January 2010

Voodoo Terror Tribe or VTT have declared as this year being “their year” and why wouldn’t it be? The band’s latest addition “Symptoms Of Sin” and music video “Victim” are just the icy on the cake for these adrenaline junkies and they will surly become a heavy duty addition to the already very pop rock/metal franchise that has increased since the very beginning. VTT’s guitarist Emir Erkal spoke to me via email discussing VTT’s formation, latest album, video and upcoming whereabouts as to what’s in-store for the 2010 term.

1. First things first, band name, what does VTT symbolize and it’s meaning behind the name?

Emir Erkal (guitar): VTT, is still “Voodoo Terror Tribe”, but the acronym better represents our new approach, and is iconic in its own way. While in a way we’re a tribe, the terms “terror, terrific, or terrible” don’t usually apply. It is also easier to spell, and makes for better graffiti. Not to mention it’s secular!

2. What about the band's origins, where is the band form, why did you form and what is your purpose?

Emir: I can say we’re from New Jersey now, but everybody’s coming from different origins. T-Bone is Sicilian-originated, Gil is a California born, Primer is really from New Jersey and I’m originally from Istanbul, Turkey. We formed to make art of Rock and Metal and show our art to everyone who’s interested and make some difference in the world of art…and of course to dominate at the end, but only with our art!

3. VTT is connected to the various social networks, (MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter). Do each of the individual band members have their personal accounts or do you rotate in checking all of the band's online lifestyle?

Emir: Yes, of course. And everyone has individual accounts for these networks as well and we check them everyday and update them every week or even more…

MySpace: www.myspace.com/vttrocks

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/vttrocks

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1004106066#/pages/VTT/117240007401?ref=ts

YOU TUBE: www.youtube.com/voodooterrortribe

iTUNES: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-victim/id331834613?i=331835084&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

CD BABY: www.cdbaby.com/vtt

REVERBNATION: www.reverbnation.com/vttrocks

4. How about your video for "The Victim?" What's the concept behind that, who thought up the idea, who directed, and are you satisfied with how it came out in the ending process?

Emir: Actually, it was supposed to have animation showing the story behind it, but the animation couldn’t make it to the video. Maybe we could release it with some other video later. The concept is that a very kind-hearted guy being dumped by the girl he loves and left by everything else, as well and then he goes crazy and he’s questioning why this is happening to a great person like him, why he’s the victim… We and our good friend / director “Shottie” (Shotwell Productions) came up with the ideas together and we really like the outcome.

5. "Symptoms of Sin," is the band's third release, how does it compare to your previous works, what is the lyrical theme and concept behind this creation?

Emir: I can easily say that this is our best work so far. Being produced by Billy Graziadei (Biohazard) is one of the reasons it’s that good and something we’re proud of. The concept in general is similar to the song “The Victim”, but it’s more like showing the person who was abandoned by everything, crazy imagination, even including a ghost of a pet goat who is his only friend now…

6. Do you have any personal favorites off the album?

Emir: “You’re My Punishment” and “Wake of the White Devil”.

7. 2010 you will have been a band for five years, what are your thoughts on that? Do you plan on celebrating in any way or you could care less?

Emir: It’s been even longer with some line-up changes, but this is the best line-up. We’d love to celebrate, but I’d rather do that for a more remarkable success which will happen this year, so we could think about some celebration by the end of this year maybe.

8. How can a fan of the band purchase this album?

Emir: Very simple, if you want the physical CD, go to www.vttrocks.com/shop.html and buy it online where you’ll get free stuff, also. And if you want to just download it, go to iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, CD Baby, etc…

9. Can you get it at your shows?

Emir: Definitely, together with our other merch, such as t-shirts, tanks, baby dolls, VTT dolls, stickers.

10. How can a fan of VTT join your street team?

Emir: Go to www.vttrocks.com/contact.html and send us your info there.

11. What bands do you admire?

Emir: Manowar, WASP, The Cure, Machine Head, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Kreator, Iron Maiden there are just too many to name!

