to play new material again, but we don’t know how much longer that will go on. We don’t have any plans to record again, but at the same time, we don’t have any plans not to record again either.” Despite an unsure future, the band is ready to show Good Riddance to their fans with full clarity for perhaps the first time ever. Free from internal expectations, more mature and wiser than ever, the band might be poised now to solidify their legacy, or even continue to build their “tiny part in musical history.”

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALAN SNODGRASS

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MELECHESH T I N T E R V I E W W I T H V O C A L I S T M E L E C H E S H A S H M E D I B Y E R I C M AY

he Middle Eastern warriors have returned with a shining monolith in the form of Enki, which dropped Feb. 27 via Nuclear Blast. As frontman Melechesh Ashmedi explains, Enki is the creator of mankind in Sumerian mythology and may have an even greater purpose in reality. Ashmedi also discusses his thoughts on the notorious “Illuminati symbol.” Prepare to be intrigued and perhaps even a bit enlightened by the magick of Enki.

Your brand new album is entitled Enki, after the character in “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” considered the oldest story every written by mankind. How do these topics relate to the new album? Enki appears in many epics due to his significance, so naturally, he is mentioned in the Gilgamesh epic. However, besides his role in Sumerian mythology as the god of gods, creator of mankind, and lord of earth, we wanted a strong title that suits our band and serves as a metaphor.

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Mythology aside, Enki the creator of mankind was basically one of the Annunakian beings that came to earth and spearheaded the birth of civilization and genetic manipulation. For those who know nothing about this, refer to the “Prometheus” film. I like tracing the origins of mankind and I like to read between the lines. Humanity now is as the universe and should be chaotic, but much information is lost that some adhere to and they don’t see the essence of mythology and religions. So take a helicopter view, and maybe life and humanity and its trends can be better explained. To me, it is just a curious and artistic endeavour and expression of my psyche and surroundings. Your material seems to have a deep, arcane, and metaphysical tone. Elaborate on the Annunaki, the planet Nebiru, and the process of higher mind illumination, or what you’ve called “Enki Divine Nature Awoken.” Indeed, I reinterpret and have metaphors in my lyrics. The Annunaki

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are a group of ancient nameless deities. They are the ancient ones, but a perhaps more pragmatic view is they simply came from another world and landed on earth—hence all the mythologies kind of depict deities winged and hovering, or in the sky— and they contributed to the advancement of civilization for whatever reason, including introduction of the sciences and maybe genetic manipulation. Who knows, but it is quite plausible! Enki might be one of them, and is interlinked with DNA (divine nature awoken). Perhaps magick is undiscovered science. Sitting on a plane as one has wine and a good meal while watching a film, then messing around on an iPad might sound like some sort of magic a few hundred years back! What are your most memorable experiences from touring? Playing live is great. The industry of touring can be brutal when the band is the income generator and the loiterers are the income scavengers. It is a tough one, and you need a good and credible team to make it work. Meeting people who appreciate your music worldwide is fantastic and meeting musicians who are interesting and friendly is exceptional. You

can become good friends with a lot of people. Some artists might mirror or have ego issues. Those, to me, stink, and I do whatever I can to avoid touring with such people. Because no matter how good it is for the band, it is ultimately bad, because it would repulse me from touring ever again. I can be analytical and sensitive, so if I see self-proclaimed deities who are merely entertainers, I worry a little. But we have been lucky, and I have been doing my best to be selective with whom we agree to work with. It doesn’t matter if they’re a larger band or a less exposed one. Do you feel that Enki is a wakeup call to humanity to ascend, lest we perish in war and bloodshed? The first line of the album is “…Inheritors of earth awake; you have lost your ways!” Actually, the solution is easy. Question things and don’t follow populist beliefs. Keep religion to the minimum of spiritual inner peace. If you find that in religion, don’t listen to mass media. It is inflammatory and agenda driven  through politics. Then, maybe you will wake up from the blanket of hypnosis that is over people’s minds.

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INTERVIEW WITH DRUMMER GUS RIOS BY JAMES ALVAREZ

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huck Schuldiner was a musical genius. Before his tragic passing in 2001, Schuldiner and his army of talented shedders practically spawned an entire genre as the extreme metal innovators Death. Now, two of his musical disciples—guitarist and vocalist Matt Harvey of Exhumed, and drummer Gus Rios of Malevolent Creation— have formed Gruesome, a jaw dropping tribute to ‘80s era Death. Joined by guitarist Daniel Gonzalez of Possessed and bassist Robin Mazen of Derketa, the band has crafted a debut record called Savage Land— out April 21 via Relapse Records— that truly feels like Leprosy II. Savage Land is a ripping, startlingly precise homage to early Death. How

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important was Chuck Schuldiner’s music to your own musical development? Leprosy is my hands down favorite death metal album, period. It’s an understatement to say that this band, Gruesome, has been the most fulfilling thing that I’ve done in metal. Death was the first death metal band that I ever heard, and of course, at that age, impacted me like a meteor. Even though the first three albums are my favorite, in regards to musical development, no other album has affected me more than Human. When I heard Sean Reinert’s drumming, I instantly knew that I wanted to study the instrument and to simply begin to understand what the hell he was doing behind that drum kit. How did Gruesome come together? You and Matt Harvey hitting things off on the Death To All Tour is credited with getting the ball rolling… Exhumed did some dates with DTA on that second run that I was on, and Matt and I just hung out and hit it off like a pair of old school dudes who loved the shit out of those early Death records. Matt goes, “Dude, if we ever want to play that stuff, we might have to write our own!” To which I said, “Hell yes, I’m in!” By the time I had

heard Matt’s second demo song, I knew that this was something that I had to see through and make happen. What was the collaborative process like between you and Harvey? Did you feel pressure to live up to Death’s massive legacy or was this just pure fun? We both love Death; Matt has a knack for writing some Chuck-alicious riffs, and I know old school production. This is just homage to a great man and his band, and it can’t be forced. Matt would send me demos that he would do on Guitar Pro or something, just ridiculous sounding midi guitar and drum demos. Even then, I could tell that these were very much like lost Death songs! I think the pressure was from whether or not the fans would accept it, you know? We are filling the heftiest shoes in death metal, so to speak, but in the end, it’s all done out of love. How does it feel completing what is almost a long lost Death album? You close your eyes and “Gangrene” feels like Human, “Closed Casket” has a guest solo by James Murphy, Ed Repka did the album art… This truly feels like Death 2.0. That’s exactly what I want to hear! For me, it’s a dream come true. I go to my studio at least five nights a week and NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

play through this album just for fun. Ever since 1987, when I heard Scream Bloody Gore for the first time, Death has been my favorite death metal band. Now, I kind of, sort of, get to feel what it was like to be in the band. I am very proud of what we have done, and I am most happy that the fans have for the most part accepted us and embraced what we are doing, which is simply honoring Chuck and the guys he worked with to create this genre. Everything from the drum tones and guitar sound right down to the album cover and layout, it all had to be right. We made this album with love and care, in Chuck’s name and for all of your enjoyment…

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Hail Chuck!

