INTERVIEW: MATT SOTELO OF DECREPIT BIRTH

BY DANIELLE EVANS

Danielle: What are you most excited about regarding the new album?

Matt: What I’m most excited about – um, well the fact that it’s been about seven years since our last album. We just did the tour not too long ago but before that, we also hadn’t toured in like three years so I’m just excited to get back out there and start touring again with new music and to finally have a new album after seven years.

 

Danielle: Yeah, for sure! What are some similarities and differences between the new album and your previous albums such as polarity?

Matt: Well, there are some similarities actually to all of our records with our new stuff. But really it’s a lot, we really tried to kinda go back to our first album a little bit which is “… And Time Began” and kinda throw some of that over the top, just brutal heaviness. And there is a little bit less of the melodic tech stuff that we did on the last couple of records. I mean it’s still kinda, it still has some of that, […] but we’re combining the old with the new and I would say the new stuff is definitely, […] heavier than the last couple of records, so that’s the difference.

Danielle: That’s awesome. So, I understand you did most of the songwriting for the new album. What were some of your inspirations while writing?

Matt: My inspirations, well you know, just the others that have come before me basically, all the original bands. I get a lot of influence from the early 90s Florida death metal scene. I really like that stuff a lot. So, I mean that’s what I was into when I was a kid when I was first getting into death metal in the 90s, was a lot of the Florida bands, New York bands and so that still is my inspiration to this day but, you know at the same time, all the music I listen to is an inspiration and I don’t just listen to death metal. I listen to all kinds of stuff, like weird 80s pop stuff and like Depeche Mode and stuff like that. You know just random stuff. I don’t really like too much modern pop per se, I’m not really into the new, brand new stuff on the radio today, but, I’m really into the old especially 80s and 90s stuff. And I love just any, you know, progressive stuff like Rush and stuff like that. Anything that is cool, it doesn’t need to be heavy at all times and we take a little bit of that and put it into our music even if it’s not necessarily obvious.

Danielle: Yeah! That’s cool. And, do you guys have any tours lined up following the release?

Matt: Finally, yes! I just confirmed a tour two days ago! I was doing all these interviews and everyone was asking “do you guys have a tour” and we kept having to say no and it kinda bothered me a little bit because we are normally on tour when an album comes out!  This time we won’t be on tour while the album comes out but we do have something planned for fall and I can’t say exactly what it is, but it’s, it’s gonna be a banger!

 

INTERVIEW: HATEBREED’S CHRIS BEATTIE/Live @MrSmalls June 7

An institution can be relied on. Its foundations don’t shake due to the winds of change or tides of trends—no matter how volatile, omnipresent, or tenuous.

With steadfast determination, drive, and dedication, Hatebreed cement themselves as one of heavy music’s strongest institutions on their seventh full-length offering and very first for Nuclear Blast worldwide, 2016’s The Concrete Confessional. Since 1994, the Connecticut quintet—Jamey Jasta [vocals], Chris Beattie [bass], Wayne Lozinak [guitar], Frank Novinec [guitar], and Matthew Byrne [drums]—has risen to the ranks of hardcore and heavy metal elite with a GRAMMY® Award nomination, main stage slots on festivals, and countless fans worldwide. 2013’s The Divinity Of Purpose earned their highest entry on the Billboard Top 200, bowing at #17 with impressive first-week sales in excess of 17,000. Thankfully, Hatebreed will carry on their tradition of playing high-intensity shows to the masses.  Hatebreed will return with DevilDriver to Pittsburgh at Mr. Smalls in Millvale, June 7, 2016.  We caught up with bassist and founding member, Chris Beattie, while he was prepping for a show in Salt Lake City, Utah:

PMM:  You guys started off in Cleveland the other night. How was that?

 

Chris : It was great man. Sold out show. Packed that place. The whole deal, we hadn’t been there in about, I want to say 17 years. Last time we played there was with Motor Head, at that venue (The Odeon).  It was amazing man. A great kick off to the tour.

 

PMM: You guys even did a really special thing, spreading one of your fan’s ashes right?

 

Chris : Yeah. That was actually cool man. His friends came to the show, and said he’d passed away and stuff. He was actually buried in a Hatebreed shirt. He asked … His final wishes were to be spread on stage where we played. Jamey did that through ” As Diehard as They Come”. It was really cool that they sprinkled it around stage, and we just kept playing. It was actually an honor for us that someone was so into the band to be able to do that. It’s really cool.

 

PMM: How long have you known your tour mates DevilDriver?
Chris : We go back with them quite awhile actually. I mean maybe I got to say over ten plus years. We haven’t ever really done a tour like this together, but we’ve definitely been on Ozzfest and things like that. We always crossed paths.

 

PMM: Speaking of Ozzfest, you’re going to be doing that in September right?

 

Chris : Yeah. The Ozzfest meets Knotfest. That’s going to be awesome. We have to play the same day as Black Sabbath. It can’t get any cooler than that right?

 

PMM: No. That would be like a dream come true. That’s pretty awesome.

 

Chris : Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m pretty psyched to be honest.

 

PMM: Did you ever think that you would still be around playing with the popularity that you have, back in 1994 when it began?

 

Chris : No, not really man. It wasn’t even about that. It was just about making heavy music, because we  just wanted to do what we wanted to do, write heavy music breakdowns. It wasn’t like really like … we weren’t thinking way into the future like that. Now twenty-one, twenty-two years later, it’s still going, and it’s actually bigger than it ever was. It’s pretty amazing man, just the way things have turned out. It’s amazing man, you couldn’t have asked for anything more really.

 

PMM: Your fan base seems to grow every time I go to one of your shows. It’s more and more packed.

 

Chris : Yeah. I mean we were talking about this morning. Me and Wayne. We have dudes  all around the world with  Hatebreed tatoos, and spreading some guys ashes on stage. That’s just not a run of the mill band. You know what I mean? That’s really dedication to our music and what we do, and our fans are awesome. It’s like nothing but love for us, and then we give the same back. We couldn’t do anything without them. I don’t know man, it’s just pretty amazing. It just keeps growing and growing and growing. We’re just along for the ride as well man, and we hope to keep giving good music and doing our part of it.

