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March 2017 Vandala 8 REVIEWS & EDITORIAL Porcelain Raft "Microclimate" (Alternative/Pop) Communions "Blue" (Alternative/Indie/Pop Bing & Ruth "No Home Of The Mind" (Ambient/Classical/Other) Teen Daze "Themes For A Dying Earth" (Alternative/Ambient/Pop) Dune Rats "The Kids Will Know It's Bullshit" (Rock) Twiztid - The Continuous Evilution of Life's (Hip-Hop/Rock)

16 Interviews 16 Underground Artist Spotlight: Koshir 22 Alcest: Anime, Femininity, and the State of The Species 28 Rebellion and a Lullaby: An Interview with the Tossers' T. Duggins 40 You've Been Diagnosed with Glockcoma: An EXCLUSIVE Interview with Mars

34 COVER STORY "A New Dawning" Wyclef Jean Wyclef is sharp and chipper, with a sea of interviews on a infamous day. He still spares some time to gives us insight into his latest album "J'ouvert" plus his release of 'If I Was President'.

LIVE MUSIC & PHOTOHIGHLIGHTS Billy Talent Photo Highlights Peirce The Veil Photo Highlights Arkells Photo Highlights Jean-Michel Jarre Leads Astounding Discussion Dierks Bentley Photo Highlights Starset Plays Showcase Concert at The Roy Infernal Cold A Black Anvil, Inquisition, and Mayhem Jon Pardi & Cole Swindell Photo Highlights Big Wreck Photo Highlights Mathew Good Photo Highlights Sam Roberts Band Photo Highlights 04 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


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Porcelain Raft "Microclimate" (Alternative/Pop) By Michael Smith - 5/5 Dragons Possibly, you recognize this artist's name. Possibly, you've heard a track or two, told yourself to check them out more, and kept putting it off until later. Possibly, you've never seen or heard anything from Porcelain Raft and these words are the first you've read. This all changes, or at least should. It is ambitious, two months into 2017, to attach a likely "favorite" of the year title to any musical release. However, 2017 is not a typical year, and Microclimate is not a typical album. This dreamy sound, artistic songwriting, and entrancing vocal work will lock you in to the point its nearly impossible to focus on anything in the surrounding world. Upon first listen you will be feeling chills down the back of your neck through your arm, hands, and fingers. From time to time, you will feel so many emotion, and so many different feelings you want to express, your body will shutter in relief. Top to bottom this is the strongest release of 2017, and every new listen will strengthen that resolve. These are the kind of songs you want to share with friends and loved ones. These are also songs you want to snuggle up to with the lights off all alone, and drift into your own personal nirvana. PORCELAIN RAF T

MAC RO C LIMATE

www.porcelainraft.com

Communions "Blue" (Alternative/Indie/Pop) By Michael Smith - 3/5 Dragons Is this album groundbreaking? No. Is this album a deep, highly technical example of superego artistic superiority? No. What is this album then? This is an example of fun, indie pop, that makes a listener not have to think too much, not have to feel anything more than good. The music world can take itself so seriously sometimes, and lose touch of the concept that at the end of it all music is meant to entertain and make a listener feel good as well as be something to put a smile on the face of fans and listeners of all ages sometimes. Blue is an example of this, with its lighthearted synth beats, upbeat attitude creating a pop rock sound of early 90's college rock, and youthy guitar riffs of the early 00's. This album may not change lives, but it will entertain you, get your foot tapping, and be a positive the start, middle, and/or conclusion to your day. Self-righteous couture genres of music come and go, and continually leave the party before anyone knew they'd even arrived. This brand of pop rock always gets an invite, stays around, and is the kind of house party guest that may not always stand out, but, everyone is happy to see they came. www.communionsband.com 08 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


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Bing St Ruth "No Home Of The Mind" (Ambient/Classical/Other) By Michael Smith - 5/5 Dragons This release is an awe-inspiring example of how truly gorgeous ambient music can be. From start to finish, which would be the recommended way to listen to this album, No Home Of The Mind creates an introspective atmosphere that will clear the dense fog that engulfs many people's psyche, arouse the serotonin in the brain, encourage the listener to look deep inside themselves, and (possibly) see clearly for the first time in years. It's dusk, springtime. The sky is yellow, the horizon black. In the corner, the sun, a blinding white lens flair where earth and sky meet. The grass and trees are silhouettes. This moment is pure serenity, and this album leaves you feeling. For someone looking for this moment of clarity, or looking for the something to relax the soul, this album is a must. www.bingandruth.com Teen fla7

Pmes For A Dying Earth" (Alternative/Ambient/Pop) By Michael Smith - 3/5 Dragons

A nearly flawless blend of ambient-electronic, art pop, and dream pop. This album touches on numerous emotions and never keeps you in the same place for too long. Even with it floating in an atmosphere that on the surface feels bleak, album inspires a sense of optimism and an overwhelming feeling of happiness. No matter what be weighing on you, for the moment, life`s ok, and everything is at peace. This feeling is best created in the instrumental track "Cherry Blossoms", and may best illustrate the emotional theme for the entire album. Based in a genre that can be whiny, arrogant, or overly reliant pharmaceutical emotions, Teen Daze develops an atmosphere lacking ego, and focused on creating something beautiful, heartfelt, and inspiring on hope. Alongside the feelings of optimistic tranquility, this release provides the soothing calmness of a morning devoid of responsibility, and any adversity of everyday life. The feeling of unbounded freedom. www.teen-daze.com

THE UMIAM MUSIC rvitiFttEnme GUIDE click for more info

FOR SERIOUS INDEPENDENT 10 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017

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Dune Rats "The Kids Will Know It's Bullshit" (Rock) By Michael Smith - 4/5 Dragons Cheap beer. Weed. Cut off jean shorts. Skateboards. Beach life. Sunshine. Hoodrat shit. Teen angst. Brisbane, yes, all the way from Australia comes a skate punk band, album and sound typically associated with Southern California. But, LA can't be the only place in the world with bored teens looking to get f*cked up and have fun. There's not a lot to say eloquently, this is a fun skate punk album that anyone with the least bit of attachments the culture will love, or anyone that loves the sun and causing a little trouble, or hell anyone that is/was 17 and wanted their old brother/sister to buy them and their friends beer on a Saturday night. If perhaps this is not you, this album will make you pretty curious of those kids and their no tomorrow attitude, and living for fun, maybe even encourage that little piece that wants to raise hell and at the least kick over a trash can. The upcoming summer is this album, your new skateboard, six pack of tall boys, your friends giving the fingers to strangers, and getting high as f*ck. www.dunerats.tv

