Davey Suicide Lives Up to the Hype in Pittsburgh

“So, did we live up to the hype?”  This is what Davey Suicide questions me after his bands’ set at Altar Bar in Pittsburgh.  I definitely think Davey and his band lived up to the hype and I personally had a great time experiencing an up and coming band making all the right moves and following their passion.  With a sound and visual aspect part Manson part NIN all electro goth fury, Davey Suicide provides what many bands have forgotten in this day and age…the show.  They prove that a band on a budget can still provide quite a bang for the buck ( Davey and company actually did a kickstarter campaign to get a lot of their stage lights and set).  Davey is  very ambitious, intelligent, well spoken, and  poised to make a name in a very tough business as you will see in this interview…

All photos property of AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine ©2013 and Davey Suicide

Video: Jesus Sadida

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COO of Pittsburgh Music Magazine, Alan, meets with Davey Suicide
COO of Pittsburgh Music Magazine, Alan, meets with Davey Suicide

Friday April 5 Runaway Dorothy at Hard Rock Pittsburgh- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY PGH Music Mag!!!

Runaway Dorothy Poster

Every once in awhile in this business one becomes lucky enough to get introduced to some gems early on.  I, for one, put a lot of faith in Adam Duritz to pick talent.  I’ve loved the Counting Crows since August and Everything After and so has our editor in chief, Rob, who actually got to hear it from Adam (when his band opened up for the the Crows) before it was ever put out!  We both got to hang out with Adam last summer at his Outlaw Roadshow, but more importantly we were introduced to two great bands: Field Report and We Are Augustines, both of which we now count as friends of Pittsburgh Music Magazine.  Let us add another great talent to that list in some ways via Adam…Runaway Dorothy.  These NYNY gents via the South are going to grace us with their syrupy sultry southern tinged folk rock tunes that feel like beautiful wood etchings, great textures, and multiple layers that leave you discovering more and more each time you go back to them.  We caught up with Runaway Dorothy while on the road before they hit up Pittsburgh next Friday April 5th…

We’ve been introduced to some awesome bands like Field Report and We Are Augustines by Adam Duritz of The Counting Crows. Tell us a little about your relationship with Adam and your experience with The Outlaw Road Show?

 

Well I guess my relationship with him started well before he even knew of me. I used to do really bad covers of Crows songs when I started out. I mean really bad. The first time we met was in a pizza joint in NYC. A random chance encounter. Ironically enough it was the day before the cmj outlaw roadshow. This was before we were even a part of the outlaw roadshow. Since then we have played all the outlaw roadshows except for the last one at sxsw. And we were invited to play but just couldn’t make it. But it has been great. And I am sure we will do stuff with Adam and Ryan from Ryan’s smashing life soon.

Tell us a little about the making of the video for “Hurry”, your dogs, and the studio experience in North Carolina…

That was all thanks to our bassist Sammy. We shot a lot of footage while in the studio and he put that together. We wanted to give a little glimpse of what it is like in the studio. And to show our kickstarter backers and our fans what their contributions did for us.

Most of the dogs in the video are the dogs at the studio. Only the little wiener dog is mine. He had to come along to make sure we didn’t screw anything up. You can’t make a country record without dogs around.

As far as the studio in experience in NC. It was great. It actually had come about last minute. We were scheduled in Nashville with Oran Thornton the producer of our last album, but schedules and finances kept that from working. We had already put aside that time in our life to record and so we decided we would self-produce and go ahead. My friend Price actually found the studio for us and he came in and helped us out tremendously in the studio.

How does hailing from the South influence your music?

I think I am just a musical product of the things that were around me. Country music, working class families, friends that stay your friends forever, farmland, and a distinct accent. I can’t hide any of that influence. I have tried, but even if it’s not all apparent it’s there. How I like my guitars to sound, what instrumentation we use, vocal harmony, and songs about heartbreak. I basically just watched an episode of Hee-Haw with my grandpa and decided I wanted to make my version of music like I was hearing.

How is the tour going so far and where have you had the best experiences?

We are actually in right now. Just doing some spot dates here and there to make sure we don’t get rusty. We have had a bunch of things going on away from writing and playing music. We have been using this time to set our strategy for releasing the album and planning the tour. We are very lucky to have a great management team that does a lot of this for us.

How did you pick Frank Germano to do the fabulous cover art for “The Wait”?

Frank actually designed a poster for us for a show we did for Ryan of Ryan’s Smashing Life in Boston and it was amazing. So our manager Nicholas approached him about designing the album. I had had the concept for a while and originally thought I wanted a photo, but after seeing what Frank did I can’t imagine the album looking any other way.

Do you still talk to Ryan Adams at all or at least get to thank him for his ‘push in the right direction’?

No. I only ran into a few times after we originally met. Once in Charleston and once after I moved to New York.  I wasn’t even sure he would remember me or the evening. But he did and he was very awesome about the whole thing. I am definitely thankful for the push. I needed it.

Can you describe the song writing process for the band?

That’s a great question. We have a formula and it looks something like this.

Dave + Girl + broken hearts = the new Runaway Dorothy album

What are the goals for the band with the new record and tour?

The goal is to reach as many people as we can. And see who likes it. And then pack up the van and go play for the ones that want to hear it. And hopefully the finances will fall in place so we can do that.

If you could collaborate with any artist(s) living or dead whom would they be and why?

I want to share the stage with Noel Gallagher. I learned everything I know about writing a song from him and it will be amazing to see firsthand what his process is for writing and recording.

So looking forward to these dudes coming in…hope to see you guys there!

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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 Unexpected Genre Bending, Suavity’s Mouthpiece

If your ears could sneeze they would at the mere mention of the band name “Suavity’s Mouthpiece.” The name conjures up nothing in the way of genre and even the band members refrain from illuminating its etymology.

But while your ears might sneeze at the sound of the band’s name, when they hear the single, Taste, they’ll get the feeling that your tongue gets when eating sushi for the first time: “Hm. Weird. But I think I like it, kinda.” Suavity’s Mouthpiece is ear sushi. Is that what the name means? Probably not.

All joking aside Taste is very well put together song. It opens with a metronome click and wobbly synth track that is almost siren like. Before the synth can climax, though a piano falls right into the center of the song, pounds out a few chords, gives a quick little blues lick at the upper end of the register and the vocals kick in with a David Byrne-like cadence and a Dave Schools style bass line.

From there it gets really lounge-y. But a lounge somewhere in the constellation of Orion. The Mouthpiece also throws in some Stax soul with horns and the presence of a Booker T. inspired organ behind it all.  As the song grooves its way towards the halfway point the lounge returns to earth, then melts back into the beginning of the song with the return of that wobbly synth and slick piano.

With influences diving deep towards the roots of both punk and jazz, Suavity’s Mouthpiece has created something unexpected. Taste is a good song, catchy and just weird enough to keep the listener off balance–eagerly anticipating what will come next. The trio took some time to answer a few of my questions:

1) “Taste,” while a cohesive song is flush with multiply influences. Mr. Bungle meets Nick Cave comes to mind. Where does your musical influence begin and end?

Meredith Bigatel: Throughout my life, punk has been a big influence on me as a musician, and I would say is the reason I decided to learn to play bass in the first place. Once my brother started playing guitar, and started to form bands of his own, I was definitely influenced to improve my skills. I still pride myself on never having had a single lesson and being completely self-taught as a bassist.

Steph Cozza: I think my influences come from everything I’ve ever experienced. Growing up, my father taught me the basics of piano and got me really interested in music from a very young age. Sometimes we’d sit back and enjoy his Classical or Jazz collections, something that definitely influenced my musical taste. After growing up in that environment, I found my own way through music and picked up several other instruments along the way, mostly with friends, which is something that has really influenced my style of playing. To me, jamming out with a group of close friends is the best motivation and inspiration for doing what I do.

Justin Trafford.: It begins and ends by writing pieces that I can personally guarantee will influence both Mr. Bungle and Nick Cave.

2) There are some great dynamics and changes on “Taste,” what is the song writing process like? 

Justin: Engaging. Gradation is an inherent quality in the writing process. Neglect it, and I might as well be Jack Johnson.

3) With a song like “Taste” I would imagine that you all are coming from different musical backgrounds and interests. How did this band form?

Justin: I’m particularly fond of the in-house diversity. It’s an absolute must as far as performance is concerned, for the reasons mentioned by my companions above. In 2008, SM began as myself and Meredith. We continued for near two years trading off percussionists – who, although, were quite talented, were non-committal – until I met Cody Kraski in Greensburg. Cody is an independent singer/songwriter/producer in his own right. We became very close friends before I learned that part of his CV as a multi-instrumentalist was proficiency (albeit, untapped) as a drummer. Cody graciously agreed to fulfill the turbulent position of drum throne as of summer 2011. The icing was added to the cake in the fall of 2011, when I met Steph. I initially approached her to fulfill the position of bassist while Meredith continued her study of metalwork at Edinboro University, but her spirit dances within the keys. She began playing at the precocious age of four, and as such, the skill at her fingertips is inarguable.

