Friday, April 30, 2010

VIOLENT SOHO's American Takeover: The Exploding In Sound Interview

Violent Soho may hail from Brisbane, Australia, but the band have been taking America by storm for nearly a year now, cementing their raw grunge influenced sound. One of our absolute favorite new bands, the quartet have been on a marathon tour of the country, head banging from city to city gathering new fans at every stop. Radio has taken notice, quickly embracing Violent Soho's return to the glorious days of The Pixies, The Jesus Lizard, and Nirvana. 2010 has already seen the release of the band's self titled Ecstatic Peace Records debut, several high profile tours, performances at SXSW, as well as an appearance on Fuel TV's Daily Habit. Drummer Mikey Richards was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions for Exploding In Sound discussing their current home, touring, and much more...

EIS: How are you guys doing? How was the tour with The Bronx/Mariachi El Bronx? Did you get a good response from the fans?

MR: We're doing pretty well considering we've been touring the US for around 8 months now. We're all pretty tired, but doing better than ever at the same time. The tour with The Bronx was just the best thing ever for us. They are one of the tightest bands around and play such a solid and hard set every night. We learned a lot from them. By playing with them every night, we were really able to feed off them and just bring our best to the table. As always the crowds were pretty different every night, though generally I think the response from the crowd was pretty good.

EIS: How did the band form, and how long have you guys been playing together?

MR: We've all known each other since we were in high school and would jam every now and then at our parents garages or wherever we could. We've existed as Violent Soho for about 6 years. In that time we decided to learn how to play our instruments properly and eventually tour. We just all decided at one point that we didn't want to do anything more than play in this band so that's all we've been doing for a while now.

EIS: Your new record is about to be released in Australia, are you excited for your hometown fans to hear the new versions? Is there an added pressure to please the home audience?

MR: I think that there is only the amount of pressure that you put on yourself to do anything for anyone else. We set out to make a record that we felt best represented us and our history as a band to the world. Any previously recorded material that we've had released was sold on the scale of only about 1000 copies to people who would go to our shows in Australia. That music has never properly been available in the United States or Europe before. To go from releasing that which was really a collection of demos done over something like 3 years to then have the opportunity to work with someone like Gil Norton in the studio where "Bohemian Rhapsody" was recorded makes it just a completely different thing. We were lucky to be given the opportunity to do a project on this scale. It was always obvious to us this would be more like making a second debut record rather than a follow up to the first.

EIS: Over the past year or so you’ve toured with Built To Spill, Dinosaur Jr., and other legendary acts. Has the experience of playing with these bands had any impact on you guys? Any special memories from the tours?

MR: It definitely has but not always in the way that you might expect it to. I learnt a lot from Doug and Jim of Built To Spill just in taking note of how completely relaxed and friendly they were to us. They're just evidence of the fact that treating people with respect is the best way to go in any situation. They also do all of their own tour managing and guitar teching. I mean these guys could be playing to 1000 people and still I've got Doug coming up to me with a case of beer every night and seeing if I want some hummus. I've never met such a humble and chilled out person in my life. They're a band who just completely understand how they work and what they need to be able to do in order to maintain a balanced mind-set whilst on tour. They're definitely a great group of people to aspire towards.

EIS: When did you guys relocate to Brooklyn from Australia? How do you like it here in the states? Any major differences?

MR: We've been located out of Brooklyn for around 8 months now, but have spent the large majority of that time touring the rest of the country. We did enjoy a bit of a white Christmas in New York, which was nice for the ladies. There are some huge differences. List: population, pollution, grass, accent, food, water, garbage, people, society, buildings, beaches, clothes, weather. All of these things and many more are so unlike where we're from that you could go mad. It's a beautiful city though.

EIS: How did the deal come about with Ecstatic Peace? Was that something you sought out or did they come approach you? Were you already intending on moving the band stateside before the deal?

MR: We really had no plan on what we were doing, though we may have thought we did. We were offered the opportunity to head over to the UK and the US to play some shows. Thurston [Moore] must have caught wind of us somehow, because he called our manager and told us he was going to come along to a show. The next thing we knew he was watching us play in this tiny bar in Manhattan. We got to have dinner with him and he asked us if he could put out our record. It was an incredibly bizarre experience. From there we realized that we needed to live here for at least a while to get things going. There is so much ground a band needs to cover in America. It's a lot of work but it gives you the excuse to call your band a "real" job.

EIS: How heavy has Thurston Moore’s hand been in your development? Did he work with you guys on the record in any capacity?

MR: The record was really just a project involving us and Gil. Gil did come at Thurston's suggestion though. With Ecstatic Peace! I don't believe Thurston really has the intention of cradling the bands he's representing. He just wants to give the bands on the label the opportunity to record a quality album. That's all most band's need.

EIS: The self titled album is phenomenal, every song finds the perfect balance between raw kick ass rock and infectious pop hooks. What brought about the decision to revisit/rerecord many of the songs from “We Don’t Belong Here”? While I absolutely love “Narrow Ways” as the album’s closer, what happened to “Scrape It”?

MR: "Scrape it" may reappear some day in the future. We do still play it in every set that we do. "Narrow Ways" is obviously very different, though I think it suited this particular album more. I guess the idea of just having a really balanced feel to the album led to us choosing a few different and newer songs. We chose the songs that are on this album on the basis that we felt they were our best songs we had written to date. The notion of re-recording them wasn't awkward because the approach was so very different.

EIS: “Jesus Stole My Girlfriend” has been receiving a great deal of radio airplay in the States, earning you guys performances at several big radio station concerts this summer. For me personally I can’t be happier that radio is actually embracing your music, and I think it gives hope for the direction of mainstream radio. Have you guys caught your song on the radio, and is it something you’re particularly excited about?

MR: I have actually heard it a couple of times in some different towns. I did hear it on KROQ in LA. That was a big deal for us of course. It's great to have the acceptance here that we've never really received back home. It's exciting to have your music considered on a popular scale that just isn't possible from where we're from. Try and find the last band from Brisbane, Australia that have ever been played on mainstream radio in the United States before. It's pretty much just us and Savage Garden in the last twenty years.

EIS: There are so many great choices for the next single, has one been picked yet? Are there any b-sides from the recording sessions lying around?

MR: We have a couple of b-sides that may surface sooner or later. We've struggled quite a bit on what will be the next single really. A number of the songs on the album probably have the potential to be the next single, I think. "Muscle Junkie" may be a safe bet though. It seems to be a song that has always connected well live and I think that this has really carried across effectively in the recording.

EIS: Seeing your performance live reminds me of what it must have been like to catch many of the grunge legends in their rawest primal form. Were you guys able to catch many shows in the early 90s?

MR: We were in first grade the year that "Nevermind" was released, so no. It would have been nice though.

EIS: Do you have favorite songs to perform live? Have you ever played any covers?