12. Who are some of the guitarists you admire?

Emir: Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Phil Demmel (Machine Head), Mille Petroza (Kreator).

13. A young fan comes up to you and tells you your music has moved them and they want to become a musician like you. What advice would you give them?

Emir: First of all, that would be awesome and one of the best things to hear from anyone. Second, I would recommend to them not to try to become a musician like me, unless their parents are rich or they know someone famous or popular in music business and industry. Otherwise, it’s one of the hardest roads to success and happiness… Of course this doesn’t mean that my parents are rich, or that I know people in the music industry (well, I know now after all these years of working hard and struggling). I’m just trying to say that you could reach success quicker by working this hard at something else in life…but on the other hand, no one can stop anyone else’s passion for anything!

14. What does the future hold for VTT, will we be seeing you on tour in the New Year?

Emir: Like I mentioned above, 2010 will be our year and we’ll be rocking and touring more than ever this year, since we just signed up with a new, better, bigger booking agent. We have already some local shows scheduled around NY-NJ area, one of which including opening for mighty W.A.S.P. on Mar 12 in New Jersey and then we’ll do some shows with the one and only BIOHAZARD and then a 20-25 date US tour will follow in May and some European and even a Japan tour late summer…

15. Do you have anything to say to the fans of VTT?

Emir: Thank you all out there for your support and please keep that up, especially while we’re on the road. We will stop at your town sometime this year, so keep an eye out for VTT and we will show appreciation with a great new album by the end of the year.

"No Rain, No Rainbow", by Phoenix, Arizona's Greeley Estates is indeed a follow-up to 2008's "Go West Young Man, Let the Evil Go East", the band can easily fall back on. Greeley Estate's newest addition brings back what was issued upon their previous release except this time around; the band has improved their style taking it to the next level. For instance "Seven Hours", the opener to this overwhelming conspiracy exposes the Greeley Estates style with absolute class.

Whereas "Friends Are Friends For Never", tends to express upon a more in-depth approach to what Greeley Estates is attempted to accomplish as far as instrumental and vocal chords go. Indeed the opener covered as much growling intensity a listener can withstand along with guitar riffs and double-bass drumming action overpowering the music's skills clashing it altogether quite amusedly.

"Jealousy Breeds Killing Sprees", along with "Lying through Your TeethDoesn’t Count as Flossing", both clash upon each other in a repetitive jester as to see who's more heavier bringing on this intense reaction of skill that overwhelms the band’s purpose of why they create music. If that was not enough, the Greeley Estate’s style alone dishes out the goods on sounding a lot like, Drop Dead, Gorgeous, meets The Word Alive, clashing against Blessthefall meeting Alesana. “They Won’t Stay Dead”, is another outstanding tune that really captures the Greeley Estate’s uniqueness that they’ve brought upon themselves when developing such a creative sound.

If fast upbeat guitar riffs are what drives you over the edge with under minded scream attics howling in fear then Greeley Estates is for you.

With "The Dark Awakening", striking a chord with fellow hardcore-metal heads, Sleep Serapis Sleep has achieved amongst themselves a new identify all their own. One of which was spent over the four month span of writing, and recording this considerable follow-up release to 2007's "Dead Man Walking".

Sleep Serapis Sleep’s style is upbeat and rather catchy at various points throughout the album’s progression, for instance the stormy overpass of intro track “Questions Unanswered”, after 30 seconds of listening in – the drums begin to gather up the music’s brighter points which cause the guitars to build and then vocals to follow soon afterwards.

"Son, Death Is Beauty in Your Eyes", prefers to allow the vocal chords to do most of the work letting the guitars do their part of sharing but not enough caring is put into perspective here. While a light switch affect of an on/off tone of breakdowns is quite noticeable throughout the entire track drowning out the music right to the core. "Mercy", manages a mellower effect, maintaining an overlap of guitar riffs mix-matched with over crossed solos with vocal under passes that crosses the music entirely.

“The Dark Awakening”, is sure to be a hardcore pleaser to fellow metal heads with this scene, fans of the Wretched, and Within the Ruins will gladly adjust to this.

