September 2009

Blessthefall were nothing but your average high school teenagers with one thing on their mind which was music! After a series of practice sessions that consisted of guitarist Mike Frisby, drummer Matt Traynor, vocalist Craig Mabbitt and bassist Jared Warth. Their founder Miles Bergsma had left to attend college, and the band had gone off to unleashed a three-track EP in mid-2005, adding guitarist Eric Lambert to form an out-standing solid line-up.

Once the EP was over with the next accomplishment for these youngsters was on the horizon and led them to release “His Last Walk” (2007) that caused vocalist Craig Mabbit to depart and leave the band to have the remaining musicians to fill in as the band embarked on numerous amounts of touring routes. But this minor discharge didn't stop Blessthefall from performing yet alone recording and writing their follow-up "Witness" - returning with a whole new style and led front man to guide the way, Beau Boken - the band had seen the light and the 12-tracks that followed.

"God Wears Gucci," 'To Hell and Back," "We'll Sleep When We're Dead," along with "What's Left Of Me," have all been featured upon the band's MySpace page causing a major uproar for all to enjoy and compare their previous achievements. But unlike the past the present is among us and these songs selections take on a whole new exposure to what Blessthefall is aiming towards, which is creating a unique but classy style molding to their much earlier works but this newer material – expands itself further along as far as lyrics, and music compression goes.

“Witness,” partakes in a whole new direction one being the direction they’ve been aiming towards for the longest time. When you break down this album a series of clashes occur of the band’s past and present demands. To which the music and lyrics directly speak to you as the music overwhelms the listeners causing a series of upbeat and rather catchy undertones that overlaps the music itself.

Four years said and done and a series of jam sessions later, death metal act BerserkerfoX came together in the hopes of progressing a style all their own, yet formatting a band to put their musical abilities to the test - by unleashing "King Kong On Crack" a brief EP expressing the band in all ways possible.

This EP immediately exposes itself with raw heart-pounding drum beats, with thrashing rhythm tones that clashes together the overall opening tune of "Flag of Blood". It starts off as your average headbanging tune but soon fades away as the guitar’s progressive style’s take over turning this progressive style of metal into a slip and slide roller coaster ride. "Self Professed Kings," has its moments but the music just lacks the energy and momentum that the first song maintained to create. Whereas this song and the closer tend to not have such an affect – no doubt about it BerserkerfoX does maintain its progressive style and side effects located here and there but the guitars tend to drown out most of the music playing in the background not filling in what’s really needed.

This EP isn't your average take on the metal genre, because it takes a lot of focus and thought to want to listen in on these tracks - each guitar line is well crafted and placed together with its simple riffs and drums pounding against your ear drum there is no remorse yet alone anything that hasn't been heard already. BerserkerfoX's "King Kong on Crack," is your EP worthy of a cause of which has no meaning.

We've all been to a circus at least once in our lifetime but what about a circus run by freaks this type of circus does indeed exist but would about another type of "freak show" run by modern rockers of your sleezy rock n' roll attitude and overall energy appeal that can't get enough out of what they were intended to do.... which was to create music. These outlanders from the United Kingdom have brought to you their own version of what they consider "hard hittin, in your face, sleezy rock n' roll" music - Psycho Circus caught up with me recently via email talking to me about what's in store from these everyday rockstars.

1. What type of band are you?

Psycho Circus: Hard hitting, in your face, sleaze rock 'n' roll!

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Psycho Circus: When we first got together we got in a bit of a dilemma as we had our first gig booked at a strip joint in Redditch, UK our bassist left straight away but we were soon able to scout someone else out. It all went up from there - we earned ourselves a fierce name around our hometown playing as many shows as we could and can. There are so many stories but you haven’t got the space to publish them.

3. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Psycho Circus: KISS, The Doors, Zeppelin, Alice in Chains, The cult, Motley Crue, Skid Row, LA Guns, The Quireboys, Aerosmith... need anymore? Let's not forget our family, friends and FANS for keepin us going!

4. What are your dreams and goals?

Psycho Circus: Everyone can have dreams but i think it’s fair not to talk about them as I would love for them to come true... but goals wise... to earn a decent name for ourselves in rock history.

5. Who writes the songs, what are they about?

Psycho Circus: It’s a joint effort (which isn't always a good thing), we try and base our songs on true event but now and again our minds wonder and we bend the truth a little bit….our songs seem to come together, that's why we click so well I think.

6. What's your opinion of our President?

Psycho Circus: Obama is great…. especially when he called Kanye West a jackass, that was killer!

7. How do you promote your band and shows?

Psycho Circus: Flyers, posters…. same old shit really, putting them up wherever we can, bar toilets, shop windows... car exhausts (laughs) you name it’s there!

8. Describe your show, visual and musically.

Psycho Circus: It’s better than sex…. you'll have to come and experience it yourself!

9. What do you think about downloading music online?

Psycho Circus: Everyone’s done…. anyone who says they haven't is lying! It's unfair on the artists and we know that ourselves as artists.

10. What's your outlook on the record industry today?

Psycho Circus: We've only just got signed by Swerve Records, Manchester Uk. It’s all good so far and it's looking good for a European tour next year and who knows maybe we can come see you guys in the US sometime?

