TCNM Issue14

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plan your next night out with the tcnm flyer gallery inside


Threat Con Nation Magazine is an independently owned local music news and events publication available on a monthly basis for free. Content is property of Threat Con Nation and its affiliates. We encourage sharing but please ask for permission before using any excerpts or images in other published work via internet or print. Band / artist interviews, submissions, and narrative sections may have opinions and suggestions that are not endorsed by Threat Con Nation and its affiliates.

Cover / Featured: Kryptic Memories, KB Photography TCN Photos - Kari Butler Other Photo Credits: Stefan Adcock, Participating Bands and their media affiliates □ Marketing / Advertising Director: Shawn Ernst □ Editor/Graphic Design: M Montez □ Contributors: Johnna Dean, Shawn Ernst, M Montez, Stefan Adcock, Tonya Whitworth

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Dear Readers, Last month, we launched our Save The Print campaign and with the help of many of you, we were able to raise enough money to keep printing for the time being. If you are not aware of the campaign, please go to gofundme.com/savetheprint to learn more about our mission. For those of you that shared our cause and donated, we are forever grateful, but we are not out of the woods just yet. We decided to hold off on promoting the campaign until after the holidays because we understand that this is a budget stretching time for everyone. We didn’t want to take away from all of the charitable causes going on to help needy families right now. For example, there’s the Toys For Rock show going on Dec 19th at The Boardwalk, just bring in a new unwrapped toy and pay 4 bucks at the door for a priceless good time. After the holidays settle, we plan on having some special surprises for any of our Save The Print Donors, please stay tuned for that announcement! We would also like to invite you to come rock out with us for the last TCNM Presents show scheduled on Dec 13th 9pm at Old Ironsides. It’s a free show and our gift to you! From the TCNM family to you, Happy Holidays! Thank you bands and readers for sharing this journey with us. See you soon!


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REVOLVER:

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BEATDOWN EXPOSED

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ROCK IS NOT DEAD

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SACTOWN’S REVERB CHARTS

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RAGE NEVERDIES FEATURED POETRY

DECIPHER BLOOD PARTY

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HEAT OF DOING DAMAGE

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VOODOO SEX CULT

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TCNM FLYER GALLERY

ASK HELLEN BACK

THAT METAL CHICK

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Josh-Guitar Gravy-Bass Erik Braa-Vocals Max Volume-Lead Guitar/Back up Vocals Rick-Drums

The Fairfield hellions of Kryptic Memories are a no holds barred eclectic mix of the best of what every Hard Rock subgenre can dish out. Their artist bio reads like a work of art on its own with descriptive prose, like.. “churning caverns of psychedelic propagate” Nobody would dare argue with that my friends. A true Frankenstein’s monster electrified with the likes of Punk, Alternative, Hard Rock, Metal, tribal tones, and “Funky Fusionistic Riffs.” It’s no wonder why Sacramento has adopted Kryptic Memories as one of her own; she knows where the party’s at. Get to know these guys because they’ve been ready to rock your face off! How did the band come about forming? Max- There was Josh, Ricky, and Eddie that first started the band, then I came along playing bass, then Eddie quit the band. We then got Erik and gravy and I stepped up to lead guitar and here we are today.

I notice bands have members in separate cities, does that create obstacles and how do you overcome them?

Gravy- Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass. It’s a 45 minute commute to Vacaville from where I live. For me the biggest obstacle would be finding money for my gas tank so I Josh- Our drummer, Ricky, and our former vocalist startrecycle you know, code green. ed the band and asked me to join a few months later. We were a 3 piece for a little bit, then Max came in on Max- Yep, there are obstacles with it, timing issues, people working. We do seem to overcome that though as we bass. practice in Vacaville which is pretty centralized to everybody. When we get together we make work of it, work on Are there any new projects Kryptic Memories is new songs, make a setlist and all that stuff bands do. currently working on? Gravy- We are always working on something, new songs Josh- Yes, it does create obstacles because our vocalist and we got the Minutes After Midnight thing coming up. lives in San Francisco and our bass player lives in Citrus I’m looking forward to recording our material and laying Heights which is 45 minutes each direction from where we practice. We overcome them by scheduling dates for down the new tracks. practicing and we are just strong as a band. Max- Yes, we are always working on new Erik- We communicate through facebook and texts to material. meet up in Vacaville but we work through it. Josh- The one thing I’m excited about is the TV show/ Gene Simmons declares Rock and Roll is dead, what movie called Minutes After Midnight. is your take on that? Erik- We want to start re-recording everything we have done and add the new stuff that is not recorded. Eventu- Gravy- People try to categorize themselves as something different and it’s really all the same, you either rock ally we are going to deliver a new album with new or you don’t. material and a better quality and sound. 4 Threat Con Nation Magazine


Max- Well, rock and Roll is not dead, it’s alive and well. What is dead is the days of record contracts, big money and all that. You have to be independent business minded, so to speak, to do anything with your music now days. So, if you are waiting for that big contract well, you will be waiting for a long time.

write songs we don’t specifically think the genre. When we write songs, they just come out the way they come out. I always ask people what do you think we are and people say Hard Rock, Metal but hell, give it a name. Josh- We just play what we want to play and that is just where we happened to have fallen.

