Posts Tagged ‘musicians’

Closet Witch

Closet Witch – Self-titled

I’m not gonna do it. I’m not going to spiel about how midwestern hardcore doesn’t get a fair shake and that there’s tons of underappreciated bands out there who can fucking trounce the next big dumb band from the next big dumb city. It’s true, but it’s redundant and (to this writer) it feels like excuse-making. Iowa’s Closet Witch need no such excuse; where they’re from isn’t so much important here. This self-titled debut full-length speaks for itself and can whet the appetites of grind and powerviolence lovin’ lunatics everywhere. This is blazing aggression to the nth degree. It doesn’t take long for listeners to learn to hang on to your hat from opener “Blood Orange.” From the freeze-frame stop at the halfway point to the pummelling benter-than-fuck spazzy “groove” that closes things up, it’s apparent that this isn’t your mother’s cut-and-dry hardcore. Moreso, longer tracks like “Rule By Bacon,” “Lost and Unidentified,” and “Personal Machu Picchu” thread in a welcome waves of atmosphere and melody, functioning as much-needed breathers from the baseline full-tilt cacophony. These tasteful detours become especially evocative, dragging things down tempo-wise and folding in a healthy dose of flavor and character while exhibiting the group’s impressive range. It’s really hard not to want more of these moments when they hit so hard and work so fucking well, but as it goes, sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Still, the album ricochets from maniacally breakneck to pointed, mathy stutters to foot-stomping grooves with utter recklessness. Technically, it’s tumultuous and executed with a devious skill that brings to mind the compartmentalized chaos of less-melodic The Dillinger Escape Plan material. For as disorienting as the first few listens may be, subsequent spins become riddled with those magical mathy moments that you’ll learn to love (check the shifty “Brother” or the angular “It Doesn’t Feel Free”). “Eyelids of Horus” is a galloping Converge style blazer replete with fire alarm bell accents and a snare thrashing that’ll keep Iowa’s music shops in business. As busy or dizzying as the album is, there’s a lean nature to the whole thing. There’s a little wiggle room for some straightforward spitfire grind (“Spell of Giddiness”) and even a classic hardcore tumble (“Daylillies”). The four-piece approach makes things a little easier to decode, too, but the way they assemble and piece apart the core elements in their sound (grind, powerviolence, mathcore, hardcore, et al.) serves as a key to processing the method behind the madness. Like any quality powerviolence act, Closet Witch are simultaneously biting, empowering, and cathartic. Lyrically covering political big-picture topics like feminism, class warfare, identity, and also digging into some more introspective themes, Mollie Piatetsky regularly cuts to the bone, yet she refrains from getting bogged down in a spite-fest. Her delivery is unchained, howling with a tirelessness and purpose that’s equal parts intimidating energy and rhythmically earworming. Her style helps dictate much of the record’s flow and gives a little boost in each track. She’s rock fucking solid throughout the album, but should her repertoire broaden… look out. I have no clue if this was recorded live or individually tracked, but there’s something so inextricably natural about this, where that “live feel” is spot the fuck on in lieu of a more polished “album feel.” Sequencing takes things a step further, breaking down this album into a pseudo set that is dynamic and well-paced. Needless to say, it’s ideal for their style. It highlights the spirit, intensity, and the exciting nature of aggressive music in a live setting, but also a charisma, personality, and interplay of the musicians. Other bands can be loud or tear up your eardrums with 20 minutes of senseless disarray, but it frequently comes off in exercise. Here, it’s alive, embedded in each track. You can almost feel the heat, smell the sweat, and tap into that magnetic sixth sense that lets you know there’s a body flying your way. As far as debuts go, there’s little to nitpick; they seem to have cut their teeth on their EPs and were primed for a bigger statement. There’s no doubt the heart-on-the-sleeve, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps ethos is alive and well here, and really, this kind of authenticity is difficult to develop, so it’s hard to imagine that Closet Witch are going away anytime soon – good news for us. … Closet Witch is out June 12th on Halo of Flies , SassBologna, Jems, Circus of the Macabre, Don’t CAre, React With Protest. The post Closet Witch – Self-titled appeared first on Heavy Blog Is Heavy .

