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Kurt Cobain:

With Matt Skiba

Rocks Toronto

Canadian Music Week 2415


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Contents Vandala May And June 2015 8 REVIEWS & EDITORIAL Next To None "A Light In The Dark" (Rock) Deez Nuts "Word Is Bond" (Hardcore/Punk) Album Cover Feature - Anti-Flag - "American Spring" Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck Stagecraft 101: The Unified Front 22 LIVE MUSIC & PHOTOS Canadian Music Week 2015 - Photos & Highlights Kiesza & Betty Who Heat Up The Stage Mastodon, Clutch & Big Business at the Edmonton EXPO Centre Coachella 2015 - Highlights and Photo Feature Yes We Mystic & Andrew Judah Ensiferum, Korpiklaani & Trollfest

62 COVER STORY - Anti-Flag Peace and Protest Interview Anti Flags Drummer Pat Thetic Drummer Pat Thetic was there at the beginning. He started the group with its singer Justin Sane and continues to be a driving creative force in the band. We spoke with him about the new record and the old politics of this very outspoken punk rock unit.

30 INTERVIEWS 56 Matt Skiba and The Sekrets Inside the New Album IKUTSI with Matt Skiba With the upcoming release of the second record of Matt Skiba and the Sekrets; IKUTS1. We spoke with Matt about the upcoming record and his future plans for the band.

70 D.R.I Kurt Brecht Life, Politics and the Future Kurt Brecht is a pretty fascinating dude we got to pick his brain about life, politics and More.

76 Hard Work & Originality With Full of Hell Full of Hell are changing the definition of what music can be as we found out with Spencer Hazard. 82 Lee Beauford Of The Body

Chats Music, Portland and More This is one nice dude given how crazy his band is. He chats about his band, music and more.


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Peace or Protest Interview with Pat Thetis Front Cover Design By Erin Torrance

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Next To None "A Light In The Dark" (Rock) www.nexttonone.net/ - 4.2/5 Dragons By Aleksandr Slakva

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It is an easily observable fact that modern progressive metal gr. rock is a genre defined by its grueling emphasis on refined musicianship, originality and sky-high standards. In most cases, by the time the band that have committed to participating in this genre meet any amount of noble success, they have basically committed all of their college years to music. Most are in their late 20s, and at least one of their band members has become removed from everyday conventions that they likely rocking a Viking's hair style and captain Ahab's beard. Next To None is the exception to that rule. If you are a dedicated prop-head and have not yet heard of them, you may just find yourself in for a treat.

"A Light In The Dark" isn't just a well crafted debut that is reminiscent of Dream Theatre, Between The Buried And Me family of prop, mixed with a European opera metal sort of grandiose. It a 9 track challenge, from 4 kids so young that it's in bad taste to bum them a cigarette if they asked), to genre contemporaries who have been playing almost twice longer than they have been alive. Max Portnoy (drums), Ryland Holland (guitar), Kris Rank (bass) and Thomas Cuce (keyboard & vocals) are what happens when talent, personal discipline and accesss to resources come together. Yes the drummer's father (and this album's producer), Mike Portnoy... of Dream Theatre fame. This is the unofficial explanation for the not one, but three, 9+ minute behemoth "The Edge Of Insanity", "Control" and "Lost" or are so reminiscent of Dream Theatre's sound, and unconventional approach to tempo and clean style of singing. However, this is only a minor contention point, as the album's real strength lie in the singer's ability to never fall out of harmony, really rock an angst power ballad with the grace of Linkin Park in their prime. The most thematically intriguing track is definitely "Social Anxiety", which this odd half time (I think) time merge between guitar and percussion and broody comically raspy vocals 90's Slipknot vocals, which do fantastic job painting the proverbial canvas.

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This is actually what makes "A Light In The Dark" special: It is a 57 minute journey which is defined by atmosphere of more than a 3-4 emotive. Shredding is awesome and Ryland Holland really kills it in "Control", but it is far more remarkable that as a band, Next To None paint in bolder, broader brushstrokes, something which most musicians don't learn until late 20s, if ever. This boldnesss, however, gives more merit to their next album, rather than A Light In The Dark. This release is more bold, than nuanced, which some may find to be a little too lengthy in time and thin in context, leaving no memorable substance for a less initiated audience. 8 VandalaMagazine.Com - MayJ3une 2015


AIM-NATION RUN TOUR 2015 MAY 28 MAY 29 MAY 30 MAY 31 JUNE 2 JUNE 3 JUNE 5 JUNE 6 JUNE 9 JUNE 10 JUNE 12 JUNE 13 JUNE 14 JUNE 16 JUNE 18 JUNE 19 JUNE 22 JUNE 23 JUNE 25 JUNE 27 JUNE 28 JUNE 30 JULY 1 JULY 2 JULY 5 JULY 7 JULY 8 JULY 19 JULY 21 JULY 23 JULY 26 JULY 28 JULY 30 AUG 1

VANCOUVER, BC PORTLAND, OR EUGENE, OR NAPA VALLEY, CA SANTA CRUZ, CA SAN DIEGO, CA SAN ANTONIO, TX OKLAHOMA CITY, OK BIRMINGHAM, AL NEW ORLEANS, LA N. MYRTLE BEACH, SC ATLANTA, GA MANCHESTER, TN RICHMOND, VA SILVER SPRING, MD DOVER, DE TORONTO, ON MONTREAL, QUE MA BOSTON, NEW YORK, NY NY BUFFALO, OH CLEVELAND, CINCINNATI, OH DETROIT, MI WINNIPEG, MB EDMONTON, AB CALGARY, AB INDIANAPOLIS, IN MINNEAPOLIS, MN IL CHICAGO, NE OMAHA, FORT COLLINS, CO NV RENO, LOS ANGELES, CA

COMMODORE BALLROOM ROSELAND MCDONALD THEATRE BOTTLEROCK MUSIC FESTIVAL THE CATALYST HOUSE OF BLUES THE AZTEC THEATER THE DIAMOND BALLROOM IRON CITY HOUSE OF BLUES HOUSE OF BLUES THE TABERNACLE BONNAROO THE NATIONAL THE FILLMORE SILVER SPRING FIREFLY MUSIC FESTIVAL PHOENIX CONCERT THEATRE METROPOLIS HOUSE OF BLUES IRVING PLAZA TOWN BALLROOM HOUSE OF BLUES BOGART'S THE FILLMORE DETROIT THE GAR IC CENTRE UNION HALL FLAMES EGYPTIAN ROOM CABOOZE OUTDOOR PLAZA HOUSE OF BLUES SOKOL AUDITORIUM AGGIE THEATRE KNITTING FACTORY HOLLYWOOD PALLADIUM


Au Deez Nuts "Word Is Bond" (Hardcore/Punk) www.deeznutshardcore.com- 4.2/5 Dragons By Aleksandr Slakva ,,,-1.

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It's no secret to anyone with at least one foot in Ti the metal core and hardcore punk scene that Deez Nuts are one of the biggest acts to come out of Australia, which as a region has earned a rather formidable reputation. n Peter's affiliations with I Killed The Prom Queen aside, it is perhaps for these reasons that their fourth album, "Word Is Bond", comes off as well polished but somewhat 1 tepid. -7 i Yes, this is supposed to rebel genre, hailing from

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the place that pop culture has solidified as the one founding fathers of attitude. In fact, the seminal 41/WD NW. --- listening listening of this album indicated no shortage of any of these elements. This album is very %{Y L4 r"* 4k ILI I 144N~" II 1,7iir7.1k'SrAeZikt .t 40%."0,. 14 $ C.„) Ilreminiscent of all the great things that have happened within the genre over the last half decades, both on the mainstream surface and independent underground. Tracks like "What's Good", "Pour Up", "Word", "Yesterday" and "Face This On My Own" and "Don't Wanna Talk About It" all have these particular moments of utilizing crunchy power chord pre-choruses, slowing tempos and menacing vocals (again by 13 Peters), which are actually impressive, or the bass straight up grimy bass line build ups Alex Salinger), which create some chilling-beatdown Trapped Under Ice-esque moments that guaranteed to clear show floors. .a J■ il■iiiiianil

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What I found somewhat disinteresting about this album where some of the filler moments in tracks such as Party At The Hill, Yesterday, Understand and The Message. These tracks technically still rooted in the punk genre, but what binds these particular examples are all the boring filler parts of punk: plain respective guitar/vocal sections which add nothing more than longevity to the track. Ultimately this album reminds me of how I felt about Stick To Your Guns 2013'DiamondP: All of the band member are actually amazing their roles, and as a band they know how to release an adrenaline fueled, ballistic missile of an album that will temporarily impose a sense of awe to all that witness it. The problem is that will not be the case if you are the sort of fan that seeks to deeply dissect your media for a more substantial meaning. You will not find that "Pour Up". In my subjective experience (which is obviously not applicable to everyone ,the thing that gives great hardcore a chilling edge is a firm footing within the realm of realistic subject matter. This is an element that extends to artistic mediums aside from music. William Faulkner once famously said that "The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself". This is the true chill that gives merit to titans like Trapped Under Ice, because their brand of bludgeoning isn't just in their sound but their marauding rage and personal nihilism which stems from an individual place outside of social acceptance. If that is too narrow than consider Incendiary's whose essentially a lyrical volcano of existential deconstructive 10 VandalaMagazine-Com - May/June 2015


commentary on the true (lack of value of a human against the society's slated socioeconomic scale. It is against this frame of reference that "Word Is Bond" comes of more as fun, angst head banger, but not a real riot-ensuing blood boiler, despite the fact that Deez Nuts definitely have it in them, if they trim the fat and refine their strengths. •

