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founder/ editor in chief/ photographer & designer SHANA MYERS

co-designer & photographer BRANDYNN LEIGH



abby gillardi, abby griffey, amanda jensen, amanda puglisi, anam merchant, brandynn leigh, brian baker, cassie deadmond, chelsea gresh, evgeniya, kait rairden, kelli coyne, kim cisneros, kylee gregg, lauren zaknoun, lindsy carr, lori gutman, maeva valbousquet, meaghan brown, melanie jacknow, mika schmeling, penelope martinez, priten vora, sami wideberg, shana myers. taylor novak, victoria george


branda cavanna, candace carter, caitlyn tanner, josie adnit, lu lu green, maisie king, mike martin, mila hrisimova, naomi lugo, sarah kempster, scarlett grant, victoria george

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Album Reviews 7 of mice & men 7 you me at six 8 bastille 9 we are the in crowd 10 traditions 8 matt webb

Show Reviews 12 cody simpson 16 the colourist 18 falling in reverse 20 the roadshow tour 24 cassadee pope 26 dean brody

Interviews 28 otenki 32 hawthorne heights 34 sleeper agent 36 mkto 38 halfway home 40 survive this 44 tour manager profile


on the cover 40




artist: of mice & men album: restoring force release date: january 24, 2014 Are you angry? How angry are you? On a scale of one to ten, are you on par with Austin Carlile who, it would seem from this album, is really really angry, and really really sad?

Overall, Restoring Force is most definitely a work of heart. From the almost painfully sad Another You to the inspiring You’re Not Alone and full-frontal rage of Public Service Announcement, Of Mice And Men are doing what they do best - emotion in it’s rawest form, framed with skilled instrumental work and kicked into life by Carlile’s vocals. It’s hard to comprehend the sheer musical talent from in just one band; there’s not a single bad note or beat and while they do risk sounding over-produced at times, largely they retain the brutal sound that gives them their edge over so many other bands like them. By far the best tracks on the album are Bones Exposed, for the way it inspires you to burn your ex’s clothes and wear your most rock-and-roll leathers, Break Free for it’s liberating lyrics, pounding melodies and foot-stomping drum line, and Another You for the emotional value as well as the experimentation with acoustics and more simple guitar melodies - in this case, less is more. It’s yet another winner by this metalcore quartet, and is set to be a sure fire hit with both old and new fans alike, as well as potentially dragging in a few new ears from fans of Memphis May Fire, Bring Me The Horizon, and Yashin. With this record, the force that is Of Mice and Men has not only been restored, but also cemented into the metal music scene for good. review by: josie adnitt artist: you me at six album: cavalier youth release date: january 28, 2014

You Me at Six have finally released their new album ‘Cavalier Youth’ for fans to lose themselves in. I for one am a huge fan, but watching Oceans Away (The making of the album dvd) and following the band through their recent journey after The Final Night of Sin, the album speaks volumes. The band’s sound has developed further through maturity, intense instrumentals and experimentation of melodies. And if you weren’t a YMAS fan before, I’m sure Cavalier Youth is going to be the one to grab everyone’s attention. The album kicks off with ‘Too Young To Feel This Old’ which is the first of a few to take on the love theme. However it is also the first of a few to highlight that essentially most things we worry for, are not worth the time. Quite simply; love is one of the main things that matters. Don’t let past heartache stop you from loving again, and live your youth. Franceschi’s vocals hold a lot more strength in note holding, and the constant drum beat supports the fantasy-like sound. Next we have the first two singles the band released pre-album. ‘Lived a Lie’ and ‘Fresh Start Fever’ bring the rock sound a bit more heavily than other tracks on the album. Fresh Start is about the hype of a new year and the resolutions people think about making, whilst LAL is about following the dream even if you’re told otherwise. Because as the perfect live sing-song lyric tells us ‘we are believers!’ Following onto ‘Forgive and Forget’ that holds a simple riff, accompanied by some experimental tom drumming and a catchy melody. The music manages to support the nostalgic sentiment as the vocals sway review by: sarah kempster


between harmonious and a serious sentiment. Leading onto ‘Room To Breathe’ with Mr Flint’s drumming holding out very strong. This is potentially one of my favourite tracks. The emotion is incredibly high, and Josh’s vocals are at a soaring high. The whole composition is so well done, with an amazing percussion build up and a mini guitar solo to finish it off. Continuing on with the unique sounds, ‘Win Some, Lose Some’ contains a slight Biffy element of sound. The rhythm will have you tapping your hands and feet away, regardless of the interesting lyrics of the last verse. Then we have ‘Cold Night’ which is one of the slower tracks, holding the end of the love songs. Wanting someone to mean what that say in those nights that will stick with you forever. Matt also mentioned on the DVD that he heard the riff that was akin to a modern Police and John Mayer. Well I couldn’t agree more, sums up the sound perfectly. Following on to ‘Hope For The Best’ which was released freely to you if you pre-ordered the album. Again, this track holds onto a more Sinners sound, and one of my favoured tracks. Purely because the lyrics are incredibly strong and hone into the classic YMAS lyrics with attitude, backed up by another catchy melody. ‘Love Me Like You Used To’ has an excellent rock intro, and holds a huge part of what the album stands for. The Rock sound progressed, with every member up in game with what they provide for their music. Quite cleverly too, providing a heavy heart to desperation to feel a love you feel is fading. ‘Be Who You Are’ is a beautiful short track that you will all need to put on when you found the one who gets you. The one you will be cliché with on a summer evening talking about everything. Also containing an incredible country riff that highlights the lovely sentiment. Following onto ‘Carpe Diem’ also supports the loving soundtrack to a wonderful night with a loved one, but offers something a little more in depth. As stated throughout the album in numerous lines, that ‘we don’t live twice’, carpe diem is the way to be. Because there should be no regrets, for they offer no value. ‘Carpe Diem till the bitter end’. Finally the record ends with ‘Wild Ones’ which concludes a great musical journey. All values still in place to make the most of live. Offers a haunting truthful line ‘when you’re gone there’s no one to lean on, and it’s me, myself and I’ But the joy of music is to create a unity that we can all share. I’ve always admired YMAS first, and foremost, for the band they are as people. Honest and genuine. All albums offer something valuable, but Cavalier Youth is another to add to the growth of the band, and the progression of the fans. And just as we are the Sixers, the Sinners, the believers and Wild Ones, they may have been down but definitely not out. The record is a sensational creation, and I applaud you. review by: sarah kempster artist: bastille album: all this bad blood release date: january 14, 2014

