“The Music Lifestyle Magazine”
V:2, I:1 ®
One-on-One: Paul McCoy of 12 Stones see pg. 8
One’s to Watch: The AutoPilots Secret Society in Smaller Lies see pg. 5
pressplaymag.com JANUARY 2011
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PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011
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Publisher’s Rewind: “Be open minded for growth, and not limited to ignorance.” - Myke Fay-Z Press Play Magazine 7861 Main Street, Houma, LA 70363 | 985-580-7800 Press Play Magazine. 2011. All rights reserved. Press Play Magazine (PPM) is a free publication. PPM, unless stated otherwise, claims no right to any third-party content used within the publication. Although PPM strives to maintain a high level of accuracy and validity within its content, PPM, its publishers, contributors, and support staff issue no guarantees to accuracy, completeness, or usefulness. The endorsements, opinions, and information published within PPM do not necessarily reflect the views of PPM’s staff, sponsors, or advertisers. It is the sole responsibility of the Reader to evaluate the information, opinion, advice, or other content available through Press Play Magazine. Under no circumstances shall Press Play Magazine or any other party involved in creating, producing, or distributing of Press Play Magazine be liable for damages of any kind, including (without limitation) compensatory, direct, indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damages. This includes but is not limited to reliance by a Reader on any information obtained from PPM or that which results from mistakes, omissions, interruptions, deletion of files or email, errors, defects, or any failure of performance, whether or not resulting from acts of God, communications failure, theft, destruction, or unauthorized access to PPM’s records, programs, or services. Because some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, in such states liability is limited to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Here we go with a New Year! As time goes by, we look back to see where we began and to where we have come. Then a new year comes, and we plan for where we want to go. We reflect on all of the lessons learned, mistakes made, challenges we have overcome, and the life changing events of the past year, and we still have a long way to go to understand and succeed. Not just in industry, but in life. I have experienced many changes in my life and in my business, but I must keep on moving forward to fulfill my goals both personally and professionally. I know we all face similar issues and challenges at some point and time, but the only way to get through them is perseverance and love from family and close friends. As you move on in life, you might find yourself in a confused state of mind, trying to figure out what is right and what makes you happy as an individual. We all know one thing for sure--we only have one life to live. You should live it to the fullest and make decisions based on your own feelings and happiness. Each morning, we get to breathe in and live another day. Do not live it for anyone else but yourself. And yes, I’m proud to say that I believe in God and I’m grateful for the country we live in, but I’m not going to force my beliefs on anyone. We are all human beings, and we have the God-given right to make decisions and make our own judgments while living our lives. Right or wrong, in other person’s eyes, is their opinion. Sometimes I wish life was different, but I must live to be true to who I am and how I feel. I am who I am and no one can change that. I’m not an angel, I’m a human being. I am not perfect, and I do not portray myself to be. I make mistakes, but I also make solid decisions. I deal with people on a daily basis who have more issues than Sports Illustrated, but I care for them and would give my life for them. I take risks on a daily basis that most will not experience in a lifetime. I am not asking or expecting pity. Like me or dislike me, love me or hate me--my life is my life. I am responsible for my actions and accountable for my faults. You can learn to forgive and forget faults of others, or in some instances, just simply forget. I have done both. There are some people whom I have forgiven and others that I have just forgotten. Let’s face it, mistakes can be made; from people involved, to outsiders looking in. If you judge someone and think you are living the perfect life, look into a glass mirror and throw a stone. If the mirror shatters, suck it up and move on with life. If the mirror doesn’t shatter, then feel free to judge. But wouldn’t it be nice if everyone’s New Year’s resolution was to better themselves and judge no one? To all who want to pass judgment and criticize: Remember that only God can judge! Luckily for me, music is my escape and soothes my hard times. Two of my favorite tracks: one from Framing Hanley, “Built for Sin” and another from my boy, Co-Ruff, “Hard Tymes”. Without music and this entertainment industry, I do not know what I would be living for. This is my freedom! This is my love! This is my life! Long Live The Music, Myke Fay-Z PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011
by Chris Recinos, Staff Writer, Editor
“Nothing endures but change.” – Heraclitus Nothing is truer in life and especially in the music industry. From multi-million dollar agencies and artists to street musicians, you have to continue to change and evolve; otherwise you’ll be left behind. Think of the artists that have been able to successfully put out more than three albums. Led Zeppelin, Madonna, U2, The Beatles… Now that’s a wide range to speak of in the same sentence, but they all did the same thing; changed with the times and remained relevant.