Erik- In the context he was speaking, yeah the dream of Erik- We just write what we write. You put us in a genre. becoming a rock star is dead. The style or genre of Rock We do not set out to write as a specific genre. and Roll is not dead in any way. Josh- I completely agree with the statement he makes, rock and Roll as a genre is not dead becoming a rock star and quitting your day job because you are a millionaire just doesn't happen anymore. There are plenty of rock stars that have day jobs. With technology advancing, Does that create obstacles, or is it beneficial for you guys? Gravy- Well it makes things like this interview possible, it has its ups and downs.

What is the meaning behind the bands name, Kryptic Memories? Gravy - I was not involved with the original beginning of the band but to me, it’s like one of those things….. it’s funny people have a hard time remembering the bands name and it’s almost like the meaning of it. It does have more to do than just having a faint memory, it has something to do with making you who you are.

Max- In the earlier formation of the band, Josh and his band mates didn’t like their name. There was supposed Max- Technology is great, it helps with social media and to be a name drawing but josh just came up with it and it helps get the word out to other people since most peo- everybody liked it and there you go. The meaning of it, ple have their faces in their phones, tablets or whatever. well, let everyone else figure out what it means (as he It’s also easier to get in contact with people like promot- laughs). ers and venues so yeah I would say it’s beneficial. Josh- To me, there really isn’t a meaning behind it. We Josh- It does create obstacles because people don’t pay had a different band name in the beginning and didn’t attention to what is going on around them. Fliers and really like it. everything like that may get seen, but more people are Erik- Some of the lyrical content I write is very metaphor too busy staring at their electronic devices. It is benefilike and laden so I would say it’s a metaphor for certain cial for us because we can promote via the internet and things that meant something to you but are in the past reach a wider fan base. and sort of a faint memory. Like waking up from a Erik- Depends on what kind of technology. If you’re talk- dream. ing about social media, then yeah, it’s great because you can connect with your fan base. I don’t really see obstacles, I just see benefits like the social media technology.

reverbnation.com/KrypticMemories

Where did the nickname “Gravy” come from? Gravy- It was a term put together by me and a friend a long time ago listening to classic Yes. If you are familiar with them, they have a really predominant fluid bulky style, so it was a perfect word to describe that and years later when I started playing, I remember hearing Give me some gravy, So from there it just stuck with me. It’s a certain reference to the quality of the bass.

facebook.com/krypticmemoriesofficial Photo Credit: KB Photography

Why did you choose Alternative Hard Rock as the basis of your music? Gravy- As one of the choices, that one fit the closest. I would really hate to place us in a genre. We are not one of your average bands. Max- We really didn’t choose we just didn't know what to choose because we didn’t know what genre we fell into. Pretty much when we Threat Con Nation Magazine 5


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verybody has that one band, that you always remember where you were the first time you heard their music. I have few bands that are like that to me, but one of them is Rage Against the Machine. I was a portly little 12 year-old dork, playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, when “Guerilla Radio” came on, while I was tearing up that pixelated schoolyard. I couldn’t help but like that song, and I would always get excited when it came on while I was playing. Over the years, as I transformed from a portly 12 year old, to a slightly-more-portly 25 year old, Rage has always been in the mix in my car, or on any playlist that I put together. It’s just such unbridled anger, encapsulated into music, and you can’t help but just get off on it, no matter where you are. Fangirling aside, fast forward to September 10th, and I have found myself at The Press Club, getting ready to see Revolver, a Rage Against the Machine tribute band, take the stage. With Eric Pigeon on vocals, Adam Doyle on bass, Chris Hampton on guitar, and Zack Davis on drums, Revolver has gotten a bit of a reputation around town as one of the premier tribute bands in the area. So, naturally, I had to see this for myself. As showtime commenced, they kicked it into high gear right off the bat with “Bombtrack” and I could not believe my ears. Not only did they have the same gut-busting fury that Rage brought to every song, but Pigeon sounded dead-on like Zach De La Rocha, Rage’s lead singer. In addition, Hampton had every effect and noise that Tom Morello has ever made down pat. Then they kicked into “Bulls On Parade”, and I was immediately sold. If I had not been staring at the stage with different guys on it, I would have thought I was at a Rage show myself. Everything was extremely polished and just like the recording.

After nearly getting whiplash that night, I decided I had to talk to these guys. Fast forward a few days, and I got to meet up with them at their practice space at the Sacramento Rehearsal Studio. Revolver has been a band since 2010, with Hampton being the newest addition in March 2013. I go so far as to ask what their main motivation was to pick Rage as their focus. There is a split second of a pause, then Hampton simply puts it, “Because Rage is f@!#ing awesome”. After a bit of obvious laughter, we start talking about everyone’s musical experience. Doyle has been playing for since he was 13, so about 20 years, then switched to bass after a while. Pigeon, who is also the guitarist of Stellar: A Tribute To Incubus, also started playing guitar since he was 12 or 13. I ask him point blank, how he came to sound so much like De La Rocha, and he said, “I listened to him for years and years...then I figured out from there...doing his vocal style is kinda like speaking in an accent...I found them when I was middle school, when Evil Empire came out and it just blew my mind.” The entire group came together at Sacramento City College, when Davis overheard Doyle playing “Bombtrack”, while he was preparing for a performance class. According to Davis, “I came up to him, and was like, ‘Dude, that's my favorite band, whats up?’ And he told me that him and Eric were starting a Rage tribute band. I had just started playing drums, so I was like, ‘Eric!’ (laughs)". From there, along with their original guitar player Steve Anderson, they went back to Davis’ garage, and played “Bulls on Parade”, it was history from that point on. Hampton had an equally interesting story regarding Rage and his current band. He says, “I followed them a little bit, I mean they were cool, but I was into Metallica and Ozzy and stuff. But then The Matrix came out, and that song [“Wake Up] came on, and I was like, that's the most badass song I’ve ever heard...I went out the next


