July 2017

Swedish black-metal trio ASTROPHOBOS have just shared a new digital single titled “Simulacrum”, released via the band’s own label Triumvirate Records.

Recorded by Astrophobos at Triumvirate Studio, mixed and mastered by Devo Andersson at Endarker Studio, this new track just like the band’s previous EP "Enthroned In Flesh” also features Fredrik Widigs from Marduk fame on session drums.

Hear “Simulacrum” now at this location HERE.

SUBLIME WITH ROME will once again join forces with The Offspring on the second leg of the pair's 2017 North American tour. Hailed as two of Southern California's most prolific bands, both groups will head out this September for a dozen shows in the states, kicking off on Sept. 8 in Chicago, IL and concluding on Sept. 30 in Salt Lake City, UT, with dates in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Texas and California coming in between. Tickets are on-sale now at www.sublimewithrome.com.


9/08 – Chicago, IL @ Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
9/09 – Sterling Heights, MI @ Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre - Freedom Hill
9/10 – Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre*
9/12 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
9/14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
9/15 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
9/16 – Wantagh, NY @ Nrothwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
9/17 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live!*
9/19 – Rogers, AR @ Walmart AMP
9/21 – The Woodlands, TX @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
9/22 – Irving, TX @ Pavilion @ The Music Factory*
9/26 – Chula Vista, CA @ Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
9/27 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
9/29 – Las Vegas, NV @ Downtown Las Vegas Events Center
9/30 – Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre
* - No Offspring

Incendiary political rap rock band BACKWORDZ have dropped their cover of Linkin Park's "Waiting for the End," which lives on the band's 2010 album A Thousand Suns.

The cover is the band's way of paying homage to late Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, who passed away on July 20 at age 41.

Watch the BACKWORDZ version of the powerful track HERE.

London based space metal trio Esprit D'Air have reformed as of 2016, releasing a new single "Rebirth" and album "Constellations". The band is now comprised of Kai (vocals/guitar), Ellis (bass), and Daishi (drums). Frontman vocalist/guitarist Kai does the talking about the "Rebirth" single and accompanying album "Constellations".

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Kai: Originally, we were a four-piece with the current line-up plus a lead vocalist. Our vocalist left in 2013, which caused us to disband. I decided to take on the role of the vocalist from 2016 to reform the band as a three-piece, and I think it has been working out better than we had imagined.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Kai: Esprit D’Air means 'Spirit of Air', but ‘Esprit’ can also mean ‘mind’ or ‘being lively’. We wanted something that sounded beautiful, and I think the French language helped us achieve that.

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

Kai: We’re a Japanese rock band but we are base ourselves in London. We want to reach more of a Western and European audience, and being in London is great for that. As for local bands, I can recommend one called Stereo Juggernaut. They do electronic/industrial rock and metal too and I think they have a great sound.

4. How would you describe your musical style?

Kai: People describe it as progressive rock, industrial rock, metalcore, space metal… There’s a lot of genres people call us by, but I think our latest album showcases a lot of diversity, so you will hear a lot of different styles of rock and metal.

5. Who produced the single "Rebirth" and what was it like working with them?

Kai: I produced the single. Working with myself is not that easy! I am a perfectionist at heart, so of course it went through a few revisions in the mixing and mastering.

6. Is there any story or concept behind the single "Rebirth" title?

Kai: Since it was our first single in three years after our split, we appropriately named it ‘Rebirth’. The lyrics tell a story of a man, who is a saviour of a town who regained his voice, singing under the stars.

7. Drummer Daishi did the cover art for the single "Rebirth", and how much input did you have on it?

Kai: I told our drummer Daishi about the concept of the lyrics and he produced the beautiful artwork. The crystal symbolizes ‘rebirth’ itself, whilst the man is the saviour of the town.

8. Do you have any other new music besides the "Rebirth" single?

Kai: Yes, we have released another single, ‘Guiding Light’ in April, and also our new album ‘Constellations’ was released last month. It was a year’s work, and I am very proud to have produced it. We were amazed to see it reach #3 in the Hard Rock & Metal charts upon release.

9. You have done a two-date release show in the UK and France, why just these two? Will you be playing more shows and or touring as well?

Kai: Yes, we will be touring the whole of the UK in seven cities in February 2018, and looking to book more shows in Europe. We will be performing our new album Constellations back-to-back!

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

Kai: I am currently working on our second album and will again be producing it myself, but I am looking at some collaboration opportunities with other producers to make the second one more interesting.

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

Kai: You can find us on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, Bandcamp and all the other streaming/buying sites.

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

Kai: I would like the music to leave a lasting impression on the listener and for them to indulge in the concepts and meanings behind the songs, but most of all to just simply enjoy the music.

Hard rockin trio Between The Rain have released a new song turned single called "Mudroom", with an EP to follow this late summer! Drummer Xavier discusses said single, the EP is mentioned, and what else they got planned.

1. What role do you play in the band?

Xavier: I'm Xavier. I play the drums for the band.

2. How did you come to get your band name Between the Rain? What does it mean if anything?

Xavier: It came from the movie JFK. It was a way of describing someone who acts with impunity, "walking through the raindrops." It's also a line from the Counting Crows' song "Round Here."

3. What has influenced your sound and style?

Xavier: My disdain for musical clichés and an over-saturation of nearly identical styles of modern rock and heavy metal.

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

Xavier: Themes vary song to song, one of ours is about Viking funerals, another is about the anxiety that comes with the advancements of technology. It's a spectrum.

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

Xavier: Yes. Usually, one of us writes a basic melodic structure or series of riffs and the other two of us come up with the finishing touches. We rework and piece our individual ideas together until we have a complete song.