4) Where on Earth did this band name come from?

Meredith: My favorite letter combination has always been “SM”. I wanted to call the band “Stinky Meerkat” or “Saucy Mama”, but that didn’t really go with the sound of our band.

Steph: One time there was this homeless dude in a tweed suit playing saxophone on a sidewalk in downtown Pittsburgh and after he was done playing this sick improv solo he looked down at his sax with this smug look on his face and was like “Damn, this mouthpiece is suave!” and then he skipped off into the street where he was hit by an 18 wheeler. We felt it necessary to honor his memory in some way.

5) In your opinion, does the songwriter have any responsibilities to her/his audience? Does SM have an audience in mind when writing and recording? 

Steph: I think it’s a performer’s job to entertain, inspire, and intrigue, but how we go about that is up to the artist.

Meredith: Entertainment. That’s mostly Justin’s job. My job is to play bass and look bored.

Justin: Independent creators have not so much ‘responsibilities’ so much as ‘courtesies’ to those who support them. And even those courtesies are minimal, and have absolutely no place behind the pen or the mic. We refuse to engage at Pittsburgh’s traditional rock venues as a favor to our supporters – who tend to be a more smartly-dressed breed and don’t quite deserve the condescension. Without hazarding a dip on quality, we keep everything as affordable as humanly possible, because we wish that that was a consideration that our favorite performers would entertain. And it’s quite easy to do, which is why we can’t fathom why so many groups in Pittsburgh consciously elect to keep sweaty, old promoters fat.


6) Describe the recording process.

Meredith: The result is worth experiencing, even if our sound isn’t typically what you would normally listen to. The live sound is so much different than the recorded sound, that I think, with as much humility as possible, that we’re worth watching, if not for the sound, for the experience of listening and watching something that can’t really be compared to anything else in the music world.

Steph: If you’ve ever carried a really heavy box down a flight of stairs, slipped, tumbled down 500 steps to the bottom while the contents of said box exploded everywhere as you went, crashing and bouncing unpredictably, and your body is struck by lightening and suddenly thrown into a back flip and you triumphantly stick the landing without a scratch, it’s kind of like that.

Justin: Physical. Heavily dependent on physics, as Steph noted. On a relative subject, I struggle with the concept of groups who lack vocalists with characteristic voices. It seems as if they have no intent to be heard. More often am I willing to overlook a sludgy musical backdrop if a voice is naturally individual; the reverse typically does not apply. The recorded versions of song vocals must impart every definitive biological misfire that occurs from the writing process. Then, any rational mind would consider it obvious that, when you wander one path in the studio, you have the freedom to follow another live – well, we won’t get into Bruno Mars’ personal shortcomings.

7) Any new projects on the horizon?

Justin: Always. “TASTE by Suavity’s Mouthpiece” is, of course, the launchpad for our first original live recording release, entitled “HEAR Suavity’s Mouthpiece,” which will be issued early Summer 2013. That’s me tying up personal loose ends – ever since I began creating music professionally, I’ve wanted to do a live album. It’s a jubilance thing, really. But, once my perverse need is satisfied, it’s back to heightened misery – which is already well in the works, foaming at the bit, I can assure you. And I beseech any curious independent filmmakers to please seek me out.

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“The Most Unoriginal Original Band” Around: Bam Margera and F@ckface Unstoppable (full interview and pictorial)

Maybe Bam should start calling his band “The Bam Margera Experience” instead of F@ckface Unstoppable. It’s contradictory to the point, to Bam’s vision, to his persona…but that really is what you get at the show; an experience. This is the second time Bam has graced Pittsburgh with his show in the last four months thanks to Chaos Concert Entertainment.  It’s a great showcase for Pittsburgh talent on a main stage as well as a chance to see Bam do something besides destroy his body.  With a set basically made up of punk and mountain music classic covers mixed with F@ckface Unstoppable originals, they will surprise the uninitiated, in a good way.  They are more than a garage band, but not pretentious enough to pretend that at this point they are reaching to be rock stars either.  Joined by his brother Jess on drums (as well as Chad and Matty J from CKY), the dueling/combination percussionist rhythm section was a nice addition to the set and really added punch.  The band was tight and sounded really good, surely helped from having toured so extensively as of late.  But tonight was about having a great time and that’s what everyone had, especially from the opening introduction by Bam and Jesse’s dad, Phil (to the crowd’s delight), and a surprise “performance” of the well-known Novak (Brandon Novak of the CKY videos as well as Jackass) as he attempted to sing the classic Phil Collins tune, “In the Air Tonight”…naked…duct taped. We can’t really relay the experience in words and do it justice, but we hope you get some of the gist by these pics and our exclusive interview with Bam. Special thanks to tour manager Frank (you’re awesome bro!), Bill of Chaos Concert Entertainment, and Andrew of The Pittsburgh Pulse…and of course Bam who was super cool, gracious, and the ultimate host.   Check out our interview with Bam here: 

All pictures  ©2013 AWeldingphoto, Pittsburgh Music Magazine, and Bam Margera

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Big dady Phil intros the show
Big daddy Phil intros the show…
View from backstage as Phil intros the show
View from backstage as Phil intros the show.
The "rear" view of Novak singing  some Phil Collins
The “rear” view of Novak singing some Phil Collins.

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"In The Air Tonight"...
“In The Air Tonight”…
Bam laughing at his buddy Novak
Bam laughing at his buddy Novak.
Phil and Bam taking in all that is Novak
Phil and Bam taking in all that is Novak…
the entrance of Bam...
The entrance of Bam…

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Raunchy part ways with vocalist and hire Mike Semesky (formerly of HAARP Machine)

Just got this via our good friend Mike Semesky…we can’t begin to tell you how excited we are for him (and listeners)!

 

News from the RAUNCHY camp

Sadly Kasper has decided to leave the band. No drama whatsoever and we wish him the best of luck in the future. Kasper has been a big part of RAUNCHY and done a great job on the last three albums and will remain a good friend. You can read a statement from Kasper over at www.raunchy.dk

So who´s going to handle the lead vocals on the forthcoming RAUNCHY album? We are proud to welcome the very talented Mike Semesky (formerly of The Haarp Machine) as the new lead singer. After hearing his vocals on some early demos for the forthcoming RAUNCHY album we are beyond satisfied and very excited to start a new chapter with Mike. We are still writing and demoing ideas for the next album and we expect to enter the studio later this year.

We have some tour dates coming up for late june and october so stay tuned.

RAUNCHY

http://www.facebook.com/pages/RAUNCHYofficial

 

 

You “Dont Wanna Miss” Sophia Shy (The PGH Music Mag Interview)

This north of the border pop-star is as sweet as she is beautiful.  Working w/ 7 Aurelius, she is well on her way to becoming the next household name in music.  Her new video, “Won’t Stop Your Love” is an animation-styled video that features Sophia as the heroine completing the quest for love.  Sorry boys, she won’t be wearing the outfit from the video when she performs! “Won’t Stop Your Love” is a catchy, upbeat house anthem that has been making its way onto the airwaves throughout the States. She will be debuting two new singles in the Spring, “ Don’t Wanna Miss” and “Break Your Heart Tonight”.

Click on the link to hear Sophia talk about who inspired her musically as a child, what it’s like working with a major music producer, creating an animation video, the motivation behind her songs/lyrics and much more.

Sophia Shy The Pittsburgh Music Magazine interview

Lucky Number 7: Trinakrius Explore the Seven Deadly Sins on Newest Album

Italian metal group Trinakrius has undergone a huge amount of changes since their inception in 1995. From lineup to label changes, the band has seen its shares of departures and arrivals, all while adapting to many different shifts in the metal atmosphere. It’s been a bumpy ride for the group, but their newest album Seven Songs of Seven Sins, doesn’t stand in a specific zone of metal. Trinakrius has proven their love for both the sludgy darkness of Black Sabbath and the faster speed metal of Judas Priest, which is a combination that could have been misguided and polarizing among the metal community.

Fortunately, the two influences don’t conflict, instead appearing right where either of them are required. Combining the weight of Black Sabbath with the speed of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal isn’t easy, as they are very different animals. Trinakrius are an ambitious group of musicians to mix both, and while some of the songs lack the tight focus of their influences, Seven Songs of Seven Sins offers a considerable amount of variety along with a broodingly dark atmosphere that echoes the greats of black metal like Opeth.

