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Vandala March 2015 r 8 REVIEWS The Skints "FM" (Frequency Murderation) Title Fight "Hyperview" (Punk Rock) Father John Misty "I Love You, Honeybear" (Alternative/Pop) Album Cover Feature The Rumjacks "Sober et Godless" Marky Ramone "Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life As A Ramone"

20 LIVE MUSIC & PHOTO' Joshua Raclin with Cary Brothers and Andrew Belle Photo Highlights: Round Table Radio Gala Night Of Metal: Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Aeon, & Tribulation Exhumed "Erupting Eardrums"

30 INTERVIEWS 30 - AEON "Keep Supporting Death Metal!" 38 In This Mess: A Conversation with toyGuitars Jack Dalrymple 50 A Return to Primal Brutality with Exhumed 58 Weekend Nachos "Anything That Separates Me From Normal People"

62 Ampallang Infection "I Don't Like Slow" 66 Noisem: "I Like What It Makes Me Do With My Hands"

44 COVER STORY - AWOLNATION Getting Struck By Lighting (Twice!): A Conversation with Aaron Bruno

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Aaron Bruno is focused, excited and properly anxious for the world to hear AWOLNATION's new record 'Run', which drops in mid March. And judging by the already excellent reception of 'Run's first single 'Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)' and the million plus hits its already snagged on VouTube, it looks as though the story of AWOLNATION is still just beginning.


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The Skints "FM"(Frequency Murderation) www.theskints.co.uk - 4/5 Dragons By Dustin Griffin "FM" starts with a broadcast. A DJ setting the mood for what will come.. A 'frequency murderation.' As the record unfolds, it will be punctuated with these faux radio related intermissions, as minute long radio shows like the 'Dancehall Dilemmas' and 'The Grim Hour' help give "FM" a true reggae on the dial feel. But as entertaining as these skits are, the true gold to be found within "FM" is, appropriately, the music. 'This Town' featuring reggae legend Horseman and British reggae star Tipple Irie, is a cool mix of classic reggae rhythms, punctuated with dancehall hip hop delivery and beats. It's a quintessential summer jam and sets a nice tone for the record as a whole. Tipple and Horseman appear again on ‘Tazer Beam' and 'In The Night', respectively, with 'Tazer' featuring the same reggae hop as on 'This Town' and 'In This Town' a laid back, light and breezy crooner. Horseman's verses give the song an edge that creates a nice dichotomy for the sound. 'Got No Say' is the perfect mix of The King Blues and Bob Marley, 'The Forest For The Trees' is Sublime-ish in the best way, while 'My War' is pure Peter Tosh excellence. But as much as The Skints do well paying tribute to reggae and neo-reggae's greats, they get a lot right on their own as well. `Where Did You Go' and 'Tomorrow' with their rapid fire verse delivery, and 'Friends and Business', trading off between pop and ska with ease, all sound fresh without ever abandoning the reggae bedrock that runs throughout the bands career and ultimately defines who they are and where they're coming from. And where they are coming from, specifically, is London, England. Another example of the ever burgeoning and always exciting reggae and first wave ska scene in the U.K. The band is ten years old in a few months and have created for themselves an impressive career so far. Touring the world, playing hundreds of shows a year opening for some of the scene's biggest bands and consistently releasing excellent music, The Skints' fan base is ever growing and they deserve every fan they achieve. "FM" should go a long way to extending that fan base, hopefully allowing them to penetrate the North American market in a big way in the coming year. As a whole, "FM" is a lighter affair than The Skints' previous two efforts. The punk and hip hop elements are less present, but still crop up here there. It truly has the sonic equivalent of a summer breeze, rather than a more abrasive night on the town, club hopping and looking for trouble. This isn't a criticism. On the contrary, the band appear more comfortable and assured of their sound on "FM" than ever before. And it's still got what's made the band such standouts thus far: that perfect mix of classic and modern that ensures whatever direction the band may take, they will never be boring. 8 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


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Title Fight "Hyperview" (Punk Rock) www.titlefightmusic.bandcamp.com - 4.1/5 Dragons By Aleksandr Slakva

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The impression one is left with after their initial Hyperview listening, is that as a whole, it is an unexpectedly calm, borderline relaxing addition to Title Fight's discography. The distorted, ambiguous and emotionally charged post-punk sound that Title Fight has built their career on has been an evolutionary arc (and stylistically speaking, an exceptionally graceful one). Hyperview is not so much as out of step with this trend, as it is a bold leap in a direction few expected.

This album is a ten track venture into the murky territories of shoe gazing, all under a new label (ANTI-) and a new producer (Will Yip). While the band has previously defined Hyperview as "guitar music", Hyperview completely shelves the distortion, the double kick and overt vocals in favour something more broody, accompanied by a prevalently clean guitar tone. This change of direction does do favours for the album's more Jawbreaker-esque tracks like "P4RAHC" and "Trace Me Onto You". Unfortunately the merits of this new directions definitely begins to fall short when Jamie Rhoden and Ned Russin's low, drone like vocals get swept under the guitar melodies in tracks like "Rose Of Sharon" (and few additional instances). While this is forgivable in repetitive and ambient introduction tracks such "Murder Your Memory", it detracts from the immersion required to fully absurd the thematic bleakness of "Your Pain Is Mine", "Liar's Love", "Dizzy" an "New Vision". If these minor complaints are set aside however, it is easy to see the positive characteristics of the album. For one, all of the tracks on Hyperview definitely hold unique sets of identities. For the sake of visualization, imagine every track on here as an in-between points between the track that the more traditional sounding, pre-Hyperview (MRAHC) sound and the track that (I feel) best encompasses Hyperview's broodier, shoegazier impression of The Cure (Dizzy). As a whole Hyperview isn't Title Fight's permanent departure from all things hardcore. Despite having the initial impression of something 'relaxing', it aims to stir something more mature and grave than angst and anger, which is a mature compliment to their discography. Just be sure to purchase it physically so you can have easy access to the provoking lyrics, as their mumblings does seem to have a penchant for being swallowed in the walls of guitar wails.

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Father John Misty "I Love You, Honeybear (Alternative/Pop) www.fatherjohnmisty.com - 4.5/5 Dragons By Darian Magee

I Love You, Honeybear is one long bitter ballad and I am absolutely in love. Under the stage name Father John Misty, Josh Tillman released one of 2015's most passionate albums yet. Once the drummer for Fleet Foxes, this bearded gentleman wears his heart on his sleeve and isn't afraid to show it in his work. Lyrics like darling, I love you as you are when you're alone /I'll never try to change you drip with poignant devotion, Father John Misty's romantic cynicism shining through in every note. True Affection stands out in particular, elements of electronic adding an intriguing dimension to this otherwise folksy piece of work. I Love You, Honeybear has a heartbreaking story arc that will leave you breathless with its combination of tender strings and bursts of brass in all the right places. Thanks to Sub Pop, you can listen to it free online without feeling guilty over the decisions you've made in life. But I promise you it's worth a physical copy. Right down to the beautifully crafted album artwork, everything about Josh Tillman's latest creation is pure perfection.

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%cue Wok The Rumjacks - "Sober & Godless" (www.therumjacks.corn) Review By Dustin Griffin

The Rumjacks are a celtic punk band out of Sydney, Australia. Australia isn't exactly known far and wide for its celtic punk scene, but that doesn't stop these four boys from making a mighty impressive racket within the genre. They also sound like they could've come fresh off the rainy streets of Dublin itself. They've been at it seven years this year and over the course of a few albums and a handful of EP's, they've assembled a fine discography thus far. Which most recently includes 'Sober & Godless.' An album of fourteen upstart celtic folk, rock and punk tunes. So, in honour of St. Paddy's Day this month, as well as the fact that the album cover legitimately deserves it, the cover pick this month is The Rumjack's 'Sober & Godless.' I don't know what two dragons with their tongues wrapped around each other have to do with being sober and godless, but it's a cool image at any rate. Very much of the traditional tattoo vibe, which should go over well with fans in this tatty obsessed day and age. The colours are also bold and striking and have a hellish feel, which may tie into the title in that way. The cover art is courtesy of mister Frankie McLaughlin, the band's vocalist/tin whistle player. He does a bunch of the band's art for shirts and flyers and album covers. Which is cool. For my money, 'Sober & Godless' is the band's best album so far and the cover art that accompanies it provides a suitably striking partnership with the music it houses. With St. Paddy's Day right around the corner, it's a good time to polish up on your celtic folk punk, and The Rumjacks' 'Sober & Godless' is a fine place to start. 14 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


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k Review? Marky Ramone "Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life As A Ramoneu By Dustin Griffin - 4.5/5 Dragons It's easy to forget that while the Ramones were still active, they didn't enjoy a fraction of the praise and adoration that they do now. They never had a hit single, they never even had a hit record. They toured constantly and released records every year or every other year. Hell, they drove around in a van their entire career. A van. They saw bands they created through inspiration eclipse them in success and popularity again and again. By the time they played their last show in August 1996 at a small-ish Hollywood venue, they were already bonafide legends, they had been legends for fifteen years actually. But commercial success and worldwide acceptance just wasn't in the cards it seemed.

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Now of course, that's all changed. They're credited not only with inventing punk rock music, but are recognized as one of the greatest bands of all time. Of any genre. Go outside and throw a stone and it will likely hit a house that has a Ramones t-shirt hanging in the closet.

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Marky Ramone was with the Ramones from 1978 until their dissolution (with a small break in between) and is the only surviving member, outside of lesser known stand ins like C3 and Richie Ramone. There have been many books about the Ramones and both Dee Dee and Johnny released books about their experiences shortly before their deaths, but Marky Ramone's "Punk Rock Blitzkrieg" may be the meatiest, most enjoyable and craziest book about the band penned so far. The book starts, as do all autobiographies, with Marky's childhood and moves into his time in many well regarded or even legendary New York City rock bands where it seemed every time he turned around he was being offered a new gig in a band that would come to exemplify proto-punk in the 70's. He paints a vivid picture of Manhattan in the 60's and 70's and the legendary rock clubs that he called second homes like CI3GB's and Max's Kansas City. All the grit and the glory, the danger and excitement of the city in its grimiest period is conveyed with no shortage of detail. His time with the Ramones doesn't start until a third of the way into the book. 16 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Which makes sense, as he didn't join them until he was a third of the way into his life. But this is where the book really comes alive. Every page is literally filled with juicy Ramones related anecdotes. Joey's obsessive compulsive disorder, Dee Dee's self destructive behavior, Johnny's mean tempered control freak personality and Marky's own struggles with alcoholism and his fight to regain and maintain his sobriety. It's all here. I won't get into too many stories because if you're a fan of this band you should just read the book, but one particular highlight was the hijinks surrounding the shooting of 'Rock NY Roll High School.' Their rabid South American fan base is also a lot of fun to hear about. 'Punk Rock Blitzkrieg' is an easy read. I actually read it in less than a week which has to be some kind of a record for someone who typically takes months to read a book. One issue I will say about it is that it isn't very well written. Marky skips from story to story and back again pretty quickly and there are times when you think you're reading about one thing and suddenly realize he's onto another tale. It isn't overly eloquent either. And he repeats himself a bit. But these are small nitpicky issues with an otherwise excellent book. At the end of the day, you read this stuff for the tales it tells and this book has a hell of a lot of tales to tell. Highly recommended. To grab a copy of "Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life As A Ramone" and find out more about Marky Ramone visit: www.markyramone.com/ www.twitter.comimarkyramone www.youtube.comimarkytelevision

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Joshua Radin with Cary Brothers and Andrew Belle Article By Brent Macdonald Photo By Emma Guy-Macdonald (www.crimsonartphotography.com) Some venues have reputations. The Apollo Theatre, CBGBs, the Whiskey a-Go-Go. Calgary's Knox United Church is none of these, but for Josh Radin, it is perhaps the best suited version of those celebrated scenes. The singer-songwriter, whose rise to fame has been well-documented, stemming from the inclusion of the first song Radin ever wrote, "December," in an episode of "Scrubs," writes music perfectly suited for the impressive acoustics of the downtown church. It is a venue seemingly designed for Radin's soothing, yet complex, writing and performance style. He has been compared to Jack Johnson and Nick Drake, the latter perhaps being more in tune with Radin's "I just woke up and have not yet had my coffee" vocal style. However, Radin's warmth and genuine writing style makes him eminently listenable, if somewhat sedate (Radin himself referred to his music style as "lullabies for adults"). The church was packed for Radin's performance, which contrasted the singer-songwriter's warm SoCal acoustic leanings with a cold evening and a light snowfall outside. It was almost as if the performer himself had arranged for a slightly melancholy evening of acoustic tunes in the presence of winter. Entering the stage solo with acoustic guitar in hand, Radin opened with "We'll Keep Runnin' Forever," the lead song from his latest release "Onward and Sideways." He was soon joined by what could be best described as a minimalist's dream band, with a one-man rhythm section who played bass guitar and drums (occasionally simultaneously) and a multi-instrumentalist, who accompanied Radin with Edge-like guitar atmospherics, keyboards, and any number of other instruments that enhanced the acoustic experience. Radin even channeled his inner rock star with his performance of "Brand New Day," a stand-up-and-clap-along song in which he even pulled out the classic rock standard "Calgary, I can't hear you!" However, the overall theme of the otherwise sedate performance was one of insecurity, falling in love, loss, heartbreak, and then falling in love again. Radin closed the show with a cover of the Flying Picket's "Only You, before performing "Winter," the aforementioned tune from "Scrubs" which launched his career. He returned to the stage for an encore featuring a cover of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," which is far superior to Sam Smith's possibly inadvertent "Stay With Me" homage. Joining him were openers Cary Brothers (who has a wonderful career in music, but might want to consider moonlighting in stand-up comedy, as he had the crowd guffawing between songs) and Chicago-based Andrew Belle, who as an individual could fill as much space as all of Coldplay simply with a keyboard and a drum machine. Traditional church music? Not quite. Music that belongs in a church? Certainly! www.joshuaradin.com www.facebook.comijoshuaradin 20 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


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22 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015

RADIO GALA


lye @overaei; Night Of Metal: Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Aeon, & Tribulation :