As an artist it is imperative that you are capable of this without losing your identity. Even if you break new ground with a style that the world has not been exposed to, the market will soon be saturated with copy cats and those who have been influenced by you. You have to evolve. One of the most interesting things I’ve heard in my time is someone saying, “I used to love 311… but they just sound too much like… well, 311 now.” Nothing put this all into perspective as much as that statement did. Push the envelope. Leave your comfort zone. Take a chance. Every musical great was influenced by others but wasn’t satisfied with just doing what they already heard. They took what they heard and made it their own. Madonna’s never going away. She isn’t. She has reinvented herself over and over again to make herself relevant and somewhat necessary in pop culture. Bono and U2 do the same - on the stage and off the stage in all their political ventures. Zep and the Fab Four didn’t just ride the winds of change; they created them, and we all followed. Now as well as for the artist the same applies to the music businessman… or woman. This is an old industry. Most of the people involved stick around for a long time and tend to stick to “ways that work.” It takes initiative and set of brass balls sometimes to try to reinvent the wheel, but sometimes that exactly what needs to happen. Keeping things new and fresh is important in the larger scale of the industry as much as it is inside the small music business. As much as the industry and the market fluctuate around you, your business has to be able to flex and bend as well – but without breaking. It’s a difficult middle ground to try to stay on. Stay still and let the sands whirl around you, and you get buried. Let the wind blow you in the direction its going and you may lose sight of where you are and get lost. Move too much against the storm and you are sure to snap at your weakest point. You need to bend like a reed in the wind; stationary, flexible, and when the wind hits you right, letting out a beautiful song that cuts through the chaos around you.
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Who? Ethan Belanger - Lead Guitar Gabriel Delaney - Bass/Vocals Matthew Meche - Rhythm Guitar Zack Blum - Drums What? A healthy combination of influences ranging from The Rolling Stones to Foo Fighters – frankly, just good ol’ Rock ‘n Roll. When? December 25th for their CD Release Party at The City Club of Houma Where? These Houma natives have recently moved to the Baton Rouge area to attend university, but still come back to play for their hometown fans – slowly but surely branching out to the rest of Southern Louisiana and hopefully farther soon. Why? Old friends who have been playing together since the early teens years. In the beginning the music was written for the voice and influences of vocalist, Gabe. After performing a handful of shows, the band revamped their sound to showcase everyone’s influences in a sound that is a melting pot of classic rock, punk and contemporary alternative. You can find them online at: www.autopilotsmusic.com
Who? Marc Miller - Guitar Tony Bergeron - Drums Joe Harp – Vocals and Synth Christian Yates - Guitar Cory Bergeron - Bass What? Loud experimental Indie noise rock with subtle punk influences When? December 18th at The City Club of Houma Where? Homegrown gents from the Houma area. Also seen performing in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge area. Why? A group of good friends that actually enjoy each other’s company that got together to create music. What was created was a genuine, honest sound representative of all of their past influences and musical stylings. In spite of the experimental aspect of their music, their live performance is more suited to an arena than some smokey hipster bar because of their energetic and intense show. You can find them online at myspace.com/smallerlies and www.facebook.com/pages/Secret-Society-in-Smaller-Lies and an interview with them in Hustler Magazine at www.hustlermagazine.com/features/bandinterviews/secret-society-in-smaller-lies PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011
PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011
DECEMBER 17 Invoke The Nightmare w/ Dazien and The Ascent of Seraph Flow Tribe plus The Loca No Exit Colin Lake (2-5pm) / Irving Bannister's All Stars (7-10pm) 18 Secret Society in Smaller Lies, Guns of the Seneca, The Secrets, Arguing Semantics Joe Bennett (2-5pm) / Irving Bannister's All Stars (7-10pm) The Benjy Davis Project w/ Generation Way 19 Irving Bannister's All Stars (2-5pm) / Cindy Chen (7-10pm) 23 Voice of the Wetlands Christmas Jam 25 Trombone Shorty's Funky X-mas Jam The Autopilots CD Release Party 28 100 Monkeys plus Kissing Club USHER w/ Trey Songz 29 Dr. John & the Lower 911 30 Meriwether w/ The American Tragedy Better Than Ezra plus The Stooges Brass Band 31 SouthDown Better Than Ezra Tab Benoit Galactic plus Tea Leaf Green
Howlin' Wolf Northshore Tipitinas City Club of Houma Margaritaville City Club of Houma Margaritaville Howlin' Wolf Northshore Margaritaville City Club of Houma House of Blues City Club of Houma House of Blues New Orleans Arena Tipitinas The Varsity Theatre House of Blues City Club of Houma House of Blues Mid City Lanes Rock 'n' Bowl Tipitinas