Bastille recently released their extended version of ‘Bad Blood’ with the 25 track, 2 disc edition All This Bad Blood. Although the tracks that feature on the new album have been released on LPs and EPs before, for Bastille fanatics you can re-live your love for oldies. The first disc features the bands hit singles; ‘Pompeii’, ‘Flaws’, ‘Bad Blood’, ‘Laura Palmer’, and ‘Things We Lost in the Fire’. The second disc, starts off with ‘Poet’ which featured on the Pompeii EP, a song that celebrates how therapeutic music can be; specifically the release of emotions song writing can give you. Putting those thoughts and feelings onto a page so that they can remain in some form. And, of course Dan’s vocals are beautiful and the tone and rhythm are ridiculously catchy. Next there is ‘The Silence’ is an important track that deals with the issues of fighting your mental battles. ‘If you give it a name, then it’s already won.’ With the chorus sounding so light and comforting ‘my dear, my dear, my dear’, yet really honing in on a subject that a lot of us deal with; the inability to voice our concerns. ‘Haunt’ is quite hauntingly beautiful from the start, as the synthesiser works to create a hazy tone alongside occasionally piano accompaniment. With a line in the last verse quite literally summarising what the message of the song is ‘You can’t find what’s passed, make that happiness last.’ Don’t let the past ruin your present. ‘Weight of Living Pt. 1’ combines both ‘The Silence’ and ‘Haunt’ together, in its optimistic tone to ‘shake the heavy weight of living’


Following ‘Sleepsong’ is quite possibly one of my favourite tracks from the older songs, featured on the Overjoyed EP. Highlighting yet another fear we have, of the mundane routine, and going through life alone. Those moments when you struggle to sleep, then wake up to face the day. The epitome of those emotions that run through you. Held together perfectly through the rise and fall of the beat between the verses; the dropping down at night, and the building of strength for the day. Followed by the first cute song ‘Durban Skies’ seeing the positivity through passion for exploration, or passion for life and love. Whereas ‘Laughter Lines’ follows similar themes of contemplation for a bright future, living a long life full of happiness. Then there is the hit single they have re-relased recently, a cover of Corona’s ‘Rhythm of the Night’. The song was on Other People’s Heartbreaks, which Bastille released a few free EPs of in the early days, of multiple covers. This one received so well through performing that it has made it to the deluxe album. They have placed a modern spin on an old classic, and dare I say a much better sound. The disc also features a cover of City High’s ‘What Would You Do?’ with a more mellow tone, the extremities of the songs message is heard with more strength. The rhythm creates a hook that enables a powerful rendition of a beloved classic. ‘The Draw’ features the first strong sound of electric guitar and soft drums, with Dan’s echoing voice. The composition of the song is extremely well done. The emphasis on vocals towards the end of the song are excellent. Just for a moment the instruments hold back, to hear the message clearly – the desperation of slipping back into yourself. Then a Rock sound kicks in with cymbals, supporting the anxiety with an increase in vocal volume, highlighting yet another humane worry. Next to last there’s ‘Skulls’ which is probably the biggest pop and dance sound of the disc. But lyrically the concept is quite morbid in talking of a couples remain; the sentiment works quite well though ‘I don’t want to rest in peace, I’d rather be the ghost that annoys you.’ Finally the collection ends with ‘Tuning Out...’ which connects the carol of ‘O’ Holy Night’ with an excerpt from ‘Skulls’. This relates back to the religious illusions that are present in the first disc, allowing a grand finale to end the collection. Overall the deluxe edition allows for fans to enjoy the new music featured on Bad Blood, but with the great songs that help build Bastille to where they have succeeded. I believe their ability to connect worries, and frightening concepts we have to face, alongside an entirely experimental sound is a job well done. review by: sarah kempster artist: we are the in crowd album: weird kids release date: february 18, 2014

For me We Are The In Crowd was just a pop rock band with snarky lyrics that would have been perfect for posting as an away message when I was in high school to upset an ex-boyfriend. Yet, Weird Kids is filled with all kinds of emotions, some that you’ll feel instantly, and others you’ll have a little harder time processing, but trust me you’ll still feel them. Weird Kids is of course filled with its own set of faults; a rather abrupt ending, songs that don’t exactly fit in with the album’s narrative, but with each negative thing I have to say about the album, the double the positive I have to say. The Album still holds onto the strong pop rock/poppunk sound that will help release angst and frustrations any teenager gets when they are 15 and older. There are harmonies and melodies beyond anything I would have expected from WATIC, and the record exhibits hints of what this band will evolve into on their next full-length album. A few standout tracks include “Manners” and “Come Back Home.” Both could serve as strong singles, and representations of how this band is expanding on their pop sound. The chorus of “Manners” takes advantage of having two singers in a new way. The chorus to “Come Back Home” is a highlight that I can already imagine becoming a crowd favourite at shows. Lyrically the album goes beyond teen angst and high school heartache. “Don’t Worry” offers comfort and encouragement, while “Windows In Heaven” tackles real tangible loss. The closing track echoes the struggles of finding your own path among the pack; something all their fans can relate to. This perspective is why I love the strong women of this genre; they help to instil a sense of self-worth in the young audience that looks up to them. With these tracks they have found a way to bridge the gap between their enthusiastic teen audience and a slightly older fan base. We Are The In Crowd prove with the release of Weird Kids that they still have a lot to show the music world, and are still just getting their feet wet when it comes to showcasing the inner workings of each member, which is something that should get a lot easier within time. review by: lucy green