For an album based around the seven deadly sins, Trinakrius doesn’t do too much with the concept. There aren’t many cases with the lyrics where you can see the band stepping outside of an established template. It’s a brilliant topic that feels fit for both power and doom metal. However, the execution on “Seven Songs…” feels like a missed opportunity. There are some very inventive ideas on the album: “Sloth…” for example is drawn out, sluggish and heavy. “Lust…” is faster, more intense, and energized. This match-up between subject matter and sound is where the entire concept feels at home, but despite the band’s stellar compositions and musicianship, the concept feels wasted among many of the other erratic songs on the album.

While Trinakrius’ implementation of the “seven deadly sins” concept is a bit underwhelming, the musicianship itself is tight and atmospheric. Vocalist Fabio Sparacello mixes the ascendant banshee wails of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, while guitarist Emanuele “Izzy” Bonura’s versatile axe work takes both the slow and fast roads without misstep. The implementation of keyboards from Alessio Romeo is where the ethereal elegance can show, even when Bonura lays down the hammer with earth-shaking guitar riffs. The band even takes cues from modern day thrash, shown clearly in the revving opening (and later guitar solo) to “Greed (All Mine).” It’s clear that Trinakrius have worked through a number of different metal eras; they’ve seen it all, and as a result, they aren’t afraid to try it all.

Trinakrius’ slight hindrance at the construction of narrative and concept in their music is disappointing, but Seven Songs of Seven Sins still demonstrates a tight anthological tome of all styles metal. You’ll find the slower and darker Black Sabbath influences wide awake with the Judas Priest-influenced guitar solos and Sparacello’s magnificent crow of a metal voice. How each composition fits into the grander tapestry of the album is where there is untapped potential. The album doesn’t feel entirely complete in that regard. If you can ignore the messily implemented concept, you’ll find some fantastic musicianship on Seven Songs of Seven Sins, some that could even rival the genre’s influential forefathers.

The Rize of Tenacious D in Pittsburgh: Proving Rock is Not Dead at Stage AE

“Is this your first time for the D?” asks one of our Pittsburgh Music Magazine writers.  “Yes it is”, and after what I experienced it most definitely will not be the last.  From the opening ‘encore’ of Rize of the Fenix they had me.  The sold out high capacity crowd literally packed every nook and cranny of Stage AE in Pittsburgh’s Northside to see our heroes, JB and KG, otherwise known worldwide as Jack Black and Kyle Gass.  For those uninitiated to the ways of the D, these  gentlemen have gone back to their roots of two dudes and their acoustics rockin’ out incredibly catchy tunes with gut splitting lyrics.  First hitting the scene with the smash hit “Tribute” on their self titled debut, Tenacious D has gone on to release three albums including the latest Rize of the Fenix and their sophomore LP The Pick of Destiny.

The theatrics of both gents had the crowd not only laughing at and with them, but singing every lyric, of every song, and having the time of their lives.  By the third song, “Senorita”, I was supremely mad at myself for having never seen them live before.  I too was having an amazing time and not ever wanting it to end.  How often does one get to rock out and laugh?  It’s a delicate combination that many have tried and failed.  The D has made a classic model out of it and the joke does not go stale as with most comedic musical acts.  Maybe it’s the peppering of cover songs like led Zeppelin’s “Rock n Roll” or The Beatles “You Never Give Me Your Money” mixed with classic routines familiar to their fans like  “Dude I Totally Miss You” and sure to be new classics like “Rock is Dead”.  Of course the crowd went ape when “Tribute” was played and the finale “Fuck Her Gently”, but they were still bursting at the seams along with lesser known  melodies such as “The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and Rage Cage” and “Low Hangin’ Fruit”.  The stripped down acoustic tour is an excellent idea, even though it negates my fave tune of theirs, “The Metal”, and proves that you don’t need a bunch of crazy lights and massive screens or even a wall of amps and electric guitars to totally rock…you just need the D.

All photos property of AWeldingphoto/Pittsburgh Music Magazine  and Tenacious D  ©2013

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NOT GUILTY! Randy Blythe of Lamb of God Finally Gets Justice

From Loudwire.com

Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe was acquitted of manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic when a not guilty verdict was handed down today (March 5). After spending five weeks in a a Czech prison this past summer and standing trial over two sessions this winter, Blythe is a free man.

Czech news agency Blesk.cz reports that the three-judge panel acquitted Randy Blythe today after a trial that lasted four days in February and then resumed for another two days this week. The metal vocalist was detained on suspicion of manslaughter in June 2012 for his alleged involvement in the death of 19-year-old fan Daniel Nosek during a fall from the stage at a 2010 Lamb of God concert.

Prior to the verdict, Blythe addressed the courtroom today, stating, “I know I did not hurt or want to hurt anybody that night. I can understand the pain that the family of Daniel is experiencing. Daniel was a fan of my band. I had no wish to harm him. He was just a boy and I wish he was still here. If ultimately the Czech legal system sentences me to prison, I will do my sentence like a man. I have searched for an answer to this situation, the only one I can find to this tragic and horrible accident.”

According to The Gauntlet, earlier today, the last expert testimony of the trial came from a biomechanics expert who testified that the alleged victim, Daniel Nosek, could not have turned his body 180 degrees if pushed off the stage. The expert also stated that Nosek would have had to have jumped to land beyond the first row of fans.

WTVR reports that after the decision, the State Attorney revealed his attention to appeal the ruling. He has eight days to file his appeal.

This morning, before entering the court, Blythe took to his Instagram account, to post the following message:

It’s a beautiful morning in Prague, & time for me to go to what is (hopefully) my final day in court here- supposedly judgement will be passed today & I will move on with my life in one direction or the other. Which direction that is, I do not know. I could walk free, or conversely go to prison for up to ten years. Such is my life right now, & I must stay in this moment until its resolution. Whatever happens to me, do not feel sorry for me, for I am at peace & refuse to feel sorry for myself. Life happens. Deal with it. Some people cannot understand why I have returned, saying I should not come back here. KNOW THIS, & mark my words well- it would be absolutely intolerable for me to hide from this situation. I am an innocent man, but a family suffers the loss of a son, a fan of my band. That is what this whole thing is truly about, not prison, not money, not politics, not ME- it is about a young man who lost his life at just 19 years of age. He will never come back, & it breaks my heart. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I did not behave honorably & try to give his family some answers. That would be disgraceful, and I do not wish to dishonor myself or my family by acting in such a cowardly manner. I was raised to face my problems head on. For me, this is BEING A MAN. I categorically refuse to live in a constant state of guilt & fear. I would rather die. My morality & convictions are not dependent upon unforeseeable circumstance, nor malleable when difficulty arises. So I walk this morning to court with my head held high, no matter what others opinions of me may be. I have to face myself in the mirror, & tomorrow morning, where ever I may wake up, I will be able to do that without regret. This is THE ONLY path to true freedom for me- peace within myself. This is the manner in which I choose to try my best to live my life, & I hope you all do the same- do your best to do what is right, no matter how difficult it may be. I promise you, this will bring you peace. I thank you all for your support, I wish you all a good day, & to quote one of my favorite movies: STRENGTH AND HONOR.

Then, after the not guilty verdict, the Lamb of God frontman posted the following message accompanied by the photo below:

I have been found not guilty & acquitted of all charges against me. I am a free man. This photo was taken by my friend @aceyslade- it says it all. Please remember the family of Daniel Nosek in your thoughts & prayers in this difficult time. I only wish for them peace. Thank you for your support- Randy

Randy-Free1

Howie Day Hits the Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh with a Ceasefire

PMM's correspondent Rea meets up with Howie Day after the show...
PMM’s correspondent Rea meets up with Howie Day after the show…

Howie Day is an artist that has a long lasting presence and effect that produces a musician with longevity, one that respects his audience, but travels their own road.  It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since “Collide” from Stop All The World Now made Howie Day a household name.  I remember not only being a big fan of that LP, but chilling out to his previous effort in 2000, Australia.  To this day one of my guiltiest pleasures is to sing and play along with an amazing collection of covers that he did earlier in his career, both studio and live, that I mainly acquired from the internet.  It came as a huge surprise that he would be playing such an intimate show (through Drusky entertainment)  in Pittsburgh at The Hard Rock Cafe in Station Square on his Winter Tour in support of Ceasefire .

If you were not looking at him on stage, you might miss Howie these days.  My wife overheard one person in the audience ask him if he was with the band while we were back by the bar and he just took it all in stride.  Maybe it’s his relaxed demeanor or the beard he sports these days that we asked him about after the show, “Well, I’m in my thirties now”.  But when he’s onstage there is certainly a fire that comes alive.