Twiztid - The Continuous Evilution of Life's Ts (Hip-Hop/Rock) By Chad Thomas Carsten - 5/5 Dragons Twiztid has released their full animal hip-hop instincts and carved out a rap album so unique inside "The Continuous Evilution of Life's s that even Big Proof is probably looking down from the heavens in astonishment. Twiztid took a huge gamble re-inventing themselves and with how satisfying of a listen this record is all the way through, it definitely paid off in the end and Twiztid should be extraordinarily proud of themselves for bringing forth such an instant classic. The underground needed this type of record to kill off .j.P the staleness that plagues the independent rap s ay, . 6 ."411 'e scene. Everyone is just ripping everything off and regurgitating bullshit rhymes to the new generation as if it's the hottest new thing in music today, but ( A = truthfully "The Continuous Evilution of Life's 7's is the hottest thing to arrive in our galaxy since the milky way gave birth to the Sun millenniums ago. Seriously, upon first listening fans should be able to tell right away that Twiztid strives to push out nothing but high-quality records and this record proves the demented duo will always do their best when it comes to rocking the mic. This isn't just a stab up horror record either. There's an abundant amount of flavor for any fan of music in general. • 0

1

Rock anthems like "Are You Insane Like Me?" and "That's Why They All Hate Us More 12 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


Than You'll Ever Know" finds Twiztid embracing their rock n roll roots like never before and will indeed have the Juggalos moshing in their very own homes until the foundation collapses around them, while the tracks "Black Clouds", "Long Road Home," and "Nothing To Your' are Madroxrs and Monoxide's most lyrical songs to date. Even the strictly pure hip-hop purists will be satisfied with how well Twiztid lyrically presented themselves. It's just awe-inspiring! Only time will tell if the Detroit duo will top this lyrical greatness. There has been a lot of drama going on inside the Juggalo world and fans are choosing sides, but that's not the way to go. Just listen to the music and don't get swallowed up in the rumors flying around the internet. Fans need to listen to this record with an open mind and except the fact, Twiztid are going to continue to evolve and make music that will forever stand the test of time. Other Major Highlights Include "Psychomania" featuring The Majik Ninja Family, "I Got These Feelings" "Kill Somebody", and "Barely Surviving (Red or Die)"

www.twiztid.com

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For the last decade Koshir has been grinding his ass off and strives to release the best hip-hop he has to offer, simply to support his children! This winter Koshir toured with underground favorite Iry Da Phenom and released his highly anticipated EDP Chew Your Food! Hip-Hop fans need to scoop that record up. Pure fire! Here's a quickie interview with Koshir. What's your current life like as of this moment? Koshir: My life is fu*king crazy right now... Between trying to revamp my career after sabotaging it the last couple years, being Daddy, and making money for my family... I'm constantly on the go. Not a lot of sleep, early mornings, writing, recording, and performing music, booking shows, and finding new hustles every day to finance this shit. *Laughs* it's a constant grind, bro. Shake my head. How did your childhood influence who you are as an artist today? Koshir Shit... I grew up in the juvenile system and it was there that I grew my talents. I began writing and drawing at an early age but didn't get serious about writing /recording music until 2008. However, even in jail, I use to write songs and then beat on the table while rapping them to the other inmates. I've always had a hand in on my own designs for shirts, hoodies, beanies, tats, etc. The first time I went to juvie was at the age of eleven and there I had to learn how to act around older people and shit. Ended up in a lot of fights early on and by the time I was a grow man I had learned a lot about the street but also a lot of people internal. I'd been taking college classes while locked up for psychology and reading every book I could get my hands on. Can you remember the first time you held the mic in your hand and were you nervous? Koshir: First time I performed I think I was twenty-one and we were in a garage at some party in Montana. I was hella nervous but pretty f*cked up so it made performing a lot easier. How do you keep your live show fresh and original? Koshir: I always go out and give it 100%. I actually live the shit I'm talking about in my music and when I perform that I feel like people can seelfeel it in every word that I am screaming. I study my music so that I don't have to rap over my own lyrics on stage. *Laughs* That shit hella tacky to me. Which independent artists do you look up to and which one's reached out to work with you, stayed true to their words? Koshir: I look up to Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Tech N9ne, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Crooked I, Korn, all kinds of people... Crooked I was cool as Pck and we knocked shit out as soon as he got to town. Down to earth and all that. Tech and I have been crossing paths for the longest time and I look up to him as an artist but he's also a friend of mine and another down to earth guy. Always smiling. He's mentioned that we will be working together soon but that hasn't happened yet due to scheduling conflicts and shit. Why should Hip-Hop fans pay attention to your Chew Your Food E.P.? What's the most personal song from the record? March 2017 - VandalaMagazine,Com 17


Kostur. It's got mad flavor and the shit will make you want to turn into a Super Saiyan from its dopeness! *Laughs* But for real, hip-hop fans are going to be drooling over my track "On Smash" because Crooked I, Charlie Ray, and Mistah Fab straight up murdered it fool! Most personal is probably "What If and will probably remain my most personal. I'm super proud of the album art. It's sure to attract new fans to bump the record. I gotta thank Redikulus Concepts for the dope graphics! After all these years recording independent, what motivates you to keep striving for success? Koshir: I keep doing what I do because this is all that I know. I owe it to my kids to have a good life and I will continue to work my ass off until we make it Any final shout outs? Koshir: Shout out to my family, Mars, Kung Fu Vampire, Tech N9ne, Mutt Calhoun, Sean of the Twiztid Street Team, Faygoluvers, Charlie Ray, KXNG Crooked, Mistah Fab, Chris Paxton, Nexus Audio, Buzz Records, James Barrett,RawBeatzz, Alec Sartianano, Speezy, Jmac Tracks, Eric "Finch" Anderson, and everyone who made Chew Your Food a success! www.facebook.comiofficialkoshiri •

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As Alcest, a band who pioneered their very specific sound of black metal-esque dreamscapes, finished up the tour for their latest album, Kodama, we found some time to sit down with Neige, the main brain in the group on vocals and guitar, to talk anime, femininity, and the state of the species. It's an interesting choice having The Body open up on this tour. How'd that come to be? Yeah, we picked them because I heard the last album of The Body [No One Deserves Happiness] and I really liked it, so I wanted to have this band on tour because they are obviously very different, and we like different. We don't want to play with another metal band. Cool. How's that dynamic been working out? Neige: It's great; they have this nightmarish sound, and then we arrive with more dreamy stuff, so it's really cool; it's like night and day. For a while there, your albums seemed to put more and more emphasis on the prettier sides of your sound, but this one really reverses the trend on that. Neige: We don't like to do the same record over and over. Shelter was very pretty, as you say, very dreamy, etc., but we wanted to explore something different. The world has changed too, y'know? Our lives have changed. We had a terrorist attack in Paris, just where I live. Some things happen and it has an influence on musicians. Shelter was so soft that we obviously wanted to do something a bit more dynamic. I remember reading that this album was also influenced by Princess Mononoke. Do you feel like the themes of that movie are reflected in the world around you? Neige: Yeah, I think that people are being more and more self-centered, and they just care about themselves and their little programs and politics. There are very few people that still have this connection with nature. It's something that we must not forget because that's where we come from. If there is no nature, there is no humanity, so we have to be a bit careful. You've said that the albums before this one have been inspired by your experiences with this other dream-world. Is that still the case here? Neige: It's not really related; it's a bit different, but this thing that I had has left a very big impression, and it's probably responsible for the melodies in Alcest, even if I'm not consciously speaking about it. It's a part of me. Anything I do with Alcest will be connected to this world; it's not just a dream. Yeah, sorry, I wasn't sure what the right word would be there. Vision, er... Neige: Dreamworld is fine because it's impossible to really know what it is. Anyway, so this was inspired by Mononoke, but you're not just re-telling that storyNeige: -No, no, no. It's a little bit inspired, but it's not like a concept album. It's just this theme I told you about, this conflict between humans and nature, that's what interests me in this movie, and that's a theme in the record too. It's also a tribute to my love for Japanese culture that I've always had since I was a child. What elements of Japanese culture do you think found expression in the album? Neige: The visuals, the visual side. That was inspired by this artist Takato Yamamoto, a 24 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


