Posts Tagged ‘faith’

RED’s Anthony Armstrong Talks New Album, Winter Jam Tour + More

Essential Records RED ’s latest album ‘Release the Panic’ was recently unleashed and hit the Top 10 on the Billboard album chart in its debut week. The disc, which features the hit single ‘Perfect Life,’ marks the first time the band has worked with producer Howard Benson ( Halestorm , Papa Roach , P.O.D .). The band is also in the midst of Winter Jam Tour 2013, an annual Christian music festival featuring artists in many different genres. After that tour wraps up, they plan on embarking on a headlining run in April.  Loudwire recently caught up with RED guitarist Anthony Armstrong to discuss the album and tour, staying connected with his faith, the first time they heard a RED song played on the radio and other topics. How did the songwriting and recording process for ‘Release the Panic’ compare to previous RED albums? They are all pretty comparable. We spent about a year and a half writing this record. A lot goes into it. Picking a producer was a challenging process. Once we got that locked in, we started the pre-production process. How did you decide on working with producer Howard Benson? He wasn’t the only guy that was on our radar. We did several interviews and talked with different producers. Howard spelled it out pretty clearly for us as far as what the process would be with him. You don’t waste a lot of time with Howard. A lot of things get done. We took about 2 1/2 months to make the record and actually moved out to Los Angeles for a while to work with Howard. He made it very clear that he’s not the best at everything. That’s why he has a team of guys. He’s not the best ProTools guy, so he has the best ProTools guy in the business. He’s not the best amp engineer, but he’s got the best guy in the business. He said the process would work really well for us, and he was right. We got in the studio and it was all about the music, not wasting a lot of time on the side trying to get things worked out. If something went wrong, he had a guy there to fix it and get us ready to go. It was cool. How do you think the band’s sound evolved on this album? Each record is its own thing. You go into it wanting it to have its own identity more than anything. That’s what we wanted with this record. We didn’t want it to be another “Until We Have Faces,’ another ‘Innocence & Instinct,’ another ‘End of Silence.’ We wanted it to be its own thing, and I think we accomplished that by taking some production elements out, to try some new things. The whole idea behind making this record with Howard was to get to the point. Let’s not be so dramatic and poetic when we don’t need to be. It’s about getting to the point faster and making it memorable. Were there more electronic elements on this album? I wouldn’t say electronic. It’s mostly programming elements. You’re not hearing as many symphonic elements. You’re not hearing as much piano or strings. These things have always been in our music, you’re just hearing more of them out front more than ever. People say we’ve “gone electronic,” but we’re doing nothing different on this record as far as that is concerned. Like I said, it’s a mix thing. We just decided to bring it out and make it more prominent in the mix. You’re currently in the middle of the Winter Jam Tour. How has that been going so far? This is the fourth time we’ve gotten to do Winter Jam, and that’s definitely a highlight for us. It’s a great tour, and a great time to release a record. Playing in front of thousands of people every night is definitely going to help record sales and help generate new fans and give everybody a chance to hear the record. You have to be in people’s faces for them to get a taste of what you’re going for. Winter Jam affords us that opportunity. It’s the biggest tour in the world during the first quarter. It’s great for any band. You’ve also developed quite a production to accompany your live show. We’ve kind of painted ourselves with that brush, and it’s something we look forward to. We have created more of a theatrical element to our band. We’re big believers that there has to be a visual element to carry along with the music. We have focused on that with our live show. We’re working on our new set right now. It’s a whole new fresh look We want to show the fans what we were going for and give them something to visualize along with the new songs. When you’re playing with such a diverse linup in Winter Jam, how difficult is it to win over the crowd, many who may not be familiar with your band? It’s a challenge. There are people covering their ears, people cowering in their seats in the fetal position (laughs). They aren’t there for the hard rock element. But our meet and greet lines are wrapped around the arena. We know that there is a need and a want for this type of music. We’re here to do our thing, and I think there are a lot of kids that relate to this type of music. Winter Jam is a great place because there is every type of person that comes to this show. What do you have coming up after Winter Jam? We’re going to take 10 days off, then we start our headlining run. We’ll be doing a brand new show in support of the new record. RED appeals to many different audiences; rock, metal, Christian, secular. How do you balance all those different marketplaces? I think the balance comes from not labeling ourselves. We don’t call ourselves a Christian band. We don’t call ourselves a mainstream band. We’re just a band. People find comfort in throwing a label on a band. We just set out to play shows It’s easy for us because we know exactly what we’re there for and what we’re doing. Every band has to learn how to tour, learn how to be on the road, learn how to be professional. When you were starting out, who were some of the bands that helped you learn? I feel like we went through band boot camp. We went through a lot of growing pains on those early tours that we were on. Bands like Sevendust, Breaking Benjamin and guys like that had crews that had been on the road for 15 or 20 years who weren’t willing to put up with greenhorns. They whipped us into shape really quick. It was a matter of us staying humble. There’s a pecking order and you have to earn respect. It worked out well for us. We just kept our mouths shut and worked our butts off. If you listen and learn, your band grows. Being on the road so much, how do you stay connected to your faith? It’s difficult for anyone to be on the road, even if you’re doing devotionals and group discussions and Bible study. On Winter Jam, we have ‘Jam Church” on Sundays. On a tour with ten bands, you’d be surprised how many guys aren’t at Jam Church. You have to make the time, you have to put in the effort to stay connected. One of the things the pastor on this tour says every night to the audience is that I have this iPhone, but if I don’t plug it in, it doesn’t work. If we don’t plug our faith in, how is it going to work? How are we going to be useful in the right moment? We just have to make the time. Because the four of us are like-minded and believers, if one person isn’t motivated, the other three are and can provide encouragement and accountability. These days RED songs are on the radio all the time. Take me back to the first time you heard one of your band’s songs on the radio. We finished our first four songs. We were in Franklin, Tenn., about 10 to 12 miles away from downtown Nashville. A local rock station played what they called “the local buzz” on Sundays. We had given them our four songs. That Sunday night we got together and went up to the top of this power station on the top of a hill in Franklin to hang out. The guy on the radio said he didn’t know where these guys came from, but I think they have a bright future, and then he played our song ‘Breathe Into Me.’ I can’t tell you the feeling when he started playing it. We were so overwhelmed with excitement. We thought we had made it and were on top of the world. As young and green as we were, we didn’t realize how much work we had ahead of us. Watch RED’s ‘Perfect Life’ Video