MR: For me at the moment, "Muscle Junkie" and "Here Be Dragons" are my favorite to perform live. I just get a real strong head-bang going on during these songs. They're a lot of fun to play. Though my favorite song to play live does often change. Over the last few years we have played some different covers, though our cover of a song called "My Pal" by an old Aussie band from the 80s known as GOD has always been a favorite of ours. We still play it most nights. It just has such a ridiculously catchy guitar riff that plays throughout the entire song. It's a real shredder.

EIS: Any interesting pre or post show rituals? With your stage presence and intensity, you guys MUST be exhausted after a set…

MR: We don't have anything too ritualistic. Though I do tend to have a bit of a stretching regiment going on these days. Playing an energetic show every night with the amount of head-banging I do works towards getting quite a bit of tightness in the neck and back, so yeah, that's a must for me at the moment. Aside from that I generally have a red bull just before and a cigarette just after the show. This works wonders for me.

EIS: Favorite thing about living in the states? Thing you miss most about Australia?

My favorite thing about living in the United States is that the cost of living is so much lower. Australia hasn't been hit by the last global recession yet so inflation there is just through the roof still, as well as interest rates and all the like. We definitely don't have a dollar menu at McDonalds, let's just put it that way. Things I miss? Everything! Family is a big one though.

EIS: Australian music over the past few years has seen an incredible resurgence in 90’s and grunge influenced rock between bands such as you, Talons, Regular John, Sugar Army, and more. Is the scene down under very close knit? Any great new bands we should know about?

MR: It is and it isn't. Sydney and Melbourne can be real ass-holes to each other. It's painful to watch and pretty pathetic at times. Melbourne and Sydney just work in such different ways. They seem to love to hate each other. Little old Brisbane where I'm from doesn't really share a bar in that, which only helps towards bands not having an agenda outside of just wanting to make the music that they want to. It's really nice over there actually. The weather is much more pleasant than any other city in the country and the music scene is much more accepting than most places I've been to. The scene we come from is really just a big group of friends. Some particularly good up and coming bands from Australia that I've heard recently that I just love to bits would be The Seizures, Daddy Long Legs, Sweet Dreams, Satanic Urinal, and Bronze Chariot to name a few. Check 'em all out.

EIS: Constantly being on tour, what have you guys been listening to in the van?

MR: Loads and loads of everything. We normally just stick to our own ipods, though when something gets blasted on the stereo recently it's normally been a bit of Les Savy Fav, (early) Soul Asylum, Best Kissers In The World, and all my favorite Black Metal albums.

EIS: This question is mainly for James... each time I’ve been able to see you guys live, one of the very first words out of you has been looking for weed. Have you had much luck? Now that you’ve relocated to Brooklyn, do you take advantage of the weed delivery services? Next time you’re in Boston be sure to get in touch with me...

MR: Wow thanks dude! James ain't around but I can definitely answer this for ya. He asks for marijuana donations every night. Most nights we get nothing, though on some nights we get very much in luck. When we played Santa Barbara, CA, and got about half an ounce collectively from there. It seems that everyone in that town is carrying. Usually the request just gets a bit of a laugh. I think that's why James tries to make sure everyone in the audience is deadly sure that he is being serious. We have no money and smoke weed all the time. This can prove to be a problem, especially in New York, where the delivery service may be very convenient, but is also very expensive by our standards.

EIS: Violent Soho will be making an excellent addition to this year’s Lollapalooza Festival. Any bands you’re excited to see? Have anything special planned? Any Soundgarden fans in the band?

MR: None of us are huge Soundgarden fans, though we all will make sure to see them on principal. I really am a Kim Thayil fan over a being a Soundgarden fan. He's such an incredible guitarist. So far we haven't planned anything too special around it, though I think just playing such a legendary festival will make for an incredible event for us to begin with. We just feel really honored to have been chosen to play it. I've never seen Green Day before so that will be cool. I'll also be interested in seeing how The Strokes shape up after having such a huge break from playing. Fuck Buttons, The Antlers and The Dodos are all pretty good bands as well. I'll be sure to check each of them out. We're very pumped to play this festival.

Quick Notes: Far and UNKLE

*[] Far have made the title track to their new album “At Night We Live” available for streaming online through their Myspace. The song itself was inspired by ailing Deftones bassist Chi Cheng. “At Night We Live” will see a May 25th release date through Vagrant.

*UNKLE have posted three videos documenting the making of their upcoming album Where Did The Night Fall, which you can watch below. The album will be released May 11th, featuring appearances from The Black Angels, Autolux, Sleepy Sun, Mark Lanegan, and more. Be sure to download the lead single "Natural Selection" for FREE below.

"Blood Into Wine" Screenings Continue


AB - Edmonton - May 13 - The Billiard Club
AL - Birmingham - June 17 - Workplay Theater
AZ - Flagstaff - May 22 - Orpheum Theater
CA - Modesto - May 14 & 15 - The State Theatre of Modesto
CA - Sacramento - Jun. 10 - The Crest Theatre
CO - Ft. Collins - May 14 - Lyric Cinema Cafe
FL - Jacksonville - May 15 - 5 Points Theatre
IL - Peoria - Apr. 15 - May 15 - Peoria Theatre
MA - Nantucket - May 17 - 20 & May 22 - 24 - Starlight Theater
MI - Grand Rapids - June 17 - Wealthy Theater
MI - Three Oaks - May 6 - Vickers Theatre
MO - Kansas City - Apr. 29 - May 2 - Screenland Crossroads
MO - St. Louis - May 20 - Tivoli Theatre
MT - Missoula - May 7 - The Wilma Theatre
NC - Winston-Salem - May 21 - May 22 - a/perture Cinema
NV - Las Vegas - June 17 - Rave Motion Pictures Town Square Center
NY - Brooklyn (Williamsburg) - May 29 - Uniondocs
NY - New York City - May 27 - With Special Guests - City Winery
NY - New York City - May 28 - City Winery
OH - Cincinnati - Apr. 23 - 29 - Mariemont Theatre
OH - Cleveland - May 21 & 28 - The Cleveland Museum of Art
TX - Dallas - May 20 - Q&A with Eric Glomski - Magnolia West Village
VT - Burlington - May 14-20 - Roxy Cinema
WI - Milwaukee - May 20 - Times Cinema

Walter Schreifels Streaming Solo Debut

[] Walter Schreifels of Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools and Walking Concert fame, has posted his new solo album for streaming online, titled An Open Letter to the Scene. The record is being released by Academy Fight Song in the US, Dine Alone Records in Canada, Big Scary Monsters in the UK, Arctic Rodeo in the rest of Europe and High Hopes Records in Japan.

Check it out via Spinner. The album will be available for digital download on May 4th through (yes, that is the official artwork).

Foo Fighters Confirm Album Due in 2011

[] Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins has confirmed that the group are "absolutely" releasing a new album in 2011.

The follow-up to 2007's 'Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace', the as-yet untitled LP will be the band's seventh studio album, with Hawkins revealing that it's currently "in the fetal stages" of development.