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We're just starting March and I've already been to more than twenty concerts. Such is the life of the tired jaded music critic. Night after night in dive bars drinking piss beer and wondering if it's all really worth it. Its oftentimes a thankless task, you work eighty, ninety hours a week, but hey►, at least you get in shows free...Which is a novelty for the first few years and then starts to get old. So why do I do this when it only seems miserable? Well, simply put, because of nights like last Sunday, an evening that I will always remember. After interviewing the charming Tommy Dahlstrom of Aeon Tribulation (Read on page _) were just about ready to take the stage. Their unique combination of hippy inspired jam oriented rock with black metal blew me away►. The touches of the occult and the rock star posing these guys pulled off was a joy to watch and seemed to nicely match the occult tones roaring out of their guitars. A trusted friend told me they were the band to see on this bill and boy was he right. These guys are going places and fast, they seem innovative and exciting, the kind of black metal who remind me why I loved the genre so much in the first place. My only complaint, petty as it may seem, is that the singer has dreadlocks and a distinctly different look than the rest of the band. While the guitarists and drummer all rock a sort of blackened hippy► chic, the singers stoned demonic features provide a strange alternate face to the band. Regardless, Tribulation were far too much fun to watch and I desperately want to see them again. Aeon were up next, with a half hour set. To be completely honest, I don't think I could take much more than half an hour of their death metal assault. Very much in the "Death metal by numbers" camp, they were still fun to watch for a few minutes. They got the crowd fired up, but I think that some of the more jaded members of the audience had a hard time enjoying it. Yet, for the Cannibal Corpse/Behemoth crowd which consists largely of fans who only go to a few shows a year, it was probably a rare treat. (Side note: Every stereotype you might have heard about Cannibal Corpse fans is true, and it is f*cking hilarious) As is though, Aeon are definitely a solid entry level band, it would just be cool to see them grow their sound a bit. When Behemoth came on I knew it was time for something special. They have an elaborate stage show, and I was excited to see a bit more of them than the two songs I had drunkenly watched at Hel!fest back in June. Now, I've never been a Behemoth fan, but they utterly killed it. Every part of the show, from Nergal waving incense to the ferocious headbanging and distinctive stage garb captured my imagination. On top of that, these guys are f*cking tight. When they came on for an encore of 0 Father 0 Satan 0 Sun it was hard to believe we were in America. People screaming along to pagan anthems is not something you stumble across every day in these parts, but the fans seemed to eat it up. Behemoth understand what people want from a live show and they will inspire you to make you own music greater. Bombastic to a fault this is a band who write their own rules, and now that Nergal is back on his feet, the whole world seems to be their oyster. 24 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Despite all this I still was feeling a little grumpy and tired, it was snowing, I had midterms coming up, and I just didn't know where my life was really going, simply put, I felt overworked. Then Cannibal Corpse came up and washed away any semblance of sadness in my life. Here is a band who are purifying in their heaviness, a band who crush your skull in and encourage the fans to f*cking kill each other. Their set took me right back to being 12 years old and spinning them for the first time. As I flew around the pit crashing in to kids as well as men well into their forties I got the sense that Cannibal Corpse have become one of those bands that unify fans across the globe regardless of background. The original death dealers have managed to smash in skulls and leave everyone going apeshit more than three decades into their career. Faces were broken, skulls cracked, and gallons of blood left on the floor, and it was glorious. Cannibal Corpse provide death metal redemption, angry, shitty, and proud of it. So in the end, being a music journalist really isn't that shitty. Sure it can suck at times, but it really is worth all of the trials and tribulations that we go through. There is a sense of freedom and profound liberation, that some of metals biggest bands can still provide that makes it all worth it, even after hundreds of concerts and thousands of late nights. Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth have achieved the status of elder gods, men who have transcended the genre and been able to make a statement that speaks to our very humanity. Aeon still may have a ways to go, but Tribulation certainly seem ready to challenge listeners. One of the most exciting tours of 2015, I can only hope that I am honored with seeing these bands again in the near future! Bands Online: www.cannibalcorpse.net www.aeon666.com www.behemoth.pl www.tribulation.se March 2015 - VandafaMagazine.Com 25


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.1 • Exhumed "Erupting Eardrums" Article By Matt Bacon Exhumed, now there is a band name which strikes fear into men and regret into plenty of lasses. These guys have been erupting eardrums since 1992 and watching them tear up the stage was a pleasure that I will not soon forget. Though they were third from the top on this particular evening they still stood out. Remember, this is the metal tour of the year, on the same night I saw Black Crown Initiate, Ringworm, Iron Reagan, Voivod and Napalm Death. If I still have profound memories of them, they're clearly doing something right! But what is it that allows them to shine? See, what I realized is that Exhumed succeed because they have an almost thrash metal side to them. When Matt Harvey sings, he is not a death metal vocalist, but rather a logical extension on a character like Zetro. Add in a man running onstage with a chainsaw (Part of the show, don't worry) and a viscera spattered microwave (In homage to the legendary Gore Metal album art) and you have yourself a death metal show. Harvey's thrashy anger is beautifully contrasted by the young and hungry Matt Slime. His bass work kept things exciting and his low destructive growls were truly impressive. Perhaps the highlight though was the fact that his mother and sister were standing in the front row, cheering him on. After all, Slime is a product of the Philadelphia scene, and this was his homecoming. There was a sense of resolution, as if Slime is proof that young people can come out of Philadelphia's dungeons and rise up, masters of their own reality doomed to take on the world. The highlight of the show though came on the final song, when the guillotine was brought out. Guitarist Bud Burk is taken prisoner by the chainsaw wielding man and decapitated, with a rivulet of blood shooting out, GWAR style. With Slime's mother giggling "That's so cute" I realized that my night was basically done. Sure Napalm Death and Voivod still had to play, but I had seen the legends in action and been given proof that young blood will forever invigorate the old guard. Exhumed, on this night at least, embodied what extreme metal is all about. www.gorefuckingmetal.blogspot.com www.twitter.com/exhumedofficial www.exhumed.bandcamp.com 26 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2014


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Full of primal rage and belly laughs, Aeon are Swedish metal lords. Far removed from their peers in bands like Entombed and Nihilist, Tommy Dahlstom the bands singer shares with us some wisdom from his life on the road.

By Matt Bacon


Keep Supporttim Death) Metal! So how's it going Tommy? Tommy: So far so good. It's the perfect tour for us, we're touring with two of the biggest bands in metal so we play in front of huge crowds every night. Its awesome. It's the best tour I've been on. We are very satisfied. Related to that, do you feel like this is the next step for Aeon, do you think you're about to become huge? Tommy: We have a long way to go but this tour will definitely help us to go in the right direction. Aeon's Black came out in 2012, can we expect a new record anytime soon? Tommy. No. When we go home from this tour we will continue to write some new songs, we have a few, but when we did the European tour and then this tour we had to stop writing for a while. Hopefully we will get more stuff done when we get back home. If we are lucky we will have a record out in late 2015, but that's only if we are very luck. So it's more likely going to be early to middle 2016? Tommy: Yeah... I should think so. Are you concerned about losing fans with that kind of gap? Tommy: A little bit yes. We're touring a lot more now though, and we gain fans every time we hit the stage so I think were good. Where do you go from here now that you've toured with Cannibal Corpse? Tommy: That's the thing! Were always telling Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth "It's all downhill from here!" (Laughter) I don't know actually. Every good tour we can get on we take. We try to make the best of it, so let's see what happens. Do you still have a day job? Tommy: Nope, still got a day job. I'm a truck driver, I listen to death metal and drive in a truck all day long. Do you ever get weird looks? Tommy: Sometimes! (Laughter) How do you balance that with being in a band? Tommy: It's hard. Luckily I have a good boss. If I plan ahead and show him what days I need off then he's fine with it. Do you find the artist support structure out in Sweden helpful? Tommy: We don't play Sweden that much... The artist support doesn't help us much. Seb our guitar player and I have been playing together since 1991. We had been playing together for fun, and suddenly we're here, it's kind of amazing. Nobody taught us how to do it, we learned ourselves! So you guys have just started up a pretty big tour then? Tommy: Well we're just good pals man. It's kind of easy. Maybe we have been into one verbal fight once in all our time together. We want the same thing and we go in the same direction, that's why it's so easy to get along with him. It's essentially a marriage.p. 32 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Interview. Tommy DaNIstiim Tommy: Sort of. When we go back home though he does his stuff and I do my stuff. When were younger we would hang out every day. We don't do that as much anymore, he has a family and stuff like that. We talk regularly and rehearse. Hers like a brother. So by having that kind of core you are able to keep the band going no matter what? Tommy: Yeah, totally. We have fought many uphill battles to get here but we always end up on top. Things work, it's awesome! What charmed me about Aeon was that you're extremely brutal there's always a sense of groove, to what degree is that supposed to be an aspect of the sound? Tommy: We always try to have the groove. I think that if you lose the groove then you lose a lot of fans. People want to feel the groove, they want to be able to head bang and feel it. That's important. You can still make brutal stuff and have groove in it, if you have groove in it, it's a plus. That's how we feel at least. It's something we work hard to achieve. I've always felt you were kind of separated from Swedish Death Metal, how did that come about? Tommy; I remember Seb and I listening to music and we always were listening to bands like Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse. For me, the Swedish type of death metal was a little boring. I wanted blast beats and more aggressive stuff. Was that just through tape trading? Tommy: Tape trading and record stores back home. To what degree back in the early 90s were you part of the Swedish underground? I remember reading in Choosing Death about having shows in the subway... did that actually happen? Tommy: We had shows almost like that We had one in a bus station. It was the first show we were ever supposed to do. We went on stage, sound checked, somebody complained that it was too loud, so we gave them the finger, took our equipment and went off stage. We just sound checked for one song. That was '90 or '91. Did you see the guys in bands like Entombed around? Tommy: We didn't. We live in the north of Sweden, they live in Stockholm so they are like 6-7 hours away from us. We are from a pretty small town. Where there a lot of other people like you? Tommy: Not many. Just a few. We had at that time I think three or four death metal bands, and now we have maybe three. It's a small town. And you have no desire to leave? Tommy: No, if I leave that town I will leave the country I think. I can move to Stockholm but it won't make our music better. So we will stay in our boring town where we can concentrate on music. What kind of differences do you find in touring in the US versus Europe? Tommy: I think it's more fun in the US! People usually say it's the other way around! Tommy: Everybody looks at me when I say that I think people go crazier when we March 2015 - varicialaMagazinerCom 33


Kee n .uo.o. Olin Reath Metal! play here. Aeon is bigger in the States than we are in Europe. So that's good too. Do you think that you're bigger in the States because of the American sound you tried to emulate? Tommy: Maybe. It might also be because every record company we have been on is from the States. When Aeon's "Black" came out it kind of felt like Metal Blade was stagnating and now they're on the premiere metal labels in the world again. How has it felt to be on the label throughout that? Tommy: For me ever since I was a kid I wanted to be on Metal Blade because I thought the logo was cool. When that happened it was just kind of dream come true. It feels like all the dreams are coming true though. Just five years ago Aeon was a much smaller band than we are now. I'm enjoying it... So five years from now you can stop being a truck driver? Tommy: Hopefully! The music business is very hard to crack these days though... especially with this kind of music and especially these days. I think it was easier to be a big band in the late 90s then it is now. We have the internet to share our files but there's no record stores anymore. Has Metal Blade been helpful though? Tommy: They have worldwide distribution though, so of course they help us with that. It's cool to see our records being sold all over the world! What inspires you to keep doing this? The dream is starting to come true but you're still a truck driver, what makes you keep going? Tommy: Making music and seeing the fruits of something I have done is awesome. Sharing it with you guys on stage is a drug, it's a rush. That's the inspiration I have. That's what I love so much about music. If I stopped doing this it would be a big black hole in my life that I couldn't fill. Any final comments? Tommy: Keep supporting death metal! AEON Online www.aeon666.com www.youtube.com/aeon666com www.metalblade.com

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Intermiew. ta Zuitar In This Mess: A Conversation with toyGuitars Jack Dalrymple By Dustin Griffin

Jack Dalrymple, though he would be very reluctant to agree, is a bonafide bay area legend. Having fronted or been a part of some of the scene's coolest, most influential bands, including One Man Army, Swingins Utters and Dead To Me, his new band, toyGuitar, is a catchy, breezy bit of pop punk that sounds like both fresh and like the classic Dalrymple material we all know and love. Jack's truly one of the nicest people you will ever meet or talk to. He's laid back, funny and humble almost to a fault. We spoke to him recently about his new band, his old ones, and why he'd like to punch himself in the face when he sees pictures of the Utters on tour in Canada. So, you had a song on your EP called 'She's An Alarm.' Which was also the name of One Man Army's last EP. Are the songs on In This Mess some of the songs we might've heard on a One Man Army full length, if it had ever come to be? Jack: : I think I've alluded to that in the past, but I'm not sure now that was

necessarily the case. I know we had a couple songs on that first EP that were originally meant for a new One Man Army record, but I think I've just always been attached to that 'She's An Alarm' name for some reason, so I decided to use it again. I think people get confused as shit about that though (laughs). There's also a lot of broken hearts with the fans with that whole One Man Army thing, so I think people like to hold onto any little shred of possibility they can in regards to a connection there. Jack: Yeah and I appreciate that, but, when it's done it's done. I mean those are some of the best years of my life, so I get it, but sometimes you get a point where you just want to do something else. I know Miles is in Swingin' Utters with you and was in The Sore Thumbs. Can you tell 38 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


us a bit about the other band members and where they came from? Jack: Yeah, try. I'm terrible with names, but Rosie played in a band called The Plexikill or something? I'm not sure. Paul played in this really rad band in Oakland called The Primitive Hearts. They've got kind of a Portland rock vibe that was super cool. And yeah Miles was in The Sore Thumbs. But they're all great. It's incestuous here around the Bay area with all these bands. It definitely has a real family community feel to it, even more so than other scenes I Jack: Yeah, it's kind of a smaller scene, but everyone knows everyone else, or of them at least. Does this band scratch a different artistic itch than the other bands you are in or have been in the past? Jack: Yeah, I've been in a lot of different bands that all have their own sound. But toyGuitar has an ease and a newness and freshness to it that's really cool. And I just enjoy hanging out with these guys and making music with them. And it's your own creation, rather than something you joined after the fact. Jack: Totally. And don't get me wrong, I've been writing for the Utters and love that band to death, but I always feel like I have to be careful with the Utters because they've got such a f*cking awesome institution in place with Darius and Johnny and I don't want to be the dude that come in and f*cks that up. Although it's probably too late (laughs). But I don't want to be the dude that writes these dumb songs that aren't Swingin' Utters songs, you know? I know from talking to the other guys in the Utters that you had to initially be talked into having a more active songwriting role for that reason, but I think that extra something that you've added to the last couple Utters records is great. Jack: Thanks man. And they're always on my ass to write more too. And I want to do it. I just have to be careful. But it's an awesome songwriting process with those guys. Johnny's a beast and Darius is a f*cking amazing songwriter. That's got to influence your own songwriting too, just to be around that kind of thing. Jack: Totally does. That band directly and indirectly started a whole bunch of bands around here in the 90's. And they influenced me to start One Man Army. I was a Swingin' Utters fanboy man. So do you write now for specific projects, or do you just write what you write and see where it fits later? Jack: Yeah, I feel like all my stuff kind of sounds similar. I'm not that great of a songwriter and I just write whatever and if Johnny's singing on them or whoever, it kind of changes it. But it's usually just a riff I start with or something and go from there. In This Mess has a kind of low-fi, almost vintage sound to it Was that intention or circumstance? Jack: I think that's just equipment man. I've heard that before too. I think it's just this clean sound you get when you play Fender guitars through Fender amps, it has a low-fi sort of sound. People keep calling it surf rock, which I don't hear, but that's cool March 2015 - VandalaMagazine.COm 39


if that's what people are picking up from it. There's definitely a surfy vibe to some of it. 'Sliver of Sun' has an armed up Dick Dale vibe to it. Jack: Totally. Which is a lot of the solos Miles is playing too. Kind of a Mexi soul surf solo thing happening. The cover photo is really cool. Striking, scuzzy, succinct. What was the idea behind it? Jack: There's this guy my wife turned me onto on Instagram. Travis Jenson. He takes these really cool Bay area photos. These portraitures of people around the city. And I saw these skates and just thought it was so awesome. It just kind of tied into the lyrics and subject matter for the record. It's just some cracky dude on skates. Really cool. I know because of work and family obligations you can't tour with Utters as much as you'd like.. Jack: ..It kills me. And I know you're pulling double duty in Europe ' when toyGuitar will be opening for the Utters over there. How much North American touring do you expect this band will be doing? lack: we're doing North America in August I think. And we'll be heading to Canada for some shows at that time I'm pretty sure. Which will be cool because I haven't been up there in forever. Yeah we miss you up here man. Every time the Utters come through town, people are always asking 'where's Jack?' Jack: Yeah I hate it. I see pictures of them on the road while I'm stuck at home and I just want to punch myself in the face. I do get time off work, but I have to prioritize it. If I take time off for the Utters than I don't have time for toyGuitar and if I take time for toyGuitar then I don't have time for the Utters. It kills me. You've been in the scene a long time and have one of the most distinctive singing voices and even songwriting voices. There's nothing you're involved in that I hear and don't say to myself 'that's f*cking awesome.' Do you look back on your own discography and feel a sense of pride? Jack Pride wouldn't be the right word, because I truly cringe at everything I do. But when I look back I just feel super, super fortunate to have been able to play most of my life. To go to places and see things and meet people, just by being a subpar musician. I mean I play bar chords, I have a goofy voice and still I've met so many awesome people and seen so many cool places. I just feel fortunate. Very lucky to have had the run that I have. toyGuitar Online www.facebook.comitoyguitarband www.adelinerecords.bandcarnp.comialbumitoyguitar www.fatwreck.com 40 VandalaMagazine-Com - March 2015


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iWOLNATION

GETTING STRUCK BY LIGHTING (TWICE!)