Tom Morello + Others Salute MusiCares Person of the Year Bruce Springsteen

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images Tom Morello ‘s growing relationship with Bruce Springsteen continued in a major way Friday night (Feb. 8) in Los Angeles as the Rage Against the Machine guitarist was all over the set list for the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute to “The Boss.” Morello first appeared onstage with the legendary Jackson Browne , playing along to the Springsteen song ‘American Skin (41 Shots).’ He’d later return to join My Morning Jacket ‘s Jim James in performing a scorching version of ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad.’ The guitarist finished out the night playing three songs with Springsteen — ‘Death to My Hometown,’ ‘Thunder Road’ and ‘Born to Run’ — before the all-star finale on the song ‘Glory Days.’ Other highlights during the evening included the show opening ‘Adam Raised a Caine’ from Alabama Shakes , Mumford & Sons performing ‘I’m on Fire,’ Elton John delivering ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ and Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s rousing take on ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ Initial reports of the gala’s lineup suggested Eddie Vedder was also to be involved, but all reviews indicate that he was not part of the event. In addition to the show, there was a charity auction led by Springsteen in which the singer offered a number of personal items to help boost up the price on a signed guitar by many of the participants. According to NJ.com , as part of the Springsteen aided package, the winning bidder also got a one-hour guitar lesson, a ride in the sidecar of Springsteen’s Harley and one of the singer’s mother’s lasagnas. When all was said and done, the guitar with Springsteen’s extras fetched $250,000 for MusiCares. Bruce Springsteen 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year Concert Setlist: ‘Adam Raised a Caine’ — Alabama Shakes ‘Because the Night’ — Patti Smith ‘Atlantic City’ — Ben Harper, Natalie Maines & Charlie Musselwhite ‘American Land’ — Ken Casey (of Dropkick Murphys) ‘My City in Ruins’ — Zac Brown and Mavis Staples ‘I’m on Fire’ — Mumford and Sons ‘American Skin (41 Shots)’ — Jackson Browne and Tom Morello ‘My Hometown’ — Emmylou Harris ‘One Step Up’ — Kenny Chesney ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ — Elton John ‘Hungry Heart’ — Juanes ‘Tougher Than the Rest’ — Tim McGraw and Faith Hill ‘Ghost of Tom Joad’ — Jim James and Tom Morello ‘Dancing in the Dark’ — John Legend ‘Lonesome Day’ — Sting ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ — Neil Young and Crazy Horse ‘We Take Care of Our Own’ — Bruce Springsteen ‘Death to My Home Town’ — Bruce Springsteen & Tom Morello ‘Thunder Road’ — Bruce Springsteen, Tom Morello, Roy Bittan, Max Weinberg, Gary Tallent ‘Born to Run’ — Bruce Springsteen, Tom Morello, Roy Bittan, Max Weinberg, Gary Tallent ‘Glory Days’ — All [button href=”http://loudwire.com/tom-morello-fill-in-for-steven-van-zandt-on-bruce-springsteen-australian-tour/” title=”Next: Tom Morello to Fill in on Bruce Springsteen’s Australian Tour” align=”center”]