"In all honesty, Dave [Grohl]'s got 15 or so song ideas that are awesome and we've already demoed some of them twice even," the drummer told "We do a lot of demoing to find exactly the arrangements we want, getting them exactly how we want them."

He added: It's a large process for us. It takes a long time to do it. We don't just say, 'OK, let's go make a record and pop in the studio and record it just like that.' There's a lot of pre-production that goes into making a Foo Fighter record. Well, so far."

Set to release a new album and play a London club show with Taylor Hawkins And The Coattail Riders, the drummer added that having side-projects away from the Foo Fighters has always benefited the band.

"All that stuff in the past, it's proven to be recharging," he explains. "As long as everybody's ready, as long as we don't do it because we feel like we have to, like because the record company wants another record, that kind of crap never makes good music."

He added: "I'm sure there are exceptions, but for the most part, you want everybody to really want to be doing it. Especially Dave [Grohl], because they're his songs. If he's excited and really wants to do it, and he appears to, we're in great shape. We'll have a new record in a year."

Meanwhile, Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and John Paul Jones are set to record a new album as Them Crooked Vultures, later this year.

Built To Spill & The Black Keys Heading Out to the Arenas

[] They left the indie universe behind long ago, but big-time yarlers Kings of Leon have reached back into indiedom for the opening acts on their next tour. This summer, Built to Spill and the Black Keys will get to hear their songs bouncing around cavernous hockey arenas across America, entertaining people trying to find their seats. The Whigs, the Stills, and the Features also join Kings of Leon on the road.

Built to Spill and the Black Keys both have tons of tour dates on their own as well. Click below for full itineraries for both.

Built to Spill:

04-30 Boise, ID - Egyptian Theater
05-07 Minehead, England - ATP Festival
05-08 Oxford, England - O2 Academy Oxford *
05-09 Liverpool, England - O2 Academy Liverpool *
05-10 Galway, Ireland - The Black Box *
05-11 Dublin, Ireland - Vicar Street *
05-13 Glasgow, Scotland - O2 Academy Glasgow *
05-14 Newcastle, England - O2 Academy Newcastle *
05-15 Leeds, England - O2 Academy Leeds *
05-16 Birmingham, England - O2 Academy Birmingham *
05-17 Cambridge, England - The Junction *
05-18 London, England - O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
05-20 Zurich, Switzerland - Dynamo *
05-21 Berlin, Germany - Astra *
05-22 Mannheim, Germany - Alte Feuerwache *
05-23 Paris, France - La Machine *
05-24 Brussels, Belgium - AB *
05-26 Stockholm, Sweden - Tyrol *
05-27 Hassleholm, Sweden - Siesta Festival
05-29 Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival *
07-09 San Diego, CA - Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre ^&
07-10 Phoenix, AZ - Cricket Wireless Pavilion ^&
07-12 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl ^&
07-14 Irvine, CA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre ^&
07-17 George, WA - The Gorge Amphitheatre ^&
07-19 Salt Lake City, UT - USANA Amphitheatre ^&
07-20 Denver, CO - Comfort Dental Amphitheatre ^&
07-22 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
07-24 Chicago, IL - FMB Amphitheatre ^%
07-26 Cleveland, OH - Blossom Music Center ^%
07-30 Darien Center, NY - Darien Lake PAC ^%
07-31 Detroit, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre ^%
08-03 Hartford, CT - Comcast Theatre ^%
08-05 Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center ^%
08-07 Bristow, VA - Jiffy Lube Live ^%

* with Dinosaur Jr.
^ with Kings of Leon
& with the Features
% with the Stills

The Black Keys:

05-20 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden *
06-02 Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
06-03 Denver, CO - The Fillmore
06-04 Kansas City, MO - The Crossroads
06-05 Ozark, AR - Wakarusa Music & Camping
06-08 Minneapolis, MN - First Ave
06-09 Minneapolis, MN - First Ave
06-10 St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
06-11 Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
06-23 London, England - Roundhouse
06-26 Evreux, France - Le Rock dans Tous Ses Etats
06-27 Nijmegen, Holland - Rock 'n Park
06-28 Amsterdam, Holland - Paradiso
06-30 London, England - Hyde Park $
07-02 Belford, France - Les Eurockeennes
07-04 Werchter, Belgium - Rock Werchter
07-05 Birmingham, England - Academy
07-06 Manchester, England - Academy
07-07 Bristol, England - Colston Halls
07-09 Punchestown, Ireland - Oxegen Festival
07-23 Canandaigua, NY - CMAC Performing Arts Center @
07-27-28 New York, NY - Central Park SummerStage #
08-01 Montreal, Quebec - Osheaga Festival
08-09 Omaha, NE - The Anchor Inn #
08-14 Detroit, MI - The Fillmore
09-03 Indianapolis, IN - Verizon Wireless Center ^$
09-04 Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Center ^$
09-07 Pittsburgh, PA - First Niagara Pavilion ^$
09-08 Hershey, PA - Hershey Park Stadium ^$
09-10 Charlotte, NC - Verizon Amphitheatre ^$
09-11 Virginia Beach, VA - Virginia Beach Amphitheatre ^$
09-13 Raleigh, NC - Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion ^$
09-17 West Palm Beach, FL - Cruzan Amphitheatre ^$
09-18 Tampa, FL - Ford Amphitheatre ^$
09-20 Birmingham, AL - Verizon Wireless Center ^$
09-22 Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion ^$
09-23 Dallas, TX - Center ^$

* with Pearl Jam
# with the Morning Benders
^ with the Whigs
$ with Kings of Leon
@ with the Flaming Lips

Nick Sadler (Daughters/Fang Island) Interviewed on

[] While it’s a strange experience interviewing a person about a band that they’re no longer in, it is also an interesting one because they can paint a unique – albeit slightly biased – picture of the music. This was the case with Nicholas Andrew Sadler, the former guitarist and vocalist of Daughters, who had recently left the band at the time of the already booked interview. Now in Fang Island, the nostalgic Sadler chatted with Punkews contributor Gen Handley about the trials, tribulations and recent album of his former band, while attempting to navigate the Fang Island tour van from the SXSW festival in Austin to New Orleans.

So the Daughters' self-titled album was released in early-March, how would you describe the sound? It’s getting really good reviews…

I would say that it’s getting closer to where Daughters could go and closer to where I thought we were finding our own voice. It’s like, if you were to take what Daughters has done in the past and add a thick, almost hip-hoppy rhythm section underneath everything. It’s faster and more manic and frantic, but it’s also heavier with a lot more groove and low-end to it. I figured out we needed that by touring endlessly off of Hell Songs and becoming really sick of playing that album, especially in larger venues. That album really doesn’t work in larger venues in a lot ways because it’s just a lot of dizzying, high-pitched sounds, which can get lost in a large room. I started to really crave a low-end, stronger rhythm section for our band – that was the goal I had when writing the record.

Who was involved with writing the record?