6. What is the difference between your newest album and the very first album?

Xavier: The spectrum of influences in this EP vary more than anything we've done.

7. What can be said about your single "Mudroom?" Will this song be accompanied by a video?

Xavier: Mudroom has been really well received single, we're definitely proud of the way it turned out. And it has a video! We shot the video at a skate competition we played. You can find the video on our Facebook and YouTube channel, check it out!

8. Can this song be found upon an upcoming release of yours, or is it just a single for now?

Xavier: This one is a stand-alone track. Our next release is coming up in August. It's an EP called "The Knockoff."

9. What do you have new in the works, as far as music besides this single?

Xavier: The EP is our main focus right now. We're looking forward to it seeing the light of day and we're always writing new material.

10. How would you say you differ from other bands and artists on the scene?

Xavier: We incorporate styles popularized in the 90s and early 00s and blend them into something recognizable, but original.

11. What else can we expect to see from you for the rest of this year?

Xavier: Hopefully some great songs paired with sweet live shows.

12. Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers?

Xavier: Keep checking in to our social media for new shows and releases. And find us on Spotify!


Jana Pochop started her diverse career as a singer-songwriter when she was just a child. Having asked her parents for a drum kit but received a guitar instead, this did not cause her to look away from her density and dreams as an artist of the music kind. After discovering Mary Chapin Carpenter at the age of 11, she would find a beautiful purpose for that guitar she had received instead of that drum kit. She would take her instinct for deep grooves and poignant lyrics to a whole another level years later, first on her 2014 EP release "Throats Are Quarries", later on following up with a new single called "Lightning". Which is why we are here now discussing Jana Pochop in the first place.

"Lightning",  was produced by Daniel Barrett, but Jana has combined her gifts,  lyrics that are as fearless as they are vulnerable, as skeptical as they are hopeful - woven into beautiful and fully fleshed arrangements, is what makes this song exist.

That said, this song as a whole is Americana at its finest, with the blended angst of pop, and folk, you got a singer-songwriter of the next generation with such class and pose, it makes this track more theatrical than Americana based. In fact, it doesn't even sound folk or pop based, let alone Americana. It does preserve that theatrical appeal more so, because it uses the violin/cello within its musical melodies, that it becomes more of a ballad track.

Nonetheless though, Jana as an artist does do music well, but has more work within the songwriting and lyrical departments, than music. Music is within her grasp to, but her beat is more so within the writing field, you can hear it within the lyrics presented here on "Lightning". The music portion of the track does contain a good source of beat and tone. It is very uplifting, has a catchy beat of melody that really focus' upon the music, making it appear more friendly and comforting to the ear.

Overall Jana Pochop's work both in music and in writing, have their share of appeal to the listener of the music. She can take her wits and ways with the music at hand, doing to it as she will, that it draws in whoever it can, to hear it.

The 90's the time of when everyone was in harmony, took comfort in checking out the latest in TV, film, and music, all was well with the world. As opposed to the later 00's up until 2017 where everyone judges one another for this, that, and the other. No one giving anyone a time of day, let alone chance if at that. Everyone in their right minds doing nothing but disagreeing, if not fighting about all there is to fight even if it were the littlest of matters. For instance the 90's brought forth Motograter, who in recent activity has had a brawl of sorts with another act in the music scene but whilst that may be bringing them down for the time being, it has not stopped them from creating music. In which time they have spent some time upon their newest and latest works in the form of an album called "Desolation". The album already grasping the music scene with its new single off the album called "Dorian", the band plans to keep their legacy a float since the 90's to the present day times, with this single and its accompanying album release.

So this is of course "Desolation", the second full-length album for the band, as time would see fit, the band would reform itself with its current line-up in 2014. The band being active since then, having performed multiple times over, touring and playing showcases all over. The band being known for their image of all things, covering themselves in tribal style body paint for one, had them using heavy experimentation with industrial sounds, samples, and tribal drums, but that was a thing of the past. Their early times as a band back in the 90s. Since reforming themselves back in 2014 up until present day times, they would continue to evolve, eventually incorporating a dark, groove oriented guitar styling, that would broaden the band's appeal to a much wider audience. It would all lead down to this album of course, that is "Desolation", a 11-track release with that included single "Dorian" along with a number of other appealing tracks to get your blood pumping. For instance "Victim", "Bleeding Through", "Daggers", "Rise (There Will Be Blood)", and "Shadows", are just the pick of the litter to be those to hear.

These tracks as well as the whole album for that matter, is just chalk full of material that takes fierce to a whole another level. The group has matured, improved their sound so much so, that it is nothing like their past works, not even close. They have indeed evolved as a band, so much so, that is hard not to notice it. The guitars, drums, bass, and vocalization used throughout this album, is so appealing, that it is heavy hitting material, that it keeps the music constantly moving. It is like a never ending type of release. You think you are done with one track, but it instantly plays off the next track, then the next track, so much that it begins the whole all over again. That is how pacing this album tends to become.

Motograter's "Desolation" is one top notch release. It has hard hitting rushes of adrenaline, that keeps the music intense, approachable, and enjoyable. If you are a one to tap your feet to the beat of the music, or nod your head to it, then this is it, right here. This is the album for you to check out. You shall not be disappointed, but more pleased than anything else.

VISTA have announced their first headlining tour, “The Long Live Tour.” The first date of “The Long Live Tour,” a hometown EP release show, was sold out. VISTA will also be visiting 6 new cities on this tour, including Allentown, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Atlanta, Brooklyn, and Boston, respectively. Check out a list of dates below.