A Conversation with Aaron Bruno By Dustin Griffin


erover Interview Aaron Bruno started AWOLNATION in 2009. A year later their debut EP `Back From Earth' was released. But it wasn't until 2011 that one of the songs from that EP and from the band's debut album 'Monolithic Symphony' became something of a phenomenon on alternative radio. The single 'Sail' eventually sold five and a half million digital copies and can still, nearly five years later, be heard, along with other 'Monolithic' hits 'Not Your Fault' and 'Kill Your Heroes' in regular rotation on your nearest modern rock radio dial. With a first album like that, from a band that hasn't been around long, anticipation for a follow up is understandably high. But Bruno seems to take it all in stride. He's focused, excited and properly anxious for the world to hear AWOLNATION's new record 'Run', which drops in mid March. And judging by the already excellent reception of 'Run's first single `Hollow Moon (Bad Wolff and the million plus hits its already snagged on YouTube, it looks as though the story of AWOLNATION is still just beginning.. It's been almost five years since the release of 'Monolithic Symphony'. Were you writing/recording 'Run' that whole time or did the album come together more recently? Aaron: Alot of ideas come to me in different walks of life, different scenarios, different situations and I'm never quite sure when these ideas are going to come. But there's no shortage of them on my end. I've never had writers block and if anything I might enjoy it because then I could concentrate on these hundreds of ideas I haven't gotten to yet. So it's really just a matter of time and getting to these ideas and which ideas are most important, exciting and relevant to the record I was making in 'Run.' So some of these songs started all the way back in the first weeks of 'Megalithic Symphony', all the way up to just the last couple weeks of 'Run.' Did the success of the last record and all that's followed influence the songs on this one? Aaron: I'm sure it did greatly. I've spent most of my life trying to get people to listen to these songs I've been writing and now with the acceptance of the last record, for the first time in my career, there's actually an anticipation to hear a follow up. Which is terrifying on one hand, but also gives me a confidence that these songs are actually going to be heard by people. Which is exciting, but creates a pressure to not let the people who have become part of this AWOLNATION family down. Mostly though I just wanted to create a really great album and hopefully look back ten years from now and see this as one of the greats of this period of time. `Megalithic Symphony' was kind of an experiment. I didn't know if anyone was going to hear it or if any of the songs were going to have any kind of commercial success. And when it did start to go that way, the fact that it was 'Sail' that exploded the way it did, which is the song that is most dear to my heart and soul, rather than one of the ballads or the more poppy tunes, it gave me the freedom and creative license to make the sophomore album I wanted to make. I've never understood why (your previous bands) Home Town Hero and Under The Influence of Giants didn't reach a wider audience than they did. And while AWOLNATION is definitely a progression of the some of the stuff you were doing in those bands, does it make sense to you that this band has received the success it has and those ones didn't? Aaron: Yeah it does, cause I'm in the centre of it. Everything happens for a reason, the March 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Corn 45


Cover Interiview: AWOLNA-TION old saying, and on a bigger level, I don't think I was prepared at that time to handle any success like this I was extremely immature and naive and ignorant to the way the world works. And I made a lot of mistakes in those bands. And I can take most of the responsibility for the first band not doing that, because I had a different headset about the way I wanted it to go versus what the label wanted. It wasn't hard to get a record deal. I was in punk bands and hardcore bands and we worked really, really hard and worked on perfecting our live show. And I don't think I was really writing any songs at that time that mattered. I hadn't experienced enough true life and heartbreak to express myself in a way that people could universally identify with. AWOLNATION is heavier and deeper and darker than the stuff I had done before. So I would attribute some of those things to why this project was more successful than the others. 'Run' is an interesting album in that its softer moments are particularly soft and its harder moments are particularly hard. Was this juxtaposition of sweetness and anger a conscious decision for the direction of the album? Aaron: What I want in music is passion. Maybe there's a lack of it in the musical landscape right now. There's some great music, some great songs, even on alternative radio. But I think I was subconsciously pushed to the edge and even past the edge of the direction I was trying to go. As a result, like you said, there are moments of extremes where there are times when there aren't even any drums, to heaviness that could rival any metal or things that could rival any hip hop low end. It's the kind of record that I would love I discovered and that's really what I was going for. How much of the music is performed solely by you in the studio?

Aaron: All of it. And you mix it yourself as well? Aaron: Yeah I mix it along with my engineer. The thing is, I'm mixing these songs as I'm writing them. With a lot of bands they write, do preproduction, then record, send it to someone else to get mixed and then to someone else to get mastered. I did all of those things at the same time, with the exception of mastering. As we were recording I wanted to leave the studio and be able to listen to my mixes. Learn about the song, what could be improved and the structure of it, the way I sang it, the lyrics, tones. I wanted to mix it as we went so that when the songs were done I didn't have to spend a bunch of time mixing, which could take weeks or months even. When you're adapting these songs with a full band, is it difficult to replicate everything on the record for a live show? Aaron: Yes. We're basically a cover band. We're covering this record and we're doing it the best we can. Most of the bands you'll see these days, in order to play their songs live will play them with backing tracks going along with it. So every sound on the record is coming through the P.A. system, but no one's actually playing those sounds, which can sometimes be a necessary evil if you're trying to get your points across. And that's become the norm, but on this record we're trying not to do anything like that. So maybe if on the song there's a synth line or a string line, it doesn't necessarily need to be there 46 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


eover Interview: Aaron Bruno live. Maybe the guitarist interprets that string line in his own way and makes it his own and may even make it cooler live. So I kind of strategically pulled back the record and dissected it, so that maybe some of the sounds on it, you're not going to hear. If we wanted to replicate every sound, we'd need to be like Arcade Fire on stage, who are incredible, but we just don't have that many members. So it's going to be a little bit more of a raw version when you hear it live. A little heavier, a little dirtier. One of the great things about AWOLNATION is it's rawness though, so I don't think you'll hear too many complaints Aaron: I hope not, because if we do, then we didn't do our job. You'd be surprised how many bands, when you see them live, have vocals coming out of the PA system. So when you see them and they're all singing on stage, really it's just their record coming out of the PA system. And that to me is dishonest and fraudulent and just should not be allowed. So what you see is what you get with us. There's five of us and we're all singing, all doing harmonies. I think it's going to be incredible. I want to ask about the video for 'Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf).' It's really impressive from a technical standpoint. All one shot. I know from film school how much preparation these shots can take to nail. How complicated was the video to shoot? Aaron: It was directed by Hayley Young and she was brilliant. She made a music video for a band called The Apache Relay for the song 'Katie Queen of Tennessee.' And I just happened to see it and I loved the video. It was also a one take video and it just blew my mind. So I found her and she hadn't really worked with any bands that were bigger than that. And I'm always looking for the next great artist, rather than someone who is completely established. I think it's cool to find the next hungry artist and I always want to work with passionate people. So we had a conversation on the phone and she wrote up a treatment based on our conversation. And to be honest, I couldn't understand what the f*ck was going on when I read it. But I just showed up in kind of a leap of faith. I had never done anything like that where I had marks and places I needed to be at certain times in the song, so it was extremely complicated for me to take that all in and learn it. But the whole cast of the video were so good and already had their shit together by the time I started. So she's pretty badass and I think she'll go on to do great things and hopefully we'll get to do more together. But I can take no credit for that video, it was all her vision. Given that these albums are such singular pieces of your own vision, do you think in ten years you could look back on 'Monolithic' and then look back on 'Run' and say 'this is a good representation of exactly who I was at that moment in time'? Aaron: Yeah. That's exactly what it is. Recordings are a time capsule of where you're at at that point in your life. Still to this day, four years later, the songs I hear on the radio from 'Monolithic Symphony' still sound pretty great to me. And I'm still proud of them. I definitely like this new record more, because it's new. That's just the way it goes. But absolutely, it's a perfect representation of me because there's nothing to change that. When you're in another band, there's a pecking order and voting situation. So in past bands, maybe I wanted to go in one direction and another member of the band detoured me from going all the way there. Whereas here, there was no one to tell me what was or wasn't good. I had to decide that on my own. AWOLNATION's addictive single 'Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) is playing all over the place and is off the upcoming album "Run" available March 17th. Fans can catch AWOLNATION live on tour across North America in support of the album starting May 28th. Full details and album at www.awolnationmusic.com and keep up on social media at www.facebook.com/AWOLNATION March 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Com 47


HMI ENTERTAINMENT AND FIRST ROW TALENT PROUBLY_PRESENTS

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it) AT How have you been Matt? Matt: I've been good dude, I'm just really cold. It's redundant to talk about, but this tour has been freezing. Asides from that the shows have been awesome. Have you had issues with weather stopping you from playing dates? Matt: Not really, I know some of the trains were messed up in New York the other night but attendance has been really good and we've managed to attend all the gigs which is good. We drive slow, long and careful. Like old people having sex That's a beautiful metaphor Matt: Slow, long and careful, you don't want to break a hip! I just finished listening to the promo of the Gore Metal Redux what is it like revisiting a record like that 16 years later? Matt: For me it was fun. I know bands aren't supposed to listen to their own records but I listen to my records from time to time. I don't jam them at a party or whatever but I do listen sometimes. I try to listen as objectively as possible. I like all of them for different reasons to varying degrees except for the first one which I thought sucked. I know a lot of people liked it, and that's cool, but I think it suffered sonically, the material was good but it was tough to listen to. We'd re-recorded one or two songs as bonus tracks and I really enjoyed those newer versions so I thought it would be a fun little project to redo the album. If the original tapes were still accessible we might have just remixed it. But they haven't been seen since 2000 or so. Nobody knows where they are or what became of them. The only way to go back and clean it up asides from re-mastering was to re-record them which is what we did. The main thing I learned as we were redoing it, I felt like the same 16 year old kid writing our first demos coming up with cool riffs. Playing the Gore Metal songs made me realize we actually have progressed as a band which is pretty cool. What changes in your approach to recording it and playing it did you implement? Matt: Well we played it in time! (Laughter) That was the biggest one. We didn't try to get too crazy. Normally when we do albums we do four tracks of rhythm guitar and I double track my vocals and we get fairly meticulous. We go over it with a fine tooth comb in Pro Tools. For this we only used two rhythm guitar tracks like in the original album. I didn't double track my vocals, we just kind of let it fly. I think we recorded it in under half the time it took to do Necrocracy for sure. I don't want to say it was off the cuff, but we just let it be a little more raw because we didn't want to totally change the vibe of the album. I didn't think it needed Heartwork type production with harmonies on the leads and all that kind of stuff which, if I was writing those songs now I would have put on there. I just tried to keep it as basic as we could. Having Ross do the vocals again made sure it retained the same sound. It still sounds like the first album to me it just sounds good. So you essentially revisited the recording techniques? Matt: It's not the same techniques really because studio technology has just moved on. It would have been more expensive to find a retro studio like that. We did everything in Pro Tools and all the usual studio stuff since it just saves time and money. We just did it the same way we would have done it in '98 we used the same studio we recorded Necrocracy in to do the guitars. We tracked the drums in a smaller studio in the town where we live. The guitars were done with Ross in Oakland and the other guitarist did his tracks in North Carolina where he lives. 52 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Did that slow the writing of the next record? Matt: The crazy thing is we recorded Necrocracy right before we went on tour with Municipal Waste and Napalm Death in the fall of 2012. We rerecorded the Gore Metal session in February of 2013, to me that album is really old. When I did the first couple interviews about it I could hardly remember. We just wanted to get into the studio to do our split with Iron Reagan. While we were there we were like "It seems to be a waste to just go in and record only two songs" we had already been playing a lot of Gore Metal live, so we knew most of the songs. So we just took another month to prepare and re-recorded the album. Do you think it says something about the state of death metal today that kind of thing is even feasible? Matt: I don't know man. It is a bit of a vanity project, I don't know how else to describe it. I don't know if the world needs it. It's just something I did for myself, because I do like to go back and listen to our records and I would like to have a version of this that I actually like the songs on. It's not a new idea, Sodom did it, Exodus did it, Testament did it. Its not as done in death metal as thrash for whatever reason. There's definitely something post modern about it. This is the first time you're playing in Philly since Matt Slime, a Philly native, joined the band, do you have anything special planned for that? Matt: We let him pick a little more of the set list (Laughter) We've only got thirty minutes and it's not our stage. There's too many bands, we can't go pieing people in the face. It's always fun to play your hometown so I hope he enjoys it. How did you hook up with him? Matt: We hung out with him and his band Coffin Dust a couple of times and we kind of got to know him. He and I have a lot of similar music taste I liked his band and hanging out with him and when we made the decision to let Rob go we didn't really have anybody in mind. My girlfriend was coming over here and she wanted to get tattooed. So I was like "I know a guy in Philly" and she said "Can we stay with him?" and I was like "He seems really cool, maybe" and as I was planning that trip the little hamster on the wheel started walking and I was like "That guy is a really good vocalist" and "Do we need a bassist/vocalist or a vocalist/bassist" and I realized that we needed a vocalist/bassist. He was down and so here we are. The real question is not "Would he consider doing it" but "How loudly did he scream?" Matt: He was really cool about it actually. He flew out to California just to audition which I thought was really impressive. He just had a really good audition. I felt bad because if we didn't pick him he would have spent a lot of money just to come out. He killed it though, he played great. So after 23-24 years what inspires you to keep grinding it out? Matt: There's a lot of things. In terms of writing music I think it doesn't matter if I had four kids and a mortgage and was an accountant I'd still stay up late and write riffs. It's just what I do. You always find something new to do each record. Even in a style as limited as ours I like to think each record is pretty different. It's interesting to explore that and see where you can go for the next thing. That's what I'm always interested in, whatever the next thing is. We have a ton of songs written for the new album and that's what I'm interested in more than anything. In terms of playing live, we've played live so much in the past few years that it's sort of devolved into our March 2015 - VaridalaMagazine.Corn 53


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devolved into our de facto lifestyle. We've played live a little bit too much and we've all kind of come to the conclusion that we've given too much supply and are thereby driving down demand. I enjoy playing live, traveling and seeing different places. The dudes in the band are chill, fly by the seat of the pants dudes who just take it as it comes! I wanted to ask you about the new stuff... Necrocracy is so much more ferocious than the previous records, how did you manage that? It's my favorite Exhumed record... Matt: It's our slowest record for sure. The whole time we were writing it we were all about getting more groove to keep the clarity and keep the groove. We slowed down even the faster stuff. Sometimes playing it you can go too fast and you lose the intensity. When the drums start to sound like a baseball card in the bicycle spokes you've lost it. We don't want to do that at all. I like the percussive riffy part of metal. I grew up listening to Metallica, I like the chunkiness and the chords. The chemistry on that album was great too. We played live so much that we were able to write songs to each others strengths. Whatever that translates too whether it's ferocity or I don't know what.... It shows a bit of restraint which we hadn't practiced before. I feel like it's our best record so far, until the next one comes out at least! Unless we totally blow it and it sucks. (Laughter) What do you love so much about music? Matt: It's one of those things where it's always been there My uncle was a Jazz Fusion guitar player and my dad was a huge music listener, he always had stacks of records and stuff. Its one of those things where I don't even know how to answer because its so omnipresent for me. It's like "What do you love about air?" It's just there. Most of my stuff is my record collection and gear, and then after that you have comics and dirty old metal shirts. That was the thing that made sense to me when I was growing up. That sort of pivotal moment in puberty when it just sort of hits you the right way. The thing that made me incorporate it more into my life as an adult is that there is so much room to be evolved in it and in so many different forms. I get excited about all of it. I can listen to the same records I've listened to for thirty years and find something new. I love it.