Even an unabashed headbanger like myself can find the beauty in Day’s music and his performances are known to be top notch on a consistent basis. Unpretentious, funny, soulful, and playful would be the best way I could portray the set that included his hits, new material, and some visitation of his body of work through the years.   Highlights were of course “Collide”, “Perfect Time of Day”, “She Says”, and “Sorry so Sorry”.  But Day’s talent of injecting sarcastic humor throughout the evening and his talent of recording and looping his guitar playing, banging, and singing and then playing along with it seconds later were some the real cherries of the experience.

Check out some of Howie’s new stuff at http://howieday.com/

All photos ©AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine 2013

 

 

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Moduloktopus Gives PMM: MIXTOPUS – UNRELEASED Originals/Remixes

MIXTOPUS is a new DJ mix series composed of All original + remixes. It takes a special sneak peak into many unreleased productions and journeys through the various genres that make the Moduloktopus sound unique in its own way. It also includes artwork by Venezuelan artist Edgar Menendez

Exclusively from PMM…FREE DOWNLOAD:  db.tt/iINte2xZ

You may not already be aware of Boston’s Moduloktopus, but you should start paying attention because this bass-heavy Electronic Music Chameleon is making waves in 2013.

The Dominican producer living in Boston has been creating a buzz amongst various blogs (Earmilk, Gotta Dance Dirty, Run The Trap, Wicked, Klubb Ace etc…). The artist is solely in love with the creative process and the capacity to express emotions and movements through music in such a way that people can identify some link between how they feel and how they felt during other moments in life. His style is a hypnotic combination of EDM genres, experimental sounds, multi-dimensional melodies, soaring build ups, and climatic Sub Bass body motions.

With the release of numerous genre hybrids, there is no limit to what the artist has in store for the world every week.

Moduloktopus    
Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/Modulok
Facebook: http://facebook.com/Moduloktopus
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Moduloktopus

Edgar Menendez
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Early Spring Trifecta With Fletcher, The End Men & Land Lines

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Team Clermont-Fletcher began in early 2012 as a basement project between English brothers Oscar and Harvey Baker and their Chicagoan friend Tom Fry. Since then, the group has been steadily creating an incredible buzz as one of rock music’s new, relevant acts. The band has developed a strand of new-age British Rock with quirky melodies and brain tingling music. Insisting on sticking to a three-piece, Fletcher has created a vigorous and chemistry-driven connection between each member.

Their release details have a hard time comparing them to other acts, as their sound is so different. They’ve heard names such as The Flaming Lips, Arctic Monkeys, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Kooks, Kings of Leon, The Strokes – but nobody can quite figure their influence. They like it that way evidently. Oscar Baker might not be the rock star that Johnny Borrell is but his vocals are easily on par. There is a coy appeal to their sound and delivery and you can def hear the resemblences to The Artic Monkeys and Razorlight.  I’ll stop here with the references and let you hear for yourself. I’m in queue for the this April 9th self release date and hope to review the entire record then.

 

The End Men start off Play With Your Toys” by Cleaning Your Mind. The first track is a haunting chant with the unmistakeable voice of singer-songwriter Matthew Hendershot delivering a lecture to get your head right.  Now Hendershot’s voice has been compared to Tom Waits which I can accept.  He’s a crooner that showcases his sound via the two piece approach in live settings. He is joined by the very talented Livia Ranalli on drums, percussions, toys, vox, other noise makers.

Sound likes: warm fuzzed out guitars, great acoustic boomy drums, grooving purposeful bass lines, raspy storytelling vox, interesting song arrangements, unpredictable, stellar percussive ideas.

 

The Brooklyn based duo have a devilish lure about them. Hendershot channels a villain storyteller from a Disney movie who’d do well in pairing with filmmaker Tim Burton to create a gloomy storyboard. Track 4 “Into The Mine” is a fascinating composition that projects a male version of Cinderella’s Lady Tremaine or maybe a down and out Jafar sitting on some rolled up oriental rugs smoking squares in beat up attire.

 

The End Men are garage-rock pioneers on a time warp circus tour telling warm sounding stories. Forget the snake oil people this is as real as it gets. Play With Your Toys is your spring-summer BBQ soundtrack.

Land Lines is a Colorado based strings band. The players are Martina Grbac, Anna Mascorella and Ross Harada. Their 11 track release under the same name is a collection of very live sounding works.

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Sounds like: bright tamborines, cellos, two part female harmonies, plucked strings a very different sound from bowing, short and percussive rather than sustained-pizzicato, straight ahead songs, militant drumming, bells.

I especially like their very acoustic sound sans electricity.  Martina Grbac’s voice carries the tonality of Dolores O’Riordan‘s. The approach is very safe in terms of progression. They tend to stay in the same key too much for my liking.  I keep waiting for the sonic palette to change and would love to hear some electronica somewhere underneath it all. The trio makes up for these simple shortcomings with very dynamic songs and vocals. They appear to be happy with “instruments, books and hot water” and what else do you really need right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repackaging Our Early Century’s Post-Punk Characteristics, Atlas Release “Shapes”

  Is it too early to bring back the sounds of Interpol and the Strokes? Admittedly, those bands were a breath of fresh air at the turn of the century, though they soon proved they were one-trick ponies. But is a band necessarily at fault for repackaging a sound that was once thought to be saving rock and roll? Opinions may vary, but admit it, you liked those bands in the wee hours of the Bush administration. 

   Pittsburgh based indie-rock quartet, Atlas, certainly offer up an interpretation of Turn On the Bright Lights but there may be more Joy Division to their sound than Interpol. So if you are turned off by the time capsule that is early 21st  century post-punk (for which no one can find fault–especially not this author) you need not worry about Atlas’ sophomore EP, “Shapes”, and you may find it worth a spin or two.

   Atlas released their first EP in the spring of 2011. Guitarists Jon Miller, and Mike Slobodian, drummer, Nick McCall, and bassist/frontman, Eric Emerson combined to form the self titled debut. After a few legs of an east coast and mid-west tour Nick McCall left the band for Washington and was replaced by Graeme Louden. The band regrouped and released “Shapes” in the summer of 2012.

   Produced by the prolific J.Vega, “Shapes” is an aggressive five song collection with a refined post-punk attitude. While Atlas mine the caves of 80’s and early 2000’s new wave, they certainly have enough influences to keep “Shapes” original. The Bends era Radiohead is called to mind and late Rx Bandits which may be responsible for the prog thread that runs throughout.

   The third track of the EP, “All We Live For Dies” is certainly the most creative of the five and shows that Atlas do in fact have their own sound. The song opens with mid-range piano calmly establishing the melody as a violin whines underneath it. The vocals are precise and the dynamic change at the two-minute mark keeps the EP’s aggression intact.

   The closing track “Magnus” is unremarkable and the EP would have been better served closing out with the catchier, more energetic “Call Yourself A Friend.” J. Vega’s superb production, though, makes “Magnus” listenable.

   “Shapes” may not be a home run but it is worth sharing with your friends and does pave the way for some very talented musicians and songwriters to offer up something even more creative in the future. Keep your eye on this band, Pittsburgh, they’re likely to impress with something even more creative and original. 

        

Black Francis & Reid Paley Breathe Fresh Air Into Club Cafe

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Black Francis Set List w Special Guest Reid Paley
  1. (Pixies song)
  2. (Gary Green cover)
  3. (Pixies song)

Read a very cool interview by Pittsburgh Post’s Scott Mervis with Reid Paley here.

Welcome to Blackgrass: “Blood & Banjos” Demo Pioneers Folk/Metal Mix

Banjos haven’t had their place in metal yet. Sure, there was that one Mastodon song, but how often do you hear acoustic instruments like the banjo among gritty guitar licks and thunderous vocal shouts? Blood & Banjos aim to change that. The band’s distinctive sound (dubbed “blackgrass”) is making motions to blend the fury of black metal with the acoustic sensibilities of bluegrass. On their way to releasing a full 10-song studio concept album, Blood & Banjos have released a 3-song demo demonstrating an eclectic genre blend that takes many of the best parts of their favorite musical fields and puts them together in shocking combinations that work out better than anyone could’ve expected.

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The demo has humble beginnings. Opening track “The Binding” is a steady, folksy jam with plenty of twang from the band’s namesake instrument. Siren vocals and steady croons glide along a banjo theme well. It’s lighter, brisker, but could easily pass as your typical country/folk tune. “The Binding” is a decent track, but one that does nothing to cement the band’s creativity in mixing otherwise incongruent genres. You won’t find much “blackgrass” here.