artist: traditions album: cycles ep release date: march 11, 2014

Although Traditions is new to the pop punk scene, this four-membered band has managed to quickly develop a sound that fits along the ranks of bands such as Taking Back Sunday and The Story So Far. With catchy lyrics and highly percussive rhythms that could make anyone tap their feet, Traditions has created a strong first EP with every song being as good as the one before it. Beginning with an anthem-like ‘Ten Days’ about having loved and lost, this EP makes its way into your heart one cymbal crash at a time. ‘Polarity’ is the high point of the album, standing out from the rest with a more pronounced guitar riff that reminds us why we fell in love with music in the first place. Traditions manages to experiment stylistically, incorporating many of the varying elements of their genre while keeping a generally cohesive sound. The songs on the EP meet any need. Whether you need a song like ‘Progression: Regression’ to dance along to or one like ‘Eyes of a Man’ that has lyrics worthy of being tattooed all over your body, Cycles is a good choice to give a listen. The songs on the EP are full of emotion, while managing to be upbeat and featuring clean vocals and tight harmonies. The rich vocals provided by Randy Burlingame are well accompanied by the instrumentation rather than being overpowered. Traditions’ Cycles EP has something to offer musically for everyone; from pop punk to punk rock (and even a bit more hardcore in some parts). Upon release next month, everyone should give it a listen. review by: hannah liming artist: matt webb album: right direction - ep release date: february 04, 2014

A far cry from his hit “Bad Girl,” Matt Webb whipped out his softer side in his newly released album “Right Direction.” The acoustical feel to his songs still provide a little bit of an urge to dance and definitely an urge to sing along. His songs on this album mostly revolve around the love and irresistibility of this girl he cannot seem to get out of his head. The album progression goes rather smoothly, appropriately adding more upbeat music and becoming softer according to the lyrics. I highly suggest this album to those who are fans of Marianas Trench, The Summer Set, or even Anarbor. review by: caitlyn tanner









CODY SIMPSON photos & review by: shana myers


CODY SIMPSON the acoustic sessions tour It’s always a pleasure seeing Cody Simpson in concert. From his soothing voice to his incredible performance, he never fails to put on a good show and make all the girls scream with excitement and joy. Watching Cody on stage, whether it be acoustic or the full band, you can’t help but notice that he loves what he’s doing. One thing that impresses me quite often is how much Cody treats his fans like they’re his best friends. A lot of artists will tell their fans that they’re all a family and they’re all the artists friends but once it comes to meeting them or performing in front of them, they don’t interact much with them. Cody, on the other hand, made everyone there feel as though they were watching their best friend up on stage with hundreds of our closest friends all gathered up to support someone that we all care about. With the communication and the stories he told, it was hard not to feel that way. I especially loved the story he told about two girls that had never met each other until the day of the show they atteneded. One of them had passed out and the other caught her before she hit the floor. From there on out, the two became best friends. It’s stories like that, that reasure the artists that they’re doing the one thing they were meant to do. In all honesty, Cody has an unimaginable amount of pure talent. Being only 17 years old, he’s managed to accomplish a lot. From opening up for Justin Bieber on the Believe Tour alonside Carly Rae Jepsen to headlining his own tour, Cody is one artist that you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing.



Sharing the stage with a band that has been around for practically a decade and has millions of fans worldwide might be intimidating and even scary to some, but the four members of The Colourist seemed relatively unperturbed by that little fact. Instead, on a relatively warm Montreal winter night, the indie rock band hailing from Orange County, CA, took the stage and owned it as if they were headlining their own tour. Although The Colourist was formed in 2009 by guitarist/vocalist Adam Castilla and drummer/vocalist Maya Tuttle, they only have a debut EP and an upcoming album under their belt. But with only forty minutes to entertain their devoted fans and to hopefully increase their following, Castilla, Tuttle, bassist Kollin Johannsen, and keyboardist Justin Wagner wasted no time in showing the crowd what they’re all about as they played their first ever show in Montreal. They performed the entirety of their Lido EP, which includes their well-known single “Little Talks” alongside tracks “Yes Yes,” “Fix This,” and “We Won’t Go Home.” The rest of the set was comprised of their new tunes, including “Put The Fire Out,” “What Can I Say,” and “Stray Away.” “Put The Fire Out” was definitely one of the catchier songs of the night [Don’t be mad, it could be worse. Just let it be, and you will see a better sight… Put the fire out, put the fire out!]. By the final chorus, some fans were singing along with Castilla and Tuttle despite their prior unfamiliarity with the lyrics. “Stray Away” was slower than most of their songs, lacking in drums and energy until its climax towards the very end. This night was probably the first time the majority of the crowd was hearing any of these songs, yet the response was overwhelmingly positive. Overall, Montreal had welcomed The Colourist with open arms. And if there were fans who came to the show solely for Panic! At The Disco, I’m sure they quickly realized what they were missing out on. The Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! Tour was a big opportunity for a relatively small band, and I feel confident in saying that this “math pop” group ended the tour with hundreds, if not thousands, of new fans who will be singing along with them during their next endeavor. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You can currently pre-order their self-titled upcoming album, out March 25th, on iTunes. With the pre-order, you instantly get five songs, including the newly released “The Further.” So, if you haven’t listened to The Colourist yet, you should definitely give them a chance. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even be tempted to see the band on their 2014 headlining tour, which starts on March 1st in Mammoth Lakes, CA.

THE COLOURIST photo & review by: lori gutman



photos & review by: penelope martinez


FALLING IN REVERSE Bury the Hatchet tour was one of the most anticipated tours of 2014. It brought together two feuding bands for the sake of fans and ended all past problems; hence the name. When I showed up, I honestly had no idea what to expect.Listening to Falling in Reverse do soundcheck was not the weirdest thing of the night, that’s for sure. As I sat waiting for doors to open and pick up my pass, kids began to come upstairs for their meet and greet with FIR, getting free sunglasses in the process. The line consisted of teens and their parents, FIR and ETF shirts, a little bit of everything. Finally 5pm came and doors opened, kids ran to the barricade to get a good spot. Fans of both Escape the Fate and Falling in Reverse, came together to enjoy this night. While Survive This! opened up the night with a lot of energy and an excellent performance, Chelsea Grin came on and absolutely killed it as well. Escape the Fate was on next, and they received a very warm welcome from the crowd. Finally, Falling In Reverse hit the stage, first Ryan Seaman on drums, his set was high in the back so he had a great view of the fans. When Ronnie Radke came out, fans just lost it. Screaming out the lyrics to Rolling Stone, the crowd was going nuts. As Ronnie Radke continued to get the crowd up and involved, the rest of the band was killing it live. As the night went on, FIR played a lot of songs from their new album, but also a few old songs suchs as Goodbye Graceful and Sink or Swim. But as the show was ending, Craig Mabbitt from ETF came out to sing alongside Radke. Finally, both bands sharing one stage and surrounded by people who care about them. Never have I attended a show where the fans were probably happier than the artists, this show was definitely one for the fans and the band. I left in awe and I hope to attend another show from any of these artists.