ner behind Davis, to busting out fake rubber masks of old U.S. Presidents to play the rest of the show in, they are just as passionate and pissed off as the genuine article. If you check out their Facebook (facebook.com/Revolver916), there are plenty of pictures of those mask wearing incidents, along with frequent updates as to where they are playing next. Some of those recent dates are October 23rd at the Pine Cove, then November 14th at Old Ironsides. They are even making the excursion to the far off land of Fresno on November 8th, just in time to come screaming back to Sacramento, doing what they do best, make you want to rage. If you wanna see a show that will blow your mind, be sure to check these guys out. They are the genuine article when it comes to Rage Against the Machine, and are a show that will leave you sweaty and breathless. -Stefan Adcock

day and bought the soundtrack to the movie...and it was the best song on the whole soundtrack." From there, Hampton’s love for the band grew an actually led to a very interesting turn of events that led to him being in the band. To paraphrase, Hampton moved to Elk Grove in 1999 for his freshman year of high school, and became friends with Pigeon through a mutual love of Rage. they remained buddies up until when Pigeon moved away 3 years later. It wasn’t until Hampton put up a flyer in Guitar Center looking to form a Rage cover band, that he ran into Pigeon again. According to Hampton, “This guy calls and is all, ‘I’m your singer. I sound just like him.’ I mentioned that I was out in Elk Grove and he was like, ‘Oh I used to live in Elk Grove’...Through a 20 questions game on the phone I was like, ‘Dude, is this Eric?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah!’”. Despite that project not working out at the time, it led to Hampton winding up in Revolver when Anderson decided to depart for his own reasons. As you can tell, all these separate journeys of musical and personal discovery have forged not only a tight band, but a fiery passion and love for their music that spills over into their live shows. These guys aren’t just a gimmick, they, as Hampton put it, put themselves into what they are playing. Doyle backs him up by adding, “It's the passion that we put into it...and pour out into the shows...We all have a passion for it [the music].” Pigeon also backs him up when he says, “Its all about that raw energy that we bring to the show...People definitely pick up on it.”. He goes on to add, “People come up to us after shows and say, ‘I closed my eyes, and I swore it was actually Rage I was hearing’...That's the best compliment I could actually receive.” And those people were not lying. In addition to sounding just like them, during their live shows they have the imagery down pat. Everything from a gigantic red star ban-

█ Featured Poetry SUICIDE REVIVALNarcissistic masturbation So Powerful over lifeless genocide Visceral mutilation alone inside Cannibalistic thoughts of this living hell Caged in myself in my own f*ckin cell I attempt to hide Mind full of thoughts of patricide Anger erupts With a viciousness never seen before Steppin over bodies all over the floor Murderous memories torched my head I Despise the world that wants me dead Immortalized by the flames Welcomed to hell by demons dancing through the fire Laughing as they attack, burning my desire The devil waits for my arrival Plagiarized my death My suicide revival Johnnie PerkinsThreat Con Nation Magazine 7


Musician, drummer, and artist; Brian Beatdown Kelly is a man that loves his family, friends, and fans. Everyday we hear people casually say I love you, do they mean it? When you hear it come from this man, I can tell you it is completely sincere. I have known Beatdown for some years and I can tell you that this man has helped me through some of the roughest times of my life and I am honored to call him a friend. We all have demons that we battle within ourselves all the time. How we handle those demons determines the outcome of the battle. This was a personal interview where Beatdown opens up like never before. Love, confusion, and life is all a struggle we can all relate to. “Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. “ George Bernard Shaw Who is Brian “Beatdown Kelly? I am a very passionate person about music and sometimes a very troubled individual. I love deeply. I am an overachiever. At times, I am selfish, but I am very passionate with what I do behind the drums. I am a passionate man, passionate to my family, friends, and fans. I love the f@ck out of people and it gets me in trouble sometimes because I put a lot of faith in people. I put high expectations on that and sometimes I get let down. At times, I don’t even know who I am man. This is one of the things I struggle with. 8 Threat Con Nation Magazine

As a young adult, you faced some challenges in life. Have those past challenges helped you become the drummer you are today? It’s made me a better dad. It’s made me a better drummer for sure. It lets me focus on what’s in front of me. The decisions I made a long time ago were not the best. I was stabbed multiple times on the streets and I almost lost my life because of it. It changed the person I was and there are times that I’m still a little lost. Absolutely, it has changed the way I look at life today, It’s made me the person I am today and I really wish I could find myself and find who I really am. That’s what