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Anti-Flag - "American Spring" (www.americanspringanet & www.anti-flag.com) Review By Dustin Griffin

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Anti-Flag pull no punches. Formed in the late 80's, disbanded, and formed again in '92, the band has made a career of releasing rabble rousing records filled with angry, catchy, fist pumping socio-political songs that challenge what's wrong with the world and intend to inspire change. And part of not pulling those punches extends to their album covers. From being bound and blinded on Die For the Government to the well underage soldier ready to fight for her country on The Terror State to the endless graves that flood the White House lawn on For Blood and Empire, Anti-Flag has, with their new record American Spring, outdone themselves in regards to cover art. American Spring's cover features a hajib clad woman whose face is obscured by a rose. But not just any rose, a rose that looks as though it's being blown apart. The colour and placement of the rose is powerful and important, as it also looks, especially at just a glance, like a hajib clad women being shot in the face. On the back cover of American Spring, the flip side is shown: a soldier in battle fatigues with the flower obscured face. This is a ballsy cover. It's ballsy for what it says and ballsy for that it doesn't say. Different people will interpret what the band are trying to say in different ways. Some will see it as offensive and violent, a snide comment on the war on terror perhaps. Some will see it as positive and enlightening, replacing blood with a flower in an effort to imply that things don't have to be as violent as they are. And some won't see violence or commentary on modern war at all, but a commentary on the faceless men and women who give their lives for a cause, right or wrong. Whichever way you take it, one thing is clear: it's a cover that will spark conversations and debate. It will pull people in and get them thinking about the meaning and about the songs on the album that the cover speaks for. In short, it will do what all good album covers should. 12 Vandaialtfagazine.Corn May/June 2015


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AFTERAPPEARING THE FALL 6/18 - 6/27 5-1415 Newport, KY • South Gate House 51515 St. Louis. MO - Fubar 5-17.1 Kansas City, MO • The Record Bar 51915 Des Moines. IA - Wooly's 5-19.15 Omaha, NE - The Slowdown 5-2015 Ft Collins. CO - Aggie Theatre 5-21.15 Denver, CO - The Marquis Theater 61815 Syracuse. NY - Lost Horhon

6.19 -15 Providence. RI Simon's 677 6-20-15 S Burlington, VT - Higher Ground 6.21.15 Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall 6-2315 Buffalo. NY - The Waiting Room 644-15 Toledo, OH - Frankies 6-25-15 Columbus. OH The Basement 6-26-15 Grand Rapids. MI • The Intersection 6-21-I5 Erie, PA - Basement Transmissions


Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck Review By Dustin Griffin I My

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first memory of Nirvana was in early April, 1994. I was ten years old. I was at school and we had 'library time with the kids in my class and class above ours. I came in and saw a group of kids sitting around one of those big, grey, rectangular tape decks with a pair of coil corded, oversized black headphones attached. They were all squeezed together listening to a tape one of them brought in. I came over and asked what was up. One of the older kids handed me the headphones and said 'this guy just blew his head off' (kids are great at exaggerating to induce shock effect). I put the headphones on and 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was blaring out of them. I had never heard of Nirvana before, never heard the song before, but two seconds in I was hooked.

As I grew older and became more educated on the whole Cobain legend, my fascination with this band, and this person in particular, was one of both awe, that someone could be HENN ullEJO .1.1114/0-.4 so talented and write songs that were so ltkil.a good, and dark fascination at this person's train wreck of a life. And I wasn't alone. During his life, Cobain was a fascinating figure, for all the right and wrong reasons, and in his death, his legend firmly embedded in the annuls of rock and roll history, his dichotomy laden and troubled personality is part of one of the most interesting stories in popular music.

NTAGE OF HECK

Although there have been a number of does on Cobain and Nirvana and their music, Montage of Heck is the first 'authorized' examination of Cobain's life on film. This means his family has allowed maverick documentarian Brett Morgan total access to the Cobain archives, so to speak. And this film is chock full of audio clips, musical sound bites, televised interviews and home videos which attempt to bare all of Cobain in an attempt to better understand him. And it works, for the most part. His mother had the great foresight to compile hours upon hours of home videos of him from birth to stardom. His wife took over where his mother left off, compiling hours upon hours of home videos of him in the thick of his stardom. These are the most disturbing aspect of the film. More so than the twisted drawings and manic depressive ramblings in his notebooks, the wall of horror movie sound collages he compiled on tape recorders and the smear campaign of media reports that attempted to show the world he and his wife were little more than self destructive junkies, it's the home videos that create the biggest impact. Such as an impossibly skinny Kurt doting on his daughter, playing with her and making her laugh and lavishing love on her. And in another scene a few minutes later nodding out in a 14 VandaiaMagazine.Corn - May/June 2015


Doeurinemitaw eyjew heroin daze with her on his lap while Courtney Love attempts to give her first haircut, while admonishing him for being high in front of his daughter. You see, in these sad clips and the interviews he was doing and the skyrocketing success of the band and the exaggerated reports in the media, a man deteriorating in front of your eyes. It's difficult to watch As we're led through Cobain's short life, a small group of people connected to him throughout give interviews. This includes his mother, his wife, his sister, an old girlfriend (the one he famously wrote 'About A Girl' for), his semi-estranged father and Krist Novoselic. There is no Dave Grohl. Some people have wondered about this and assumed, as the doc was done with the complete support and cooperation of Courtney Love, that Grohl didn't participate due to his to say the least) difficult relationship with her over the years. In actuality, the reasoning is much less high school drama than that. This is a documentary about Cobain, not Nirvana, and Morgan wanted it to be a personal one with a small group of participants. And Novoselic was there with him from the beginning. So only one former Nirvana member was needed. Also, Grohl was apparently in the middle of a new Foo Fighters album and his own subsequent HBO doc so didn't initially have the time. That's about it. He did eventually give an interview which will probably end up as a bonus feature on the DVD/Blu-Ray release. Because there's a lot of audio and music clips in the film, Morgan had a talented team of animators come in to supplement it with a series of animations. They're well done and interesting, but also a little cheesy. What works much better is Morgan taking Kurt's doodles and comic strips and lyrics and journal entries and animating them to supplement the music and dialogue. It looks very cool and is very effective. I don't know that I would call Montage of Heck, as some people have, the best or most intimate rock bio ever. There are better ones. I would say though that it offers the most complete picture of who this complicated person was, warts and all. It doesn't give him a God complex or idolize him or present him as an avenging hero. If anything it's a good deterrent for people to stay the f*ck away from heroin as if they needed another) and to pity the people he left behind. It also makes you wonder why those around him didn't do more when he was so obviously self destructing before their eyes. As Novoselic says early in the film, with 20120 hindsight, the warnings were all there for anyone to see. In his journals, in his drawings, in his demeanour, and most certainly in his songs. But too late is too late. A modern rock greek tragedy if there ever was one. {Rating 4.5/5 Dragons} www.cobainfilm.com www.hbo.comidocumentariesikurt-cobain-montage-of-heck

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Stagecraft 101: The Unified Front Review By Jeff Black This is probably one of the touchiest areas in all of stage-craft for the average axe-clinger. Image vs. Sound. It's the age-old battle, the antediluvian issue, the riddle of steel. I like John Rzeznik's (Goo Goo Dolls) approach to the topic: always have this thing; if you write a really cool song, & then you put your leather

pants on, you go out, and play, that's cool. That's playing with your image. If you put the leather pants on, & write a song to fit the pants, you're a total poser. You're being more conscious of your image than your craft, or whatever you want to call it, & you really have to avoid that." This is a great message that condemns gimmicks and one-trick ponies, which I think is important to having a band with a shelf-life beyond six years/three albums (whichever comes first). But it also accepts that image is a viable thing to use in order to augment your performance. That's the key word here: Augment. To make something greater by adding to it. Anyone who says "image means nothing" has obviously never seen a hard rock band featuring a guitarist with Eddie Vedder hair wearing a Cattle Decapitation shirt alongside a singer with a strap-on dildo taped to their forehead backed by a drummer in chain mail and a bassist wearing some tall-ass Dr. Seuss hat slapping the strings of their Squier P-Bass with a plastic pirate sword. I'm not joking. I've seen that gig. It was like watching the Halloween episode of The Office, except no one was laughing. People who try to weasel away from image because it "impairs their individuality, man" are some of the most unimaginative, selfish and fear-consumed musicians I've ever encountered. There are plenty of ways to be individual within the framework of an image. Just inject a little creativity and energy into it. You know, the same stuff you use to write your

music... ...right? Since 'Image" tends to be a sort of taboo-word for musicians, I like to refer to this concept as the "Unified Front." I feel more comfortable watching a band whose members look like they come from the same place, the same niche or at the very least they should look like they hang out together and are friends in some way. This Unified Front can be huge and overbearing like plate armor, full costumes, masks. It can be volatile and subject to shifts and between albums and tours, or even costume-changes between songs if you're quick and fancy. Image can be something mundane or simple as wearing black button-up shirts. It could be trying to capture another place, or another period of time. It can be subtle, a mere overtone, like tattoos or jewelry. "Not having an image" can be construed as an image. I've done all of these approaches to image with a variety of different bands. Have you ever looked at a band photo and just said "Nape"? Shut up, yes you have. 16 vandaiamagazine.com - May/June 2015