Tom Morello Teams With Travis Barker, LL Cool J, Chuck D + DJ Z-Trip for 2013 Grammy Performance

Dimitrios Kambouris / Ethan Miller (2) / Jason Kempin / Michael Tullberg, Getty Images The 55th Annual Grammy Awards just got a little more intriguing with the announcement of a new collaborative pairing. MTV reports that Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker will help rock out a performance that features Grammy host and rap great LL Cool J , Public Enemy leader Chuck D and turntable titan DJ Z-Trip. While it was not revealed what the five-piece would be performing at the Grammys, it will likely be an amalgamation of songs pulling from all of the performers’ strengths, so don’t be surprised to get some rock, rap and electronic hybrid by the time is all said and done. The newly announced performers join a lineup that already includes music guests Justin Timberlake, fun., Taylor Swift, Jack White, the Black Keys , Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Carrie Underwood, Rihanna, Sting, Bruno Mars, Miguel, Wiz Khalifa, Hunter Hayes, Kelly Clarkson, Frank Ocean, Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Maroon 5, Alicia Keys, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Mavis Staples, Zac Brown, T-Bone Burnett, Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley. Music’s biggest night will also feature presenters Dave Grohl , Prince, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest, Ne-Yo, Beyonce, Hunter Hayes, Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry, Kaley Cuoco, Neil Patrick Harris, Faith Hill, Jennifer Lopez, Tim McGraw, and Pauley Perrette. The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will air this Sunday night (Feb. 10) at 8PM ET/PT on CBS. [button href=”http://loudwire.com/the-black-keys-jack-white-lead-2013-rock-grammy-nominations/” title=”Next: See Some of the Rock-Related 2013 Grammy Categories” align=”center”]

The Devil Wears Prada’s Mike Hranica Discusses New Album Progress + Tour With As I Lay Dying