Essentially, it was me making demos for three years at the house and then taking songs, song ideas and some riffs to the practice space to hash them out with Jon (drummer). This album really caught up with us. People were getting a little older, the whole band was extremely poor from touring over the years, so life outside the band really caught up with us and it became hard to really do anything. I’m very proud of this record just because we were able to make it, you know? It was a real struggle.

Was it so much of a struggle that you left the band? Is it true that you left Daughters recently?

Sort of. It’s a hairy situation in that we made the record and some time in August last year, our singer Lex (Alexis Marshall) and I got into a bit of band argument. It was pent-up energy that built up over the years, which came out. Funny enough it was over Gmail where it’s much easier to air out any bullshit for both Lex and I (laughs). So we got in this argument and Lex decided he had enough and quit the band. So that put us on, what we decided, a hiatus. I continued with mastering the record and hashing out the artwork and I even worked with this artist, Dave Fisher, on a trailer video. I was essentially trying to keep the band alive for who-knows-what, you know? Maybe I was hoping Lex would come back or maybe in few years we would start playing again. Eventually what happened was I moved to Brooklyn, released a Fang Island record and Lex decided that he wanted to come back, but that I should be out. So basically the band just dissolved – not everyone was into playing with Lex, while not completely willing to dismiss the band.

From my perspective, I don’t think I’ll ever play with Daughters again – I’ve been through way too much stress and I’m in a way better place with writing and being in a band with Fang Island. With the new album, I think we ended on a really good note with Daughters and if Lex carries it beyond that then I‘m happy for him and that’s cool. So I didn’t really leave, the band just fell apart. In some way, I guess I was kicked out by the guy who quit. (laughs) I don’t know where that leaves me or the band, but I’m using that as an excuse to step out officially.

That’s such a strange situation…

Yeah, it’s ridiculous.

Alright, so about the band you might be in…(laughs)…where did the name Daughters come from?

That came from our original lineup in our seven inch days, which was Lex, Jon, Pat Masterson, myself and a guitarist, Jeremy Wabiszczewicz, who cracked the name. I don’t know where it came from, but he came up with it and it was Daughters before we even started writing anything.

Something that struck me right away with Daughters are the interesting song titles – like, “The Unattractive, Portable Head.”. Can you talk about how you came up with that one?

You’d have to ask Lex about that one – I’m actually not a big fan of the song titles off the new record. I’ve actually come to hate a lot of the song titles on that album, but at the time, some of the other shit was kind of funny and clever to me and flowing with pop culture or whatever culture we were involved with at the time. It made sense to me then, but songs like, “Pants, Meet Shit” or like, “And Then C.H.U.D.S. Came” and stuff like that…I don’t know, song titles is not a good subject for me to talk about.

But on the other hand, I think the lyrics on “The Unattractive, Portable Head” are really sweet and I think they really match the music well. I think it’s one of Lex’s best moments on that album – I’m really proud of how that turned out.

So I’ve read descriptions of the Daughters sound as being math rock or mathcore. Do you agree with that title?

No. In fact, I’ve always disagreed with that – even sort of hated it. We’ve always been a kind of calculated band, but not in a math rock way. None of us are classically trained at all and I don’t think anyone in Daughters has taken a lesson in anything. The music just comes out that way and it’s always been the nature of the band. Math rock, grindcore, mathcore, hardcore, metal or artrock – there’s never been an intent there, you know? One time we were called skronk music and we really laughed at that because who the hell wakes up one day and decides they want to start a skronk band?

And we didn’t wake up one day and decide to start a math rock band. It was what was coming out of the band members for a really long time. I always felt like it was an expression of the inner conflict among the band members or maybe personal struggles within the members themselves. It’s really agitated music to me and it’s always been really dark. – I always felt we had more in common with Bauhaus or something gothier like that.

What’s life going to be like post-Daughters?

Well, I’m just hanging out now and things are going really well with Fang Island. In terms of life after Daughters? I don’t know man. I’m really proud of everything Daughters has done and I’m really sad we can’t get along because we’ve all known each other for a long time – I’ve known Lex and Jon since before I had sex. Like, I remember some of those dudes telling me about the birds and the bees. We played in a band long before Daughters and it was just an awful, awful band, but they took me on my first road trips and official tours, so I am sad that we don’t get along. So life after Daughters? Just keep making music and I’m working on eventually doing some solo music as well. I keep making jokes that I’m going to make a follow-up to the Daughters record we just released, but call it, Nick Sadler just to be a bastard or whatever.

So the new Daughters album was released in early March and the Fang Island album was released in early February. What was that like releasing two albums within a month of each other?

Yeah, it was big release year (laughs). I don’t know, it certainly makes me feel productive because it took so long for the two albums to be written, recorded and released. There was a period of a couple years when I felt like the biggest bum, living on couches and floors and in spare rooms or in a warehouse in Providence – right now, I’m staying on a floor in Brooklyn. It’s really helped me to feel like I wasn’t doing nothing. All I can say is that it’s made me feel really productive and happy because it’s all I want to do.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Deftones News Overload

[] The Deftones have made the third part of their look back at the making of their new album “Diamond Eyes” available online, you watch it below. “Diamond Eyes” will see a May 04th release date through Reprise/Warner. In other news, the band will be streaming their May 04th Dallas, TX show on the internet at 5pm PST and 8pm EST at

Deftones have posted a trailer for “Diamond Eyes” online, you can check it out below:

Meanwhile, the band have begun performing new material from the aforementioned album at recent live dates. Fan filmed footage of some of the tracks, along with a live rendition of their track “Passenger” with Tim McIlrath of Rise Against handling the parts originally recorded by Maynard James Keenan, can be found below:

The bands recent April 27th show in El Paso, TX in particular saw them perform no less than seven tracks from “Diamond Eyes“. An audio bootleg of the show has been circulating around the net and can be heard via Youtube.

In the meantime, the band continue to roll out new shows with their current schedule now running as follows:

April 29th Corpus Christi, TX -- Concrete Street
April 30th Mission, TX -- Las Palmas Race Park
May 01st Frisco, TX -- Pizza Hut Park (“Edgefest“)
May 02nd Houston, TX -- KTBZ Buzzfest
May 12th London, ENG -- ULU
May 21st Grand Rapids, MI -- The Orbit Room
May 22nd Columbus, OH -- Rock On The Range
May 24th Minneapolis, MN -- First Avenue
May 25th Madison, WI -- Majestic Theatre
May 26th Milwaukee, WI -- The Rave
June 06th Mountain View, CA -- Live105’s BFD
June 09th Moscow, RUS -- B1 Club
June 11th Copenhagen, DEN -- Copenhell
June 12th Donington Park, UK -- Download Festival
June 13th Burgenland, AUT -- Nova Rock
June 15th Brussels, BEL -- Ancienne Belgique
June 16th Amsterdam, NET -- Melkweg
June 18th Nantes, FRA -- Hellfest
June 19th Scheessel, GER -- Hurricane Festival
June 20th Newhausen ob Eck, GER -- Southside Festival
June 22nd Torino, ITA -- Colonia Sonora
June 23rd Zurich, SWI -- Volkshaus
June 24th Prague, CZE -- Roxy
June 27th Luxembourg, LUX -- Rock A Field
July 09th Lisbon, POR -- Optimus

Deftones / Mastodon / Alice In Chains Tour Dates!!