The way that Blood & Banjos jump between genres like nobody’s business comes across as rough at times, smoother at others. “Judge, Jury, and Executioner” begins with a slick banjo groove only to shockingly enter the world of metal, with screaming vocals similar to that of Dir en Grey and heavily distorted guitars. Right when you get used to the furious blitzkrieg of black metal, Blood & Banjos suppress and return to a folksy, fiddle-driven jam with vocals that echo the work of Glenn Danzig. Right after that settles, it’s back to the metal and screaming. The transition is more startling than consistent, and it can make for some slightly uneven pacing, but it’s a unique step, one that could move to influence other ambitious compositions in the band’s future.

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“Sons of Darkness” proves to be a much better flowing piece than “Judge, Jury, and Executioner.” The transitions have better buildup, the guitar solos get to shine a bit brighter, and the vocals are furious and powerful without being grating. It’s with “Sons of Darkness” that the band takes the better pieces of cinematic metal like Dream Theater while mixing in that folksy groove that they solidify in the other two songs on the demo. You can see the band’s vision, their emphasis on epic scores among almost intimate sounds from the acoustic instruments; it’s a promising one. If the band’s upcoming album focuses more on the climactic motions of “Sons of Darkness”, prepare for one hell of a ride.

Blood & Banjos mix metal, folk and bluegrass into one of the most bizarrely satisfying purees of genres in recent memory. From the band’s very concept, Blood & Banjos are pushing musical boundaries in bizarre ways. “Sons of Darkness” is a fantastic experimental track, one that indicates a bright future for these banjo-twanging brainiacs. Though the transitions in the other tracks could’ve been tighter and a bit more ambitious, Blood & Banjos are resolute in their sound and they will be one to watch in the coming months.

You will be headbanging. To banjos. Just think about that.

Bon Jovi Rocks Pittsburgh ‘Because They Can’

Last night AEG Live brought Bon Jovi back to Pittsburgh on their “Because We Can Tour” to a sold out Consol Energy Center. Performing on an open style stage, Jon Bon Jovi got the party started immediately by opening with their smash hit, “You Give Love a Bad Name”. The crowd was overly enthusiastic and primed when the band hit the stage at 8:10 pm and the band certainly reacted in turn. With a large majority of the crowd appearing to be loyalists since the bands inception in 1983, it was interesting to see their reaction to tunes both classic and ‘not so classic’. The fever pitch seemed to never wane for the Steel City audience. Bon Jovi is on the early leg of their world tour in support of their new album, What About Now, which will be released on March 12, 2013. The tour will started in February and will visit North America, Europe, Africa, the Far East, Australia and Latin America.

Check out our exclusive pictorial below and stay tuned for a very special announcement about our contest for a signed Bon Jovi “Because We Can” tour poster, exclusive print from the show and Pittsburgh Music Magazine t-shirt!!!

All photos ©AWeldingphoto 2013 and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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Setlist 2/21/13
You Give Love a Bad Name
Lost Highway
Whole Lot of Leavin’
Because We Can
That’s What the Water Made Me
It’s My Life
When We Were Beautiful
What About Now
We Got It Goin’ On
Keep the Faith
(You Want to) Make a Memory
Amen
I’ll Be There for You
Army of One
We Weren’t Born to Follow
Superman Tonight
Wanted Dead or Alive
Who Says You Can’t Go Home
Bad Medicine
Encore:
Blood on Blood
Born to Be My Baby
Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night
Have a Nice Day
Runaway
Livin’ on a Prayer
Encore 2:
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

DysfunctionFest: Circle7 Announces Trapt

Circle7 and DysfunctionFest have spent the last week preparing for the announcement of the band that will be taking the national headlining spot at the first annual Circle7 DysfunctionFest. Recently, they announced that this band will be Trapt.

Trapt, popular for their songs “Headstrong” and “Echo” has released their new album Reborn on January 22nd, and the album has already been getting rave reviews and has climbed to the top of iTune charts in a very short period of time, reaching number 2 in just a few short weeks.

DysfunctionFest is an event organized by Circle7, GarageDog Records and BlackAsylum Entertainment to begin to change their local music scene and help bring fans to an area where shows like these typically would not happen.

“We are excited to bring Trapt to DysfunctionFest. It will give the fans in the area as well as all of the performing bands a truly memorable experience.” said Circle7 front man Mark Thomas.

DysfunctionFest will consist of an incredible line up of talent including; Chain The Scylla, Beyond Daylght, Forever I Remain, A Moment Of Victory, One Pretty Minute (from Columbus OH), and of course Circle7. A spokesperson with DysfunctionFest has said that a few more band spots are available, as well as sponsor and vendor spots.

DysfunctionFest 2013 is taking place on Saturday, June 15th, 2013 at The Ice Mine in Connellsville, PA and will begin at 12:00pm noon. Fans will filter in to hear some of the area’s most talented groups of musicians. The evening will come to an end with main event performances from One Pretty Minute, Circle7 and Trapt.

If you would like to get more information about DysfunctionFest, or if you would like to inquire about sponsor, vendor, band spots, or tickets, please visit DysfunctionFest online.

DysfunctionFest Official Website: http://www.dysfunctionfest.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DysfunctionFest
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DysfunctionFest

Coheed and Cambria and Between The Buried and Me fans sell out Stage AE, Pittsburgh

Russian Circles, Between the Buried and Me, and Coheed and Cambria certainly made their rounds at Pittsburgh’s Stage AE on Thursday, Feb. 8th

A mutual friend on Facebook shared an interesting article in relation to the sold out show at Stage AE, last Thursday.  I kept an open mind about reading the article, but there were a few things (mostly choices with language) presented themselves as red flags.  The author chose a colorful array of words to describe the “emotionally sterile” performance of Between the Buried and Me.

Maybe he couldn’t see the performance? The author describes the set as “Wanky.” In no way was this show, “contemptible” or “worthless,” which is the true definition of the British slang term “wanky.”  The quintet from North Carolina displayed nothing less than an energetic and passionate performance.  From bass player Dan Briggs running back and forth from stage left to right, to vocalist/keyboardist Tommy Giles standing on feedback amps, mirroring a symphony leader. Alternating from chilling vocals to playing keyboard, I think requires a little bit of effort and talent, no? All the photos included in the article were taken from way up on the balcony, as opposed to where Pittsburgh Music Magazine was located right in front of the gate. “Songs made no structural sense.” – Seeing as several members are classically trained, I’m not really sure where there’s validity in any of this? I almost don’t even know how to respond to that.  Is he referring to signature changes?

“Not many prog-metal frontmen would hit the stage with a ukulele, but Claudio Sanchez couldn’t care less about the rules.” – This serves as a totally contradictory statement to previous attack against BTBAM. Is this not exceeding the boundaries in creativity? I’m confused.  Oh and by the way, Coheed and Cambria are definitely not categorized as “prog-metal,” more melodic rock as you described earlier. 

“Jumping through genres (I swear there was jazz fusion and country in there, too)” …uhh dude, I think that’s kind of the point? This is what music is all about… especially “progressive” metal.  The title of the genre espouses the experimental nature of the agenda, overtly.  None of these accusations really have any fortification in any way.  BTBAM put on an incredible performance, just as they do always.  I’m not sure if the author had never heard them before, or was just trying to challenge the show in general, or really simply left unimpressed? I’m interested.

The author has since revised his review with a mild apology toward BTBAM’s fans, who jumped on this immediately.  Stating that he “Has probably seen King Crimson before many of you were born. And it wasn’t like it was my first rodeo.” Well, I definitely have my share of King Crimson floating around on my I-pod, and I certainly can’t compare the two.  Regardless of their talent, King Crimson is even weirder and more chaotic than Between the Buried and Me! Regardless of the intent behind the negative review of the performance, whether taste, personal preference, or unrealistic standards, verbally bashing an incredibly structured set and delivery is like standing in quicksand when it comes to a reaction from their loyal fan-base. Seven albums later, Between the Buried and Me are revered as one of the greatest to experience live, and constantly receiving loads of recognition from many productive musicians on the scene today.  I think I’m going to have to go ahead and politely disagree with the statement “an interminable hour of heavy music with a deadening effect.” Between the Buried and me arguably transcend the sound of progressive metal.  Everyone that I know personality, even down to friends in Periphery and other successful progressive bands to the scene list their 2012 The Parallax II: Future Sequence (released on October 9th), as the best album of the year.

These guys slayed, along, with Russian Circles and Coheed and Cambria to create an unforgettable experience for myself, and others who were lucky enough to be present to this sold out event. 