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images The year 2012 was a great one for the  Devil Wears Prada , as the band had a prime spot on the Mayhem Festival tour while promoting their ‘Dead and Alive’ concert album, in addition to their 2011 studio album, ‘Dead Throne.’ After some late year touring overseas, the Devil Wears Prada started getting back to work on their next album. Loudwire caught up with singer Mike Hranica during a break in writing sessions, and he told us about the progress for their forthcoming disc and he also spoke about the band’s upcoming co-headlining trek with As I Lay Dying , which kicks off Feb. 22. After taking a break for the holidays, do you build up any rust as you get ready to head back on tour? Right now, and I know the tour is sneaking up on us about a month away, but really we’re quite distracted. We’re working on really finishing the record as far as writing. We’ve been doing that for about two weeks. We’re all in Portland right now working, so right now the big thing on the table at the moment is getting everything figured out for our new record in terms of timing, producer, engineer, mixing all of that stuff, and even more immediate is making sure we have our songs good to go. So that’s weighing on us right now and keeping us real busy. But it was great to be home for the holidays. We had about five weeks in Europe into Thanksgiving and spending a lot of time overseas. It was particularly exhausting, so it was good to just wind down in December and then get back at it writing right now and we’ve got about another week of this. Then in the beginning of February we’ll relax again and get ready to tour. When we talked at the Mayhem Festival last summer , the ideas for the new disc were just starting to pop up at that point. What can you tell me about how this album is progressing? Since ‘Dead Throne’ came out, I knew what I wanted to do. This is not a conceptual record, but it’s kind of like what the underlying theme of the record would be. I’ve had that for a while, but after Mayhem we recorded four songs and actually tracked vocals and everything and now that we’re in Portland so far I have another four tracks and the rest of the guys have a number more on top of that. They’re really refining and fine tuning I suppose. Before we’re done here, I’ll try to track some more vocals so we’re definitely on the right page and being diligent about it. It’s exciting to be writing songs again. I know that ideas come from the other band members as well, but how difficult is it to gather all the ideas and make it into something your own. [Chuckle] It’s kind of forced. I mean the band lives all over. Chris is in Portland, Dave’s in San Diego and then the rest of us are in Chicago, so when it’s time to meet up, there’s no option. It’s time to go. I think for me at least, and for all of us, you know you have to do it. It’s just that time and I know for me personally it’s not a huge challenge to try to write better songs than what I was doing previously, but it’s never a challenge to write because I always have stuff on my mind. I’m always ready to come up with new things, at least for the most part. I was very excited with ‘Dead Throne’ and it still feels like a very relatable record to me and it’s still truthful. I guess I’m always good to write for the most part and now that it’s been a while since we worked on ‘Dead Throne’ and recorded ‘Dead Throne,’ there’s definitely more stuff on my mind. You mentioned ‘Dead Throne’ and you also had the concert disc, ‘Dead and Alive.’ Do either of the experiences from those albums carry over into the creative process for this disc or are you starting fresh? For me, I definitely feel a little bit of a carry-over from ‘Dead Throne,’ particularly because it was a very cool record for me learning, for me learning to write better and that was working with a new [producer] … working with Adam [Dutkiewicz] for the first time and having [ A Day to Remember ‘s] Jeremy McKinnon working on some of the songs with us, and I feel I took a lot from that. On ‘Dead Throne’ there were better vocal parts and everything was more cohesive and understandable and made for better song structure and everything and that had had a big impact on me creatively and so it’s definitely carried over into this. Conceptually, the concepts of ‘Dead Throne’ didn’t carry over. I feel like that would be repetitive and monotonous to keep going at the same subject matter, but obviously it all comes from the same place and I can say that nothing got more happy or uplifting really. So I think it’s very much the Devil Wears Prada but also it’s got a bit of freshness and originality to it and I think that even musically we started approaching the songs differently. Like this song could be more like this and working off of a base we never really worked off of before. You mentioned getting back together in Portland and I’m wondering does location ever factor into the mood or feeling of what you’re putting together? Does this new music have what you might call a Portland-feel? I don’t think it drastically changes what I’m writing about. For me the things going on in my personal life is more immediate and turns into songs and lyrics rather than where I’m writing it from … unless we’re in Europe and then I might write a song and work off of that. But the big thing for me is that this is the first time writing outside of Chicago for a while, because we usually write there … In Chicago, I go to practice and I go home and I’m right there to write and everything. Here I don’t have those comforts and pleasures of being at home. It’s different in Portland and I think it has a good effect on a few of us in terms of having a separation and letting us know it’s time to work and it’s time to create, so being in Portland has a little bit of a different effect, but I don’t think it’s anything too drastic. I think if I was somewhere sunny and warm, it would definitely have more of a firm hand on the songs. While sunny and warm may be a few months off, here in the heart of winter you’re heading back indoors for club and concert hall-type shows. Do those type of shows hold a special place for the band in terms of what you get out of intimate venues? I’ve always really liked everything as long as it works and nothing is breaking and there’s actually enough room onstage. But I’ve always really liked doing tiny club shows that we’ll throw in here and there. I’ve always liked the House of Blues routing, which we’ll be doing on this As I Lay Dying tour, and I love doing Warped Tour and Mayhem, as well. It’s just nice to have a good knack for