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JANUARY 1 Zoso "Ultimate Tribute to Led Zeppelin" 6 Styx 7 Groovy 7 Randy Newman with the Louisiana Philharmoic Orchestra Clockwork Elvis plus Bonerama 8 12 Stones Secrets 10 Girl Talk 11 Girl Talk 14 Smiley with a Knife w/ Lovey Dovies, The Sour Notes, and Royal Teeth Frontiers - a Tribute to Journey Honey Island Swamp Band 15 Relive the Fabulous 50's Rhythm Kings Little Feat plus The Roy Jay Band Rockalanche He Bleeds FIreman 21 Lazarus Heart The Molly Ringwalds 22 Foret Tradition England in 1819 An Evening with Eric Lindell 24 NOFX & The Bouncing Souls w/ Cobra Skulls & Old Man Markley 25 Led Zeppelin 2 JJ Grey & Mofro 26 Best Coast + Wavves + No Joy Yonder Mountain String Band 27 Badfish - A Tribute to Sublime 28 Benjy Davis Project 29 The Bucktown Allstars Edwin McCain 31 Monotonix with Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship Jimmy Eat World plus special guest David Bazan & Band Tokyo Police Club
PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011
One-on-One with Paul McCoy of 12 Stones by Chris Recinos, Staff Writer, Editor
Well, to begin with I’m not going to even try to pretend that this whole story and interview isn’t special to me. The gentlemen in 12 Stones and my paths have crossed and intertwined so many times in the past 10+ years that it’s almost impossible to write something about them without an obvious sense of familiarity seeping out between the text you are about to read. See, our conjoined story began more than a decade ago with my band in New Orleans, Overtone, blazing through the New Orleans hard rock scene and kicking ass and taking names and some other clichés the whole way through. We became a bit of a ringer at the House of Blues, consistently putting on electric live shows and bringing in hundreds of people to see us on stage every time. Consequently we were asked to open for national acts who’s ticket sales were less than desirable many times to help fill the room. Well, I get a call from the Assistant Talent Buyer at the time and he asks if I’ve heard of this band from the Northshore called 12 Stones that just got a fat record deal from the Creed-fed new label, Wind-Up Records. Of course I did. Well turns out, HOB was a little nervous about this show… not knowing how the band would do since they had only played a handful of shows in the area before getting their deal… so out goes the call to the ringers – us. And of course we took the gig. Well, the show was originally booked in the smaller Parish Room (400 capacity at the time), but with some radio play and massive promotions by 12 Stones and my old band, it became abundantly clear that the Parish Room wasn’t going to be able to accommodate the attendance for that night. The show was moved to “The Big Room.” Long story short, night of show, 1 hour before the show begins, the soundman walks up to me backstage to inform me that “the show just sold out.” 1,000+ people… right beyond those walls to see a couple of local bands, one that just happened to sign to a major record label. It was a pretty impressive feat, for us and for them. If I recall correctly, they had to physically drag me off that stage after my performance. I wasn’t getting off of there without a fight. Anyway, that was the beginning of a lot of cool things that started to happen in the New Orleans area for local bands. There were a handful of locals that had been and continued to draw 300+ fans on a regular basis and with some other local boys getting a deal, local bands were taken a whole lot more serious afterwards because you never knew who was going to be next… as a matter of fact you were looking for them. And if it hadn’t been for Katrina, I still believe you would of heard a lot 8
PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011
more about some of them. So between that gig, appearances at many workplaces of mine including Guitar Center, a club I ran in Mississippi, and now at The City Club of Houma I’ve become somewhat acquainted with the gents in 12 Stones. Well, I reached out to Paul McCoy to chat about his (and our) past ten years in this crazy business and he was more than happy to talk for a bit. Ok, let’s start with the basic stuff. How long has 12 Stones been around? Too damn long, man. 10 years, we formed in 2001. And where are you all from? We’re from Mandeville, Louisiana. Can you tell us the events that led up to you all getting your first record deal? As a band, we all kind of met each other in a music store on the Northshore and started jamming with each other (none of us were friends prior) and were like “Oh, you play guitar? That’s cool, I play guitar, too.” We turned that into jam sessions and jammed for about 6 months straight, four or five days a week. Then we played approximately 13 shows before we started showcasing for labels. We got signed with Wind-Up Records in the summer of 2001. It’s one of those freak incidents of right place, right time, right people, I think. And you all aren’t with Wind-Up anymore, right? No we’re not, we just left them after 10 years. This is our first year without Wind-Up. How old were you when you got your deal? I was 19, but I wish I had the knowledge that I have now when I got handed that signing bonus.