Ed itonia We've all done it--taken one cursory glance at a band's promo shot and had the following thoughts run through our subconscious like the neon marquee of an adult massage parlor: "This band is not cool. I would not hang out with them and I will not listen to them." You can't please everyone with your band and you certainly shouldn't try. However, having an image that makes sense gives your audience something to latch onto when they're watching your show, trying to figure out what your band is "about" because the sound technician is outside having a smoke instead of mixing your band. Your songs are only going to do so much work when you're playing in a tiny pub with awful acoustics, so a successful band will come up with other ways to hold attention. Remember, humans are visual creatures. Think about how we choose our romantic partners, our favorite cars, our artwork. Think about how we use language. We don't go to "hear" the show, we go to "SEE" the bloody thing! Obviously you probably wouldn't be there if you didn't give a shit about the tunes but the point still stands. It never hurts to go that extra mile to make an impression. Some obvious examples of the Unified Front would be KISS, any marching band, GWAR, Slipknot, Black Veil Brides, symphony orchestras, Darkthrone, ZZ Top and so on. A couple of these don't wear costumes at all; they simply carry themselves with an attitude or an ideal that is visible through how they look. This idea of tying a band's sound together with a bold look runs deeper than the concept of genre or musical style. Bands have been putting on outfits and costumes since bands existed.

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Be Careful. You don't want to write yourself into a hole with your image. If your imagery doesn't line up well with your lyrical themes or even the style of music you play, this entire concept could completely backfire, making you and your bandmates look like an asinine collection of buffoons who wandered into the wrong convention. Dressing up as blood-spattered Cro-Magnons might be jarring and even somewhat revolting if your music sounds like the second coming of Steve Perry-fronted Journey. Those kinds of anachronisms are extremely tricky to handle and generally only work if your band is intended to be comedic or insanely over-the-top (See: GWAR]. Mike Scalzi of the Californian heavy metal band Slough Feg had this to say in a somewhat recent interview regarding band image: "You see the shit I wear on stage, well, sometimes people try to ask me stupid questions about it, as if I actually take all of this seriously. Well, I do take it seriously, I'm serious about putting on a show and keeping people's attention, my wearing gay looking clothes does just that if you haven 't noticed musicians have been doing that since before we were both born. Its called performing, wearing a flashy costume----not putting on baggy jeans and a Cannibal Corpse t-shirt with your hair in a pony tail and staring at the floor for the whole show because you mommy and daddy didn't have the sense to make you watch Mr. Rogers and learn to look people in the eye with confidence when you address them----particularly when you're performing on a stage for them. 99% of the bands you see these days have no business being put on a stage for a "performance"----they can't perform their way out a paper bag. No wonder shows are so poorly attended and people seem so bored, because the bands are never holding up their end of the bargain and putting on a show. If I want to see a bunch of insecure phony punks scowl and roll their eyes and act like fourteen year olds I can go teach philosophy classes!" Best believe, nerds. I want to extract a point from Scalzi's statement: staring at the floor for the whole show because you mommy and daddy didn't have the sense to make you watch Mr. Rogers and learn to look people in the eye with confidence when you address them..." There's a bit of hidden subtext in this point I'd like to expand upon: CONFIDENCE! In the hands of a talented, rehearsed and confident band, almost any image can be brought to life and made entertaining or interesting. Whatever you do, or don't do) you have to own it. That being said, if your band dresses up like in wizard robes and leather armor like my old band Scythia does, you might have trouble with that new song about midnight street racing in Tokyo, or the trenches of World War But then again, if you own it hard enough, you might not.

YOUR BAND IS A VIRUS! Behind-the-seenes a virel marketing strategies for the independent musician

www.yourbandisavirus.com


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Air Photos and Reveiw Gideon Greenbaum-Shinder


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Article & Photos By Gideon Greenbaum-Shinder www.ggsphotography.com I Mother Earth - The Phoenix - May 2, 2015 The show started with the stage enveloped in fog. In fact, they blasted fog for about ten minutes before I Mother Earth even took the stage. I discussed with a fellow reviewer how my teenage self was quite excited and present day me was pretty pumped as well. For the entire first song the band was dramatically shrouded in darkness, juxtaposed by blinding high-powered spots and a whole mess of fog. I Mother Earth have over two decades of history behind them. Of course they also had an eight-year hiatus, coming back onto the scene in 2012. They where at their peak in the mid-nineties and then ruffled a few feathers with some major line up changes, including their lead vocalist Edwin. Lead vocalist Brian Byrne joined the band in 1997, and he put on a captivating performance at the Phoenix for CMW 2015. The band has a certain drama to them. IME embody a specific style Canadian music. IME play high-energy pop driven rock and roll, it is catchy, guitar heavy, with epic percussion. Their music is full of passion and their stage persona reflects that. Byrne has even gone so far as to get a nautical face tattoo, now that's rock and roll. Chuck Dailey, the bass player of 'The Salads' has been enlisted as the bands 'understudy' bass player and definitely holds down some solid funky grooves. A highlight of the show was the mass chanting of choruses. Especially when the whole audience started in with screaming, "The sights, they're embryonic, see what you want, I'm not quite sonic." The Tanna brothers, shredding guitarist Jagori 'Jag' Tanna and stadium style drummer Christian Tanna are the two original members. So although it true that this band has had several facelift's and would legally be old enough to drink, it seems that IME have reinterpreted their destiny, giving off the vibe of a budding band on the rise. The Phoenix is a magical place to see music in Toronto. It is one of the few venues in town that is big enough for huge acts to play but small enough for a relatively intimate concert experience. I Mother Earth is a perfect band to play such show and it will not be their last. These guys have not lost their edge over the years and seemed to be poised to make a splash once again. So keep I Mother Earth on your radar. www.imotherearth.ca www.facebook.comiinnotherearth Ron Sexsmith - Massey Hall - May 2nd, 2015 Most loyal Canadian music fans know the name Ron Sexsmith. So, it was nice to see that Massey Hall looked to be sold out. The thematic staging of the event was extravagant, with a giant cut out 'St. Bernard' and giant 3D screens in the background with rotating open suitcases on them. There were also several open suitcases on stage, one with a stuffed St Bernard in it. It was a beautiful and blunt thematic display for Sexsmith's latest album 'Carousel One', named for the luggage carousel at LAX where Toronto bags get off. It is always the sign of a seasoned musician when they make an album centered on the theme of traveling and touring. Another sign is that Ron played with a band obviously made up of consummate professionals. His personality is both witty and 24 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


subdued on stage, giving off a seemingly paradoxical combination of slapstick grace. Ron Sexsmith is most well known as a Canadian folk balladeer. He has earned his place as one of Canada's most respected musicians. Ron has been well known since his self-titled debut album in 1995. He has certainly come a long way and it was inspiring to see him play such a prestigious venue. I did not have a chance to see Alejandra Ribera but I was told her show was amazing. It is not surprising, as Ron seems to make a habit of bringing amazing opening acts out on the road with him. In fact that was how I ended up discovered Mo Kenney/ incidentally at CMW last year. It is always the sign of an artist who actually cares when you notice a finely curated roster of intensely talented openers. Of course, it also adds an extra incentive to see Ron play, not to mention his extensive back catalogue. Ron's sound is based around the singer songwriter style, just a voice and guitar is where his foundation lies. His compositional aptitude is remarkable and his energy is usually a little on the low side. So hearing his songs filled out by a full band was both a distinctive and powerful experience, especially at a venue such as Massey Hall. His newest material is notably more upbeat in terms of tempo and lyrics. So if you consider yourself a fan of Canadian music you should probably have Ron Sexsmith somewhere in your playlist. www.ronsexsmith.com www.facebook.comironsexsmith UNISON JAM - Artists for Artists The Phoenix Concert Theatre - May 6th_ 1 r This was without a doubt the best show I have ever seen at CMW. I have been covering the festival with great vigor for many years now and this is always an amazing festival. This show was not just a powerhouse of talent, as Tom Wilson kept putting it, it was a kitchen table. Those from the east coast will understand how this is a musical reference. The kitchen table is where people came together with no judgments and just jammed together. He could not have described the night better. Not only was it a smorgasbord of notable acts playing their own songs and other people's songs, but also on top of that it was all to support the Unison Benevolent Fund. This is an organization worth knowing about, especially if you have any interest in the music community. The Unison Benevolent Fund is much more than a celebrated charitable organization. It is in fact a charitable organization that is a celebration, of life, of culture and specifically music, we will talk more about it later. I do not believe that anybody present throughout the evening of May 6, 2015 at The Phoenix Concert Hall will soon forget it Not to be a tad dramatic, but never before has an event simply smacked so resoundingly of historical significance. The Unison Jam was the coming together of countless enormous artists who lent out their considerable talents pro bond just to raise money for the Unison Fund. The Phoenix Concert Theatre was once again the site of an unparalleled night when it comes to sheer musical ability and, it would seem, a centrifuge for musical moral. The events master of ceremonies was the always charismatic and foul mouthed Tom Wilson, the DJ's also just happened to be Eon Sinclair of Bedouin Soundclash and and K-OS. Over the course of this epic UNISON JAM there where performances by Finger Eleven, I Mother Earth, Kim Mitchell, K-OS, Jason McCoy, The Trews, Tom Wilson, Matthew Good, Madison violet and Tomi Swick. There was a lot of sharing the stage 26 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


