May 2013

Twelve years running for Hawthorne Heights after the loss of guitarist Casey Calvert's passing, it did not stop them from doing what they loved to do make music and tour. Main man JT Woodruff vocalist and guitarist discussed the matters of their fifth album "Zero" on how it's taken them down a directional route of concept, returning to Warped Tour, and just getting word out again of their existence.

1. So tell me what's it like to have been a band for 12 long years?

JT: That's a good question. It feels pretty good we can be a band after 12 years, a lot of bands come and go, a lot of bands and friends come and go, and for some reason or another there are other bands still around. So we're all great friends, and good guys, known each other for such a long time, we're fortunate enough to be able to still be doing this and having such great fans too.

2. What's the story behind why the band choose the name that they did?

JT:  I wish I had a better story but our bass player Matt had come up with the name, after liking the two words together, so we liked how it didn't sound like a genre or anything. It just stuck with us, we didn't hate it, a lot of bands end up hating their name after a few albums, but we're a band who likes their name, I can write the words and spell them well, that's cool. In the end we're still happy with it.

3. Why call your fifth album Zero?

JT: That's a good question as well.  What we did was come up with a story, wanting to do something different this time around, never doing anything as a concept based thing, it was always let's sit down write some songs and see where it goes. This one does have a story behind it, it's called "Zero" these characters are called the Zero collective, and they're called that due to representing a circle of being continuous no one is like everyone else, everyone is clocked in at that same position of being zero. Hopefully it makes more sense once people can hear it, it's difficult to talk of a concept record, when there is no music to go with it, but once the record is released, everything will be making much more sense, doing our job as being a band the two blend well together.

4. Who produced Zero and what was it like working with them?

JT: The producer for "Zero" is a lovely gentle named, Brian Virtue (30 Seconds To Mars, Chevelle, Audioslave) it was a great experience working with him and we recorded the album in Nashville, Tennessean, always being one of our favorite cities, never making a record there, we always recorded out in New York or Chicago or back home here in Dayton, Ohio, so getting the opportunity to record it out there in Nashville staying there, thinking of what they had to offer, was awesome. He had shared our vision, communication was there, all the ideas were in our heads, having conversations with him, never being that far from home, in case anything crazy happened. The tracking worked out well, explaining for him what we were wanting and went for it. He lead us in a few directions, so you never know what will happen during that pre-production, so hearing someone else's take on it was great, we all had a good time, we never really are party people we focus on our music. We were thankful that zero drama, just jokes, good stuff, just focused on recording the songs.

5. Who did the cover art for Zero and does it have a meaning behind it?

JT: The logo in general is the basic logo for the "Zero" character of the story. So I scribbled that symbol everywhere, so with that destroyed brick wall in the background shows how the town has been burnt and torn down, as an example the character has marked their territory by writing their mark on the wall. We had a good art director design this for us by the name of Jeff Chenault, he brought my concept to life, also doing a good job seeing my designs and songs to life, working with him having fun, and all of the photography for the album was done by him as well. So we had wanted something basic but striking for the cover, not anything to over the top, or not the type of band who wants themselves on the cover with a car or anything like that, because it's not us. We wanted the music to work well with what we were working with.

6. Why did you go the concept album route on the new album?

JT: I guess it was just something that we had never done before after talking about it. As a band and being musicians with family/friends, you never want to go about that same territory, we're happy with who we are as song writers and the music we play, we don't want to give our fans who have been there since the beginning a curve ball with our music, so one way we could change it up a bit was that this time around was to take a concept directional approach, having the stories fit together, all the songs tied in together as well. A lot of our favorite bands had concept records, whether it'd be "The Wall" or "American Idiot", not go as far as they did but do something like that, at heart it's still a record, but not go too crazy, because if you take it too far it can get weird, then you don't understand it. We wanted the people to listen to the music, be able to sing along to the music, having the person either look into it further or just sit back and listen to it while driving around, that's how we saw our music fit with this concept.

7. How did you challenge yourself sound wise to fit this concept?

JT: One thing that we did a lot was come up with a collection of moods, the tempos be fast and aggressive, wanting us to then laid back, and it be like a movie soundtrack. Thinking of it a little bit differently, so like before we'd say like,  let's get things we're happy with like a guitar riff or vocal melody so we relied more on the lyrics and landscape of the sounds, having it be more aggressive or having something pop out at you. We experimented a lot, capturing a lot of different sounds, not instruments-wise that was straight forward, we never used anything we hadn't used before in the past except for a brief cello moment or keyboards, other than that we kept it all straight forward on sound, 3 guitars, vocal, bass, and drums, it was a chore but fun, thinking of all in a whole new way. Everyone wants their record to sound really well, but we wanted the bigger picture.
8. Did you get the album you wanted? Is everything on there or were there some things that were just impossible to pull off?

JT:  I think there's always a little bit of that, but I am 100% happy with how everything turned out with what we had done. I did want to spend some more time doing a few more songs telling some more of the story but you can't really relate to the songs after a while, just loosing track altogether. Like the track listing is what makes the album, where everything goes, how it's placed, like there were some songs that I really liked and wanted on the album but we couldn't do it, so we're thinking of a way to tie those in as well. Everything can't make it, you have to please everyone whether it'd be within the band or the label or the managers, sometimes you just need to step back taking in everyone's point of view and thoughts.

9. Are there any collaborations or surprises on the album?

JT: No I would say that the only surprise is that it is a concept record, we did not collaborate with anybody never doing that before. But doing it with a concept record may or any not work. Like I would like to have Robert Smith or Danny Elfman do something for some songs but we kept it basic and stripped, having it all deal with the band and the story.

10. What’s the writing and recording process for you?

JT: For me, I write all the lyrics and vocal melodies then we all help with the main parts of the songs, structures, arrangements, etc. I like being in the studio the whole time, not a lot of people like sitting in the control room, but for me it's a lot of long days because I enjoy sitting back and hearing everything. After about a week and a half or so you gota be singing so I've conditioned myself to be constructive as possible and ready to work. So we've all worked well together, keeping the studio light and less stressful, I wish I had more drama but this time it was all easy for us and worked well with the producer. So knowing what we wanted to do, made it all work for us. The only downside was that I was only allowed to drink 1 cup of coffee in the morning so my voice wasn't tightened when I sung later on. We all helped one another out, coming up with the ideas, all chipping in helping out as much as possible.

11. How would you say the new album compares to your previous records?

JT: Stylistically it's still a rock n' roll album, it has aggression, melodies, emotional moments, we tried to touch on as much as we can, so the fans will know it's a Hawthorne Heights records and the aggressive fans will also like it. It's difficult because it's how someone hears it, like you could write your softest album but yet someone says it's your heaviest album, so I think its within line of what we have done before, but different things this time around having it sound more rock n' roll the hammering drums, guitars, and vocal harmonies.

12. It's been six years since you've played the Vans Warped Tour, how does it feel to be able to play it again?

JT: I'd say we're extremely excited to be on this year's Warped Tour it's been years since we were last on it back in 2007, so it's going to be a  fun summer, a lot of long hot days, it's a unique experience being able to see a lot of great bands, meet the fans, it's a fun summer camp. I would always go to the Warped Tour growing up, so some of my fondest memories was that tour so being a part of it has been a dream come true and we're happy to be back for this year, and with this new album coming out during it, we can debut some new and old songs during it, I am really looking forward to it for the band and the fans.