Scott Weiland Firms Up Dates for 2013 Solo Tour

Mike Lawrie, Getty Images Scott Weiland will begin 2013 as a solo artist. The frontman, who made overtures about reuniting with Velvet Revolver last year only to have Slash publicly rebuke them and reveal that the singer had once again parted ways with Stone Temple Pilots , is hitting the road next month. According to Weiland’s Facebook page , the tour has been dubbed the “Purple at the Core” trek, signifying that the vocalist may be focusing his energies on the music from the first two Stone Temple Pilots albums. Weiland is billed on the tour image as “Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts,” with two other musicians appearing in the shot. In addition to the ‘Purple’ and ‘Core’ albums, the singer is expected to perform songs from his solo and Velvet Revolver catalogs as well. The tour gets underway March 1 in Flint, Michigan and continues through to a March 27 finale in Dallas. Tickets are currently available here . Scott Weiland’s ‘Purple at the Core’ 2013 Tour Dates 3/1 — Flint, Mich. — Machine Shop 3/2 — Traverse City, Mich. — Ground Zero 3/4 — Niagara Falls, N.Y. — Rapids Theatre 3/6 — Patchogue, N.Y. — Emporium 3/7 — Boston, Mass. — Wilbur Theatre 3/9 — New York, N.Y. — Irving Plaza 3/11 — Washington, D.C. — Howard Theatre 3/12 — New Brunswick, N.J. — State Theatre 3/14 — Bethlehem, Pa. — Sands Bethlehem Event Center 3/15 — Fort Wayne, Ind. — Piere’s 3/19 — Chicago, Ill. — House of Blues 3/20 — Cleveland, Ohio — House of Blues 3/22 — Cincinnati, Ohio — Bogarts 3/23 — Indianapolis, Ind. — Egyptian Room 3/26 — Houston, Texas — House of Blues 3/27 — Dallas, Texas — House of Blues [button href=”” title=”Next: Scott Weiland Working on New Material” align=”center”]

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich + Snowboarder Pat Moore Discuss New Vans Shoe

Mary Ouellette, Metallica ‘s recent Vans shoes video series is now complete with drummer Lars Ulrich meeting with snowboarding great Pat Moore to spend some time on the slopes and discuss the creation of Ulrich’s newly designed Vans shoe. In the clip, Ulrich and Moore seem to be having a great day skiing and boarding. Moore talks metal with Ulrich and revealed that even though snowboarding may seem to be a peaceful sport, he gets himself amped up with some hard rocking. He explains, “I’m full metal, dude, and if I’m snowboarding, I’ll put in my music and if I’m listening to metal, I get so juiced. It’s dangerous.” After some time racing down the hill, the pair meet up for a fireside chat, where Ulrich discusses the creation of his new Metallica Era Laceless shoe. The drummer explains, “The last couple of years I’ve been getting into footwear that’s kind of laceless. And so when these guys asked what I wanted to do, I didn’t hesitate. I have this line with Tama where I make these snare drums that are made out of diamond plate and that’s kind of my signature, so you’ve got the diamond plate here [on the side] and the Metallica logo and the little cartoony silly Lars in there (inner sole) … and doing the bottom black and just had a great, easy, kind of effortless shoe.” The rocker shared his creative involvement, explaining, “I sat with the drawings and sat with the team and six months later these magically appeared, like in my lap. It’s like, ‘Oh cool, I have my own Vans shoe. How f—ing cool is that?’” Ulrich’s Vans video follows recent clips from James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo , in which the musicians met with skater Steve Caballero, pro surfer Nathan Fletcher and Vans team skater Tony Trujillo. For more information on the new Metallica Vans Line and to find out how to order your shoes, click here . Watch Lars Ulrich and Pat Moore Bond Over Skiing and Vans Shoes [button href=”” title=”Next: Metallica Deny U.S. Military Contact Concerning Music Interrogation” align=”center”]