"Humanity", is the fresh start for melodic deathcore go getters, Bleed from Within, who's currently spending their off time writing and working on the follow-up to this release. "Humanity", brings out all the growls and in-depth screaming attics you could possibly expect from your average deathcore act, for example Suicide Silence. But when listening to Bleed from Within you hear a combination of Suicide Silence meets The Black Dahlia Murder which happens more than once given the proper placement.

"The Awakening", short but enlightened introduction piece carries on the adrenaline just eagerly wanting to reach out of you. But as the music builds itself up, an oversea of messages can be heard within the backdrop indicating a series of messages and broadcasts of past occurrences that happened so long ago up until ones that happened not so long ago. As soon as the introduction has faded away, "Damnation", unleashes that adrenaline fury with overwhelming screaming attics you cannot resist. With this screaming comes the usual guitar riffs with fast pacing drum beats that clashes the music left and right you hear a remembrance to that of Suicide Silence's "Unanswered".

As the album continues to progress, "A Killer Born", and "Monster", both dish out some heavy duty guitar solos with built in screams and guts to match demonstrates the band’s real capabilities of style and uniqueness that it carries the music so smoothly you find yourself head banging to each note played out. Now as the album draws itself to the closing point a tune known as “The Final Chapter”, this concludes what Bleed from Within has expressed upon on this release and will soon express yet again on the soon to be released follow-up. Fans of Suicide Silence and The Black Dahlia Murder will be head over heels for wanting to devour their emotions with nothing but screaming out loud.

Everybody if not once in their life has had the chance of attending a circus correct? Well what about one of the many others side attractions that are offered amongst that criteria, such as a traveling Vampire show? Well now boys and girls is your time to shine and experience the wonder and wisdom of Calabrese! But what is a Calabrese per say? Well Phoenix, Arizona showcases not only the blistering heat waves all year long but is overrun by a trio of brotherly Vampires, who have taken their last name and enforced it as their band name, brothers Davey (Drums), Bobby (Guitar/Vocals) and Jimmy (Bass/Vocals) Calabrese.

The family trio also having papa Calabrese along for the ride showcasing their merch table - combines the gothabilly looks with B-movie drive-in lyrics revolved around a Death Rock sound, that has been described as "melodic, hook-laden, catchy, fun, horror-theme Rock with a punk attitude" adjustment. Blasko of The Death Rides and Rob Zombie states, “I think Calabrese is one of the top Horror Rock bands I have heard.” The band have unleashed two full-length albums whilst in their musical careers, "13 Halloweens", (2005) and "The Traveling Vampire Show", (2007) with "They Call Us Death: Calabrese III" due out this coming March. Calabrese are quickly gaining an intentional audience invading the lives of humble citizens from the entire globe. The Calabrese brothers caught up with me after their performance to briefly discuss the turn outs of what is to become of the Vampire society they consider their own.

1. First off, Happy New Year and give me a brief history of how Calabrese got started.

Band: Happy New Year!
Jimmy: The world didn’t end so that’s good.
Jimmy: Dave alright go for it!
Dave: I never answer anything, my mother Judith Calabrese gave birth to us so the Devil…uh I can’t do this.
Dave: The band started in 2000-2001, 98? Laughs, what’s a brief history how do we sum it up?
Bobby: We were all into music and were all in various bands so then me and Jimmy decided that all the bands we were in weren’t quite what we had wanted so we made our own band like The Misfits and White Zombie, Ramones, punk rock stuff, so then we recruited Dave and beat him to learn how to play the drums so now he is emotionally scum, so that’s why he hurts his drums, jumping and acting crazy in front of the audience and that’s how it started and that was it.

2. How about your upcoming third release, "They Call Us Death: Calabrese III”, what can fans expect from this release in comparison to your other releases.

Bobby: The new record is a lot darker, at least I think so, and it’s a little technically advanced but we don’t want to look like we’re trying too hard. We listened to a lot of music that we like, and blended a lot of heavier sources and darker lyrics.
Dave: Everybody should pre-order it because it’s delicious.