Japanese illustrator. Our visuals on this record are very much inspired by his form. We've been traveling to Japan two times. We played in a temple. It was a really strong, spiritual thing. It's a different world, y'know? Everything that transports me to a different reality than the one I know is inspiring. I'm always looking for something more. How did that show come together? Were some monks big fans of yours? Neige: I don't know how it exactly happened, but I know these places used to have shows, maybe one show per month, and we were lucky enough to be part of this. It was probably the best experience we've had with this band. That's beautiful. Neige: Yeah. You said you feel an affinity with the character San in Mononoke, right? Neige: Yeah, the female character. Do you feel like - I'm not quite sure how to phrase this - that the problem in nature is the human species itself or maybe just something wrong in our psychologies? Neige: I'm not the misanthropic type; I love people, just in general, you know? I love to speak with people. I'm really not like "Oh, we are a plague on this planet" and this stuff. It's more complex than that. We are not way better than any other species, but we are not absolute crap either; we are making very beautiful things. The problem is that we all want different things. Some people just care about money and some other people are much more advanced. I also believe in this idea of the age of a soul; some people are very young, and some people are very old. I think we are here to learn things and we come back or maybe go somewhere else over and over to learn things. Some people just need a few more lessons. For me, I am my biggest enemy. I always focus on the flaws, and I'm always trying to be a better person. We all have a dark side and bright side. I just found that connection between you and San interesting, because her character is very warlike, whereas you strike me as much more reasonable fellow Well, that's the context of the movie, I guess; she's at war with the human world. What's interesting is she is human; she has just been raised by the animals in the forest, but she's a part of this human world. That's what makes her so interesting: she's not an animal; she's human, but she's not completely human either. She has both sides and she's a bit like the link in-between the two worlds. Also, I love strong female characters. It's something that inspires me and helps me to connect with my own female side. Every guy has a female side, even the guy who says "Oh, no, I'm just like a dude." We all have something, and it's very interesting to explore this side when you have to make art, because it's a very different feel. www.alcest-music.com/ www.facebook.com/alcest.official March 2017 - VandalaMagazine.Com 25


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What I like about Smash The Windows is the balance between original and traditional tunes. Is there any rhyme or reason as to which songs you choose to cover from one album to the next? Ton Not really. We just enjoyed playing those songs at the time. We did 'Rocky Road To Dublin' two records ago and it was just really fun to play. And I always wanted to do that 'Fermoy Lasses' song that we did on the last record. And I've known for a long time that I wanted to do the 'Lots of Drops of Brandy' song, because I was just totally in love with it. You have a song that you wrote on the new record called 'A Ghra Mo Chroi'. What does that mean?

Tony: It literally translates as 'The Love of My Heart'. That song's a totally true story about my wife and I in Scotland and Ireland. I feel this way about all of The Tossers' albums, but there's some really rich storytelling on this album. Some classic yarns. They feel very authentic. How many of these songs are true stories? Tony: It's situational. It depends on the song. For example, 'The Horses' is totally real life (laughs). I mean it's a story I made up about a fella, but I love going to the race track. We used to have my birthday parties at the race track, so that song was really easy to write (laughs). But it's basically all personal experience. But the song '1969' is about The Troubles in Ireland in Belfast and it's about the people themselves. The people who marched and fought, those were the real heroes in my books. But 'Drinking All The Day' was just easy to write, that's basically my life story (laughs). The track listing feels very deliberate. The album plays like a novel of sorts. '1969' for example is bookended by 'Danny Boy' and 'Whiskey', which feels perfect. Tony: Yeah, well I'll tell you, when I write, I don't try to be poetic or use metaphors. I write words as if I'm talking to you, so you can understand it. I'm not a real poetic guy, I used to try to be, but I was never very good at it. I just like to tell a story plain and simple. So an album does tend to come out like a novel, just like you said. I want there to be an arc. With this record, I wanted it to start off happy. So that first song ('Erin Go Bragh') is like a mission statement. That's basically who we are and what we do. We're Irish-American kids and this is a celebration of our culture and our heritage. Then everybody wanted 'Smash The Windows' second. I didn't, but I don't mind. It was just like an easy, kind of like a pop song for me to write, but everyone liked it and wanted it second. But the album slows down in the middle and then goes up again, so yeah that's all very intentional. Well I liked that you put 'The Foggy Dew' last. If I was pressed, I would probably say that's my all time favorite Irish ballad. 30 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


Tony: Well with that one, The Chieftains version with Sinead O'Connor is the best ever recorded, so we just tried to do that justice. And we did it because last year was the one hundredth anniversary of the Easter Uprising. We were recording it in 2016 and that was our celebration of that time in history and we just tried to make it really good. And we added a verse that isn't usually put into it. You have a song on the album called 'The Town Where I Was Born'. You pay tribute to Chicago with a few songs on every album. What depth of influence does your home town continue to have on your songwriting? Tony: Oh yeah, lots. That song in particular, but also 'Erin Go Bragh' and 'Resurrection Mary', which is a song that was almost left off because of the fact that it's an old Chicago ghost story. It's about a gal who died on Archer Ave. and her ghost walks up and down the road, and people stop by and pick her up and she tells them to take her to the resurrection cemetery, and when they arrive at the gates she disappears. It's an old, old ghost story. But we almost didn't put it on the record because people in, like New York and Boston won't give a shit about this story, or much less know what it is (laughs). But that is Chicago roots, which runs through everything we do, really. I really like the song 'USA' from the last album. That's a nice tribute not only to your city but also your country. Tony: Yeah I just wanted to write something that paid tribute to America. It's got its ups and downs and some of us are proud of it and some of us aren't, but it's ours and we love it. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, that's for sure. America is having a time right now, where sides are being taken and dissent is taking hold and I truly feel like music is one thing that can bring people back together. Which makes what you do as a profession especially important. Do you feel that way when you sit down to write a song? Does that cross your mind? Tony Maybe sometimes. My wife told me the other day that `Erin Go Bragh' is a song about Irish immigrants coming to America and Chicago in particular. And she says that's a very relevant topic right now. And I said 'yeah I guess it is'. I didn't think about that when I wrote it. There probably were some times when I was trying to touch on social issues, but I can't think of any right now. It's more authentic if you don't try to force it anyway. Tony: No, I can't sit down and write a song about something, it's got to come to me. Sometimes I sit down and try to write a song of a certain tempo. Like with 'Town That I Was Born' I thought that I needed a song that was like 'Dirty Old Town', so I basically sat down and just rewrote that, and waited for the words and the melody to come to me. Trace a line between punk rock and traditional Irish music. Why do they go so well together? Oh yeah, well you know what it is• punk music and rock n' roll music in general has always been really rebellious. And a lot of Irish music is literally rebellious. I mean talking about forming an uprising and chopping people's heads off. But the difference between Irish music and punk or metal is that Irish music has a vulnerable side to it. You can have a real lullaby next to a barn stormer. But it's all born in rebellion. That's pretty much what it is. www.thetossers.com March 2017 - VandalaMagazine.Com 31


