Interviews



Matty (Memphis May Fire) “People Picketing Shows Like This, I Think They Are Ignorant”

Memphis May Fire formed in 2006 in Denton, Texas with an energetic metalcore sound that also delivered a positive message. The band currently consists of lead guitarist Kellen McGregor, lead vocalist Matty Mullins, bassist Cory Elder, and drummer Jake Garland. The four piece has released six studio albums and two EPs to date. Memphis May Fire has released all their records since 2011’s ‘The Hollow’ via Rise Records.  The most recent record is ‘Broken’ which released in November of 2018. ‘Broken’ was produced by Kane Churko who has worked with legendary acts like Ozzy Osbourne, Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch, In This Moment, and Hellyeah. The band took a step away from their metalcore sound and ‘Broken’ is much more of a straight forward rock record. In addition to the release of the album the band has also since released a cover of Linkin Park’s “Faint” in April of this year. The band has recently been on tour with Pop Evil and Messer.

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BLACK COFFEE “We Got Signed To A Major Label” [Full Video Interview]

Black Coffee formed in early 2017 after drummer Tommy McCullough introduced singer/bassist, Ehab Omran, to guitarist Justin Young. Within the first few days, these artists began songwriting and the chemistry was overwhelmingly apparent. With the release of Black Coffee’s debut album, ‘Take One’, on April 21st, the Columbus, Ohio rockers definitely possess the sound, style, confidence and work ethic that created legends in music in the previous few decades. The bands style is slightly retro rock and with the recent success of bands like Greta Van FleetThe Struts and Rival Sons they have timed the formation of the band perfectly. Black Coffee are a band that certainly appreciates a good riff and you will easily notice how they flaunt their guitarists talents within their music. Ehab Omran’s vocals pack immense power into such a small frame. He sings in a melodic manner but also at times can wail with an aggressive grit to his voice as well. The band unveiled a music video for “I Barely Know Her”. The song and accompanying video was the first taste of Black Coffee that we would receive and it sent music fans into a whirlwind. The video was filmed at the Johnstown Opera House in Johnstown, Ohio. “I Barely Know Her” was filmed, directed and produced by the extremely talented John Payne of Payne Productions, who is one of the most talented photographers in and around Columbus, Ohio. With the attitude of the years gone by and the sound of a new resurgence of the classic rock, Black Coffee parts the proverbial sea for the next generation of artists. Continue reading

Howard Jones On Listening To Hip Hop “It’s A Way To Get Away From Heavier Music For A Little While”

Light The Torch

 

In 2012 left Killswitch Engage to gain control of his diabetes, which had been hard to control while on tour. There wasn’t much time off for him as he almost immediately formed Devil You Know. The original lineup of the band was Howard on vocals, Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish, Hiss of Atrocities) – guitars, Ryan Wombacher  (Bleeding Through)– bass, backing vocals, Roy Lev-Ari (Hiss of Atrocities) – guitars and John Sankey (Divine Heresy, Fear Factory)– drums. Since then Roy Lev-Ari and John Sankey have left the band. The current drummer of the band is Mike Sciulara (Extinction A.D.). I was fortunate enough to see the band a couple times while on tour with Coal Chamber and on stage they put on an amazing show. Devil You Know released two albums ‘The Beauty of Destruction’ (2014) and ‘They Bleed Red’  (2015). Then on July 26, 2017, the band announced via social media that they have changed their name to Light the Torch. The band in a way wanted a fresh start, and I believe the name has a better ring to it. The band is now set to release their debut under the name Light The Torch with ‘Revival’ which released on March 30, 2018. Continue reading

The Bucketlist With IRON AGE MYSTICS!

*In this series we pose the age old questions to a wide array of music lovers. As fans of music most of us keep a mental list of active bands we want to see live that we haven’t yet seen. The Bucketlist brings to you those lists of your favorite artists and why those bands mean so much to them*

Iron Age Mystics was formed in 2010, but their members are music veterans who have the battle scars to prove it. The politically charged rock band from Toronto is turning heads with their new music. Formed of not only veteran musicians but also extremely talented individuals. Those individuals quickly became one, and what they have produces is a musical blend of dissonant yet melody driven rock beneath passionately intelligent lyrics. Their sound has a cornucopia of styles. Within their songs you will hear influence from rock, punk, grunge, metal, and funk. It’s not often a band can meld all these styles into one band and create a cohesive album. However, Iron Age Mystics has done just that. Their new self released album ‘Pride Before The Fall.’ The band is currently not signed to a label, but we are certain labels will be beating on their doors soon enough. Continue reading