Now one of the first times I met you was when I was working at Guitar Center… and you all came in, in your brand new BMW’s and Lexus’s, playing Playstation in the cars, and buying over $15K worth of gear… tell me the difference between Paul McCoy then and the one I’m talking to now. I had $15,000 then to spend on gear. I think honestly I was very excited and very happy to be getting a deal as any musician would be, but I think at that time, being 19 and coming from a family that never really had a lot of money... I went from having $300 in my bank account, if I was lucky, to having six figures in my account and not knowing how to deal with it. Now I’m married and have a family and more responsibility. I think at that point it was just about what can I buy, what can I do, where can I go? I think at the beginning of getting the record deal you think, “Oh, this is just the first of many checks to come...so I don’t have to be fickle, I don’t have to be smart.” One of the first times I met Fred from Cowboy Mouth he looked at me and said “Put your money in the bank! Don’t be stupid, put your money in the bank!” I laughed and I said, ”Man, I got enough money, I don’t need to put it in the bank.” He was right and that’s why he’s a career musician and been doing it forever. He’s a smart guy. So I think I’ve just grown up a little bit.
to the guys that did this before us and took a chance and tried to help us out. They really wanted to see every band become successful and I thought that was really cool. Now the next time we crossed paths was at the venue I was running in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The Dive, right?
Yep. You all practiced above my club. How is that Paul different from the Paul I met in Guitar Center? I think at that point I was starting to get a little bit more reality in my life. When you’re 19 years old, it doesn’t really matter what you do for a living. I don’t think a lot of kids truly get it at that age. You feel you’re old enough to get into bars, old enough to vote, old enough to fight and die for your country, you should be old enough to know everything. I think that’s what a lot of us thought. So when I got to that point (at The Dive) I realized it was going to be a lot of work. It wasn’t going to be one of those check in the mail every other week kind of things. I learned a lot about myself and about my band guys and being out in Mississippi was cool because it was a separation from what was comfortable. It took us out of being in our home town with all of our friends. It was literally us and a few close people next to us. I actually got to go back the other day and listen to some of our old demos that we did in that spot above that bar and it almost made me cringe. I mean, I was Shortly afterwards was your show at the House of Blues… tell me about that experience of selling out HOB like man, that’s awful. How did we stay signed with some of the demos we ended up tracking ourselves like idiots? your first time in the big room. It was an amazing feeling. I still remember the first or second time we got to come out at House of Blues. Just the amount of noise (I remember it physically hurting my ears), the crowd screaming, and I thought at that point it was probably the best feeling that anyone could ever have. I’ve never really been much into drugs, but I’m sure that’s the feeling people try to get to because it was pretty amazing. It was one of those things that still gives me chills thinking about it even 9 or 10 years later...thinking about that feeling of having to almost turn my head away and close my ears to make sure my ear drums didn’t bleed. Now it’s cool, because when you sell out the House of Blues, theres a wall to the back leading to the dressing rooms where they give you a “notch” for every time you sell it out. It’s cool to go and look to see 12 Stones up on the wall with a few notches and looking around to see all the other artist. It’s just such a cool feeling to know that it’ll be there till they burn the place down. And after that was your tour with Creed? How was that? That was pretty crazy because before we did the Creed tour, we had done a lot of small venues and the House of Blues was our only venue of any size. So being a 19 year old kid and Creed being in its height of popularity, going from clubs full of your friends and family to arenas full of people you didn’t know and didn’t know you, it’s a pretty humbling experience. One of the first bands that was on that tour with us was Sevendust. I just remember how amazing they were, and still are, as a live act. To see Lajon and some of those guys standing on side of the stage every night when we would walk off the stage (you wouldn’t even want to look at them because you respected them that much) and they would say “Great show tonight, man. Think about doing this next time.” Just friendly pointers. To this day I attribute a lot of our stage presence and our show PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011