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Iaterview gWy@lef Wyclef Jean is a man who shouldn't need an introduction. But in the interest of everyone being on the same page, here's a short one: He was one-third of the seminal Grammy winning hip hop group The Fugees. The Fugees' 1996 album The Score is one of the best-selling albums of all time. It's best known single 'Killing Me Softly With His Song' became an R&B anthem for an entire generation of music fans. The Fugees broke up in 1997 at the height of their popularity, and Wyclef immediately launched a successful solo career with his debut '97 album The Carnival. Although he hasn't released a studio album since 2009, he's remained a busy artist ever since. He'll release his eighth studio album this summer with The Carnival M. I called Wyclef Jean early the morning of January 20th. A day already infamous for what went down in Washington, DC, ushering in a new era of American politics, and for American's themselves. Wyclef is sharp and chipper, my call no doubt sandwiched between a sea of other interviews he'll be conducting for his new EP ilrouvert". We speak about different things over the next few minutes, but the first thing I ask about is the 2016 version of his popular unreleased song 'If I Was President'. It is Inauguration Day, after all. Its Inauguration Day in the States. You resurrected the song 'If I Was President' with a hilarious and somewhat touching music video just before the election. It's obvious to me why this song was resurrected, but how important do these words become when America is in such a state of uncertainty? Wyclef: Well, I did the song because of how tense things are in America. And I was like 'look at the end of the day, we gotta break it up'. Because the politicians are always going to be the politicians. And once they finish doing what they do, it's usually the people that suffer. So if you look at it right now, it's the people that are divided because of what's being said. And Obama is going to the Inauguration, Hilary Clinton is still going, you know? I think Bernie is still going. So the people that are fighting amongst themselves are the supporters. Politicians always find a way to work it out. So I wanted to just make that point and just lighten it up. So I made fun of everyone's candidate. You know, one of my favorite parts of Dave Chappelle's Block Party is when you get the school kids together and sing 'If I was President' with them. What are your hopes for this song and this EP at this point in time Are you hoping to use it as a tool to repair some of that discord among the people, bring some hope back? Wyclef: Well it's like, Marvin Gaye had the song 'What's Going On' and 'What's Going On' just talks about the times. I'm an artist. It doesn't matter if I'm in a commercial space or a dark space if there's an issue I'm going to talk about it. So this (EP) is a celebration of my Caribbean culture, right? But at the same time, it starts off with 'The Ring', which is about a plane landing down in the Caribbean. And being in the Caribbean, it's like an escape. But every once in a while, you turn on the TV and see what's going on back at home and say, 'I gotta get back home'. So for me, you still March 2017 - VandalaMagazine-Com 35


gotta face the election and you still gotta face the things that are going on back home. And until we change these policies, police are going to do what they do. That's just how I see it Youvert is a French Caribbean term meaning dawn or daybreak. A new day, starting over, etc. You haven't released music under your own name in a while. Why now? Is there something significant about this EP dropping at this particular point in time? Wyclef: I mean it's 2017. Every ten years I drop a Carnival, like an eclipse of the moon. And this is the twentieth year anniversary of The Carnival. And when I'm listening to, like Drake's 'One Dance', and I'm a big fan of Drake, Drake was freestyling Wyclef at fourteen years of age. And I'm listening A to Rihanna's 'Work'. Eighty percent of the sound that I'm hearing on the radio has like a Reggae-Caribbean undertone on it, you know? We named it Tropical House, right, but Tropical House is The Carnival, 1997, that's where it started. And I'm always doing music, but to me, it just felt like after watching the tides, it felt like it was time to just jump back into the ocean, you know what I mean? And I knew I could surf this time, in the big ocean. And The Carnival III, you're still planning on dropping that this summer? Wyclef: Yeah definitely, summer going into the fall. We got so much music, and it was important that we start with the grass roots movement, because we wanted the fans to really soak that up. I want to ask before you go, the Young Thug video, which was an internet sensation last year and went viral immediately after it was released. There's still people debating about whether it was real, a hoax, a stunt. What was your reaction when you first saw it? Wyclef: Well Young Thug, that's my homie. And I didn't actually even know he was doing a video for the track until it dropped and I started getting all these calls from people like, 'did you really give Thug $100,000 for that video?' Haha. I was like, II have no idea what you're talking about'. It's a great video though and it's great because it does what videos are supposed to do, you know? It does something different and makes people think. Wyclef Jean's latest album Youvert is out now so grab your copy today. Keep up with him online at: www.wyclef.com www.facebook.com/Wyclef www.twitter.comiwyclef www.youtube.com/Wyclef 36 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