Hottest Rockstar Girlfriends

Mike Coppola (Style), Getty Images / Facebook: Ella Cole / David Livingston, Getty Images If there’s one thing we can all appreciate, it’s beautiful women! We’ve also noticed a trend that said hot chicks tend to date rockstars, so we’re proud to bring you a list of the Hottest Rockstar Girlfriends! We’ve received a great response from our Hottest Rockstar Wives feature, so it only makes sense that we celebrate the women behind the musicians who haven’t tied the knot quite yet. Get ready for a lovely dose of babes who have nabbed themselves some of the world’s biggest musicians, along with a bit of info on these stunning ladies. Check out the Hottest Rockstar Girlfriends by clicking below: [button href=”” title=”See the Hottest Rockstar Girlfriends” align=”center”]

Foo Fighters, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz + More Rock Kennedy Center Honors Tribute to Led Zeppelin

Getty Images (3) Foo Fighters , Kid Rock and Lenny Kravitz were among the musicians that rocked Led Zeppelin classics during the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to the legendary rock band, which took place a few weeks ago but aired last night (Dec. 26) on CBS. Only half of the Foo Fighters’ two-song set from the event, which was originally taped on Dec. 1, aired on TV, but at least we got to see the guys jam out to ‘Rock and Roll’ with the Foos’ drummer Taylor Hawkins stepping into the role of lead singer, doing his best  Robert Plant impression. Meanwhile, Grohl paid tribute to his drum hero, the late John Bonham, by pounding the skins during the performance. Kid Rock rocked the stage for a high-energy rendition of ‘Ramble On,’ off 1969?s ‘Led Zeppelin II,’ while Kravitz delivered a strong performance of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ with President Obama seen singing along from the audience. The Zeppelin tribute started with a comedic speech by actor-musician Jack Black and ended with a rendition of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ led by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. Check out the performances in the clip below: Watch the Led Zeppelin Kennedy Center Honors Tribute Performances

Anthrax’s Charlie Benante Talks Past Grammy Nominations, Upcoming Covers Release + More