13. This will be only your third time playing at this festival, would you have wanted or have liked to have played the festival more than just these three times?

JT: I would play every year if they asked it, I really love it, it's always loads of fun. Like in the past we were always either recording, writing, or just at the end of a record cycle so it never worked out. So I am so glad we were invited back this year, even if we're never a band ever again I will always be welcomed to do it, I love the environment, the music, the experience, just a great job of helping all the bands, so we're super appreciative of this opportunity.

14. The once and only time seeing you guys was way back in 2006 when you were a part of Fall Out Boy's Black Clouds and Underdogs Tour with the All American Rejects and From First To Last, looking back at that tour and what's happened to the band including the death of guitarist Casey Calvert, since then what comes to mind?

JT: That was some of my favorite memories of that tour, that was the first time of doing an arena so it was awesome playing places like those, since we always played small places, knowing Fall Out Boy on that tour bringing us out was great and it's great to have them back again as well.  That was a good tour to see. A lot of memories, ups and downs, losing one of your best friends was one of the hardest things we had to face, so playing these songs and shows, we had a lot of fun with him, we will always have those memories help us. Just a lot of memories, writing, recording, touring, going different places, Japan, Australia, Europe, we are true touring musicians, spending our years spreading our music in any way we can and it's been a lot of fun. I would love to make new memories with the old memories and all those bands who were a part of that tour, it was great to play those shows and love to do it again so let's make it happen all over again.

15. A lot of bands have lately been playing various albums in their entirety marking the album's day of its release or how long it's been around, so your 2004 debut "The Silence Is Black and White" will be marking its 10th year next year, will you be doing anything with it?

JT: I wouldn't say we have plans to do it yet. We want to finish out this year but we are thinking about it and I cannot believe it's been 10 years and a great time it's been, having people sing along to those songs is just remarkable, but I would love to do it and how we want to do it, not sure on how we would do it though. There are a lot of bands who have 2-4 songs that they don't play at all or just one's that weren't fan favorites, or one's that the band never liked themselves, or having too many songs so it would be great to dig up those memories playing those songs again would be really fun. As of right now we're thinking of leaving for the Warped Tour and the new record coming out. Taking it day by day as a musician you don't really look that far ahead, so come June 1st 2014 will be the day to officially celebrate its anniversary for it. You never know what could happen we're just happy we're still here after 10 years, and so many people like our music its crazy and we love it.

16. Can you tell me how did Mark McMillon come into the picture and become a member of the band?

JT: We've known Mark forever even before Hawthorne Heights, we're all from the same area and always have respected his band The Story Changes, taking him on tour we reconnected one time after his band wasn't together anymore, so bringing him out, having him put his time in, always playing well, added a lot of different live elements, had him be totally different from how Casey was, we are not replacing Casey in anyway, he will always be in our band and hearts. But it was a change and we thought it was time, he had always been there for us, working hard for us, doing what we wanted and asked, never asking for anything in return, just loved seeing new places and new fans during tours, he's just a great musician and it's always been fun having him around.

17. How did the signing with Red Entertainment happen?

JT: That happened to be our manager's idea he brought to the table. I just focus on song writing not the business things, so we wanted to push our record back into stores, getting away from the self release idea, there is fun to that but we knew there was a long year and summer coming, so when he came to us, he wanted it to work and became the best thing for us and we're happy and excited to see what they have in-store for us. So far so good, should be a lot of fun, you never know what is going to happen once we hit the ground running.

18. You guys decided to use PledgeMusic, to help fund and release this album, why do you think artists and bands are turning to these platforms like PledgeMusic, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, to release music?

JT: I think it's hard being a musician nowadays, not a lot of people put value of purchasing an album, because it's everywhere from YouTube to Torrent sites. I think people are trying different things, we just hosted our pre-orders on that site, our label were the ones to release it for us. So we never used any crowd funding or sourcing just used it for a traditional pre-orders, we were able to put all the funds towards a charity. It all really helped when Casey passed away and great opportunity to donate to his family and what I like about PledgeMusic. I don't know much about the other sites, I think everyone is at a weird time of knowing how to sell their music, people like the songs, it's a matter of how they are viewed, it's not up to us as bands, we just want to write and record the songs and play for the fans. There are people who think it's the best or the worse thing in the world or in-between so it depends on the person.

19. What do you guys have planned for the rest of this year?

JT: We're definitely going to tour this fall which would be a lot of fun, not sure whereabouts yet. We'll be trying to get some international places not sure if it will be another U.S. tour just going to be promoting the new album, for the fans and the new listeners hitting it hard every day after it's release.

20. Is there anything you want to say to close this up?

JT: I'd really like to say thank you for checking us out, to the fans who listen to music or read, hear, watch interviews, who we've made an impact on it, it really means a lot and matters a lot to us, how our music and songs can help them in a positive way. Come see us this summer, pick up our new album we're really excited about it and there's a story we want to tell. We're here to have fun think on positive times just keep your head up and listen to music.

Infernal Tenebra's "New Formed Revelations" takes songs like "The Art Of Survival", "Blood Stained Canvas", and "Happily Depressed", delivering them to be a solid ground of tunes. Since having been around for a decade these guys bring a mixture of influences from thrash metal, to classic death metal, with even some black metal thrown in too. With that, the melodies, brutality, heavy styling methods all work well with this variety of metal genres. These guys have got what it takes to keep the metal ball rolling and this third album surly indicates this hands down.

Megadeth's "Super Collider" is the next album under their belts with that these guys have come a long way and with this release the material continues to still thrash things up. Frontman Dave Mustaine does his thing as always keeping the music heavy yet thrashy at times, making songs like "Burn!", "Off The Edge", "Beginning of Sorrow" and "Don't Turn Your Back", to be the ones that stood out the most. The guitars work well, drumming is flawless, while the bass structure is done flawlessly well. It's the material that the Megadeth fan base has loved from the beginning and will continue to go onward with every release. Megadeth's "Super Collider" is a release that brings out the thrash heavy metal style but keeps it fresh no matter the release.

Slayer have announced that Paul Bostaph has officially replaced drummer Dave Lombardo in the band.

“Slayer’s Tom Araya and Kerry King are very pleased to announce that Paul Bostaph has rejoined the band on a full-time basis,” say the band in an official statement. “Bostaph will be behind the drum kit beginning June 4 when Slayer kicks off the first leg of its 2013 international tour in Warsaw, Poland. Gary Holt will continue to fill in for fallen guitarist Jeff Hanneman.

“Slayer’s 2013 itinerary will have them playing 35 dates that will include headline shows as well as a number of major summer festivals in Europe, Eastern Europe and South America between June and October. The complete itinerary is below.

“Paul’s a great drummer and a good friend, and we’re very happy that he’s decided to rejoin the band,” said Tom Araya. “We’re still pretty numb from the loss of Jeff, but we don’t want to disappoint our European fans, and we need to begin moving forward…having Paul back in the band makes that a whole lot easier.”

“I’m very excited to be rejoining Slayer,” adds Bostaph. “We spent a very intense ten years of our lives together, had a lot of fun, made a lot of great music, so for me, this feels like coming home.”