@overa e @anadiara Music and little apparent ego. The night was seamless with a maximum of five minutes in between sets. The night was full of jams, covers and amazing collaboration. At the start of the night I Mother Earth actually covered black magic women with perfect tone. I will let the pictures speak for themselves, this show was absolute eye candy for a music photographer. Tom Wilson brought his son up on stage, the bassist and vocalist of Harlan Pepper, it was a simple and lovely folk tune. Tom also joined in with Madison Violet. Tomi Swick Playing Ophelia by the band was another amazing moment. Another three or four of the highlights of the evening included Kim Mitchell and The Trews playing on the same stage while performing each other's songs with hi energy pop rock tones and plenty of indulgent solo's. Oh and I Mother Earth, The Trews and _Jason McCoy played some sort of amazing country-rock-metal thing that I have trouble describing. Matthew Good performing acoustically was also a big treat unto itself. They're also several Neil Young covers and an incredible cover of 'Ramblin Man' thrown around by The Trews and IME. I would expand more on the night but the raw primordial power of musical creativity is hard to put into words. It was an overflowing cup of amazing. Seeing all of these artists play together and enjoy playing together for free for such a wonderful cause was absolutely inspirational. All this and the event was Pay-What-You-Can at the door, if you can believe it. The proceeds from the whole night of the Unison Jam go to the Unison Benevolent Fund. For those who do not know "The Unison Benevolent Fund is a non-profit organization that provides counseling, emergency relief, and benefit programs for those in the Canadian music community who face personal or professional challenges due to hardship, illness, or economic difficulties." This organization is both idealistic and clearly more than capable of making its vision a reality, please support them. They also know how to throw a world-class party. www.unisonfund.c

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lye @overageg Coachella 2015 Article at Photos By L. Paul Mann www.Lpaulrnann.coni By most every account Coachella 2015 ended up being the most successful event in the festival's sixteen year history. Ever since the much revered festival began offering a second weekend option, four years ago, there has been a distinctly different tone between the two weekends. The first weekend always seems to be a celebrity driven event, fueled by heavy media coverage of who appears in the crowd and what fashion statement they might be trying to make. Superstar surprise guests like Madonna during this years first weekend closing set by Drake also seem to fuel the hype. But the second weekend seems to always to be more focused on the music, with a more serious music loving crowd, seemingly more intently focused on the performances rather than the overall spectacle of the event. Weekend two began like clockwork just before noon on Friday, April 17th. The main stage seems to get further away from the center of the Coachella festival every year, with an ever increasing crowd of concert goers. Despite the increase in crowds, however, it was the most organized event to date in the festival's history. The lines seemed to be shorter for everything, from the parking lot to the bathrooms. More than 300 permanent, flushing toilets were built on-site for this year's festival. Credit cards were accepted at all the food, beverage and retail counters. Free WiFi access was also available in beer gardens (and VIP areas too), to better serve fans' insatiable need to stay connected and share their experiences. A wider variety of gourmet food vendors, micro brews and alcoholic beverages were readily available. Despite all the amenities, high temperatures and the dreaded Coachella desert dust made for trying times at the festival, and music fans had to find ways to stay cool and energized throughout the long days. Some took the easy route and found one of the popular pool parties at nearby hotels like the four day LED party at the Palm Springs Hilton. The noon to six in the evening parties featured some of the biggest names in EDM music including, Skrillex and Deorro, who was joined by Chris Brown in a surprise appearance. Lounging in the pool, these fans save their energy for the awesome late night spectacle of Coachella. But other music fans take advantage of the non existent crowds early in the day, to catch the top new acts that open the festival. Early birds on Friday got to hear Sean Lennon, channel his fathers spirit with his band The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, or the New York Indie pop band Haerts, fronted by charismatic singer Nini Fabi. For the veteran rock crowd, Reverend Horton Heat, also kicked off an early set, playing his own brand of pschyobilly rock that fits perfectly with the desert vibe. But it was Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band that really captured the spirit of the desert vibe. Lead singer and guitarist Bjork, hails from one of the most legendary hard core bands hailing from the high desert, Kyuss. Much has been said in the press about all the classic old school rock at this years festival, especially the first day. But the simple truth is that the festival has always featured top classic rockers through the years. It would also be disingenuous to think that the predominantly young audience at Coachella couldn't appreciate the older music from different genres. That, in fact, is what the musical model of Coachella has been built on from the start and is at least part of the reason the festival has become the most profitable in the history of music festivals. There was plenty of Indie, EDM, hip hop, and modern pop acts to keep most any segment of modern music lovers happy at this years festival. Probably the only genre that was a bit light this year was the 80's genre that 34 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


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that has been represented so well at Coachella in the past. As the relentless sunshine beat down on the Coachella Polo grounds, many sought refuge in the air conditioned Yuma EDM tent. But the best way for many to cool down was to hang out at the Do Lab, a Burning Man inspired EDM village, complete with a small army dedicated to spraying the steamy audience with a constant stream of water guns. Music on the stage featured some really special sets from secret guests Chet Faker + Bonobo (with a back-to-back set), Gorgon City, and Thomas lack, in addition to an already potent lineup featuring acts like Adam Freeland, Tokimonsta, Jai Wolf, M.A.N.D.Y, Wonkers, Lucent Dossier, Kraddy, J. Philp, and many more. The Lucent Dossier experience is one of the most enduring traditions at Coachella, combining circus like antics with an EDM beat. Friday afternoon was full of impressive contemporary pop performers, including disco darlings, Kieza, Kimbra, and Azealia Banks. A horde of young rappers kept the hip hop crowd happy, including stand out performances by Vic Mensa, Lil B, Ab Soul, and Action Bronson. Indie Bands Sylvan Esso and Ride offered up impressive afternoon sets. As the sun set and the true beauty of the Coachella art and lighting installations became all encompassing, Interpol played one of the first visually awesome performances. Classic rock came to life with a set by Steely Dan. The rock veteran duo of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, were in a particularly feisty mode bantering humorously with the audience. The band, used to playing three hour sets, was forced to play a compact one hour set, filling it with their biggest hit songs in a furious flurry, that was an ultimately successful draw to for the young audience. On the main stage, Indie band Tame Impala took over. This jam band has been on a meteoric rise to stardom as of late. Rock superstars AC/DC closed out the main stage with a triumphant balls out rock show featuring many of the biggest hit songs by the Australian veterans of classic hard rock, ending with a giant fireworks show. The night's real surprises were mostly in the Sahara dance tent. Grammy winning pop singer Ciara spent some time onstage with producer R3Hab for two songs, while rapper DMX and AlunaGeorge, among others, showed up with "Turn Down For What"-guy DJ Snake. Top EDM artist Alesso was performing in the Sahara tent with a mind blowing light show that had the packed venue in a dancing frenzy throughout his set.