Exhumed www.gorefuckingmetal.blogspot.com vvww.twitter.com/exhumedofficial www.exhumed.bandcamp.com

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AnyDing That Segrates Me From Normal People By Matt Bacon John Hoffman of Weekend Nachos is an dude and reflecting with him on hardcore honor. Sure things got silly at points, but lines one can get a deeper understanding

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So John, how are you doing? John: I am well, how are you? I'm awesome, thanks for asking! You've played at huge stages like Hellfest and now you're playing at a smaller more 'underground' thing like this. How does that balance out? John. To be honest playing Hellfest is the odd thing out. Normally we do places like this. Playing Hellfest was like "What the hell is this! I can't believe there's this festival that has like hundreds of thousands of people" That was the odd thing out. It makes us feel weird in a good way. It was great to get the offer ,it was an experience. Of all the shows we play less than 1% are like Hellfest, the rest are at smaller places like this. So what inspires you after all these years to keep it underground? John: It's just where we come from. Small shows like this everybody's on the same level. There's no rock star bullshit. People that come to the show are just as important as the bands playing. There's no barrier. Everyone is part of the scene. Having this level of integrity has shaped your band essentially... John: Absolutely. Has that shaped you as a person too? John: Yes. It's who we are and who I am. There's only one way to do it as far as I'm concerned. We obviously like doing the band, but we're just a part of what everyone else is a Pa rt of. How does that manifest itself in your day to day life? John: We don't have a lot of time to do the band. We used to have a lot more. We all have girlfriends, wives and fiancĂŠes and jobs we put everything into. It's hard to get off of work but when we can.... Basically every chance we get we do the band. So what do you do for a living? John: I work at H8EM Customer Service. I just do corporate customer service for them. It's a day job, it works... Do you ever get recognized? (Laughter) John: No. Sometimes when my fiancĂŠe will be out someone will be like "Oh are you in Weekend Nachos" but it's pretty rare. That must be weird though, headlining events like this and then going back to no one giving a shit... John: Honestly no one gives a sh*t. It's cool people give a sh*t in our scene. But its back to the idea that there's no difference between me and anybody else at the show. We're just like everybody else. All the other bands are the same. Somebody has got to play last basically. So we ended up playing last. 58 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


I don't like the idea of anybody really headlining a show. It's cool that with a show like this that's so small there will be just as many people watching the opener as the headliner. So people can really decide for themselves who they want to see. Your last record came out in 2013, I know you said you don't have a lot of time, but have you made any progress? - - - Were coming up with ideas right now. So hopefully we'll be able to record that in early 2016. We have plans to go to Japan and Australia this year. So that's on the horizon. The touring is going to derail us from writing and practicing much but I had ideas planned. Do you have plans for a US tour? John: Not right now. It's really hard. Getting Japan and Australia done...we might get to Europe again in October. I'm getting married in August too, so that will really take time away from the band. Early 2016 though we'll probably do an East Coast tour and then a West Coast tour a few months later. I moved to America recently from France, I wanted to ask you, what differences do you find in the US hardcore scene versus the European scene? John: I feel that people in Europe are way more into just seeing the bands and watching the band play. There's less of a scene involving merch, records and drama. Whereas here we focus on trivial bullshit sometimes. In Europe it's way more like "I came to see music tonight" as opposed to "I came to hang out with my friends" Not to say the US sucks or anything. I'm just saying that people in Europe are more concerned with music and seeing a band play and people here are more concerned with socializing. Do you prefer the European way? Johns I see it both ways. I feel like people in Europe are less personable. I feel like when you go to a show in Europe you're less likely to have a conversation as opposed to the U. In the US it makes it more of a community which is a good thing. Which is what hardcore should be, a community. I kind of see it both ways though. Sometimes I like it better that we can have a community more here, but in Europe I like the idea that people are focused on music. Is there a backstory behind what Weekend Nachos even means? John: There is zero backstory. It's complete nonsense. Were all retarded and that's reflected in the band name. If you had to come up with a back story what would it be? John: Weekend Nachos is silly and fun and happy and the band is angry violent and pissed off. Nothing in life should make sense, so that's the metaphor I guess. If anybody thinks that we're like... about an image, then they know that we're not just by that dumb band name. I want you to finish this sentence for me "I've never told this story before and probably shouldn't but...•' - When I was little I tripped and fell and hit my mouth with a plastic flute and three of my baby teeth got jammed into my skull and I had to get emergency surgery. I didn't cry the entire time. I was a totally badass good sport about it. I have a similar story from when I was a kid, I still have the scar on my eyebrow... John: That's awesome. Little kids getting hurt, as long as they don't die, is funny... I think we should end the interview with that! (Laughter) Last question then! What do you love so much about music? John: I like music that is anti social as possible where any normal person can hear it and they have no clue what's going on. Anything that separates me from normal people is good. www.facebook.com/weekendxnachos March 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Corn 59


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Ampallang Infection is a fairly unique group dubbed 'industrial-electro hyper grind' these guys blare forward at 400 bpm with loud and abrasive tones. If you can dig the madness of the music, you just may find truth. Don't Like Slow' By Matt Bacon How the hell are you doing Alex? Alex: Phenomenal, how the hell are you?

Wonderful thank you for asking. Sor after playing a great show like tonight how do you feel? Alex: I feel exhausted yet still up for seeing the other awesome four bands playing tonight and the other ten or eleven bands playing tomorrow. It does not stop just because we finish playing. I feel phenomenal. Was this one of your bigger crowds Ampallang Infection has gotten? Alex: We played this festival last year too and I think it was about the same. This is definitely in the top 5. Do you feel like you're starting to get somewhere? Alex: Absolutely. There's no way playing tonight would be a bad move, it's a great fest. What prompted the decision to use a drum machine rather than a traditional drummer? Alex: Ampallang infection started off as a side project that I would do in my apartment and you obviously can't have a live drummer in an apartment. I wanted to make something that was ridiculously fast, like 300-400 bpm. I can't find many human drummers who can do that and I wanted to have more options. If I was forced to have a human drummer I'd need three human grindcore drummers on revolving drum kits. It's just easier. Nothing against drummers though, I've been in bands with drummers before but I don't like slow... So this guarantees it's never slow. Why the obsession with speed? 62 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Alex: It just appeals to me. It's grindcore... I dig doom and slow stuff, but I can't play it. You can call it ADD, you can call it whatever, but songs that have slow parts or that I have to concentrate on for more than a couple of minutes are just not appealing to me. How many songs did you play in your 15 minute set tonight? Alex: I think we did 17 songs, so about 12 minutes of music. There's not a single song that hits the one minute mark. Is that an established upper limit? Alex: Our longest song to date is 59 seconds so... We truthfully didn't plan it that way it's just something that happened. Even when we cover a song it ends up under a minute long. Are you on A389? Alex: On the record no... There might be some things down the line and I do work for A389. We just got a new guitar player, his first show was tonight, we're kind of regrouping. The main thing right now is writing. If a couple months from now we write a full length or at least enough for a seven inch and Dom wants to put it out that's up to him. We just have very close connections to all of those bands, we're buddies with almost all of the bands that are playing here this weekend even the ones that are from out of town. We're here tonight because we're just fans of these bands. So what are you doing with the new material? Alex: We're going to have Tom, the new guy, put his paintbrush to the canvas if you will. I don't see us playing slower or longer and if you're expecting something different from tonight you're shit out of luck. We have a bunch of stuff in the can just nothing we could unveil tonight. Just expect really fast songs, over 400 bpm, touches of industrial and electro hyper-grindcore. God...that was one sentence wasn't it... How does the new guitarist impact the sound? Alex: I don't want to talk much about our old guy, but he's a little more crusty. This is not his only band. He's in a band called Uncle Buck and another called Two Piece Monster. I throw down some riffs, the bass player throws down lines that become riffs. Its definitely not just me in my apartment with a guitar and a drum machine anymore. It's going to be interesting to see if we can keep it up. Has it been hard for you to grow from a one man project into a band? Ale: No. It was a one man project for about two years and all I did with that was one bullshit cassette, this was back in the Myspace days. I missed playing shows, because I had been in bands before. I met our old guitar player Adam and we played our first show opening for Job For a Cowboy which is a ridiculous first show... We played that with three weeks of rehearsal and we picked up Noah the bassist who was in attendance for that show. We lost Adam last year and quickly found Tom. We didn't want to dilly-dally finding a new guy because we had this coming up. We know Tom very well so he hopped onto the chance so here we are... So what do you love so much about music? Alex: It takes me to places that I want to go that I usually can't get too by not playing. There is definitely shitty music that takes me to bad places and good music that takes me to good places. I wouldn't say I love music, I love good music. www.facebook.comfAmpallanginfection www.ampallanginfection666.bandcamp.com March 2015 - Vandalamagazine.Corn 63


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The Carnes brothers are pretty silly, and they aren't afraid to mess around with you in an interview. Yet if you read between the lines, you get a glimpse at one of Americas most exciting bands. So Jeff, after playing a great show like tonight how do you feel? Tyler: Great! How did you guys find the A389 fest to be so far? Tyler: It's been tight. Tonight's going to be rad. Billy: Last night was cool. I got to see the first nu - metal band ever, Starkweather. That was pretty cool. Tyler: Were going to see Haymaker tonight and light off some fireworks. How has A389 treated you as a label? Tyler: On point. We've been with them for two years. Billy: I've been emailing (A389 Mainman) Dom without getting responses for roughly five to six years, How did you get pulled into Noisem Billy? That happened pretty recently. Billy: I was born before Tyler, so that inherently makes me better. So I was the obvious next choice. I was a mistake. Tyler was intentional I think. Tyler: I was the first choice birth. Why did Travis leave the band? 66 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Interivevr BiIlj Arn& Tyler Billy: He wants to be a chef. Which is probably a much more lucrative decision than being in Noisem. They get to wear cool hats. I'm wearing one right now but it's not nearly as cool as Travis's hat. Is the goal for Noisem to be your full time job? Tyler: No. If it was it would be tight. What's the goal then? Tyler: To have fun! Billy: To rock. Tyler: Rock. 420. Backslash m Forward slash. How's your new record been going? Billy: It's sad, it's got piano. I don't play bass on some of it. I play piano like Elton John. (Laughter) Tyler: Were going to cover Crocodile Rock. Billy: What's your favorite Billy Joel song? "We Didn't Start the Fire." Billy: That's a good song. On Spotify there's a playlist called "Guilty Pleasures" and it's on there like four times. Tyler: That's not a guilty pleasure! What are you guilty pleasure? Billy: The song "It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy, that's a proud pleasure actually. Two Princes too... The entire first Scaiman album. Tyler That shit's tight. Billy: There's a part where he's scat battling a girl he just taught how to scat in the song. It truly tells a story and paints a beautiful picture. Something I've noticed from hanging out with you guys... do you ever listen to death metal? Billy: No. Tyler: Not Really. Billy: It was Demolition Hammer...pretty thrash, death-thrash maybe. Tyler: We listened to Powerslave from Iron Maiden too... What do you look too for inspiration? Billy: The Cure. Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20. Carlos Santana... (Laughter) Tyler: Sinbads 179 Dollar Stand Up Comedy Tape. Billy: Yeah the first three Sinbad movies... He's a shitty teacher though, I wouldn't want him to be my teacher. What do you love so much about music? Tyler: I love what it makes my fingers do! (Makes demon horns) Billy: I just like hanging out with my friends. I like how much free pizza it involves... nothing else really... March 2015 - VandalaMagazine-Com 67


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, EASTERN CONTINENTAL, TOURING EXCLUSIVE, FEATURING:

3.15 /I DETROIT MI MAGIC STICK 3.25 /1 PHILADELPHIA PA UNDERGROUND ARTS 3.16 /I ST. LOUIS MO FUBAR 3.26 // NEW YORK NY CAKE SHOP 3.23 // NASHVILLE TN THE END 3.27 // CAMBRIDGE MA MIDDLE EAST UPSTAIRS 3.24 // RICHMOND VA STRANGE MATTER 3.28 /I BROOKLYN NY SAINT VITUS BAR


4.16 MYTH, ST. PAUL, MN 4.17 THE BURTON CUMMINGS THEATRE, WINNIPEG, MB 4.18 O'BRIAN'S DENT CENTRE, SASKATOON. SK 4,19 EXPO CENTRE - HALL I, EDMONTON, AB 4,21 MACEWAN HALL. CALGARY, AB 4.23 COMMODORE BALLROOM. VANCOUVER. 8C 4,24 COMMODORE BALLROOM. VANCOUVER. BC 425 ROSELAND THEATER, PORTLAND, OR 4,26 SHOWBOX SOO. SEATTLE. WA 4,28 THE FOX THEATER, OAKLAND, CA 4.29 HOLLYWOOD PALLADIUM, LOS ANGELES, CA 4.30 THE MARQUEE. TEMPE, A/ 5.01 HOUSE OF BLUES, LAS VEGAS, NV 5.02 THE COMPLEX, SALT LAKE CITY , UT 5.03 RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE. MORRISON.00