Bostaph was Slayer’s drummer from 1992 until 2001 and worked on the following four albums: Divine Intervention (1994), Undisputed Attitude, Diabolus in Musica, (1998) and God Hates us All (2001). Bostaph has also played with Forbidden, Exodus, Systematic and Testament.

The news will perhaps come as a shock to fans hoping that Lombardo would make a return to the fold despite his sacking from the Australian tour earlier this year. Lombardo made an appearance at the public memorial of former bandmate and Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who passed away on May 2.

According to ABC10, AS I LAY DYING frontman Tim Lambesis posted bail earlier today (Thursday, May 30) and left the Vista Detention Facility in Vista, California.

Lambesis was arrested on May 7 on suspicion of solicitation to commit murder for allegedly hiring someone to kill his estranged wife. He has pleaded not guilty.

The singer, who at one time has said he considered himself to be a Christian and acknowledged that he found inspiration for lyrical content from biblical texts, was taken into custody without incident at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Oceanside, California, according to San Diego Sheriff's Department.

Lambesis had his bail lowered from $3 million to $2 million during a May 17 bail review hearing.

Prosecutors initially requested that Superior Court Judge Martin Staven set Lambesis' bail at $20 million, saying the singer remains "substantially motivated to kill his wife."

Lambesis' defense attorney, Tom Warwick, had asked for bail of $250,000.

Warwick blamed Lambesis' steroid use for the alleged murder-for-hire plot. He also revealed that Lambesis was going through steroid withdrawal while in custody.

Lambesis' attorney said the "gym culture" led to "changes in [the singer's] physiological and mental status," with Tim's bodybuilding obsession causing him to go from 170 to 220 pounds after first taking supplements, then steroids. "[He] was not the same person. He was irritable and lost God."

Prosecutors allege Lambesis had twice told a man at a gym that he wanted his wife killed, then met with an undercover detective known as "Red", and gave the agent an envelope containing $1,000 in cash, photographs of his wife, and the security gate code to her house. He also allegedly told the agent the dates he would be with the couple's three adopted children, in order to give himself an alibi.

"When specifically asked do you want her dead, he said, 'Yes that's exactly what I want,'" Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso told the judge. "The victim now is terrified and living in seclusion."

In court, Grasso said that Lambesis did not flinch when told the hit on his wife would cost $20,000. "He was very willing to pay that," she said, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Lambesis, who was originally booked into jail on suspicion of two felonies — conspiracy and murder-for-hire — was ordered to wear a GPS monitor and turn in his passport and was warned by the judge that he must stay away from his immediate family. The conspiracy charge was dropped before Lambesis was arraigned.

Lambesis' wife, Meggan, filed papers in September 2012 in San Diego Superior Court seeking a dissolution of the couple's marriage.

Florida-based death metal veterans SIX FEET UNDER have parted ways with drummer Kevin Talley and have replaced him with Marco Pitruzzella.

Marco, who previously played with SIX FEET UNDER bassist Jeff Hughell in BRAIN DRILL, will make his live debut with SIX FEET UNDER this Saturday in Memphis, Tennessee at the Scion Rock Fest.

Comments SIX FEET UNDER frontman Chris Barnes: "I'm proud to announce a new addition to the ranks of SIX FEET UNDER. Replacing drummer Kevin Talley is our new friend and cohort, Marco Pitruzzella. Marco has worked with Jeff Hughell in their former band, BRAIN DRILL, and is such an amazing talented and great guy. I'm very excited having him in the band and can't wait to take the stage with Marco this Saturday in Memphis for Scion Rock Fest!"

He adds: "It was good working with Kevin Talley for the past couple of years, but we are very ready and extremely focused on moving the band forward with a new, more stable and permanent lineup for writing as well as touring.

"Be prepared to be shredded! See you all soon!"

Mattel's Monster High spin off series Ever After High takes the beloved classic fairy tale stories bringing them to life having the main character's sons and daughters attend a high school known as Ever After High. This school has all of your favorites from Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Alice In Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood, Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, Robin Hood, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, the list is endless. The first in the series of dolls happens to be Apple White daughter of Snow White, Raven Queen daughter of the Evil Queen, Madeline Hatter daughter of the Mad Hatter, and Briar Beauty daughter of Sleeping Beauty with more characters to follow of course which includes a 2-pack release of Ashlynn Ella daughter of Cinderella and Hunter Huntsman son of the Huntsman.  An extended series based on the Legacy Day storyline will be soon available as well. Check out the first set of dolls below expect these at local retailers Justice, Target, Toys R Us, and Walmart!

Apple White
Raven Queen
Briar Beauty

Madeline Hatter

Mattel's infamous popular line Monster High the high school where the sons and daughters of the famous monsters roam the halls and lifestyles have got a whole new world than just the monster world. This world takes the beloved fairy tales we grew to love as children and takes their sons and daughters of the royal and evil families bringing them into a world known as Ever After High a new high school for fairy tales alike.

So in other words, shut the storybooks you thought you knew! The next generation of fairy tales are about to discover there is more to becoming a legend than being destined for greatness, and friendship is stronger than any magical curse. Whether these High School students embrace their legacy or choose to rewrite their destiny, the script is about to be flipped. This isn't your mother’s fairy tale… this is Ever After High!

At Ever After High, everyone from the fairest Royals to Rebel dreamers wonder if the future is fate, or if destiny just waiting to be rewritten. Are you a Royal or a Rebel? Either way, your Happily Ever After starts now!

Meet the spellbinding students of Ever After High! While the school Royals want to follow their parents’ footsteps to their own Happily Ever After, the Rebels feel their destinies aren't written in permanent ink. THE END… is just the beginning.

This spin off series sets to be focused upon two characters Apple White and Raven Queen eager to know more about these fabulous pair by reading their input below;

Apple White;

Destined for greatness, Apple White wants nothing more than to live out her legacy, poisoned apple and all! Don’t judge this book by her cover, though. She may be the fairest one in the halls, but her beauty is definitely more than skin deep. She’s a natural born leader, loves woodland creatures and treats her responsibilities as the future queen royally seriously!

Raven Queen;

Some think she’s a rebellious dreamer; others, a wicked troublemaker. One thing’s for sure – Raven Queen is a royally misunderstood (yet totally good at heart) teen who is cursed with a destiny she doesn't want. Her mother, the Evil Queen, may come from a royal bloodline, but that doesn't mean Raven wants to be a feared villain! Truthfully, all Raven wants is the chance to live life her way instead of having it written for her.

Ever After High doesn't stop there with it's story time goodness they have expanded into having their own website, Facebook page and Youtube channel. With that said, they released two story webisode tales one telling the story of Raven Queen HERE and the other of Apple White HERE with an added bonus of who everyone is HERE.

Your Chance to Die is a melodic death metal band from South Carolina. They have developed an unique sound which blends traditional death metal with beautiful melodic interludes. YCTD sports a group of talented musicians coming from a range of influences from power metal to southern thrash metal. Missi Avila (vocals) leads the band, proving that female death metal vocals can be just as brutal as the opposite gender. With that she was the one to talk to us again since we last spoke a few years back, this time around she talks of the band's latest album "The American Dream" plans for shows ans other activity.