I’m doing now. I’m soul searching. I took a break from the music for awhile. Right now, I’m at my resurrection time and make this come back. Make it bigger than what I was before. With the past issues, I still carry that with me and I still have a lot of demons, which is why I stepped away from music for awhile. The past has definitely made me the drummer and the man I am today. Has being a family man and a drummer created challenges for you? Oh absolutely. My wife created challenges for me everyday. (lots of laughter) She has made me a better dad. My son, who was born in 2012, has made me a better father to my other 3 kids. Right now, my main focus is taking care of my family, but it is time for me to come out of hiding and hit the f%@#ing stages, get it done and make it happen you know. How did you get the nickname Beatdown? I am going to throw this shout out to Zach Loveless. He is a guy in a local band as well. He is the one who gave me my nickname. Back in the day, I came in from off the streets, dirty, ripped up shorts, dirty ass socks with straight BO and I was rocking out on the drums and he was like, “You are fucking throwing the Beatdown on those drums dude, do you have your own drum kit?” I knew from then on that was going to be my nickname; that quick. That’s how the name Beatdown was born, from Zach mother F%@#*& Loveless. If there is one thing you wanted all your fans to know about you, what would it be? It would be that I love em man. I love my f@#$en fans to the point that this interview, this question is bringing tears to my eyes. There’s just something about when I look out to the crowd and they are moving to my beat. Kids getting crazy in the moshpit and singing the songs with the band. They are high fiving each other and they are jumping up and down, sweating, and having a blast. I have seen people with tears in their eyes because that song helps them release and that’s why it is so passionate to me. I don’t have to ever make a dime doing what I’m doing now. That’s what my fans do for me. They let me be free of myself. That’s what music does to me. It frees me. I don’t know how else to say it.

album that will be better than all that. We are all trying to reach our own goals as well, like myself doing the soul searching. I really want to tour. I would like to gain a bigger fan base, not just in the Sacramento area, but any town we go to. I want to promote and introduce this band to people because that’s where it’s at. If you could go back in time and give your younger self advice, what would it be? First off, I would start out by not getting f@#$ed up on methamphetamines. I wouldn’t leave my kids behind. There were a lot of people; friends that I let down. That is one major thing that I would want to change. Being a better dad from the start, instead of trying to make up for lost time later. That’s what I am trying to do now with my kids, be a better dad, now that I am married to an amazing women. She teaches me how to be a good dad. I still have my dilemmas. I still have patience issues and I have ADHD really bad. I suffer from it really bad. I think understanding it and knowing it is a huge battle in itself. What’s a typical weekend for Brian “Beatdown” Kelly? Changing sh@tty diapers and doing laundry. (laughter) A typical weekend for me is having fun. I’m a guy who likes to have fun, I really do. I’m a family man. Now days, I put my priorities first. I’m passionate about my band, but it is more important to me that my family have food in their bellies and a roof over their head. My weekends consist of family time. I’m gone a lot during the week doing business, so that’s what’s up. I’m passionate about my family.

Photo Credit: KB Photography

Now that Stepchild is making a comeback, what are your goals? My goals with Stepchild is to make a new album, Run Riot did very good for us, Maniac did very well for us as far as the attention we got from people. I want to write another Maniac. I want to write another Run Riot. I want to write another Threat Con Nation Magazine 9


The music industry has been too reliant on technology to make "perfect" music. The human element of making music is what's most important, singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that's the most important thing for people to do. It's not about being perfect. It's not about sounding absolutely correct. It's not about what goes on in a computer. It's about what goes on in here (head) and it's about what goes on in here (heart)." Dave Grohl; Frontman for the popular Rock band, Foo Fighters. Ok, I swear if I hear one more person say that rock is dead I will probably go apesh@t. Look around you, hell, just get off your ass and go to a local show and you will see that rock is very much alive. Just about every week, I either overhear a conversation between two complete strangers, or someone in a conversation with me says ‘rock is dead’, really people? Just because Gene Simmons of the legendary rock band, KISS came out and said rock is dead, everyone jumps on the band wagon and says “see, rock is dead, Gene Simmons even says so.” Although Gene is a brilliant man, I believe he is way off. I would say KISS was one of the most business minded bands out there in the 70’s and 80’s, hell they are still making money off their merch, but here is why I say he is off.

same.” I totally agree with him. Bands are actually having to their own version of human evolution. They have to adapt to change. Let’s be realistic. If you’re in a band and you open up for, or are main support for a mainstream act, does that really do anything for you? The answer is no because if that were the case, half of Sacramento would be signed or on their way. Now days, it’s all about networking with the right bands. Do you have to have talent? Well yeah, playing on your sisters Barbie Rock and Roll play set will not cut it. Sevendust is a prime example. They are a very successful independent band. They pretty much have been doing it all on their own for quite some time. So, someone please explain to me why you think rock is dead. I really want to know. Has the past music scene here locally had a dark shadow casted upon it? You already know the answer to that, but it’s coming back and coming back strong. Adapt = change, a simple equation.