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I N T E R V I E W W I T H G U I TA R I S T V I C O T N I K B Y C H A D H E N S L E Y

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orwegian black metallers Dødheimsgard have mutated, incorporating avant-garde elements into their unholy heavy metal style. The band’s initial endeavor, the hellish roar Kronet Til Konge, was released in 1995 on Malicious Records and then again in 1999 on Century Media, and featured founding members Vicotnik and vocalist and guitarist Aldrahn, along with legendary Darkthrone bassist Fenriz. The band’s sound shifted with each subsequent effort.

press musically. It is a transformation where you start up where you left off and slowly work yourself towards what is inside your mind’s eye. At some point in the process, I feared that this could very well be my last album, so I really wanted it to leave a legacy.”

Eight years after the band’s last album, Supervillain Outcast, and several lineup changes, Dødheimsgard’s fifth full-length A Umbra Omega was unleashed on Peaceville Records this March. The record features the return of Aldrahn, a multi-instrumentalist who is also a member of Ved Buens Ende and a significant innovational force behind Dødheimsgard.

Dødheimsgard still embraces one of the fundamental tenants early ‘90s Norwegian black metal. “With very few exceptions, we have always made use of [corpse paint] makeup,” says Vicotnik. “It is by no means the quintessential factor of a live show, but it can have a very good psychological effect on the band. [It’s] something we do to prepare ourselves, get the right frame of mind. To use the term loosely, it’s a ritual shared between the brethren that make up the cult. It is not so much putting on a persona as it is taking off bits of another. What is left is primal and pure.”

“The strange thing is that during our eight year absence, we have mostly been active in some capacity or another,” explains Vicotnik. “In addition to all this, I was also in need for some real mental space to redefine what I wanted to ex-

While personally embracing Satanism, Vicotnik maintains, “I am not trying to sell my personal views through music. Then I would not be much better than what I oppose. I just want to nudge you in the right direction on your way towards

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self-reliance. Reality is much more than fixed constructions we are born into. So, I try to keep my beliefs to myself, because that’s what they are: beliefs.” “Satanism is just a system in which you arrange your life,” he elaborates. “For many purposes it works, for other purposes it is neither viable nor sustainable. Though different content-wise, Christianity is really bound by the very same laws of reliance and fallibility. As a personal belief, it is to some extent your privileged choice. As opium for the masses, it stinks. There is no war between ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ just between opinionated people.” A Umbra Omega seems to blend Norwegian black metal with moments of ‘70s classic rock. Vicotnik neither agrees, nor disagrees. “I am just not too occupied on putting a label on the music I make,” he says. “I have never had any other ambition than to call it black metal, even though a lot of it is not even metal. But the black metal label makes sense to me, because it shows our heritage, our nurturing ground, and the body of work that we are inevitably part of.” NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

Regarding the subject matter, Vicotnik says, “I don’t want to go into how the lyrics relate to me personally, but [they’re] about self-deceit of different forms. How they can come to destroy you as an individual or even ‘us,’ as in the human race. In the end, we are so complacent.” Vicotnik explains that A Umbra Omega deals with “an overwhelming mental darkness and the transformation of that darkness into art. The narrator of the lyrics has introspection. On one hand, it works on a collective level, while it also pertains to him specifically. These abstractions, though, work on an emotional level and are in combination with the music to be anyone’s journey.” “While listening and exploring the lyrics, they turn on you, and become your own introspection,” Vicotnik expounds. “It is really important to me that everyone interested connects with the lyrics on their own terms. I have no answers, but I can expand your mind through art, so that you may explore it yourself.”

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K

arina Deniké, co-vocalist of Bay Area ska punk legends Dance Hall Crashers, was born to Czech dissident artists. At the age of 12, her family moved from Cambridge, England, to Oakland, Calif. Young Deniké performed street theater in Northern Africa, India, and numerous places throughout Europe, but one of her biggest influences was renowned venue 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley. Deniké began her career with Dance Hall Crashers at 18, but she was equally moved by soul and jazz styles. She developed her writing and vocal abilities, contributing to over 30 records, including soundtracks and live albums. This spring, Deniké will self-release her debut solo album Under Glass. Mirroring the eclecticism of both her cultural and musical experiences, the record offers original compositions featuring rare vintage instruments like the Farfisa chord organ, vibraphone, and celeste, while highlighting some of the Bay Area’s most celebrated talent. Why wait so long to do a solo record? I’ve been a collaborator in a lot of bands for a long time, and I absolutely love dong that. It’s always been super fun, and it always felt like a really good atmosphere to be working with other musicians in that way. I started writing songs on my own, and I just had this moment of, “Oh, it’s time to create something that’s just my own voice.” It’s one of those things where I was in so many awesome projects that were hard to turn down, that I ended up getting to my own solo record a little bit later than I expected. Under Glass has many cultural influences. Did any of your street theater experiences resurface on the record? I definitely feel like I have some influences from my European experience and my European youth. Also, just being in the early punk scenes in England before moving to the States.

organ, and it definitely reminds me of a French café or a Czechoslovakian sort of Gypsy song a little bit. So, there are definitely influences in there. It’s always a little hard to pin down until I hear them back, and go, “Oh yeah, I guess that is where that came from.”

KARINA DENIKÉ B Y

A N G E L A

K I N Z I E

How and when did you first discover 924 Gilman? I was in my teens, and we all just used to go down there to shows. So, I saw a lot of really great punk shows, and I was definitely influenced by the whole DIY scene that was happening there. There was a big warehouse scene happening there; a lot of bands were playing in warehouses throughout Oakland and the industrial parks of Emeryville and Oakland. I was probably 17, well maybe 16, when I first went to Gilman. It was super thriving; it was really an amazing place that was run by kids. So many great shows. I had my 18th birthday there! San Francisco is such a unique city. How has it inspired your lyrics and the mood of your music? On this record, there are a lot of references. It just seeps into so many of my songs. “Musee Mecanique” is a reference to a beautiful antique museum. There’re a lot of ocean references. There’re references about the wind in my song “Golden Kimonos”: the constant wind of San Francisco. Even “Boxing Glove,” and some of the songs that have a little bit of a 1930s reference are slightly influenced by the Victorian buildings here; the feeling of that time period in San Francisco’s history that was quite rich. So, it definitely has influenced the record a lot, even if it is minor little things that aren’t noticeable. It was a mood that I felt influenced by for sure.