Now you’ve spent a considerable amount of time on the road. What where the biggest lessons learned on tour? Always be humble. Always take time for your fans. You never know when the next big thing, or the next Justin Beiber comes out, you never know when your fans are going to lose interest and go away. I find I see a lot of bands that I knew 10 years ago when we first got signed that were running around the arenas just begging for someone to buy a tee shirt, now they’re too cool to even do anything before or after they get off stage. “Oh, we don’t sign autographs, we don’t talk to them.” I’ve seen some artist be really rude to little kids. People do actually pay attention to that type of thing. I think it’s the little things overall that make a difference; taking time to interact with your fans, just being reachable and being real. We all bleed. I don’t want anyone to look at us and say, “They’re big bad rock stars and don’t have time for us.” We’re not that at all. We’re very much “little people” that are just very lucky to have a cool job. I think a lot of people in bands lose sight of that. Can you tell me about your Grammy experience? It was actually really cool. I’m very honored to be called a Grammy winner. It was obviously for the Evanescence song, it was for Best Hard Rock Performance of 2003. That year Evanescence was nominated, I believe, for 5 Grammy’s, but there was only 1 of those 5 that I was eligible for because I wasn’t a song writer for the project and it happened to be one that won. We got to ride in limos to go walk the red carpet where we were passed by all these huge superstars and music celebrities. It was cool, I was with Dave Fortman, who produced the Evanescence album and several other great albums,and everyone from the band but Amy Lee—She kind of went ahead of us by herself. A little lady with a clipboard came over and asked “What group are you guys?” and Dave said “We’re with Evanescence.” and she said “Congratulations, you’re a Grammy winner for Best Hard Rock Performance.” So from that moment before we even got into the building, I knew I had won something. I spent the whole night in the nose bleed section, where my seat was, just smiling ear to ear and every time they would announce a winner for some other completely separate category, I was like “Yeah, me too. Yeah, me too!” It was a cool thing, I pretty much did the one man wave in the nose bleeds when they announced all the earlier winners, including Best Hard Rock Performance, to the crowd during commercial breaks. But the way it started was that I was asked if I would do the song, and I was basically a 5th in line back up plan kind of thing. The record label wanted some people who actually did rap rock, you know; Jacoby from Papa Roach, Josey from Saliva, some of the guys from Linkin Park, and for whatever reason none of those guys could or would do the song. So, they called me and asked if I would be interested in doing it, and I said sure, I’d give it a shot. I’d love to be on somebody else’s album other than my own. So I flew out to LA and was there for about 2 ½ to 3 hours total,tracked, and flew right back to a Texas show with Sevendust. I was in the studio with them for maybe an hour, hour and a half, then I went back to the hotel to sleep for about an hour to an hour and a half, and then right back on to a red eye flight to Texas for the tour. It was right in right out, no big deal, then a couple years later win a Grammy. Pretty crazy.
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Where is your Grammy now? It’s actually sitting downstairs in my living room. I put it right next to my couches on the end table where I write as a reminder just in case I get writer’s block. So what does Paul McCoy do now when he’s not on stage or in the studio? He cleans the house, cleans the dishes, and then takes his daughter to school and his wife to work. I’m Mr. Mom. I’m the complete opposite of what most people see on stage. I pull up to my daughter’s school with a mohawk and covered in tattoos. It’s a fun experience every morning to see the teachers try not to cringe. And the next time you’re in town? January 8th at The City Club of Houma. How do you find smaller towns like Houma compare to the bigger cities you’ve been to… even the difference from New Orleans? While the towns may be smaller per capita, the people there are much less afraid to have fun. I know that every time I been to City Club and down to Houma for a show, people show up and are there to be at a rock show. They’re not there to showcase or to go to the Foundation Room. They go there to have a good time and to hear rock music.