it. The last tour we did was a European tour with August Burns Red and it was the same thing, small-to-midsize venues or whatever, and it is a bit of separation from what we were doing on Mayhem but I’m excited to get back into it. We haven’t done indoor in the States for about a year now, so I’m definitely enthused to get back into it and be playing a lot of the cities that we love to be in where we’re seeing such a rewarding and complimenting crowd. As I Lay Dying joined you last summer on the Mayhem Festival and I’m sure you’ve crossed paths before. Can you talk about the relationship there and why they’re the perfect compliment for you on this run? The first time we toured with them was 2008 on Warped Tour and I didn’t really get to know any of them back then, but there’s been a few run-ins since then and obviously Mayhem, we really got along with them well on Mayhem. Even prior to that we always got along and also before Mayhem, Tim [Lambesis] was on ‘Dead Throne’ and had a guest part and sincerely, I love that band. I’ve been listening to them since I was a sophomore in high school, and it’s awesome to be doing a proper venue tour with them because we’ve never done that. It’s always been the sort of festival thing. You mentioned Tim and his guest role on ‘Dead Throne.’ Any thoughts on him possibly guesting during your set? A few times on Mayhem, every couple of days or so, he’d come out and do his part on ‘Constance.’ We haven’t written a set list for the tour yet, so I don’t know if we’ll be playing ‘Constance,’ but I know a lot of people will want it and they’ll want to see Tim do the part. I’ve done parts on other band’s records and when your on tour you have your own set to play and then you have someone else’s set and have to do the song with them, it can be a little pain-in-the-butt hassle, so I hate to put that on Tim, but we’ll probably be playing ‘Constance’ and it’s just up to him if he’s busy or wants to do it. It’s not like he’s obligated to doing the song every night. You’ve got a couple of acts opening as well and one of them, For Today , just had a little pre-tour drama with their guitarist leaving after sparking some outrage with his online commentary. Your band has been around enough that this probably isn’t the first time you’ve toured with another act dealing with a change or some headline-making drama. Does that make it any weirder or more difficult to approach them when you know a band is dealing with something more than just playing shows? I don’t think things will be weird with our relationship with For Today. We’ve toured with them. They did our ‘Dead Throne’ tour, the first one we did in the States, a little over a year ago. I mean, we’ve always gotten along with the guys. I know [singer] Mattie [Montgomery] really well and I was talking to Mattie yesterday. I don’t think it’s going to burden them. They’re really strong men, really strong in their faith and I don’t know. I think if everything that happened with the comment had subsided while on tour, there would have been a noticeable amount of tension, but I’m not too concerned about it. It’s a very heavy issue to be speaking about and I don’t mean to underplay the comment, but we’ve always really got along with that band and we’re really happy we’re touring with them again whether they think those things or not. It’s nothing that we agree with, but we have the same faith and we enjoy touring with them. I’m not sure of the timeline, but do you plan on recording before hitting the road or after? We haven’t scheduled anything proper yet, but we’re trying to hop into the studio close to after the tour is finished. Right now, we did it with ‘Dead Throne’ and we’re doing the same thing this time around. We track everything and Chris [Rubey] demos everything out and I’ll do vocals over it and it really really enhances the pre-production process as far as getting into the studio. Last time, it was with Adam D. and really being able to cut the songs apart rather than standing in a room playing songs and saying, “I feel like you should change that,” and taking so much time to do that, you have it all right there in front of you. So we’ve realized how important that is in terms of being sustainable and sufficient and recording and coming up with the best songs that we can so, right now it’s just a matter of writing songs and working on the songs that Chris already has and then demoing it all out and throwing some sloppy vocals over it and having a couple of months to listen over it and then when you hit the studio you can say, “Oh the progression should have gone this way so the melody can go this way” … so really that’s the important thing to us. Everything is tracked out, but not really sounding very good. I thought this was kind of cool when I talked to you last, but you were walking around Mayhem with a Julian Penti record that a fan had given you. I just wanted to see what you’re listening to these days and see if any of your fans had turned you onto any other music. Lately, all I listen to is Nick Cave. Really, for most of the year. He’s got a lot of albums so there’s plenty of options, but I really love him. He’s the greatest so I’ve been listening to a lot of that. And [Julian Plenti], that EP, that vinyl turned out to be pretty good. The opening song, the bass is just fantastic. Overall though I was a little disappointed in what I heard this year. I did a couple of ‘Top 5′ records [posts] and I had a choice, but at the same time it was not like there were records that will always be an important part of my life. I really like mewithoutYou’s record, ‘Ten Stories,’ and because Underoath is breaking up and on their farewell tour, I’m actually flying back to Chicago for the show and I keep listening to them, reliving my high school life and experiencing nostalgia. So a little bit of Underoath, but really Nick Cave. And there’s this thing called Power Trip, that’s a thrashy metal band out of Texas. Obviously we’ve got the touring coming up and the record is primary in your mind, but any other things on the horizon we should be looking for? I’m close to finishing up a project I’ve been working on for about a year-and-a-half, but I haven’t told anyone about but I can almost start telling people about it pretty soon. Tentatively keep an eye out. I need to use this Twitter thing to let people know what I’m doing. Is it a solo thing or full band? No, it’s not musical. It involves music but it’s not a side project. [button href=”http://loudwire.com/the-devil-wears-prada-mammoth-exclusive-video-premiere/” title=”Watch The Devil Wears Prada’s ‘Mammoth’ Video” align=”center”]