Aug 10 The Space Hamden, CT
Aug 11 One Centre Square Easton, PA
Aug 12 Gamechanger World Freehold, NJ
Aug 14 Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 15 Canal Club Richmond, VA
Aug 17 The End Nashville, TN
Aug 19 Purgatory at The Masquerade Atlanta, GA
Aug 21 Gold Sounds Brooklyn, NY
Aug 23 Out of the Blue Cambridge, MA

Hasbro is celebrating International Day of Friendship today with the release of two beautiful and heartfelt digital videos, social initiatives and global events!

 In collaboration with digital media company SoulPancake, Hasbro released a video online today titled ‘Friendship Across the Globe,’ which highlights people of diverse ages and backgrounds around the world retelling the moments they realized they’d made a friend for life and what makes their friend so special to them. In the video, viewers are invited to explore how friendship is something unique that we each experience through our own distinct lenses. The video can be viewed on SoulPancake’s YouTube page, found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZqBtPGdBho&feature=youtu.be

In addition to the SoulPancake collaboration, Hasbro is thrilled to be presenting its first brand anthem for MY LITTLE PONY, created in collaboration with Grey New York titled, ‘Through the Eyes of a Friend,’ a unique social experiment that invited parents to hear how their child was doing in school; and surprised them with a report card from their child’s best friend. In this piece, parents are captivated by the true and honest perspective that these children have about their friends, and how important they are to one another. The video can be viewed on the MY LITTLE PONY YouTube page, found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S_cBtb57cc

Grey New York’s Deputy Chief Creative Officer Rob Lenois said, "We wanted to show parents a side of their child they have never seen before. Through the eyes of their best friend.  We hope this experiment will remind parents around the world how impactful friendship is in their child's life. Now and into the future."

Events around the world are also taking place!

With more than 30 years of rich storytelling founded in the values of kindness and acceptance, the MY LITTLE PONY franchise from Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) continues to illustrate the power of friendship and fun that resonates with fans around the world. To celebrate this year’s International Day of Friendship on July 30th, the MY LITTLE PONY franchise is kicking off a global social movement with the release of two beautiful video montages and on-ground events around the world that focus on the socially relevant message of friendship.

“Friendship transcends age, gender, geography and background,” said Tyla Bucher, VP Franchise Lead, My Little Pony, Hasbro. “As we work to celebrate friendship across every aspect of the MY LITTLE PONY brand, we’re proud to continue to support and celebrate the International Day of Friendship. We hope this program brings people together as they are reminded of how special and important friendship is to everyone around the globe.”

Launching on July 30th in the U.S., Hasbro will support a weeklong custom Snapchat Lens that brings the Mane 6 right to the Snapchat community. Lenses offer Snapchatters the ability to apply real-time effects and sounds to their selfies – the Mane 6 will become part of the communication on Snapchat in an interactive, fun, and personal way. In this case, Hasbro is supporting an interactive World Lens – when users flip their camera away from their face to the rear-facing lens, the Ponies’ homeland of Equestria appears. Users can move their camera around to see their favorite characters brought to life on their device.

Making the most of International Day of Friendship, the MY LITTLE PONY brand is also hosting friendship day events around the world in 12 different markets including the United States, Italy, Brazil, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Russia, Mexico and Singapore. In the U.S., everypony is invited to the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN to enjoy a “Celebration of Friendship” featuring multiple experiential MY LITTLE PONY themed events. Fans in Italy, Taiwan and Singapore will celebrate friendship with fitness as Friendship Runs are planned in all three markets. In Brazil, everypony will celebrate Dia Da Amizade with an outdoor event and Friendship Bus Tour. Generosity is key in the UK, where fans will give the gift of friendship with a special Buy One, Give one promotion in partnership with a local charity and BFF accessories designers Pop & Suki.

Giving fans even more reasons to celebrate the International Day of Friendship, Hasbro will release its new line MY LITTLE PONY toys that day. Inspired by characters and adventures from Lionsgate’s upcoming MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE, the new line of toys and figures features the beloved Mane Six as well as new characters. In MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE, a new dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane Six – Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity – embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship and save their home. The film opens in theaters on October 6 and features an all-star cast with Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Michael Peña, Sia, Taye Diggs, Uzo Aduba, and Zoe Saldana, and Sia who also performs an original song for the movie.

For more information on the International Day of Friendship celebration with MY LITTLE PONY, please visit www.mylittlepony.com.

Singer-songwriter MATT TAELOR has signed an exclusive distribution deal with The Orchard, announced his attorney, Joel Schoenfeld, partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. TAELOR, a Stamford, CT native, has just graduated from the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and is slated to release his debut EP “After Midnight” the week of August 21, 2017. This is being preceded by the release of “Tightrope,” the first single off the EP.  The track is being rush-released due to a premature “leak” that appeared online on iTunes.com and streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music and more.

TAELOR sings, plays guitar and piano.  His songs reflect his inner thoughts, and experiences in his life to date: love, romance, challenges and coping with others’ expectations.  He writes with an understanding of shared universal themes, enabling the listener to connect with the feelings he expresses.

“Tightrope” was written on the piano, and came out in a stream of consciousness. “The song sort of wrote itself rather than me setting out to tell a certain story or make people feel a certain way,” TAELOR says. Born out of a period of frustration, TAELOR found the words and melody simultaneously springing to life. “Although I didn’t set out to write a song about staying positive under trying circumstances and letting the little things roll off your shoulders, I think that’s ultimately what the song is about.” he admits. “I’ve found that when life inevitably throws you curveballs and challenges, the key is to hang on and not get too flustered.”

TAELOR will be performing live both acoustically and with his band throughout the summer and fall in and around the NYC area.  His website (www.MattTaelor.com) has just been totally revamped - check it out!  You can also find him on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/MattTaelor) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/matttaelor).

Check it out HERE.