 

PMM: Do you attribute some of that to that you guys don’t stray too far from your formula? I’ve heard people call you the AC/DC of hardcore. You do some different stuff, but you don’t go too far out.

 

Chris : Yeah. I mean yeah actually we’ve matured a little bit, but not matured to the point of our real fan base. Our loyal fan base that’s been around for years and years, and they’re like, “Ahh that’s a little bit too much for me.” We do some stuff, but it’s not overbearing. Yeah, I mean I just do what we do. We’ve been around for quite a many years.  

Yeah. There’s no reason to change the formula. We know what we do good, and it just works. We don’t want to put out a record that people are going to be like, “Ahh, whatever.” We want to keep people excited about the band, and really pumped on us.

 

PMM:  Where does your inspiration come from as the “song generator” of the band?
Chris : I don’t know man. It just goes through spurts, like I’ll have a … when we’re on the road and stuff like this. It’s really hard to sit down and concentrate and get in that mode. I’ll just go home, and when I know we have some time. I’ll start messing around with stuff man. I’ll send stuff to Jamey, and me and Jamey start talking about stuff here and there. He has his own stuff. I don’t know. It just happens man. Sometimes I’ll fire up a joint, and I don’t know I get inspired that way. Sometimes I’m just hanging out, and I’ll just get something in my head and I’ve just got to put it down. I usually always have something readily available to record on.

 

PMM: With the new record Concrete Confessional, you guys definitely stick to some really, really heavy stuff. Not only musically, but also lyrically. You generate a lot of that with your writing. How does that come out of you?

 

Chris : A lot of ideas … there’s more that get tossed away actually. It’s just like a jamming process. I’ll just sit down and jam. For hours. You have something cool out of it. Jamey’s really good at (coming up with) lyrics. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t even know where the inspiration comes from man. It’s just there. It’s hard to explain.

 

PMM: You guys have worked with Zeuss quite a few times. You guys seem to have a special relationship. What does he bring out of you guys? What does he add?

 

Chris : He’s like one of us, one of our own, from the same mold as us. We’re able to talk to him, and he kind of gets what we’re going for. You can just talk to him and be like, “Hey, I was thinking this, but I know we should try this too.” He’s really cool working with different things. He’s not afraid to really tell you if it sounds like shit, or if it sounds good. I think that’s important, because a lot of people will just tell you what you want to hear. He really cares about what he’s doing, and he cares about us. He knows what we want to do. It’s just having that sixth person really understanding what you’re doing, and when you know you can get an honest opinion from somebody. They’ll tell you you suck if you suck, or not. That really helps, and it makes you push harder and think about more what you’re playing and this and that.

 

PMM: What advantage does going with Nuclear Blast have for you guys?

 

Chris : They’re fans, and they really supported us on the last record. They told us that they’re going to work their hardest to get our music out to the most people. They seem very relevant, and they’re always at every show we do when we’re in their countries. They’re really good to work for. They’re fired up about it. Some of the other labels in the industry are kind of, you’re on this label, but you don’t get that love. They have actual fans that have been involved in music, and have been fans of us for years. It’s really cool, and they know what we’re about. They don’t try and get involved in all the writing process and this and that. It’s just good having somebody on your team, that you know is going to work really, really hard for you and understands who you are, what you are, what your mission is. I think that’s really important nowadays, especially for record labels.

 

PMM: You guys are coming into Pittsburgh on June 7 to Mr. Smalls. What are your thoughts about Pittsburgh?

 

Chris : Oh we love Pittsburgh. We’ve been coming to Pittsburgh for probably twenty years man. It’s a real loyal crowd. We played the American Eagles place (Stage AE).  We played the Altar Bar on the other side of town. We’ve been playing for years in Pittsburgh, and it’s still a working class city. I think people in Pittsburgh get what we’re all about. Where we’re from in Bridgeport, Connecticut, it’s a hard working class society. You guys get that man, you guys really know the struggle and what it’s like to have to deal with the day to day shit. Always had good shows there.

 

PMM: Are you excited for Star Wars Rogue One to come out? (Chris is a known Star Wars fan)

 

Chris : Yeah, that’s actually pretty cool man. I checked out the trailer a bunch of times, and I think they’re doing a really good job with it. It ties into all the parts that are kind of left out in between all the stories. I guess they’re using pretty much some of the books and what not, but it’s cool to fill in the stories in between all the major films.

 

PMM:  Last question, what do you think about the Misfits reunion?

 

Chris : That’s great man. I’ve been waiting for that for years. I’m glad that those guys actually go together and give the people what they want man. That’s going to be huge. Everyone will want to see Danzig play with the Misfits and Doyle. I don’t know, I think it’s going to be awesome. I think it’s going to be huge. I’m glad those guys are doing it man. All their differences, and all their bullshit aside. It’s going to be great for all the fans that were never able to see that kind of stuff.

 

Hatebreed have come a long way from the East Coast’s storied nineties underground scene. Their journey has seen them achieve a 2005 GRAMMY® Award nod in the category of “Best Metal Performance” for “Live For This,” sell over 1.2 million records, and land a #1 debut on Billboard’s DVD Chart with 2009’s Live Dominance. Moreover, they’ve annihilated audiences from Mayhem Fest to OZZfest Japan and Download Festival to Wacken, Hellfest, and beyond.