T E L L I K S & N A M r U u H o t S A w WE e roadsho th

photos & review by: brian baker

We As Human, opers for Skillet on The Roadshow concert at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX, really know how to wake up a crowd. The band formed in Sandpoint, Idaho and have since then released a few independent EP’s and is now with Atlantic Records as well as released a self titled album with smash hits “Strike Back” and “Zombie” featuring John Cooper of Skillet. The crowd was hyped for a great show and a rock band like We As Human was the right band to get the crowd ready for a great Christian concert. Skillet has always played in big Christian festivals and venues over the years. Skillet formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1996 and has had several different members since. The band has had two Grammy nominations for their albums “Collide” and “Comatose”. “Awake” has been certified Platinum and debuted number 2 on the Billboard 200. Not one seat was empty when Skillet was announced. A strong, loud echo went across the arena, mostly with Christian youth groups who traveled near and far. Skillet played many songs from their latest albums like “Rebirthing”, “Monster”, “Hero”, “Rise”, “Not Gonna Die” and more.



demi lovato little mix fifth harmony

photos & review by: kelli coyne



In the summer of 2008, I watched a 15-year old girl open for the Jonas Brothers to an arena of people shuffling to find their seats. They even kept the lights on during her time on stage. She poured her heart out to anyone who would pay attention. Five years later, I watched that same girl, now 21-years old, headline that exact same arena to hysteric fans. Demi Lovato performed the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA on February 13th, 2014; the third stop on her highly anticipated Neon Lights Tour. Opening for her were Fifth Harmony and Little Mix, and while both girl groups got the crowd pumped up, it wasn’t until Demi herself took the stage that the arena’s floor trembled with excitement. Even some celebrity friends came by to enjoy the show. Zayn Malik of One Direction came to support his beau Perrie Edwards from Little Mix. The most recent winners of The X-Factor USA, Alex & Sierra dropped by. Even the tour’s creative director, Nick Jonas, made a quick appearance on stage for a few songs. Fifth Harmony are as energetic and adorable in person as they look on TV. I was thoroughly impressed by their amount of success this past year since coming in 3rd place of The X-Factor USA’s second season in 2012. They performed songs from their EP Better Together, closing with the hit “Miss Movin’ On”. Little Mix took the stage next, and it seemed like they had a large fanbase in the crowd. Everyone was on their feet for the group, formed in 2011 on the eighth season of The X-Factor UK. The ladies were as charming as ever on stage, but that could have had something to do with the British accents. When is that ever not cute? This tour was definitely not like any other tour Demi Lovato has been on. I’ve been lucky enough to see her on every tour she’s done in her career, and the Neon Lights Tour was by far her biggest production. The setlist was longer, and included songs she hasn’t performed on any other tour. While the show had it’s badass moments with pyrotechnics and lazers, it also had it’s sentimental moments. In the middle of the show, there was a full montage on the jumbotron reflecting back on her career, starting back in 2008. It spotlighted her breakout performance in Disney’s Camp Rock, to her sitcom Sonny With A Chance on the same network, to practically every single music video she’s ever done up until today. At another point in the show, there was a montage of just news clips from 2010 reporting her check into rehab, segwaying into her performance of “Skyscraper”. I struggled a bit to shoot photos of her because she was energetic from beginning to end. To say that she appreciates her fans would be an understatement. She worships her fans in return, and she made that quite clear in a several speeches. It was amazing to be seeing her in the same place as I was five years ago, having supported her through everything she’s gone through. She’s grown so much as an artist and performer on stage, I left with an overwhelming feeling of pride in my chest. If the Neon Lights Tour rolls through your area, I recommend going before it wraps up it’s U.S. leg in Indianapolis, IN on March 30th, 2014. Demi continues the tour into South America in late April.


cassadee pope photos & review by: brandynn leigh


Walking into the venue there was already a line up that started wrapping around the building. People were dolled up in cowboy boots, hats, and buckles. Girls endured the winter chill and wore spring dresses, and men tended to wear levi’s blue jeans. It was a new experience, attending a country music concert, but the energy was equally as high to any other type of fan base. Everyone had found their seats and waited patiently for Cassadee Pope to open up the show. Her band came on, playing their first portion of the opening, until their guitarist called out for everyone to welcome Cassadee Pope to the stage. It was hard to miss her. The lights reflected off of her sparkled dress as she found her place center stage and started to work around, singing her heart out. She would get the crowd amped up, the stadium clapping and cheering as they related to her lyrical words. Through her nearly platinum song, “Wasting All These Tears”, the crowd started to dance enthusiastically. People would go into the isles and start square dancing, swinging one another around, and even going to the point of attempting, and successfully doing shoulder lifts. This continued into her song “Cinematic”, where she opened asking if anyone in the crowd was in love and stupid over it. This was answered by the multiples of couples dancing, and cheers from the crowds. It was almost as if some of them rehearsed their dance moves specifically for this show. As soon as a familiar tune of Shania Twain’s, “That Don’t Impress Me Much” played out, there was an undeniable roar. Everyone was singing along to Cassadee’s sassy performance of the song as she replaced the original, “so you’re Brad Pitt” with “so you’re Dean Brody... That don’t impress me much.” Her ability to get the crowd going was a positive reinforcement for the entire show. From getting everyone’s cellphones up to “recreate outer space” to getting everyone to achieve a successful wave, by the end of her set, multiple people left to go pick up merchandise from her, as well as meet her before Dean Brody’s set would take place.