All photos property and copyright 2013 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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PMM COO Alan with BTBAM bassist  and former Pittsburgher Dan Briggs
PMM COO Alan with BTBAM bassist and former Pittsburgher Dan Briggs

The Innervenus Music Collective Releases Two New Projects

  Musicians and labels alike are realizing that the old formula of recording, promoting, and releasing music is no longer sufficient. From the decline of CD sales to the death of radio the music industry has been struggling to define itself for over a decade now. The big-wigs are trying to hold on to an archaic model while more and more bands are realizing that it may be in their best interest to record and release their music themselves. This way they are not caught up in multi-album deals that pressure them into a creative tail-spin, nor are they financially indebted to a label that sinks hundreds of thousands of dollars into promotion. Emerging out of all of this change are multiple options for the independent musician, one of which is the music collective. 

   The Innervenus Music Collective is one such model. Formed in 2001 they offer everything that a label can offer, such as distributing records, booking shows, and creating merchandise. The benefit over a label, though, is the low cost due to the DIY approach. Innervenus uses some outside resources for certain aspects of manufacturing, but most of the support given to their artists comes from Innervenus themselves. In other words, if Innervenus can do it, Innervenus will do it. 

   Perhaps the most notable aspect to Innervenus is that while they do have a board of directors seeing to the business end of things: art direction, distribution, public relations, etc, the bands are just as involved in the success of the collective.  In fact, a few of Innervenus’ bands share multiple members, testifying to the support everyone provides. When asked if this approach tended towards a lack of focus on a particular project, music and art director,Scott Massie, replied, “our connections are more with people than with bands, so it doesn’t matter if they’re in multiple bands. We like it actually. It keeps us closer.”  

   Innervenus is releasing two projects February 12th with a release show scheduled for Saturday, February 16th: Grisly Amputation’s Cannibalistic Tendencies and Lycosa’s self-titled EP. Cannibalistic Tendencies merges the grind metal aesthetic with old school slasher film imagery. The opening track is a gruesome auditory presentation of a murder victim begging that someone get his assailant off of him. As you may guess, the killer wins the day. It’s not all gore and horror, though. Grisly Amputation has some chops and their syncopation is superb. 

   Lycosa describes themselves as “new school meets old school mayhem.” The description is apt. The grindcore vocals are almost melodic, pulling the listener in to witness the song’s narrative that at first seems buried under an ocean of energy.  With post-punk production and guitar riffs inspired by metal pioneers such as a Megadeth, Lycosa presents something new and interesting yet still recognizable. 

   Steel Town metal heads should be proud of Pittsburgh’s metal heritage and would be wise to check out Innervenus’ projects. With over a decade in the game, Innervenus is now raising the next generation of metal artists. Supporting them means changing the industry and being a part of the collective. 

http://innervenus.org/artists/lycosa/

http://innervenus.org/artists/grisly-amputation/

Gojira and Devin Townsend SELL OUT Mr.Smalls, Pittsburgh PA

Since the cancellation of the 2012 North American summer tour dates with Lamb of God and Deathklok, Gojira finally made their way back to Pittsburgh at Mr. Smalls in Millvale. The voyage of the French Death Metal quartet had been much anticipated by fans from all over. Vans and buses with out of state license plates halted to a stop near the venue mid-day, and metal-heads alike sifted through the doors like a clown car. The energy and camaraderie was thick in the teasing spring air and sun, as an omen that this was going to be an experience of a life-time for all.

Pittsburgh Music Magazine had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Devin Townsend himself for the second time, hours before the doors opened. As myself and Chief of Operations Alan Welding walk into his dressing room backstage of the venue, we are greeted by the pleasant echo of Townsend ripping through a new amp head. After Townsend energetically and genuinely asked us how were both doing, we jumped right into our extensively interesting interview.

After meeting with Townsend, who is unbelievably down to earth and intelligent, we ran into a few other down to earth dudes, to say the least. Catching up with Gojira themselves, Joe Duplantier on vocals and rhythm guitar, and Jean-Michel Labadie on bass was another incredible highlight. The guys chatted with us for a few minutes, asking if I was sick since they could hear it in my voice, and disclosing that they too, were also feeling under the weather. As a fan (and when I say fan, I mean A HUGE FAN), you never really know what you’re going to get when you meet your most revered musicians. ALL of Gojira’s discography plays on my iPod constantly, and “The Way of all Flesh” NEVER makes its way out of my car. Joe and Jean-Michel were extremely friendly and confirmed my admiration for their music, and the embodiment of the positive image they portray to their fans all over the world.

Hours later, the Atlas Moth, an American Post-Metal band from Chicago, warmed the stage with an impressive tone for The Devin Townsend Project, and Gojira. Townsend followed, surprising the hell out of me with his gritty performance. Behind closed doors this guy is a total gentleman and overall extremely intelligent goofball. On stage he is a total ‘effing rockstar. Switching out numerous guitars after nearly every song and flipping pedals left and right, this guy and his band members absolutely blew me away with their huge sound. Townsend’s ludicrous stage presence made him all the more charming and ominous, and his Rocky-Horror style really appealed not only to me as a new fan, but to the rest of his loyal followers.

The finality was the entrance of the ultimate rockstars themselves. Gojira besieged with “Explosia,” and an energy and aura that I’ve only ever dreamed of experiencing with a live performance. Something is so very different about Gojira in so many ways. Not a second went by that they didn’t have the entire audience by the pits of their stomachs, unable to blink with anticipation for every synchronized beat. I had to catch myself in the moment and stay with the performance in order to absorb it to the fullest, as much as I wanted to drift into a lullaby. Slaying songs like, “Vacuity” and “The Art of Dying” transitioned the entire set in the strongest, and most flawless performance I’ve ever witnessed. Everything was perfect, down to the implausible drum solo that left us totally speechless, to the faultless extended experimental solo from Mario Duplantier. Nearing the end of the set, Mario delivered an intensively moving statement paralleling, “This song is about the inner child that we all have protecting us. Always be true to yourself,” segwaying into “L’Enfant Sauvage.” Gojira was demanded back to the stage with an ear-shattering encore, where they absolutely killed “The Gift of Guilt” off of their new album, L’Enfant Sauvage. At no point in time was anyone lacking in energy or true commitment and passion to give Pittsburgh an incredible show. Their entire performance just made about 75% of every other metal band I’ve ever seen look like little girls. These guys were so crisp and clean that one could literally hear a pin drop at a pause from anywhere in the venue, and Jean-Michel delivered one of the most undulant bass performances unlike any I had seen. Oh yeah, and did I mention they were sick?

All Pictures copyright AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine 2013

PMM's Alan with Devin holding his very own Pittsburgh Music Mag T-shirt
PMM’s Alan with Devin holding his very own Pittsburgh Music Mag T-shirt

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Editor Kait Begley hanging with Joe and Jean-Michel from Gojira pre-show
Editor Kait Begley hanging with Joe and Jean-Michel from Gojira pre-show
COO Alan also with Joe and Jean-Michel of Gojira at The Millvale Diner
COO Alan also with Joe and Jean-Michel of Gojira at The Millvale Diner

Sandpaper Eyebrow’s Clockwork Utopia Has Time On It’s Side

Tick-tock, check the dial please…come in come in. I’m locked in my place with bells from a schoolgirls jewelry box. “Feel like I’ve been here before….feels like I walked through that door…..here in my head, here in my head”. “Electric Eye”, the second track on “Sandpaper Eyebrow’s” new full length release “Clockwork Utopia“, (Tuppence A Bag Records) takes you through a game of musical chairs. One minute you’re listening to fuzzed-out guitars meandering through organ sounds only to be dropped into a melodic acoustic holding pattern. Evidently, the key idea in Sandpaper’s minds-eye was dynamics. 

Initiating most adventurous ideas is a man or woman hidden behind a curtain. We all saw the Wizard Of Oz right? Well songwriter, David Georgiou has momentarily left his keyboards post with KingBathMat to handle all instrument duties on “Clockwork Utopia”, a 9 track synth-metal banger that sounds like an old Tommy Iommi demo CD. I keep waiting waiting for Ozzy’s voice. Georgiou’s guitar work isn’t on par with Iommi’s but let’s own up and understand not many guitarist are. The comparisons to Sabbath are in the sense of sound.  “Clockwork” does sound like a tracked but functional record. Meaning that there’s spots where the song staves off the prog groove, but human magic brings a sense realness to the songs.  The performance feels cared about, but would certainly benefit from the energy generated from a group or partial band recording.

“Ozone” is an eight minute jam that dabbles in vocal pitch tweaks and autotune segments. The song plods along on a ride cymbal carpet ride with phased out fills and warm metal guitar chords. This track is the strongest and could be best described as a heavy version of the band Elbow.  This is the direction Georgiou needs to go as he proves to be fully capable behind the knobs and engineering controls. He cleverly includes several sub-two minute interludes throughout, that nicely frame well arranged progressive explorations.