Now, The Concrete Confessional fits right into the bold, bloody, and beating heart of the Hatebreed institution.  Come see it live @MrSmalls June 7 or check out a city near you below…

MAY
19   Regency Center Grand Ballroom, San Francisco, CA**
20   Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA**
21   The Glass House, Pomona, CA**
22   Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA**
23   The Marquee, Tempe, AZ**
25   Warehouse Live, Houston, TX**
26   Republic New Orleans, New Orleans, LA**
27   Gas Monkey Bar & Grill, Dallas, TX**
28   Rocklahoma, Pryor, OK
29   River City Rockfest, San Antonio, TX
31   The Masquerade, Atlanta, GA**
JUNE
 1   Hooligans Music Hall, Jacksonville, NC**
 2   Baltimore Sound Stage, Baltimore, MD**
 3   Underground Arts, Philadelphia, PA**
 4   Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ**
 5   Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre, Montreal, Canada+
 6   The Opera House, Toronto, Canada+
 7   Mr. Small’s Theatre, Millvale, PA+
 8   Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY+
 9   Higher Ground, South Burlington, VT+
10   Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, Providence, RI+
11   Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT+
** Devil You Know supports
+ Act of Defiance supports
JUNE
16   Den Atelier, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
17   Hellfest, Clisson, France
18   Fete De La Musique, Geneva, Switzerland
JULY
 2    With Full Force Festival, Roitzschjora, Germany
 3    Tuska Open Air, Helsinki, Finland
 6    Essigfabrik, Koln, Germany
 8    Resurrection Fest, Viveiro, Spain
 9    Out & Loud Festival, Geiselwind, Germany
12   Festival de Quebec, Quebec City, QC
13   Mavericks, Ottawa, ON
15   Chicago Open Air, Chicago, IL
AUGUST
13   Dirt Fest, Crofoot Festival Grounds, Pontiac, MI
26   Reload Festival, Sulingen, Germany

Pittsburgh Music Mag Speaks with Amon Amarth’s Ted Lundström

With an amazing lineup of Amon Amarth, Enslaved, and Skeletonwitch it was an amazingly cold February night that quickly heated up in Millvale at Mr. Small’s.  A completely sold out night had people offering upwards of $300 a ticket to get a glimpse of pure metal being handed down in one of the most brutal lineups Pittsburgh has seen.  So brutal, this photographer’s camera did not survive the vent!  Well, at least we got an interview in with Amon Amarth’s Ted  Lundström (bass) beforehand.  Listen in as we hang with the laid back Ted and learn a lot about what is going on with the ruling Vikings of metal…

The Romantic Era Interview with Pittsburgh Music Mag

“Overall our band has a very unique edge, a party-animal personality and very exciting sound – when you listen to our music or come to our shows, it’s not just about listening to good music or watching a band. It’s like a party: we’re there with you having just as much fun as you are, whether it’s through the speakers or next to you up on the stage.”  So says the The Romantic Era about their good time sound and the atmosphere they are creating both onstage and through their music.  These PA rockers are looking to take their pop tinged music all the way.  The national press has compared their music to that of Maroon 5, David Guetta, Fun., The Wanted and Calvin Harris.  Pretty high praise in a sea of competition trying to achieve their dreams.  But The Romantic Era are playing with all the right tools, for their sophomore album, Even If Your Voice Shakes (2013), they worked with award-winning producers Earl Cohen (Lady GaGa, Pink) and Ken Lewis (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Usher), and engineer Chris Gehringer (Drake, Fun., Kelly Clarkson, Ke$ha, Madonna, Rihanna).  Part team, part family, The Romantic Era have a game plan for greatness.  Listen in on our interview…

www.theromanticera.com https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/even-if-your-voice-shakes/id576493915 www.youtube.com/theromanticeramusic@TheRomanticEra (http://www.twitter.com/TheRomanticEra)

 

Halloween Havok with Death Angel, Battlecross, 3 Inches of Blood, Diamond Plate, and Revocation: Pix and Interviews

A Dark, rainy, and dreary Halloween night in Pittsburgh, PA.  The historic Strip District was once again packed with headbangers, some dressed for the holiday, gathering for a spectacular line-up of metal a The Altar Bar.  Even though the weather was gloomy it truly was a perfect setting for an evening of thrash metal at it’s finest with a cast of characters that to an outsider would seem as all the same, but the crew here knew that the idiosyncrasies between each band made their uniqueness miles apart.  This was going to be good.

Personally, I was pretty pumped to see Death Angel.  I could not believe that I had never seen these guys live despite the fact that I jumped on their bandwagon in my senior year of high school in 1987 when all the buzz was going on about these young kids who were my age and making waves.  I really loved their second release “Frolic” and their cover of Kiss’ “Cold Gin” and their U2 (of all things) influenced “Bored”.  Even though Rob Cavestany is the only original member left, Mark’s been around since ’84 and Ted since 2001 have been.  They are all still metal to the core, and they totally were everything I could ever expect and more.  (Listen to Mark’s interview with us a few weeks before the show here).  The new material from The Dream Calls For Blood sounded excellent live and it was such a cool vibe to be seeing the show on Halloween with all in costume and just destroying the crowd who were eating up every moment.

All photos  ©2013 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen Battlecross every time they have been in Pittsburgh ever since they came here for the Trespass America Tour at Stage AE and blew everyone away.  I got to talking with them that day and this site has in many ways grown with them. Each time when they return and we meet back up it’s like catching up with old friends.  So, while you may cry bias to a review, I must say they improve each time I see the band.  Their stage presence and tightness is getting better and better.  The new material from War of Will is damn good live and the crowd went absolutely crazy with every song, fists pumping, singing along, and moshing madly- my bias notwithstanding.  Listen here for an exclusive interview with Hiran (guitar) for all that is happening with Battlecross…

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Diamond Plate opened the show and as such you would expect a low crowd turn out or possibly less enthusiasm.  Not so tonight.  Diamond Plate has been doing things their way since their inception in 2004 when they were in high school.  Continuing to kill it on the road and work it ‘old school’, these guys are genuine metal and Pittsburgh absolutely loves them.  With solid tunes from their second effort “Pulse” and vocalist Matt Ares adding new dimensions, one cannot help but get swept up into the infectious energy of the band.   Check out this video interview as we hopped onto Diamond Plate’s RV to discuss “Pulse” and all that has been happening in their corner…

 

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Matt enjoys the trappings of fame...
Matt enjoys the trappings of fame…

3 Inches of Blood from Canada were definitely a special treat as they hit the stage all made up in their Halloween outfits and playing a more 70’s tinged metal.  Cam Pipes was awesome with his high pitched wail and menacing presence, made even more menacing dressed as a bloody ghoulish priest.  Opening up with “Leather Lord” from Long Live Heavy Metal was brilliant and the perfect way to set the tone.  If the crowd had not done so already, let the merch table be raided and the downloading begin because these guys are awesome and just pure fun for metal fans.