11. What's your claim to fame?

Psycho Circus: A couple of us met up velvet revolver after their gig at our hometown of Wolverhampton before and after. Also our guitarists met up and partied with Buckcherry after their gig in Wolverhampton as well. We also bump into Robert Plant now and again as he lives in our hometown.

12. Tell us a story about a day in your life.

Psycho Circus: Well we all have to work normal 9 to 5's to fund our dirty habits, and just get up to what normal 20-25 year old lads get up to (use your imagination).

13. What inspires you to do what you do?

Psycho Circus: We breathe, eat, sleep rock n roll so it comes natural to us.

14. What advice would you give to fellow bands?

Psycho Circus: Just give it your all, enjoy what you do, there'll always be someone in the crowd that doesnt 'get' you, but fuck em! You gotta do what you gotta do!

15. How does music affect you and the world around you?

Psycho Circus: Music is our life. Always has been always will be!

16. What's new in the recording of your music?

Psycho Circus: Well as we've just been signed, we are about record our debut EP (due for release in 2010) watch this space!

17. What are the biggest obstacles for bands?

Psycho Circus: The band members of course haha. If no one gets on, you can't progress as a band. Say if a band member isn't as committed as the rest, they will hold you back.

18. What's the best and worst thing about playing clubs/venues?

Psycho Circus: Playing a small stage, cause there isn't enough space to let go and put on a proper show!

19. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.

Psycho Circus: Wildside in Nottingham is our next show - it’s the biggest showcase of sleaze rock n roll in the UK.

20. Any last words?


While doing their on again/off again routine, St. Louis rockers Story of the Year or SOTY recently stopped by Long Beach to pay their respects to a local charity event but before hitting the streets they decided to do what they do best and that’s playing music. Dan, Ryan, Phillip, Adam and Josh gave me the opportunity of a lifetime when I got word that I'd be interviewing the entire act before they were due to meet up with their fans for a quick signing session - not to mention their headlining performance for later on that same night. The band spoke to me about what they’ve currently been up too and what to expect from them come the New Year.

1. You've guys been around for 14 yrs anything planned for the 15 yr mark come 2010?
Dan: Most definitely we have a new record coming out.

2. Will we be seeing you on Jimmy Kimmel Live anytime soon?

Dan: Hopefully have to have them ask us we did that back in the day, played Jimmy Kimmel, Carson Daily, etc.

3. I first got into you guys in 2004, when you were a part of the Nintendo Fusion Tour and was an extra in your music video for "Anthem Of Our Dying Day," looking back on when you first entered the music scene up to this point, how does that make you feel?

Dan: Think we’ve matured a lot.

Ryan: It’s hard to keep up with all the latest trends.

Adam: That’s a hard question to answer.

4. What I've noticed about Story of the Year is that you play a handful of shows, in your hometown and then you come out to California, why the on/off routine?

Dan: Why not? We’re always around when we’re at home and whenever California wants us we come out and play.

5. When will we be seeing the new album?

Dan: Early to mid next year, January-February.

6. In my opinion after getting into you guys in 04, I had also gotten into this other rock act known as Three Days Grace, would you consider going on tour with them, I think that'd make a great line-up.

Dan: I think the producer that did our last albums worked with them on their first one.

Phillip: But I don’t know if our fans would get along with their fans.

Dan: We’ll just see what can possibly be set up.

7. Out of all the music videos and albums to date, which is your absolute favorite and why?

Dan: Probably Until The Day I Die and our new album.

Josh: Sidewalks *Laughs* and of course our new album.

Phillip: Take Me Back, and the new album.

Adam: The Antidote and the new album that’s not out yet.

Ryan: Take Me Back, and the new album.

8. You guys did a cover of Metallia's "Enter Sandman" would you ever consider recording it, and what other cover tunes would you want to include?

Adam: I want too!

Dan: Its one of those songs that sounds good the way it is, because when we play it live it’s our own style so to go and record it – it’s just not going to sound as good. We might record it on another live album probably that’d be cool.

9. What are your upcoming plans for the rest of 2009 into 2010?

Dan: Go out on tour in November/December with The Devil Wears Prada, and then basically tour all of next year when and after the new album comes out.

10. Anything else you'd like to add?

Dan: Go pick up the new album when it comes out.

Josh: yeah definitely go get it once it’s been dropped.

Adam: Go get the new album when it comes out.

Ryan: Pick it up!

Phillip: Look for the new album come the New Year!

Zera Vaughan’s “The New Seed,” unleashes that trip-hop sound wave that enforces that English pop vibration that keeps the music constantly flowing, having that unique voice with catchy lyrics and easy-going beatings really makes the listener interact with what the musician is dealing with from daily life experiences down to personal issues and concerns happening within the everyday lifestyle of the world of which we live in.

Zera's 12-track mix-up captures her true emotions showcasing her real talented abilities she enforces when creating music. For instance "Empty Spaces," "One More Day," "Where is the Love," "The Message" and conclusion "Devil Must Die," the music really conflicts upon the reality of the everyday lifestyle that not only Zera has dealt with but the listener may have as well.