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Mars and Mad Insanity records were and are still a notorious name within the underground hip-hop scene for nearly twenty years. Q-Strange, Malice, Castro The Savage, J- Z, and even Kung Fu Vampire have all released underground classics through Mars. And years from now when underground fans look back at what the underground had to offer; they will be extremely proud of the fact Mars constantly busted his ass to put out dope albums for the fans to bump in their rides full blast. I arrived in Helena, Montana to meet up with Mars after he directly messaged me, that he wanted me to be the journalist to do his next interview. Upon arriving could almost instantly tell the West-Coast champion had to be going through a lot of emotional feelings with the way he presented himself. It was as if black rain clouds were constantly hovering over his head for months on end and the sunshine inside his mental health was about to burn out like a star burning out in space. But this cat is a strong willed fighter and I knew Mars was going to defeat his dark past and drop kick the underground in the face again with some dope ass tunes! So all you Mad Insanity die hands better keep a look because Mars is coming back to grab the underground by the throat and once again reclaim his prince of the underground status with the upcoming album, "Glockcoma"! How do you separate yourself from other artists? What keeps you original? Mars: I think the fact of the matter is, is the way I see myself making music. I'm a West-Coast rap artist. I make a horrorcore style of music or at least that is where I find myself. That's where I got my start. That's why I try to stay true to that fanbase. But being a West-Coast horrorcore artist, I keep my music on the West-Coast style. I sing on funky West-Coast beats. My slang is West-Coast. I'm a total West-Coast Pittsburg, California rap artist that makes horrorcore. I don't use the scary beats. I don't use the violins/organs and shit. I strictly stick with the 1992-1996 G-Funk style beats and when I talk to people like I still say Fa-sho. That's the Bay Area way. We have G-Mo Skee, Gorilla Voltage, Kung Fu Vampire, Brotha Lynch Hung, Twisted Insane and they all do West-Coast horrorcore or whatever they label their shit, Gothic Hip-Hop or whatever. The way I separate myself from them is that I don't sound like them. I just don't worry about what they're doing. I just do what I think is cool! I'm a fan of my own shit. So I think I try to only listen to the music that I listen to and I only make the kind of music that I enjoy making. It's not dated, but my sound is a reminiscence of the 1990's West-Coast music, except I'm talking about killing shit on it or suicide, but it has an almost soft-tone feel and I think that's why it sticks out. As an artist businesswise, I've always done everything by myself. I've never had a team behind me until recently. I've never had anyone doing my business for me. I make my own choices and moves based on how I'm feeling at the time. Which could either be a good thing or a bad thing, but it's still my choices. I separate myself from every other artist because they're trying to please a crowd of people. I'm just trying to make myself happy. I don't give a f*ck about other people. What motivates you to keep pursuing music after nearly twenty years? Mars: Because a lot of times I take breaks to live my real life. And when I say real life I mean girls, my family, and trying to pursue all this stuff that you can't get from music. Because of music and whether people believe it or not is everything. If you're good at what you do then there are b*tches, drugs, money, fame, and exposure with being able to get on TV/Magazines, or even rocking a thousand people, or sometimes in the hood with just tens of peoples. You indulge into shit that normal people don't get to do when you're good with your business and able to do marketing right. I F*** fine ass bitches, ladies that normal people wish March 2017 - VandalaMagazine.Com 41


they could f***. I get large amounts of money from making silly ass music across the country. Sometimes you really go out there and you really feel yourself and you think you're the shit, but eventually you gotta come home and that all goes away. Nobody is nice to you and nobody gives a fuck that you're Mars and you take breaks to please all the people that are around you in your normal life and try to feel some type of normal. But really I feel like sometimes that's what I want and sometimes I feel like that's what everybody has. I wasn't put here on Earth to get a normal job and try to pay for a house I'll never see and when I die someone else gets it. I try to live my life in the now and enjoy every bit of opportunity that I get and normal people can't have. I'm lucky to be in some of the spots I'm in. I have friends who are in Academy Award movies or they've won Grammy's/Oscars. I'm rubbing elbows with these types of people. I don't have that but I'm drinking a beer with somebody that has. I see that sometimes and I just want it even more, but I'll take a break because I also want to be a good dad and wake up and take my son to school. Can you give a reason for why a fan of your music or any fan of music, in general, should be paying attention to your career, right now? Mars. I'm the definition of struggle in life. I feel like I put myself out there a lot. I put out on social media who my current girlfriend is and I put my son out there. And with social media and current technology you can look at my eyes and the bags under'em and what I'm holding in my hand; you can tell when I'm just doing it big and I'm happy with just pursuing my dreams. But you can also tell when I'm miserable as rck. And there has been so much more of when I'm miserable as Pck and the fans can just instantly look and see that there is something wrong. Right now is me overcoming that and it shows in my music. If you can see what I look like at times and how I'm feeling with that I feel in Social Media pictures and what I post. That's really how you stay connected with your fans these days is Social Media. I'm real with my fans on there. Matter of fact I'll tell my fans just to rck off if I don't like the way they came at me because I'm real. But if they're respectful it's like, "F*ck yeah! Come and kick it!" and right now people are witnessing me at my most real. I'm living out of a suitcase in a different state pursuing my dreams and new opportunity that I've never had before, like traveling the world and making music with girls all over the place that want me. Money is also coming back where I've lived broke for the last two years on purpose. People are seeing me overcome all that stuff and I think that's what makes me cool to watch right now with the fact that they're seeing me come back from my worst and putting out there that something is about to Pcking happen. And I can feel it because I've been here before. If I get lazy I can rck it all up or I can keep working and get to where I was before. Right now I'm in-between that spot. I'm working! I don't have time to sit back and enjoy myself. Me working, is me enjoying myself. You're looking at the next wave of what I do. I don't even know what this is right now because opportunity keeps coming now. I'm celebrating and working at the same time! I think to see me go from where I didn't know if I wanted it anymore to where I really wanted it in such a small amount of time makes it interesting to watch me. It's weird to know that I'm being watched by everybody now because when I make a move it's a little bit different then when people talk about what they're gonna do and not actually do it. I actually do it! How has a recent significant other influenced your career currently in terms of bringing out the positive vibes? Mars: Being in the position I was in where a woman who had a lot of opportunity in front of her right away and being talented, but new to this, I felt so happy for her! I felt like I wished I was 42 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


in her position, where a giant label was spending money on me and giving me a giant crowd at first. Can you imagine that being your first? My girl, she always rapped, but now she gets to do it professionally for the first time because of the opportunity. Imagine being put in front of a giant crowd and them be like "Sink or Swim"?! She got hate and she fought through it! She's like, "F*ck what they say! I'm gonna show them different!" And her having the best producers and the best studios and the biggest label believing in her; I was so proud to see that opportunity! People are saying she didn't earn that/she was given that and I felt like, "Who gives a f*ck!?" She got the dream handed to her. I think knowing that she was going to do great (she's talented and beautiful) and knowing that she got the perfect start to what's probably going to be an amazing career, it makes me just appreciate the fact that I'm able to stand next to her being on her level where I was recognizable to her. She's a beautiful woman with this huge opportunity. And knowing I got to where she is by me hustling to get that, it makes me proud to be on her level because of hard work. I just feel lucky to be in her presence. I learned to appreciate things more and it makes me feel good about myself knowing that I caught the attention of this amazing woman with such great opportunity that was about to blow up! I felt like it also showed me my potential as a human, not music wise. With me being with somebody like that it was never about music. It was about the connection we had, but musically I just know that for somebody to look down at me and know I had what it took to be on their level personally/musically, it makes me feel like I've grown as a person to have such a talented beautiful woman looking at me like that. First thoughts that ran through your mind when 9quota Art and music awards announced you were nominated for best Male Hip-Hop and overall artist? Mars: I'm going to be completely honest because I don't give a fuck. I represent Pittsburgh, California all day long! No matter where I go on the Earth, no matter what, my phone number is always going to have 925 area code. Even online, my Instagram and Twitter bins, it says Pittsburgh, California. I represent my city super hard and for years I've been saying Pittsburgh in all my songs. But a lot of artists locally and I love'em, like shout out to Dubb 20, A-wax (he's killing shit!) Shauny B., Bully Wiz, Mackish, B.Nasty, I named them because they're putting in work and so many people I can name, but I got love for all the artists that are going out there and doing it, but like the difference between me and them is a lot of artists out there want to be the biggest artist in their town. So they push hard in their town to the people like word of mouth or hustling the small promotions and they're happy with just being the big artist in their town. But for me, because of the niche fan-base and the niche genre that I was able to gain buzz on the internet and leave my city and get big outside of my city to where Milwaukee was one of the biggest places I've established myself and in Detroit I have fans everywhere! I have fans in Austria with tats of my artist name and fangirls in Australia that message they want to fuck because of my music. You know what I mean?! But when I was nominated for the award the edge that I had to win because of the voting system was just simply asking my fans to vote. A lot of these guys locally in the 925 area code aren't known as widely, just big in the 925, but they're killing it in the 925 and I respect all of them, but the only thing I had an edge above was the fact that when I asked my fans to vote I ad bigger numbers because I worked outside of my city for so long and people from Japan, Australia, Detroit, Wisconsin, Florida, New York and so many other places I've established myself in voted for me. I took the initiative to ask people to vote when I found out I was nominated. Last year I won for "Best Male Hip-hop Artist", right?! And when the winner of the March 2017 - VandalaMagazine,Com 43