[] Initial dates have been announced for the “BlackDiamondSkye Tour” which will officially feature Alice In Chains, Deftones and Mastodon. The schedule thus far can be found below, while Alice In Chains guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell offered the following on the trek:

“We’re really looking forward to touring with our friends, Deftones and Mastodon. Each band has its own unique flavor and the combination of all three will make for a great show and a good time on the road.”

September 16th Chicago, IL – Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island
September 17th Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
September 18th Toronto, ON – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
September 20th Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
September 22nd Boston, MA – Agannis Arena
September 24th New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
September 28th Atlanta, GA – Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
October 01st St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
October 04th Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
October 07th Vancouver, BC – General Motors Place
October 08th Seattle, WA – Key Arena
October 09th Portland, OR – Rose Quarter – Memorial Coliseum
October 16th Las Vegas, NV – The Joint

More dates are currently pending.

Mastodon Scored "Jonah Hex" Trailer Available

[] A preview of what is expected to be Mastodon’s collaborative score for the upcoming film “Jonah Hex” can be found in the newly released trailer below. The bands score for the film, which opens June 18th, has seen some setbacks. A change of direction forced the group to work with both composers John Powell and Marco Beltrami in separate sessions.

Soundgarden "Beyond The Wheel" Live in Seattle [Video]

A message from SOUNDGARDEN...

Thanks to everyone who made it out to the Showbox in Seattle, WA on April 16th 2010 to witness the triumphant return of the Nudedragons! For those of you unable to see them, thanks for your patience. Here they are tearing up the Soundgarden classic "Beyond the Wheel"!

Band Of Horses "NW Apt." Video / Tour Dates

Check out "NW Apt." from Band of Horses upcoming release Infinite Arms due out May 18th on Brown/Fat Possum/Columbia Records. The video was directed by Christopher Wilson. Pre-Order the album now at

NW Apt.

Band Of Horses | MySpace Music Videos

The band is on tour now:


Sweethead Ready US Debut / Tour Dates

Sweethead, the new project from Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, A Perfect Circle, Failure), will release their debut self-titled album on May 11th through The End Records. Named after a Bowie B-Side, Sweethead includes Serrina on vocals, Norm Block on drums (Mark Lanegan Band, Plexi) and Eddie Nappi on bass (Mark Lanegan Band, Handsome).

NME proclaim “Troy has always been the besuited Queen and, with cherrybomb singer Serrina providing the glam and members of the Mark Lanegan Band providing the grit, they may just set the world on fire.” Serrina mixes the fierceness of Chrissie Hynde and Shirley Manson with the playfulness of Debbie Harry, while the band supports her with their driving rock melodies that don’t miss a beat.

Sweethead’s debut contains the slithering rock gem “Traumatized And Dumb," which was previously included on their EP Traumatized and Dumb, which was only released in Europe. From the punk influenced track “Turned Our Backs” to the gritty “City Of Dirt” SWEETHEAD is a potent reminder of the sheer thrills of rock 'n' roll decadence. is premiering a video for the track “Traumatized And Dumb,” which was filmed while the band toured Europe with Eagles of Death Metal and Them Crooked Vultures late last year. See it below.

Sweethead have also announced that they will be settling into L.A.’s seminal indie-rock venue Spaceland every Monday in May. The residency will kick off May 3rd, with “Night One” being sponsored by infamous satire bloggers Buddyhead, and wraps on May 24th with a “family night” featuring other QOTSA-related acts such as Mini-Mansions, Alain Johannes and a “very special guest.” Ashes Divide, Slang Chickens, Earthlings? and Red Fang are among other acts playing alongside the band during the stint.

May 3rd Spaceland Silverlake, CA
May 10th Spaceland Silverlake, CA
May 17th Spaceland Silverlake, CA
May 20th Hard Rock/Wasted Space Las Vegas, NV
May 21st Alex's Bar Long Beach, CA
May 24th Spaceland Silverlake, CA
May 25th Casbah San Diego, CA
June 4th Rock Am Park Festival Germany
June 5th White Trash Berlin
June 6th Rock Am Ring Festival Germany
June 7th Molotov Hamburg
June 8th Helling Utrecht
June 9th La Maroquinerie Paris
June 10th 100 Club London
June 11th Download Festival Donington Park

Sweethead - Traumatized And Dumb from The End Records on Vimeo.

Flaming Lips' Steven Drozd Hospitalized [Update]

[] Yesterday, Flaming Lips multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd was hospitalized for an as-yet-undisclosed reason, forcing the band to cancel appearances at a pair of festivals, SunFest in West Palm Beach, Florida and Memphis in May in Memphis, Tennessee. Last night, Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock left a Facebook status update that, at the very least, is somewhat reassuring:

"Kliph Scurlock wants everybody to know that Steven will be just fine as soon as he gets some rest. He (and the rest of us) really appreciate your kind thoughts and well wishes, but please don't worry yourselves."

UPDATE: Steven Drozd has Tweeted, "Thank you, everyone, for your concern. I had to do this and I'm getting it together."

RX Bandits Concert Reviewed by OC Music Magazine

[] OCMM was back at the Glass House on April 23 and was comforted to see the crowd back in the usual garb of t-shirt, jeans, and Converse. Long Beach’s own RX Bandits headlined the show, selling out Pomona’s popular venue, as they always manage to do. Fellow Sargent House artists, Zechs Marquise and Good Old War opened the show, getting the audience revved up for a memorable night to be sure!

RXB has been a busy group of bandits traveling the world, spreading their musical genius and messages of peace to all. Finally back on their old stomping grounds after playing the famous Coachella music festival the previous week, they were welcomed back with love by many loyal fans. This was definitely not a crowd made up of RXB virgins; these concertgoers knew the band so well that they called out the track titles before the group was even two seconds into the instrumental transitions between songs! It was rather impressive.

RXB is made up of Matthew Embree (vocals/guitar), Steve Choi (keys/guitar), Joe Troy (bass), Chris Tsagakis (drums). Over the ten years that the band has been in existence, it has progressively changed from ska to rock. They performed tracks from the last three albums, The Resignation, …And The Battle Begun, and, the latest release, Mandala. The musicians are old pros at putting on an amazing show. Their ability to transition between songs is unmatched. In fact, they are famous for it; they will start out with one song, transition to another, and come back to finish out the first song in full force. This really gets the crowd excited, along with the drum solos in the middle of the show; Tsagakis is joined by Choi and Embree at any given time during the set for fun drum jam sessions. Each musician is insanely talented and it is an honor to see them every time.

There were two major highlights of the show. When RXB went off the stage after saying goodbye for the first time, the crowd demanded an encore by screaming, “R!X!B!R!X!B!” repeatedly. Since the band still hadn’t come back out yet, the audience sang, in unison, the opening track to …And The Battle Begun and lyric from “1980:”

“I must have seen her face before/ I fell in love when I was born/ Now they hide her with a whisper/ It’s over.”