3. Your lyrics are horror based obviously, but you tend to revolve your sources around Vampires, why the fascination with Vampires?

Dave: One word…Twilight.
Bobby: He saw the wrong movie.
Bobby: Type O Negative did that Brooklyn Vampire thing, so we can’t really base us off the Mummy or Frankenstein so we picked Vampires.
Jimmy: Before the whole Vampire thing exploded we blended our style into it.
Dave: The Lost Boys and all the classic Vampire films we had watched growing up got us into the whole Vampire craze.

4. Do you consider yourselves Vampires?

Dave: Yes.
Bobby: We might be it’s for you to decide. I suggest you pick up the new CD and decide for yourself.

5. When will "They Call Us Death: Calabrese III" officially be released to the ghoulish hands of the world?

Jimmy: I believe we deiced the street date would be March 20th towards the end of the month if you pre-order it you get it earlier along with getting some post cards and other merch signed by us.

6. Do you know what the first single and video will be?

Jimmy: Good question I think it’ll be one of the two songs we have on our MySpace page, which is either Black Anathema or Violent Hellfire, and we’re probably will be working with Brian Pulido (Spookshow Records) again. We have a possibility working with some animators here in California so we’re working on that.

7. Are you guys familiar with this other horror punk act, Church for Sinners? Would you ever consider touring with them or this other act known as the Dead Vampires?
Dave: We did a few shows with them at the Knitting Factory. We’re not too familiar with the Dead Vampires though we do know AFI.

8. What does 2010 have in store for Calabrese?

Bobby: The new CD release, new comic book, music video, everything we are finally living our dreams come true starring me, these guys aren’t in it. Laughs go out on tour, in the New York and Boston areas and the rest of the world.

9. How did you get to perform in The Graves film?

Jimmy: I got a connection with Brain Pulido we met him and he’s also a creator and writer making a variety of comic book characters and at the time we were making “Voices of the Dead” and he then offered us apart in his new movie and had a rocking time in our brief four minutes of screen-time.

10. Do you guys use any stage props or effects during your performances?

Jimmy: For the Halloween shows we use blood, we also use strobe lights among other effects.

11. Which horror icon does your band represent and why?

Jimmy: I don’t know hopefully we can sum it all up taking all the best horror icons out there.

12. Have you ever had a fan approach you with a wooden stake ready to strike?

Band: Laughs
Dave: I don’t think they’ll be a band then.
Jimmy: Nobody has yet come with us with a stake, except perhaps a steak and potatoes.

13. Do you have anything else to say to the Vampires that may be reading this?

Dave: Come out come out where ever you are.
Bobby: If there are any Japanese Vampires that promote shows in Japan we want to go to your country.
Jimmy: That’s about it, thanks for keeping Vampires alive.

Tonight all is welcome to have a seat in the backseat of my hearse! Because a trio of brotherly Vampires walk amongst us, the Arizona Vampires known only as Calabrese – January 23rd 2010 at The Juke Joint! In Anaheim, California a group for the drunken hearted to come and rejoice. Tonight the bar and grill paid their debts to showcase a night of pure punk rock minus the trio of Vampirism.

As the night started off clean and clear the usual round-up of punk rockers invaded the stage with their double bass guitar swinging microphone screaming gut retching tunes letting their emotions run with envy. The night of course was just getting started but had soon found itself drawing to a close – for it was now the midnight hour and the clock would soon be striking twelve. As soon as this occurred everybody in waiting stood and waited because the horrifying conclusion of the nightfall was just about to begin.

Horror punks Calabrese erupted the stage full force with the upbeat rock n’ roll hits off their latest releases “13 Halloweens”, and “The Traveling Vampire Show”, and the yet to soon be released “They Call Us Death: Calabrese III”, due out in March. The night was young and filled with drunks of the misunderstood genre as the music played on a mosh pit had formed as fists went flying and everybody standing at the foot of the stage got heaved directly into it. (I myself getting my knees pinned on/off) But the mosh pit mayhem was about to subside itself for as the set of Calabrese roamed onward the pit had continued to consume more and more of the concert goers.