dean brody photos & review by: brandynn leigh

Before hitting the stage, a video played up on a big screen above the stage that showed Dean Brody with an alien friend, reinforcing his album, Crop Circles which was released on November 5th, 2013. The dialogue between him and the alien showed the story of him getting back to earth, jumping from place to place, until he was able to make it into the stadium. He walked up onto the stage and started singing his titled track, to which the crowd, pushed up against the barricade, started singing along. Through out his show he had the screen show a montage of imagery that was relevant to each song that he played, including images of people with their 4x4 trucks in multiple situations. He’d work the audience, moving from one side of the stage to the next making sure that he could see all of his audience. “It’s funny how life happens and you go this way and the person you love ends up going another way,” he spoke, speaking out the idea of the first love. People cheered in agreement to him. There was a home-like feel throughout the show that Dean Brody was able to portray, a down to earth, homey feel. He brought the stadium of people to have a community feel throughout the show, even as he payed tribute to Bob Marley, showing a clip of Marley speaking of richness being life, not that of possessions. The lights all lit up in yellow, red, and green and the entire crowd sang his laid back tunes. He was able to go from this, to bringing out “raw” forms of music, bringing country down to its simplest forms with a tuba, a fiddle, drums, banjo and his own acoustic guitar. He stripped down music, reminding people of simpler times. This statement is reflective of his entire performance. There is this great humble approach that he took with the entire crowd and within his own performance. It was the perfect representation of how country music is meant to be, a wholesome, friendly, comfortable experience.




OTENKI interview by: sarah kempster


Hi guys, so how did the band come about for those that don’t know? The band was formed when I (Enoma, guitarist) met our lead guitarist Fausto while I was in college. We met up and worked on a few songs then he brought in German and we just started from there and built up a name for ourselves. From there we met Josh through some mutual friends and our line up was complete. The War Outside’ has just been released. What are you hoping the album achieves for the band? We’re just hoping that we can reach some new fans who aren’t familiar with our previous efforts and show our new fans we have some cool new ideas in the works for them on the next record. Why did you make the decision to rerelease ‘Kinetic’ under a new name? I think we just wanted to breathe new life into KINETIC and when we started with the remixes and the new Spanish ballad it didn’t feel right to just call it KINETIC (Deluxe Edition). While we were talking about this, the idea of our new music video came together and that’s where we decided to call it “The War Outside”. What was the most difficult part of making the album? For this re-release I think the hardest part was just recording the Spanish Ballad. It was such a departure from what we know and what we were comfortable doing. I think it definitely came together beautifully but it was a bit of a challenge to make it work. And how does it differ from the music you’ve done in the past? Well with La Botella, it’s much more poetic and moody than anything we’ve ever done. It’s really well arranged and since it’s acoustic we had to really take care to make all the parts shine. As far as the remixes we just trusted our friend Aaron Musslewhite to really do his thing and stay true to the melodies and feel we had on the songs. What song are you most proud of? Ghosts is easily my favorite song. I think the topic we covered is really universal and the melody is so strong. When we brought the song to our producer he made mention that Ghosts is the standard by which the rest of our work should be weighed against.    


What would you say are your musical influences? Collectively the band really loves Anberlin, Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters and Recover. A lot of our sound can be derived from those bands. We don’t agree on much but we definitely agree those bands are awesome. Furthermore from that inspiration, what is your usual song writing process? Typically, our lead guitarist comes up with a riff or full song and we work on it from there. Recently, myself and our vocalist German have been working on song ideas that we will introduce to the whole band. We spend sometime recording the songs and send them out to the rest of the guys to start learning. From there we just start cleaning things up. What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?             Motivation is the hardest thing to keep. Things happen and people change but remembering why you were motivated to keep going is key. Some people are fueled by greed, others by wanting to leave a name for themselves....everyone is in it for a different reason. I think you just have to find that common ground that made being in a band with your friends fun again. We’re human and we’re flawed but I’m happy to know we are making it through tough times and making music we like.  What are the future hopes for the band? We’ve got some TV performances lined up and then it’s back into the studio to work on a few new songs. We’ve got some people interested in hearing the next phase in our song writing so we don’t want to keep them waiting.




What prompted you to create Zero as a concept album? Where did the story come from? It was something different for us.  We’ve thrown the idea of a concept album around for several years, but for whatever reason, it didn’t seem right until this album.  The story incorporates themes from various fictitious elements, Red Dawn, 1984, but it also ties into the zeitgeist.

value so forcing someone to dig a little deeper feels awkward.  “Convoluted” is just as easily substituted for “thought provoking”.  I’m happy with them saying its a return to form and not in the slightest concerned with the star rank.  Many “classic” albums received incredibly poor reviews when they were first released.  A reviewer from the New York Times gave a scathing review of Sgt Pepper’s when it was first release, so you have to take press reviews with a grain of salt.  Our fans are reacting positively to Zero and that’s what counts!

What are you trying to make fans feel or think about with Zero? At its core, Zero is a story of good vs evil. The goal is to take the listener into the mind and heart of the hero as he There are so many different perspecfights against the evil corporation, The tives on the apocalypse presented in C.A.L.M. Zero; some seem hopeful like “Spark,” while others are much more pessiYou’ve said that Zero was an intenmistic, like “Zero.”  Why did you decide tional reinvention of your usual style, to create such a range of emotions why did you all want/need a change? rather than detailing a story throughThe writing style was a reinvenout the album? tion.  Musically, I don’t think its really I think it would only be natural to have a departure.  If anything it’s more of mixed emotions while going navigating a return to our roots, but in a refined an apocalyptic world.  You’d probably sense that comes with maturity and day dream of better days, find hope confidence.  As far as the writing and in minutiae and be devastated by recording portion, that had to evolve in the shock of your encounters.  This is order to better convey the story. a human take on a bad experience - one that often gets overlooked as Zero seems a little more based in we watch or read stories of this namainstream pop than the three alture.  The hero has a mission, but the bums before it; what artists or bands focus is the emotional roller coaster. served as influences for Zero? I think in the broadest sense we looked How are you guys feeling about being at classic concept albums like The on the road with the Scream Like You Wall, but musically we wanted to be Mean It tour this fall? What are your ourselves.  We’ve always had a pop el- must-have items that you bring on ement in our music.  You can hear it as tour to ease boredom, irritation, or far back as our first album.  Even the make life easier?  What’s your favorite last two EPs, while rougher and angrier part of performing live? both followed pop song structures and We had an absolute blast on the contained melody and hooks. Scream It Like You Mean It tour.  Every day was a blast.  I think we would A review of Zero by Alternative Press all agree that insanity would set it published in July only gave the album very fast without the Xbox 360 in our two and a half stars; they said the van.  My favorite part of performing album’s overall theme was good, but live has always been watching people the story was “convoluted and hardreact to the art we’ve created.  Its a to-follow” unless it was explained, and thrill! the music “feels like a return to form.” interview by: candace carter How do you all respond to this? We live in a world of 140 characters, where people require immediate gratification, everything is taken at face