Death metal heavy weights DAWN OF DISEASE, are set to release their new album 'Ascension Gate' on August 11st via Napalm Records. Today they have unleashed an audio premiere for the album's title track!

Says the band; "'Ascension Gate' stands for the atmospheric and melodic side of our new album. Intensitiy and a melancholic atmosphere are merged into catchy and monumental tunes which slowly raise tension and culminate in rousing headbang parts. Prepare for a stirring listening experience and enter the 'Ascension Gate'!"

Check out 'Ascension Gate' by DAWN OF DISEASE HERE!

Kublai Khan have dropped the video for the new song "The Hammer."

"We are stoked to be releasing our first full track titled 'The Hammer,'" said singer Matt Honeycutt. "It's classic Kublai Khan with twists and turns of a new sound and a personal message to push. For all the folks who dig us, we hope you enjoy it. And if you haven't heard us before, we thank you for giving us a shot. "

Check it out right HERE.

Wyoming-based Metalcore outfit RIGHTEOUS VENDETTA have unveiled a new music video for their song "Weight Of The World" off their new album"Cursed". Speaking about the concept behind both the song and the video, the members of RV comment:

"'Weight Of The World' is an anthem that we feel a lot of people can relate to. No matter what your situation is, everyone has times where they do their best to keep it all together, but everything seems like it's crashing around them. We wanted to portray that tension visually, and Orie and the Enlighten Creative team really helped us achieve that. We all meshed and had the same goal to create the vibe that would allow the listener to feel that much more connected with the song."

Check it HERE.

Celldweller has also released a new music video for the shoegaze track "Echoes."

"This song ("Echoes") really captured the shoegaze sound I have loved for years. Where I had sprinkled elements of shoegaze throughout the album, this song was 100% unapologetically shoegaze. I’ve been a longtime fan of 90s Shoegaze artists but never really had a place to produce in that style on my own tracks. This was the perfect place to infuse those vibes across some of the tracks. I approached other songs with more of an Acoustic Guitar backbone and even delved into some Blackgaze ("Last Night on Earth") inspired stuff to bring in the heavier side of things."

Check out the video right HERE.

In April 2016, Edmonton, AB's The Order of Chaos had the distinct opportunity to play the MIDI Festival, China's second largest international outdoor music event. It was an experience like no other that the power metal quintet will not soon forget. The sheer energy from the crowd was immense and thrilling for them to play for an audience that is still just beginning to embrace Western music.

The band's new video "Indoctrination", was all shot on location during the fest and Bravewords.com has the exclusive premiere. The band comments: "Our tour in China last year was an incredible experience. Walking into the midi festival and seeing a veritable ocean of dedicated metal fans ready to lose their mind to our songs was mind blowing. We think this video captures the energy perfectly."

To watch "Indoctrination", directed and edited by guitarist Barrett Klesko, whom also runs FadeBack Studios, check out the following link: http://bravewords.com/news/exclusive-the-order-of-chaos-premier-indoctrination-video-shot-on-location-at-chinas-midi-fest.

Kentucky alternative pop/rock duo ÆVES band are bringing back to life ‘modern pop’ with their new single “Loaded Love,”. Comprised of Molly O’Malley and Matthew Adam, ÆVES takes their usual synth-tinged pop sound and fills it with more organic instruments on the new track. After starting out organically as a simple song originally created by O’Malley on the piano, the organic feel brings ÆVES to a more natural place than their previous releases, which includes the dance-y powerhouse “Wild Hearts.” Although a different approach to their usual niche, the release of “Loaded Love” steers the band in a similar direction, maintaining their pop sensibilities and bringing a personal and intuitive to the genre. About their style, the band states:

“Æves is about vibes. We want people who listen to our music to kind of empathize in a way that makes them happy. We want our music to get someone pumped up, if they’re going to the gym, hanging out with friends, or just driving around. Even when we write the songs and collaborate we have to have a good vibe going and that everyone is on the same page otherwise it’s a failed attempt. Our mission, so to speak, is to make sure the listener (and ourselves) is having a good time.”

In the cold, dark days of Winter 2014, long-time friends Molly O'Malley and Matthew Adam came up with a vessel to let their musical ideas take flight. Molly and Matthew, both accomplished songwriters and scene veterans in their own rights, had become disenchanted with the state of modern pop music. Catchy choruses and hooks abounded, but there was something missing. The radio waves no longer carried the awe, wonder, or human connection that once pervaded the world.  - and with this in mind, Æves was born. Following the successful release of several singles, including the highly regarded "Ignite" in 2016, Æves have done it again - this time partnering with Marc Walloch of AWOLNATION and Grammy nominated Rick Carson - to bring you their catchy new single.

Check out the new song right HERE.

To stay connected with ÆVES, visit the social media links below:

Twitter - twitter.com/aevesmusic
Facebook - facebook.com/aevesmusic
Instagram - instagram.com/aevesmusic
Website - aevesmusic.com

NateWantsToBattle – brainchild of YouTube sensation, singer, pianist, guitarist, songwriter, and voice actor Nathan Sharp – has teamed up with New Noise Magazine to premiere the lyric video for his single “Sandcastle Kingdoms” off his latest album of the same title. Sharp states, “'Sandcastle Kingdoms' is about the idea of having something in life that may seem reliable and true, but realizing it’s on a very unstable foundation. Illustratively, it’s a story of a king ruling over his kingdom and his loyal subjects following his every order when, in reality, he doesn’t even know what he’s doing. All he can do is hope that the castles he’s built aren’t swept away in one current.” Fans can watch the video one day before it goes live on his official channel now, here: http://bit.ly/2tQZw75.

My Little Pony and HASCON has unveiled exclusive merchandise for the Hasbro convention. It will be a special edition My Little Pony Box! Retail price $19.99 for ages 3 and up, only at HASCON!