Kingbathmat’s frontman, John Bassett, lends his vocals on “Electric Eye” and “Ozone”. Rob Watts sings on “Clockwork Utopia” and Ishan Ladak on “To Nowhere”. There’s something to learned by the guest vocalist on this record. Basset’s experience brings an added strength to the Sandapaper Eyebrow CD. Georgiou will discover a much needed identity by having someone of Bassett’s caliber singing on future configurations. When he finds his “Ozzy” he’ll grow wings and elevate his promise and look back upon his footprints to map out another prog-adventure. One thing Sandpaper Eyebrow has is a budding young songwriter that’s fearless in his attempts to bring neo-metal prog rock back to the south shores of the UK.

Let’s go ahead and ask the man himself about his project shall we…

Upon completion of Clockwork Utopia what would you have done differently?
I think I would have just done more to it, I would have put in a few more songs and put a bit more effort into the final album. The album is mainly about time and time is one thing I didn’t have a lot of while I was recording the album.
I hear a lot of promise with The Sandpaper Eyebrows. Have you considered a permanent line-up with an experienced singer?
Yes, I tried to work with a few different singers during 2012 as I was trying to find the album sound I wanted, most of them either were too far away to be a permanent singer or were already in bands. I was planning to do a bit of singing myself on the second album, to make things easier for myself so as soon as I have an idea for a song I can just get straight onto recording it in my own time. I most likely will not like the sound of my own voice, so I will be looking for a more experienced singer who I can work with in the second album and for live shows.
How has your experience with KingBathmat shaped you as a songwriter?
Massively. I recorded the bonus demo track “To Nowhere” before I had joined KingBathmat and that was a huge fail. A month or two later I started recording little bits of what turned out to be Electric Eye, which I really wasn’t happy with and didn’t like very much, but I decided to post samples on Soundcloud anyway. This was just after I joined KingBathmat. I asked John at a practice if he’d be happy to record some vocals for a Sandpaper Eyebrows track. He then came back to me later to say that he had listened to the track I had recorded and that he’s come up with a vocal melody to it. After I had the final vocal recording and started putting the song together I decided to add the instrumental bass riff / guitar riff bit.  He then gave me a few tips on mixing and mastering for a few other tracks which I think may have saved the album from being completely un-listenable. 
I do realize that a lot of the tracks sound similar to KingBathmat, this is probably due to John featuring on a few tracks. I have a feeling that the second Sandpaper Eyebrows album will be quite a lot different in the way it sounds.
Please explain your goals with The Sandpaper Eyebrows and Tuppence A Bag Records.
I’d like to, by the end of 2013, have a full band for The Sandpaper Eyebrows and get gig ready. Then I will write songs with the band and see what sound suits us all. 2012 has probably been the worst year for me time wise, I’ve had no spare time to do anything really, I’d like to spend more time on Tuppence A Bag Records establishing a name, we are looking into working with a distribution company to get UK distribution physically and digitally very soon.
Describe the music scene in the southern region of England and how it changes as you proceed into London.
Well, in Hastings there are so many different types of genre and musical styles flying about the whole town, there’s anything from rock, pop punk, ska, acoustic to dubstep-metal. There is so much music constantly in Hastings but no one seems to buy albums anymore, at all. People take what they can if it’s free or very cheap, I think that’s mainly why the album is only £3. 
Writer & Editor, PMM
Photographer

The Girls Of Metal 4: GQ Girl and Raider Nation Rep Metal Cindy

Maybe you read about her in the last issue of GQ Magazine (Bill Murray on the cover). Maybe you spied her in the Oakland Raiders parking lot taking pictures with fans. Or maybe you caught her on Gene Simmons Family Jewels. Regardless, Metal Cindy is making the scene and her mark in her own special way wherever she goes. Cindy was kind enough to be a part of our spotlight feature “Girls of Metal” and gives us the lowdown on what this newbie to the Bay has going on. She is so beautiful, kind, and giving we may just even have to forgive her for not liking The Steelers…

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How do you feel about your portrayal and the reaction from the article “The Violent Femmes of Football” in GQ?

If I could only change the title that would be great, but it’s too late, it’s been published. I wish they could’ve fixed the title like ‘The Women That Love Football’ or something that sounds good; not violent, because I’m not violent. That’s not what we represent. One thing I don’t like is when people twist our words when I spend my whole time giving them so many positive thoughts about my team. (I’d like to see more of ) What I love to do such as welcome the away gamers, take pics, do our charity events, toy drives, my San Jose Raider drive booster, club events, non-profit organizations and so much good stuff. We already get so much (of a) reputation as crazy, but not everyone is like that, we superfans represent a good reputation.

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Your moniker is Metal Cindy- so what metal or non-metal bands are you listening to now? Who are your faves?

I grew up listening to classic rock and metal all my life, but when I want to have my time to rleax I listen to oldies and soft music. My fave artists of all time would be Kiss, Pantera, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Testament, Def Leoppard. And non metal?
I’m an honest person when it comes to music, I like Christina Aguilera, alicia Keys and many amazing artists. I just love
music…if it’s good I listen.

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Have you met any bands due to your “celebrity” status? Who would you most like to meet?

I have met a lot of band members, especially at the NAMM show. I met so many artists and I have actually kept in contact with few of them. I already met the person I had been wanting to meet, Gene Simmons, and I was so happy to be part of his TV show Family Jewels. I guest appeared as a Gene Simmons model a couple years ago at Hollywood, CA…this was for the roast they did of him, with all the comedians.

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What first drove you to become a ‘superfan’ of The Oakland Raiders and create the Metal Cindy persona?

My name Metal Cindy has been around forever. It started first by me modeling and working with bands to model their merchandise.
Then it lead me to interview bands including big known bands such as Sin Quirin the guitarist of Ministry, Brujeria (extreme metal band from LA), James Kottak of the Scorpions and a lot of underground metal bands. Then I’ve done a lot of hosting at clubs such as BATCAVE in Hollywood. After that I had my own venue where I did Sunday shows. I, myself, was the promoter and called it METALCINFUL SUNDAYS. As far as being a Raiders fan, my family are all Raiders fans. That was the first sport I ever got into and loved, and I started to follow from there, so its been forever. I just love the whole atmosphere on gameday. As a superfan I’m just like any regular Raider fan out there and I don’t label myself number one or bigger than any other fan. I just love supporting my team. I’m a very supportive person and not afraid to show something that i love and that’s being myself…Metal Cindy.

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What is happening now with your aspiring modeling career?

Right now I’ve been doing some work here and there, looking to do some different themes to model. I’ts always great to change it up. But for now I’m just concentrating on music more.

Are you drawn to dark fetish work and art? What type of work do you ultimately want to get involved with?

I hosted a fetish club in Hollywood called Batcave L.A. and appeared also in some fetish events, its just for fun
as a hobby, nothing more than that, no torture (lol).

What are your goals and aspirations for the next few years?

Music! My band I just recently formed called KISSERS. It’s an all girl female KISS tribute band to go on tour. And of course at the moment I’m hitting the studio to record original music with other projects I’m working on.

What other types of things are you into when football season is over?

When the season is over we still continue to do our charityies and our booster club events. Raider Nation is always happening
and we Raiders fans always keep it going all year round, Raider Nation is 365 days a year, it’s 24/7… 24hours a day 7 days a week. I’m also an artist. I love to paint and do clay figures for fun too.

Besides the Raiders, what are your favorite things about Oakland and the surrounding area?

I just moved from Hollywood, California, still new to the Bay. I’ve got two years living here and I’m still building my roots.
But the Bay is very beautiful so far and what’s best is that I met a lot of people in the music industry.

Any feelings about the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Not a Pittsburgh fan (lol). I focus on my team and stick to my team.

Check out Cindy at http://www.metalcindy.com/

NOLA’s Lyrikill Bares Heart & Sole

“It’s time to bring back individuality to this music—while I’m proud of the South’s success, I don’t think it always reflects many of the true elements of Southern living.” Lyrikill is a man who holds his roots deep. ‘The emcee formed close bonds with fellow emcees and established the underground hip-hop and mixtape crew Eupham. Through original elements of hip-hop culture – social awareness, fellowship, cunning lyrical style, and flow friendly production – Eupham represents the principle that hip-hop is more than music, it’s art’.
Lyrikill is on the rise with all of his projects and is not only one hell of an emcee, he is a very talented, introspective, intelligent, and well spoken guy. Read on for an exclusive interview with Lyrikill who explains his passion for hip-hop, shoes, art, and the NOLA community…

Explain your shoe collection, and the story behind what started it.
How many pairs do you own to date?