1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Your Chance To Die, and how long the band has been together.

Missi: I'm Missi, vocalist of YCTD.  We have been together now for 6 years.

2. What has the band been up too since we last spoke?

Missi: We are just releasing our second full length album via Red Cord Records June 4th and gearing up for a busy summer of touring and promoting the new record.

3. Is there any story or concept behind the The American Dream title?

Missi: All of the songs in 'The American Dream' have great meaning and all tie in together to this idea of 'the American dream' that we use as a standard in this culture. It is a rather sarcastic representation of the things we spend our lives chasing, that in the end amount to nothing. It's a very passionate and telling album.

4. Who produced The American Dream and what was it like working with them?

Missi: Joey Mathews, president of Red Cord Records.  This was our first time getting to meet the RCR guys face to face and it was well worth the trip to Chicago. We share a lot of the same passions and it was a real pleasure sharing our vision with him and seeing how it has turned out.

5. Who did the cover art for The American Dream and how much input did you have on it?

Missi: Cypher Visual did the cover art.  We gave a basic concept and he ran with it.  We suggested some touch-ups here and there but he did an amazing job with the ideas we sent over.

6. Select two songs from The American Dream and what inspired the lyrics.

Missi: That's tough.  I supposed we can use the two singles from the album.  First, "Conscience", for which the lyric video has been released already. This is a song about ego and how it drives our mindset here in the US to strive only for our own selves and forget the rest of the world.  We can been such a selfish people, with no concern other than that of our own rights, while we step over everyone else to try and get what we want.

The second single is a song called "Oscuridad" which will have a music video to be release along with the album on June 4th. This is a very personal song with deals with suicide and how many times we look over what people are really feeling and the seriousness of this disease which has trapped so many people in our country.

7. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?

Missi: We really wanted to out-do ourselves this time.  We wanted to drop the 'core' from our genre and focus on a more technical sound.  As the band has matured, so has our music and I believe this album shows this.  We are very proud of each and every one of the songs. We wanted this to be an album that fans would hit repeat over; that there wouldn't be a single song that someone would want to skip.

8. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Missi: We have added more orchestra parts that we have written.  It has added variety to the music and some cleverly haunting melodies.

9. When did you start writing for this album? How was the songwriting process different/similar to previous Your Chance To Die albums?

Missi: We wrote the first songs about a year ago.  In the last album there was a huge gap between the first songs written and when the album was finally released, hence a clear split in the album where the newer songs sounded more technical and the older songs sounded more 'core'.  In 'The American Dream' all of the songs were written in the same year, so we feel this album has a much better flow to it.

10. Did you feel any pressure to follow it up?

Missi: We knew we had some amazing songs brewing up in us, so we didn't feel any pressure, just excitement to get this album released and show our fans where YCTD is now.

11. Tell me about the new single "Conscience".

Missi: I talked a little about it before, but it is a heavy hitting, in your face song.  The music is great, the transitions are heavy and I love the lyrics that I have been privileged to have penned.

12. How did the vibe in the studio go?

Missi: We had a lot of fun.  We flew from South Carolina to Chicago, each band member getting his own studio time.  We get along really well as a band so it was great to have each other to encourage the other along when the nights got long.  The studio was laid back and casual, it couldn't have been better.

13. When can we expect the new album to be released?

Missi: June 4th. You can get pre-orders now off of Red Cord Record's online merch store!

14. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Missi: Lots more touring, national and international; so they can definitely expect to finally meet us face to face!

15. Any final words of wisdom?

Missi: I am now 32 years old. Can't believe I wasn't doing this ten years ago, but the biggest thing I've learned is it's never too soon, and it's especially never too late.  I hope to be an inspiration and role model to anyone trying to make it in the music industry.  I've been through a lot of crap in my life, but have always held on to the one Truth which gives me my only hope in this world.  Life doesn't have to be a roller coaster, and my faith has always steadied me in my darkest days. Thanks again for the opportunity to share with you guys!

In a world where the music that moves us is so often defined by it’s genre or label, The Material represent art that is thoughtful, powerful, organic and inspiring. The 5-member, Southern California band make compelling music that mirrors their individual life experiences and the real world around them. Frontwoman vocalist Colleen D'Agostino was the woman to talk with about the band's latest release "Everything I Want to Say" as well as what other plans and music these guys have gotten planned.

1. What type of band are you?

Colleen D’Agostino: The Material is a female-fronted alternative rock band from Los Angeles.

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Colleen D’Agostino: We started playing music as a group of friends back in 2007 and everything kind of took off from there. We released our first EP in September 2007 and by December, we had won a spot on MTV's Dew Circuit Breakout. From that experience we were able to grow our fan base and got our track "Moving to Seattle" on the video game Rock Band. With the traffic from the game and our MTV performance, we were able to tour as an independent band for the past few years. We have grown a lot since then, and have changed out a few members, but our line-up is solid now and we have a new album out!

3. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Colleen D’Agostino: Our songs are about love, loss, hope and perseverance. Although many of the songs are very personal, I try to write them in a way that can be relatable to everyone.

4. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Colleen D’Agostino: Yes, we write all of our own songs. In the past, Jon and I would write the songs acoustically and then bring them in for the band to add their instruments. This time around, we decided to try a more organic approach in the studio and have everyone put their own influence and ideas into the song. We also had our producer come in on this one and lend another ear and give us an outside perspective.

5. Who are your musical influences?

Colleen D’Agostino: Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, Switchfoot, Circa Survive, etc.

6. Tell me about "Everything I Want to Say".

Colleen D’Agostino: "Everything I Want To Say" is our fourth CD, second full-length. This album is a much more raw, rock take on anything we have done in the past. I think the sound lends itself to a more honest approach of our band. The vocals aren't perfect in my mind, but they reveal so much more emotion than the more polished recordings we have done in the past. We definitely feel this is our best work yet.

7. How would you describe the overall sound of this album?

Colleen D’Agostino: Our last CDs were a pretty even split of rock and pop. This album is a straight up rock album. It has songs that will pump you up, and of course a few rock ballads. :)

8. What would you say is your favorite track off it?

Colleen D’Agostino: The first track "Life Vest" is my favorite song.... spoiler alert! We're releasing a music video for this song soon. ;)

9. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?

Colleen D’Agostino: For the first time in our careers, we tried to let go of any opinions we had heard from the industry, and we just did what came natural to us. We ultimately created an album we would want to listen to as fans. The only goal was to create an awesome album.

10. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Colleen D’Agostino: Rather than adding instruments, we've stripped this album down. We used to use a lot of electronic elements in our music, but we just wanted to put out a rock album: 2 guitars, bass, drums, vocals, and a little bit of keyboards.

11. Can you go into one or two tracks on the new album? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

Colleen D’Agostino: "Life Vest" was the first track I wrote for the album and it is still my favorite. I was suffering from some writer's block after the last album so I decided not to force anything. During that time period my family had a really tough year and I needed a release. Writing this song was a way for me to get that emotion out on paper. It's a song about loss, but also about learning to lean on your loved ones in a time of need.

12. Do you guys have any new music in the works?

Colleen D’Agostino: We just finished a cover song for the new Get Up Kids Tribute album. Aside from that, we are just focusing on the new album for now. Our goal is to get back on the road before we get back into the studio.

13. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Colleen D’Agostino: is the best place to stay in touch and hear the album. You can get the album on iTunes or at

14. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?

Colleen D’Agostino: We want to tour the world and share our music with everyone! Hopefully we will get some international dates in the works, but we will definitely be in your town soon!

Post hardcore act Caulfield is currently writing and recording for their upcoming release "Vanity". But for now they have gone to release a new song they like to call "Sweet Defeat" which you can check out HERE. The band took sometime to talk about "Vanity" and the other plans they have in-store.

1. What type of band are you guys?

We are a heavy band who’s music is intended to be intentionally played loud from your car stereo as you’re speeding away from the cops in a highway pursuit. At the same time it’s melodic and we chuck clean pretty vocals to mix it up a little. In terms of genre it’s usually describe by “professionals” as Metalcore, screamo or melodic hardcore.

2. Where is the band from?

Sydney born and bread!!!!!!

3. How did the band get it's name?

I (Andrew) read Catcher in the rye in high school. The book’s kind of stayed with me since then and we took the name from the central character – Holden Caulfield. Before settling on this name we’d come up with about 30 terrible names that were far worse so we were happy when Caulfield was locked in.

4. Do you write your own songs, what are your songs about?

Yes, a whole bunch of stuff. And for the bargain price of $20 you can buy our album, read the lyrics and decipher them yourself

5. Who are some of your musical influences?

Every heavy band we've listened to since the age of 13-14. Probably some of the bands that are closer to what we’re doing and have had a more profound impact on us more recently would include, Alexisonfire, Underoath, Amity, Buried in Verona, Bring me the horizon.

6. So what can you tell me about this new album?

The album will be called Vanity – named after one of the tracks on the album. It’s been in the making for a couple of years, pretty much since the release of our debut EP – Clarity in a sea of Confusion.We're all really excited to release the album - I think it continues on from our last album, however I think the songwriting is much more intricate on this album!

7. What title did you decide to go with it and is there a meaning behind it?

Vanity was just a song we all really liked that we thought captured the album well. There’s a meaning behind it but you need to listen to it and read the lyrics for yourself..

8. Is this album going to be a concept release?

Not really.

9. Where are you in the recording process of the new album?

Done. In the final stages of organizing release.

10. Who is producing the album? How has the producer aided the recording process?

Our main man Sonny Truelove from STL studios. He did a superb job on the release and we all believe it’s on par with the big budget releases you hear from major labels with cash to boot.

11. Where are you recording the album?

We recorded it on the sunny central coast of Australia.

12. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?

We wanted to write and record a sick album that we loved and enjoyed listening to ourselves and our fans would like. We’re really happy with how the albums turned out so we can thick that box!

13. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

There’s probably more keys and some more cool vocal stuff than was done on our EP, other than that it’s business as usual.

14. When did you start writing for this album?

Some of the riffs we’re floating around as far back as three years ago most of it was written last year.

15. Did you feel any pressure to do this release?


16. Can you go into one or two tracks on the new album? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

The first song on the album is called a letter to myself one year ago – It’s a track we’re all really excited about and can’t wait to share with the world. A central theme through this song is that something has happened to this person. These are the thoughts that run through his head in his hospital bed. This is what the lyric “I’m looking at life from the other side” refers to. The time in recovery leads to reflections upon his life and missed opportunities. The reality is at any moment we can be struck down and rendered unable to live the life we so often take for granted. These lyrics are written in a multi perspective prose. The subject is in reflection about his own past which he regrets. Namely his own hesitation and inaction and now realizes it’s best to learn from his mistakes and move on with life taking every chance that is presented from day to day.

17. How has the vibe in the studio been?

One word – amazing. We meshed with Sonny so well – he became like the sixth member of our band. When you love music as much as we all do travelling up to the studio and making music with a bunch of songs you’re really pumped about is a fulfilling and awesome experience. That’s honestly the best way I can describe it.

18. When can we expect the new album to be released?

Probably soon after July. We’ve shot a film clip for a song called sour grapes. You can expect this real soon – before we release the album! So keep your eyes peeled.

19. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

We’re going to be more active on social media and tour like we never have before!!!! So much so that people will be very sick of us very soon!!!

20. Is that your final answer?

C. Lock it in Regis!

Melodic death thrashers Black Like Vengeance's debut "Empty As The Day" has been out for quite sometime and now are in preparation mode for their first ever in three years. The band took the time to discuss their latest release and much, much, more!

1. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Marty and Drew are the bands founding members. They recruited then bass player Mike Drozdowski and session drummer Christian Nativo (Vanishing Point). They were advertising for a vocalist and I hit them up but was turned down immediately because of my gender. 6 months later I got a call from Mike asking me to come in for an audition as they had parted ways with their frontman and jumped at the chance. The guys were really hesitant to try me out but I was their last choice (laughs). 10 years later, here we are. Two records down and a third on the way. I still remember the looks on their faces when I lay down the death vocals. It was gold.

2. How did you guys come up with your band name?

We were at a gig, in Melbourne's Green Room and had been playing with a few names at the time it was between Black Like Vengeance and White Knuckle Substance. The latter sucked so hard that we just went with BLV. Mike came up with the names, they were awful (laughs).

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We're from Melbourne, Australia. Australia's music scene is very intimate, we have a tight community of incredible talent but we are a small country and venue's are limited. Because of the abundance of international acts gracing our shores and venues closing down the local scene has been a little deflated. But it's picking up again. Our rising stars include Psycroptic, The Amenta, Ruins, Boris The Blade, Northlane, Electrik Dynamite, King Parrot, Ne Obliviscaris, The Schoenberg Automaton, Voyager, Be'lakorÉ Man, the list can go on! So much talent, so many amazing bands!

4. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

I'm a traditional kinda gal and I'll admit my ideas can often be cliche. Everything that we perform is based on personal experience. Everything I write about comes from memories, ideas, situations, observations and circumstance, I'm very closed off and private so I don't like explaining myself in too much detail, I think the lyrics speak for themselves. As for a message I never really put much thought into it because most of the time I just need to vent and I'm always story telling.

5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

We draw upon many influences and they have changed a lot over the years. When we were younger we draw upon the Gothenburg metal scene and fused it with New Wave of American Heavy Metal. We have some roots in rock, with Marty being a member of Australian Rock outfit Ten Thousand. We have a lot of respect for Lamb of God, Himsa, Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity, Architects, The Agonist and many more.

6. Is there any story or concept behind Empty As The Day title?

I'm not sure if you mean the title of the album, the song or the actual concept album so i'm going to answer it for you in 2 parts and you choose the relevant one:

Empty As The Day is a jointly written song by an old friend of mine, Stuart West. We used to be in a band together, it's a song about his feelings for a young woman at the time and it resonated with me, I could relate to the longing and yearning in this song so much and at the time I was experiencing something very similar. The chorus and outro were my contributions about my take on the situation when you're so in love you become obsessed and clouded but then there's a point where you realize it's all for naught. And the void/emptiness you feel cannot be sustained by that person or any other. It's too deep an abyss.