This special edition MY LITTLE PONY BOX features a range of products that everypony will love packaged together in a decorative MY LITTLE PONY box. The box includes a MY LITTLE PONY HASCON youth t-shirt (sized small, medium or large), plus a MY LITTLE PONY Pony Friends figure, a MY LITTLE PONY Mini Plush Seapony, Tech 4 Kids’ MY LITTLE PONY themed Stackems, MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE pen and journal from Innovative Designs, a Bendon Grab ‘n’ Go Play Packs, a tumbler from Zak Designs, and a “My Little Pony: The Movie - Friends and Foes” book from Little Brown.

The Plague has released their latest single "Will You Ever Know Me". The track is a very personal story about frontman David Adam Monroe's relationship with his father.

"He was diagnosed with cancer at a time where our relationship was not at a strong point," says Monroe. "The song is about grieving the loss of a relationship, when part of you wants to keep hope alive."

Check it out right HERE.

Theatres Des Vampires have been around for close to 25 years, does that matter to a band of Vampires? Not so much, because music is what counts for them, as they have just released their latest album "Candyland", with already a work in progress for the next album! As well as time for some showcases of course! Frontwomen vocalist Sonya discusses with us, the history of these Vampires, the music they have created, changes to be had, with all new music on the horizon, plus much more!

1. First of all, please introduce your band and band members to our readers.

Sonya: Hello guys, we are Theatres des Vampires! It’s never easy to describe yourself , I’ll try to do it in few words: we are bloodsukers , bad ass people  and our music is the soundtrack of your best nightmare. Theatres des Vampires are : Zimon lijoy bassist, Gabriel Valerio drummer, Flavio Gianello our new amazing guitarist and me, the bloody singer . Sonya. So, watch out for your neck and let's start your interview.

2. Can you give us more insight about the formation of the band. How did you guys meet, is there a story behind the band's namesake Theatres des Vampires?

Sonya: Everything started more than 20 years ago, currently Zimon and Gabriel are still members from the first line up of the band. They joined the TDV project since the beginning. About me, I joined them in the late 2000. At the time they were looking for a backing vocalist. But  in 2004 I became the lead singer of the band, releasing the album "Pleasure and Pain" in 2005.

During our career, we were first primarily influenced by symphonic black metal, but later tended to include differing influences, including: classical music, opera, dark wave, death rock, gothic rock and several industrial subgenres. Throughout this stylistic deviation, a few characteristics of  our band's music have remained consistent; melancholic atmospheres and dark lyrics, vocal styling's akin to gothic metal, and our vampiric image.

The name "Theatres des Vampires" was inspired by a fictional location created by Gothic fantasy writer Anne Rice of the same name. Rice's Theatres des Vampires is a Parisian theatre in which vampires pretend to be mortal actors.

Their performances consisting of the feeding on mortals disguised as part of a play and staged in front of human audiences. The location is mentioned in several of Rice's books, including Interview With the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat. We all have a great passion for vampirism and I think our kind of gothic metal, is perfectly linked with this attitude, in all our albums we create an obscure atmosphere…sometimes more symphonic..sometimes more violent. But you can always feel a melancholy that drives our songs.

3. What can you tell us about the concept and lyrical themes of all your previous releases to date?

Sonya: The album's title  always encloses the most important meaning of the whole work for me even if some  lyrics  can deal  different themes. It's strange  for me to write all the lyrics for a real concept album; I always write 2 or 3 songs on a specific topic but then I get bored, I always need to say something more and I can never know where it will end in my mind as I write. I always feel the need to explore what is hidden in my soul. Everything can inspire me, a book, a painting, the life itself. In our albums there is always a part of me, a part of all my world, of my life.

In the last album, the title "Candyland,"  is inspired by a room, different from all others, with colored walls and bars on the windows. A room described as hell on earth by the inpatients of the infamous Pennhurst Asylum in Pennsylvania, where for decades adults and children with severe mental problems where hidden away from the public eye. A sad but alas true story, and the patients themselves renamed that room - with its brightly colored walls from which nobody could leave - Candyland.

"Candyland", is a journey through the corridors of the asylum, through the dread of those who - locked away inside the bulwarks of Pennhurst - were left to live in the lone company of their deepest and most harrowing fears, told through their words, accompanied by their cry of desperation.
Never to be understood. Never to be free. Never to be truly alive. Each  song has got its strange and scary story, but most of them are not linked to that gloomy asylum.

4. Would you say that there is a special reason for choosing your music conception?

Sonya: We all have a great interest for vampirism and stuff like that, but we have different musical background and that's our trademark and our strength. Our sound is a mix of all the things we love, and together we create our own sound. Everything  always happens in a very natural way. We do not like to plan our work too much but we prefer it to be our inspiration to guide us.

5. How do you guys manage to create music at all? What challenges do you face while writing and recording an album?

Sonya: Everything starts with a concept, an inspiration that I have in mind and we develop it together. I describe to the boys the atmosphere of the album, the concept from which we must start to develop our music and they find the inspiration to compose the music of the album. But  every time is different, as I told you before, there's no limits and no rules to our creativity.

6. You released your latest and newest album "Candyland", which happens to be your tenth studio album overall. What comes to mind when hearing such a thing?

Sonya: We are very proud of our work. We did many albums but the good thing is we are full of energy and inspiration and we’re looking forward  to play around the world again and making even more new albums. "Candyland", has been released for a few months but we are already working on our  new album. Enthusiasm is the secret to being able to carry on a project for so long. Enthusiasm, passion, love, constancy, friendship and patience, a lot of patience!