When was the last time you were tapping your foot or beating on the steering wheel in your car to some rock music? Hell, I was jamming out to some Skin Of Saints a few days ago, beating the hell out of my steering wheel. That day I was the damn ‘Sun King’. I was also beating the hell out of my mattress with Silverfox drum sticks that Jason Weisker gave me from the rock band, Some Fear As time passes, our atmosphere alone has to adapt, None while listening to ‘Staying on the Zero’. I know rock which forces us to do the same, and as humans, that’s is not dead, it just needs to be talked about more. I all we can do is adapt. Look at what rock was like in the asked a band member who is in one of the top rock 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s; it was the stepping stone bands here in Sacramento what his take on this subject of what we know of what rock is today. Gene Simmons of rock dying was and this is what he had to say: and his band KISS had to adapt to the way of the “Rock is not dead or dying!!! Is it different? Yes. Is it professional music industry, which in turn Gene created more difficult to understand? Maybe. Is it packaged up a business model that would help propel KISS into the differently? Yes. Does it take more work to be seen or next century and beyond. heard as a band? Yes and no. I love rock and roll! No, I Today unfortunately, that business model does not work. live for rock and roll! To listen to it, discover more of it, A friend of mine said to me, “There are people that think create it, move to it, share it, perform it, man oh man oh global warming is going to destroy the planet and man, it sets me free!!! So why are some saying its dead basically we are all doomed, that’s not it. The world is or dying!? ‘Cause it is different. But hasn’t everything changing, adapting to survive, and we have to do the changed in life with the advancement of technology and 10 Threat Con Nation Magazine


the times? We live in a fast paced, get in and get out world and music is art and who has time for art when there is money to be made? Or, wait a minute! How can we make more money off of this art by going cheaper and faster? The truth is that everybody loses by turning art into a simple matter of profit! Music is the soul of humanity! It just is! It links us together, gets us through a few rough patches, and helps us reach further and deeper. Ultimately. it’s the soundtrack of our lives, our memories. It can become how we remember, how we heal and how we find our purpose or our way! And for a huge part of the planet, that preferred genre of music that our life soundtrack is built upon is Rock and Roll! ITunes, YouTube, Reverb Nation, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and on and on, are all part of this major landscape shift in how we access music and how bands share their music with potential fans. Talent alone no longer lands you that record deal, and who really wants the kind of “record deals” offered to bands now a days anyway! As a band, you have to build up your “business” (fan-base/image/branding) in order to make it enticing enough for a larger business (label) to buy it! You can try your luck as one of the millions who have auditioned for The Voice, America’s Got Talent or American Idol if you want to, but even that is constantly changing as they try to ring every dime out of the show and artists that appear. There is no magic formula to success as a rock and roll band, there never has been! It has been and always will be a “right place at the right time” and the “who you know” and maybe more importantly, “who they know” having everything to do with that! So get out there and play your music. Be honest and authentic about it. Mix and mingle. Network. Rehearse a lot and get really good at your contribution to the band. You can’t do awesome stuff with mediocre people, so you may have to let your garage band buddy go early in the process, but he’ll get over it eventually and find another project he fits into better! Make sure to work with lots of different people, promoters, bands, venues, media types, mentor’s and really diversify your industry relationship portfolio, just like you would with your investment fund! You know, the fund you don’t have ‘because you are in a rock and roll band! ;) Rock and roll is not dead! I’m eyeball deep in it and from my view, I can see that it has a strong heart beat and it’s getting stronger” - Nathan Giguiere, Front man of Some Fear None So there you go, all you crazies that think rock is dead or simply dying need to wake up. I think AC/ DC said it best, Rock and roll ain’t noise pollution, rock and roll ain't gonna die. - Shawn Ernst

ROCK 1 tesla 2 arden park roots 3 daly redline 4 walking tall 5 restrayned 6 zeroclient 7 set in stone 8 some fear none 9 sumpin diffrnt 100red rover

ALT 1 MICHAEL TIFFANY 2 fate under fire 3 brian lee bender 4 color the sound 5 dick larson 6 lp sessions 7 pilgrim 8 march into paris 9 sages 100paul rocker

PUNK

METAL

1 S.W.I.M.

1 fallrise

2 twitch angry

2 in the silence

3 get shot!

3 graveshadow

4 boats!

4 plague widow

5 yankeee brutal

5 killgasm

6 rebel radio

6 the alpha complex

7 the barfly effect

7 boyce

8 teenage brain

8 dire peril

9 dead weight

9 dead in seconds

100bad ending

100havenside

Data collected from www.reverbnation.com *Standings as of 11/28/2014 Threat Con Nation Magazine 11


Genre: Hard/Alternative Rock Band Members: Frank Jaquez, Vocals Juan Andrade, Guitar Nick Morgan, Drums

inspect what they have to offer, I was still taken back by their skills at setting an atmospheric tone of innocence lost, or innocence in the sense of a hurt, yet still wild and ferocious animal.

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resh from the frying pan and into the fire, Sacramento’s newishly acquired Hard/Alternative Rock band, Decipher has completed their first 3 track demo and have begun infiltrating every local live music venue with renewed purpose. TCNM has known of Decipher for awhile now. It’s always a good time to watch these guys tear it up on stage because they are an immensely gracious and entertaining group. Not only are they on a mission of Rock, they have been paying it forward along the way with various charitable events. If you haven’t yet seen a Decipher performance, catch them live for free on December 13th at Old Ironsides, or at their Toys for Tots benefit show, ‘Toys For Rock’ on December 19th at The Boardwalk. You can get in with 4 bucks with a new, unwrapped toy donation. Needless to say, being aware of the badassery of Decipher as we do, we here at TCNM were excited to get our hands on the much anticipated demo. Experiencing live music in its raw and over the top emotionally charged glory in a nightclub full of eager fans is a one of a kind experience, but then carrying that imprint into a controlled environment of dialed in studio quality sound is another. It’s one of the things that makes what we do effing awesome. It’s like getting a present from Santa Clause on Christmas day. So, I’ve played the demo about 10 times or so on loop cuz it’s what we do and we don’t mess around here at the TCNM dojo. I obviously knew what Decipher was going to sound like; melodic, layered with creative percussion and euphoric crazy time climaxes, but with the opportunity to really 12 Threat Con Nation Magazine