The concept of the album is about three people who find themselves tangled in this rather unhealthy situation narrated by the protagonist who jumps back and forth between the two and often turns to religion to shed a light on the circumstance. So in essence it's about trying to find your place in the world, in a partnership, about trying to find what you mean to someone and what they mean to you. It's about sexuality, crossing boundaries, how deep your faith is, understanding what faith is and growing up. It's about that search for someone or something to fill that incessant void and literally you realize that you're still as empty as ever when you get what you want just as you were before you found it, because the void is you and that will never change.

7. Who produced Empty As The Day and what was it like working with them?

Roman Koester from Complex Studios produced Empty As The Day and our first 4 track. Working with him is amazing. Roman's knowledge on the genre and music far surpasses anybody else and he's a visionary. He knew exactly what we wanted and how we wanted it. Working with him on my vocals was unreal, He pushed me to my limits but there was still so much more we could have done - I was in the process of recovering from glandular fever when I recorded that album.

8. Who did the cover art for Empty As The Day and how much input did you have on it?

I'm a graphic designer so I designed that album but it was done very early on in my career. The immaculate Lulu Wagstaffe modeled for me and working with her was unreal. She's such a talented versatile model and a real gem too! We had a lot of input but usually the boys just let me run with my vision, so it's a pretty sweet deal.

9. Do you guys have any new music in the works as far as a follow-up release?

We are slowly but surely writing the new album Noir. We've just finished a new track titled Bones- it's a short, angry, thrashy ditty. Still quintessentially Black Like Vengeance but with a little more punch.

10. Will you be shooting a video for any of the songs off Empty As The Day?

We just shot one half of our video for Snuff Is My Business with director Elle Bates from Elle Bates Films and Mati Kawaler from Obzurd who came on board as the D.O.P. They're brilliant visionaries. We're looking at doing two more clips for that album with two other amazing film makers and the concepts for these videos are pretty exciting.

11. What are your upcoming touring/show plans?

Our drummer has been living/studying/working in France for a few years and so our touring schedule now is limited to his availability. We just played our first come back show in Adelaide (Australia) at The New Dead Fest on May 25 and we  played alongside some dear old friends. Most of the bands on that bill were on the very first festival we played up there in '06! We are planning a short tour towards the end of the year. We're hoping that we can ride on the back of Noir and go overseas, once its released. We've got our sights set on the world.

12. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

We are everywhere. Our website is a hub for all our social media but you can listen to us on Spotify, Last.FM, Reverbnation, Youtube, Facebook, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and have a webstore:

13. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Intensity and the emotional evocation of the music. Our music is intense. Our performance is intense. Our message is emotionally charged. A lot of people are stunned when they see us and we're always told just how intense our shows are I think that works for us. We just want to make people feel something, anything!

14. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Tighter performances and bigger productions, and hopefully a brand spanking new album that's just as angry and tortured as the last!

15. Any final words of wisdom?

Wisdom? We will let you know when we find it. :)

Sleeping With Siren's was and still is one of those talked about bands that everyone knows or has at least heard of in some way, point, form, shape, etc. "With Ears To See and Eyes To Hear" being the debut this is what drew me into the band and brought forth a fresh new style and sound to the already growing post-hardcore scene. That's not where the band left their mark though while that release was the thing in 2010 the following year in 2011 saw it's follow-up "Let's Cheers To This" that never crossed paths with me but now that album number three is upon us entitled "Feel" this third full-length is a fresh reboot to what Sleeping With Sirens first was all about.

"Congratulations", "Free Now", "Feel", and "Alone", were all  one's released so after listening in to these selections you get the sense and feel of what the rest of the album is going to likely to be and in the end it is still quite a refreshing style and sound taking you back to how things were. The guitars, drums, bass, and of course vocals are all done in check with one another, vocals sounding superb in every fashionable way possible. These guys have released a record that sets the mood to how they once were bringing in something new yet it stays fresh each time you hear it.

Artery Recording's has signed French new comers Shoot The Girl First who got their start back in 2010 now jumping right into the scene taking their music into an explosive predicament. Thus these guys have preferred not to put themselves under a certain genre or label their focus is souly upon keeping originality by making music that's influenced by a variety of styles which brings us to their debut release "Follow The Clouds".

This release includes their single "Rest In Pieces", a song that gives the listener an expecting experience from what else these guys have to offer, "We'll Never Fall", "Autumn Skies", "Last Lesson, Be A Hero", are other's that collide with one another having that expected similarity and sound style. Same use of guitar portions, bass lines, drum patters, and vocal chords that blend into one another isn't very catching as most would think.

Shoot The Girl First's is indeed new comers to this music scene but don't hold your breath too much their style falls between the lines of Asking Alexandria meets Chelsea Grin with The Word Alive.

Electro post hardcore act Shoot The Girl First got signed recently and have been hard at work writing and recording for their newest album "Follow The Clouds". Keyboardist and vocalist Crystal or "Julie"  was the one to discuss this album and more!

1. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

The band was born by the initiative of Felix (guitar) and Tom (former bassist), Quickly, the first line up  was formed with Crystal (keyboards) and Nathan (vocals).  The other members of the band have changed several times until 2011. The final line up was fixed with Mathieu (bass), Adrian (drums) and Kevin (guitar).

2. How did you guys come up with your band name?

The band name is the first thing that we have found, in a late night in front of a movie named "Doberman" directed by Jan Kouen. "Shoot the girl first"  is a quotation from the "bad cop"  (Tchéky Karyo). We're all cinema-goers. As a matter of fact, all of our demo and EP are inspired by different films.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We are from the south-east of France, the french riviera. More precisely from Cannes. This area, it's easier to do electronic music than rock or metal music. But there's a local scene of hard core and easycore! You can take a look on Sail To North,  As Aimless Glory, An Escape for Louie, In Other Climes, Mindwake, Made Of Ashes, This Is Sparta.

4. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

The name of our band is a quotation from a movie. We are all particularly sensitive to the cinema. Our first demo is inspired the universe of Quentin Tarantino with a lot of references of  films like "Pulp Fiction", "Inglorious Basterds". For our EP, we continued to work this concept with other films like "Into The Wild", "Romeo + Juliette", "Fight Club". For this new album,  we felt the need to express personal feelings. The lyrics are about what we can live in our daily life, through our passion.

5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

We all have very different musical horizons but we agreed and started  our music with electrocore/ deathcore. Little by little, other influences were added as melodic hardcore, post hardcore ... Even if we are fans of very very different bands, we agreed too with Parkway Drive, The Devil Wears Prada, Architect, We Came As Romans, Northlane, Emmure, While She Sleeps.

6. Is there any story or concept behind the Follow The Clouds title?

It's not a concept, just a way of life, a way to say " catch your dreams, even if they are very far from you " "Follow the Clouds" speaks about  fulfill your dreams, never give up, no matter what happens, no matter who will try to get you down, take your own way, share your passion !

7. Who produced Follow The Clouds and what was it like working with them?

We've recorded all the music with Felix in his home studio in Cannes. Mixing and mastering were made by Nicolas Delestrades from NDSE Studio (Paris). We never worked with him and It was a good thing to have a new person for the mixing process. Nicolas is hardworking guy and we're happy to worked with him on this album. He gave us a new point of view on our music.