The lyrics are really broken down and chorus lines really speaks to you when listening to the descriptive styling’s of how Zera progresses her emotions through music, the music’s poppy but classy at the same time – sounding very much like Miley Crisis meets Mandy Moore. Her music impacts these overwhelming emotions non-stop displaying a waterfall of senses that can’t be contained.

Hiss of Atrocities or (HOA) for short, formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 2005, thus causing these metal masters to display their own creativity in their best format possibly – consisting purely of high powering drum tactics, blended in well with unrelenting guitar riffs with expecting guitar solos thrown in between, pouring out this sound fueled by a high pulsing energy that cannot be explained.

But perhaps there is one way to explain it and that’s through the 12-tracks that have been engraved upon HOA’s latest album “Rituals Of The Lost” a combination of melodic metal sound waves mixed in with fast overlapping beatings of thrash metal entangled with the death metal attitude. In short the vocal chords are death metal inspired with their growls and shouts slithering around the music in the backdrop allowing the guitars to craft their own creative riffs with ground-breaking solos that rattle the music straight to the core perspective.

HOA delivers when it comes to “Cost Me Everything,” “Rituals of Sufferance,” and “Empty Earth,” a selection of tunes that make the music stand out the most really capturing HOA’s musical essence and vibrations that never seems to get old but add this refreshing texture you can always fall back upon.

American metalcore has been tossed around for a while now since its formation. So out of the wide range of bands that fall into this genre, what band has proven themselves worthy enough of being known as this genre? One band that pops into my head is a small town act straight out of Orange County, California, known simply as Atreyu. Having been around for 11 years and counting - vocalist/lyricist Alex Varkatzas along with guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel, bassist Marc McKnight and drummer/vocalist Brandon Saller, the band went from being originally called "Retribution" to Atreyu being named after the character from the fantasy book/movie The Neverending Story.

They had then released four LP's “Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses,” “The Curse,” “A Death-Grip on Yesterday,” and “Lead Sails Paper Anchor,” each of which has sold more than 200,000 copies to date. Since the numerous LP releases the band like so many before them and surrounding them have gone off on numerous tours ranging from the U.S. to the U.K. right back to their hometown, Atreyu has gotten their name and self’s around one way or another. But once that's all been said and done more than just once, what is left to do? Well create new material of course, which they've recently done - calling it "Congregation of the Damned." The members had wanted to continue to develop musically but also wanted to return to the more aggressive side that was involved within their first creations.

For instance through the 13 songs offered, Atreyu covers a variety of ground, that includes heavy raw emotion found all over this album - "“Stop! Before It’s Too Late and We’ve Destroyed it All,” being an enraged raw driven tune, whereas a more anthemic metal tune "Carried Away," carries the music down a much matured route/ Taking the music down a note just a tad while the more brutal side-effects of cinematic rock ballad "You Were the King Now You're Unconscious," takes Atreyu's music ability to a higher standard. At this same time, they're making various nods to the music, they grew up on, still in love with it all going down the lines of sounding a lot like Black Flag, down to Pantera, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Motley Crue. While there is no shortage of euphoric sing-along melodies, the songs are more ferocious than anything since 2004’s “The Curse”.

The subject matter used here is equally intense, vocalist Alex explains “The music is heavier and so I was able to write darker lyrics." “There’s personal shit on there: self-doubt, self-loathing. Bands who sing about happy things have their place, and I’m not singing about dark things to promote them, I’m singing about them so I don’t go insane. It’s pure catharsis. I make music so I don’t go crazy.” In close having him finding himself within a darker environment, or "territory" when it comes to "Storm To Pass," a song that has not only one meaning but a double-meaning behind it: "the storm as being the form of depression, while the storm is considered the war". “You can feel that depression coming on, you can see yourself doing fucked up things but you can’t stop it,” says Varktazas. “I grew up watching the first Iraq war and the invasion of various countries and how the whole thing became one giant storm.”

This being enough said to cover everything that there needs to be said, about Atreyu’s follow-up to their previous release, this album clearly being nothing more, and nothing less than its title claims it to be….the “Congregation of the Damned.”

Bobby Alt (S.T.U.N., Faculty X) of the Street Drum Corps caught up with me briefly while in the studio to discuss about the new Street Drum Corps album due out early next year.

1. Hey How are you?

Bobby: I’ am fantastic I’m at my home in Downtown L.A. just down the street from the new desert bar that just opened up having a waffle with some peaches, its delicious I’m actually looking to open a store in Downtown L.A. so I’ve been in meetings for the last couple of hours, talking to the guy that’s been showing us around -a bunch of which have become available for rent that are the up and coming sites so it’s been a fun day.

2. I heard you were in the studio, how's that been going?

Bobby: It’s been an incredible summer we’ve spent the last 2 and half months all summer long in and out of all different studios all over the L.A. area, we started by recording at Dave Grohl’s studio in Northridge. Then after that went over to East West Studios where we recorded Sinatra, Beach Boys, the Mama’s and Papa’s “California Dreamer,” so that was a real treat. Then went over to the Howard Benison studio, which’s our producer and recorded all the guitars and bass, and then I’ve been recording vocals – in Howard’s northern bedroom in his house way out in Calabasas all the vocals for this double album, one is all the traditional drumming street corps drumming and the second album is the more produced band vibe still heavy in the drums of course.