The vocals are intense and punchy one second, soft and lingering the next. An eerie moodiness creates an unsettling back drop for the build up of some amazing knee dropping feral screams backed by chunky riffs, double bass and climactic urgency. The lyrics are dark, yet leave a hopeful vibe in their wake and the sentiment can be felt in each song as Frank Croons in a mournful, heart sick, pain stricken way. You almost feel sorry for the lad until he destroys you with his merciless roaring. The low key melodies that run through each track drift through the accelerating rhythm and guitar, leaving you with the feeling of being ground up and propelled into an oblivion of driving sound as the intensity builds; a plus for adrenaline junkies. Being the music aficionado and arm chair critic that I am, I sometimes think to myself, ‘a nice riff would be perfect right there’ or ‘a cool little hook would really tie this song together’ but with Decipher, I felt each song was filled to the gills without compromising the melody and mood. The vocals vary in interesting ways and the melodic elements juxtaposed with the crunchy hard driving belly of each song keep you locked in. I could definitely hear 90’s era melodic metal influences, but they have made something that is entirely theirs. All in all, an impressive beginning full of promise. I can’t wait to see what these guys come out with now that they have proven their chops for formulating the heavy melodic style in a new and refreshing way. Keep it up fellas!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/ Decipher/417428121687885 http://www.reverbnation.com/decipher5 -M.Montez


W

hen you ask someone what music is, what do you think their response would be? Music is defined as vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion. Blood Party, a 2 piece instrumental band, in my opinion, is the definition of music. Music has been used in so many different forms, or should I say. has been used for many years within our very own culture. For centuries music has been used in battles. For example, the Greek and Roman armies used brass and percussion instruments, including the ancestors of the modern cornet and tuba to convey information on the march, in the field, and in camp. We play music at weddings, parties, ceremonial events and so on. Could you imagine what the Greeks and Romans would think if they heard some Blood party right before a battle? They would literally shite themselves, especially if they heard the track Gratrunka, which is defined by Urban Dictionary as the Swedish term for 'Cryjerking', an activity that you can perform when you feel utterly depressed. For example, after being dumped by your Girlfriend, or Gråtrunk, which is also commonly performed after being rejected by the other sex. For example, after being denied 'happy time' with the hot girl at the party last weekend. Music is an extension of our personal expression. We can all relate to music one way or another even if it’s a relation through being dumped or having a Gratrunka session. Blood Party Formed in Oakland, CA in 2012 by drummer Paul Wilson and bassist Ben Humphrey. Blood Party was created after the two met and played together in a three-piece band.

they are and how they are really good musicians I was glad I did add them because they did put on a fantastic show. Blood Party is one of those instrumental bands that has done it right. The music is hypnotic and therapeutic, psychedelic and addictive. Some would say they are alternative, rock, metal, techno, or industrial, but what I say is they are flat out mad talented musicians. When listening to their music, I am able to escape to a world that is of my own creation, for example; Elevators, a track off their album "Why won't You Hold Me Computer" puts me in this badass scenario of me kicking ass as if I am some badass action hero making Jet Le and Jason Statham look weak. It's raining outside and I am surrounded by my foes. They have formed a circle around me and I’m about to bust out with my G.I. Joe kung fu grip and start taking these ass clowns out…. See, I just got caught up in it because I am listening to it right now. Damn, I love this track. If you want to hear something entirely new, non regurgitated and mentally stimulating, Blood Party is definitely worth a listen. Damn, these guys are mad talented Have I said that already? I’m still thinking about the foe’s ass I could be kicking right now. Anyway, you need to get your hands on Some Blood Party music, because you cannot have a party or even call it a party without some Blood Party.

reverbnation.com/wearebloodparty www.bloodparty.com

Paul is a self-taught drummer who has been performing with local California rock bands most of his life and has studied under drum prodigy, Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta, The Memorials). Ben is a bay area native who grew up playing in the local bay area scene with the likes of No Doubt, Deftones, and Papa Roach. They have played various venues here in Sacramento and everyone I have talked to that has seen these fine musicians perform say it is a must see performance. Some months ago, we had a show at Old Ironsides in Downtown Sacramento that Blood party was part of and man were they awesome. When I first found out they didn’t have a vocalist, I have to be honest and say I was a little reluctant to add them to the bill, not because I thought they were not worth it, but because an all instrumental performance is hard to pull off if you don’t know what you’re doing. Also, I am picky when it comes to building a bill for a show. I have this weird scientific formula I use that I like to call common sense. I do not like mixing bills, but after I heard how badass Threat Con Nation Magazine 13


talking with Angela for a few minutes, we left our meeting and I put the CD Angela had given me into the player as I drove home. The CD was Heat Of Damage. I listened to a few songs, thinking to myself, holy crap! These guys are really good and I knew come November 8th, Old ironsides was going to be heard from miles away. As I listened to more of the CD, I noticed my vehicle just so happened to be rocking and bouncing all over the road, yeah I was rocking the F*&% out. ‘Keep Your Feet On The Ground’ is the track that did it for me. After feeling like I was in a music video and coming seconds away from a speeding ticket, I had to act fast by hitting the brakes. I thought I saw the officer before he saw me, but he flashed his lights and of course I pulled over. Still blasting some Heat Of Damage as the officer approached my vehicle, he kindly asked me to turn it down. I obliged and waited for him to speak. He asked me where I was coming from, so I told him the whole story and I apologized for getting carried away. He wanted to know what band I was listening to and he asked to have a listen. Who knew Sacramento police officers were that cool! He totally dug their music and I totally love them because I got out of the speeding ticket! It’s not like I was going GTA all over the road, but I can tell you that I was definitely feeling the music and so was my truck.