8. Who did the cover art for Follow The Clouds and how much input did you have on it?

The cover art was created by Mike from Artery Recordings. We had several ideas and creation before Mike showed us this creation, but we were not convinced by it. We fell totally in love with the picture. It matches with our expectations. This is a 10-track album.

9. This release will be released via Artery Recordings how has your relationship been with them and how did the signing happen?

When Eric from Artery Foundation decided to manage us, he announced that Artery Recordings was very interested by us too. Quickly, Mike gave us a proposition. Now, we're always in touch and we talk almost every day about many things, many projects for the band. On the one hand, it's an honor to be a member of this family with such a good bands, and on the other hand, it's amazing to be listened and assisted by professionals as Mike and Eric.

10. You released a single for the song, "Rest in Pieces" will you be using this same single as a video possibility as well or do you have another single in mind?

We have been hesitant for a long time for the next video clip... We have chosen another song which is not released. We hope that is the good choice !  We will probably organize the shooting this summer.

11. What are your upcoming touring/show plans?

We have some shows already booked for this summer:  the Mair1 Festival in Germany and some french gigs.We're preparing biggest things for the end of the year.

12. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

All our news are shared on our Facebook page You can listen all the singles on you tube (Stgf or Arteryrecordings channel)... We still sell our EP on Big Cartel Shop and iTunes and you can listen it on Spotify, Deezer. The new album is already available with Pre-Orders on merchnow and will be available on June 4th on iTunes and Amazon.

13. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Not leaving someone absolutely indifferent is the most important thing to us. We really want to share  our energy. We think that metal music (to be generalist) is a perfect way to express a mix of anger, strength and hope. Our message is never give up and enjoy life to the full that's why it's also important to us to invite the people to party with us, to forget their daily life with a part of electronic music!

14. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

We do our best to grow our band and our projects. We're already working on the next album, next video clip, tour dates ...keep an eye on us, we hope you'll appreciate the next surprises !

15. Any final words of wisdom?

Thank you for this interview, for your interest, and thanks to our manager Eric, and Mike from Artery Recordings ! They gave us a chance to grow up, we are very grateful to them. And thanks to everyone who follow us and trust in us since the beginning ! It's difficult to share your music in our area, we are lucky, so we hope that the others will have this chance too. One message : never give up.

France's premiere metal act DAGOBA has signed a North American licensing deal with eOne Music for the release of their new LP "Post Mortem Nihil Est" due out June 18th here in the U.S. "Post Mortem Nihil Est" will be the bands follow up to "Poseidon," which was released in 2010 that included the hit single "The Things Within." DAGOBA has been making their mark in Europe for years, opening for the likes of Machine Head, Metallica, In Flames and Sepultura. The band plans to make US landfall sometime this summer.

DEVILDRIVER have confirmed that the title of their new album is Winter Kills.  The album will be released worldwide on August 27th.  The band recorded the album in Florida at Audio Hammer Studios and vocals in Los Angeles, CA at Dez's home studio with Mark Lewis (Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, All That Remains) handling production duties.

The artwork for Winter Kills features a photograph by Dean Karr.  The layout was done by Ryan Clark/Invisible Creature.

DEVILDRIVER has worked with Lewis previously on "Beast" and "The Last Kind Words" and producer Mark Lewis's prolific leadership of the new school of metal has yet again helped DEVILDRIVER deliver another Epic heavy Metal record.  This record melds what the band does best. In your face power as well as the California Groove sound the band pioneered.

DEVILDRIVER has always been a band on a three-pronged mission: Work hard, rock harder, and kick as many asses as possible in the process. The band tours forever and has since its beginnings. Their live performances and circle pits are as legendary as their music.

"This is by far DEVILDRIVER's most cohesive, powerful, groove laden record to date!

We delivered our signature California Groove sound alongside a Raw and Biting guitar tone, mixed it with massive hooks, added in thunderous drums to rethink, and reshape another different sounding unique piece of Rock-N-Roll! Cutting our own path is something to be proud of. DEVILDRIVER has always and will forever be about thinking outside the box and delivering on something different from record to record, we cannot be assimilated into any scene or even genre of Metal and we will continue to do things our own way with a massive middle finger in the air to the status quo!"

Hail RockNRoll

Dez FaFara

The band will be hitting the road worldwide in support of Winter Kills.  Touring as always will be a focal point for the band. The US can expect to see them this fall and winter with Europe and the rest of the globe coming in 2014 and beyond.

P.O.D. and Flyleaf have announced that they will be embarking on a co-headlining U.S. tour, kicking off on July 13th in Kenosha, WI and wrapping on August 10th in San Diego, CA.


07/13 Kenosha, WI – Brat Shop
07/14 Joliet, IL – Mojoes
07/16 Dayton, OH – McGuffy’s House of Rock
07/18 Flint, MI – The Machine Shop
07/19 Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
07/20 Luzerne, PA – Brews Brothers West
07/21 Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts (TLA)
07/23 Boston, MA – House of Blues
07/24 New York, NY – Highline Ballroom
07/26 Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
07/29 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
07/30 Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre
08/01 Houston, TX – House of Blues (P.O.D. only)
08/02 Dallas TX, – Trees
08/04 Amarillo, TX – Midnight Rodeo
08/06 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theatre
08/08 Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
08/09 West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues
08/10 San Diego, CA – House of Blues
08/16 Great Falls, MT – Montana Expo Park (P.O.D. only)
08/17 Riverton, WY – Fremont County Fairgrounds (P.O.D. only)

Germany's death metal act OBSCENITY has been around for nearly 25 years now, throughout their musical careers they have played shows, released albums, and continue to just do what they love to do making music! Jorg Pirch bassist and guitarist Hedrik Bruns were the one's to discuss the band over the years and plans for the future.

1. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Hi Natalie, thans for the interview. So here we go …

OBSCENITY was formed in 1989 with the intention to play brutal Death-Metal. The first sign of life was the Demo-tape “Age Of Brutality”, which was recorded in 1991. The tape got amazing responses in the underground-scene and relevant fanzines. The overwhelming reactions to “Amputated Souls” made a lot of labels get in contact with the band. So OBSCENITY picked out the best offer and signed a deal with “West Virginia Records”, who released the first album “Suffocated Truth” in December 1992. Because “West Virginia Records” dissolved in 1993, OBSCENITY went back to the studio to record a second Demo-tape called “Amputated Souls”. This tape led the way to a new deal with “D&S Records”. In July 1994 “D&S Records” released the second album “Perversion Mankind”. The band split up with the label in January 1996, due to unprofessional work and lack of support and signed a new deal with “Morbid Records” one month later.

In June 1996 “The 3rd Chapter” was released. This album proved that OBSCENITY belongs, without any doubts, to Germany’s leading Death-Metal acts. With “The 3rd Chapter” the band finally found their today well known style, which is the combination of American Death-Metal brutality and European virtuosity. To bridge the time to the next studio album the band produced two video-clips for the songs “Disgrace Over You” and “Schattenspiele”. These two clips and an interview were released in form of the home-video “Whipped, raped… obscene” in December 1996. The two video-clips were also broadcasted on many TV-shows (like “Metalla” on “VIVA-Television” for example).