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Tony Clifton makes an apperance...
Tony Clifton makes an apperance…

 

Revocation is one of those bands that is just so full of talent it’s hard to believe.  They are really doing unique stuff when a lot of so called metal bands are just rehashing and copying our heroes.  The Boston boys may not have brought the banjo tonight, but they were dead on and displayed their blend of technical and thrash metal with wild abandon.  They pull off some very difficult tunes live brilliantly and with great stage presence giving the fans exactly what they pay for and more.  Revocation is a band that has to be caught live to truly appreciate how good they really are and make sure you chat them up at the merch booth because they are super cool guys as well.

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Pittsburgh Music Magazine Interviews Paiste (drummer) of Neurotic November

NEUROTIC NOVEMBER’s Anunnaki is a complete mutiny of the senses, combining the best elements of hip-hop, rap, and metal to create what they’ve dubbed “rapcore”. Fans can stream the album this week only at MSN Music and Last.fm. Revolver Magazine is currently offering a glimpse into NEUROTIC NOVEMBER’s wildest dreams with the premiere of the music video for single “Nonchalant”. Check it out here!

Officially beginning their journey in 2009, NEUROTIC NOVEMBER began humbly with Dirty (vocals) posting an ad inquiring about a bassist for his band that had immense potential. Almost immediately his search was fulfilled with the addition of Bear, female bassist who quickly trademarked her aggressive playing style and tough-guy attitude. These two musicians with a dream suffered through multiple line-up changes in order to successfully release their EP Passive May in 2012, which showcased the never-ending energy and exhilarating song structures that began their steady climb to the top of the metal scene.

Comprised of vocalist Dirty, bassist Bear, Yoshii on guitar, and Paiste on drums, the members of NEUROTIC NOVEMBER come from all walks of life and value free-thinking and open-mindedness above all else. Their back-flips, unparalleled conviction, and obvious passion work together to create the unforgettable experience that is seeing NEUROTIC NOVEMBER perform live, and their professionalism breeds spotless musicianship. Ready to take the metal scene by storm, NEUROTIC NOVEMBER is gearing up for a very busy 2013, with plans to tour and write, and meet as many fans as humanly possible. Ready to take the scene by storm,NEUROTIC NOVEMBER will be on the road all year,

We were lucky enough to catch up with drummer Paiste just as Anunnaki was released…

 What drew you to music at an early age?

Listening to music everyday with my family or by myself just grew into a passion of making it also. 

 Has being from southern Florida influenced your music in any way?

Definitely going crazy hard and giving 110% energy of my energy into my performances. 

 Musically, who are some your biggest influences?

Joey Jordison (Slipknot)

Dan Bourke (Stray From the Path)

Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine)

What was the atmosphere like when you signed to Victory?

Really comfortable family type vibe. Like when you go into a friend’s house and their mom asks you if you’re hungry right off the bat with a nice smile. 

 How did you come about developing your blend of styles?

I came to like a lot of genres like hip hop, jazz, funk, and obviously metal and hardcore so it just mixed all together. 

 What your goals for the band in the next few years?

Do more tours, hopefully hit up friends in Canada and Europe.

 Are your lyrics inspired by personal situations or is it more of putting yourself into situations mentally?

It’s mix of both. We are all different people internally so we’ve all experienced lots of questionable situation which were transferred into our music

What are your favorite and least favorite things about touring so far?

Favorite: Meeting new people and friends, playing with my friends, and the partial workout from loading in/out

 Least favorite: Not showering and having a second layer on my body consisting of sweat more often than I would want haha

The Devil Wears Prada Talk to Pgh Music Mag…Halloween Show at Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh!

The Devil Wears Prada is headed back out on the road in support of the new release (9/17) “8:18”.  “The 8:18 Tour”, which will see the band accompanied by The Ghost Inside, Volumes and Texas In July (except in Pittsburgh where they will be playing with Once Nothing and Delusions Of Grandeur) is going to keep the boys busy up until Christmas time.  Pittsburgh Music Magazine caught up with MIke Hranica freshly back home from a UK tour and safe at home in Chicago.  Listen in as we talk about what TDWP has in store for their stop in Pittsburgh on Halloween night, the goings on in the UK, writing 8:18, and much more…

“Much of the heavy music around us suffers from a total lack of emotion. It’s sort of losing an audible sense of sincerity,” observes vocalist Mike Hranica. “The guitars, the drums, the songs themselves create that sorrow that I want the lyrics to tell on 8:18. And I made sure that my vocals created emotions that I have heard in post-hardcore, but that I rarely hear in breakdown-heavy metal bands like us.”

Guitarist Chris Rubey concurs. “If I listen to the title track and I’m in the right mood, I will tear-up because of the lyrics and vibe of the song,” he confesses. “What Mike is saying with all of his lyrics on this album is extremely powerful.”

The overriding theme on 8:18 is misery, exploring that mental and emotional state through its various guises, manifestations and interpretations. Tracks like “Gloom,” “War,” “Black & Blue” and “Home for Grave” spring forth from that foundation, exploiting concepts like mediocrity, existential angst and life’s bigger questions under an atmosphere of musical dread, hostility and darkness.

Mike Hranica is blessed with a commanding roar, but infuses the proceedings with a literary sensibility, a commitment to self-evaluation and a painstaking modesty that levels the playing field between performer and listener beneath the surface.

Principal songwriter and guitarist Rubey is an accomplished producer in his own right. Rubey brings all of that experience to the table with his band through an understanding of the group’s fans, the result of multiple hours spent pouring through social media, YouTube comments and online forums. It all coalesces into creative leaps that are intertwined with The Devil Wears Prada’s established identity. As he squeezes out his self-described “ADD” compositions, Rubey challenges himself not to repeat the past, both in and out of TDWP.