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award came about and my name was announced people were like," Who'" Any of those artists could've won if they did what I did and they could have what I have. I don't press mixtapes on a CD-R. My shit is distributed internationally. A lot of these artists think because they have buzz in the streets that it's enough. It's not enough! You gotta get out of your town. But when I found out I was nominated I knew I was going to win because of my reach I felt confident, but I also felt like I was cheating because the city that I represent, I'm never f*cking there. When I go home to Pittsburgh, I sleep there. I'm more about flying around to Michigan, Las Vegas, Montana, etc. The people on the streets don't know me because I'm not the street level anymore. I was one of the first horrorcore artists that became a national touring act outside of the big labels. Let's go into detail how you ended up signing with Force 5 Records and what moment in your life made a direct impact on the decision to sign? Mars: The DRP (Donny Polinske) has always booked my shows and national tours. Donnie booked my Domestic Violence Tour, My Gat To School Tour, Donny booked. My very first show was in Florida and someone else booked it. My second show was with Donny and Donny brought me out to Wisconsin. When I got there my name was on the marquee, my money was there, there was a huge Pcking crowd at The Rave (the biggest touring spot in the country for venues) and I wouldn't say it was sold out, but it was a packed house! My first show there was one of the biggest shows I've done! When I was done with the show there was a limo waiting there for me and we went to the strip club and the DRP did it right! And I was like, "I'm gonna Pck with Donny again!" and he brought me out again and I developed a friendship with him. He's a cool, down to earth, knows how to do business type dude and we became friends. I've known the dude for a decade. And also I actually met Rick Dogg as the shows Donny booked and eventually Rick Dogg was the guy pressing my merchandise. Wisconsin, early on in my career has always been home base! So when Donny went and did all these deals to get our cd's distributed worldwide and make it possible for me to tour overseas and getting all these artists that I listen to wanted me on their songs, it was all family. I was just getting back into music and knowing it was them guys (I'm such an asshole that I wouldn't sign with anybody) and how well I was treated in the past, I had to do it. But I was always with Force 5 records technically. Donny has been booking my shows for years. Force 5 Records was behind Mad Insanity record the entire time anyways. So when the opportunity arose I was like, "Yea!", but If I was going to trust anybody it was with these guys! Nothing has really changed, just now there are people in charge to help make me stay successful. This was the right choice! I'm investing my time in their movement and it's coming back. Can we discuss your upcoming album Glockcoma and how it came to be? Mars: I was working on an album with Indecent the Slap Master out in the Bay. My contracts came and I get an advanced and bonus when they come and I was like,"I'll pay for Slap Master and get the album done in a couple months" But then my homeboy Blades, who's one of my in-house photographers, well he runs Scythe Note Records. One day we went out and took photos for some of the stuff that I had going on. And while we were out doing that he asked, "Why don't you just come to my studio, record and just stay there and make music?" and you know I'm can get picky and I was like, "I'll think about it" and i spent the night at my house and I was thinking about it and was like, "You know what, Pck it! I'm going to go over there and use this opportunity to record an entire other album!" So I went there and he's like, "Motherfcker you couldn't tell me this yesterday?!" "But you know I still have to drive an hour and a half to 46 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


get there!" So he picked me up and took me to his house, I packed my bag to last a week and I said, "We have six days/seven days technically, we have one week to get an entire album done. And he reintroduced me to his producer Train-Wreck. He had a dope ass booth and all this shit that we needed to do it. He was like, "Knockout what you need to knock out!" I didn't want to sound like a dick but I told him what I was looking for and that I was going to direct him/boss him around with respect and I had nothing in my head. I had no lyrics written, I didn't know what the beats were going to sound like, no topics, but knew that we were not leaving the room until we got an album. Train-Wreck was with it! And Blades was all about making sure what I wanted to do happened. I slept on the floor of the studio, woke up in the morning to get a coffee, and went in the studio and banged out two-three songs a day, sometimes one song, but it was in six days that we had twelve songs for the album. Glockcoma was just a cool word that I came up with and the way I spell is like the gun and coma, like you're just up in a coma. I always thought it sounded cool. Me and Spice had talked about doing an album together with DJ Pizo (Too Mort, E-40, Tony! Toni! Tone), but it never came about. When it was time for my label to ask, "Hey, what's the album going to be titled?" I was like, "I don't know. F*ck. Uhhh you put me on the spot, Glockcoma!" and they were like,"Cool!" and then as I was recording I was going through a breakup. So the producer as we got to know each other said, "You had some model come through that knew your girl and it seems to be that is all you guys talked about. Write a song about that." and I was like, "Oh shit! I don't know if I want to do that!" I didn't want to give anyone credit to be the topic of my song. But I did and I listened to him because I kinds had to at that point because we were running low on topics and I didn't have any direction, so I took his direction and I said these words on the last song,"This time you got me sick like Glockcoma" and we loved it! I was talking a lot about personal shit. I had a lot of pent up anger, depression, and stuff like that. So Glockcoma was me being fun, using all the voices I have to offer because a lot of people don't know that I do the highs in female vocals on my albums most of the time and use the lows. We had guitars, I sang, we had so many different styles to touch on. Most of those songs either had all the shit that was built up in me and I took the chance I got to record and I let it all out! This album is very personal, but it's very fun! For Glockcoma I ended up making the song about what I was going through and how I was feeling. and I didn't know I was going to do that. And the title track I didn't even cuss on because I was giving my real feelings. It's a lot of personal me stuff and I think a lot of people can identify with that, but at the same time, it's a lot of me having fun talking shit. This is the first album that I recorded where I was completely sober. .