3. What can we expect when listening to the new album?

Bobby: Oh boy! Pure sonic excitement, *Laughs* a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this double album, a lot of tribal rhythms, war rhythms, I’ve been singing and writing songs now – but there’s a little bit of my life and our lives as a whole, when making this record. We’ve put together great artwork for it and then go out and do a bunch of touring for it.

4. Were there any songs that didn't make the album?

Bobby: Tons of songs didn’t make the album we wrote between 50-60 songs since May of last year for this particular record which we twiddled down to 21 that our producer picked and twiddled down to about 15 and then 12 3 of them to be featured as B-Sides or given away to movies, video games, while the other 12 will be featured on the album itself. Then we have about 30 minutes of drumming that will be the all traditional drumming CD so a lot of songs were written this year a lot of which didn’t make it but you might see them pop up here and there later on in the future.

5. What are the upcoming plans for you guys for the remainder of 09 into 2010?

Bobby: This year to next year - right now we’re finishing this record with Howard Benison and hoping to release the record into February or March of next year we’re just taking our time, being very patient making sure we’re getting the best sonic expression of this particular Street Drum Corps carnation and we also are working on our Street Drum Corps Bang Show which is an all drumming experience you can see at colleges and performing arts centers across the country. So we’ve been putting together a bigger production for that particular group and we’re also writing a show that we’re launching in September 2010 – called “The Street Drum Corps Presents: Banner Machines” that represents a 6 person cast using over 100 years of technology to create music all different styles and sounds of instruments, i.e. microwaves, typewriters, blenders, any type of kitchen appliance available so we got our plates full.

6. How many guest drummers did you have on this album, who was your favorite to work with?

Bobby: Oh boy! We had I don’t know exactly about 6 or 7 special guests on the all drum CD – on one particular song called “Thrashing and Trashing,” that particular song we have members of Street Drum Corps, the embers of Bang, we have Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Brandon Saller (Atreyu), Matt Sorum (The Cult/Guns n Roses), Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion), Shannon Leto (30 Seconds to Mars), and I can’t pick one favorite drummer that we worked with because they all brought something special to the for that particular track. A lot of them are good friends of ours too, like Brandon, and Shannon those dudes we’ve hung out with and played with before so it’s a real privilege to have them come and play on our CD.

7. Have anything planned for Halloween?

Bobby: Halloween? Yes I’ am flying to Travis City, Michigan with the Bang group to direct our new video for our electric press kit so I get to hang with the Bang guys and they’re playing a Halloween show there about a couple thousand people within a small college town. So this will be my directional debut so we get to film with Bang throughout the day and then package that up and send it off, to all the colleges and theme parks, so that’s what I’m doing probably dress up like a Vampire.

8. What is one good thing and one bad thing about being in a band?

Bobby: One good thing about being in a band its like a family, it’s a very tight family gang of the outsiders the reasons I started playing music while I was young was to get together with friends and jam out been doing it since I was 13 years old. One bad thing is being a fan boy. *Laughs* It’s a double edge sword pretty much. I can go a little deeper it’s about being a musician ad creating these shows and putting together these productions, you’re head feels like it’s going to explode with all this creative energy. You just gota sit back and breath and put it altogether and organize it all out. Whether you’re working on a banner, artwork, song, t-shirt design whatever it may be, you stick with it - that’s what you go with.

9. Were you guys out at the Henry Fonda when Papa Roach performed?

Bobby: We were not at the Henry Fonda I was not but I’m sure some of the other guys were those guys rock.

10. Anything else you'd like to add?

Bobby: Anything else I’d like to add? Just had a very exciting summer recording this music and can’t wait for everyone to hear so be sure to come out and check out the live shows and have a good time.

A Fire Inside or AFI for short, have been around for the past 18 years unleashing upon the music scene seven LPs to date with their eighth "Crash Love," on the way. But the deal with AFI is a simple known fact, they've never seem to stick out with the same sound for more than a couple of albums. Their first being “Answer That and Stay Fashionable,” in 1995. Then the band went on to release “Very Proud of Ya,” the following year, followed up by a third three years later, “Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes.”

Since the earlier creations, AFI has indeed like most bands changed their style to blend in along with the rest of the crowd, just like today’s fads same routine goes for music - AFI went from the stick liking's of punk down to hardcore punk to horror punk in a matter of just a few years. 1999's "Black Sails in the Sunset," and 2000's "The Art of Drowning," it wasn't until 12 years later that the band had stuck major success when it came down to "Sing The Sorrow," (2003) having the well known hits, "Girl's Not Grey" and "The Leaving Song, Pt. II," aside from the others found upon this album. Then the band had taken a brief hiatus and returned in 2006 with "Decemberunderground," that featured break-through single "Miss Murder," and second smash-up "Love Like Winter," now their eighth achievement is on the floor, and "Crash Love," isn't all the hype that AFI has been known to establish.