Tony Smith

from sleeper agent When did you guys start touring?

crowds’ reaction to the new material will be really exciting too. We started on this tour about a week ago. We started in Houston. Other than that, I don’t really have any expectations I just kind of go into day to day, hoping we have a good show.

Tell me a little about your relationship with Cage the Elephant.

A couple of the guys went to high school with a couple of those guys and grew up in the same local music scene and had a friendship through that.

Who are you guys touring with?

We’re touring with New Politics and a band called Magic Man.

Tell me a little about the formation of your band.

It started off in 2008, the drummer and I were dissatisfied with our current bands that we were in, and we just both turned 21 so we started hanging out at the bars together and decided we In the beginning we did our first major tour with them. We were just kind of wide-eyed and naïve children at that point, so anything should start a new band, and it was kind of a joke for a while. Then one night we were at a party and somebody punched him was just an amazing experience. That was like three years ago. in the face. So that kind of motivated him to make some angry You know it was all kind of guitar-driven. punk rock music, which we were doing until Alex joined. Then we changed our sound into a poppier, pop rock sound. Was that the first tour you guys did?

What was it like touring with them?

Yeah, it was the first national tour, we’d done like regional things before that but nothing to that extent.

So why have you guys decided to change your sound?

Natural progression. When we did the first record it was when

So, compared to your last tour, what are you guys expecting we had three members. This time we have a full band and want everybody to kind of have their part of it as well so it’s much more will be different or better about the tour you’re starting of a complete experience. We want to push ourselves dynamically now? Our last tour with was Fun. And that was almost two years ago. My expectations are just to play it out and evolve and to see the

and see how interesting we can make it.

When are you guys expecting to release your new album?


photos by: sami wideberg interview by: lauren craddock

March 25.

whirlwind and it’s all very exciting.

It has a lot of same sensibilities of the first record but it’s a little more slowed down, heavier and it’s a little more diverse. It’s not just two and a half men punk pop songs.

Are you guys planning on going to any festivals this year?

Who writes your songs?

What do you like the most about performing?

How different will this album be from your last one?

I do. I write lyrics and the music.

Yeah. We’re doing Firefly and there are some other ones that haven’t been announced yet. But we’re doing a lot of festivals.

Everyday life. A lot of it comes from late night conversations, whether it’s good or bad experiences. It just comes from interacting with people on a daily basis, and if not that, I’ll read a good book or I’ll read a good movie, and that’ll make its way in there as well.

Performing live is always a wild card. You never know what to expect or what you’re going to get in return from the audience. I think in the past, watching how much our first record has resonated with people three years later, and then going out again and seeing how much they enjoy that first record - it seems like we did something really special. So, playing those songs every night now, it just takes on a whole new meaning when they’re singing the guitar licks, instead of the words, back to you.

Do you guys have a New Year’s Resolution?

What is your fan base like?

I guess it’s to always become better performers, become better musicians and to keep building our fan base. That’s always the goal. A new record is almost like a new year in itself.

There are some people who drive 19 hours to see a show. We have your typical interesting, devoted fans. They range from children to middle-aged soccer moms.

What are you most excited about for this upcoming tour?

Anything else you want to add?

From where do you draw your inspiration?

Come to our shows! We were at home for about a year, and just being out again is the most exciting thing that could possibly happen to us. So just getting to see all the big cities again, meeting new people… it’s all a



photos by: meaghan brown interview by: penelope martinez


Many people originally only know you as actors from Nickelodeon, but now you have proved that you’re truly multi-talented. Since you have the experience of both, which do you like best, acting or being in a band? Tony: Both! But the one thing we both enjoy about music is the live performance aspect. It’s more in the moment. In acting you have numerous takes and never know how long it’ll be till you see the project you filmed. When did you guys realize that you would rather be involved in music than to continue your acting careers? Malcolm: Well both of us growing up had a love for music just like acting. It’s all entertainment. When we met on the set of Teen Nick’s Gigantic we would always record music. After the show we made music, put it on YouTube, and people wanted us to make a album and perform etc. But really, the doors just opened for us there. We wanted to get into music so we signed to Columbia records and now have a debut album on the way. So we’re enjoying this and learning how to balance the 2, but still love both.  You guys are very lucky to have the initials you do, seeing as how they helped create your stage name. If MKTO wasn’t your name, what would have been? Tony: Probably role models but that’s only because we’re both not really role models and can be sarcastic at times lol.    About a year ago, you released your single, Thank You, and it became a sensation in a short amount of time. Since then, what other great moments have you guys had, whether it’d be music or personal related? Malcolm: Our second single “Classic” is also doing very well. Got the chance to perform on Australia’s X factor, received a few plaques over there, and had the opportunity to perform in Hong Kong. It’s been great. On top of that I’m touring the world with one of my best friends. Man, you can imagine we are enjoying it! Haha, young bachelors.

and why? Can we get a little sneak preview of a lyric? Malcolm: Man, the whole album truthfully. I mean this album is very special to us. We have a song that Tony and I worked on that was just us (No More Second Chances) so that’s a pretty big accomplishment being new artist, and the writers we had the opportunity to write with on this record. But I love our song featuring Ne-Yo (Could Be Me). We just love collaborating with great artists.   Who do you hope to work with in the near future? Tony:  Pharell/ Justin Timberlake Have you had a moment while on stage where you just couldn’t believe you were there, performing for all those people? If so, what happened? What did you do? Malcolm: Yeah, I briefly talked about it. I think the most memorable story we have was performing in Hong Kong at the Hennessy Artistry event. It’s about creative mixing bringing artist from around the world performing together and sharing the same crowd with great music. Seeing as how you spend a lot of time together, what are some things about each other you have learned or can’t stand anymore? Tony: That we both are brothers and always have each others back. 