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The Skints "FM"(Frequency Murderation) www.theskints.co.uk - 4/5 Dragons By Dustin Griffin "FM" starts with a broadcast. A DJ setting the mood for what will come.. A 'frequency murderation.' As the record unfolds, it will be punctuated with these faux radio related intermissions, as minute long radio shows like the 'Dancehall Dilemmas' and 'The Grim Hour' help give "FM" a true reggae on the dial feel. But as entertaining as these skits are, the true gold to be found within "FM" is, appropriately, the music. 'This Town' featuring reggae legend Horseman and British reggae star Tipple Irie, is a cool mix of classic reggae rhythms, punctuated with dancehall hip hop delivery and beats. It's a quintessential summer jam and sets a nice tone for the record as a whole. Tipple and Horseman appear again on ‘Tazer Beam' and 'In The Night', respectively, with 'Tazer' featuring the same reggae hop as on 'This Town' and 'In This Town' a laid back, light and breezy crooner. Horseman's verses give the song an edge that creates a nice dichotomy for the sound. 'Got No Say' is the perfect mix of The King Blues and Bob Marley, 'The Forest For The Trees' is Sublime-ish in the best way, while 'My War' is pure Peter Tosh excellence. But as much as The Skints do well paying tribute to reggae and neo-reggae's greats, they get a lot right on their own as well. `Where Did You Go' and 'Tomorrow' with their rapid fire verse delivery, and 'Friends and Business', trading off between pop and ska with ease, all sound fresh without ever abandoning the reggae bedrock that runs throughout the bands career and ultimately defines who they are and where they're coming from. And where they are coming from, specifically, is London, England. Another example of the ever burgeoning and always exciting reggae and first wave ska scene in the U.K. The band is ten years old in a few months and have created for themselves an impressive career so far. Touring the world, playing hundreds of shows a year opening for some of the scene's biggest bands and consistently releasing excellent music, The Skints' fan base is ever growing and they deserve every fan they achieve. "FM" should go a long way to extending that fan base, hopefully allowing them to penetrate the North American market in a big way in the coming year. As a whole, "FM" is a lighter affair than The Skints' previous two efforts. The punk and hip hop elements are less present, but still crop up here there. It truly has the sonic equivalent of a summer breeze, rather than a more abrasive night on the town, club hopping and looking for trouble. This isn't a criticism. On the contrary, the band appear more comfortable and assured of their sound on "FM" than ever before. And it's still got what's made the band such standouts thus far: that perfect mix of classic and modern that ensures whatever direction the band may take, they will never be boring. 8 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


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Title Fight "Hyperview" (Punk Rock) www.titlefightmusic.bandcamp.com - 4.1/5 Dragons By Aleksandr Slakva

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The impression one is left with after their initial Hyperview listening, is that as a whole, it is an unexpectedly calm, borderline relaxing addition to Title Fight's discography. The distorted, ambiguous and emotionally charged post-punk sound that Title Fight has built their career on has been an evolutionary arc (and stylistically speaking, an exceptionally graceful one). Hyperview is not so much as out of step with this trend, as it is a bold leap in a direction few expected.

This album is a ten track venture into the murky territories of shoe gazing, all under a new label (ANTI-) and a new producer (Will Yip). While the band has previously defined Hyperview as "guitar music", Hyperview completely shelves the distortion, the double kick and overt vocals in favour something more broody, accompanied by a prevalently clean guitar tone. This change of direction does do favours for the album's more Jawbreaker-esque tracks like "P4RAHC" and "Trace Me Onto You". Unfortunately the merits of this new directions definitely begins to fall short when Jamie Rhoden and Ned Russin's low, drone like vocals get swept under the guitar melodies in tracks like "Rose Of Sharon" (and few additional instances). While this is forgivable in repetitive and ambient introduction tracks such "Murder Your Memory", it detracts from the immersion required to fully absurd the thematic bleakness of "Your Pain Is Mine", "Liar's Love", "Dizzy" an "New Vision". If these minor complaints are set aside however, it is easy to see the positive characteristics of the album. For one, all of the tracks on Hyperview definitely hold unique sets of identities. For the sake of visualization, imagine every track on here as an in-between points between the track that the more traditional sounding, pre-Hyperview (MRAHC) sound and the track that (I feel) best encompasses Hyperview's broodier, shoegazier impression of The Cure (Dizzy). As a whole Hyperview isn't Title Fight's permanent departure from all things hardcore. Despite having the initial impression of something 'relaxing', it aims to stir something more mature and grave than angst and anger, which is a mature compliment to their discography. Just be sure to purchase it physically so you can have easy access to the provoking lyrics, as their mumblings does seem to have a penchant for being swallowed in the walls of guitar wails.

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Father John Misty "I Love You, Honeybear (Alternative/Pop) www.fatherjohnmisty.com - 4.5/5 Dragons By Darian Magee

I Love You, Honeybear is one long bitter ballad and I am absolutely in love. Under the stage name Father John Misty, Josh Tillman released one of 2015's most passionate albums yet. Once the drummer for Fleet Foxes, this bearded gentleman wears his heart on his sleeve and isn't afraid to show it in his work. Lyrics like darling, I love you as you are when you're alone /I'll never try to change you drip with poignant devotion, Father John Misty's romantic cynicism shining through in every note. True Affection stands out in particular, elements of electronic adding an intriguing dimension to this otherwise folksy piece of work. I Love You, Honeybear has a heartbreaking story arc that will leave you breathless with its combination of tender strings and bursts of brass in all the right places. Thanks to Sub Pop, you can listen to it free online without feeling guilty over the decisions you've made in life. But I promise you it's worth a physical copy. Right down to the beautifully crafted album artwork, everything about Josh Tillman's latest creation is pure perfection.

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%cue Wok The Rumjacks - "Sober & Godless" (www.therumjacks.corn) Review By Dustin Griffin

The Rumjacks are a celtic punk band out of Sydney, Australia. Australia isn't exactly known far and wide for its celtic punk scene, but that doesn't stop these four boys from making a mighty impressive racket within the genre. They also sound like they could've come fresh off the rainy streets of Dublin itself. They've been at it seven years this year and over the course of a few albums and a handful of EP's, they've assembled a fine discography thus far. Which most recently includes 'Sober & Godless.' An album of fourteen upstart celtic folk, rock and punk tunes. So, in honour of St. Paddy's Day this month, as well as the fact that the album cover legitimately deserves it, the cover pick this month is The Rumjack's 'Sober & Godless.' I don't know what two dragons with their tongues wrapped around each other have to do with being sober and godless, but it's a cool image at any rate. Very much of the traditional tattoo vibe, which should go over well with fans in this tatty obsessed day and age. The colours are also bold and striking and have a hellish feel, which may tie into the title in that way. The cover art is courtesy of mister Frankie McLaughlin, the band's vocalist/tin whistle player. He does a bunch of the band's art for shirts and flyers and album covers. Which is cool. For my money, 'Sober & Godless' is the band's best album so far and the cover art that accompanies it provides a suitably striking partnership with the music it houses. With St. Paddy's Day right around the corner, it's a good time to polish up on your celtic folk punk, and The Rumjacks' 'Sober & Godless' is a fine place to start. 14 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


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k Review? Marky Ramone "Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life As A Ramoneu By Dustin Griffin - 4.5/5 Dragons It's easy to forget that while the Ramones were still active, they didn't enjoy a fraction of the praise and adoration that they do now. They never had a hit single, they never even had a hit record. They toured constantly and released records every year or every other year. Hell, they drove around in a van their entire career. A van. They saw bands they created through inspiration eclipse them in success and popularity again and again. By the time they played their last show in August 1996 at a small-ish Hollywood venue, they were already bonafide legends, they had been legends for fifteen years actually. But commercial success and worldwide acceptance just wasn't in the cards it seemed.

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Now of course, that's all changed. They're credited not only with inventing punk rock music, but are recognized as one of the greatest bands of all time. Of any genre. Go outside and throw a stone and it will likely hit a house that has a Ramones t-shirt hanging in the closet.

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Marky Ramone was with the Ramones from 1978 until their dissolution (with a small break in between) and is the only surviving member, outside of lesser known stand ins like C3 and Richie Ramone. There have been many books about the Ramones and both Dee Dee and Johnny released books about their experiences shortly before their deaths, but Marky Ramone's "Punk Rock Blitzkrieg" may be the meatiest, most enjoyable and craziest book about the band penned so far. The book starts, as do all autobiographies, with Marky's childhood and moves into his time in many well regarded or even legendary New York City rock bands where it seemed every time he turned around he was being offered a new gig in a band that would come to exemplify proto-punk in the 70's. He paints a vivid picture of Manhattan in the 60's and 70's and the legendary rock clubs that he called second homes like CI3GB's and Max's Kansas City. All the grit and the glory, the danger and excitement of the city in its grimiest period is conveyed with no shortage of detail. His time with the Ramones doesn't start until a third of the way into the book. 16 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Which makes sense, as he didn't join them until he was a third of the way into his life. But this is where the book really comes alive. Every page is literally filled with juicy Ramones related anecdotes. Joey's obsessive compulsive disorder, Dee Dee's self destructive behavior, Johnny's mean tempered control freak personality and Marky's own struggles with alcoholism and his fight to regain and maintain his sobriety. It's all here. I won't get into too many stories because if you're a fan of this band you should just read the book, but one particular highlight was the hijinks surrounding the shooting of 'Rock NY Roll High School.' Their rabid South American fan base is also a lot of fun to hear about. 'Punk Rock Blitzkrieg' is an easy read. I actually read it in less than a week which has to be some kind of a record for someone who typically takes months to read a book. One issue I will say about it is that it isn't very well written. Marky skips from story to story and back again pretty quickly and there are times when you think you're reading about one thing and suddenly realize he's onto another tale. It isn't overly eloquent either. And he repeats himself a bit. But these are small nitpicky issues with an otherwise excellent book. At the end of the day, you read this stuff for the tales it tells and this book has a hell of a lot of tales to tell. Highly recommended. To grab a copy of "Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life As A Ramone" and find out more about Marky Ramone visit: www.markyramone.com/ www.twitter.comimarkyramone www.youtube.comimarkytelevision

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Joshua Radin with Cary Brothers and Andrew Belle Article By Brent Macdonald Photo By Emma Guy-Macdonald (www.crimsonartphotography.com) Some venues have reputations. The Apollo Theatre, CBGBs, the Whiskey a-Go-Go. Calgary's Knox United Church is none of these, but for Josh Radin, it is perhaps the best suited version of those celebrated scenes. The singer-songwriter, whose rise to fame has been well-documented, stemming from the inclusion of the first song Radin ever wrote, "December," in an episode of "Scrubs," writes music perfectly suited for the impressive acoustics of the downtown church. It is a venue seemingly designed for Radin's soothing, yet complex, writing and performance style. He has been compared to Jack Johnson and Nick Drake, the latter perhaps being more in tune with Radin's "I just woke up and have not yet had my coffee" vocal style. However, Radin's warmth and genuine writing style makes him eminently listenable, if somewhat sedate (Radin himself referred to his music style as "lullabies for adults"). The church was packed for Radin's performance, which contrasted the singer-songwriter's warm SoCal acoustic leanings with a cold evening and a light snowfall outside. It was almost as if the performer himself had arranged for a slightly melancholy evening of acoustic tunes in the presence of winter. Entering the stage solo with acoustic guitar in hand, Radin opened with "We'll Keep Runnin' Forever," the lead song from his latest release "Onward and Sideways." He was soon joined by what could be best described as a minimalist's dream band, with a one-man rhythm section who played bass guitar and drums (occasionally simultaneously) and a multi-instrumentalist, who accompanied Radin with Edge-like guitar atmospherics, keyboards, and any number of other instruments that enhanced the acoustic experience. Radin even channeled his inner rock star with his performance of "Brand New Day," a stand-up-and-clap-along song in which he even pulled out the classic rock standard "Calgary, I can't hear you!" However, the overall theme of the otherwise sedate performance was one of insecurity, falling in love, loss, heartbreak, and then falling in love again. Radin closed the show with a cover of the Flying Picket's "Only You, before performing "Winter," the aforementioned tune from "Scrubs" which launched his career. He returned to the stage for an encore featuring a cover of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," which is far superior to Sam Smith's possibly inadvertent "Stay With Me" homage. Joining him were openers Cary Brothers (who has a wonderful career in music, but might want to consider moonlighting in stand-up comedy, as he had the crowd guffawing between songs) and Chicago-based Andrew Belle, who as an individual could fill as much space as all of Coldplay simply with a keyboard and a drum machine. Traditional church music? Not quite. Music that belongs in a church? Certainly! www.joshuaradin.com www.facebook.comijoshuaradin 20 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


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22 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015

RADIO GALA


lye @overaei; Night Of Metal: Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Aeon, & Tribulation :

-

We're just starting March and I've already been to more than twenty concerts. Such is the life of the tired jaded music critic. Night after night in dive bars drinking piss beer and wondering if it's all really worth it. Its oftentimes a thankless task, you work eighty, ninety hours a week, but hey►, at least you get in shows free...Which is a novelty for the first few years and then starts to get old. So why do I do this when it only seems miserable? Well, simply put, because of nights like last Sunday, an evening that I will always remember. After interviewing the charming Tommy Dahlstrom of Aeon Tribulation (Read on page _) were just about ready to take the stage. Their unique combination of hippy inspired jam oriented rock with black metal blew me away►. The touches of the occult and the rock star posing these guys pulled off was a joy to watch and seemed to nicely match the occult tones roaring out of their guitars. A trusted friend told me they were the band to see on this bill and boy was he right. These guys are going places and fast, they seem innovative and exciting, the kind of black metal who remind me why I loved the genre so much in the first place. My only complaint, petty as it may seem, is that the singer has dreadlocks and a distinctly different look than the rest of the band. While the guitarists and drummer all rock a sort of blackened hippy► chic, the singers stoned demonic features provide a strange alternate face to the band. Regardless, Tribulation were far too much fun to watch and I desperately want to see them again. Aeon were up next, with a half hour set. To be completely honest, I don't think I could take much more than half an hour of their death metal assault. Very much in the "Death metal by numbers" camp, they were still fun to watch for a few minutes. They got the crowd fired up, but I think that some of the more jaded members of the audience had a hard time enjoying it. Yet, for the Cannibal Corpse/Behemoth crowd which consists largely of fans who only go to a few shows a year, it was probably a rare treat. (Side note: Every stereotype you might have heard about Cannibal Corpse fans is true, and it is f*cking hilarious) As is though, Aeon are definitely a solid entry level band, it would just be cool to see them grow their sound a bit. When Behemoth came on I knew it was time for something special. They have an elaborate stage show, and I was excited to see a bit more of them than the two songs I had drunkenly watched at Hel!fest back in June. Now, I've never been a Behemoth fan, but they utterly killed it. Every part of the show, from Nergal waving incense to the ferocious headbanging and distinctive stage garb captured my imagination. On top of that, these guys are f*cking tight. When they came on for an encore of 0 Father 0 Satan 0 Sun it was hard to believe we were in America. People screaming along to pagan anthems is not something you stumble across every day in these parts, but the fans seemed to eat it up. Behemoth understand what people want from a live show and they will inspire you to make you own music greater. Bombastic to a fault this is a band who write their own rules, and now that Nergal is back on his feet, the whole world seems to be their oyster. 24 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Despite all this I still was feeling a little grumpy and tired, it was snowing, I had midterms coming up, and I just didn't know where my life was really going, simply put, I felt overworked. Then Cannibal Corpse came up and washed away any semblance of sadness in my life. Here is a band who are purifying in their heaviness, a band who crush your skull in and encourage the fans to f*cking kill each other. Their set took me right back to being 12 years old and spinning them for the first time. As I flew around the pit crashing in to kids as well as men well into their forties I got the sense that Cannibal Corpse have become one of those bands that unify fans across the globe regardless of background. The original death dealers have managed to smash in skulls and leave everyone going apeshit more than three decades into their career. Faces were broken, skulls cracked, and gallons of blood left on the floor, and it was glorious. Cannibal Corpse provide death metal redemption, angry, shitty, and proud of it. So in the end, being a music journalist really isn't that shitty. Sure it can suck at times, but it really is worth all of the trials and tribulations that we go through. There is a sense of freedom and profound liberation, that some of metals biggest bands can still provide that makes it all worth it, even after hundreds of concerts and thousands of late nights. Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth have achieved the status of elder gods, men who have transcended the genre and been able to make a statement that speaks to our very humanity. Aeon still may have a ways to go, but Tribulation certainly seem ready to challenge listeners. One of the most exciting tours of 2015, I can only hope that I am honored with seeing these bands again in the near future! Bands Online: www.cannibalcorpse.net www.aeon666.com www.behemoth.pl www.tribulation.se March 2015 - VandafaMagazine.Com 25