Paul Hawthorne, Getty Images Right after Anthrax ‘s ‘I’m Alive’ was nominated for the 2013 Best Hard Rock / Metal Performance Grammy Award , we hopped on the phone with Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante for a congratulatory conversation. Having been placed against Halestorm , Iron Maiden , Lamb of God , Marilyn Manson and Megadeth , Benante shared an excited and interesting perspective on the Grammys, both past and present. This is Anthrax’s fourth Grammy nod, the band’s first since their collaboration with Public Enemy, ‘Bring the Noise,’ was nominated in 1994. We asked Benante about past winners and if they deserved the golden gramophone, along with a b-sides and covers album that Benante says may be released in early 2013. Your Grammy opponents are pretty tough this year. You’re against Halestorm, Iron Maiden, Lamb of God, Marilyn Manson and Megadeth. What are your thoughts on those artists? Well, this is a difficult question because some of the artists I don’t really listen to. Some of the artists I do know and listen to. With Megadeth and Maiden … we look up to Iron Maiden so much. If you took Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, the common denominator there would probably be Iron Maiden. In some way, shape, or form, we all kind of modeled our band with Iron Maiden in mind. Not just that band; there’s other bands but I’m saying they played a pretty big role in the shaping of those four bands. So to be nominated with Iron Maiden, it’s just f—ing awesome. Looking up your past nominations for the Grammys, the one thing that’s easy to spot is that all those nominations came when Joey Belladonna was on vocals. So to you, how essential is the performance of Joey when it comes to these nominations? Well, it’s the classic Anthrax sound when we were nominated prior. I couldn’t be happier with the way that this record [‘Worship Music’] came out and you know, it’s something that I touched on in the statement that we made was this record, more so than a lot of other records, there was so much blood, sweat and tears that went into this record and I don’t know if those other records that are nominated could say the same thing. I mean, I’m not taking anything away from those other recordings, but all I can say is that I know how much went into making our other record. When I saw that we were nominated it just kind of made everything, “Wow, all that hard work and we get noticed.” It made sense to me. It wasn’t just making another record, you know? It was a different thing, it was different experience and it was a life changing experience. The first Grammy you were nominated for was for ‘Persistence of Time’ and you were against Judas Priest’s ‘Painkiller,’ which is incredible, Megadeth’s ‘Rust in Piece,’ which is amazing and Suicidal Tendencies, ‘Lights… Camera… Revolution!” But then the Grammy went to Metallica’s ‘Stone Cold Crazy.’  [Laughs] Yeah, I remember that! I think that was soon after the Metallica /Jethro Tull thing. It’s kind of funny where the Grammys have gone. I remember the first rap category, it wasn’t televised and there was a big uproar about that and then nowadays, there’s like three rap categories or more are on there and that are televised. It’s funny to see how it’s turned. It’s unfortunate that the metal one isn’t going to be televised though. Well, yeah. Take out one of those other categories and you know give (a category to metal) because I always said this: heavy metal and hard rock — the fans are the most loyal fans that really attach themselves to a genre of music. It’s not a fickle form of music. You can tell a metalhead walking in the street, you can tell what they are all about and it’s a lifestyle, it’s a way of life. It’s funny how people go that route and it’s how other people don’t go that route. I always found it kind of fascinating how I grew up listening to the Beatles and yet when I was in my teens, I latched onto that style of music, but I always kept the Beatles as my main sort of influence. So looking back on it your first Grammy nomination in 1991, who do you think should have won? I think Metallica should have won it for their ‘Black Album’ in 1992. I don’t agree with ‘Stone Cold Crazy,’ but you know, it’s hard to say who should have won. Of course I’ve got to pick myself, but it did include Megadeth and Judas Priest in there as well, those are all albums that went on to have legendary status. But, you know, look at the Grammys back in the day. Did the Beatles ever win or did Led Zeppelin win a Grammy at that time? Fun facts: Led Zeppelin have never won a Grammy and were only nominated once for Best New Artist in 1970. However, Zeppelin were given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys in 2005. The Beatles won only five Grammys from 21 nominations during their active career. In 1995, Anthrax’s collaboration with Public Enemy, ‘Bring the Noise,’ went up against Megadeth’s ’99 Ways to Die,’ Pantera’s ‘I’m Broken,’ the Rollins Band’s ‘Liar,’ and the band who won that year was Soundgarden for ‘Spoonman.’ Do you think you guys should have won that year? I think Anthrax and Public Enemy should have won that year, but the people would have said, “No, because that’s not heavy metal.” But isn’t that what the Grammys are all about? You know, kind of branching out, different forms of music combining, different art forms? Anthrax and Public Enemy should have won the Grammy that year. That was definitely a strong piece of metal history. So when it comes to 2013, I’ve read that you guys would “like to” release an album sometime next year. Are there any solid plans right now for a 2013 album? The only thing that we’re working on right now, as far as a record, are some B-sides and some cover songs that we’ve been really, really enjoying making. It’s been a while, but it’s just because the band has been busy doing shows and stuff like that. [We’re covering] a lot of classic rock songs that we’ve just ingested throughout the years and shaped a lot of us and the musicians that we came to be. There’s a song by Boston, there’s a Rush tune, there’s a Cheap Trick tune, there’s a Thin Lizzy tune, there’s an AC/DC tune … We just said ‘F— it.’ These f—ing songs may be very popular, some of them may not be very popular, but we’re going to do it. That’s what we set out to do. So, this record will probably be out the beginning of the year. [button href=”” title=”Charlie Benante on Grammy Nod: ‘It Was Just Complete Shock'” align=”center”]

Black Veil Brides Singer Andy Biersack: I Think Everybody Is ‘Wretched and Divine’