It’s so beautiful to witness unity in the form of music enthusiasts. Another moment of the night that had a large impact on guests was during the band’s supposed last song, “Bring Our Children Home Or Everything Is Nothing.” RXB transitioned into The Resignation’s “Overcome (The Recapitulation),” and Embree asked for the stage lights to be turned completely off. He said, “I trust you guys in the dark, if you trust me… can we make that happen?” As everyone continued to sing along, lighters and iPhones were thrust into the air, another moment that the people came together as one. RX Bandits say it all in “Overcome,” as they sing. “I can’t wait for that day when I hear us all screaming/ I can’t wait for that day when I hear us all singing together/ I can’t wait for the day when I hear us all screaming/ ‘Here comes the revolution!’/ When every race, color, and creed of militant human beings stand up with fists together/ For substance and true meaning.”

RXB is back overseas throughout June, but catch the next show when they come back to town! For the latest news and tour dates, be sure to check out the RX Bandits official website at

Hazard Adams Post Update

Jesse Friedberg of Hazard Adams has checked in with the following update on all of the bands happenings...

"So I realize that it has been FOREVER since there has been any posts on HERE. But we are getting our shit together, and changing all that. Pretty soon our page is going to look much different and much cooler, you will be able to know about all our gigs up to next year, and much more posts on our Myspace, Facebook, and all the other social networking sites that you can see us on.

So what have we been up to? Well, besides playing sketchy gigs every now and then, we have been recording our asses off at Haven Sounds Studios. I guess we kinda got a little Axl Rose in there, and we are taking a while to release stuff. But we will have some things very soon. Then, we are going to Cleveland in June to record at Ante Up Audio with the amazing Michael Seifert and will have an awesome 7 song EP for all of you. So expect a lot of new recordings in the next few months.

We will also be playing a show in Cleveland June 2nd, which I am really really excited for! I can't wait to go back to my hometown, see all my friends and family, and show them that I don't completely suck. So our next gig is at Best Buy on May 8th in Boston between Newbury St. and Mass Ave. I know what you're thinking, "Best Buy?". Yes, we understand it's strange. And yes, we understand, we might be selling out a little, but we aren't famous yet, so its not really selling out. If we were famous and playing Best Buy, then we would be sellouts. So if you are in Boston, you should come by the store and check us out. If you don't feel like rocking out in a store and feel like you need to be in the comfort of a dark bar, we will have more shows booked around then soon, so be sure to check out our Myspace frequently. So that's it for now. It feels awesome to be posting again, expect more in the near future."

-Jesse, Hazard Adams

<a href="">Tin Cup by Hazard Adams</a>

Don't forget you can download their previous EP Tongue Tied White Lies for FREE HERE!!

Tom Petty Featured in Parade

[] 'Go After What You Love': At 59, rocker Tom Petty still finds happiness in making music

'I have a very blessed life,” Tom Petty says. “I think any time you’re making a living at what you love to do, you’re blessed. That’s what I try to instill in my kids. Go after what you really love and find a way to make that work for you, and then you’ll be a happy person.”

On this sunny spring afternoon at his Malibu beach house, sitting yards away from the Pacific Ocean, Petty appears to be pretty happy. What he loves to do—and has been doing for more than 40 years—is make music. He and his band, the Heartbreakers, are getting ready for a major tour through 45 cities, coast to coast.

Petty and company will play songs from their first new album in eight years, Mojo, on which they dive into the blues and add a splash of reggae, along with the melodic rock that has taken them to the top of the charts time and time again. Since 1976, he and his band have been known for hits such as “Breakdown,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” and “Free Fallin’” and for accumulating sales of more than 50 million albums. In 2002, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Over the years, Petty has played with the greats: George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Stevie Nicks.

For the past five years, he has also had a weekly show, Buried Treasure, on the SIRIUS XM satellite radio network. “I play what I want to play and say what I want to say. It’s a labor of love. The feedback I get is so rewarding. I get such nice mail: people remembering things or discovering things. A teenage girl wrote me saying she’d never heard of Chuck Berry. I couldn’t believe it. It’s so rewarding to be passing that music on to people.”

A blessed life, indeed.

Petty and his wife, Dana York, to whom he’s been married since 2001, have a main residence, also in Malibu, and a third place, a “clubhouse,” where his band can rehearse and where he keeps his collection of some 140 guitars.

In front of Petty is a small bottle of Coke. His right hand twiddles with a thin brown stick.

“Got my electric cigarette here,” he says. “It gives you a shot of nicotine and steam.” The vapors substitute for smoke. “I’m using these to edge off of the smoking,” he says. “It’s just part of getting older and realizing you have to straighten up.”

Petty has reason to be thinking about his health. In October, he turns 60, and that’s all right by him. As he likes to say, “If you’re not getting older, you’re dead.”

He is not ready to slow down. “I’m really enjoying playing,” Petty says. “I think we’ll always play. The great thing about the Heartbreakers is that we seem to actually be getting better. And we’ll always give it everything we’ve got.”

is a looser, bluesier album than any of the others. “I always liked the blues, but I fell purely in love with it about 10 years ago. I started to think, ‘I should be doing that; that’s where my heart is.’”

One theme of Petty’s life and career is embodied in his 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down.” Soon after signing his first recording contract in the mid-’70s, Petty confronted his record company over his publishing deal, saying he’d been coerced into signing away most of his songwriting royalties. He got his rights back. In 1981, the record label decided to raise album prices by a dollar. Petty would have none of it—and forced the company to retreat. “I honestly thought, as naive as it sounds, ‘Look, I don’t need the extra dollar,’” he says. “‘I’m doing fine.’ But it makes a big deal to the people buying the music.”

His outspokenness, he says, is rooted in “a rough childhood. I developed a problem with authority. Any time that authority was what I interpreted as being unjust, I stood up to it, and that became my personality.”

Tom and his younger brother, Bruce, are the sons of Earl Petty, an insurance salesman, and his wife, Katherine. The family lived in Gainesville, Fla., where his father liked to fish and hunt and would take his sons along. Tom was not interested in his dad’s hobbies or in sports. He was drawn to the arts, and especially to rock ’n’ roll. “I was just a super music fan,” he says. “The first time I tried to write was when I was 14, after I got an electric guitar. I put a song together, and it wasn’t that bad! The writing came natural to me. I thought everybody could do it.” This, he says, drove his father to anger.

“He was very abusive,” both verbally and physically, Petty says. “I had a couple of bad experiences. There was one big fight where he came in and smashed up a lot of records. But it didn’t stop me. Music was in my blood. I couldn’t quit. I never had any choice about what I was going do.”

When he let his hair grow long as a teenager, his father “called me everything in the book,” Petty recalls. “But it just made me stronger in some ways, more determined. And I think music to me, subconsciously, was a safe place.”