My shoe collection is undoubtedly a nostalgic trip to my youth. It started in kindergarten, 1985-86…that same year I got the Converse Weapons Magic Johnson/Lakers colorway. I saw the Converse Weapons commercial and begged my mom for them.
Back then, our high school was right across the street from our Elementary school and I rode the bus with high schoolers because my older cousin Big Burt (R.I.P.) was in high school. I remember the respect the older guys gave me, as lil’ man with the nice shoes and I never wanted that moment to end, so I never let it.
Presently I have maybe 200 pairs, Jordans, Dunks, Pumas, Reebok Pumps, Adidas, all kinds of stuff. I have maybe 50-60 in my present wearing rotation. Retro is really more than album title.

What musicians/artists have served as inspiration to you?

I was a visual artist before I started making music so I gain inspiration from everything from Claude Monet to Stevie Wonder to the Television Show “The Wire”. If you listen to my albums Heart & Sole or More Heart More Sole, you’ll hear that I am influenced by soul and jazz as much as hip-hop.
Being from the South, I always thought it was important that we have a true voice to tell people about the hospitality and culture of the South using blues and soul with the narrative elements of classic New York lyricism. So I’m inspired by Nas’ Illmatic as well as Curtis Mayfield’s Claudia soundtrack.
Its been that appreciation for such a heterogeneous mixture of art that makes me who I am artistically. In the end my music represents southern hospitality and 90’s era hip-hop culture.

New Orleans is a city that has undergone a lot of tragedy in the
past few years. What have you been doing to help rebuild the community?

****

Honestly, that’s not something I like to brag about because I AM that
community. It would be like bragging about rebuilding your own home. I just got straight into the mix when I got back.
I used my resources to help clean up parks and schools. I helped raise money for different organizations. I worked with Operation HOPE to help people recover housing. I tutored kids and mentored a group of young emcees, through a program called Voices.
Shout out to Truth Universal and EF Cuttin for mentoring me throughout my career. That atmosphere has made help others. Peace to cats like 2 Cent, E Buckles & Harn Solo for helping upcoming young artists in New Orleans.

What message are you trying to get across through your music?

My message consists of preservation of the hip-hop culture, southern
hospitality and nostalgia. The sneakers are an extension of hip-hop
culture and nostalgia. Everything I do maintains a familial aura. While I have free-spirited songs, I represent responsibility, humanity and family.
I want to bring hip-hop back into a space where being knowledgeable is the norm. All of these things are representative of how the music used to be, so my goal is to take the listener back to the golden era of social consciousness and creative content.

Tell us about Eupham and how it was started.

Eupham is our record label but I’m now focused more on “Heart & Sole” it’s a lifestyle. Eupham was formed through a partnership with myself and Elevated Minds Music Group, a New Orleans based company and their Distribution Division based in Austin, Texas. Eupham is typically responsible for coordinating and scheduling my releases with Elevated Minds and also instrumental in developing urban events such as Kicks-N-Snares and The Soundclash which Onpoint El has continued to push. Eupham began with the original group Euphonetiks (Phonetically Euphoric) and was formed as our extended family combined under one family based umbrella. We structured that same family-based atmosphere with Heart & Sole as it represents (Family/Culture as “Heart” and Sneakers/Enjoyment as “Sole”).
Team Heart & Sole has done a series of sneaker-based events and we have recently released Retro, an eight song EP headed by the newest single “Do What It Do.”

What are your plans for the future music/tour wise?

We are planning the release of consistent content such as a stream of
music and video content introducing the world to the Lifestyle of Heart & Sole. You’ll be seeing more about our process in securing sneakers, restoring sneakers to mint condition with my man Ammoskunk and creating music.
We’re going to be involved with a lot of sneaker and nostalgic events that represent the true elements of Hip Hop. I’m working heavily with Prospek (GPNYC Artist) in the studio with his project “The Polyphonic Congress” and my next project “Nostalgia” will drop in the Spring around April with tracks from Statik Selektah and Quickie Mart as well Prospek.
We feel our lifestyle relates to millions that share our passion and love for sneakers and authentic hip hop music and we will push that movement that represents our lifestyle. We have a few upcoming shows and are discussing tour options. You can catch me in Lafayette, LA in February and at SXSW.

Thanks for the Interview, Shout Out to Pittsburgh Music Magazine and the staff. You can follow me on Twitter @Lyrikill | Facebook.com/lyrikillmusic
|YouTube.com/Lyrikillmusic and other outlets. Hopefully we’ll see
Pittsburgh soon.

Mike Semesky (former HAARP Machine) Posts Amazing Cover of “Heartlines”

Mike Semesky is probably best known for being the talented lead singer of The HAARP Machine from the United Kingdom. Now that HAARP has officially disbanded with three of the four band members leaving due to some funky goings-on from lead guitarist and band leader Al Mu’min (http://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/2013/01/25/everyone-who-isnt-al-mumin-quits-the-haarp-machine/) it looks like Mike will continue singing elsewhere. We hope to talk to Mike about what went down in more detail in the near future.
Mike has two side projects, Rest Among Ruins and Ordinance, that he has kept up on while in HAARP and he has done session vocals for some really fun projects including Haunted Shores, Star Monarchy, and Memoirs.
We here at PMM can only hope Mike comes into an even better situation (hint, hint those looking for an amazing vocalist). For now, check out some of his stuff on his YouTube Page and this gem posted today, “Heartlines”, a Florence & The Machine Cover featuring Aleka Farha. Beautiful Mike…beautiful.

Black Veil Brides Bring a Devil’s Choir to The Altar Bar in Pittsburgh

If one would close their eyes and listen to the crowd they may feel as though they were transported back to first appearance of the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in the sixties. The screams and swoons were overpowering beyond mere devotion. If one blocked out the music they might have been ‘flashbacked’ to the Shout at the Devil Motley Crue tour in ’83. But last night was clearly and audibly a night to worship at the altar of The Black Veil Brides.
Aptly held at well-known concert venue The Altar Bar in the historic Strip District of Pittsburgh, BVB worshippers held their hands high, sang every word of every song, and pierced the air in joyous cries of love. Black Veil Brides did not disappoint, they were highly enthusiastic and responsive to their fans, proved their musicianship, and flaunted their sense of showmanship that keeps them at the top of their genre.
Part metal, part pop, part circus; borrowing from their influences, yet somehow turning those sounds into their very own brand of rock, BVB proved why they continue to rise in the ranks of rock. The sold out crowd was painted for the party, mimicking their idols, and some of the parents who chaperoned the younger audience members were often adorned with makeup and BVB merchandise as well. It was a truly overwhelming atmosphere.
The Hollywood, CA band who built much of their original buzz through Hot Topic has matured since their signing in 2009. Touring to support their latest release Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones. With a clear intention to marry a pop sensibility with the party atmosphere and metal sounds of the 80’s, BVB seems to have learned much in their travels on the road about carrying a crowd and performing a tight set. The future is certainly not dark for these boys and if they continue with the skyward trajection that they have been on, they will be at the top of an even bigger rock n roll heap as they branch out beyond their genre.

All photos property of Pittsburgh Music Magazine and AWelding photo 2013. No use without permission.

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PMM Interviews Renaissance Man William Control: AKA Wil Francis of Aiden

Renaissance man. That is how I would describe Wil Francis AKA William Control. He’s a writer, producer, engineer, performer and as his press kit puts it, “a willing ambassador to the outside world for black sheep everywhere”.
Stepping outside of his role in Aiden, Wil takes on the alter ego of William Control to bring the electronic dark wave that is reminiscent of New Order, Bauhaus, Gary Numan, and Depeche Mode. Although this genre of music is not my first choice on my iPod, while listening to Control’s latest effort “Silentium Amoris”, I was deeply impressed with the lyricism and the respect and reverence with which Wil pays homage to his influences. But don’t let those influences that you assume stop at 80’s synth pop and New Wave. Wil grabs from Sinatra to Cash to Sabbath.
Silentium Amoris has a thematic bend to it, (a) “journey about finding a voice in
the rubble of a broken world…a stepping-stone in the development of a protagonist who is seeking revenge. It is proof that one can come to his senses through otherwise unconventional means – pleasure and pain – and come out better able to fight through the obstacles set in his path. London, Paris and Berlin serve as the gritty backdrop for this utterly unwholesome romp, intertwining fantasy with harsh reality”.
Wil’s performance at The Altar Bar was an extremely high energy romp that had the dark tone and atmosphere of a Lord Byron party on ecstasy. The sold out crowd ate up all that Wil threw at them and at times the high squealed screams of the girls (and some boys) was overwhelming.
Check out our interview with Wil where we discuss Morrissey, Black Sabbath, writing poetry and lyrics, capitalism and music, the book he is writing, and much more…

William Control backstage at Altar Bar with Editor in Chief Alan Welding
William Control backstage at Altar Bar with Editor in Chief Alan Welding

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