Who do you have to thank, besides yourselves and fans, for your success? Anyone who has been there for you since day one? Malcolm: First I have to thank my parents for keeping me grounded and allowing me to pursue my dreams. Thankful for meeting Tony and starting this group. And our producers for giving us a chance and helping us get our ideas out.    What bands or artist are you a fan off that you would recommend to your fans? Tony: Thank You seems like a personal and very honest song. A lot of 1975  your fans have said that it has helped them through tough times Jimmu Hendrix  actually. Would you mind telling us what was the inspiration be- The who hind it? Was it a personal experience or something you noticed Ray Charles  around you?   Tony: We’ve both had our share of experiences with people just What are you most looking forward to in 2014? Any new year saying you can’t do what you want to achieve and get in the way resolutions? of your dreams so it’s really just a song relating to people who Malcolm: Getting this album out is the biggest thing. Performhave felt that way by saying thank you!  ing  for more fans, making new ones, and giving you guys great music. What song should we be really excited about on your new album


halfway home

interview & photos by: penelope martinez

When a random kid adds you on Facebook, how do you react? Do you ignore the person or respond? Well the choice you make, could be life changing. That’s how Halfway Home began. The group is made up of Scott Kelly (vocals), Tyler Grier (guitar), Brian Hobert (bass), Joe Kus (drums), and Kyle Nayder (guitar). “This kid named Tyler Grier, randomly added me and messaged me on Facebook, he said ‘Hey man! Would you be down to drum in an easycore band?’ and I was like, ‘yeah man!’ and we just became really good friends.” says Joe about the beginning of their first music project, Curse the Kid. After a couple of members coming and going, they needed a fill in guitar player and decided to call a friend who introduced them to Scott, just shortly after he moved from Ireland. “I showed up to their practice with this tiny little amplifier,” says Scott, “it was really the best thing, I was dying when I saw him come in.” comments Tyler. “Yeah when I saw him I was like ‘Oh god, this kid has a little amp and he’s rocking a gibson case, the he starts shredding Danger Wildman.” says Joe. The transition from Curse the Kid to Halfway Home was “interesting.” The band has definitely grown as everyone gets a say in to what they want the sound to be like. “We’re not one of those bands who sit down and say ‘we want to sound like this band.’ A Day To Remember is definitely a favorite band for most of us

so they definitely influenced us in a way or another.” says Tyler. “I think we really admire their philosophy in writing music. They just write music and they don’t try to sugarcoat it or be the next big thing, which is funny because they ended up being the next big thing!” says Joe. While the guys may be inspired by ADTR, they definitely do their own thing when it comes to writing music. They work off each other’s ideas and try to incorporate everyone’s style. The best thing about the group is that when they’re writing, the music just flows easily. Everyone has something to offer, and the music is constantly changing as they keep adding their own sound. But being a local band isn’t so easy. No matter how many great EPs you release, you have to support them and usually it’s more financially than anything else. The guys have jobs and school to pile on to the responsibilities of being in a band. Scott, Tyler and Joe working at Panera while Brian works at Union Station and Subway while attending school; the band is on tight schedules. “We’re trying to convince him to make the jump to mother bread but he works at subway so he already makes sandwiches.” says Tyler. The band isn’t making a substantial amount of money but they’re making enough to keep supporting the music they love.


Money is always a huge problem for unsigned bands, but building an audience can also be tough. “It’s very hard to get people to hit the ‘like’ button on facebook!” says Scott. The band knows the direction they want to go in with their music, but catching people’s attention is hard since so many of us already have our favorite bands. As social media begins to die out, many people stop listening to local bands and jump straight to the well known bands. A lot of people just don’t want to look up new music, they want what’s put in front of them. While it’s hard to get people to listen to new bands, it’s even harder to get them to attend the shows. Watching a band live can either make or break your impression on them. “At the end of the day, if you see a kick ass band. you’re going to buy their merch, their CD and so on,” says Joe. As 2014 is barely starting, the band hopes to keep playing shows and release new music soon. Of course, they hope to someday play music for a living but this year they’ll be focusing on reaching out to more people and doing what they love. Be sure to get their music on bandcamp for free!