Would you say this is your most personal record to date? Mars: I don't know. I would say there is a lot of personal shit in "School House Glock" and maybe "Mars Attacks", but this is the first time I understood it afterwards. The Glockcoma song after we played it, I teared up because it was almost like therapy. Who do you think your killing it in the underground right now? Mars: I represent my homier! The people that are real with me and show me love because it doesn't matter if your talented or not, it's just the fact you're a real motherfcker! It just so happens that the people in this game that have been real are talented as f*ck. And that's G-MO Skee, Blahzay Roze, Gorilla Voltage, Kung Fu Vampire, Twisted Insane, Insane Poetry, Smallz March 2017 - VandalaMagazine,Com 47


One, Playboy The Beast, Scum, Liquid Assassin, DJ Clay, and Young Lyte fasho. Lyte just got signed to Psychopathic Records and he knows he got the opportunity to kill shit! I'm proud of that dude! I had never heard of that dude before his deal, but when I looked at him, I knew they made a good choice! That's what you're supposed to do. I had never heard and he was just killing shit. He gets it! Brotha Lynch Hung has been killing it since I was a kid. Tech N9ne's been killing it since he figured out he was a special human. Rittz and Snow Tha Product are killing shit too! It's common knowledge that the villain Ben Foster in the 2005 Miramar film "Hostage" starring Bruce Willis was modeled after you. Are you getting more into film these days? What other career choices are you diving into? •!.

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Your true thoughts on the upcoming Juggalo March in Washington DC this September? Mars: Can I be completely one-hundred percent with it? This business is about making moves and there are personal moves. Some people might see it as a business publicity move. For the business behind it, it's a good move. It's already getting a lot of press behind it and see as, "Let's create a spectacle of ourselves to create a buzz" I'm saying this is out of pure respect and I get that and it's Pcking cool. But then again all the people that follow the Juggalo movement and do care about that shit, it's a two-way street. I feel them. Ya know, the people that make this their lives and have the passionate hatchet man tattoos. You know like their rooms are covered with ICP posters and horrorcore stuff. Juggalo isn't about Insane Clown Posse anymore, it's bigger than that. It's Twiztid, it's Nero, and it's everything underground that we do. I'm a Juggalo and I I've never been signed to that label. I've been a fan of them for years, but when you get older you realize it fluctuates between a certain age of people. As you get older some dropout and some people stay Pcking with it. But the fact of the matter is we have something special within the Juggalo world and there are people being affected by the gang label. And to those people, this is a real movement. As an artist and as a Juggalo I want to be there strictly because I want to be there for the people that support my music. If you only had 1 hour to live, which record would serve as the final soundtrack of your life? Mars: Devin The Dude's first album released through Rap-Alot-Records. www.facebook.comimadinsanity 48 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


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Jean-Michel Jarre Leads Astounding Discussion at The Americana Lounge at The Record Parlour Article and Photos By L. Paul Mann There was a multitude of high profile musical gatherings taking place across Hollywood this weekend of the Grammys. Meanwhile, a fascinating musical discussion happened in front of a small, lucky crowd of fans and journalists on Thursday evening, February 9 at the Record Parlour in Hollywood. Amidst the antique jukeboxes and retro pinball machines in the stores Americana Lounge, the truly legendary Jean-Michel Jarre lead a discussion and interview discussing electronic music. The occasion was prompted by the announcement that Jarre's album Electronica 1: The Time Machines was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Dance/Electronic Album" category. The French pioneer of electronic music also announced that he was planning his first concert tour of the United States ever. Jarre's amazing live shows are usually unique events, with huge visual displays that have attracted the largest crowds ever for the live music events. His original presentation on Bastille Day in 1979 in the Place de la Concorde, France tower drew over a million people. It was the first entry in the Guinness Book of Records for largest outdoor concert crowd. He topped that phenomenal feat several times, but in 1997 he attracted 3.7 million to a huge concert in Moscow. Jarre is planning his next massive presentation in April in front of the ancient city of Masada in Israel. The discussion in Hollywood lead by radio personality Nic Harcourt centered around the new double album release of the Electronica album with the second record, Electronica II: The Heart of Noise, featuring a whole new array of collaborators. The discussion featured some of the participants in the new project, including Hans Zimmer, Gary Numan, Moby, Little Boots and Julia Hotter. The panel of prominent musical proponents of the electronica genre spanned multiple generations of successful music making. The discussion may have been one of the most insightful ever undertaken in revealing the creative musical process for these brilliant musicians. Besides Jarre and Zimmer, who came from European musical backgrounds, most of the other participants began the musical quest in mediocre punk rock bands before discovering theirs in the world of electronic music. Jarre, looking more like a fit 40-year-old than the 68-year-old master musician that he is must have found the fountain of youth in his chosen occupation. The incredibly astute discussion revealed his creative process, his musical inspirations and his motivation that lead to this extensive collaboration which has become his most rewarding musical project. All the participants had a fascinating story to tell. Jarre reminded the panel that Moby had been dubbed "the Woody Allen of electronica." Moby relayed his stumble into the electronic world from his awful punk rock guitar playing in a self-effacing way that endeared him to the audience. He essentially said that he ended up making electronic music because it was too hard to get his band compatriots into one place at any given time. His electronic genius has made him one of the most sought-after collaborators in the modern EDM world. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Julia Holter has followed in the giant footsteps of experimental artists Like Kate Bush and Laurie Andersen. The Los Angeles singer had a unique enough sound on her self-created recording that she captured the attention of Jarre. In contrast, the 59-year-old German music composer Hans Zimmer claims no inherent musical prowess. "My only musical training was two weeks of piano lessons," 58 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


the witty producer revealed. The composer of over 150 major motion picture scores revealed that "instead of trying to get electronic synthesizers to sound like an orchestra he attempts to get a real orchestra to sound like the sounds he develops on the synthesizers." English singer Victoria Christina Hesketh, better known by her stage name Little Boots had a much more traditional musical background beginning her piano lessons at age five and canting her musical education into college. Little Boots moved from a moderate successful electronic rock band, Dead Disco, into a successful solo career as a singer-songwriter and DI She relayed a story of how she tried to build her first synthesizer from scratch and somehow made it work at a Coachella gig until it fell apart. Another English musician on the panel, the enchanting genius, who helped introduce early electronic dance music to the world, Gary Numan revealed his introduction to the genre. The musician who has mentored and inspired some of the most intense music of the genre including that of Trent Reznor in Nine Inch Nails also began as a punk rock guitarist. Looking for something to set his musical style apart from the masses he revealed "He stumbled upon a Moog synthesizer and just began twisting knobs. I had no idea what I was doing but luckily whoever used the instrument before me left it on the right settings and I got the sounds out of it that inspired me to make my music." The fascinating two-hour discussion can be heard on Jean-Michel Jarre's Facebook page. For more information on Jean-Michel Jarre www.jeanmicheljarre.com March 2017 - VandalaMagazine.Com 59