"Crash love," does play the band's strongest points to date but goes back to blending into the modern rock n roll vibrations that they changed not so long ago, there are some "old school" influences found upon the album such as "Medicate," that constantly builds up that classic punk style with galloping guitar riffs with fast racing drum tactics getting your blood pumped. Guitarist Jade Puget steps it up in a major way when "OK, I feel Better Now," showcasing his standout performance to date, starting off with a trade marking chiming chord sequence, before working into the strummed octaves and some unexpected, game-changing chord effects found within the third verse.

The other songs, make a particular marking that vocalist Davey Havok stays true to his fascination with death and self-destruction, not going away from those themes one bit but encouraging them a lot more. While "Crash Love," never seems to hit the lyrical highs that "Sing The Sorrow" had once struck - "Veronica Sawyer Smokes," may just be the most out-standing tune offered, let alone written about Winona Ryder, having Davey's vocal skills be at their best perfection level to date, allowing him to sing the following line is remarkable: "I saw you every time I closed my eyes, in the Hughes film I had scored, produced and starred in, in my mind.” Nevertheless, Davey's vocal contribution makes this song work in every way possible - laying out the voices and chorus structure in the perfect combination, having the rest of the music fall simply into place.

"Crash Love," doesn't demand for the listener to pay attention to everything spoken yet alone played to the same chord as their previous accomplishments, but it reveals a more intricate and well-constructed album, rarely lacking any proportion of quality or anything else falling out of place.

It's been three years since Three Days Grace' "One X," and the band have finally made their triumph return with their third studio album, "Life Starts Now," but has it? Yes it has - previous installments that the band has attempted at creating stuck to the mainstream rock albums that all "other" bands tend to create. But when it comes to Three Days Grace's unique style and rhythm they tend to always add their own flare to each album they dish out.

The band’s first self-title album in 2004 had the more edger tone to it pushing out that aggressive tone of rhythm that the band was focusing on at the time when the sophomore had shot through “One X” (2006) a more modern rock attitude was displayed that took Three Days Grace down a whole another path showcasing a more mature sound. Now that the past is said and done, “Life Starts Now,” is upon us and a repeating texture has shot up.

This album goes down the lines of sounding exactly like its previous counter-part adding a list of 12-tracks to fall back on – adding the simple sound effects of break-down solo attempts with overpowering riffs and repeating chorus lines that just lack the emotion and energy the band once formatted. Songs like "Break," Bully," and "Goin Down," aside from the so-called balled type tune "Last to Know," sounding a lot like "Never Too Late," these selection of songs that come at you throughout the album just doesn’t cut it for the listener at times.

The music picks up on certain aspects during these selected tunes but just doesn’t maintain that energy that these guys once had within their grasps and let slip away. The music is more modern and takes millions of miles away from their older roots never letting the past break back through.

Natasha James's "Tequila Time," a great taste when it comes to your modern everyday style of music having that soulful driven vocal effects rooted with your smooth mellow country style rock n' roll attitude. From those soulful times of death you find yourself going "Straight To Hell," when this tragic dreadful tune comes rolling right through, taking the music up a notch and separates the heaviness from the more slower side effects and edges it tends to create with the more modern tunes such as "Get Out Of My Way". A tune worthy of a cause for its mellow dramatic essence that keeps the music constantly flowing never being able to stop. From the very beginning of "Takes Alotta Love," down to the very ending with, "Modern Life," you'll find yourself always grooving and bobbing your head to the upbeat catchy easy-going lyrics that Natasha James is well known to deliver, having all of those bar endless nights and long rides home well worth it. For fans of Reba Mcentire and Taylor Swift or any other type of country folk should kick their heels high into the air with pure excitement as soon as the first tune begins and the last one ends.

Hiroshima Will Burn's "The Weight of All Things," dishes out a handful of tracks each one more considerable than its last. For instance opener "Methodical Disfigurement," instantly brings out the stylings of Necrophagist having that same fact pacing energy – the instrumentals combing together to create this non-stop sensation of music that just overpowers the listener. “Martyium,” is another band comparison going down the musical roots of All Shall Perish with vocal fancy’s of Origin keeping the intensity of the music constantly flowing as each song clashes right on through right up until the very ending which concludes with “The Black Death,” an ending to an astounding album with pure essence when establishing the music its creating. Hiroshima Will Burn is your modern death metal band adding their own uniqueness to the tone of the music, which makes them that much more catchy and so upbeat.

An astounding trio known simply as Cerebrum has unleashed "Spectral Extravagance," not to mention their signing to Lacerated Enemy Records to top it off, but 11-tracks to settle the final deal. These 11-tracks filled with nothing but pure brutality mind blowing riffs with mix-matched solos, totally throws you off guard right after hearing the opening track “Fragments of Illusion.” “Pattern of Fear,” is another mind blower because the intensity impacted within the song brings out this progression of sound that can’t be figured out, it displays the craftsmanship that Pestilence and Cynic tend to express within their music. “Thorns of Weakness,” expands the music a little further but going into a heavier detail sounding a lot like Atheist, and Gorguts combined, with the way the vocal tones go having that brutal uniqueness overlapping the instruments just overpowers the whole music experience. Making the music sound a lot more vivid and alive, Cerebum’s “Spectral Extravagance,” is an intense douse of brutality added with a dash of reality.