Jay 2 Coachella Day two of the festival was an even hotter day with temperatures approaching 100 degrees but that didn't keep music fans from arriving early. By mid day classic punk rockers Bad Religion were playing to a large crowd in front of the main stage. Across the way Benjamin Booker was playing a set channeling the likes of Gary Clarke Jr., with some fiery guitar playing. Singer and pianist extraordinaire Andrew McMahon was leading his new band "In the Wilderness", sounding a lot like a young Ben Folds. During his Saturday afternoon set, up-and-coming Chazwick Bundick, better known as Toro y Moi, packed the Mojave tent with a display of his danceable melodies. Andrew Hozier-Byrne, known on stage as Hozier, performed on the Coachella stage with a full backing band. Hozier played an intriguing set, showing off his ability to play solid pop rock tracks that promote his soulful, pleasant vocals. British indie rock band alt-j took to the Coachella stage Saturday evening to disseminate its brand of electro-rock accompanied by a massive light show. Jungle, a U.K. collective played compact, tightly constructed rhythms of funk. Early Saturday, the Mojave tent was full of swaying bodies, to the grooves on the 38 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


40 VandaldMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


Day Two Coachella Photography By L. Paul Mann www.Lpaulmann.com

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May/June 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Com 41


bands self-titled XL debut. The band brought out Chicago rapper Vic Mensa, who had played the main stage, to freestyle over "Busy Earnin,". Playing to a relatively small crowd for their first major show in 20 years, post-hardcore heroes Jehu played a ferocious set. Lead singer Rick Frober screamed out against the back drop of Jack White's overamped main stage performance. An unfazed John Reis shredded on his guitar. Mark Trombino pounded out beats that make his band so hard to define, channeling the likes of Keith Moon. Rapper, Tyler The Creator had one of the youngest crowds swarming the Outdoor stage for his set which featured him arriving in a go kart, and an oversized bedroom set, including a giant bed. But it was The Weekend who captured the most buzz with his remarkable performance on the main stage. "When I said last Saturday that it was the greatest night in my life, well, I take that back. Tonight is the greatest night in my life," the alt-RIB singer announced toward the end of his set, which closed out Saturday's main-stage. Then he was joined by none other than Kanye West for a few songs. While his set was the biggest and most magical of the night, there were some remarkable musical moments going on across the entire festival grounds the last hour of the night. Axwell " Ingrosso was performing a visually spectacular EDM set on the other Outdoor stage. Meanwhile, in the Mojave tent Antemasque played one of the most animated sets of the night. Antemasque is an American rock band formed in 2014 by former members of At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Depending upon the age and musical preferences of the those who watched, the reviews of this set ranged from one of the worst performances of the evening to one of the best, which at least testifies to the intensity of the set. At the same time the very veteran but obscure jam band, Swans was playing to an even smaller crowd in the Gobi tent. Swans is an American experimental rock band, led by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Lira. The band is probably the most important to emerge from the New York "No Wave" scene in the 1980's and is truly a musical force to be revered.

Day 3 Coachella The final day of Coachella 2015 was one of the most well attended in the festivals history, which usually sees a drop off from festival burn out by the final day. Saint Motel brought a festive feel to the main stage early on, with a chorus line of Las Vegas dancers. The young rockers, The Oresells took the main stage next. The energetic group was fronted by lead singer Mario Cuomo, who seemed to be trying to channel Jim Morrison with his onstage antics. Other members include, Dominic Corso on guitar, Matt O'Keefe on guitar, Grant Brinner on bass, and Henry Brinner on drums. The youthful group proved that punk music is still alive and well in the next generation. Danish electro pop sensation MO, had fans dancing early in the Gobi tent. The former lead singer of Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis played a spirited set and may have had the best festival outfit of the entire fashion squad. Welsh singer Marina and The Diamonds also played a well received afternoon set. Her dress was an amazing shimmering rainbow of color. The drummer of Radiohead, Philip Seiway, played a soothing experimental set, belying his royal Indie roots. California EDM star, Kaskade, played the main stage as the sun set. The show included a spectacular light and fireworks show as the desert night fell across Coachella. Some concert goers paused to take in the massive art installations. The giant caterpillar traversing the festival the first day, transformed in to a butterfly the 42 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


44 VandafaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


@overage. goac RI a second day. Both of them traversed the festival on the final day. At the center of the festival a transparent multi story office building with a helicopter on top, housed a group of Hippopotamus headed office workers. The parody of corporate life was ironic considering there is no more corporate event than pop music shows, but it was good to see that the festival has a genuine ability to make fun of itself. Meanwhile a modest crowd gathered at the Mojave tent for what may have been the single most important break out new show of the festival. Stromae performed an elegant electro pop set unlike any other presented at the festival. Paul Van Haver, better known by his stage name Stromae, is a Belgian singer, rapper and songwriter, originally from Laeken, in Brussels. He has established himself in both the hip hop and electronic music genres. The charismatic young performer, sang mostly in French. His band played a myriad of sophisticated electronic instruments creating a compelling sound. He was joined late in his set by Kanye West. Whatever your opinion is of Kanyesr music, you can't deny his savvy and acute ability to spot the best new music. This was evidenced with the Rap superstar performing with the two most interesting new singers at this years' Coachella festival, The Weekend and Stromae. Florence and The Machine, which were credited with one of the most invigorating sets of the first weekend, played a more demure closing set this time around. The reason for their toned downed performance, was the broken foot that Florence received from her antics the week before. The upside was that the band played reworked songs and covers in an elegant classical style complete with an entire string section. Be sure to catch Coachella especially if you have never been! www.coachella.com www.facebook.comicoachel la

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MATT SKIBA AND THE SEICRETS


Inside the New Album 'KUTS' with Matt Skiba Interview By Dustin Griffin


fferivew Matt Skiba avid the Selmets Matt Skiba is a busy man. While also fronting his beloved, long standing Alkaline Trio, he finds time for a host of projects, from the heavier (the HELL) to the lighter, more experimental (Heavens). And that's not to mention his recent addition, in Tom Delonge's place, as the guitar/singer of Blink-182 and his recent, well received debut shows with the band at this past Musink festival. As if that wasn't enough, bell soon be releasing the second record of Matt Skiba and the Sekrets with members of AFI and My Chemical Romance). We spoke with Matt about the upcoming record and his future plans for the band. Can you tell me how Sekrets came about? Matt; Well, this is the second record that Sekrets have done with (record label) Superball. And initially it was just something that came about from kind of a scrap heap of ideas and demos that I had that never really fit with Alkaline Trio, or anything else I was doing. And there were some guys I really wanted to work with, like Hunter from AFI and Jarrod Alexander, who's an amazing drummer and was playing drums in My Chemical Romance until recently and they're both really good friends of mine. So I took these ideas and demos and sent them to them and from there we created the Sekrets and started making a record and had a great time doing it And how was this recording experience different from the first record? Matt: Well, the first time around we had the songs and the idea to tour and everything, but it didn't really have its own identity yet and we weren't really sure how to approach it. But with this new record, we've had a far more concise idea of what we wanted. And I wanted to work with a producer who was unfamiliar with Alkaline Trio, I didn't want it to sound like Alkaline Trio. On the last Sekrets record that wasn't a concern, I just wanted to make a rock record. Who was the producer on this one? Matt: Rob Schnapf produced the record. He did a lot of Elliot Smith's stuff and actually played in Elliot's band. And he ended up playing lead guitar on this album and he had a bunch of really fun, unique gear and a great studio with a really cool vibe. So I think all these different variables lent to the way the record sounds. I think that we've come out with something this time around that sounds more like it's own thing, like the Sekrets now have a sound. There's definitely a more pronounced Cure influence in the sound, including the glam rock aspect of the cover photo. I know The Cure is an influence on a lot of the stuff you write, but was that a conscious direction for this particular record? Matt: Only in that we wanted to use a lot of acoustic guitar and in The Cure, Robert Smith is often playing an acoustic guitar. So to have that rhythmic, pronounced acoustic guitar sound within a rock setting, yeah, The Cure was a huge influence. David Bowie was a huge influence as well and not necessarily style wise, but sonically. We went back and listened to a lot the old Bowie stuff and drew a lot of the sounds, the keyboard sounds and guitar sounds, from those old Bowie recordings and Brian Eno and stuff like that. And I don't think the record sounds like any of those artists, but those were things we listened to in order to get tones and a certain feel. Kuts feels and sounds very much like a product of southern California to me. I know you still have Chicago blood flowing through your veins, but is your writing greatly 58 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


Interivew Matt Skiba influenced by your surroundings or do these songs come from a more internal place? Matt: Well, I think no matter who it is, you're always going to be influenced by your surroundings, whether that's conscious or not. And whatever city you're in will have an effect on the way the record sounds, in many different kinds of ways. It wasn't intentional but we did make the record in southern California. And we made it on the east side, away from Hollywood and the strip and the big studios. So it has that sound, but not in the conventional sense. It has more of an indie sound than the polished Capitol Records big rock sound. You're obviously best known for Alkaline Trio, and this Blink thing has been getting a lot of attention. You've also got other projects like the HELL. What's your vision for Sekrets? Is it a hobby project or are you hoping to bring it further than some of your other side projects in the past? Matt It's hard to say. A lot has happened since we recorded this record, primarily the Blink thing. So it's something that I would very much like to tour on and will eventually. Alkaline Trio has a couple months of shows booked in the U.S. and over in the U.K. with NOFX. So I'll be busy with that for a while. What's going to happen with Blink is yet to be seen. We've discussed writing and recording together but nothing's ironclad. And the HELL for me is really the hobby project. As much as Atom (Willard from Against Me) would cringe in hearing me say that. But I consider Sekrets to be more than just a hobby. And when the time is right I do want to dedicate as much time and effort as possible to getting out on the road and playing for people. You're a very prolific writer. And to those who aren't in your inner circle, it seems as if it comes easy, as if songs just pour out of you on a consistent basis. Do you have to work at it in that regard at all these days, or do you find you're having a hard time keeping up with the ideas. Matt: Actually, with risk of sounding cocky, it comes pretty easily. I really love what I do. Playing music as a career, again with risk of sounding cliche, it's a dream come true because I'm getting paid to do something that I would do anyway. If I worked at FedEx, I would still get off work and go to band practise and book shows. It's just in my DNA. And I have a good barometer, after so many years, to know what's good and what's not. If I'm working on something and it starts to take too long, I know it's probably not right. I've gotten pretty good at knowing how to not frustrate myself. And from that it makes the whole songwriting process quite a bit easier. And I just feel really blessed that playing music and songwriting is something that comes fairly easily to me. KITS is due out June 1st in Europe and June 2nd in the U.S.A and is available for pre-order on iTunes. Until then keep up with the band online at www.facebook.comimattskibaandthesekrets www.twitter.comimatttskiba www.instagram.comimatttskibal www.youtube.comisuperballmusictv www.kingsroadmerch.comfmatt-skiba-and-the-sekrets