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Starset Plays Showcase Concert at The Roxy Theater in Hollywood Article and Photos By L. Paul Mann A sold out crowd of avid music fans packed The Roxy Theater on Sunset Strip in Hollywood, on the last day of January, for a very special concert. Starset, who may have created their own musical genre of Heavy Metal Space Rock gave a "demonstration" of their latest live show to adoring fans in the packed little theater. The show, featured openers, Gemini Syndrome, and was the first in their tour which will criss-cross the country between now and early summer. Charismatic lead singer, Aaron Nordstrom lead the alt-metal openers through a well received and musically intense opening set. Gemini Syndrome is a Los Angles based band that has amassed a loyal following in the last seven years and have become a staple on the heavy metal festival circuit. The band played an intense 70 minute set of heavy tunes reminiscent of the band Tool. The anticipation in the packed audience was akin to a tightly wound spring. A testament to the band's broad appeal, the crowd was indeed all ages. A middle-aged man at the bar relayed his concern for his young thirteen old sons. "He's been squashed up to the front of the stage with his two ten-year-old cousins for nearly four hours waiting for the show to start. This is his favorite band, but I like them too." Apparently, the band has many avid fans. The band has amassed an astounding 700 million YouTube views. The band is the brainchild of lead singer and keyboardist Dustin Bates, who has an impressive resume, including a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, research work for the US Air Force, and a teacher at the International Space University. Bates has taken his fascination with astronomy to heart creating a whole back story to go with his new musical niche. Apparently Starset stays true to their carefully crafted backstory, including, The Starset Society story, whenever interviewed. Bates first appeared onstage to begin an electronic track, on a keyboard with a massive computer screen facing into the crowd. What followed next was Wow! Sounding a bit like AFT meets Sigur Ross, the band exploded into life in an electronic, heavy rock, multimedia display unique to the group. Bates darted about the stage looking eerily like Bruce Campbell back in the Evil Dead days. His crisp clear vocals were backed by a thundering hard rock trio. Guitarist Brock Richards and bassist Ron DeChant pranced about the stage dressed ass astronauts complete with Space Helmets with lighting synchronized to the music. As the two played ear piercing riffs, their surreal appearance would constantly change as the inside of their helmets would light up their faces when they sang powerful backing vocals. Even more surreal was the presence of drummer Adam Gilbert, also wearing an electric spacesuit, playing behind a transparent screen. The drummer would occasionally disappear as the screen would become part of a stunning visual presentation of space inspired images. When the band appears live, they are joined by a pair of classical musicians including a female violinist and male cellist, dressed strangely in vintage bomber jackets. But it is the awkward juxtaposition of the bow tie wearing Bates that captures most of the crowd's attention with his intense vocals and charismatic stage presence. The initial number, Into the Unknown, was delayed by a bit of technical difficulty as Bates struggled to engage the electronic backing track. But once he 62 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


locked it in the band never looked back and fired straight into the next tune Back to the Earth, wowing the enthusiastic crowd. Next, they played two of their most popular songs from their debut album, Transmissions, with included Halo and Down With the Fallen. The band then played much of the material from their new second album, Vessels. The set was full of song titles in keeping with the astronomical theme, including, Antigravity, Ricochet, Telescope, Frequency, and Satellite. The band also played their newest hit single Monster. The band likes to refer to their live shows as "demonstrations." If their fans reaction at the Foxy show was any indication, the band has indeed demonstrated a bright and star filled future. (More Photo on the next page} Starlet Online: www.starsetonline.com www.facebook.comistarsetonline www.twittericom/starsetonline wwwsinstagram.com/starsetonline March 2017 - VandalaMagazine.Com 63


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Infernal Cold - Black Anvil, Inquisition, and Mayhem Article By Sean Barrett Well, folks, it's only the middle of February and it looks like the most blackened and Necrogrim Tour of the year has already pounded its craters into the earth. I'm speaking here of Black Anvil, Inquisition, and Mayhem, the latter of whom is performing 1994's game-changing genre-benchmark De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in all its bone-chilling, 46-minute glory. With their effortless fusion of black metal and rock 'n' roll among so many other things, Black Anvil serve well as a tunnel through which we leave behind the world of daylight and find ourselves in a cosmic sea of dark matter. Playing with blood-smeared faces in a thick fog lit by blood-red, and the coldest shade of blue, these New Yorkers, with former members of Kill Yr Idols, ran through riff after riff after riff in a doom-laden majesty, peppering their black attack with some tragically beautiful cleans. As the lights turned to otherworldly green and purple, they played the last song of their half-hour set and left the stage as an ominous chanting droned hypnotically through the speakers. Catapulting us far beyond the mental winds, into a chaosphere of eternal war, are Columbia's Inquisition. Only a two-piece, Dagon (vocals, guitar) and Incubus (drums) are somehow able to build a wall of cascading guitar tones that flattens conscious thought into submission so that The Great Beyond may be perceived. With the low frog-like croak that only he can pull off and dizzying spirals of riffs, Dagon was doing the work of four musicians up there, a stage where one microphone is stood on each side of the stage so that he may roam freely between the two while channeling ancient hate. Incubus was no slouch either, alternating between relentless marching rolls and slow deliberate pounds all with an organic, un-triggered resonance. Radioactive symbols in a toxic green were projected onto serpentine DNA-spirals which converged into black holes. Their fury would only relent between songs when all lights would go out and we would hear dark ambient or dark classical interludes, that darkness being a pitch-black from which no light ever escapes. After 45-minutes or so, they ended the set with "A Magnificent Crypt of Stars" off their incredible 2016 album Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith. How f*cking good are Inquisition at titles, am I right? Now deep into a hellscape older than time, we are ready for what lies ahead. The state is set with a table at the center two tall candles, two short candles, and a black skull arranged on top. Its altar-cloth bears the alchemical symbol for Saturn. Five figures emerge in black hoods and cloaks to unleash upon us black metal distilled into its purest essence. This is where it all began. About a year and three months ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Mayhem headline at a smaller venue. This time around they came across as so much more focused, energized, and serious. Atilla, their frontman and vocalist (whose voice is the one on this most exalted recording) played ominously with the dancing flames of the candles, traced sigils in the air, and made all sorts of esoteric gestures. I don't know what any of those things meant but they sure didn't seem arbitrary. The songs off this album weren't dated by a day, for they are as immortal as the mist within the pines. While the original guitarist may no longer be of this earth if they ever were), the folks they have on board for those roles now have filled those boots well on 66 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2017


stage and on record, while Atilla, bassist Necrobutcher, and drummer Hellhammer (aint black metal grand?) have kept their strength in embodying this link to the past. While guitarists might remain susceptible to murder, the eerie haunting cold of black metal always was, always is, and always shall be. The word count of this article is 666. Mayhem Online: www.thetruemayhem.com www.facebook.comimayhemofficial www.twitter.comimayhemnorway www.instagram.comithetruernayhem www.seasonofmist.bandcamp.com Black Anvil Online: www.facebook.com/BlackAnvil www.blackanvil.bandcamp.com www.twitter.comiblackanvil www.instagram.corniblackanvil

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March 2017 vandala magazine  

This issue we had the honour of interviewing Wyclef Jean for our cover. Wyclef is sharp and chipper, even though he is flooded in interviews...

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