“All the way through our last album, I had a giant bank of songs. I was going back to material I had written when I was still in high school,” Rubey explains. “I had run out of material. This new one is the first album where I had to start from scratch. We already had a bank of like 60 songs and I knew these songs had to be better than all of them. By the time we had 13 songs together, I was able to listen to them and I was like, ‘We did it.’ It felt like a struggle to write the entire album, but once it was finished, it hit me and I’m so incredibly happy with it.”

Rhythm guitarist Jeremy DePoyster contributes the hook-laden underbelly to Prada’s brutal musical beast, handling the “clean” singing with a fine-tuned abandon to rival the pop stars dominating the charts. He grew up listening to Rob Zombie and Korn, but his iPod these days is packed with just about everything one can name. His singing vocals shine particularly on “Care More,” a heavily electronics infused song with a dark mood. “There’s so much of this crappy auto-tuned singing thing happening right now. It’s disappointing to me because I’ve been singing since I was a kid,” DePoyster says. “We all know what auto-tune is and we all use it to get things to work a little better, but when I hear things that are using it just as a crutch, that is extremely disappointing to me. Mike does a lot of passionate, raw, vibey screaming on this record, too. It’s great.”

. “Since the beginning, we have liked breakdowns, we have liked heavy sounds, we have liked melodic singing, we have liked heavy metal in general,” notes Hranica. “Those are the most basic fundamentals of what this band has been about.”

The overseeing hand of executive producer and Killswitch Engage axeman Adam Dutkiewicz (August Burns Red, Shadows Fall, Parkway Drive) and producer Matt Goldman (Underoath, The Chariot, As Cities Burn) resulted in a sonic time capsule representing not only this present moment for TDWP, but a crossroads for heavy music itself. Progressive strains of experimental trailblazers Converge, Botch and Underoath seethe beneath The Devil Wears Prada’s unique reverse engineering of modern metal. 8:18 convincingly detours into Nine Inch Nails-isms, then comes full circle with some killer throwbacks to TDWP’s earliest work.

“We love a lot of the records Matt has made and obviously we love Adam and he’s a great friend,” DePoyster points out. “Adam was very involved in doing the vocal stuff with Mike and I and had given us ideas when we were making demos. Both of those guys were great with us and were able to make contributions and make us think about things in different ways without making us uncomfortable.

“At the risk of sounding cocky, this band is my favorite band,” Rubey declares.

“We’re not kids who just want to hit the road and see where this goes,” adds DePoyster. “We’re making a conscious choice to do this because we love it.”

, www.youtube.com/TDWP

Stick To Your Guns’ Josh Tells PGHMUSICMAG About Future Plans, The Warped Ethos, and Dodging Balls?

Listen in as we check in with Josh from Stick To Your Guns at the Vans Warped tour as he talks to us about playing in the Glamour Kills Dodge Ball Tournament, why Eric from blessthefall was filling in on guitar for Chris on two dates on the tour (including Pittsburgh-check the pix), playing an early set and what times they love to play the best at Warped, cramming songs in with a short set, connecting with fans, The Warped Tour ethos, the challenge of playing an amphitheatre, taking steps to follow up ‘Diamond’, and touring through the New Year…Stick To Your Guns- Josh (click once then click attachment)

All photos  ©2013  AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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Dirty Heads Check In with PGHMUSICMAG From The Cabin By The Sea

Jared “Dirty J” Watson of The Dirty Heads took some time to answer Pittsburgh Music Magazine’s questions while they continue to tour and promote Cabin By The Sea. For tour dates and more check out…http://www.dirtyheads.com/

What first attracted you to reggae/ska type music?
Well the actual music haha. The sonics of it, the message behind a lot of the songs and the over all feel and vibe of it.
We hear an acoustic album is in the works…what made the band want to do that now? 
It’s actually done! We finished it yesterday, we had some time off and wanted to put out new music. We started as an acoustic act so that’s a big part of who we are and our sound. And it sounded fun to really look at songwriting and not have to worry about production or anything else but songwriting and guitar parts, so we really concentrated on lyrics, really looked into what we were saying and how we could creatively say it. If a song holds up acoustic, you know you have something, there’s no hiding behind anything.
Do you have a long term vision for the band?
Think Beastie Boys mashed with Jimmy Buffet, that’s the long term shit we want to be doing, being able to still go play and have a blast.
We certainly can hear some of your influences in your music. Are their any current artists that inspire you at all?
I’m vibing on LORDE, Jake Bugg, Edith Piaf, and Ken Boothe.
“Spread Too Thin” is such a catchy song and huge hit for you guys. Do you ever view it as a blessing and as a curse?
I understand that a huge song can be a double-edged sword, like how’s Gotye gonna top his song hahaha but we weren’t planning on our song being huge so I don’t think about it really. Just keep writing and growing and evolving. I think if you try too hard to write “hits” or get stuck in writing “hits” you’re losing touch.
What is the best and the worst thing about touring in the summer months?
The best thing is everything,  The weather the vibe, everyone’s happy. The worst thing is everything. Being gone from home all summer sucks. Especially when you live on the beach and are constantly getting pics from home of all your homies having beach days and chilling.
Can you speak on any of your thoughts about the current battles in our government over gay marriage and legalization of marijuana? 
Yes I can. It’s absolutely mind-blowing and shameful to the human race that there are still actual battles about gay marriage and legalizing marijuana. The fact that people in our government and in organized religions still think that being gay is a choice is scary and utterly ignorant. And even if it was a choice who cares! Love is love and whoever wants to share that together should be able to. Love is a beautiful thing, it doesn’t matter who it’s between. The great thing is that we are slowly winning these battles. And I think that weed should be legal and I love that Washington and Colorado passed the bill. Once other states see the benefits they gain from that I think and hope other states will follow.
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Job For A Cowboy Leave Pittsburgh Tongueless and Bound (Pix and Interview Included)

Last night Metal Blade Recording artist, Job For A Cowboy, swept into Pittsburgh for the first night of their tour with Hatebreed, Every Time I Die, Terror and This is Hell.  What followed was nothing short of brutality.  The good kind.