The hustle and bustle of the renowned Sunset Strip cherishing along its curvy sidewalks a series of clubs one being a series located throughout the U.S. known simply as the House of Blues. But tonight this club wasn't intending on throwing on its usual share of music no they paid tribute to the Japanese culture with hosting a special 2 night concert event featuring Hakodate, Hokkaidō, Japan's Glay.

Formed by guitarist Takuro and vocalist Teru during high school in 1988, Glay composes its songs around the pop/rock genres, not only focusing on that particular genre but also using various elements of different styles such as reggae and gospel. In anticipation of 15 years of rocking music, selling over 56,000,000 in singles, CDs, and DVDs alone the band came over seas to perform a 3-day set out in sunny California - one show being held up North out at The Fillmore while the other two were held right here in Los Angeles.

The show itself of course, went off without hesitation as the sea of Japanese screaming girls and guys among the newcomers of the pop/rock group stood and awaited the arrival as each of the 4 members walked onto the stage - breaking into a 2 hour and 30 minute set list that consisted of fast racing pop/rock down to the mellow dramatic balled “I Love You”. Glay ran through a setlist that had combined old favorites blended together with some newer material. The songs seems to have been arranged in a sort of mini sets, first the pop block then the ballads, and then a quick run through of the faster heavier numbers. From a critical point they were really at their best when edging into the rock camp, but there was no denying that the audience loved those ballads more than anything else.

When it was all said and done though, Glay's performance was unlike any other Japanese band, the group managed to draw in a wide range of locals from the Japanese American community. Being plenty of American fans too, but Glay's core aspect was predominantly Japanese. It's a cool thing to see, an example of the way the Japanese atmosphere partakes on an American twist. Creating its own pop culture zone that has found a home in a part of America that's been home to a large variety of the Japanese community for such a long period of time.

1. Great Vacation
2. Yuuwaku
3. Ikiteku Tsyosa
4. Survival
5. Senno Knife Ga Mune O Sasu
6. Cynical
7. Starless Night
8. Run
9. However
10. Be With You
11. Verb
12. Synchronicity
13. I am XXX
14. HighCommunications
15. More than Love
16. Kanojyo No "Mordern"
17. Shutter Speed No Theme
18. Acid Head

19. Peak Hateshinaku Soul Kagirinaku
20. I'm in love

Melodic + Death + Metal = 13 how did this happen? I'll tell you how it happened, it happened through the eyes of a Swedish factor this factor not just referring to one but to four other members as well this rounding up to being known as Arch Enemy. I managed to catch up with their front women Angela Gossow and she discussed with me about the band’s eighth album to date along with what to expect from the band within the coming months leading right into the brand New Year.

1. "The Root of All Evil," is your eighth album to date, along with the band itself being around for 13 years, how does all of this make you feel?

Angela: Old….. It’s pretty cool I didn’t think I’d still be doing this, after all of these years, when I first started listening to metal music was when I was 14 years old. I didn’t think I’d still be actively involved within the metal scene, to this day though I still enjoy being up on the stage and screaming my head off. I don’t find it boring at all I find it very “cool”.

2. When it comes to touring would you ever consider, touring with an all female run, i.e. Arch Enemy, Kittie, Otep, Walls Of Jericho, In This Moment, etc.

Angela: I think all of those other bands are cool, I’m a fan of Walls Of Jericho I like that tom boy attitude they tend to push out. But to have all those acts come together you’d have to get the press informed and see what would happen.

3. Do you think music will ever come to exist in digital form only?

Angela: It’s just the quality of the movement nowadays and what the kids are into doing. But a lot of bands are releasing their albums through vinyl and I’m tired of collecting CD’s I do go out and buy them but to have a shelve filled with over 200 CD’s and having to move those it takes a lot of time. I do think it’s still cool that vinyl is back in the mix though.

4. Would you say that there has been a shift in your approach to songwriting over the past two years? How would you describe the change, if so?

Angela: Each band tends to progress their sound and try not to repeat the same song twice. When you release a brand new product you come up with new arrangements of course that end sounding a lot better than your previous recordings having the band mature.

5. What are your plans for the remainder of 2009 into 2010?

Angela: We’re going to be touring in October going over to Europe, and then over to Australia and New Zealand then when Christmas time arrives we’ll be at home of course, and then come the New Year we’re trying to see if we can come to the U.S. and tour out there.

6. What are your favorite tracks on the new record and what do they mean to you?

Angela: I like all the old recordings we did, performing those re-recordings in a live setting really puts the perceptive on the whole picture.

7. Are you looking forward to getting back to the UK/US? What are your favorite memories of playing over there and in the U.S.?

Angela: I liked Canada, and the U.S. very amazing and positive experience. While out In Europe, we’re not sure if they like the show or not, it’s just pure silence but overall it’s a good show.

8. Is there any particular setting or festival in the UK that you’d like to play but haven’t yet?

Angela: There are a handful of festivals that we have yet to set foot upon. We hope to play more festivals come next year.

9. If you could tour with one person or band, still going or broken up, who would you choose to tour with and why?

Angela: We’ve already toured with Slayer and Megadeth so another option would have to be Judas Priest, I love those guys I actually got to meet those guys and think it would be awesome to play with them.