In the summer of 1997 the band renewed their agreement with “Morbid Records” and recorded their fourth album “Human Barbecue”. Because of the tenth anniversary of the band and a lot requests from all over the world, OBSCENITY decided to release the CD “Demo-Niac” in May 1999. This release featured their two demos “Age Of Brutality” and “Amputated Souls”. One year later the waiting for new material of the band was over. “Intense” saw the light of day. What followed were two successful Headliner-Tours with labelmates HYPNOS through the Czech Republic and Germany. In the fall of 2001 the band returned to the mighty “Soundlodge Studio” to record their most brutal album “Cold Blooded Murder”, including skullcrushing Death-Metal hymns like “The Arrival”, “My Dark One” and “Sleepwalker”.

As with previous albums, this album got fantastic reviews in the Metal media. The album was well promoted on the “No Mercy-Festivals 2002” (with IMMORTAL,HYPOCRISY, MALEVOLENT CREATION, etc.) and as the supporting act for SIX FEET UNDER on their summer-tour in 2003. Some of the outstanding moments in the history of OBSCENITY were: their show on the “Fuck The Commerce-Festival 2001” in front of more than 3000 freaking out maniacs, the mainstage-show on the “With Full Force Open-Air 2002” with more than 20000 headbangers, and “Wacken:Open:Air 2003” to name a few. As the band cracked down in 2009/ 2010, Hendrik Bruns (guit.) starts to renew the band and wrote several demo tracks to shape a new Obscenity dimension.

In 2010 Jeff Rudes from Tampa, Florida joined the band and completed the demo tracks with his ultra growling voice. In the Beginning of 2011 former member and drummer Sascha Knust rejoined OBSCENITY and also the guitar player Christoph Weerts is recruited in the group´s ranks. Obscenity has been completed now by finding a new bassplayer, named Jörg Pirch. After a new Label ( Apostasy Records) was found , Obscenity recorded" Atrophied in Anguish ". The war-machine OBSCENITY is hungrier then ever to reign the Death-Metal world with an iron and bloody fist. After 24 years of pure Death-Metal-Mayhem, the story has just begun. So run for cover and stay obscene!

2. How did you guys come up with your band name?

It was Saschas idea with the name. Once he came up with that name and a self drawing logo. We all totally agreed and Obscenity was born. In 95 the logo has been changed in a few details. And also on the last CD  the logo has become a new metallic look.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

To some bands we have good and friendly relations – to other bands respect. We don’t keep rivalries to other bands. We make our own thing and let other bands to do their stuff – at shows, we talk together and have some fun and have some drinks.

4. In just 1 year's time you will have been a band for 25 years, thoughts, feelings, opinions? Do you plan on celebrating?

Of course it’s a very long time but special feelings didn't come out by OBSCENITY because it’s not really important for us…the most important thing is to have fun and to play good sessions mention is, that the longtime experience make professional working possible – during the rehearsals or live-sessions…but perhaps we will plan a surprise – stay tuned!

5. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

OBSCENITY doesn't have any lyrical concept. Jeff writes his feelings, experiences, dreams and so on to a song text, like ordinary problems, etc. In my opinion the lyrical-themes are not so important as the music, but good lyrics are gladly read by me. If I have a booklet with the lyrics, I will read them! By the way, mayor lyrical themes dismal stories from the daily life like torture, violence, betrayal, injustice, sickness, poorness, catastrophes and so on – mostly write down as metaphors. OBSCENITY wants the listeners to think different without to distract from the music.

6. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

OBSCENITY generally plays death metal in the vein of old school American style with a mixture of modern technical elements…we hear all kind of metal music and so we are influence by several bands – to much to mention! We have surely our own style to play – listen to our albums and you will hear and recognize a recall value – the combination of speed, groove and lead-guitar with few thrash-elements is the characteristic feature of the OBSCENITY-style.

7. Is there any story or concept behind the Atrophied in Anguish title?

No, – ATROPHIED IN ANGUISH isn't a concept album – all ten songs are independent-minded. Each song in standing for itself and writes his own story.

8. Who produced Atrophied in Anguish and what was it like working with them?

ATROPHIED IN ANGUISH was recorded and produced at the Soundlodge. Jörg, the producer, knows OBSCENITY for many years, by the way Jörg recorded his first professional album with OBSCENITY!   ( Intense) He knows what we want and to work out the recordings with him were professional and funny – he is cool  guy, who has experience as a musician and as a producer.

9. Who did the cover art for Atrophied in Anguish and how much input did you have on it?

Our actual cover-artwork was done by Remy/HEADSPLITDESIGN. APOSTASY had the idea to ask this guy. Therefore we had study his artworks and fast determined, that he has got a killer style to design artworks. So we had contacted and told him our album title with basically ideas for the design – with this information he created the cover-artwork and layout for ATROPHIED. He had absolutely free hands to do his work.  But it was our idea to bring in the Obscenity Circle in the front cover theme.

10. Select two songs from Atrophied in Anguish and what inspired the lyrics.

The lyrics Jeff wrote are very personal. As said in a few questions before, each song stands for his own.   The lyrical themes range from what’s fucked up in the world and how to resolve it, mainly involving mass murder and world war, to anti religion with gore/horror thrown in.  In writing the lyrics he tries to write shit that will make those who pay attention to the lyrics think more for themselves.

11. What are your expectations for the CD?

We had no big expectations at this time. The band was broken a few  years ago.and renewed with a  new cast. We have been excited of course and it was a kind of experiment what will happen to us and how the fans will realize and accept the new stuff. But it works!

12. Do you guys have any new music in the works as far as a follow-up release?

Yes, of course . Chris and I are working hard on the new stuff. We have 4-5 tracks finished in a basic version. And as far as we have finished songwriting , we are gonna  practice them until we are satisfied and prepared to a enter a studio.

13. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

The refrain and the melody line . It is the best what can happen to a songwriter when the audience can remember a catchy refrain .  It is really important for us  to have a musical message and to sound not like other bands.

14. What are your upcoming touring plans?

We have a few gigs and festivals this summer to spring until now. In between we are in writing mode for the new Obscenity stuff!

15. Has OBSCENITY ever played in the States or plan to do so in the future?

It is very sad, but no. we had some offers years ago , but had to cancer because of personal problems but hey, of course we want to… The states are a very huge and exciting market for every band. If  someone  can mange something like that for us?!?!

16. Out of everyone in the band, who would win in a headbanging or mosh pit contest?

Not special one of OBSCENITY but all together make the show – important is that the audience moshes to our sound and has fun at our shows. It’s a good feeling to see people move to our music.

17. How many band t-shirts, hoodies, beanies, hats, are in your personal collections?

I personally owns 49 shirts, long sleeves and hoodies – most of them were exchange with other bands and have although nice remembering.

18. What makes you guys "NOT" metal?

Trends, fashions, fascism, violence for examples are no goes…don’t hesitate – come as you are and do want you want – but this with respect and correctness to other people and animals.

19. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

In future we plan to have gigs , festivals  and perhaps tours. We will see, what the time brings to us. Furthermore we will be concentrated on new material to record the next long player lately in 2014. A few new interesting riffs are done yet – beware and be prepared!

20. Any final words of wisdom?

Thank you very much for the interest in OBSCENITY and for the interview – listen to our new album ATROPHIED IN ANGUISH and keep our scene clean – stay obscene!