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.1 • Exhumed "Erupting Eardrums" Article By Matt Bacon Exhumed, now there is a band name which strikes fear into men and regret into plenty of lasses. These guys have been erupting eardrums since 1992 and watching them tear up the stage was a pleasure that I will not soon forget. Though they were third from the top on this particular evening they still stood out. Remember, this is the metal tour of the year, on the same night I saw Black Crown Initiate, Ringworm, Iron Reagan, Voivod and Napalm Death. If I still have profound memories of them, they're clearly doing something right! But what is it that allows them to shine? See, what I realized is that Exhumed succeed because they have an almost thrash metal side to them. When Matt Harvey sings, he is not a death metal vocalist, but rather a logical extension on a character like Zetro. Add in a man running onstage with a chainsaw (Part of the show, don't worry) and a viscera spattered microwave (In homage to the legendary Gore Metal album art) and you have yourself a death metal show. Harvey's thrashy anger is beautifully contrasted by the young and hungry Matt Slime. His bass work kept things exciting and his low destructive growls were truly impressive. Perhaps the highlight though was the fact that his mother and sister were standing in the front row, cheering him on. After all, Slime is a product of the Philadelphia scene, and this was his homecoming. There was a sense of resolution, as if Slime is proof that young people can come out of Philadelphia's dungeons and rise up, masters of their own reality doomed to take on the world. The highlight of the show though came on the final song, when the guillotine was brought out. Guitarist Bud Burk is taken prisoner by the chainsaw wielding man and decapitated, with a rivulet of blood shooting out, GWAR style. With Slime's mother giggling "That's so cute" I realized that my night was basically done. Sure Napalm Death and Voivod still had to play, but I had seen the legends in action and been given proof that young blood will forever invigorate the old guard. Exhumed, on this night at least, embodied what extreme metal is all about. www.gorefuckingmetal.blogspot.com www.twitter.com/exhumedofficial www.exhumed.bandcamp.com 26 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2014


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Full of primal rage and belly laughs, Aeon are Swedish metal lords. Far removed from their peers in bands like Entombed and Nihilist, Tommy Dahlstom the bands singer shares with us some wisdom from his life on the road.

By Matt Bacon


Keep Supporttim Death) Metal! So how's it going Tommy? Tommy: So far so good. It's the perfect tour for us, we're touring with two of the biggest bands in metal so we play in front of huge crowds every night. Its awesome. It's the best tour I've been on. We are very satisfied. Related to that, do you feel like this is the next step for Aeon, do you think you're about to become huge? Tommy: We have a long way to go but this tour will definitely help us to go in the right direction. Aeon's Black came out in 2012, can we expect a new record anytime soon? Tommy. No. When we go home from this tour we will continue to write some new songs, we have a few, but when we did the European tour and then this tour we had to stop writing for a while. Hopefully we will get more stuff done when we get back home. If we are lucky we will have a record out in late 2015, but that's only if we are very luck. So it's more likely going to be early to middle 2016? Tommy: Yeah... I should think so. Are you concerned about losing fans with that kind of gap? Tommy: A little bit yes. We're touring a lot more now though, and we gain fans every time we hit the stage so I think were good. Where do you go from here now that you've toured with Cannibal Corpse? Tommy: That's the thing! Were always telling Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth "It's all downhill from here!" (Laughter) I don't know actually. Every good tour we can get on we take. We try to make the best of it, so let's see what happens. Do you still have a day job? Tommy: Nope, still got a day job. I'm a truck driver, I listen to death metal and drive in a truck all day long. Do you ever get weird looks? Tommy: Sometimes! (Laughter) How do you balance that with being in a band? Tommy: It's hard. Luckily I have a good boss. If I plan ahead and show him what days I need off then he's fine with it. Do you find the artist support structure out in Sweden helpful? Tommy: We don't play Sweden that much... The artist support doesn't help us much. Seb our guitar player and I have been playing together since 1991. We had been playing together for fun, and suddenly we're here, it's kind of amazing. Nobody taught us how to do it, we learned ourselves! So you guys have just started up a pretty big tour then? Tommy: Well we're just good pals man. It's kind of easy. Maybe we have been into one verbal fight once in all our time together. We want the same thing and we go in the same direction, that's why it's so easy to get along with him. It's essentially a marriage.p. 32 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Interview. Tommy DaNIstiim Tommy: Sort of. When we go back home though he does his stuff and I do my stuff. When were younger we would hang out every day. We don't do that as much anymore, he has a family and stuff like that. We talk regularly and rehearse. Hers like a brother. So by having that kind of core you are able to keep the band going no matter what? Tommy: Yeah, totally. We have fought many uphill battles to get here but we always end up on top. Things work, it's awesome! What charmed me about Aeon was that you're extremely brutal there's always a sense of groove, to what degree is that supposed to be an aspect of the sound? Tommy: We always try to have the groove. I think that if you lose the groove then you lose a lot of fans. People want to feel the groove, they want to be able to head bang and feel it. That's important. You can still make brutal stuff and have groove in it, if you have groove in it, it's a plus. That's how we feel at least. It's something we work hard to achieve. I've always felt you were kind of separated from Swedish Death Metal, how did that come about? Tommy; I remember Seb and I listening to music and we always were listening to bands like Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse. For me, the Swedish type of death metal was a little boring. I wanted blast beats and more aggressive stuff. Was that just through tape trading? Tommy: Tape trading and record stores back home. To what degree back in the early 90s were you part of the Swedish underground? I remember reading in Choosing Death about having shows in the subway... did that actually happen? Tommy: We had shows almost like that We had one in a bus station. It was the first show we were ever supposed to do. We went on stage, sound checked, somebody complained that it was too loud, so we gave them the finger, took our equipment and went off stage. We just sound checked for one song. That was '90 or '91. Did you see the guys in bands like Entombed around? Tommy: We didn't. We live in the north of Sweden, they live in Stockholm so they are like 6-7 hours away from us. We are from a pretty small town. Where there a lot of other people like you? Tommy: Not many. Just a few. We had at that time I think three or four death metal bands, and now we have maybe three. It's a small town. And you have no desire to leave? Tommy: No, if I leave that town I will leave the country I think. I can move to Stockholm but it won't make our music better. So we will stay in our boring town where we can concentrate on music. What kind of differences do you find in touring in the US versus Europe? Tommy: I think it's more fun in the US! People usually say it's the other way around! Tommy: Everybody looks at me when I say that I think people go crazier when we March 2015 - varicialaMagazinerCom 33


Kee n .uo.o. Olin Reath Metal! play here. Aeon is bigger in the States than we are in Europe. So that's good too. Do you think that you're bigger in the States because of the American sound you tried to emulate? Tommy: Maybe. It might also be because every record company we have been on is from the States. When Aeon's "Black" came out it kind of felt like Metal Blade was stagnating and now they're on the premiere metal labels in the world again. How has it felt to be on the label throughout that? Tommy: For me ever since I was a kid I wanted to be on Metal Blade because I thought the logo was cool. When that happened it was just kind of dream come true. It feels like all the dreams are coming true though. Just five years ago Aeon was a much smaller band than we are now. I'm enjoying it... So five years from now you can stop being a truck driver? Tommy: Hopefully! The music business is very hard to crack these days though... especially with this kind of music and especially these days. I think it was easier to be a big band in the late 90s then it is now. We have the internet to share our files but there's no record stores anymore. Has Metal Blade been helpful though? Tommy: They have worldwide distribution though, so of course they help us with that. It's cool to see our records being sold all over the world! What inspires you to keep doing this? The dream is starting to come true but you're still a truck driver, what makes you keep going? Tommy: Making music and seeing the fruits of something I have done is awesome. Sharing it with you guys on stage is a drug, it's a rush. That's the inspiration I have. That's what I love so much about music. If I stopped doing this it would be a big black hole in my life that I couldn't fill. Any final comments? Tommy: Keep supporting death metal! AEON Online www.aeon666.com www.youtube.com/aeon666com www.metalblade.com

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Intermiew. ta Zuitar In This Mess: A Conversation with toyGuitars Jack Dalrymple By Dustin Griffin

Jack Dalrymple, though he would be very reluctant to agree, is a bonafide bay area legend. Having fronted or been a part of some of the scene's coolest, most influential bands, including One Man Army, Swingins Utters and Dead To Me, his new band, toyGuitar, is a catchy, breezy bit of pop punk that sounds like both fresh and like the classic Dalrymple material we all know and love. Jack's truly one of the nicest people you will ever meet or talk to. He's laid back, funny and humble almost to a fault. We spoke to him recently about his new band, his old ones, and why he'd like to punch himself in the face when he sees pictures of the Utters on tour in Canada. So, you had a song on your EP called 'She's An Alarm.' Which was also the name of One Man Army's last EP. Are the songs on In This Mess some of the songs we might've heard on a One Man Army full length, if it had ever come to be? Jack: : I think I've alluded to that in the past, but I'm not sure now that was

necessarily the case. I know we had a couple songs on that first EP that were originally meant for a new One Man Army record, but I think I've just always been attached to that 'She's An Alarm' name for some reason, so I decided to use it again. I think people get confused as shit about that though (laughs). There's also a lot of broken hearts with the fans with that whole One Man Army thing, so I think people like to hold onto any little shred of possibility they can in regards to a connection there. Jack: Yeah and I appreciate that, but, when it's done it's done. I mean those are some of the best years of my life, so I get it, but sometimes you get a point where you just want to do something else. I know Miles is in Swingin' Utters with you and was in The Sore Thumbs. Can you tell 38 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


us a bit about the other band members and where they came from? Jack: Yeah, try. I'm terrible with names, but Rosie played in a band called The Plexikill or something? I'm not sure. Paul played in this really rad band in Oakland called The Primitive Hearts. They've got kind of a Portland rock vibe that was super cool. And yeah Miles was in The Sore Thumbs. But they're all great. It's incestuous here around the Bay area with all these bands. It definitely has a real family community feel to it, even more so than other scenes I Jack: Yeah, it's kind of a smaller scene, but everyone knows everyone else, or of them at least. Does this band scratch a different artistic itch than the other bands you are in or have been in the past? Jack: Yeah, I've been in a lot of different bands that all have their own sound. But toyGuitar has an ease and a newness and freshness to it that's really cool. And I just enjoy hanging out with these guys and making music with them. And it's your own creation, rather than something you joined after the fact. Jack: Totally. And don't get me wrong, I've been writing for the Utters and love that band to death, but I always feel like I have to be careful with the Utters because they've got such a f*cking awesome institution in place with Darius and Johnny and I don't want to be the dude that come in and f*cks that up. Although it's probably too late (laughs). But I don't want to be the dude that writes these dumb songs that aren't Swingin' Utters songs, you know? I know from talking to the other guys in the Utters that you had to initially be talked into having a more active songwriting role for that reason, but I think that extra something that you've added to the last couple Utters records is great. Jack: Thanks man. And they're always on my ass to write more too. And I want to do it. I just have to be careful. But it's an awesome songwriting process with those guys. Johnny's a beast and Darius is a f*cking amazing songwriter. That's got to influence your own songwriting too, just to be around that kind of thing. Jack: Totally does. That band directly and indirectly started a whole bunch of bands around here in the 90's. And they influenced me to start One Man Army. I was a Swingin' Utters fanboy man. So do you write now for specific projects, or do you just write what you write and see where it fits later? Jack: Yeah, I feel like all my stuff kind of sounds similar. I'm not that great of a songwriter and I just write whatever and if Johnny's singing on them or whoever, it kind of changes it. But it's usually just a riff I start with or something and go from there. In This Mess has a kind of low-fi, almost vintage sound to it Was that intention or circumstance? Jack: I think that's just equipment man. I've heard that before too. I think it's just this clean sound you get when you play Fender guitars through Fender amps, it has a low-fi sort of sound. People keep calling it surf rock, which I don't hear, but that's cool March 2015 - VandalaMagazine.COm 39


if that's what people are picking up from it. There's definitely a surfy vibe to some of it. 'Sliver of Sun' has an armed up Dick Dale vibe to it. Jack: Totally. Which is a lot of the solos Miles is playing too. Kind of a Mexi soul surf solo thing happening. The cover photo is really cool. Striking, scuzzy, succinct. What was the idea behind it? Jack: There's this guy my wife turned me onto on Instagram. Travis Jenson. He takes these really cool Bay area photos. These portraitures of people around the city. And I saw these skates and just thought it was so awesome. It just kind of tied into the lyrics and subject matter for the record. It's just some cracky dude on skates. Really cool. I know because of work and family obligations you can't tour with Utters as much as you'd like.. Jack: ..It kills me. And I know you're pulling double duty in Europe ' when toyGuitar will be opening for the Utters over there. How much North American touring do you expect this band will be doing? lack: we're doing North America in August I think. And we'll be heading to Canada for some shows at that time I'm pretty sure. Which will be cool because I haven't been up there in forever. Yeah we miss you up here man. Every time the Utters come through town, people are always asking 'where's Jack?' Jack: Yeah I hate it. I see pictures of them on the road while I'm stuck at home and I just want to punch myself in the face. I do get time off work, but I have to prioritize it. If I take time off for the Utters than I don't have time for toyGuitar and if I take time for toyGuitar then I don't have time for the Utters. It kills me. You've been in the scene a long time and have one of the most distinctive singing voices and even songwriting voices. There's nothing you're involved in that I hear and don't say to myself 'that's f*cking awesome.' Do you look back on your own discography and feel a sense of pride? Jack Pride wouldn't be the right word, because I truly cringe at everything I do. But when I look back I just feel super, super fortunate to have been able to play most of my life. To go to places and see things and meet people, just by being a subpar musician. I mean I play bar chords, I have a goofy voice and still I've met so many awesome people and seen so many cool places. I just feel fortunate. Very lucky to have had the run that I have. toyGuitar Online www.facebook.comitoyguitarband www.adelinerecords.bandcarnp.comialbumitoyguitar www.fatwreck.com 40 VandalaMagazine-Com - March 2015


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iWOLNATION

GETTING STRUCK BY LIGHTING (TWICE!)