10. Any last words?

Angela: Everybody reading this interview right now you rock and keep a look out for us we shall be invading your town and playing some shows for you very soon.

Buckcherry is one of those modern every day hard rock acts that just never seems to fade away or get old as other bands tend to do from time to time. As far as Buckcherry goes, this is an act worthy of a cause and that cause is to create music. Creating music since the band's formation back in 1995 and having 4 albums tucked under their belts, Buckcherry had the chance of a lifetime when going out on tour with Kiss back in 99. Now the time has returned to reunite these mighty warriors with the almighty legends of rock n roll music once again. Lead vocalist Josh Todd and lead guitarist Keith Nelson held a teleconference where a handful of journalists had the chance to talk to these musicians discussing exactly how and why Kiss meant so much to them along with what’s in store come the New Year.

1. When you tour with Kiss do you plan on coming out to jam with the guys?
Keith: If I' am asked I will definitely come out, rocking out with the platform shoes for sure I’ am not afraid.

2. What can the kids expect, when you play with Kiss?

Keith: Nothing like we’ve had a conversation about, I don't really see Kiss, as being one of those bands you see yourself getting on stage with and still feel at home I don’t know. Have you heard anything Josh?

Josh: No we did a full tour with them on our first record 24 shows in Europe - I think it would really take away from the show, with the make-up and crazy production it’s a really great rock show and I don’t think they’re a “jamming” type of band.
3. Why tour with Kiss?

Josh: The reason we’re touring with Kiss is because we really wanted to be involved with the 35 years existence that rock n roll music has established to this day and time. That’s impressive for anybody, to accomplish and they’ve broken a lot of rules and we love it. We’re a rock n roll band and from what I understand is this is a true rock n roll show, this is going to ride out into many years to come and Kiss is one of those bands that always puts on an incredible show hands down.

4. Why now, did you decide to put out this live album?

Keith: Honestly this is the first time that we’ve actually had the opportunity to do it the way we had out wanted to. Luckily we’re back with Eleven Seven Music and there is no reason not to do it.

5. Is the song "Crazy Bitch" based on an actual experience?

Josh: Yeah I came up with the chorus for "Crazy Bitch" while driving around L.A. and it was right around the time the Paris Hilton sex tapes had came out. I thought it was funny how someone had launched their career by a homemade porno and then I started thinking about all the crazy girls I had came encountered with. When I was a young man 18-25 I could never attracted girls who were always insane, great in bed but were sucked when it came to playing the girlfriend role. So I came up with this chorus and called Keith talking to him about how I had wanted it to lie out, so that was simple and easy to figure out. I wanted it to sound like a rap song but more of a rock song vibe. That's basically out it was born. It became a phenomenal and we definitely needed it at the time.

6. How did you choice what songs would go on the album besides the obvious choices of course.

Keith: We wanted to have an actual reputation of what a night in a life of what Buckcherry is about. So we recorded 6 shows, during the spring while out on the Canadian tour and listened back to what we had and took it from there.

7. Do you have a time table as far as when we’ll be hearing new material from you guys?

Keith: We actually do have a time table, we have some great ideas on what we got kicking around and excited about but our main focus is on the upcoming tour but for sure you’ll be seeing some new material come next year.

8. What can you tell us about the song “Highway Star” which is on the enhanced version of “Black Butterfly”?

Josh: It was a song we had done for NASCAR and it became their theme of the year on top of that. We don’t normally do cover songs, it is a Deep Purple cover so we cut the song up a bit and put our own touch on it and it now sounds more like a Buckcherry song. We had wanted to re-release the album so that everyone who got the album could experience the song, plus it sounds so much better blending it with all the other songs.

9. How much has the band matured since the first time you toured with Kiss?

Keith: Not only have we matured, we had 3 different members at the time when we first gone out on tour back in 99, I think when we first toured with them we had finished our first record which wasn’t even released yet and to now have 4 records deep into our career - all of our fans can play with. So now we’re 700/800 shows better than the last time we played with them. *Laughs*

10. Do think there is a lot of pressure on you now, that you’ve matured, and so much longer and confidence.

Josh: There is definitely more confidence, don’t think there is much pressure, I think it’s more excitement to join forces with them once again and its going to be a monstrous rock show being able to learn from what they’ve brought to the table for us to learn off of.

11. Is there going to be a DVD shot at one of the shows on this upcoming tour?

Keith: I don’t know I didn’t hear that rumor.

12. Why should people pick up your live album?

Josh: We have a great reputation for putting on a live show and we worked really hard on this record, we had done a weeklong series of shows, 6 in total, and we wanted to capture that live experience. Being able to play some extended songs here and there and just throw it altogether.

13. How was it to work with Escape the Fate on their latest album, would you ever go on tour with those guys?

Josh: We actually did a show with them in the summer a couple of those shows over out on the East Coast I don’t know if our styles of rock would cut it - but those guys were really but those guys were really fantastic to work with I had a great time we had a lot of fun I’m sure we’ll do it again at some point. Those guys got a real good fan base now and I’m so happy they stuck it out and got a new singer and moved on from what they were dealing with.