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Peacf or Protest Interview with Pat Thetic Awilr

By Dustin Griffin


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Anti-Flag are a punk band that sings about, in short, what a f*cked up world we live in and the things we can do to change it. They've sung about these issues since the late 80's and while perhaps their approach has softened, their message has not. They've toured the world and brought these messages to cities, towns, villages, festivals and political rallies. They've released a handful of records, as well as endless singles, EP's, splits, even a couple concert DVD's. American Spring, their ninth studio album, comes out on Spinefarm Records at the end of May and it will cause ripples, mark my words, but positive ones. Drummer Pat Thetic was there at the beginning. He started the group with its singer Justin Sane and continues to be a driving creative force in the band. We spoke with him about the new record and the old politics of this very outspoken punk rock unit. You guys have been around a long time now. Over 20 years. And to the outsider, it seems like you're still doing what you set out to do from the get go. What about inside the band, does the mission, the purpose still feel the same as it did in the late 80's? Pat: Absolutely. The thing that's different is, well, we're obviously a little bit smarter. And we understand how to channel our anger and frustration in slightly more productive ways. I wouldn't say completely productive because we don't change 'f*ck' anything, but we now know that just yelling and smashing stuff doesn't necessarily create change. So we've learned a bit over the years that change comes when likeminded people come together. And that's really the only time change can happen. But the basic idea of 'things don't have to be the way they are right now' is something Justin and I started in the late 80's and still do today. Punk rock itself has had its ups and down over the years, in terms of popularity and interest on a global scale. Do you still feel that this type of music is the best platform for the things you're trying to get across? Pat: A three and a half minute punk rock song is not the best vehicle for trying to get across why Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, no. But what it is a good vehicle for is emotionally connecting with people and having that passion transferred from one person to the next. And if that passion is there, people will seek out the information that they need to know. So to answer your question, punk rock isn't the best vehicle to create awareness, but it is the vehicle that we understand the most and makes the most sense to us. And you still see that change happening in the crowds that come to your shows? Pat: Absolutely. And the amazing thing for us is that because we've been around for such a long time, we see kids that go through the transition from being the awkward kid at the show, to going to law school, to becoming a lawyer to fight for people who are economically disadvantaged, for example. And I'm not saying that Anti-Flag is the reason for that, but it's cool to see it happen. All your albums are rooted in what is happening in the world at the time that they're written and released. Do you allow the political climate to dictate to you when to release new material? Pat: Well, the political climate always has an impact on us. And it's always inspiring us to write songs. When those songs are collected into a document, or a record 64 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


Inberiview. at Thetic of Anti.=.Flag release, that isn't necessarily controlled by the world around us, it's more controlled by timing and the schedule of the band. But the climate does impact the songwriting and the songs that are on any particular album are a time capsule of what was going on at that moment in time in the world. I think it's worth noting that not all your songs are overtly political. There are a number of songs on this record, and in your discography, that are more personal and humanistic than people may realize. Do you find these songs and their messages get overlooked sometimes? Pat: You're kind of asking the wrong guy (laughs). If you asked the other guys you might get a different answer, but to me, all our songs are socio-political in some way. It may come from a personal experience, but it has a broader message that is intended from the song. That's my point of view.

Can you explain the title of the record? What does American Spring mean? Pat: Spring is a comment on the Arab Spring, which is a wave of revolution that was going across the middle east and is still going across the middle east from late 2010 till now. We were talking about how revolution works and how does it turn into peace, or into civil war and violence, like we have in Syria right now. And we had discussions that institutions are much more willing to use violence than civilians are. Governments, religious groups, militaries, are always more willing to use violence than the actual population. And what was your conclusion? Pat: Well, that non-violent revolution is the only type that has any chance at success. I mean no revolution is going to be completely non-violent, but the higher the level of non-violence, the more chance at success that revolution is going to have. Anyway, that's where the title American Spring comes from. And that's where the images on the front and back covers of the album come from, with the flowers over the face and whether that's an expression of violence or non-violence. In a discography filled with incendiary and thought provoking covers, this one is probably your most thought provoking and even controversial. Can you tell us a bit about how it came about? May/lune 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Corn

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Pat: We had the name of the record and were talking about the images to go along. And one of our friends, who is a graphic designer, brought those images to us. And at first we weren't sure if it made sense or not. But we had this really great experience where a friend of ours came in and we were sitting there talking and just the front cover was there, of the woman in the hijab and the flower, which he thought was interesting. Then we showed him the back cover, which in my mind is the juxtaposition of the two, with the soldier and the flower, and he said 'oh you can't do that, you'll get shot.' And I thought, 'well why is this one acceptable and this other one not?' And why would someone see it as violence when there's actually no violence there. And for me, that clinched it. We want people to talk about it and we want it to have an effect on people. Considering the controversy some of your covers and songs can create, as a band on tour, do you ever find yourselves in situations or countries where you don't feel safe? Pat: No. Actually, the most threatened we've felt is right here in our own hometown (Pittsburgh). After September 11th happened, all our records were pulled from the shelves at record stores and we were told not to go into certain shops or businesses because they saw us as traitors. Because we felt it was a mistake to bomb people and think they would accept freedom if we bombed them enough. So I've felt the most fear from certain right wing people in the U.S. than I've felt from anywhere around the world. Aside from the messages contained within, one impressive thing about Anti-Flag is how well crafted and catchy the songs themselves are. Does it frustrate you as a band at all when you have fans who like the band because of how catchy your songs are, rather than for the messages you attempt to convey? Pat: No. If it brings you into the room and allows you to connect on some level, that's good enough for me. When we were younger, we had the debate of 'if there's Nazi's at the show, is that a good thing or a bad thing?' And my answer was always 'get em in the room.' If they're in the room, they're going to get exposed to ideas they didn't have before. And hopefully they'll have some impact on them. So I'm a fan of the more people in the dialogue the better. And people are smart enough to know what ideas are bullshit and what ideas are good ones. Is there a reason why the new record isn't coming out on your own label (A-F Records)? Pat: Absolutely. It's just really hard to put out a record and be on tour for six to eight months and trying to do all the things that need to happen for the record to come out. There's a lot of organization that needs to happen. And we have really great people at home, but we need to be involved in that mix and if we're on tour, we can't do both things effectively. Why Spinefarm this time â&#x20AC;˘ We've never been very loyal to record companies. I love Fat Wreck Chords and Side One Dummy, they're all great people. But as far as loyalty to any particular label, I've never had it. I'm a DIY kid through and through. So the idea of working with new people is always exciting to me. And Spinefarm came to us and said they really loved our older records and that this record was awesome, because we'd already recorded it, and they wanted to put it out and enable us to do some new things we hadn't done before. give a record to anyone. Just one though. It's the multiple records I have 66 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


trouble with. Finally, do you think this world is capable of getting its shit together enough so that a new Anti-Flag record won't be needed? Pat: (Laughs) That is our dream. Because I will tell you that Justin and Chris *2 have

some really sappy sappy songs about girls and sunshine and puppy dogs. So yeah if the world was in a good place, we could write some really sappy, saccharine songs. Although if Hilary Clinton becomes the next president I don't think we'll be in that position. Anti-Flags new album "American Spring" is out May 26th. Plus you can catch them live on tour. Full details about both online at: www.americanspring.net www.anti-flag.com www.facebook.comianti.flag.official www.twitter.comfanti_flag www.instagram.com/anti.flag.official

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ilk . Kurt Brecht Life, Politics and the Future By Matt Bacon

Jana Perry Photography Kurt Brecht is a pretty fascinating dude, and one of the most important figures in heavy music too. Getting to pick his brain about life, politics and the future of DR1 left me scraping my jaw off the floor. So how are you Kurt? Kurt: Pretty good! Just driving out in the country with my buddy.