by Chris Recinos, Staff Writer, Editor 01/06 – Styx House of Blues – New Orleans, LA There have been a lot of bands since 1970’s, so the fact that Styx can still pull like they do is an impressive feat. Also goes to show the power their music still has on old and new fans alike. In addition to hits such as “Lady”, “Come Sail Away”, “Mr. Roboto”, and “Show Me The Way” their four consecutive multi-platinum certified albums contained many other prog-rock powerhouses that withstood the test of time. If you’re still not sure who Styx is, trust that you’ve heard them at one time or another on The Simpsons, South Park, throughout the movie Big Daddy, or in Volkswagen commercials. Tickets are $50. 01/10 & 11 - Girl Talk House of Blues – New Orleans, LA If you’ve never been to a Girl Talk show, you don’t know the meaning of the word chaos. Girl Talk is Gregg Michael Gillis, a DJ from Pittsburgh whose mashups and digital sampling has become a thing of legend. Still being a bit underground, Girl Talk has still received many accolades in the industry. His album Feed the Animals was number four on Time’s Top 10 Albums of 2008, Rolling Stone gave the album four stars and ranked the album #24 on their Top 50 albums of 2008, and Blender magazine rated it the second-best recording/ album of 2008. But none of that can prepare you for the live performance. With Gregg being adamant about allowing the fans to get up on stage with him, it’s a venue’s worse nightmare… until the end of the night when they can tally up the door receipts, that is. Tickets are $20,
back and enjoy. The performance and music is very bare and vulnerable and that how these gents like it. One of the best descriptions I’ve heard of Smiley with a Knife is “… math rock for people who don’t like math rock.” Lovey Dovies, The Sour Notes, and Royal Teeth open. Tickets are $7. 01/24 – NOFX House of Blues – New Orleans, LA In 1983, something happened in San Francisco, California that would affect punk music many, many years to follow. With individual names just as famous as the four letter word that brings them together, Fat Mike and Eric Melvin began NOFX. Later adding Erik Sandin and El Hefe, these gentlemen became one of the most successful independent acts of all time with 11 studio albums, 15 EP’s and numerous 7” singles - selling over 6 million records worldwide, including their monster Punk in Drublic in 1994 which was certified gold and is now considered a classic with fans and within the industry. Utilizing elements of their punk and ska influences, NOFX continues to remain relevant and to sell out venues across the nation. The Bouncing Souls w/ Cobra Skulls & Old Man Markley open. Tickets are $23.50 in advance.
01/26 – Yonder Mountain String Band The Varsity – Baton Rouge, LA YMSB is a progressive bluegrass unit that has been taking college towns by storm since 1998, but their following isn’t quite what you’d think they’d be. Appealing to the same fan bases as artists such as Phish, Widespread Panic, and Dave Matthews Band, YSMB has been able to fill rooms with musicians, hippies, 01/14 – Smiley with a Knife and hipsters alike. Yes, it’s Bluegrass, but it’s much more, as One Eyed Jacks – New Orleans, LA well. Amazing song compositions, time changes, furious solos, This New Orleans group began its instrumental chapter in 2007 and atmospheric melodies are all things you’ll hear at these when the indie scene was more rampant than ever in the Big concerts. And yes, they are a string band - mandolin, bass, Easy. With melodic ambience mixed with abrupt mood changes banjo, and guitar. Tickets are $20. this quartet keep your mind guessing while your ears just sit
PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011
Chiodos - “Illuminaudio” Record Label: Equal Vision Records Reviewed by: Heidi Ohmer
Craig Owens was the most identifiable aspect of the band Chiodos and all their fans awaited the arrival of the new album Illuminaudio which was finally released this year. When fans heard of Owens’ departure and that a new vocalist was to take his place, the familiar feeling of love for the band was replaced with the not so familiar of doubt. To everyone’s surprise Brandon Bolmer, former vocalist for Yesterday’s Rising, took the front man’s lead with a driving force. New hope for the band came along with the new vocalist and it is mirrored in every song of the album. The intro to the album, “Illuminaudio”, begins the albums journey with a spacious curiosity. Listening to Bolmer’s smooth and luring voice puts everyone’s doubts behind. The intro leads into the heavy follower “Caves” which begins once again with Bolmer’s soothing voice. Throughout the entire song, it is a flip between soft verses and in your face heavy screaming that leaves the listener feeling like a pleased schizophrenic. The band’s new start with Brandon Bolmer is proven to be just what Chiodos needed. Musically speaking, the band has added variety along with a slight hint of head banging elements that may add additional fans from the Craig Owens era. Pre- Bolmer