7. Did you ever think that starting Theatres des Vampires way back in 94 you would have gotten this far along?

Sonya: Honestly we have never noticed how the time passes us. We are doing the same thing more than 20 years ago, as we do today, we do our rehearsals,  we drink a beer together after that, we talk lot of about everything.We are real friends in everyday life. In the meantime, you tell us that the years pass, but we do not really realize it!

 8. Speaking of way back when, your band has been around for over 20 years, almost 25, did you or do you plan on celebrating in anyway. Whether it be a private party for you as a band or something for all to witness?

Sonya: Time seems to fun fast for us Vampires but we really don't care. We do not like to celebrate much, our 20 to 25 years of our music careers. What we really want to do is write good albums and play our music all around. So, I don't think we will have a real party. We have the parties in each of our concerts. We do so for us, is the best thing to share our music, with our fans is the best party! But I will think about it. Let us see if for the 25th year, if we will do something or not.

 9. "Candyland" was your first album in over 5 years since your previous release "Moonlight Waltz". Why the long time gap between releases?

Sonya: After a long stop of more than 3 years, there have been many changes within the band. We found a new balance and a new strong energy with a renewed line-up. We wanted to show it with a bloody new album with a powerful sound.

Our producer Christian Ice and I, together with the band, worked hard everyday on the new album. After our split with Fabian we had started to arrange the new songs from a different point of view, no more starting from the keyboards but from my lyrics, arranging them and on the rhythm of my words for the whole album.

So, what came out was a different and strong sound with great guitar’s riffs, surely different from the previous works, cause it was a different message, we wanted to give to our fans. In that moment, we still kept our style. The next one will be different it will be more vampiric and more us.

10. This album went ahead turning the themes of vampiric to occult, why the change of pace?

Sonya: This time, I needed to explore different themes, the dark side of the human mind, our fears, our madness, the death and scariness of real stories about ghosts and spirits....the afterlife. I'm already working on new lyrics, for the next album. We'd really would like to do a concept album, this time but I think as always, I will need to explore other things after just 3 songs of this material. My mind never stops so we'll see!

11. On the topic of vampiric material, are all of the band mates Vampires? Or is that something you want to remain hidden from the eyes of the public?

Sonya: Well.... it's quite hard to hide something like that. Especially with a name like ours! Vampirisms is a state of mind and a way of life, it is the research of eternal life through the life itself, the blood, strength, power, it is all sensual, ancestral, and a strong concept. It's really fascinating we walk on a dark path, are we real life Vampires? Is the blood on the stage real blood? Who knows! But in doubt be careful and do not get too close to us!

12. "Candyland" has been out for sometime now. Do you have anything new in the works, in terms of a follow-up release?

Sonya: We just released our new video for "Resurrection Mary", taken from our album "Candyland" and we have already started work on the next album!

13. Can we ever expect to hear your music played in the acoustic format or is that something you would not want to try out?

Sonya:  It would be surely amazing. I never really thought about it, in a serious way but I think maybe in the next couple of years it could be possible. I would like to play our old songs with a real live orchestra on stage with us. We will see.

 14. Has Theatres des Vampires ever played in the U.S.A. or plan to do so in the future?

Sonya: We have never played in the U.S.A. but this is one of our many dreams. I hope it will be possible in the future!

15. What are your plans between now and the rest of this year if anything at all?

Sonya: We are planning our next gigs. We have a tour in Latin America, some in Europe and Russia. We are also working on new songs for our next album, so it will be a busy time for us!

16. Thanks a lot for your time! It’s really nice to know more about you. Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers?

Sonya: Thank you for your amazing interview. Thanks to your readers for the attention. Blood is life!

French artistic rockers The Dukes were formed back in 2010, having released 2 releases 2010’s “Resilient Lovers” EP and 2011’s “Victory” LP. Now they have released their first American full-length album "Smoke Against The Beat". Thus, with a handful of material resting comfortably under their belts, nothing else left to do but head out playing shows as they have been quite the success as a touring act across Europe, both as headliners and openers for various bands. The duo got together to discuss this American release, and further plans.

1. How did your band form?

Greg: We used to play together in a band called No One Is Innocent in 2004/2005.  Our career went sideways at the end of 2005, he remained in NOII and I left to join a band called Superbus. We were both having great careers when years later I decided to reach out to Shanka because I wanted to make music with him again.  I missed playing with him.  Funny thing  he wrote me back right away and said: "I was going through my songs on my computers and I was thinking of you"… We decided to meet at his studio to go through the songs and three months later we were in Sweden recording an album with producer Magnus Lindberg who also happens to be  the drummer/producer for Swedish band Cult of Luna.  Shanka had met Magnus a few years back while he was supporting Cult Of Luna with one of his side projects called Destruction Inc.   Magnus and Shanka hit it off really well,  and we were done with the pre-production of the “Victory” album,  Shanka suggested Magnus produce the album.  We flew to Umea, a town that's located 250 miles away from the polar circle and cut the album in a barn covered by 5ft of snow, and at legendary TonTeknik Studios where some of our favorite bands had recorded - bands such as Refused, Meshuggah, etc.   Long story short The Dukes v1.0 were born!

2. What accomplishments are you most and least proud of as a band?

Greg: Most proud of – to still be a band today!!! I’m very proud of that.  It’s hard to be an independent band and fight against all those big label war machines… But we always find ways to move forward,  grow,  develop,  dare,  be creative,  despite all the roadblocks that we come across since we do everything.    Today we can also be proud of working with #1 rock producer Kato Khandwala,  being part of the Vans Warped tour family,  entering the Billboard Rock indicator charts with our first US single "Black Hole Love" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqQCoqZ4jHk and to be able to look at ourselves in the mire with a clean conscience.  Don’t forget that it’s rare to have French guys playing Rock N' Roll, we’re not known for that.   Least proud: I don't see anything… Yet.  ;o)

Shanka : It might sound silly, but I’m very proud of the music we make! We really try to do something personal and different, we put a lot of soul in it. I love recording albums with talented people, it’s like a very expensive playground. I’m also proud of our live show, it’s a real challenge to make it happen every night, especially because of the video, but so far, we haven't failed! On the other hand, I’m not very proud that it took us so long to start playing in the U.S., but hey, better late than never. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a true international love story!