Why are you out in the country? What are you doing today? Kurt: I used to live out here. I'm just checking my old property that I sold, I'm just curious to see how it's looking. So is DRI your full time gig? Or how does that work? I saw you were in construction for a while... Kurt: It always was. Sometimes I had to just take side work when the band wasn't doing as good. DRI in many ways kind of reshaped punk, what do you feel is your role in punk music today? Kurt: If it's a role it's one that other people gave to us. It's not like we consider this to be our role. We're just like any other band, struggling trying to play shows and remain viable. We've got a new record coming out, a seven inch this year. We're excited about that, it's been a while. 70 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


It's been twenty years... how many songs are going to be on that? Kurt: Three new songs, it's just an EP. We re-recorded two songs too which I guess will be the B side. Is this going to be part of more new stuff coming out in the near future? Kurt: We'll just have to see how it goes. The last few albums we put out didn't do that good sales-wise. We put a lot of time and money into and stopped touring so we could record. This time we didn't do that, we just recorded while we were on the road. Hopefully that makes it financially feasible so we can put out albums like we used to on a regular basis. I can't really see doing that now. Part of the reason is that we tour a lot and back in the day the whole world wasn't open to our kind of music. We were stuck playing Europe, the US and Canada. That was about it. Now South America, East Asia and Australia are all wide open. People keep calling us to play shows everywhere. It's better than having to stop everything and go into the studio, we can't really afford to do that anyway. Do you also get a sense that it would be hard to live up to the expectations created by the old stuff? Kurt: Being a musical fan myself I'm usually more interested in seeing older bands play old stuff anyway. I'm talking all the way from the Rolling Stones down to Black Flag. I know people wanna hear the old stuff but we get asked all the time to put out new material. I know there's some bands who were doing okay and then they came out with a new album which sucked and nobody would go to their gigs anymore thinking they would play a bunch of new stuff. Smart bands will come out with an album and only play a few songs off of it, because the record company wants you to push it, and then concentrate on the old stuff. Part of what attracted me to DRY when I was younger was the politics. How have your views changed since the 80s? Kurt: They've changed over the years. I was pretty naive and idealistic when we first started. I'm probably less of both now. Politics change as well over the years. Even the party system... from what I read the Democratic party was the one that was pro slavery back in the day and nowadays it seems like they would be exactly the opposite. It was the Democrats who wanted to go into World War Two. Everything is topsy Curvy. I try to remain idealistic but I've changed Is that going to manifest itself in your lyrics? Kurt: Probably not so much. We'll just have to wait and see though I try not to analyze that stuff so much Have you been reading a lot lately? Kurt: I read the news a lot. I'm up on current events and politics and stuff but I haven't been reading very many books lately. What do you think of the current election cycle and the way it's going? Kurt: ItTs very interesting to me to see how it turns out. I make money on the side by buying and selling guns. In Texas that's perfectly legal to do. You don't have to go through a licensed dealer to do that. I watch the trends and whenever a Democrat president is elected, like both times Obama was elected, everyone gets afraid that they are going to quit selling guns and ammo or whatever and you can't even find a May/June 2015 - vandalaMagazine.Com 71.


Interview. I. F; gun anymore! The prices go through the roof and there's none left in the store! I think Ted Nugent said "Barrack Obama is the best gun salesman in the country!" All he has to do is make one little statement and then suddenly everyone buys guns! Last time I was kind of new at it and I could have made a lot of money providing guns legally to people that legally wanted to buy them but wouldn't be able to find them because the stores are sold out. I think if a Democrat is elected then I'll be prepared for it, if a Republican is elected I don't think there's going to be any kind of issue like that. That's really interestingâ&#x20AC;&#x17E;. Do you still believe in gun control? Kurt: No! Spike wrote that song! I was never interested in that particular idea having

grown up in Texas. In fact the open carry law is about to get passed here for the first time you can legally openly carry a pistol and not have to conceal it. Soon we'll be like almost every other state in the Union where you can already do that. We're actually relaxing our gun laws here in Texas as opposed to other states trying to tighten them up. Gun Control the song is about fully automatic weapons too, and I don't think everyone should necessarily have a fully automatic weapon. In Texas you can have one you just have to pay like five hundred dollars for a tax stamp. That's how they make money off it and then they know you've got it. They can come by your house and check on it anytime they want. I'm assuming you have a gun collection now? urt: Yeah, I'm a collector. How does that work? I'm curious? How big is your collection? Kurt: If you're a Californian you'd call it an arsenal. In Texas it's a small to medium sized collection. Every man needs a shotgun, a pistol, a revolver maybe, a rifle and maybe a larger battle rifle a self defense shotgun, that sort of thing. What draws you back to the country after touring the world? Kurt: I lived in San Francisco for a number of years. I was surviving but I was always in debt but barely surviving. Now it's even worse! I got out of there at the right time I think. For a very small amount of money I was able to buy a ranch and the mortgage was lower than that of the storage unit I had to store my DRI stuff in. I was able to live a much better lifestyle and get out of debt. Have you recorded the new DRI stuff yet? Kurt: Yes. It's in post production. We're getting the artwork ready and that sort of thing. How does it compare to previous material? Kurt: It's back to straight up hardcore. It's not as crossover metallish or whatever.

Does that reflect what you're listening to lately? Kurt: Not really. Some of the songs we'd already been playing live but we'd recorded a demo version of a couple of them. We figured since we already had the song we might as well put them Out. Just like all of our albums we didn't just write five minute metal songs, we also wrote some short hardcore ones in there. How do you remain independent and egalitarian? Kurt: I don't think they want use It's not a conscious effort, believe me! We don't want 72 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


to be controlled. We were on Metal Blade for a while and we had major label distribution even though Metal Blade was a smaller label. They didn't try to make us change our music. Actually that's wrong, they wanted us to take some curse words but because the music was so fast and I was singing so quickly we just changed the lyrics sheet and they accepted it. They couldn't tell what I was saying anyway! They were a good label for us. Were on Beer City Records now and we're the big band on a little label so they work directly with us. So you get to call your own shots? Kurt: Yeah, we don't have to worry about that. Looking at your Facebook page I have to ask, do you book all of your own shows? Kurt: Yes. Spike does all of the booking, I handle the merch and our bass player drives us everywhere. The drummer drives too. What inspires you to keep grinding it out on that level? Kurt; Going back to a regular job kind of sucks when you've had your own company and everything. The fans want us to keep going. It's been a labor of love for all of these years and it's hard to throw it away after pouring your life into it. We suffered in the 90's we called it the "90's thrash slump" all the bands were hurting, but after the 90's everything started working again and being really good! What do you love about music? Kurt: With our type of music I like the energy involved in the delivery and the crowd which gives us energy. I like thrashing and stage diving and all that kind of stuff. That just makes it much better than other types of music. People are right there with the band. Any final words of wisdom? Kurt: No man! I'm still trying to figure it out myself! I don't want to set anyone in the wrong direction! www.dirtyrottenimbeciles.com

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I've always felt Full of Hell are changing the definition of what music can be, yet when I sat down with their guitarist Spencer Hazard I was impressed at how humble and down to earth the dude was. We got a chance to talk about the nature of the music and what the fundamental goal of the band is. So what's up Spencer? Spencer: Not much, I'm just here in Philly getting ready to play in a little bit. So I was talking to Lee earlier about the record you'll be doing with The Body, can you tell me a little more about that? Spencer: Honestly, we don't know. We haven't written anything for it yet. The way The Body prepares for albums - they just go into the studio and mix it there and put all the touches on it themselves. I guess that's what we're going to do. I have a couple riffs written that I would like to use but that just depends if they want to use it or not. We'll see how it turns out. Are you going to continue doing collaborations like these? Spencer: We have a couple other collaborations and splits already lined up. Me and Dylan were talking today though and we al ready have a seven inch written of our own new material. And if the next collaboration pans out we would like to write a third proper full length. 76 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


Full of Hell has really blown up in the last two years or so, how has that been? Spencer: We've gotten to travel more which is cool! We just got back from Japan and Australia earlier in the year as well and it just got announced today that we're going to do a collaboration show with Merzbow and then a UK tour. Then we're going to go to China and Southeast Asia, Australia again and then back to New Zealand and then home. We're pretty busy, but if we hadn't gotten this popularity in the last few years we'd never have been able to do this. I'm kind of a classical music nerd and what I really appreciate about Full of Hell is that I feel you're kind of important from a musicological perspective... Spencer: Not really. I'm not saying we steal riffs but we definitely get ideas from classic bands like Throbbing Gristle and stuff from the seventies. I don't want to sound pretentious. That's a hard question to answer. You do use more avant-garde techniques though right? Spencer: We don't want to be an ' avant-garde hardcore band' necessarily or pigeonhole ourselves in a genre. That's why we just say we're a punk hand. That can go in so many directions. Some releases we do rely heavily on noise and experimentation whereas others are just more straightforward material. When it comes from the avant-garde stuff who do you draw influence from? Spencer: Definitely Swans. Not sonically, but when we come up with ideas we're just like "What would this sound like if Swans would write it?" when we first started the band we would listen to bands like Grief and Dystopia and be like "What would happen if we wrote songs in this way?" Like - if they were writing faster songs, how would that sound? That's the way I look at it from either Swans perspective or bands like Neurosis and Throbbing Gristle. Swans played here a couple days ago, and it was deeply spiritual. Is that something you try to do with Full of Hell? Spencer: I don't try to write our stuff in a philosophical way. I just try to push boundaries and try to make the live experience different. Even if we're playing the same set for multiple tours we try to throw in different things whether it be, more noise, more drums or whatever. Tonight we're playing with a trumpet player and our last tour we had a saxophone player. The trumpet player isn't staying the whole time and on the second half of the tour we're getting a guy to do noises for us. Every show is a different experience sonically. Is that a John Zorn thing too? Spencer: I think so. I'm really into his band Painkiller right now. That's how we got into the idea of bringing a saxophone player. We have trumpet on our collaboration with Merzbow but we wanted it to join the live experience as well. Do you think by pushing this type of music you've been able to get hardcore kids into avant garde and vice versa? Spencer: I would like to think so. There are other bands that have done it in the hardcore and punk aspect as well. Bands like Flipper, Panzerbastard, stuff like that. Bands that have taken noise rock and straight power electronics or just with more percussion based stuff. Kids already know about the bands that we are inspired by I think. May/June 2015 - Vandal',Magazine.Corn 77