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So, not so much the street theater. Part of it—but being in French cafés, and in the Czech Republic, and places that have this beautiful rich, kind of dark musical, melodic influence. The Czech Republic has these beautiful lullabies and these incredible, gorgeous songs; the same thing with the French music. Being in different environments and absorbing these sounds… England has such a great music scene, and I was definitely exposed to all of that before I moved to the States. VV A song like “Musee Mecanique” that’s on the record has this accordionsounding instrument called a court 66

PHOTOGRAPHY BY FAYE CHAO

NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

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YOUR GUIDE TO

xDEATHSTARx

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST ERIC GREGSON

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t’s been six years since xDeathstarx played their final show at Facedown Fest 2009. While several of the members have gone on to play with Sleeping Giant, the reunion of this Redlands, Calif., band is significant enough to anchor this year’s already blockbuster lineup.

The genre and scene have changed significantly in the years since the band’s farewell show, but perhaps not for the worse. “Hardcore and metalcore are getting fun again,” says vocalist Eric Gregson. “‘Fun’ is the new ‘dark and serious.’” Whether more xDeathstarx shows will take place is still up in the air, but the band is open to it. “If the right show comes along, we would do our best to make it happen,” says Gregson. Whatever possibilities and opportunities come along, the xDeathstarx message remains consistent: “Love Jesus, love people, and let your message reflect it.”

BY ANTHONY CHANG

WAR OF AGES

INTERVIEW WITH LABEL FOUNDER & FEST ORGANIZER JASON DUNN

I

t’s been 15 years since Facedown Fest first took place at the late Showcase Theatre in Corona, Calif., and for Jason Dunn, it has been a wild ride since. “I was booking most of our bands’ tours at the time. I was able to route a couple of tours together to meet up in Southern California  and we called it Facedown Fest,” recalls Dunn. “It was a great weekend with all of our guys together. The show was incredible, so we decided to make it an annual event. It’s still going strong and is still one of my favorite times of the year!” Based in Fallbrook, Calif., Facedown Records has continued to serve as a prominent platform for up and coming hardcore and metalcore acts, many of them Christian. “I look for people who are sincere in their music and message,” Dunn says. “I think what is important for artists who share their message through music is to do it in a respectful and open way. Not pretending to be better than anyone else out there, but to be real and show that we are broken people, that there is a solution and there is hope.” This

year’s

Fest

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features

a

handful of well-respected Christian artists, including hardcore breakout Gideon, veteran metal band War Of Ages, and Facedown alum xDeathstarx, reuniting for one night only to headline at the Glass House in Pomona on May 16. Facedown Fest is more than just a showcase for the label’s artists. “The actual Fest is only one part of the weekend,” Dunn explains, “as we always get together before the Fest for what we call the Facedown Fiesta. This is a time for the bands to get together, have dinner, pray, sing some worship songs, and have a great night of hanging out. After the Fest, we also have the Facedown Feast, where we go out to lunch on the beach and enjoy time together. The weekend can be a good recharge for our guys, especially for those out on challenging tours.”  Dunn has big plans for Facedown Records in 2015. “There are some sweet albums in the works from Mouth Of The South, Hope For The Dying, My Epic, and more,” he says.  ”I am also talking to a couple of potential new bands who I am excited about too.  It should be a great year.”

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INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST LEROY HAMP

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ong-running Pennsylvania metal outfit War Of Ages is one of several headliners at this year’s Facedown Fest, currently supporting last year’s release Supreme Chaos, their eighth studio record and sixth on Facedown Records. “We have always had a clear vision of what we wanted our growth pattern to be musically: always adding to our strength and never wanting two albums to sound identical,” says vocalist Leroy Hamp. “Supreme Chaos is no exception to that pattern. We have seen a substantial growth on the road with our fan base, and are looking toward the future, praying it continues to increase!” 2015 will see War Of Ages play a whole host of national shows before a slew of dates in Japan and China, all bisected by Facedown Fest in California. “Our first Facedown Fest was at the Glass House many years ago,” recalls Hamp. “We are stoked about performing on that stage.”

GIDEON W

INTERVIEW WITH VOCALIST DANIEL MCWHORTER

ith an already relentless touring schedule, Gideon—a heavy-hitting hardcore band from Tuscaloosa, Ala.—will pause their upcoming May tour with Texas In July to make backto-back Facedown Fest and Skate And Surf appearances, leaving the former event on a red-eye to make it to the latter. Gideon’s groundbreaking fulllength Calloused came out last year. “People have been taking to Calloused a lot faster that I thought they would have,” says frontman Daniel McWhorter. “We get better responses now to our new songs than our old songs, which is awesome, because we are in love with our new album!” Despite their short appearance, McWhorter and the gang are looking forward to Facedown Fest. “I’ve seen every single band on the lineup except xDeathstarx, so that should be a good time,” says McWhorter. “We just wish we could stay for the whole thing. I hate that we have to leave after the show.”

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INTERVIEW WITH BASSISTS ZACK SCHOEDEL OF DEL PAXTON AND DAVID MITCHELL OF GULFER

Buffalo, NY’s Del Paxton and Montreal’s Gulfer released their split 7” on April 7 via Topshelf Records. ZS:  The people want to know what Gulfer is all about! In your own words, what were you guys going for with these new songs? Whatever it was, I think you guys seriously nailed it, because these songs rule!   DM: Thanks! It’s hard to say, because those songs were written more than a year apart from each other. “Bob Abate” is sort of this long, technical saga of a track, whereas “F’real for Real” was our attempt to write a really straightforward “pop” song. So, in many ways, they are total opposites, which really excites me because it allows us to fit every aspect of our sound into this split.    ZS:  Our band has been described as having “math-y” tendencies and has even been called “math rock” before. We play around a little with mixed meter  and polyrhythm for sure, but I wouldn’t consider Del Paxton to be a “math rock” band. I would say your band is considerably “math-ier” than ours. Do you guys personally embrace the term “math rock”?   DM: Well, that is one of things I love most about you guys: there are tons of awesome math-y parts, but they are always seamless and really well placed. […] While bombastic displays of technicality are fun and have their place, I think we’ve