November 8th was a day that I had high hopes for. If you attended the show at Old Ironsides, then it is evident why my hopes were high. We had a full bill lined up with one band dropping off a week or so before the show. I normally would be stressed considering I had little time to find a band to replace the open slot. I do know quite a few bands here locally, but with the talent pool always improving here in Sacramento, I knew it was going to be hard finding a band that would have the time available for this show. As many know, when I build a bill, I’m very picky considering I don’t like to mix bills. I mean, who wants to hear country after a metal band just lit the stage on fire? That would be like, after coming home from a Five Finger Death punch concert, going cow tipping. Not gonna happen.

The day had arrived, it was now November 8th and all I knew was this show was going to be killer. The bill consisted of Heat Of Damage, Kryptic Memories and Decipher. I had heard the other bands on the bill at other shows I’ve attended in the past, but I had never heard HOD live before, so this was going to be awesome. The venue was filled with fans waiting to experience what they had no idea was about to conspire. People were sitting around until Heat of Damage started playing. The floor quickly filled. From their insanely orchestrated guitar riffs, to their energetic style that had everyone bouncing and moving around, Heat Of Damage definitely made a statement that set the tone for the evening. Their stage presence was engaging and the crowd was enjoying every minute. Heat Of Damage put on one helluva show that night. Let me tell you, I was thoroughly entertained just as much as the crowd, I think I made a good choice in picking them for that night’s entertainment.

Heat Of Damage showed a great deal of versatility and talent. As everyone knows I am very outspoken about certain things pertaining to the local music community. One of those things is when young bands like HOD get noticed as kids before they do as musicians as if their age is any indication of skill and professionalism. There Leading up to the show, I had to do the usual running around and I got the opportunity to meet up with Angela, are a few young bands in Sacramento that I’m aware of who deserve the same respect as any other band bethe mom of a local musician and an outstanding example of what, or who our local music community needs to cause they have earned it. These young bands will be carrying the torch for this local music community in the have in our corner. Angela had contacted me months before this show to tell us about her son’s band, consid- future and they deserve some recognition for what they have to offer. Don’t be jealous that while you were setering we had a band drop from the bill, I figured why not? They sound solid and extremely talented. After


ting GI joes on fire in your backyard they were setting stages on fire at shows.

(also an incredible rock band that you have got to check out). In a city where everyone and their grandma has a band, it’s not easy to get noticed, especially with how large the talent pool is here, but HOD does not let that stop them. Heat Of Damage is worth your time on a fine evening at various Sacramento venues.

There are bands and performers here in Sacramento that are acting as mentors for these young bands and I commend them for that, people like Jeffry Valerio and his band, Riotmaker (a band you most certainly need to - Shawn Ernst check out), Nathan and the rest of Some Fear None

Hi Hellen Back:I have had an issue with focus and concentration for years now. When I was younger, I did have this problem. I was all about meeting the needs of others, but I've had some traumatic life changing experiences that may be the root of the issue. Anyway, I feel like I have ADD or OCD or autism because I get hyper focused on certain things to the point where I don't eat or sleep and I submerse myself completely in my obsessions. I can't focus on anything else very well. It has made me very creative and full of imaginative ideas, yet not a well-functioning person. Should I embrace who I have become and enjoy it, or try to fit myself back into a more functioning mold. If the latter, what's the first step in returning to the real world? Thanks for your advice. - Spazz Dear Spazz: You may be on the right track with ADD. Because ADD is mostly associated with children, many adults with ADD have never been diagnosed. Hyper focus is one of the symptoms of ADD. Positive hyper focus is akin to being in the flow. When you are creating and energized, your thoughts and actions are flowing and you are making progress. Negative hyper focus is like being stuck. When the hyper focus is the result of a stressful situation or problem, your inability to disengage creates more stress. While it may be tempting take advantage of your newfound creativity and run with it, if you are truly struggling to maintain a presence in the now, including consistent eating and sleeping schedules, Healthline has a few tips to get you back on track while maintaining control of your focus: Prioritize daily tasks and accomplish them one at a time. This can keep you from spending too much time on any one job. Set a timer to keep yourself accountable and to remind you of other tasks (including eating and sleeping) that need to be completed.

Ask a friend, colleague, or family member to call or email you at specific times. This helps breakup intense periods of hyper focus. Enlist family members to turn off the television, computer, or other distractions to get your attention if you get too immersed. Thanks for Asking!