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire The Black Veil Brides army continues to march strong, especially with the band’s third studio album, ‘Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones,’ due out on Jan. 8. Loudwire had the opportunity to catch up with Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Biersack after her surprised 20 fans with his presence at a listening party in New York City. Biersack talked in-depth about ‘Wretched and Divine’ and how circumstances in his personal life helped with the creation of the new album. ‘Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones’ is a very epic sounding album name. What does the title mean to you personally? Growing up, I wasn’t like the kid in ‘Breakfast Club,’ but I was like the weirdo like “Don’t let your kids around that guy” – I had like a James Dean complex when I was a kid and I wanted to be this rebel person but it wasn’t because I wanted to rebel against things it was just that my inclinations were more towards rock ‘n’ roll, leather jackets and that kind of stuff. I wasn’t a kid who got into trouble, I didn’t get into drugs as a kid but just the way that I looked and my interests made me into this social pariah. So at a young age I was already fascinated by the social dichotomy of if someone looks a certain way or someone has certain interests they can be labeled as a bad person without any actual knowledge of who they are. The older I got, I started to realize more it’s not necessarily that any of us are inherently bad or good, you just kind of carve your own way and you are your experiences and your surroundings and what you grow up in. I think on any given day somebody could help out a homeless person and cuss out somebody that cut them off in traffic and I think that everybody has that inside them, it’s just how you live that balance – so I think everbody is ‘Wretched and Divine.’ Our band also, we’re a very polarizing band in opinion – people either tend to love us or hate us, there’s not really anything in between. We like to think of ourselves and the people that support us as people on the fringe, we don’t care to be part of one group or another. We kind of exist on our own bubble so to speak and with that I think that may be where the title came from. Can you talk about the brand new single ‘In The End’ musically and lyrically? The song probably came about two or three weeks after my grandfather died. I was very close with my grandparents and through the course of writing the song, I started to think more and more about – just from my personal perspective because everyone in the band has their own feelings on when songs are written. But when I was sitting outside writing lyrics to it, I was feeling — I’m not a religious person but I grew up in a religious family. I went to the funeral for my grandfather, a person that I love very much and everyone is speaking about how he went to heaven and how he’s in heaven. I always fight with that because I would love nothing more to believe that my grandfather is in the clouds playing Xbox 460 or whatever awesome stuff they have up in heaven but I can’t. I remember sitting around in my grandmother’s house afterwards and everbody’s doing what you do after — you all go back somewhere and you talk about the great stories of the person that died and that came to me very clearly: Whether you believe or don’t believe in an actual physical afterlife, you cant deny that there is a certain element of an afterlife in the legacy that someone leaves. A bunch of people sitting around a room talking about how wonderful this person was and how positively they affected their lives is always going to, in a sense, be heaven — heaven on earth. I think heaven and afterlife is for the living, it’s for the people that continue on and remember that person and if you’ve done something that is substantial in your life then you can leave a legacy and do something positive. It obviously applies to the storyline and this battle and being at the end of it and not having won or loss — just knowing that you did something for what you thought was right. Artists such as Bert McCracken from the Used and William Control are on the album. What did these other musicians bring to the table? With this we were doing something so different than anything we’ve done before, it opened itself up to inviting friends and different people in. In the past we never really had guest vocalists but this felt like it was bigger than just the five of us – it’s almost like doing a play and you only cast you and your friends, you have to have stuff that exists outside of the base where the story was written. If anything else, it was bringing people in that had different perspectives and different sounds so that we could play more with the sonic level of the record and have different sounding things. Can you talk about the F.E.A.R spoken word parts of the album and the idea behind those sections of the disc? I’ve sort of just like the whole Orwellian, dystopian future – I like the idea that it doesn’t seem to crazy or far off that there could be someone who is this omnipotent, omniscient power that tells you what to do. I think that people always make the metaphor pretty readily with television or media brainwashing and the people with the tinfoil on their heads think that everything’s brainwashing them. So, if you were to have a situation where it’s an all sweeping political, religious, psychological just this entity that exists on every level to where you get your food, you get your God and you get your health from this one entity and they kind of control everything — that just always interested me. I like the idea of having the narrative told through the perspective of the bad guy more than anything else. You rarely ever hear something narrated through the villain’s perspective and it was fun. If nothing else, this record boils down to stuff that I just thought was fun and cool and what we could have fun with as a whole. Where did the idea of the Black Veil Brides film ‘Legion of the Black’ come from? Again just fun, honestly it was as simple as just the childishness of “We should do a movie” and then the reality of, “How do you do that and how do you get the financing for that?” We were very fortunate to have great friends Patrick Fogerty and Richard Villa, who have worked with us from day one. Richard does our artwork and Patrick has directed every video I have done since I was 17 years old and so they have a lot of friends and were able to pull a lot of favors and we were able to agree with the label on a budget. So instead of doing these promotional videos, we decided that we would do a cohesive film to compliment the album because it is this larger than life kind of thing. [button href=”” title=”Check Out Black Veil Brides’ Video for ‘In The End'” align=”center”]