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grown to appreciate the more subtle incorporations of it. […] It’s clear that you guys have been in bands for a while and that you are extremely locked in to what you’re doing. Do you take that experience in stride, or would you rather Del Paxton had started when you were young and impressionable?   ZS: Thanks, David! You’re far too kind. Yeah, we’ve all been playing in bands since we were teenagers. [Guitarist] Dylan [England] was in this really awesome band called Longitude for a while. [Drummer] Greg [McClure] was in a band called Beach Parade. Those two bands did a little touring together and that’s how those guys met. I’ve been playing music with Greg since we were in eighth grade. […] When I was a little shit whose brain wasn’t done physically forming, trying to be creative with a group of other guys who were in the same boat—those weren’t the ripest circumstances for making a band function properly. So, the short answer is no, I’m glad this band formed when and how it did, with who it did. Sometimes, I feel like the idea of being in a band is seen by society as a youthful or childish endeavor. […] But I think this idea that creativity is designated only for young people is extremely harmful. From the ages of 13 to 28 now, making music has been essential to my mental and spiritual health, and I don’t ever plan on stopping. I know Greg and

Dylan don’t plan on stopping either. So, yeah, I wouldn’t have rather had Del Paxton start at any other time than it did. My history of playing with other bands is a big useful pool of experience that I can draw from to be a better band guy today. We’re having a lot of fun with it and I think we all have a very appropriate attitude about what we’re doing together.    DM: Zack, I am so crazy about your bass lines; they are so smooth, but also super driving and funky. I was just wondering if you could share any insight into your writing  approach and process?   ZS:  Thanks, man! I’m a huge fan of your bass lines as well. Especially the crazy finger-tapping stuff you do—way over my head! And it’s cool that we play the same exact sunburst American P-Bass! Except yours is left-handed. That’s pretty far out. We’re like yin and yang, dude! As far as my bass playing, I generally just try to complement whatever Dylan is doing on guitar, which isn’t really much of a task, because I feel like his guitar occupies a lot of sonic space. That being said, since there is only one six-string guitar in our band, I try to keep a bit busier on the fretboard than I would otherwise. When we were writing these songs, I was listening to and drawing a lot of inspiration from Parliament and the artist formerly known as Prince. I seriously consider him to be a god among men.  

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How many of you guys speak French? DM: Half of the band speaks French as their first language. I am Anglophone, but I speak French pretty well. [Guitarist and vocalist] Steven [Whiteley] is originally from New Jersey, but we are teaching him. I think he picked up a lot of slang on our European tour.      ZS: Let’s talk about that tour a little bit! Last summer, you—Gulfer—went on a pretty extensive European tour. You even hit up some countries in Eastern Europe that don’t normally see a lot of North American bands coming through. Tell us a little bit about that experience, if you would!   DM: That trip was so incredible. I feel really lucky that we were able to hit so many places that most North American bands don’t normally visit. My favorite experience was probably playing in Banja Luka, Bosnia. We drove for eight hours through four countries, wound up in the city, and couldn’t find the venue. A few members of the band Deer In The Headlights came to pick us up, and—like every other show on that tour—treated us with incredible hospitality and gave us all the vegan food we could eat. But on top of that, they just kept playing so many great records all night, mostly by really small bands that we know personally. It was really surreal to hear that stuff in such a faraway place and to feel this incredible connection with people from halfway around the world.

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righton, U.K., artist and designer Will Blood has a flair for capturing the dark whimsy of both the natural and supernatural worlds. Working as a freelance artist for the last four years, Blood has illustrated merch designs, album art, logos, and more for his diverse clientele—from The Wonder Years to Gallows to Zukie Skateboards—while still striving to develop and polish his own artistic vision.

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At what point did you become interested in illustration? When did it become a real profession for you? I loved drawing as a kid; I used to collect insects and draw them all the time. I stopped in my early teens, then picked [it] up again later. I started it as a profession by doing tees for mine and mates’ bands, then people started paying me. Eventually, I got enough [work] to be able to feed myself. Did being in bands help you get your foot in the door? What kind of bands were you in? Yeah, I guess it did. I’ve been in a few bands, all around the rock vein, I guess. Describe your process… Mainly pen and paper; I guess it depends what I’m doing. If people want color, that’s generally done in the computer. Color scares me. Are there any artists you’re currently into? Yeah, loads! Sin Eater [Illustrations], Paul Jackson, Iain MacArthur, [and] Kev Grey to name a few. All incredible! Where do you see yourself in five years? I guess, ultimately, I’d like to be surviving off just selling my own artwork, as opposed to commissions. I don’t really have a set plan; I’m just winging it day to day…

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT:

WILL BLOOD INTERVIEW BY TYLER GIBSON

What piece of yours are you most proud of? Probably a giclée—[a digital fine art print made on an inkjet printer]—I just finished called “Un Nature 1–4.” It’s the first thing I’ve done where I’ve sat back and thought, “Yeah, this quite good actually.” I’m sure I’ll think it’s rubbish in about a week. I’ve also just started painting six walls at a pub called The Hare and Hounds in Brighton, which I’m enjoying. Maybe that will take its place?

What bands would you like to work with in the future? To name one, I guess I’ve always thought Mastodon have amazing artwork and use some incredible people to put them together, like Skinner, AJ Fosik, and Bonethrower [David Cook]. If Mastodon asked me to do something, I’d probably do a little jump for joy in my studio. Having said that, any band with a cool idea and a bit of creative flexibility is awesome! And money… I like eating, too.

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RECORD STORE STAKEOUT:

GENERATION RECORDS I N T E R V I E W W I T H S T O R E M A N A G E R J A S O N B Y N ATA S H A VA N D U S E R

hompson Street—located in the heart of Greenwich Village—is one of the most iconic streets for specialty stores in Manhattan. Right before the corner of Thompson and Bleeker, you can stumble upon the best hidden gem the Village has to offer: Generation Records.