Ask Hellen Back Ask me your questions about life, sex, love, relationships, loss, work, recipe tips.. whatever. Got something scandalous, embarrassing and/or illegal? Send it to Hellen Back and remain anonymous.

askhellenback@yahoo.com facebook/askhellenback twitter/askhellenback Threat Con Nation Magazine 15


█ TCNM OUT OF BOUNDS

VOODOO SEX CULT Founded 2011 Genre Hard Rock Royce Taghon,(Vocals) Tim Hills (Guitar) Peter Avalos (Guitar), Chris Burgess (Bass Guitar) Doyle Meredith (Drum Master

A

rizona has had their fair share of rock bands that have stomped all over the world, bands like Jimmy Eat World, Gin Blossoms, and Authority Zero are a few that come to mind, but some miles away over the top of Arizona’s desert mountains lies a town called, Prescott Valley, home of The Rev, The Preachers Son, The Redneck, The Castilian, and The Survivalist,also known emerging Hard Rock band, Voodoo Sex Cult. It’s hard to pinpoint a definitive set of influences in their music. It’s an all encompassing Hard Rock sound. One song can lean toward a hard edge and fast tempo with gritty vocals while another leads you into the sultry thickness of 90s Alternative groove metal/grunge or a Sabbath era murkiness, yet some of the riffs are on the verge of being 16 Threat Con Nation Magazine

comparable to the classic rock/metal. These guys ooze versatility. I thought I had the vocals pegged until I heard the eighth track, ‘Dead Season’ . I gotta say, the vocals remind me of mellow Seattle Grunge, but grittier, edgier and bluesier. The guitar licks are really incredible with an arsenal of tweaks and distortions. There is a definite funk going on in the bass in some songs, their trademark thick voodooeskness in others, but what I found most interesting is how they were able to incorporate double bass into places you wouldn’t expect to find it. It was a completely new experience for me and a great way to get my alternative, groove, hard rock, funk and blues on.. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this band for more.

LINKS www.facebook.com/pages/Voodoo-SexCult/219686224731564 www.reverbnation.com/voodoosexcultusa voodoosexcult.com/


MUSIC IS ANCIENT

So

There I was. Reading. Ugh…. Anyway, reading an article about music predating agriculture, language, and even many of the instruments which we currently use to make music. 53,000 year ago, big hairy metalheds were flailing about and head banging with their carved bone flying V’s!! I digress. One small sentence in this article got my attention: ” Music is ancient”. I’m pretty sure most of us can conclude this sentiment, and agree with this little known factoid. – But, Jeez! What a boring-ass sentence!! At least it is to me, I mean look at it. It's so little. It seems way too small and looks to have these ”flashing” Neon lights that say, ”look at me, and how meager I am!” – I mean, it does sorta feed my natural compulsion to smash the hell out of it. Step on it. Kick it like a tiny little rock so it can start to roll..!! Perhaps, it needs more B-complex vitamins, or proteinpowder smoothies. Maybe, large doses of Viagra..?! No matter what might make it more metal, this tiny little phrase needs Supplementation for Gawd’s sake. Someone, please give this weak-looking sentence some ”Power and Oomph”…! – Sadly though, I am really only talking about ”a sentence”. I don’t think I can help much with any of my initially brilliant ideas of destructive mayhem, nor could I actually do any smashing or kicking to an intangible thing, such as ” Music is Ancient”… So… I've decided to share these thoughts with you instead: Music; there’s not much else left in our world, in our lives, or more importantly, our hearts that can match its vast enormity of importance. It’s difficult for me to think of any other form of aural stimuli with the capacity to hold such power and the longitudinal documentation showing a deeper importance and of its magnificence and malevolence, while holding to a sense of complete honesty at the same time. Music has the capability of holding enormous amounts of truth and realism, along with the deepest of feelings; Such as, anger, pain, weakness, loss and heart-break, and the depths of depression. Music is also equally capable of evoking love, joy, passion, truth, kindness, consoling, forgiving, understanding; an unconditional love that will easily become a part of you as a person. A part of you because, before you know it, it will burrow itself kindly inside our souls and in our blood, like a deer tick on a humid day in the

deep south.. I’m sure most of you have scratched yourselves in some way or another, and bled music…right..? It's actually quite common. My sources told me, that it happens to Chris Broderick, of Megadeth, all the time whenever he gets a scratch or small cut on something. (Just ask Dave Mustaine, he’ll back me up on this one).... Seriously though, we all know how Music has an ability to literally bring us to Tears as well as immediately to our Feet! Music is remarkable in its power over humankind. Perhaps for that very reason, no culture has ever lived without it. No society has ever existed without a form of music to unite, or divide the cultures found within. Cave painting might be scratched on walls for all time, but music has lived in hearts since the beating of chests by early men, looking to score a hot date in the Cradle of Civilization…One thing, for myself, no matter how much I promise others that I’m planning on playing it cool at first, soak in my surroundings, watch the crowd, and tell myself to be a good girl and hang out for a bit… That I’m gonna save all that ”throwing-myself-in-the-pitnonsense” for later on, This way, I can hang with friends whom I came to the show with …..What this really means is: Dear Metal Chick "No-Foolishness and, definitely NO-Running Off, like a crazed-banshee at the very first drum beat, or the strum of a guitar. Because, it’s close to impossible to ever find, or see your group of friends again, until like, way after the show...." No matter how hard I try, I have yet to master this. — I’m that one chick, running off screaming as soon as my ears hear the first beat or sound…. Come and find me later: hair matted, soaked in sweat, and needing a damned bottle of water!


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