The Bucketlist With ROARING TRUTH

*In this series we pose the age old questions to a wide array of music lovers. As fans of music most of us keep a mental list of active bands we want to see live that we haven’t yet seen. The Bucketlist brings to you those lists of your favorite artists and why those bands mean so much to them*

Since their inception in 2015, Dallas, Texas hard rock/heavy metal band Roaring Truth has set out to bring a positive energy to the scene with a sound that pays homage to the classic heavy metal greats. Their singles “Homesick” and “Do as I Say” have received much local acclaim and airplay around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and the band has just released their newest self-titled EP via DSN Music, available via online and mobile stores. Guitarist Marty Hill takes the time to answer our Bucketlist question: Continue reading

Interview with HEART OF JORDAN’s Elijah White

heart-of-jordan-band

Heart Of Jordan (Photo: Scott V Photography)

From Michigan, HEART OF JORDAN are a new band and they blew the doors off the Metalcore scene with their self-titled debut, which was released last year.  The band are made up of Preston Mailand on vocals, Eric TenEyck on guitar, Elijah White on guitar, Daniel Ray Fell Jr. on bass and Andrew Everett on drums.  I rated their debut as one of my top ten albums of 2018 and they have received praise from many rock journalists with their melodic take on the genre.  I was therefore excited to interview guitarist Elijah White, who is one of the most personable musicians I have had the pleasure of communicating with.

As the group were only formed in 2017, I was anxious to let Elijah explain how the band came together.

Heart of Jordan began its formation in early 2017 with Eric TenEyck (Guitar), and Andrew Everett (Drums). Andrew was filling in on drum duties for Eric’s now defunct band. After the band dissolved, Eric and Andrew decided to carry on with a new project. Preston Mailand (Vocals) was called in by Andrew and soon joined the fold after returning to Michigan from a stint in Florida playing in a small handful of gulf coast bands.

Preston and Eric combined some song ideas to create the beginning framework for the first four Heart of Jordan songs: “Enslaved”, “Deny”, “No Escape” and “Throne Alone.” Soon after, Eric reached out to me to fill out guitars. Eric and I have known one another since the early 2000’s, playing in bands together. I had been out of the scene for a while, focusing on work and family.

After a few jam sessions as a foursome, it became clear that something special was there. We currently have Alfonso Civile on full time bass duties.

I asked Elijah who was the driving force behind Heart Of Jordan‘s inception.

The concept for the name “Heart of Jordan” was introduced by Preston Mailand, during the bands first months, prior to me coming on board. Musically, Eric, Preston, and I all contributed near equally to the ideas that became the songs that you hear on the album.

I was interested in Elijah came to be a guitarist and his  influences.

Since I can remember, I’ve always gravitated toward music of all genres. Melodies are constantly playing in my head from wake to sleep. My mother bought me my first guitar at age twelve. I spent hours upon hours in my bedroom playing along to bands like Metallica, Slayer, Alice in Chains, Helmet, Soundgarden, etc. I’ve had a guitar in my hand ever since.

Leading on from finding out how he started playing guitar, I asked who Elijah rated amongst current guitarists.

Man, that’s a tough one. There are so many shredders and riffers today. Some of my favorites today are: Adam Dutkiewicz, Michael Padget, Brent Hinds, Tosin Abasi, Benjamin Weinman, and Stephen Carpenter.”

I wondered if there was a specific set of themes the band wanted to explore.

Preston writes almost all of the lyrics. During the recording of the album, some of those lyrics changed to fit new song structures, while still holding the same themes and ideas. Our primary theme on the album is the universal struggle of the human condition.

Having explored Elijah’s influences, I asked him whether there were any specific influences that came through on the debut album.

We hear quite often that we have a Killswitch Engage sound to us. There are also some 80’s metal, grunge, nu metal, and hard rock elements that push through on most of the material.

The songs on the album seem very well structured.  I asked Elijah about how the band wrote songs, whether they jam together or send files to each other.

Primarily, we send files to each other. We also try to capture ideas during rehearsal as they arise.

The band’s fanbase seem to be growing rapidly with over 45,000 streams on Spotify.  I was therefore interested in what the group had planned for 2019.

We plan on releasing at least one new single and two new music videos. We currently have a mini tour set up with our Michigan comrades in Heartsick. As well, we are are performing at Rocklahoma at the Darkside Stage. Aside form that, we are making plans for more regional touring and direct support shows for touring national acts.”