A Conversation with Aaron Bruno By Dustin Griffin


erover Interview Aaron Bruno started AWOLNATION in 2009. A year later their debut EP `Back From Earth' was released. But it wasn't until 2011 that one of the songs from that EP and from the band's debut album 'Monolithic Symphony' became something of a phenomenon on alternative radio. The single 'Sail' eventually sold five and a half million digital copies and can still, nearly five years later, be heard, along with other 'Monolithic' hits 'Not Your Fault' and 'Kill Your Heroes' in regular rotation on your nearest modern rock radio dial. With a first album like that, from a band that hasn't been around long, anticipation for a follow up is understandably high. But Bruno seems to take it all in stride. He's focused, excited and properly anxious for the world to hear AWOLNATION's new record 'Run', which drops in mid March. And judging by the already excellent reception of 'Run's first single `Hollow Moon (Bad Wolff and the million plus hits its already snagged on YouTube, it looks as though the story of AWOLNATION is still just beginning.. It's been almost five years since the release of 'Monolithic Symphony'. Were you writing/recording 'Run' that whole time or did the album come together more recently? Aaron: Alot of ideas come to me in different walks of life, different scenarios, different situations and I'm never quite sure when these ideas are going to come. But there's no shortage of them on my end. I've never had writers block and if anything I might enjoy it because then I could concentrate on these hundreds of ideas I haven't gotten to yet. So it's really just a matter of time and getting to these ideas and which ideas are most important, exciting and relevant to the record I was making in 'Run.' So some of these songs started all the way back in the first weeks of 'Megalithic Symphony', all the way up to just the last couple weeks of 'Run.' Did the success of the last record and all that's followed influence the songs on this one? Aaron: I'm sure it did greatly. I've spent most of my life trying to get people to listen to these songs I've been writing and now with the acceptance of the last record, for the first time in my career, there's actually an anticipation to hear a follow up. Which is terrifying on one hand, but also gives me a confidence that these songs are actually going to be heard by people. Which is exciting, but creates a pressure to not let the people who have become part of this AWOLNATION family down. Mostly though I just wanted to create a really great album and hopefully look back ten years from now and see this as one of the greats of this period of time. `Megalithic Symphony' was kind of an experiment. I didn't know if anyone was going to hear it or if any of the songs were going to have any kind of commercial success. And when it did start to go that way, the fact that it was 'Sail' that exploded the way it did, which is the song that is most dear to my heart and soul, rather than one of the ballads or the more poppy tunes, it gave me the freedom and creative license to make the sophomore album I wanted to make. I've never understood why (your previous bands) Home Town Hero and Under The Influence of Giants didn't reach a wider audience than they did. And while AWOLNATION is definitely a progression of the some of the stuff you were doing in those bands, does it make sense to you that this band has received the success it has and those ones didn't? Aaron: Yeah it does, cause I'm in the centre of it. Everything happens for a reason, the March 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Corn 45


Cover Interiview: AWOLNA-TION old saying, and on a bigger level, I don't think I was prepared at that time to handle any success like this I was extremely immature and naive and ignorant to the way the world works. And I made a lot of mistakes in those bands. And I can take most of the responsibility for the first band not doing that, because I had a different headset about the way I wanted it to go versus what the label wanted. It wasn't hard to get a record deal. I was in punk bands and hardcore bands and we worked really, really hard and worked on perfecting our live show. And I don't think I was really writing any songs at that time that mattered. I hadn't experienced enough true life and heartbreak to express myself in a way that people could universally identify with. AWOLNATION is heavier and deeper and darker than the stuff I had done before. So I would attribute some of those things to why this project was more successful than the others. 'Run' is an interesting album in that its softer moments are particularly soft and its harder moments are particularly hard. Was this juxtaposition of sweetness and anger a conscious decision for the direction of the album? Aaron: What I want in music is passion. Maybe there's a lack of it in the musical landscape right now. There's some great music, some great songs, even on alternative radio. But I think I was subconsciously pushed to the edge and even past the edge of the direction I was trying to go. As a result, like you said, there are moments of extremes where there are times when there aren't even any drums, to heaviness that could rival any metal or things that could rival any hip hop low end. It's the kind of record that I would love I discovered and that's really what I was going for. How much of the music is performed solely by you in the studio?

Aaron: All of it. And you mix it yourself as well? Aaron: Yeah I mix it along with my engineer. The thing is, I'm mixing these songs as I'm writing them. With a lot of bands they write, do preproduction, then record, send it to someone else to get mixed and then to someone else to get mastered. I did all of those things at the same time, with the exception of mastering. As we were recording I wanted to leave the studio and be able to listen to my mixes. Learn about the song, what could be improved and the structure of it, the way I sang it, the lyrics, tones. I wanted to mix it as we went so that when the songs were done I didn't have to spend a bunch of time mixing, which could take weeks or months even. When you're adapting these songs with a full band, is it difficult to replicate everything on the record for a live show? Aaron: Yes. We're basically a cover band. We're covering this record and we're doing it the best we can. Most of the bands you'll see these days, in order to play their songs live will play them with backing tracks going along with it. So every sound on the record is coming through the P.A. system, but no one's actually playing those sounds, which can sometimes be a necessary evil if you're trying to get your points across. And that's become the norm, but on this record we're trying not to do anything like that. So maybe if on the song there's a synth line or a string line, it doesn't necessarily need to be there 46 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


eover Interview: Aaron Bruno live. Maybe the guitarist interprets that string line in his own way and makes it his own and may even make it cooler live. So I kind of strategically pulled back the record and dissected it, so that maybe some of the sounds on it, you're not going to hear. If we wanted to replicate every sound, we'd need to be like Arcade Fire on stage, who are incredible, but we just don't have that many members. So it's going to be a little bit more of a raw version when you hear it live. A little heavier, a little dirtier. One of the great things about AWOLNATION is it's rawness though, so I don't think you'll hear too many complaints Aaron: I hope not, because if we do, then we didn't do our job. You'd be surprised how many bands, when you see them live, have vocals coming out of the PA system. So when you see them and they're all singing on stage, really it's just their record coming out of the PA system. And that to me is dishonest and fraudulent and just should not be allowed. So what you see is what you get with us. There's five of us and we're all singing, all doing harmonies. I think it's going to be incredible. I want to ask about the video for 'Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf).' It's really impressive from a technical standpoint. All one shot. I know from film school how much preparation these shots can take to nail. How complicated was the video to shoot? Aaron: It was directed by Hayley Young and she was brilliant. She made a music video for a band called The Apache Relay for the song 'Katie Queen of Tennessee.' And I just happened to see it and I loved the video. It was also a one take video and it just blew my mind. So I found her and she hadn't really worked with any bands that were bigger than that. And I'm always looking for the next great artist, rather than someone who is completely established. I think it's cool to find the next hungry artist and I always want to work with passionate people. So we had a conversation on the phone and she wrote up a treatment based on our conversation. And to be honest, I couldn't understand what the f*ck was going on when I read it. But I just showed up in kind of a leap of faith. I had never done anything like that where I had marks and places I needed to be at certain times in the song, so it was extremely complicated for me to take that all in and learn it. But the whole cast of the video were so good and already had their shit together by the time I started. So she's pretty badass and I think she'll go on to do great things and hopefully we'll get to do more together. But I can take no credit for that video, it was all her vision. Given that these albums are such singular pieces of your own vision, do you think in ten years you could look back on 'Monolithic' and then look back on 'Run' and say 'this is a good representation of exactly who I was at that moment in time'? Aaron: Yeah. That's exactly what it is. Recordings are a time capsule of where you're at at that point in your life. Still to this day, four years later, the songs I hear on the radio from 'Monolithic Symphony' still sound pretty great to me. And I'm still proud of them. I definitely like this new record more, because it's new. That's just the way it goes. But absolutely, it's a perfect representation of me because there's nothing to change that. When you're in another band, there's a pecking order and voting situation. So in past bands, maybe I wanted to go in one direction and another member of the band detoured me from going all the way there. Whereas here, there was no one to tell me what was or wasn't good. I had to decide that on my own. AWOLNATION's addictive single 'Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) is playing all over the place and is off the upcoming album "Run" available March 17th. Fans can catch AWOLNATION live on tour across North America in support of the album starting May 28th. Full details and album at www.awolnationmusic.com and keep up on social media at www.facebook.com/AWOLNATION March 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Com 47


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By Matt Bacon


it) AT How have you been Matt? Matt: I've been good dude, I'm just really cold. It's redundant to talk about, but this tour has been freezing. Asides from that the shows have been awesome. Have you had issues with weather stopping you from playing dates? Matt: Not really, I know some of the trains were messed up in New York the other night but attendance has been really good and we've managed to attend all the gigs which is good. We drive slow, long and careful. Like old people having sex That's a beautiful metaphor Matt: Slow, long and careful, you don't want to break a hip! I just finished listening to the promo of the Gore Metal Redux what is it like revisiting a record like that 16 years later? Matt: For me it was fun. I know bands aren't supposed to listen to their own records but I listen to my records from time to time. I don't jam them at a party or whatever but I do listen sometimes. I try to listen as objectively as possible. I like all of them for different reasons to varying degrees except for the first one which I thought sucked. I know a lot of people liked it, and that's cool, but I think it suffered sonically, the material was good but it was tough to listen to. We'd re-recorded one or two songs as bonus tracks and I really enjoyed those newer versions so I thought it would be a fun little project to redo the album. If the original tapes were still accessible we might have just remixed it. But they haven't been seen since 2000 or so. Nobody knows where they are or what became of them. The only way to go back and clean it up asides from re-mastering was to re-record them which is what we did. The main thing I learned as we were redoing it, I felt like the same 16 year old kid writing our first demos coming up with cool riffs. Playing the Gore Metal songs made me realize we actually have progressed as a band which is pretty cool. What changes in your approach to recording it and playing it did you implement? Matt: Well we played it in time! (Laughter) That was the biggest one. We didn't try to get too crazy. Normally when we do albums we do four tracks of rhythm guitar and I double track my vocals and we get fairly meticulous. We go over it with a fine tooth comb in Pro Tools. For this we only used two rhythm guitar tracks like in the original album. I didn't double track my vocals, we just kind of let it fly. I think we recorded it in under half the time it took to do Necrocracy for sure. I don't want to say it was off the cuff, but we just let it be a little more raw because we didn't want to totally change the vibe of the album. I didn't think it needed Heartwork type production with harmonies on the leads and all that kind of stuff which, if I was writing those songs now I would have put on there. I just tried to keep it as basic as we could. Having Ross do the vocals again made sure it retained the same sound. It still sounds like the first album to me it just sounds good. So you essentially revisited the recording techniques? Matt: It's not the same techniques really because studio technology has just moved on. It would have been more expensive to find a retro studio like that. We did everything in Pro Tools and all the usual studio stuff since it just saves time and money. We just did it the same way we would have done it in '98 we used the same studio we recorded Necrocracy in to do the guitars. We tracked the drums in a smaller studio in the town where we live. The guitars were done with Ross in Oakland and the other guitarist did his tracks in North Carolina where he lives. 52 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Did that slow the writing of the next record? Matt: The crazy thing is we recorded Necrocracy right before we went on tour with Municipal Waste and Napalm Death in the fall of 2012. We rerecorded the Gore Metal session in February of 2013, to me that album is really old. When I did the first couple interviews about it I could hardly remember. We just wanted to get into the studio to do our split with Iron Reagan. While we were there we were like "It seems to be a waste to just go in and record only two songs" we had already been playing a lot of Gore Metal live, so we knew most of the songs. So we just took another month to prepare and re-recorded the album. Do you think it says something about the state of death metal today that kind of thing is even feasible? Matt: I don't know man. It is a bit of a vanity project, I don't know how else to describe it. I don't know if the world needs it. It's just something I did for myself, because I do like to go back and listen to our records and I would like to have a version of this that I actually like the songs on. It's not a new idea, Sodom did it, Exodus did it, Testament did it. Its not as done in death metal as thrash for whatever reason. There's definitely something post modern about it. This is the first time you're playing in Philly since Matt Slime, a Philly native, joined the band, do you have anything special planned for that? Matt: We let him pick a little more of the set list (Laughter) We've only got thirty minutes and it's not our stage. There's too many bands, we can't go pieing people in the face. It's always fun to play your hometown so I hope he enjoys it. How did you hook up with him? Matt: We hung out with him and his band Coffin Dust a couple of times and we kind of got to know him. He and I have a lot of similar music taste I liked his band and hanging out with him and when we made the decision to let Rob go we didn't really have anybody in mind. My girlfriend was coming over here and she wanted to get tattooed. So I was like "I know a guy in Philly" and she said "Can we stay with him?" and I was like "He seems really cool, maybe" and as I was planning that trip the little hamster on the wheel started walking and I was like "That guy is a really good vocalist" and "Do we need a bassist/vocalist or a vocalist/bassist" and I realized that we needed a vocalist/bassist. He was down and so here we are. The real question is not "Would he consider doing it" but "How loudly did he scream?" Matt: He was really cool about it actually. He flew out to California just to audition which I thought was really impressive. He just had a really good audition. I felt bad because if we didn't pick him he would have spent a lot of money just to come out. He killed it though, he played great. So after 23-24 years what inspires you to keep grinding it out? Matt: There's a lot of things. In terms of writing music I think it doesn't matter if I had four kids and a mortgage and was an accountant I'd still stay up late and write riffs. It's just what I do. You always find something new to do each record. Even in a style as limited as ours I like to think each record is pretty different. It's interesting to explore that and see where you can go for the next thing. That's what I'm always interested in, whatever the next thing is. We have a ton of songs written for the new album and that's what I'm interested in more than anything. In terms of playing live, we've played live so much in the past few years that it's sort of devolved into our March 2015 - VaridalaMagazine.Corn 53


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devolved into our de facto lifestyle. We've played live a little bit too much and we've all kind of come to the conclusion that we've given too much supply and are thereby driving down demand. I enjoy playing live, traveling and seeing different places. The dudes in the band are chill, fly by the seat of the pants dudes who just take it as it comes! I wanted to ask you about the new stuff... Necrocracy is so much more ferocious than the previous records, how did you manage that? It's my favorite Exhumed record... Matt: It's our slowest record for sure. The whole time we were writing it we were all about getting more groove to keep the clarity and keep the groove. We slowed down even the faster stuff. Sometimes playing it you can go too fast and you lose the intensity. When the drums start to sound like a baseball card in the bicycle spokes you've lost it. We don't want to do that at all. I like the percussive riffy part of metal. I grew up listening to Metallica, I like the chunkiness and the chords. The chemistry on that album was great too. We played live so much that we were able to write songs to each others strengths. Whatever that translates too whether it's ferocity or I don't know what.... It shows a bit of restraint which we hadn't practiced before. I feel like it's our best record so far, until the next one comes out at least! Unless we totally blow it and it sucks. (Laughter) What do you love so much about music? Matt: It's one of those things where it's always been there My uncle was a Jazz Fusion guitar player and my dad was a huge music listener, he always had stacks of records and stuff. Its one of those things where I don't even know how to answer because its so omnipresent for me. It's like "What do you love about air?" It's just there. Most of my stuff is my record collection and gear, and then after that you have comics and dirty old metal shirts. That was the thing that made sense to me when I was growing up. That sort of pivotal moment in puberty when it just sort of hits you the right way. The thing that made me incorporate it more into my life as an adult is that there is so much room to be evolved in it and in so many different forms. I get excited about all of it. I can listen to the same records I've listened to for thirty years and find something new. I love it.