Calabrese broke out in song with not only their own material such as “Violet Hellfire”, “Voices of the Dead”, “Zombie I”, “Backseat of my Hearse”, and Misfits covers “We Are 138”, and “We Bite”, along with “Sacrifice Theory” by AFI which really got the crowd dancing and pushing to the beat of the music. Before wrapping up their set for the night, drummer Davey got up off his feet and interacted briefly with the crowd asking goofily “How does my hair look?” as the crowd whistled sexily and appealed with approval, also adding “How about the back?” the crowd repeating their applause of approval.

The brotherly trio broke out in an encore of three more songs, which summered down the intensity of the crowd of leftovers that stood in wait and pounder the thought of this long forsaken night.

Set list:
Death Eternal
Vampires Don't Exist
Deep in the Red
Zombie I
Midnight Spookshow
House of Mysterious Secrets
Violet Hellfire
Sacrifice Theory (AFI Cover)
Voices of the Dead
Black Anathema
Night of the Lonesome October
We Bite (The Misfits Cover)
We Are 138 (The Misfits Cover)
Saturday Night of the Living Dead

Do you have forty-two minutes to spare in your regular day to day activities? If you answered yes then by all means get your attitude into proper adjustment because Wooden Jesus is here to resurrect your mind and expand your heart and soul.

Not only does their current but only demo release, resurrect your body from the inside out but it truly delivers and exposes the ultimate expression that is hidden within the essence that makes up that rock n’ roll vibration. The band tends to combine the classical styles of Soundgarden, meets Alice in Chains with a little added flare of Pearl Jam thrown in between to mix it altogether. By doing so, this instant combination of tunes brings out that crisp clear sound, of rock that defines its meaning.

For instance, the combination of Alice in Chains meets Soundgarden is quite remarkable, having those added flare ups of added guitar riffs with the double bass drum attitude really expresses the rock vibe rhythm that keeps this rock adrenaline absolutely alive. Let’s not forget the vocals of course, now these really set up the entire lay-up because those vocals clearly demonstrate that true blue essence of Alice in Chains because of those vocals. Now they are the ones that set up with that unique soundwave that makes the music shutter.

Wooden Jesus’ style is vibrant and smooth with added class that casts out that flare of modern rock attitude with outstanding energy that seeps right into the skin.

Over this past course of the summer, pop-punks All Time Low had stripped down their songs to justify their essential heartbeats that were exclusively intended for MTV’s Unplugged. The band’s set was shot in New York City where their proclaimed high energy flare up was taken down several notches for this candle-lit studio filled with some very fortunate fans who intently sung right along.

That very performance has now become available for the fans in a digipak CD/DVD format, which not only includes the performance footage but a bonus interview section, with never before seen outtakes from the MTV special, featuring All Time Low performing not just one but two brand new songs off their latest release “Nothing Personal “– which included “Damned If I Do Ya, (Damned If I Don’t)”, and “Weightless” among the many other favorites taken from their previous release “So Wrong, It’s Right and Put Up Or Shut Up”, “Dear Maria, Come Me In”, “Coffee Shop Soundtrack”, “Jasey Rae”, and a surprise duet with Kaye Voegele on “Remembering Sunday”.

This CD/DVD combo truly delivers just as much as All Time Low tends to do when it comes down to their performance ranking whether that’d be plugged in or unplugged to an amplifier you will never be disappointed when it comes to the musical notes that is, All Time Low.

“The End”, isn’t your average take when it comes to releasing an album title let alone a full blown combo of a CD and DVD thrown together. With the Feisty Piranhas they tend to present this modern rock n’ roll influence that takes a lashing out at the punk scene with an “in-your-face” attitude – which is clearly noticeable when it comes to this double header release.

On the CD portion you’re given 17-tracks of hard hitting punk rock but the audio from the live performance isn’t all that great. The vocals and instruments in the backdrop aren’t up to speed and cannot compare to other live albums that I’ve come across. This live portion of the album just doesn’t present that mega energy impact that these so-called Feisty Piranhas have been known to portray.