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Generation has been around since 1992, and though it didn’t get its start until after New York’s punk rock boom in the late 1970s, it’s still the most DIY thing alive in the heart of the Big Apple. Generation caters to only punk, hardcore, and metal aficionados. “I just think the general vibe of working here is kind of like living on a pirate ship,” says today’s DJ and store manager Jason. Jason has been a part of the Generation team for six years, but has shopped here for over a decade. “We have a certain niche demographic,” he continues. “I think people in the punk and metal community always buy stuff, so it kind of keeps us going.” @ NEWNOISEMAGS

Generation offers a plethora of CDs, vinyl, cassettes, posters, zines, DVDs, and even old school band merch. “Vinyl is selling a lot,” says Jason, “but the used CDs are definitely taking over. I think most people who collect at this point just have everything.”

store serves as a hub for small indie label releases, CDs that never got the attention they deserved, and even homemade fan zines. “I thought, ‘Why not just make a zine section and try to pump that up a little bit?’” says Jason. “I grew up more in the punk scene where zines were a big thing,

and I just thought it was a good way to give some space to people who don’t really have budgets to make a book.” With Record Store Day approaching on April 18, the store is currently preparing for their next in-house basement show. Since Generation Records is one of the few places in the city that still throws down underground punk shows like they did back in the CBGB days, it’s definitely an event any diehard music lover would kill to attend.

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Record Store Day is the equivalent of Christmas for the shop. To celebrate, the team asks hard-hitting artists to come out to play live shows in the store. “Kurt Vile was really good,” Jason recalls. “I had actually never heard him until he played here. I was really impressed; it all kind of had a Neil Young vibe. We also had Misery Index play here. They’re like a death metal, grindcore band. The guys in the band kind of worked here all day just for fun and helped me put out records.” Other Generation performance alumni include Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, The Gaslight Anthem, OFF!, Joyce Manor, Frank Turner, and The Bouncing Souls. Generation Records loves to keep things diverse and local, thus the

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LABEL SPOTLIGHT:

I N T E R V I E W W I T H U S A M A N A G E R PA U L A H O G A N B Y R I D G E B R I E L

music. We are known for black and death metal, but we have worked with all kinds of metal, from Crowbar to Pro-Pain, In Flames to Fear Factory, Christian Death to Falloch.

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ith an impressive past and present roster featuring the likes of Emperor, 1349, Kreig, Opeth, Marduk, Burzum, and many more, Candlelight Records is one of the most important metal labels today. What were your first five releases? We opened our North American office Jan. 1, 2001. Our first releases started in April with Zyklon’s World ov Worms, Extreme Noise Terror’s Being and Nothing, Emperor’s Emperial Live Ceremony, plus U.S. reissues of Thou Shalt Suffer’s Somnium, and Peccatum’s Amor Fati. What genre of metal does Candlelight cater to? The label is well known for having a varied music lineup, but all with a darker message pertaining to their

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What are a few of your upcoming releases? We start the New Year changing distribution for both the U.S. and Canada. So, a lot of new [things] for us for the year, [like] getting used to a new team to work with for all our new releases as well our extensive catalog. We are planning to celebrate our catalog this year with several box sets—1349, Insomnium, Blut Aus Nord, and more—plus limited edition special format pressings of our Opeth and Havok catalog.

different, but we have dedicated staff in both offices that work very hard doing the most we can for our artists.

RECORDS

Where do you see the company five years from now? The business changes so much and so fast. Ultimately, in five years, I hope we will be at a place that allows us to continue to be successful releasing music that we love, and to keep helping bands and their careers. We continue to thank all the bands and the fans who support them—and us.

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As for new albums, we are really excited about the new Vision Of Disorder. The band will start recording in March. Absu will hopefully also finish up their new album to get it in for the year. Sigh are finishing up their new one now. And we are pretty excited about Hateful Abandon, a new band from Bristol, U.K., that are very unique. Is it difficult having both a U.K. and a U.S. office? Our U.S. office is outside Philadelphia, so when we get in at 9 a.m., the U.K. office is starting to wind their day down. Having only a few hours of time to discuss everything can be difficult sometimes. But, we do our best and have never had any major meltdown that has been traumatic. How bands are worked also is very

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RECORD STORE STAKEOUT:

GREEN NOISE RECORDS

I N T E R V I E W W I T H O W N E R K E N C H E P PA I K O D E B Y B E N K N U D T S O N

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en Cheppaikode is a friendly, easy going, humble dude who grew up in the ‘80s, relocating from the Midwest to Seattle, daydreaming about starting and running his own record label. He was skeptical, lacking in funds and connections… So he just did it. He is a true example of the DIY ethics of his era. Now, Cheppaikode runs Dirtnap Records and owns one of the coolest, most niche record stores in Portland, Ore., Green Noise Records. So, for starters, introduce yourself. OK! My name is Ken Cheppaikode, and I run a record store here in Portland called Green Noise Records, which I didn’t start my-

self, but I bought it and took it over from old owners—I’ve owned it for almost exactly 10 years. Our 10 year anniversary was actually the last day of January. I also run a record label called Dirtnap Records, which I have been doing for longer—actually 15 years—since the very end of the ‘90s, over which time we’ve done about 140 or so releases. We’re still pretty active and cranking out a lot of stuff. Why did you start Dirtnap? I don’t really have a good answer for that other than that I always wanted to. I’ve always been a student of record labels. I had wanted to start one for a very, very long time before I actually did it… I mean like many,

many years. I even had the name picked out [laughs]. But eventually, I just said, “Fuck it, I’m going to start a record label.” When and why did you buy Green Noise? I bought the record store at the very beginning of 2005. At the end of 2002, I got laid off from my last full-time day job. At that point, the label was doing well enough that I figured I could make my living off of it for a little while, but I always kind of knew that eventually I would have to find something else to go with that, preferably something that didn’t involve going out and getting a job [laughs]. I saw on the Internet that Green Noise was for sale. I already knew the store and was acquaintances with the owner just from coming down here a lot (I was living in Seattle). I just emailed them kind of casually at first, and just said, “Hey, what does buying a record store entail?” I emailed them an offer thinking they would probably tell me to drop dead, because it was a bit lower than what they had been hoping for. Surprisingly enough, they accepted it. So, it was very much an instance of just seeing an opportunity and knowing I had to jump on it. Is it kind of a clusterfuck running a label and a record store simultaneously? Oh, not at all! In fact, it is kind of the opposite of a clusterfuck. They meet in the middle [with] the website, where we kind of have a worldwide base of customers. That’s where they work really well together, because people come to the website to order Dirtnap stuff, but then they will also pick up a bunch of store stuff while they’re at it. It would be really hard to do one without the other. I always say if I just owned a record store, and I was just sitting behind a counter waiting for people to buy records, we probably would have gone out of business a long time ago. It’s that kind of, um… I don’t know… synergy or whatever that enables us to do this. Do you think that what you did then would be harder to do today? It might have even gotten a little easier in some ways. It seems like, these days, there are a lot more record stores opening than closing. It seems like in the first 10 years, record stores were just going out of business left and right; now it seems like they are having a bit of a renaissance.