He and his father, who died in 1999, never reconciled. “He was a curious person,” Petty says. “As much as he hated rock ’n’ roll and the haircuts and the lifestyle, he kind of got off when we were onstage and it was going well. I remember seeing him in the back of bars here and there watching, and then saying to me later, ‘That was really good.’ One of the best days of my life was when he bought me a Gibson bass and a Fender amplifier. I was knocked out. I was 14.”

Others were more consistently supportive. His mother, Katherine, he says, “was a complete angel. She was cool. She’d give me Rolling Stones albums. My mom was always there, always great. I lost her kind of early. She had cancer, and she also had epilepsy, which was brought on by a car accident. We had to watch her fade out slowly. It was very painful.”

Katherine died in 1980. Petty’s grandmother, who had helped raise him and his brother, remained close. “She thought I was the greatest thing going. ‘You can do anything you want to do. Just do it,’ she would say.”

Inspired by bands like the Byrds, the Kinks, and the Rolling Stones, and blessed with a gift for songwriting and a voice that’s both world-weary and vulnerable, Petty didn’t take long to attain success.

But the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle would exact its toll. In the mid-’80s, Petty had a “huge wake-up call” about his drug use, and in 1996 he separated from his first wife, Jane, after 22 years of marriage. (They have two daughters, Adria, now a film producer, and Kim, an artist. He also has a stepson, Dylan, 17, from Dana’s earlier marriage.) Petty moved into what he has called a “rundown shack” in the woods of the Pacific Palisades. It served as his “bachelor pad,” he says, while he coped with the end of his marriage.

“I think there are points in everyone’s life where they’re tested, and that was certainly one of mine,” he says. “I had deep depression. I just had to find my way out of it. I had some good friends, and I had the music, and if I didn’t get myself together, I wasn’t going to be able to make it. I knew I had to make more music. I wasn’t ready to give up.”

Petty, who played small clubs for years in the ’70s, is amused by the impatience of today’s aspiring singers on American Idol. “They want to start at the top now,” he says, smiling. “I just saw music as something I was compelled to do, something that made me feel good, and I wanted to do it.”

Would he ever do a Tom Petty Rock Band video game? “If we want this music to be accepted by coming generations, it might almost be a necessity,” he admits. “But I wouldn’t want to do a commercial. A lot of younger groups want to be on commercials, but I don’t.”

Petty insists he will keep writing songs and touring until it’s no longer fun or he’s no longer creating good music. “Then I would stop instantly,” he says. “Maybe it’s part of my makeup, but I just take things as they come and go where the wind blows me musically. I just make records. That’s what I do.”

Change The Station Call It Quits

New York space rock trio Change The Station have decided to call it a day. Here's what singer/guitarist Ian Jacobs had to say...

"It's official, we have decided to hang up Change the Station for good... Last month after getting back from doing some solo shows under a different band name, down at SXSW, I felt like I wanted to make it official that we are done... and at the risk of getting mushy, I would also to thank you all for supporting our shows, putting our tunes in your ipods, yelling our names while we played and for acting like you loved us for the last 3 years... so here it is: "THANKS!" and "DONE".

But don't shed a tear yet, cause you haven't gotten rid of us...

*Michelle [bass/synth/vocals] and I have started a new band called "The Wicked Tomorrow". We hope that we will be able to make some noise in your ears soon, we should be ready for a show or 2 by June/July.

*We also uploaded 2 old songs that we never got to release. (I actually play drums on one, and our amazing friend Greg Acampora plays on the other... see if you can guess which is which? Should be pretty easy to tell) I also need to give a HUGE shout out to Jan Petrov and Ben Rice for owning sick gear and pressing some buttons, on these 2 tracks... Ben played some guitar on "Fix for Now" so check em out on our page HERE!!

So have a good summer, get some sun, go on vacation, bar-b-q... and don't be a stranger."


<a href="">Change The Station - My Will by Exploding In Sound presents...</a>

Ceremony Interviewed on

Ceremony, with their sophomore album Rocket Fire landing in stores this week, were recently interviewed by

[] Thanks to the beauty and ease of the internet, we were able to sit down (independently of each other, of course) with John Fedowitz and Paul Baker of Ceremony, a band too loud for Fredericksburg, VA, and a band whose anticipated full-length Rocket Fire, due for release tomorrow, April 27th, will be too loud to ignore.

We talked about the future, inspiration, influence, and the fellas were even nice enough to make me ashamed of my Hall and Oates knowledge (everyone knows Hall’s golden mane was the driving force behind the duo!). Here’s how it all went down…

First of all, congratulations on the upcoming release of Rocket Fire. This is your first full-length as Ceremony on Killer Pimp. What does this release mean for you two personally?

John Fedowitz – Personally, it means if anyone stuck in their room recording can get recognized playing music that means something to them and means something to other people as well, then we’ve made a statement. Hopefully it will be a stepping stone to a bigger label. Rocket Fire is my favorite release of ours so far.

Paul Baker – I’m glad to have some of these songs finally be released officially, as some of them have been floating around for quite some time. Some of these songs could have been on Disappear but just didn’t seem to fit the mood correctly, so we held onto them until Rocket Fire. I think it was good to wait until the right time to put them all together.

How has it been working with the label Killer Pimp, and what are your future plans with them?

PB – Jon from Killer Pimp is definitely a perfectionist, which is a bit strange for us, but I think it’s been a good thing working with him. He’s a great guy who has a vision that respects ours and I can certainly appreciate that.

JF – Jon is someone I finally worried about letting down, concerning recording quality, song sequencing, and cover aesthetics. We’re grateful to him for enlisting Jeff Lipton to master the album, and we think he did a fantastic job. As far as future plans, we can’t say anything except we’re focused on the release of Rocket Fire.

There seems to be a growing trend in sparsely outfitted bands. Bands like The Big Pink and Screen Vinyl Image are making big splashes with fewer members. You as well. As a two-man group, do you find it easier or more difficult to compose music?

JF – Before Ceremony and even Skywave I was in other bands with more members and more ideas of what the band was about. It always turned into chaos. I would love to have a full band with musicians, as it’s more visually appealing, but I’ve always had this idea of what music should sound like, and I don’t think anyone else could really tolerate being in a band with me, except Paul.

PB – It’s both, really. Fortunately, John and I have remarkably similar sensibilities when it comes to music. I mean we each have our different takes on music we hear from other groups, but when it comes to our music we almost always agree on things. Sometimes he will want me to record a guitar on one of his songs, but there’s no point because he’s already done exactly what I would have done. That’s not always the case, but very often it is. On the other hand, there are times when I wish there was another opinion or some additional input, but we have yet to find the person we could trust with that.

And how do you find yourself composing music? What’s the creative process like for you two, at a glance?

PB – We spend a lot of time working on our own songs, just because of scheduling issues. I write songs when it hits me, for the most part. Usually a song that is forced sounds that way, so I don’t bother. If I don’t feel like the song is saying something to me, I’ll just drop it. But it is a great feeling when it all comes together in a few minutes, and I know I’ve done what I set out to do.