Whereas the DVD portion is the live effect of what the CD offers but the DVD tends to add a little more than just audio tracking and live performance footage. It adds on this withdrawing effect of notability for one being that during the entire performances the video footage is clearly taken from two if not more showcases of the band’s performance rank. Which lacks the whole viewing effect from witnessing one song from one point and then jumping to another song at another spot it just doesn’t add up it makes the viewer more confused than enjoying themselves.

The Feisty Piranhas combo hands down is quite interesting especially the packaging it comes in but as for the CD/DVD’s themselves they’re nice to listen and watch as often as you may like but not as quite as enjoyable as one would think possible.

New Jersey go getters VTT, formed within the time that was 2005 and brought with them something that no other band could possible dish out which was music. Wait what? All bands can do that can they not? Well some can and some cannot it all depends on how much impact that particular band can portray.

When comes to the essence that is VTT this being their third accomplishment to date, “Symptoms of Sin”, who knows what should be expected of their musical obsession. Well for one, you get presented with a total of eight tracks with a bonus feature oh my! What? Could that possibly be? It’s the band’s official video of the track entitled “The Victim”.

So you pretty much get entangled with a handful of goodies when you come across this so-called “Symptoms of Sin”. “The Victim”, also just so happens to be the opening tune that introduces you to what this band can exactly do. The guitars and vocal chords are in a fair balanced grip that they balance out the whole layout of the song that plays off to being this heavy duty song of such progression the music backing it all up is obscene.

“You’re My Punishment”, “Never Died Before”, and “Wake of the White Devil” all go hand in hand with one another. One source being that all of the music portrayed within these selections showcases itself to being nothing more than again some heavy duty but more raw material matter that overrides the whole album’s display purposes. Plain and simple the music is an aggression of brutality that contains this rock n’ roll vibration with heavy metal influence wrapped around giving it that much needed breath of fresh air.

VTT is rest assured that there isn’t anything that these rock n’ rollers cannot do. Just give them the time and chance to sock it to you.

Every artist or band has their own story to tell. When it comes to the beginning lifestyles of singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer, John Enghauser, his long awaited talent stream has soared far beyond what most up and coming acts can handle.

But that didn’t stop his constant success of soaring he later went on to release “Lost In the Pages” an award-winning album that walked away with being declared the “Hot AC Album of the Year” back at the 19th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards that was held in 09. So much has paved the way for Mr. Enghauser. With that said, his latest efforts have made a major impact indeed, of accompanying an arrangement of tunes that are truly pop rock royalty.

For instance, the title track dishes out the very “pop” feature that is demonstrated within Enghauser’s music. He goes into saying “At the time I was writing most of the material for “Lost in the Pages” I was going through an awful break-up so you’ll find lots of emotion lyrics about things like heart break, loss and redemption”. Adding on “I also performed all of the vocals, acoustic guitars (electric too), keyboards and bass, so it was a very time-consuming project for me. I think that the making of the CD gave me much-needed escape to gravitate toward as well as a diary for what I was going through at the time. And it was a hell of a lot of fun to make,” he confesses.

Thus the birth of his album was born and has made his musical career expand even further beyond his starting point. Which brings us back to the overview of what makes “Lost in the Pages” such an upbringing and out-going album. "Distant World", comes out to being that far out world beyond our own. In which it has such an emotional connection with both lyrics and the instrumentals its unheard of.... with such withdrawal and in-depth meaning hidden within you can instantly take in what is being discussion within this song alone. The guitars take out this overwhelming essence of mellow dramatic depression it’s undoubtedly one of the most out-looked songs to be listening too.

Whereas “Breath Again”, is that grasp of fresh air you take-in after let’s say you just got thrown hard against a solid brick wall your whole body going into a state of shock of such force that instant fresh breathe is that sense of knowing that everything will be alright and you can withstand anything.

John Enghauser’s “Lost in the Pages” is an intense emotional roller coaster ride straight out of hell right through the icy depths of heaven, filled with such overwhelming expression you will not know what to expect.