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Heavy METAL CINEMA:

METALHEAD INTERVIEW WITH WRITER AND DIRECTOR RAGNAR BRAGASON BY JAMES ALVAREZ

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students here at the acting academy and I met this young actress who was studying. Somehow, I kind of linked those two things together: the actress and that image. Very quickly after, the story kind of presented itself.”

“It’s something that had been brewing in me for quite some time,” Bragason

That actress is Thora Bjorg Helga, who stars as the film’s troubled protagonist, Hera. “Metalhead” follows Hera and her family as they struggle to come to terms with her older brother’s tragic death. Hera’s parents refuse to face their grief, so she finds solace in heavy metal music and em-

says of his latest film. “About eight or 10 years ago, I had this image of a girl with a leather jacket and a guitar, surrounded by cows. That was the first image that came to mind. I had no idea where it came from or what to do with it, but my mind went back to it a few times. Then, later I was doing a workshop with a group of acting

braces her deceased brother’s hessian lifestyle, hoping to keep his memory and spirit alive. Helga’s dedication to her role and Bragason’s masterful direction helped “Metalhead” snag eight awards at the 2014 Icelandic Film Awards, including Best Actress. “[Helga is] the catalyst for the whole thing,” Bragason explains. “I thought

etalhead”—the acclaimed Icelandic indie film that’s earned rave reviews on the international festival circuit—is finally getting a proper U.S. release this spring, hitting select theaters in March and streaming on VOD in April. Noted director Ragnar Bragason’s fifth feature film is a poignant tale of loss, grief, and DIY black metal, which should be seen by movie buffs and metal fiends alike.

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she would be perfect, she had that right attitude.” A lifelong metal fan himself, Bragason knew his film had to be accurate. “Usually, metalheads are quite nerdy,” he laughs. “They’re stuck on details.” Helga was required to learn guitar and to sing, while Bragason made sure the film’s soundtrack matched its late ‘80s, early ‘90s setting. “I was very fortunate to use all the songs I wanted in the film,” he reveals. “People told me I was crazy doing a low budget Icelandic film and wanting to have Judas Priest in the soundtrack. The posters on the wall are real posters from the ‘80s, not reprints. I got my old collection of Kerrang and Metal Hammer magazines and called up friends to borrow theirs.” Aside from an awesome selection of classic metal tunes on the soundtrack—including Judas Priest, Savatage, and Megadeth—the film also features some stellar original compositions, including Hera’s unique proto black metal jam, “Svarthamar,” courtesy of the film’s composer Pétur Ben. “We’ve collaborated on other films,” Bragason explains. “He’s a classically trained composer, a singer-songwriter, but his first start in music was when he was a 15 year old, he was in death metal bands in the early ‘90s”

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At its core, “Metalhead” is a touching film about dealing with loss and grief. Still, Bragason knows the impact his film will have on the metal community, which made it important for him to craft an intelligent, dramatic depiction of the genre for the screen. “That was basically my childhood and my teens, collecting music,” he says. “I tried to be in bands, but I was a terrible musician. At age 20, I took a filmmaking class just to fill up my schedule. I made a short film and my teacher encouraged me to do something more… That was 20 years ago and I haven’t done anything else but film since.”

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MUST SEE DOCUMENTARY:

INDECISION W H AT I T O N C E M E A N T

INTERVIEW WITH GUITARIST RACHEL ROSEN AND PRODUCER/DIRECTOR DEREK MORSE BY SET YOUR GOALS’ MATT WILSON

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ost hardcore bands tour relentlessly for a couple years before burning out and breaking up with nothing to show for it except a couple releases, a mountain of debt, and a closet full of band tees. Indecision was an exception to the hardcore stereotype,

sion in mind: release “What It Once Meant” on DVD. “It was very helpful to have Rachel to bounce ideas off of or fact check on a daily basis, as well as to kind of oversee what I was working on before the rest of the band saw it,” says Morse of the documentary’s creation. The label has since released

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY JUSTIN BORUCKI

with a career spanning seven years and a collection of releases reaching the double digits. You may have never heard of them, but they are one of your favorite bands’ favorite bands. Between playing in Most Precious Blood and manning her Etsy store, Caninus custom dog apparel, guitarist Rachel Rosen has been working with her boyfriend of 11 years, producer and director Derek Morse, on releasing their documentary “Indecision: What It Once Meant.” Rosen and Morse started MorseCode Recordings in 2010 with one mis-

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a handful of records along the way, and the documentary is now in the final stages of manufacturing.

to be out of contact with people. You can easily get to a show using your phone, and you don’t have to entertain each other in the van for hours on end, because most people just end up looking at their phones the whole time—except hopefully whoever is driving!” Besides years of relentless touring, Indecision gained exposure through their thought provoking lyrics. The band’s most notable line, “For those I love, I will sacrifice,” remains a popular tattoo choice among the hardcore music community today. The lyrics have since taken on a life of their own. Rosen explains, “It all started with a photo of [U.S. soldier] Kyle

Hockenberry taken after an IED exploded by him. It was a picture of him in the helicopter with the ‘For Those I Love’ tattoo on his side. It won some photography awards and was all over the Internet. When we saw it, [guitarist] Justin [Brannan] managed to get in contact with Kyle and eventually met him in person. Kyle had never heard of the band, though, and wasn’t into hardcore, so it’s definitely a bit of a mystery as to how it ended up tattooed on him.  I guess it can have a very special meaning for military personnel willing to risk their lives the way they do.”

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“What It Once Meant” can be pre-ordered at Store.MorsecodeRecordings.com

Before cell phones, Wi-Fi, and GPS guidance were commonplace, the bands who toured were those willing to do all of the legwork themselves— and it was a lot of legwork. “We had all handwritten directions and [a] book of maps, no cell phones, no email… It definitely was an adventure, and when you got lost, you had to rely on the kindness of strangers and gas station employees to help you get to where you needed to be,” says Rosen. “Today, it’s almost impossible