3. How has being in a band impacted your life?

Greg: It’s like having a second family.  It’s a second marriage, in a way.  That's the kind of impact it can have on your life…

Shanka : Exactly, it is very much like a family. When you get to share so many good and bad moments, it’s more than being friends, it creates a bond that’s very hard to break after a few years of touring the world. I’ve known Greg since 2004, so I guess the bond is quite strong! Being in a band also forces you to deal with a lot of travelling, which is not always easy for our wives and families. It makes you feel kind of rootless sometimes, that’s why it’s so important to get along well with your band mates, or else you just enter a world of pain every time you get in the van. If you haven’t already, you should watch the "Refused are fucking dead" documentary, it’s exactly what I’m talking about. Finally, being in a band helped me a lot improving my social skills. Because tour life does not give you a choice, you need to talk to a LOT of people, and be nice to them. Sometimes, that’s quite a challenge.

4. How do you describe your sound to people who ask you what The Dukes sounds like?

Greg: We really try to sound like nobody else and in that regard Kato (Khandwala) really helped us define what our sound is. He coined it as “future rock” but you can also call “Sleaze Rock”!

Shanka : Usually, I tell them that what we do is soulful, gritty, psychedelic punk rock.

5. Do you have any major goals for The Dukes?

Greg: Yes, indeed!! To play more shows in the US is my major goal by the end of the year.   Considering the strong, positive feedback on the album from the media, the fans, rock radio and so on… The only missing piece of the puzzle is being out on tour to support "Smoke Against The Beat".  We need to score a major support slot for this fall, and that’s my goal!! I know our agent and managers are working on it.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Shanka : My goals are like Pinky and the Brain's : Try to take over the world, fail, try again, fail again, and so on until we do it!

6. Who are some of your biggest influences music wise?

Greg: I listen to everything but I’m a huge fans of bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Clash, Oasis, Future of the Left, Arctic Monkeys, early Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Refused, Pantera, etc.  But I also listen to old R N’ B, James Brown,  Sam and Dave, Stevie Wonder.

Shanka : Sometimes I ask myself: "What’s wrong with you"? because I can listen to The Chariot and then a minute later switch to Jordi Savall, then to Son House or Leadbelly, then back to hardcore music with Refused or The Gallows, then a full Ennio Morricone soundtrack. I think I love music so much, I can’t limit myself to one particular style – I have wide ranging and eclectic musical tastes.  I pick elements everywhere to build our style, even if I have a strong punk-rock and blues tendency.
"Blues is the teacher, punk is the preacher"!

7. How about when it comes to the song writing, what are your songs about and how is the song writing process laid out?

Greg: Shanka starts working on a song, he sends it to me to ask me what I think of it.  We generally talk about it on the phone a few times, make a few adjustments if necessary and finish building it together across the Atlantic.  Then we hit the studio when we get together.  We generally get there, we run the songs 2 or 3 times to have a feel for it, we make a few tweaks (or not), and finally we record it quickly after the pre-producton.

Shanka : Usually when I want to compose something, I start by sitting on my chair without any instrument, close my eyes and ask myself : "What do I hear"? Best case scenario, the riffs and ideas start pouring into my brain. Then I start humming the ideas, I grab my guitar and try to reproduce what I’m humming. Then I fire up the ProTools and start recording a rough demo, and I keep building the song until I’m (sort of) satisfied. The lyrics are mostly introspective but I’m trying to offer several levels of interpretation. In other words, I can show you the door and give you the key, but you’ll have to open it yourself!

8. "Smoke Against The Beat" is your first full-length American album, what does that mean? Wasn't your "Victory" album a full-length release as well?

Greg: “Victory” was a full album but it was only released in Europe, not in the U.S.  And with the type of music we’re playing we always felt that the U.S. would understand us, so it was our goal to release "Smoke Against The Beat" here.

Shanka : Everyone agrees that "Smoke Against The Beat" is our first real album. Simply because it took us a first attempt to finally find our own personality and voice as a band. I mean, let’s be honest, "Victory" was a "Frankenstein" album made of leftover demos I found on my hard drives… But we wanted to play together again so badly, I just couldn’t wait. Don’t get me wrong, I like "Victory", but it was just a test shot and there was no real artistic direction, at first we didn’t even want to release it. But people were so excited about the band that we finally did, and I’m glad we did. But I took the composition of SATB way more seriously, and you can tell the difference.

9. Why go with a title like "Smoke Against The Beat"? What does it actually mean for the album's sake?

Greg : "Smoke Against The Beat" means going against the flow, the trend…  If you think about it, it’s what we do with our music.  We’re not consensual, we're not a "me too" band.

Shanka : I thought it was a nice metaphor to praise originality and all the artists who have the guts to go against the grain. If you think about it, to "Smoke Against The Beat" would actually be something very uncomfortable and complicated to do… I have those Pantera lyrics in mind :  "The trend is on sale at the dollar store". But complaining is not enough, it’s better to take a chance and try to offer something new and different. That’s what we tried to do with this album.

10. Can you describe to me the story behind the artwork for "Smoke Against The Beat"?

Greg: Shanka will describe it better than me.