14. Any tour anxieties?

Keith: No none whatsoever. Tour anxieties, those like performance anxieties, no we can definitely get it done.

15. When you were growing up was Kiss one of those bands you just heard of or were they a major influence to you guys as a whole.

Josh: I liked how they wrote their songs, very simple not too much clutter within their music, as far as instruments goes, it was just straight up raw rock n roll. That’s pretty much how we were with our music. It’s not just music it’s an art form as well, and they did a really great job with the whole imaginary was just no one had ever done it was incredible.

16. Do you think Kiss deserves the Hall Of Fame?

Keith: They have outlasted everybody taking the commercial parts of rock n roll to a level that no one can even come close to full filling.

17. You had taken out one of the tracks and replaced it with “Highway Star” why?

Keith: It wasn’t as much pulling out as much as putting in. *Laughs* I don’t like records that are too long so thought it was the right move to make.

Josh: As far as the way it rolls out within the line-up the way “Highway Star” plays, it makes it all blend in together.

18. How would you explain the success that “Black Butterfly” has gotten over your previous entries?

Keith: I think there was really 10 long years of hard work put into it all, touring non-stop and we’re one of those bands that will be in your town sooner or later and 100 shows later and work effort there really isn’t anyone else in the market place that know how to do it as well as we do.

19. How would you describe the “marriage” you have with one another?

Keith: When we get together it just works, there are things that we can’t do but when it comes to music we can get it done. That’s what’s lead us to being such a great band, getting better and better. At times we just look at one another and instantly know what we want to accomplish when making music.

20. If you could choice a member of Kiss’s make-up to wear, who would you pick and why?

Keith: I think we’d all be fighting for Paul. *laughs*

Josh: I’d definitely want to be the demon child.

21. Do you have any other projects you’re currently working on?

Keith: We got something in store its’ definitely going to be a departure of what we’re doing.

Josh: Definitely music.

22. How do you feel about Kiss not touring with the whole original line-up?

Keith: Well you’re speaking to 2 guys that know what its like to keep a band together is. I absolutely respect everything that Kiss stands for. You never know what happens behind closed doors, as far as what we say about it, I’m glad that they’re keeping Kiss alive and well.

Josh: It’s going to be a tight and powerful machine when it comes to Kiss.
23. What's it like touring with all these "legendary" artists i.e. Motley Crue, Kiss, who's next on the list?

Keith: Just the sound of chicks with guns, does things for me, we’ve already done some shows with Aerosmith, AC/DC, so we’ve hit the Holy Gail of famous rockers, who’s left The Stones, Metallica, whose left Josh?

Josh: I’d like to tour with Slipknot but don’t think we’re heavy enough, but I’d like to tour with Prince.

24. If you had a chance to be featured on a cartoon show, i.e. South Park, The Simpsons, or Family Guy, which would it be and why?

Josh: I think Family Guy aims towards Buckcherry’s style but I’m not sure how we would fit within the episode but it’d be fun to watch.

25. Any last words?

Keith: Thank you.

Josh: Thank you.

Saint Motel is a difficult act to describe but yet very hard to resist and damn right fun overall when it comes to their theatrical set ups performance wise. But when you narrow it all down, Saint Motel is made up of A/J (Vocals,Guitars), A Sharp (Guitar), Greg Erwin (Drums and Dak (Bass), together these musicians constantly experiment over and over again pushing the boundaries of their creativity taking it to a whole new level each and every time. Front man A/J spoke to me briefly about how the band came to be along with the process of how their debut EP came around down to everything else in between with this brief in your face conversation.

1. Tell us about the band, where did the name come from and how did you form?

A/J: We're from all over but we formed in film school from Chatsmen from Orange County and that’s how the band started. I'm from Indianapolis, the guitarist is from the Valley and the bassist is from Thailand, and the drummer is from Northern California.

2. "ForPlay," is out, tell us about it, what does the title mean, what are your favorite tracks off it, how did the CD release show go?

A/J: The EP release show was awesome. Personally I thought I was going to explode the entire time we were playing. The crowd was awesome it was a great experience. It all came together quite well we always have a certain theme and that night we had a sci/fi atmosphere going on. To me the title refers to the beginning of something to come, for instance our band. As far as a favorite track goes, I liked them all actually. There all different and have different origins and stories to them, and what we were going through all that type of stuff I think I love them all as if they’re like children to me.

3. Tell us about the concept behind the "Dear Dictator" and "Butch" music videos.

A/J: We decided to go for it and a lot of friends helped us out and it all came together. It was great fun to do and create.

4. Why do you do what you do, is it because of the fame and fortune, or because of the music.

A/J: I don’t think it’s the fame or fortune because we don’t have that yet. It definitely has to do with the music because we love to create music. We always have and always will.

5. Any last words?

A/J: Our EP is out now and available on iTunes and when you buy it off there you get our music videos for free, so don’t think there has been another band out there that has done that type of thing. Also be sure to watch out for us, we will be hitting your town very soon, because each of our show has a certain theme we throw out there. Our next show is an erotic theme, it’s going to be crazy every single night so come out and have some fun with us.