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DRAWIN’ MONSTERS WITH

JASON LUBRANO INTERVIEW BY TYLER GIBSON

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ason Lubrano’s got plenty of clout in the punk scene. As the vocalist of pop punk’s unanimous most favoritest band ever, Iron Chic, he is mostly associated with sweaty singalongs and lyrics that cut deep, son. But this scruffy Long Island dreamweaver has a secret… He likes to draw monsters, and he’s really fucking good at it. You’ve all seen his work on album covers and t-shirts without even realizing it. I email Lubrano while waiting in line at the grocery store to get a little insight into Righteous Indignation Layout & Illustration and his monster talent. Puns… It’s hard not to think of Iron Chic when I see your name or artwork. How long had you been making art before the band became a thing? I’ve always loved to draw, but I don’t think I really started doing artwork seriously until after Iron Chic was

already a band. Being in bands since I was a teenager, there was always some kind of artwork that we needed for demos or flyers or what have you, and more often than not, it would fall to me to do it. I started out with pen and paper and photocopy cut and paste parties at OfficeMax, [then] eventually learning Photoshop and working on a drawing tablet. At some point, I decided I didn’t want to have a real job anymore, so I decided to try to start a business doing layout and illustration full time. Was the transition to working digitally weird? It took a little bit of adjustment, but once I got used to it, it was just so much quicker and easier.  Let’s talk monsters… What’s your favorite thing about creating one?  Probably just being able to let the

weirdness out. I like to see how grotesque I can make something, while still maintaining some kind of human attributes. Where does your inspiration come from? Any other illustrators you’re keeping an eye on? I guess, mainly, it comes from the media I consume: books, movies, comics, cartoons. Anything sci-fi or horror. Weed helps too. One of my favorite artists at the moment is Skinner. Every year at the holidays, I make my mom buy me prints and t-shirts from his website. I think I have enough of his t-shirts to wear one every day of the week without repeating any. What artist would be the most boner inducing to work with? For me, it would probably be Dillinger Four or Future Of The Left.

Where do you want to be in 5, 10, 50, 1000 years? Just trying to spend as much time on illustration and playing music as I can. Hopefully, in 1000 years, I’ll be surveying the burned out remnants of human society from a throne made of skulls. More likely, I’ll be dead by then. If I can keep doing what I love and paying my bills in the meantime, I’ll be happy. What’s the best advice you can give to a budding punk rock illustrator and designer who has chosen to pursue this lucrative and prestigious career choice? Honestly, I might not be the best person to give advice, because I’m not sure I’ve really got it figured out yet. The band and the illustration thing kinda prop each other up. Even then, it’s not exactly a living, but to me, it’s worth it to do what I care about. I guess my advice is: if something’s worth doing, then do it, but also be prepared for the consequences.

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oncerts. Festivals. Reunions. Acoustic jamborees. If you’re devouring these pages, you probably love live music as much as we do. Here some of the premier shows going on this season, in your neck of the woods.

FAITH NO more The Second Coming… Part two. Faith No More first reunited back in 2010, to the delight of rock, metal, and general music nerds everywhere. Now, Mike Patton and his merry men are back on the road touring in support of their first new album in 18 years. This spring, expect to hear songs off their much anticipated new record Sol Invictus, alongside your favorite genre bending classics. Miracles do happen, folks.

4/19 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA - WARFIELD 4/20 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA - WARFIELD 4/23 - LOS ANGELES, CA - THE WILTERN 4/24 - LOS ANGELES, CA - THE WILTERN 4/25 - SANTA ANA, CA - THE OBSERVATORY 5/07 - CHICAGO, IL - CONCORD MUSIC HALL 5/08 - DETROIT, MI - THE FILLMORE 5/09 - TORONTO, ON - SONY CENTRE 5/11 - BOSTON, MA - ORPHEUM THEATRE 5/13 - NEW YORK, NY - WEBSTER HALL 5/14 - NEW YORK, NY - WEBSTER HALL 5/15 - PHILADELPHIA, PA - ELECTRIC FACTORY 4/19 - THE ROXY - LOS ANGELES, CA

MASTODON & CLUTCH with big business & Graveyard

Mastodon—those Southern metalheads who love to rock—are teaming up with Clutch, the veteran rockers with an oh-so-heavy sound, for what must be a dream come true for hard rock fiends everywhere. Throw in support from noise mongers like Big Business and Graveyard, and you’ve got a foot stomping good time across North America.

BIG BUSINESS DATES:

4/21 - CALGARY, AB - MACEWAN HALL 4/23 - VANCOUVER, BC - COMMODORE BALLROOM 4/24 - VANCOUVER, BC - COMMODORE BALLROOM* 4/25 - PORTLAND, OR - ROSELAND 4/26 - SEATTLE, WA - SHOWBOX SODO 4/28 - OAKLAND, CA - FOX THEATER

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GRAVEYARD DATES:

4/29 - LOS ANGELES, CA - PALLADIUM 4/30 - TEMPE, AZ - MARQUEE THEATER 5/01 - LAS VEGAS, NV - HOUSE OF BLUES 5/02 - SALT LAKE CITY, UT - THE COMPLEX 5/03 - DENVER, CO - RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE 5/05 - SAN ANTONIO, TX - KAPONE’S BALLROOM

5/06 - OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - DIAMOND BALLROOM 5/08 - ATLANTA, GA - SHAKY KNEES FESTIVAL 5/09 - RALEIGH, NC - LINCOLN THEATRE STREET STAGE 5/10 - PITTSBURGH, PA - STAGE AE* 5/12 - CLIVE, IA - 7 FLAGS 5/13 - MILWAUKEE, WI - EAGLES BALLROOM CLUB STAGE 5/15 - BETHLEHEM, PA - SANDS EVENT CENTER* 5/16 - BALTIMORE, MD - PIER SIX PAVILION* 5/17 - BOSTON, MA - HOUSE OF BLUES 5/19 - NEW YORK, NY - CENTRAL PARK SUMMERSTAGE 5/20 - NIAGARA FALLS, NY - RAPIDS THEATRE 5/21 - LONDON, ON - LONDON MUSIC HALL 5/24 - COLUMBUS, OH - LC PAVILION*