Having released “Demonacracy” a year ago in April 2012, JFAC has been hitting the road hard.  Despite the revolving door policy that has plagued the band since inception, the current line-up showed a very tight and concise maturity from the first note.  Running through a good bit of their new material, peppered in with some classics and a little Pantera jam, JFAC definitively showed why they continue to rise in the ranks of death metal, if not metal in general.

This was my first time experiencing the shear strength and tonality that Jonny Davy can manipulate from his pipes.  Many of you might think that someone who has the ability to sing in the fashion many death metal bands do are all the same, but I can assure you that this is not true.  Jonny has some very distinct nuances that can be discerned in each song and it really adds to what the band is doing.  On top of that,  Al Glassman and Tony Sannicandro make a great duo of rhythm guitar and lead guitar respectively.  Tony seems to have added some new dimensionsal aspects with his playing while Al, Nick Schendzielos (bass), and Jon “The Charn” Rice (drums) lay down the crunching driving force that keeps each tune moving at merciless speed.

We here at Pittsburgh Music Mag are seriously looking forward to Job For A Cowboy coming back when they hit the Mayhem Festival and come back to our backwoods July 12.  Until then, we’ll be keeping the Jameson capped for them…

All photos 2013© AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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Jonny Davy post-set with Alan of PMM
Jonny Davy post-set with Alan of PMM

No Wasted Words from As I Lay Dying at Mr. Smalls in Millvale/Pittsburgh (interview, review, and pictorial)

“…the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time.”
― William FaulknerAs I Lay Dying

All photos property of AWeldingphoto © 2013 and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

Here I am at Mr. Smalls in Millvale, approaching my mid forties, hunched down in a pit, attempting to snap some pictures of bands half my age, playing to a crowd that for the most part is of high school age and praying for a two hour school delay due to the four to six inches of snow due to fall after midnight; and I love it.  The metal bands of today are fierce, powerful, and highly entertaining.  Tonight brings a line up that is rare and special.  The Chariot, For Today, As I Lay Dying, and The Devil Wears Prada are all decimating crowds across America, and tonight (as well the next night) Pittsburgh is on the list.

What occurred was nothing short of an experience that makes true meaning of the above quote from Faulkner’s novel, from which the band we came to see and interview lifted their moniker.  Life is about living and experience, and after having felt somewhat dead of the experiences that I so craved, I started this magazine to have these types of moments.  Having the pleasure of getting to talk to people like As I Lay Dying‘s  Jordan Mancino in the interview (below) as well as his bandmate Nick Hipa backstage is just part of what transforms my otherwise mundane life into something extraordinary.  Getting to see bands of this caliber up close and personal and getting surprised by some of them (The Chariot) adds to the charm of this lifestyle my partners and I have taken on.

As I Lay Dying are a phenom live.  Period.  I have only had the pleasure of having seen them twice on this tour, but they are so tight and dead on it truly is impressive.  The lights, smoke, and utter showmanship are just icing on the cake to a musicianship that comes from many years on the road and a brutal touring schedule that appears to be ahead well into the future due to the success of “Awakened”.  We are truly blessed.  And we left with big smiles on our faces and our metal hearts filled to the brim.

Check out the interview with Jordan…

and make sure to see As I Lay Dying on the road…you won’t regret it, especially if you are an old metalhead like me.

Mr. Smalls, Millvale/Pittsburgh, PA 3/24/13 Setlist

Cauterize  Forever Confined A Greater Foundation 94 Hours Condemned Anodyne Sea Whispering Silence Forsaken Wasted Words The Sound of Truth Separation Nothing Left Through Struggle

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Jordan Mancino backstage
Jordan Mancino backstage
Video Correspondent Kait Begley interviews Jordan Mancino
Video Correspondent Kait Begley interviews Jordan Mancino

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The Girls of Metal Part 1: An Interview with That Metal Show’s Jennifer Gottlieb

In the first of a series highlighting women who are famous in various genres of entertainment and unabashed about their “metal” status, Pittsburgh Music Magazine reached out to Thee Metal Girl for many of us. You probably best know her as “Miss Box of Junk” from That Metal Show, but Jennifer Leah Gottlieb is poised to make herself more of a household name. Jennifer has talents way beyond looking gorgeous and bringing out the prize box during Stump the Trunk. Read on to learn a little more about the girl we wish would spend more time in our living rooms…(on our TV’s!!!).

Do you ever have opportunities to hang out with any of the musicians pre or post show?

Yes,I do! I have had the chance to meet some of the greatest musicians of all time. I have the coolest job ever.

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Since That Metal Show only films a few weeks per year, what are you
up to at the moment and what do you have in the works?

I am a personal trainer full time right now. I spend my days kicking
my client’s booties into shape. I have a few acting gigs in the works, but can’t talk about them yet. Will share soon! 😉

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What was it like playing Linda in the Broadway touring version of
“That Wedding Singer”?

Linda was my dream role, so it was totally
surreal. Being on the road was challenging, but I would say it was
the greatest experience I have ever had.
I learned more about myself in that year than I ever have. I also
created life long friendships.

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Since you are a personal trainer-­‐what are your
favorite techniques to teach your clients (i.e. crossfit,etc.)?

I do a lot of HIIT workouts with my clients. (High intensity interval training). I believe it is the best way to burn fat.
I am also a BLITZ coach at Reebok Sports club, which is a
crossfit style class.

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It’s been pretty well documented that you love AC/DC’s Brain Johnson-­‐who else do you love in the rock n roll world?

Joe Satriani, Steven Adler and Lita Ford.

Who would you love to see on That Metal Show who has not shown up
yet?

OZZY!

Any possibilities of seeing you interview some guests in the future?

I would love to! We will see…!

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Any inside stories you care to share with our readers?

The guys have a star chart for who can get ready and mic’d up
first for each episode. Don wins EVERY time! We also have a
great tradition of going to The Rainbow on Sunset for our cast
party every season.

What happens at the Rainbow, stays at the Rainbow…but we have a
rockin’ time!