Shanka : It’s a pretty simple story : Since we didn’t have enough money to pay someone to do all the visuals, I did them myself. I thought that the result might be bad, but at least it would mean something and be personal. I’m very fond of the concept of the Idea : To have skills is great, but having a proper idea, something to say, is even more important. The short animation movie "L’Idée" shot in 1932 by Berthold Bartosch, based on Franz Masereel’s work, was a revelation to me (you can watch it on Youtube). It gave me the courage to start drawing and doing animation. My concept was to use only white paper and black Sharpie markers, as a tribute to the 80’s and 90’s US punk-rock scene and its "Xerox" visual culture. Then, it’s just like a Pandora’s box : The drawings became animations (I shot all the music videos with an iphone), which was a lot of work. I had to do 800+ drawings for the "Grey people" music video.  I had this idea of projecting my animations on the gear while we play, in sync with the music, using video mapping. It looks quite expensive, even if it’s not! Fun fact : I turned every animation puppet from our videos into action figures.  I was looking for a way to protect them from the dust and also from my cats! You can see pics on our website, and they will be for sale on our PledgeMusic campaign page that will be launched on July 28th.

11. How would you say that "Smoke Against The Beat", compares, differs, and is equal to your previous releases?

Greg: It’s almost two completely different bands for me.  "Smoke Against The Beat" is more mature to me.  The sound is more defined, more impressive. SATB is also different because we started using more synths from the 70’s, it’s more psychedelic…  We definitely explored new horizons on "Smoke Against The Beat".

Shanka : "Smoke Against The Beat" is our "real" first album. We found our own personality with this record, both in the music itself, but also in the visuals and in the way we perform live.

12. What's your take on "Smoke Against The Beat" as a whole?

Greg: It’s a trip, a whole adventure, we tried not to be repetitive and to get people to go on a journey with us.

Shanka : I usually make music because I like to bring songs to life that do not exist yet, but that I would enjoy listening to. I’m always trying to fill some kind of gap, in a very selfish way, for my own pleasure. It’s very egotistic, but I like this record because I don’t know any other band who plays this kind of stuff! I’m very proud of this album because it sounds very solid and powerful. A pure shot of the sincere Rock N’ Roll.

13. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "Smoke Against The Beat"?

Greg: "A Clockwork Orange" by Stanley Kubrick.

Shanka : "La Grande Vadrouille" by Gérard Oury.

14. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs off this album?

Greg: Shanka is great at that. We don’t only deliver music, but we add the visual elements - it’s a trip. What better than images to take you on a trip - it’s a great way to travel!  When you look at the art Shanka makes, it really transports you.  It’s so personal, so true to the band.  It’s a huge plus for the fans, I think.

Shanka : It’s a real challenge because it forces you to think hard about what you want to say, what’s your message. But I will never go back, it made me realize that all art forms are correlated, which is absolutely amazing! So many possibilities, it’s literally insane. I love it and I want to dive into this even deeper in the future.

15. Do you feel any aspects of the album were overlooked?

Greg: Nope!  I only wish we had more time in the studio together.

Shanka : I agree with Greg, 10 days was a bit short to track this record, I’d love to spend more time on the next album, if we have the resources to do so! But you know, if you’re gonna be broke, you’ve gotta be tough. What’s cool about it is that it makes you focus like hell on your task. That focus makes the recording process even more intense.

16. Describe your relationship with your fans in one word?

Greg : Respectful.

Shanka : Family.

17. What’s in the future for The Dukes?

Greg: Going back on the road and in the studio to cut more tracks with Kato.

Shanka : Exactly! I’m also working on new animation stuff. I’m trying to bring my skills to a new level… That means many failed attempts and countless hours of watching YouTube tutorials!

18. Is there anything else you’d like to add that you haven't mentioned elsewhere?

Greg: Our Pledge Music campaign starts on July 28th and it will be a real treat for the fans and the people that will discover The Dukes.  We have so many different things to offer: artwork, original drawings, sequences of animations we used in our videos, unique action figures of The Dukes, skateboards, etc. It’s going to be  awesome – please come check it out!

Keep in touch with The Dukes:

iTunes order link: https://itunes.apple.com/mu/album/alright/id1246948151?app=itunes&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/album/3md3zIiKuaEvkDYeONNUvG?play
Official Website: www.thedukesmusic.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thedukes54
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/thedvkes
Twitter : https://twitter.com/wearethedukes
YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/user/THEDUKESVIDEO

Rhode Island based hip-hop quartet Toad and the Stooligans will self-release their debut album “Very Handsome” on September 15th. The album will be available on all major streaming outlets. The album was produced by John Dello Iacono at Bridge East Studios in Massachusetts. Album art and track listing can be found below.

Hailing from Providence, RI and growing up in the nearby suburbs, Toad and the Stooligans is far from the typical hip hop group. Formed in early 2015, the high school friends joined together with the common goal of playing a different brand of hip hop. Heavily influenced by funk, jazz and a plethora of other genres, the Stooligans mesh multiple sounds together to create a canvas for their dual-vocal delivery.

The band will also be throwing a CD Release party at Fete Music Lounge in Providence, RI on Saturday September 16th. To accompany this announcement, the band has also premiered the music video for lead single “All Things Considered”. You can check it out exclusively on New Fury Media!

Check the video right HERE.

To learn more about Toad and the Stooligans, visit their social media sites below!


1. Sleep
2. All Things Considered
3. Stardust
4. Space
5. Part Time Lovers (feat. Bianca Sings)
6. The Regulars
7. Breathe Cathartic
8. Boxed In
9. Slack Jaw
10. Bump In the Night
11. Statements
12. Miles to Go

Social Media:

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/toadandthestooligans
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/stooligans