Following this up, I wondered if there was a dream tour Elijah would like to go out on and where would he would like to tour in the world.

Our album is doing really well on Spotify in Europe. That would be a first choice for me, strategically. I also think it would be pretty awesome to tour South America.

I asked him about his favorite gig to date and the reasons why.

I think I can speak for the band when I say that our most recent hometown show is our favorite show to date. Nothing beats a hometown show.

Finally, I wrapped up by asking whether the band have set any goals for themselves or whether it all happen organically.

Although we tend to be pretty spontaneous and aren’t the best with organizational skills, most of our current success has come from setting goals and general timelines to achieve those goals. It also helps to have an album that people really like!

With that, I wished Elijah and the band all the best for the future.  If you haven’t checked out Heart Of Jordan yet, you really should.  The band are the heartbeat of a new musical generation.

 

Michael Orlando (Dead Girls Academy) “I Was The Most Hated Person In The Scene”

 

In 2016, when the curtains closed on Vampires Everywhere, Michael Orlando sought out other avenues for his new musical vision. “I’ve had the name DEAD GIRLS ACADEMY on the tip of my tongue for a few years,” admits Orlando,” and I’ve always been on the darker side of things in rock & roll, and the name fits the sound and overall image. Split personalities, fake friends, hangers-on, social-climbing and attention-hunting whores are all ingredients I wanted to exploit with this project. I called together Ronnie (Radke, Falling In Reverse) and our friend Elvis Baskette (Slash, Sevendust) and we started arranging songs and melodies. Living in Hollywood, there are so many fucked up things I’ve seen, the stories in my head, I could write six novels about them all. But that’s what breeds the creative juice and you will believe me once you hear DEAD GIRLS ACADEMY.”

“When Ronnie and I sat down to write ‘I’ll Find A Way,’ we were pretty adamant on stating truths. We wanted lyrics that would hit home and tell this story about conquering your inner demons. The voices in your head are pushing one way, and your heart is pushing the other – riding the line between right and wrong. I’m hoping this story, this song will give hope. The cure to happiness is inside us and we must not give up without a fight.”

DEAD GIRLS ACADEMY wasted no time and began 2017 by supporting Falling In Reverse, Motionless In White and Issues. The band quickly caught the attention of Victory Records and were signed in mere days Continue reading

An Interview With HIGH RISE! [Video]

High Rise are a Metalcore band hailing from South West London. Formed in 2014 the band have taken influences from bands like Underoath, The Ghost Inside and A Day to Remember to find and hone their own sound – ambient overtones with hard hitting riffs accompanied by dual vocal harmonies and much more. Following on from the success of their 2015 debut EP ‘Tides Will Take You’, High Rise independently released their second 5-track EP ‘Left It For Everything’, recorded with Dan Kerr at Avenue Studios [Our Hollow Our Home, Shields, Create to Inspire], in July 2016.

After a fantastic 2017 that saw the band play with a whole host of incredible artists including Bad Omens, Our Hollow Our Home, Create to Inspire, Vanity and Faces of Eve, as well as a well received slot on the Vocalzone Stage at Teddy Rocks Festival, and several sold out ‘home town’ shows in Kingston, High Rise are in the process of finishing writing for their new music release, due in 2018.

 

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An Interview With SCREAM BLUE MURDER [Video]

Photo Credit: Marianne Harris

Scream Blue Murder formed in Coventry in the United Kingdom in 2014. The band quickly released an EP which showcased their unique take on metalcore. The band then released their debut full length ‘Hollow Stories’ in Spring of 2016. Since this, they have toured the USA three times and EU/UK countless times. 2019 is set to be a huge year for Scream Blue Murder as they return with their 2nd album which will follow up their successful debut ‘Hollow Stories.’ They will be hitting the road in a serious way, returning back to the USA, as well as touring at home and across Europe, making this their biggest year so far, and one you won’t want to miss out on!

 

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An Interview With IMONOLITH’s Ryan ‘RVP’ Van Poederooyen!

 

IMONOLITH – the new metal powerhouse featuring vocalist Jon Howard (Threat Signal, Arkaea), drummer Ryan ‘RVP’ Van Poederooyen (Devin Townsend Project), guitarist Brian Waddell (Devin Townsend Project), bassist Byron Stroud (Strapping Young Lad, Fear Factory), and second guitarist Kai Huppunen (Methods of Mayhem, Noise Therapy) – is making an unforgettable entrance with a brand new official single, “Hollow”, available to stream/download for the first time today. Continue reading