JF – I usually get my influences from Paul’s songs and demos and I change them and distort them in ways he will never know.

You guys have a video for just about every song on Rocket Fire. Talk a little bit about that. Do you own the equipment, have friends who help out?

PB – Well, not quite every song, but you’re right because a lot of these songs have been floating around for some time, but, like I said, they didn’t seem to fit properly on our earlier albums. Some of the songs on Rocket Fire were written or even recorded before Ceremony existed. I think I wrote “Stars Fall” and “Marianne” when we were still Skywave. John will have to answer the technical questions.

JF – My wife said, “You can do this, make a video!” I just used iMovie and tried to make it look as cool as possible and hoped for the best.

There are obvious influences in your music’s sound. Some reviews give you a nod toward the blatant shoegaze giants of the late 80s and early 90s, while others make parallels between JAMC. But how important is the influence of your contemporaries to you, or do you strictly rely on the influence of bands you heard growing up?

PB – I can’t help but be influenced by the music I heard as a kid that really moved me, but there are far more influences going on in our music. In retrospect, some of the groups I liked when I was younger don’t seem so great to me now, but other groups I didn’t like then I really enjoy. Things always change, and that’s usually a good thing. Sure, I listened to My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain, then and now, but I was some kid, 13 or 14 years old, and didn’t understand there was a difference in categorization. I still don’t care about that. I love Hank Williams Sr. the same way I love Oasis or Kraftwerk. Lots of so-called “shoegaze” is totally boring and they couldn’t write a song if their lives depended on it. I like the effects, when they’re done well and there’s a good song. That’s the most important thing, the song. I think Ladytron has been a big influence on our group, as well as the Raveonettes, and of course, A Place To Bury Strangers. Oliver is great at both songwriting and production, and I will listen to his music as long as he keeps making it.

JF – I find myself falling out of the music scene often, but things hit me later and I always find some new inspiration, even if it’s 20 years old.

In that regard, there was an article in the Chicago Tribune recently about the return of shoegaze and how bands such as APTBS have helped revive the trend. How do you feel Ceremony fits into that revival? Do you really consider yourselves part of that genre?

PB – I think my answer to that is sort of the same as the previous question. When we were in Skywave it felt like we were doing everything against the odds, “shoegaze” was out and venues weren’t interested in what we were doing. But now, with people looking back, we somehow kept it alive or something, but “shoegazing” wasn’t what we wanted to do, we were a rock and roll band, and we still are. I think maybe there’s a place for us in that genre, but we’re not the face of it. And I do enjoy some bands who fall into that category very much, but it seems to be a weird mix of things, some of which I’m not too crazy about.

JF – Thanks to Oliver we’re getting some recognition. Shoegaze has been distorted in many ways, I don’t think people know what it means anymore. I wouldn’t mind if Ceremony and A Place To Bury Strangers started a new genre with a cooler name…


<a href="">Ceremony - Dreams Stripped Away by Exploding In Sound presents...</a>

Slash Feat. Wolfmother's Andrew Stockdale Official Music Video

[] is proud to premiere a brand new Slash video for "By The Sword." The song comes from the legendary guitarist's latest album "Slash," and features Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother on vocals.

The video was shot April 3 and April 4 in the Los Angeles area. As previously reported, anyone could participate in the filming process as a part of the concert crowd.

A live video of Slash and Andrew Stockdale performing "By The Sword" at The Roxy in L.A. on April 10th can be seen at Slash Online. At the show, Slash performed new songs from his new solo album together with GN'R classics such as "Civil War" and "Paradise City".

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's "Sentimental Engine Slayer" Reviewed on MTV Iggy

[] The first thing to notice about the debut film from the frontman of Mars Volta is its sound. The camera lurches into a gritty, grimy motel room — its windows hung with scarlet curtains — and the feeling of dread we’re getting isn’t from these details alone, it’s from the static fuzzing in from the TV set. Left out on high volume, this is the sonic texture Lopez zooms in on — a crisp metaphor for the static in all human relationships, and certainly the static between his protagonist, Barlam, and the prostitute who led him here.

Of course Omar Rodriguez-Lopez tells his story in sound. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in El Paso, Texasa he made a name for himself in the music scene as a hugely prolific creative force. With 35 albums to his name, he started off in At the Drive-In — the late ’90s post hardcore kids known for their plethora of afros — then fronted the hugely successful prog rock outfit Mars Volta, while somehow still pursuing his solo work. It seems that in the midst of all that he found time to write, direct, and produce three films — of which The Sentimental Engine Slayer is the first to get a major release. (It counts among its producers John Frusciante — yes, that John Frusciante!)

This is a film as much about the colors, textures, and sounds of Lopez’s native El Paso as it is a coming-of-age tale, loosely based on his own childhood. Protagonist Barlam, a grocery bagger obsessed with making models of cars and inept with women, is based on a younger Lopez (and played by himself, with his siblings as other cast members).

At heart, this is a typical coming-0f-age story: Barlam loses his virginity, messes around with drugs, and becomes less jaded about his relationship with his abusive sister. Somewhere between Trainspotting and Memento, the editing is slice-and-dice throughout the story — zooming between coherent scenes and cliche dream sequences so quickly that the audience is thrown off course. The only suspense is based on confusion; We care less about what’s going to happen next than knowing what in god’s name is happening now. That feels a bit thick and student film-y.

But there’s nothing unrefined about the look and feel of this film, which works on its own as a mood piece. To see the city of El Paso through the eyes of its native son is to see in close-up, in technicolor, and at full-saturation. We are struck by the home young Omar grows up in — its violet and green walls studded with crosses. We salivate over the cars — splashy 1967 Mercury Cougars — which zoom over the desert hills, are embraced by the neon of signs they reflect. Omar’s sister, played deftly by Tatiana Velazquez, is a femme fatale in leopard-skin chemises, her huge bug-eye sunglasses making her femininity even more alien to her confused younger brother. Oh, the fashion! One gets the sense that Lopez got every hipster in El Paso to turn out to be an extra.


Sweethead Premiere "Traumatized & Dumb" Video

[] Who wouldn't like a band whose name is inspired by David Bowie? We're excited to give you the world premiere of Sweethead's new music video "Traumatized and Dumb," which features the sultry vocals of Serrina Sims and guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age). Formed in 2008, the band is completed by bassist Eddie Nappi and drummer Norm Block (both formerly a part of the Mark Lanegan Band). Straight from an opening slot on Them Crooked Vulture's European tour, Sweethead releases their self-titled debut on May 11 and holds a residency at L.A.'s Spaceland every Monday in the month of May

[**ed note: Spaceland residency includes shows with Slang Chickens, Ashes Divide, Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss, Red Fang, Mini Mansions, Earthlings?, and VERY special guests. These shows are going to be amazing, and they're FREE!! If you live in LA, be there!]

Sweethead - Traumatized And Dumb from The End Records on Vimeo.