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The HAARP Machine is Perfectly in Tune (Pittsburgh Review with Interview)

The HAARP Machine brought their eclectic style of prog-metal to the Ironworks in Pittsburgh last night and showed all in attendance what the future of metal holds. Founded in 2007 out of England, HAARP belongs to an elite set of new comers who feel and sound like they have been ruling stages for decades. Their debut ‘Disclosure’ is an amazing blend of styles masterminded by Al Mu’min guitar prowess that are highlighted by snippets of eastern instrumentation and the addition of Michael Semesky’s vocal range surrounded by masterful musicianship by Oliver Rooney’s bass and Alex Rudinger’s percussion in the math metal vein. Al Mu’min states: “Our debut album is an amalgamation of many influences across the spectrum and lyrically addresses many of the socioeconomic and political issues in our society today. We hope it will open doors for listeners and broaden their musical horizons as well as spark an interest in areas that dictate our lives, but are swept under the rug to maintain the status quo and keep the populace aloof to the sick capitalist venture of the big money cartels. We feel very fortunate to be in this position and wish to use this opportunity to spread the word on social change via the application of the scientific method for the betterment of humankind. There IS an alternative to the un-sane society we live in and it is our duty to this planet and all its inhabitants to awaken the sleepers. We can no longer ignore the writings on the wall. The time for change is now (Sumerian Records Website).”

The HAARP Machine's Michael Semesky and Al Mu'min with PMM editor Kait
The HAARP Machine’s Michael Semesky and Al Mu’min with PMM editor Kait

The HAARP Machine derive their name from The HAARP Project or High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program. HAARP is the subject of numerous conspiracy theories involving the project being blamed for triggering catastrophes such as floods, droughts, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and devastating earthquakes in Pakistan and the Philippines, major power outages, the downing of TWA Flight 800, Gulf War syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome. If one would go to The HAARP Machine’s Facebook page and look for more specific information on the band, one would find links to www.thezeitgeistmovement.com, www.anonnews.org, and www.thevenusproject.com. But these guys are not fanatics pouring it down the listeners or fans throats, rather they seem to present ideas to explore and awaken to. Regardless, ‘Disclosure’ is indefinitely one of the strongest debuts of the year and seems to be only the beginning for The HAARP Machine.
After witnessing their live set (opening for The Faceless) it became clear that the band is poised to set a strong stakehold in the metal community and more than likely will be headlining their own shows in no time at all. Songs such as ‘Esoteric Agenda’ and ‘Pleiadian Keys’ were absolutely flawless and awe-inspiring performances that sent chills. The entire band was outwardly gracious with their audience and the buzz after the show was what an experience everyone was lucky enough to have been a part of, the kind spoken of years later when the rest of the world catches up. Special thanks to Mike, Al, Oliver, and Alex for an awesome evening…we look forward to many more in the future. After concluding their first US run of dates, HAARP will take a few weeks off and then prep for a UK tour.

All photos property of AWeldingphoto, KBegelyphoto, and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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THE FOLLOWING IS A “VIDEO” INTERVIEW WITH THE HAARP MACHINE THAT IS MEANT FOR AUDIO PURPOSES ONLY!!! SORRY, THE LIGHTING WAS IMPOSSIBLE!!!

IAMDYNAMITE Likes Pittsburgh’s Beards and Girls With Tattoos

Unfortunately I missed IAMDYNAMITE when they came through Pittsburgh in November because of the head cold that melted my head. Luckily those who attended the show at Altar Bar had their heads melted with a raucous spectacle.  Any comments from people that attended the show would be appreciated. The grapevine produced raved reviews.

Love this video by the guys!

I was able to catch up with Guitarist Christopher Martin (CM) and Drummer Chris Phillips (CP) via email to get a better understanding of what IAMDYNAMITE is all about.  I realize I’m only scratching the surface with these cats but you’ll be more informed by the interview below…

At what point did you guys decide to have a go as a two piece?

CM: we were in your typical, not so good local rock band and we hated it.  Our songs were long, poorly played, not well written and not well sung, playing in small clubs with shitty p.a.’s and uncaring sound guys who hated their lives. Some bands can still make that exciting with Passion and energy, but we didn’t. In other words: We were boring. We were tedious. We didn’t like watching bands like that, let alone being a band like that. So it was time for some change.  If the sound at the clubs was going to be shitty, then why don’t we just get rid of all the extra instruments. What matters most is the human voice. The melody. And to make people move how we wanted we needed powerful and simple drums. Much easier to cut through a bad pa with only those things. The guitar provides another source of rhythm and dynamics, and also gives the melodies harmonic context. Done deal!

(for C.Martin) Guitar players are typically apprehensive about not having other musicians to accompany them. Did you spend a lot of time getting your rig together for live shows to get that big sound?

CM: Not really, my rig back then was already capable of filling up the low end pretty well. Some amps and setups obviously may not work as well as others.

(for C.Martin) Can you give us a “rig run-down”? We love these!!

CM: A rig run-down, eh? Okay.. first off, my rig is pretty ghetto. My amp head is usually kept upside down because the tubes keep falling out and I was too lazy to have someone to fix it. I LOVE hollow or semi-hollow guitars. They don’t look as RAWK, but I think they sound amazing. That said, my rig:

Guitars: gretsch hollowbody and an ibanez artcore w/ gibson classic 57 pickups

Amp: Early 70s fender bassman head

Mesa boogie 2×12 cab

Pedals: just a Big Muff tone wicker, that allows you to bypass the tone knob.

CP: why cant i answer this one? Yamaha oak…. sabian cymbals and a 27in wuhan

(for C.Martin) I’m impressed with your melodic sensibility. Do you bring the idea to Chris Phillips and complete the song or do you guys just belly up and start writing together?

CM: I come up with a “song”, usually 3 or 4 melodies with rough guitar parts. It’s mostly an outline. We jam on it, take it apart, argue, play it live, rewrite the lyrics, add harmonies, play it live again, argue some more, demo it and change it all around again, then play it live, and then continue this process until its time to make a real record. Even then we still fiddle with songs after the record comes out.