Do you think there's merit in couching Full of Hell in a classical context? Spencer: Not really. Only Dave has a little bit of a musical education. I don't know how to read music or any of the notes on the guitar. We don't have a classical background. Do you feel you blur the lines? Spencer; I guess so. We're not the most underground band at this point so we might be a more accessible starting point for kids. As a kid I would read liner notes and see what bands my favorite bands were influenced by and look at the t-shirts that they would wear. I hope from saying what bands inspire us and seeing the shirts we wear well be the starting point for them to get into more obscure and avant-garde music. You seem to be okay with being a gateway band... Spencer: I see no problem with that! I think some people would complain about that, but as long as it's getting kids into bands that have influenced us I feel that's a good thing. So in a way Full of Hell is a tribute to people who have influenced you? Spencer: To some degree. We definitely try to blur the lines between their influence and our originality. Do you feel like as you grow as musicians and songwriters you'll move from those influences into a distinct sound? Spencer: With every new release we try to take influence from different bands so that way it isn't stagnant. At this point we have moved away from our initial influences but Idon't know if a couple years from now we'll be more straightforward or push the boundaries ten times more. What was it like having Max Cavalera talk about your band on VH1? Spencer: It's pretty crazy, I've only seen pictures though I haven't watched it. It's crazy because him and his brother have talked about us and growing up as a metal kid and knowing how important they are... the fact that they even know about our band is flattering and confusing. We got to meet him in person in Austria, he wasn't just being nice he was really into it! What do you love so much about music? Spencer: I don't know. I get super nervous playing still. It's fun to do. We do have real jobs but as long as we get to travel and take off as much as we can it's cool. I love writing music. Messing around with the guitar and making weird noises is just fun! Final words of wisdom? Spencer: Try to be original and don't give up on shit even if you are struggling with stuff. Try to be creative as possible at all times! Full of Hell Online www.fullofhell.com www.facebook.comifullofhell Purchase Full of Hell Records at: www.profoundlorerecords.com www.a389records.com www.fullofhell.comimerch 78 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


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Lee Beauford Of The Body Chats Music, Portland and More By Matt Bacon •

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Lee Beauford is a surprisingly nice dude given how f*cked up his band is. Delving into his mind and finding out why Portland sucks so badly is a cosmic journey of sisyphean proportions. So Lee, what is up? Lee: Not much! Just on the road playing some shows! Third night of the tour right? Lee: Third night with Full of Hell but we came out from Portland. We left April 1st. How has this run of the states been treating you? Lee. Pretty good. It's fun hanging out with Full of Hell, good dudes!

How did this tour package come to be? Lee: Dylan wrote us a long time ago and we became good friends. Me and Dylan text all the time and we were always trying to plan it out. Your collaboration with Thou is pretty much the heaviest thing that happened this year. Are you planning on doing more stuff like that? Lee: At the end of this tour we're doing something with Full of bell that should be similar. Have you written anything for that? Lee: No we'll probably just do most of it in the studio. How are you going to set it up? Lee: We wrote half the stuff, they wrote half the stuff - we kind of did it together. The second record sounds more like us. The first record we did was where Thou records and they have a different style than we do. They weren't really on the same page as me and Chip, so I think a lot of the ideas we had got kind of lost. What do you mean by that? Lee: The way me and Chip record is a lot different than most people do it so it's easy to get lost. When we record in Providence it's kind of our own thing. It was just different. How is it going to go with Full of Hell? Lee: We're recording in Providence so it should be really fun. The first time I saw the Body was in Paris with the replacement - on that particular 82 VandalaMagazine.Com - May/June 2015


night I saw like four doom metal duos. Why do you think we have so many doom duos? Lee: I think it's easiest to be a two man band. There's tons of them now. It's really easy. In the case of me and Chip we've been best friends since forever. We've been playing music together for like sixteen or seventeen years. It's really easy for us. We started just because we were friends. I feel like a lot of bands start like that and then they realize they don't need anyone else. The real question is does Chip have his name tattooed on him? Lee: No he doesn't but he doesn't have that many tattoos. So you're from Portland? Lee: We live there now. We're from Arkansas, I lived in Providence for like twelve years and we fairly recently moved to Portland. Why did you move to Portland? Lee: The music scene there is really bad, it's like the worst. The East Coast was rough for us just because the winters are brutal and being from the South we're pretty polite nice people and New England is the opposite of that even though the majority of my friends live in providence and I love visiting there. The music scene is probably the best in the country. Portland has maybe the worst music scene. Why do you hate it so much? Lee: It's very insular. I feel like people make bad stuff so they feel like they are better than they are. A friend of mine said she found the people in Portland to be kind of fake, like they are fabricating their own reality... Lee: Yeah. The thing about Portland is that it's really easy to live there. There's nothing really to be upset about which is what makes music good. If there's no struggle in your life I don't really give a shit. I don't blame the bands for that but I think a lot of it is just an attempt to be spooky. It's like "No man, I know you, it's totally put on!" I mean obviously stuff like black metal is put on, but deep down it's like 'Wow you're a f*cked up dude" and so it's just a reflection of how f*cked up they are. In Portland it's not like that. A lot of it is like social networking style stuff. I have a really big problem with that. It seems silly to me. You can't be like "I'm in a grim metal band - here's a hundred selfies of me on the Internet!" or like "Hashtag my band!" I feel like Portland has a lot of bands trying to make it and I despise that in every single way. It just seems really insincere. There are people just trying to get on bigger tours and get connected it just seems so forced. There's a lot to pick apart in that answer. In the past few weeks I've gotten to interview a couple great doom bands and they have all called social media bullshit. So I want to know, why do people in doom bands give so many fewer f*cks than the fans? Lee: I don't know why it is. In our case we have a Facebook and I put up pertinent information. Stuff like "There's a new record coming out this is where you get it" or "Tour dates: This is what they are" I'll never put up pictures of me and Chip eating hot dogs. Sometimes put up goofy shit with Full of Hell, but there's definitely no "So Ma June 2015 - Vandal',Magazine-Corn 83


Interview Tine Bac Q

and so mentioned us in the thing!" I don't even think it's a doom thing I think it's just that there's bands like that in every genre and bands that don't give a shit and just play music. The Internet has made things real rough! If you profess to hate the Portland scene so much why not just move back to Providence? Lee: I love Portland as a city. There's definitely aspects that are really f*cked up though. Corning from the South... which is my number one choice, there's nothing for me there or else I would live there. In Portland I can do stuff and there's still trees and shit. I don't like cities. New England makes that rough when it snows ten feet and you can't leave. Portland is like the closest I can get to being in the South without living in the South. That's why me and Chip like it. There's definitely aspects that are miserable but you can avoid most of it. Me and Chip are both so f*cked up it doesn't matter where we live it won't really affect our music. Something I really dug about the Body when I saw them live was that it was the first time I was actually scared at a show. What invokes that pure f*cking darkness? Lee: Me and Chip have a lot of similarities in where that comes from but also a lot of differences. Chip is forty and doesn't have a job, lives in his friends basement, he lives a pretty grim life just because he can't do anything else. I think most of his stuff is dealing with that. I'm f*cked up in a million different ways. That's where that stuff comes from. What do you love so much about music? Lee: Life sucks. It's shitty. So any person that can try to function or find a way to function with that is what I like about music. That's the music I like. It's mostly not metal to be honest. I have like a million tattoos and they're pretty much all music related! Catch up with The Body Online HERE

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May & June 2015 Vandala Magazine  

May has came in with a bang. Anit-flags drummer Pat Thetic was there at the beginning and we caught up with him to chat Peace or Protest. Va...

May & June 2015 Vandala Magazine  

May has came in with a bang. Anit-flags drummer Pat Thetic was there at the beginning and we caught up with him to chat Peace or Protest. Va...

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