*CLUTCH HEADLINING

PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH with Loma Prieta & Gates

Supporting their much-lauded 2014 release Keep You, the post-hardcore heroes in Pianos Become The Teeth are hitting the road with the raucous screamers in Loma Prieta and the spacey dreamers in Gates on a killer club tour across the country (and some of Canada). 4/21 - INDIANAPOLIS, IN - HOOSIER DOME 4/23 - CHICAGO, IL - SUBTERRANEAN 4/24 - MINNEAPOLIS, MN - TRIPLE ROCK 4/25 - KANSAS CITY, MO - RECORD BAR 4/26 - DENVER, CO - MARQUIS THEATER 4/28 - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - THE BLACK SHEEP 4/29 - ALBUQUERQUE, NM - THE WORKS 4/30 - SCOTTSDALE, AZ - PUB ROCK 5/01 - ANAHEIM, CA - CHAIN REACTION 5/02 - LOS ANGELES, CA - THE ROXY 5/03 - BERKELEY, CA - 924 GILMAN ST. 5/05 - SALT LAKE CITY, UT - URBAN LOUNGE 5/07 - LINCOLN, NE - VEGA 5/08 - MILWAUKEE, WI - CACTUS CLUB 5/09 - GRAND RAPIDS, MI - PYRAMID SCHEME 5/10 - TORONTO, ON - HARD LUCK BAR 5/11 - MONTREAL, QC - LA VITROLA 5/12 - CAMBRIDGE, MA - THE SINCLAIR 5/13 - BROOKLYN, NY - SAINT VITUS 5/15 - CLEVELAND, OH - SPRING FLING FESTIVAL 5/16 - PITTSBURGH, PA - ALTAR BAR 5/17 - ASBURY PARK, NJ - SKATE AND SURF FESTIVAL 5/23 - HOWELL, MI - BLED FEST NEW NOISE MAGAZINE

AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD with Your Favorite Enemies, Boyfrndz

Everyone’s favorite prog-rock punks …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead are set to embark on the trippiest tour of the season. They’re taking avant-garde but equally rocking acts like Your Favorite Enemies and Boyfrndz along with them, for a high energy trek across the states. 4/24 - OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - CONSERVATORY 4/25 - ST. LOUIS, MO - READY ROOM 4/26 - INDIANAPOLIS, IN – HIFI 4/27 - CHICAGO, IL - THALIA HALL 4/28 - DETROIT, MI - THE LOVING TOUCH 4/29 - TORONTO, ONT - LEE’S PALACE 4/30 - PITTSBURGH, PA - MR. SMALLS 5/1 - BROOKLYN, NY - MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURG 5/2 - NEW YORK CITY, NY - LE POISSON ROUGE 5/3 - BOSTON, MA - BRIGHTON MUSIC HALL 5/4 - PHILADELPHIA, PA - UNDERGROUND ARTS: BLACK BOX 5/6 - WASHINGTON D.C. - ROCK N ROLL HOTEL 5/10 - NEW ORLEANS, LA - GASA GASA 5/11 - HOUSTON TX - FITZGERALDS 5/12 - SAN ANTONIO, TX - KOROVA 5/13 - DALLAS, TX - CLUB DADA 5/14 - AUSTIN TX - HOLY MOUNTAIN 5/15 - AUSTIN TX - HOLE IN THE WALL

PSYCHO FEST With Sleep, Pentagram, Russian Circles, Kylesa, Eyehategod, Pallbearer, Old Man Gloom, Cave In, Tombs, more. You see that lineup? If you live on the West Coast, attendance for this three day festival should be considered mandatory. Really, how is this uber-heavy lineup even a thing? Is the Observatory going to still be operational after this? If you’re anywhere near Southern California during this three day celebration of the riff and you don’t attend, consider yourself excommunicated. . 5/15–17 - SANTA ANA, CA - THE OBSERVATORY

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The homeless woman stopped kicking at the cans and slowly raised her head. She looked the woman in the face for the first time. “I need a friend.” The Dominican woman sighed. She was empathetic, but still unsatisfied— she wanted to know! “Well, you live in 19A. I know where you live, that’s why I stopped. I’m late for an appointment, but I’ll come by tonight and we can talk some more and figure this all out.”

Preface: I live in the “Two Bridges” neighborhood in Downtown Manhattan. This neighborhood is directly in between the infamous “Rutgers Housing Projects” and the “Madison Housing Projects.” This little enclave in lower Manhattan serves as a focal point of interest for junkies and shady characters alike. These 12 blocks are a refuge for the riff-raff that still linger in New York City years after Starbucks and condos have pushed most of it out. Here you can still see a glimpse of what New York City once was, and not a day goes by where I don’t find myself engulfed by the snippets of conversation I catch from my window.

I ran to the window and pulled back the blinds to find a 60 year old homeless woman sitting on my steps with her feet inside of a garbage bag. She had pulled the bag up around her knees. She sat with a look of complete defeat, her shoulders slumped and feet pathetically kicking the cans at the bottom of the bag like a 3 year old throwing a tantrum. She yelled again… “HE FUCKED—A WITH—AAAIIIDS!”

BITCH—

“You don’t look too good—you should be inside.”

From time to time, I’d like to share the candid conversations I’ve caught from my window in this column. On this specific day, I was at my desk writing when I was distracted by the sound of hundreds of cans crinkling from the garbage under my window—then she screamed…

A 40-something Dominican woman stood above her. She was well composed, with a shopping bag in her left hand. From this angle, I could only catch the left side of her, but it seemed like she was holding someone’s hand on her right. In context, it felt as though she was walking by and stopped to console the woman.

“HE FUCKED A BITCH WITH AIDS!”

The homeless woman said nothing. She just flailed her legs in the bag,

At first, I was surprised to know the woman on the steps wasn’t homeless,

kicking at the cans she just took from my trash bin. Passersby on the street watched the scene in disgust, picking up their pace and scurrying by. The Dominican woman bent down and lowered her voice, but I could still make out what she was saying. It was the question on everyone’s mind, but we were all too afraid too ask… “Well—did you get it?!”
 “Aiii! He’s been fucking these CRACKWHORES!” She started stomping inside the bag like a complete mad woman, and the cans crinkled and folded under her weight. They started to tear the side of the bag and spill out all over the entrance to my building. The Dominican lady was losing her patience. There was a look in her eye that said she needed to hear the conclusion! “Yes, hunny—but did YOU get IT?!”

because she was wearing the uniform. Then, I was thrown off by the tone of voice the concerned neighbor was using. It raised a question in my head: wa/s it her genuine neighborly intention to stop and chat with this woman, or her own sick curiosity about whether this woman was infected? It was all so strange… The woman on the steps lowered her head and started crying. She pulled the trash bag around her knees up to her chest like a blanket as she got comfortable on the steps. The neighbor took two steps and turned. From my point of view, I could finally catch the other side of her. She was holding the hand of her young daughter, who was watching the woman crying in the trash bag on the stoop. The girl looked at her mother with an innocent confusion that read, “Why did you drag us into this? What was the point of this?!” The mother leaned into her daughter’s ear and whispered… “Don’t just stare. Say ‘goodbye,’ Felicia.” “Bye, Felicia.”

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New Noise Magazine - Issue #17  

Featuring: Hop Along, The Story So Far, Rocky Votolato, Anti-Flag, Punk Rock Bowling, After The Fall, Pears, The Dwarves, Weedeater, Good Ri...