photos and interview by: penelope martinez



Best friends are like family you get to choose. Sometimes, you already have your best friends within your family. Now all those awkward get togethers and first days of school aren’t so bad anymore. The guys in Survive This! are lucky enough to have each other at home and on the road. Beginning in 2009, the band consists of Shawn Zyvoloski (Vocals), Doug Horn (Bass), Daniel Ingram (Guitar), Billy Sanderson (Drums) and AJ Veloz (Guitar). With Daniel and Billy being childhood friends and Billy being Shawn’s cousin, the 3 began to play together since a young age. “The three of us have always been around each other doing music, talking about songs, writing songs,” says Shawn. After a while, they met the rest of the guys that would make up Survive This!. While many kids dream of becoming a firefighter or in my case, a cashier, they knew that music was for them “I was in highschool, I went to a local concert in Utah and it was a really small room and there was like 50 kids there, it was packed. Everyone was there, singing along to a local band’s songs and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. When I saw that, it really shook me. I said, ‘I want to do this, I don’t want a normal job.’” says Shawn about his moment of realization. They admit that even if they weren’t on tour with Falling and Reverse and Escape the Fate, they’d probably be at home writing songs just for fun. While this tour has brought them a lot of recognition, the band has also had some rough days. One of the main ones was releasing their newest CD, “The Life You’ve Chosen”, that was co-produced by Ronnie Radke. With Daniel being in the process of having his daughter, the way it was done was very stressful. E-mailing people back and forth and not being able to be in the studio at the same time, the guys really had to give it their all when they could, pushing the limit and wondering if people were even going to like the music, not to mention the fact that releasing a CD is also very expensive. With everyone trying to provide for their families, they had a lot of to keep in mind while doing this. Luckily, they were able to use music to let all those feelings out. One of their most personal track, Father, is about Daniel becoming a dad and being there for his daughter and Shawn speaking about not having a father there for him, the track really hits home to a lot of people. “That’s what’s so great about that song. It’s about coming from a broken home but then building a strong foundation to build a family.” Although most of the songs in the album are personal, they do have one fun song in there. “ ‘Hey You’ was just a really fun, girly pop song. I feel like we can all relate to that, having a crush or being with your girlfriend.We wanted to have fun.The rest of the album is really meaningful, and then you have this weird fun song. I like it.” Another great struggle would have to being a starting band. Now-a-days, it’s getting harder to catch people’s attention especially when most fans already have their favorite bands. Regardless, Survive This! are determined to put on a hell of a show every night. “I think it’s great when kids come, and it’s their first concert so we’re the first band they’ve ever seen live. Even if they came for someone else, we’re still the very first. It’s a cool honor.” And that is a great way to build a first impression. The band really enjoys playing every night for a new city and meeting new fans afterwards. They will usually hang out by the merch and sign CDs for fans, leaving a unique message for them. As if this wasn’t enough, the band also loves to stay in touch with fans, from replying to people on twitter to just hanging out after the show to talk. While the Bury the Hatchet tour is coming to an end, the band says they plan on returning and playing in Warped Tour. They want to have as much fun as possible and keep meeting new people. They hope to play overseas this year and hit some of the cities that have shown them great support, such as Australia and South America. For the moment though, they are just very grateful for all the opportunities they’ve been given. “For everyone out there, just give us a chance. I know there’s a lot of stubborn people when it comes to music, but give us a chance. If you like us, great! Talk to us, say hi. Come see us live, it’s completely different that on the record.”



: profuilrem anager to

Rabananda Bennet


Rabananda Bennet

Job Title:

Tour Manager for Issues. Evolve Music Management Artist Manager

Resume(who have you worked with):

No Bragging Rights, Destruction Of A Rose, Across The Sun, The Human Abstract, Molotov Solution, Memphis May Fire and now Issues.

photo by: joey creel interview by: penelope martinez

local promoters and venues, which eventually led to me beginning to book local shows and bring in national touring artists.

What’s your advice for those wanting to become a tour manager as well?

Work hard, ask questions, learn as much as you can, and stay humble.

What job do you have when you’re not on the road being a TM?

How long have you had this job?

I’ve been tour managing for about 6 years now.

I manage artists, develop artists and consult artists. I also do landscaping and snow removal depending on the season.

How did you begin to work in the music industry?

Best and worst thing about your job?

I started out as a radio DJ on an island down by Guam called Saipan at the age of 16. When my parents got divorced, I moved back to Colorado to go back to school and figure out my next move and began working for

The best thing, is probably being able to travel and see the world, eat different foods, and hang with different friends, as well as make new ones along the journey. The worst thing, is probably the amount of time I spend away


from my girlfriend, my dog, my friends & family, and the comfort of my own home.

Do you have any nicknames give to you by the bands?

Hmmmm. The Destruction of A Rose dudes called me “Durka” because of the movie “Team America”. AJ from

What are your pet peeves on the road?

Hmmmm, people who don’t understand the importance of hygiene. Or when people are incapable or unwilling to pick up after them selves, its like come on, its not that hard to be considerate!

Any bad experiences you’d be willing to share?

When I went to Russia with Memphis May Fire, Kellen Issues started calling me “Booba” on the Feel This Tour in and I missed our train, as the rest of the band and our guide headed from St. Petersburg to Moscow without October/November 2013 and it kind of just stuck! us. Luckily our guide’s buddy took us to a different train station and got us tickets on a train that actually beat the What’s a typical tour day? rest of the guys to Moscow. Scary at first, but everything Wake up, find a bathroom, find coffee, answer emails, turned out alright. send emails, accounting catch up, finalize and post the day’s schedule, or “daysheet”, wake up my crew, unload, Most important lesson you’ve learned so far? set up what we can before backlining our gear on stage In this business, all you have is your reputation. Be good after soundcheck, late lunch, doors, show starts, last minute prep, set, break down, pack up, hang with friends, to people, and people will remember it and be good to you. If you’re an asshole with an ego, people will check emails, respond to emails, settle with promoter, remember that as well. Part of the reason I am able to late dinner, round up the guys for bus call, sleep! stay successful is because I make good connections with people I interact with, and I keep in touch with them over What are some things people don’t usually know time, in turn, I have made some incredible friends over about your job? (responsibilities and such) the years. I’m basically in charge of making sure the guys make it from place to place, that they get paid for their shows, that the money made on the road is documented and reported to management, I handle majority of the scheduling for my guys interviews or photo shoots on the road.

What happens on off days?

I have no days off lol. I am always working. The guys sometimes like to go to a mall if there is one nearby, good eats generally happen, laundry, sometimes we just hang on the bus and watch movies, or sometimes we get a hotel room for the day to relax in.

Favorite tour so far?

Hmmmm, that’s a very very very tough question. Every tour is memorable in its own way. I will say however, that going to Soundwave in Australia was incredible, one of the best put together and ran festivals I’ve ever had to privilege of being a part of!

I see that you’re now a part of Evolve Management, congrats on that! What’s your role there? Thank you! I’ve pretty excited to join a team of incredibly driven individuals. I am an artist manager for Evolve, I have managed a band from New Hampshire called Anchorlines for about a year and a half now, and with me joining the Evolve, I am bringing them with me! Check them out if you like bands like No Bragging Rights, Gideon, The Ghost Inside.




JAKE BUGG photo by: anam merchant


NEW POLITICS photo by: sami wideberg



BRIAN MARQUIS photo by: penelope martinez



PLUG IN STER photo by: shana myers






O BOTTOMS photo by: anam merchant


Girl On Fire

photos by: hannah plympton


Pop Evil

Young Guns


YOU BLEW IT! photo by: anam merchant




Issue 7  

This issue features interviews from Otenki, Hawthorne Heights, Sleeper Agent, Mkto, Halfway Home, Survive This, Tour Manager Profile As Well...

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