influences show in one of the albums softest and ambient songs, “Notes in Constellations”. With basic guitar riffs, ambient effects, and Bolmers high captivating voice, the band confirms that feelings of the past may not always be haunting. The song’s emotional and breathtaking conclusion transits into the modern heavy Bolmer generation once again with “Scaremonger.”The guitar’s crunching deliverance, the drummers constant beats, and the bassist’s contagious bass lines creates involuntary body movement. While listening to this melting pot album, there is a question that may arise: how will it end ? The answer? In an alluring ballad, of course. The ending track “Closed Eyes Still Look Forward” sends chills into whoever is listening because of the emotional keys and voice. The message sent from the lyrics, about finding the way and facing fears ,may also strike the sensitive side of even the toughest person. Many have argued that this emotive conclusion to Illuminaudio was a bad choice; I say that it was perfect. Not only have they chosen a new vocalist, but they chose to add Bolmer’s influences into the old Chiodos sound which invites new interested listeners that will definitely convert them to dedicated fans.
Show REVIEWS Gogol Bordello
The Republic – New Orleans, LA By Heidi Ohmer
It is time for a visionary innovation. Imagine receiving feelings that were never present before. Imagine personally witnessing something that makes every other moment seem watered down. With all overdramatic tendencies put aside, a Gogol Bordello live performance will put a damper on any other live show out there. It is an amazing thing that they chose The Republic in New Orleans to define the true elements of a live show. First of all, it is safe to say the choice to view the show from the upper level was a smart decision because the crowd’s raging energy became erratic well before the first drum beat was even heard. If at all possible, the crowd became even more unimaginable after Ukrainian vocalist Eugene Hütz stepped on stage. The rest of the gypsy-punk band jumped on stage to start the multi-genre chaos that fed off of the entire crowd’s energy. It is really difficult to describe a show in detail when the night, the show, everything involved was such a blur of constant visual and audio stimulation. Unlike other bands in which the front man is the bands cheerleader, every member of Gogol Bordello at one point of the show was in the spotlight pumping up the crowd. Whether it was MC and percussionist Pedro Erazo jumping up to the plate to tear up the mic, or Sergey Ryabtsev shredding on his violin, the crowd seemed to appreciate every aspect of the show. The audience seemed to have morphed into a sea of humanity that constantly crashed into the stage. Even more impressive is the fact that while being human waves, they still managed to sing every word of every song. If planning on attending a Gogol Bordello show, be prepared for the only moment to take a breath to be after the show due to the band’s indescribable energy on stage and the crowd’s unavoidable urges to move. 12
PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011
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Show REVIEWS Circa Survive
House of Blues – New Orleans, LA By Heidi Ohmer
When the first thing you witness of a show is looking eye to eye to one of your most admired artist is when you know your life is just that much closer to being complete. That is exactly what happened when I looked up and saw vocalist Anthony Green to be inches away from my face when Circa Survive tore up House of Blues stage in New Orleans. For the entire show, the band sent an ambient emotion so strong that it sent chills down everyone’s spines. With the combination of hypnotizing stage lights, the bands magnetizing energy, and imaginative music, the show was clearly a satisfying package for all fans. It was also apparent that the bands truest fans were all in attendance for the fact that everyone yelled every lyric and failed to move from their spots from the moment Circa Survive stepped on stage—not to mention the chanting of “Circa” that delivered the crowds hunger for the band’s performance. Even though some fans may have argued that the band should have played tracks from previous albums, songs such as “Get Out” and “Imaginary Enemy” sent the crowd into a singing frenzy. From Anthony Green’s captivating high tenor voice to Guitarist Colin’s mesmerizing guitar work, this band has everything to offer for fans of all music genres. The band ended the show in a perfect way. The encapsulating “I felt free” was joined with paper precipitation and large balloons being passed around the crowd. Every element of the night created unimaginable feelings that prove Circa Survive truly delivers a breathtaking experience.
PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011
PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011
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PRESS PLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2011