Exhumed www.gorefuckingmetal.blogspot.com vvww.twitter.com/exhumedofficial www.exhumed.bandcamp.com

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AnyDing That Segrates Me From Normal People By Matt Bacon John Hoffman of Weekend Nachos is an dude and reflecting with him on hardcore honor. Sure things got silly at points, but lines one can get a deeper understanding

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So John, how are you doing? John: I am well, how are you? I'm awesome, thanks for asking! You've played at huge stages like Hellfest and now you're playing at a smaller more 'underground' thing like this. How does that balance out? John. To be honest playing Hellfest is the odd thing out. Normally we do places like this. Playing Hellfest was like "What the hell is this! I can't believe there's this festival that has like hundreds of thousands of people" That was the odd thing out. It makes us feel weird in a good way. It was great to get the offer ,it was an experience. Of all the shows we play less than 1% are like Hellfest, the rest are at smaller places like this. So what inspires you after all these years to keep it underground? John: It's just where we come from. Small shows like this everybody's on the same level. There's no rock star bullshit. People that come to the show are just as important as the bands playing. There's no barrier. Everyone is part of the scene. Having this level of integrity has shaped your band essentially... John: Absolutely. Has that shaped you as a person too? John: Yes. It's who we are and who I am. There's only one way to do it as far as I'm concerned. We obviously like doing the band, but we're just a part of what everyone else is a Pa rt of. How does that manifest itself in your day to day life? John: We don't have a lot of time to do the band. We used to have a lot more. We all have girlfriends, wives and fiancĂŠes and jobs we put everything into. It's hard to get off of work but when we can.... Basically every chance we get we do the band. So what do you do for a living? John: I work at H8EM Customer Service. I just do corporate customer service for them. It's a day job, it works... Do you ever get recognized? (Laughter) John: No. Sometimes when my fiancĂŠe will be out someone will be like "Oh are you in Weekend Nachos" but it's pretty rare. That must be weird though, headlining events like this and then going back to no one giving a shit... John: Honestly no one gives a sh*t. It's cool people give a sh*t in our scene. But its back to the idea that there's no difference between me and anybody else at the show. We're just like everybody else. All the other bands are the same. Somebody has got to play last basically. So we ended up playing last. 58 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


I don't like the idea of anybody really headlining a show. It's cool that with a show like this that's so small there will be just as many people watching the opener as the headliner. So people can really decide for themselves who they want to see. Your last record came out in 2013, I know you said you don't have a lot of time, but have you made any progress? - - - Were coming up with ideas right now. So hopefully we'll be able to record that in early 2016. We have plans to go to Japan and Australia this year. So that's on the horizon. The touring is going to derail us from writing and practicing much but I had ideas planned. Do you have plans for a US tour? John: Not right now. It's really hard. Getting Japan and Australia done...we might get to Europe again in October. I'm getting married in August too, so that will really take time away from the band. Early 2016 though we'll probably do an East Coast tour and then a West Coast tour a few months later. I moved to America recently from France, I wanted to ask you, what differences do you find in the US hardcore scene versus the European scene? John: I feel that people in Europe are way more into just seeing the bands and watching the band play. There's less of a scene involving merch, records and drama. Whereas here we focus on trivial bullshit sometimes. In Europe it's way more like "I came to see music tonight" as opposed to "I came to hang out with my friends" Not to say the US sucks or anything. I'm just saying that people in Europe are more concerned with music and seeing a band play and people here are more concerned with socializing. Do you prefer the European way? Johns I see it both ways. I feel like people in Europe are less personable. I feel like when you go to a show in Europe you're less likely to have a conversation as opposed to the U. In the US it makes it more of a community which is a good thing. Which is what hardcore should be, a community. I kind of see it both ways though. Sometimes I like it better that we can have a community more here, but in Europe I like the idea that people are focused on music. Is there a backstory behind what Weekend Nachos even means? John: There is zero backstory. It's complete nonsense. Were all retarded and that's reflected in the band name. If you had to come up with a back story what would it be? John: Weekend Nachos is silly and fun and happy and the band is angry violent and pissed off. Nothing in life should make sense, so that's the metaphor I guess. If anybody thinks that we're like... about an image, then they know that we're not just by that dumb band name. I want you to finish this sentence for me "I've never told this story before and probably shouldn't but...•' - When I was little I tripped and fell and hit my mouth with a plastic flute and three of my baby teeth got jammed into my skull and I had to get emergency surgery. I didn't cry the entire time. I was a totally badass good sport about it. I have a similar story from when I was a kid, I still have the scar on my eyebrow... John: That's awesome. Little kids getting hurt, as long as they don't die, is funny... I think we should end the interview with that! (Laughter) Last question then! What do you love so much about music? John: I like music that is anti social as possible where any normal person can hear it and they have no clue what's going on. Anything that separates me from normal people is good. www.facebook.com/weekendxnachos March 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Corn 59


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Ampallang Infection is a fairly unique group dubbed 'industrial-electro hyper grind' these guys blare forward at 400 bpm with loud and abrasive tones. If you can dig the madness of the music, you just may find truth. Don't Like Slow' By Matt Bacon How the hell are you doing Alex? Alex: Phenomenal, how the hell are you?

Wonderful thank you for asking. Sor after playing a great show like tonight how do you feel? Alex: I feel exhausted yet still up for seeing the other awesome four bands playing tonight and the other ten or eleven bands playing tomorrow. It does not stop just because we finish playing. I feel phenomenal. Was this one of your bigger crowds Ampallang Infection has gotten? Alex: We played this festival last year too and I think it was about the same. This is definitely in the top 5. Do you feel like you're starting to get somewhere? Alex: Absolutely. There's no way playing tonight would be a bad move, it's a great fest. What prompted the decision to use a drum machine rather than a traditional drummer? Alex: Ampallang infection started off as a side project that I would do in my apartment and you obviously can't have a live drummer in an apartment. I wanted to make something that was ridiculously fast, like 300-400 bpm. I can't find many human drummers who can do that and I wanted to have more options. If I was forced to have a human drummer I'd need three human grindcore drummers on revolving drum kits. It's just easier. Nothing against drummers though, I've been in bands with drummers before but I don't like slow... So this guarantees it's never slow. Why the obsession with speed? 62 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Alex: It just appeals to me. It's grindcore... I dig doom and slow stuff, but I can't play it. You can call it ADD, you can call it whatever, but songs that have slow parts or that I have to concentrate on for more than a couple of minutes are just not appealing to me. How many songs did you play in your 15 minute set tonight? Alex: I think we did 17 songs, so about 12 minutes of music. There's not a single song that hits the one minute mark. Is that an established upper limit? Alex: Our longest song to date is 59 seconds so... We truthfully didn't plan it that way it's just something that happened. Even when we cover a song it ends up under a minute long. Are you on A389? Alex: On the record no... There might be some things down the line and I do work for A389. We just got a new guitar player, his first show was tonight, we're kind of regrouping. The main thing right now is writing. If a couple months from now we write a full length or at least enough for a seven inch and Dom wants to put it out that's up to him. We just have very close connections to all of those bands, we're buddies with almost all of the bands that are playing here this weekend even the ones that are from out of town. We're here tonight because we're just fans of these bands. So what are you doing with the new material? Alex: We're going to have Tom, the new guy, put his paintbrush to the canvas if you will. I don't see us playing slower or longer and if you're expecting something different from tonight you're shit out of luck. We have a bunch of stuff in the can just nothing we could unveil tonight. Just expect really fast songs, over 400 bpm, touches of industrial and electro hyper-grindcore. God...that was one sentence wasn't it... How does the new guitarist impact the sound? Alex: I don't want to talk much about our old guy, but he's a little more crusty. This is not his only band. He's in a band called Uncle Buck and another called Two Piece Monster. I throw down some riffs, the bass player throws down lines that become riffs. Its definitely not just me in my apartment with a guitar and a drum machine anymore. It's going to be interesting to see if we can keep it up. Has it been hard for you to grow from a one man project into a band? Ale: No. It was a one man project for about two years and all I did with that was one bullshit cassette, this was back in the Myspace days. I missed playing shows, because I had been in bands before. I met our old guitar player Adam and we played our first show opening for Job For a Cowboy which is a ridiculous first show... We played that with three weeks of rehearsal and we picked up Noah the bassist who was in attendance for that show. We lost Adam last year and quickly found Tom. We didn't want to dilly-dally finding a new guy because we had this coming up. We know Tom very well so he hopped onto the chance so here we are... So what do you love so much about music? Alex: It takes me to places that I want to go that I usually can't get too by not playing. There is definitely shitty music that takes me to bad places and good music that takes me to good places. I wouldn't say I love music, I love good music. www.facebook.comfAmpallanginfection www.ampallanginfection666.bandcamp.com March 2015 - Vandalamagazine.Corn 63


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The Carnes brothers are pretty silly, and they aren't afraid to mess around with you in an interview. Yet if you read between the lines, you get a glimpse at one of Americas most exciting bands. So Jeff, after playing a great show like tonight how do you feel? Tyler: Great! How did you guys find the A389 fest to be so far? Tyler: It's been tight. Tonight's going to be rad. Billy: Last night was cool. I got to see the first nu - metal band ever, Starkweather. That was pretty cool. Tyler: Were going to see Haymaker tonight and light off some fireworks. How has A389 treated you as a label? Tyler: On point. We've been with them for two years. Billy: I've been emailing (A389 Mainman) Dom without getting responses for roughly five to six years, How did you get pulled into Noisem Billy? That happened pretty recently. Billy: I was born before Tyler, so that inherently makes me better. So I was the obvious next choice. I was a mistake. Tyler was intentional I think. Tyler: I was the first choice birth. Why did Travis leave the band? 66 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2015


Interivevr BiIlj Arn& Tyler Billy: He wants to be a chef. Which is probably a much more lucrative decision than being in Noisem. They get to wear cool hats. I'm wearing one right now but it's not nearly as cool as Travis's hat. Is the goal for Noisem to be your full time job? Tyler: No. If it was it would be tight. What's the goal then? Tyler: To have fun! Billy: To rock. Tyler: Rock. 420. Backslash m Forward slash. How's your new record been going? Billy: It's sad, it's got piano. I don't play bass on some of it. I play piano like Elton John. (Laughter) Tyler: Were going to cover Crocodile Rock. Billy: What's your favorite Billy Joel song? "We Didn't Start the Fire." Billy: That's a good song. On Spotify there's a playlist called "Guilty Pleasures" and it's on there like four times. Tyler: That's not a guilty pleasure! What are you guilty pleasure? Billy: The song "It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy, that's a proud pleasure actually. Two Princes too... The entire first Scaiman album. Tyler That shit's tight. Billy: There's a part where he's scat battling a girl he just taught how to scat in the song. It truly tells a story and paints a beautiful picture. Something I've noticed from hanging out with you guys... do you ever listen to death metal? Billy: No. Tyler: Not Really. Billy: It was Demolition Hammer...pretty thrash, death-thrash maybe. Tyler: We listened to Powerslave from Iron Maiden too... What do you look too for inspiration? Billy: The Cure. Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20. Carlos Santana... (Laughter) Tyler: Sinbads 179 Dollar Stand Up Comedy Tape. Billy: Yeah the first three Sinbad movies... He's a shitty teacher though, I wouldn't want him to be my teacher. What do you love so much about music? Tyler: I love what it makes my fingers do! (Makes demon horns) Billy: I just like hanging out with my friends. I like how much free pizza it involves... nothing else really... March 2015 - VandalaMagazine-Com 67


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, EASTERN CONTINENTAL, TOURING EXCLUSIVE, FEATURING:

3.15 /I DETROIT MI MAGIC STICK 3.25 /1 PHILADELPHIA PA UNDERGROUND ARTS 3.16 /I ST. LOUIS MO FUBAR 3.26 // NEW YORK NY CAKE SHOP 3.23 // NASHVILLE TN THE END 3.27 // CAMBRIDGE MA MIDDLE EAST UPSTAIRS 3.24 // RICHMOND VA STRANGE MATTER 3.28 /I BROOKLYN NY SAINT VITUS BAR


4.16 MYTH, ST. PAUL, MN 4.17 THE BURTON CUMMINGS THEATRE, WINNIPEG, MB 4.18 O'BRIAN'S DENT CENTRE, SASKATOON. SK 4,19 EXPO CENTRE - HALL I, EDMONTON, AB 4,21 MACEWAN HALL. CALGARY, AB 4.23 COMMODORE BALLROOM. VANCOUVER. 8C 4,24 COMMODORE BALLROOM. VANCOUVER. BC 425 ROSELAND THEATER, PORTLAND, OR 4,26 SHOWBOX SOO. SEATTLE. WA 4,28 THE FOX THEATER, OAKLAND, CA 4.29 HOLLYWOOD PALLADIUM, LOS ANGELES, CA 4.30 THE MARQUEE. TEMPE, A/ 5.01 HOUSE OF BLUES, LAS VEGAS, NV 5.02 THE COMPLEX, SALT LAKE CITY , UT 5.03 RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE. MORRISON.00

BALLROOM, SAN ANTONIO, TX 5.06 DIAMOND BALLROOM. OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 5.08 CENTRAL PARK. ATLANTA, GA 5.09 LINCOLN THEATRE STREET STAGE, RALEIGH, NC 510 STAGE AE OUTDOOR STAGE, PITTSBURGH, PA 5.12 7 FLAGS, CLIVE, IA 5.13 EAGLES BALLROOM, MILWAUKEE, WI 515 SANDS BETHLEHEM EVENT CENTER, BETHLEHEM, PA 5.16 PIER SIX PAVILION, BALTIMORE, MD 5.17 HOUSE OF BLUES, BOSTON, MA 5.19 CENTRAL PARK SUMMERSTAGE. NEW YORK, NY 5.20 RAPIDS THEATRE. NIAGARA FALLS. NY 5.21 LONDON MUSIC HALL. LONDON. ON 5.24 THE LC PAVILION, OUTDOOR STAGE. COLUMBUS, OH

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-FFICIAL.COM

March 2015 Vandala Magazine  

This month we are very proud to have AWOLNATION on the cover! This just after the recent release of the single ‘Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)’ and...

March 2015 Vandala Magazine  

This month we are very proud to have AWOLNATION on the cover! This just after the recent release of the single ‘Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)’ and...

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