(for C. Martin) What new or old music have you been listening to? 

CM: Neil young’s “after the gold rush”, I really love purity ring’s album, baroness… teenage Jesus and the jerks, which I had never listened to until recently. I never really listened to no wave, but i love the pure raw energy of it.

(for Chris Phillips) Who were your childhood rocker heroes? 

CP: Bonham for his power and his grace. he was a basher on the drums but still nobody could touch his playing. and the drummer from night ranger…. Kelly Keagy…i mean he sang “sister christian”

(for C. Phillips) What new or old music have you been listening to?

CP: I still have been listening to MUTEMATH, their newest album is awesome. Ive also been listening to Little Hurricane and the Whitest Boy alive. MC Hammer is always in my mind

“Where Will We Go” is a banger. When did you realize it was commercially viable and was going to open some doors for you?

CM: It’s commercially viable? I don’t know, we write songs to be powerful and melodic. I think we knew we liked it and that we hoped other people would be affected by it too. Making something melodic and interesting and simple seems to be a pretty good recipe.

Do you have any goals in the upcoming years that might blow our minds? 

CM: Writing our next record. Minds blown! …….Japan

How’d you like Pittsburgh guys?

CM: we LOVE Pittsburgh. Good people, great beards

CP: Pittsburgh chicks have the best tattoos

Do you guys like canoeing? 

CM: Ah, the infamous out-of-left-field-last-question-to-end-interview…  Hmmm, yes we do… Yes we do…

CP: i am more of an amateur kayaker

Rob Eldridge

PMM Photodude and Writer-pghmusicmag.re@gmail.com @audiorat twitter

PMM Interviews Coley, CEO of Revel Music Group and MC

From a broken home in a small town outside of Philadelphia to graduating Georgetown University in 3 years to working on Wall Street to CEO of Revel Music Group, Coley is on a mission to inspire the undaunted pursuit of your dreams while not taking yourself so seriously. Perseverance has driven Coley through years of personal and professional struggles, all the way to co-owner of Revel Music, a record label that has landed major label deals and works with some of the biggest names in music. Pittsburgh Music Magazine had an opportunity to get Coley’s answers on a few burning questions we had for him:

What was the first recording you bought with your own money?

I think it was a tape of Kris Kross’ “Totally Krossed Out” as ridiculous as that is. I was real young but I had been starting little businesses (lemonade stands, sourcing group coupons, etc.) since I was 5 so I had my own play money pretty early. It’s kinda crazy serendipity that I’m now partnered with the founder of Ruffhouse Records who executive produced that record.

Do you have a guilty pleasure band/musician that you would be embarrassed to admit?

This is gonna sound weird, but I literally can’t feel embarrassment. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to pull my balls out as often. My last answer prolly qualifies; I even wore my tee shirts backwards and shit for a little while there when I was rockin’ that tape lol. I listen to all music man, from rap to oldies to pop to R&B to country, I like anything that gets me going. People gotta quit picking “sides” and putting music in a box (like indie vs. pop etc.), a good record is a good record. Like that song “Call Me Maybe”, say what you want about it but the song is a smash.

Walk us through a typical day for Coley…

Wake up. Swish my feet in the covers. Turn my nature sounds off. Stand up. Grab my balls. Take a piss. Eat a healthy breakfast. Stretch. Meditate. Creative time – either record, listen to beats or write a song. Hit the gym. Take a shower. Grab my balls. Eat lunch. Business calls/emails til around 6pm. Creative time – write treatments for my music videos, plan a photoshoot, write. Play some basketball with the fellas. Shower. Call up a purdy lady. Eat dinner. Snuggle up with said purdy lady for a bit. Grab my balls. Work til 3 or 4am. Read. Meditate. Pass out. Repeat. Prolly a couple extra ball grabs in there, some by me, some by the purdy lady. On party nights throw bustin’ sweet dance moves at the end.

Most fascinating serial killer?

People who kill people suck. I’m not gonna even give them the faux self-importance which they seek by acknowledging one of them. If you plan on killing someone, kill yourself.

Last book you read and your impressions of it.

‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill. A must read for anyone working to become successful at something, doesn’t matter what.

When not making music, I am…

Makin’ moves or makin’ love.

If you had to listen to one artist for the rest of your life who would that be?

Jay Z or Bob Marley

What’s the side of you that the public never sees?

My ass, although I’ma show em that too. Oh and I’m actually really sweet and sensitive and shit.

Do you read your own reviews?

I’ve been reviewed?

Who are you listening to now?

Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d city”. Such a dope album.

Kings and Thieves: The Geoff Tate Interview 10.24.12

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Being an unabashed Queensryche fan since the 80’s, I have had the pleasure of seeing them perform in this city many times. The first time I caught ‘The Rhyce’ was at Mancini’s (now Club Erotica) in McKees Rocks. It did not take too many years for them to play the Civic Arena and First Pavilion with their monster hit of ‘Operation Mindcrime’ and the mega hit of ‘Empire’ when you could not go anywhere without hearing ‘Silent Lucidity’ or ‘Jet City Woman’. If you would have told me then that one day Geoff Tate would call me to firm up a time for an interview, I would have said you were dreaming. Twenty some odd years later and just that happened…

Geoff is overly gracious, intelligent, thoughtful, and humble. The interview was really insightful to where Geoff is at now, where he has been, and where he is going. His performance that evening was spot on in only the way a legend of a singer should be. On his solo tour for Kings and Thieves, Geoff sort of carries on where his last solo effort leaves off with a wide berth of musical genres. Do not expect a carbon copy of the signature prog-metal sound that Queensrhyce was so known for producing. This is a sound that is rawer, more experimental, and more of where Tate is at right now. But do not fret if that does not sound like your cup of tea, Geoff promises to be back with an All Star Queensryche with ex-members of Ratt, Megadeth, and Quiet Riot.

Geoff signing Alan’s copy of Operation Mindcrime
PMM’s Alan talking with Geoff Tate on his tour bus