Best Kid Rock Song – Readers Poll

Mary Ouellette, SheWillShootYou.com Kid Rock has enjoyed a fruitful career that’s seen him enjoy success not only as a rock act, but also stepping into the worlds of hip-hop, country and pop just as easily. There’s no disagreeing that it’s hard to pin down the musician to just one genre, but some of his best songs have been rocking numbers. In this Loudwire Readers Poll, we’re asking you to determine Kid Rock’s best song. His ‘Devil Without a Cause’ album seems like a good place to start, with ‘I Am the Bullgod’ giving him some of his first radio play. That followed with a string of hits that included ‘Bawitdaba,’ ‘Cowboy’ and the rock ballad, ‘Only God Knows Why.’ After breaking big, the singer issued ‘The History of Rock’ detailing some of his earlier work and ‘American Bad Ass’ proved to be the disc’s breakout hit. Kid Rock’s ‘Cocky’ album led off with the single ‘Forever,’ followed by ‘Lonely Road of Faith’ and the crossover duet with Sheryl Crow on ‘Picture.’ The singer’s self-titled set spawned the hit song ‘Jackson, Mississippi,’ and Rock enjoyed a commercial rebound with the ‘Rock N Roll Jesus’ album, which gave us the hard-hitting ‘So Hott’ and the Lynyrd Skynyrd -influenced ‘All Summer Long,’ as well as ‘Amen.’ Rock went a little more message-oriented for the title track of the ‘Born Free’ album. That disc also spawned the college football theme song, ‘God Bless Saturday.’ And finally, the musician issued his ‘Rebel Soul’ album late last year, with ‘Let’s Ride’ being the first track to enjoy some airplay. So there you have it — 15 of Kid Rock’s most popular to choose from. Tell us which track is Kid Rock’s best song in the Loudwire Readers Poll below. Sorry, you need to have javascript running to see this poll. [button href=”http://loudwire.com/best-rob-zombie-album-readers-poll/” title=”Previous Readers Poll: Best Rob Zombie Album” align=”center”]

Tomahawk Announce Tour Dates in Support of Upcoming Disc ‘Oddfellows’

If you’ve ever wanted a heavier version of the Beach Boys, well, here’s your chance. Tomahawk, the group made up of Mike Patton (Mondo Cane, Faith No More), Duane Dennison (The Jesus Lizard, Unsemble), Trevor Dunn (Fantomas, Melvins Lite) and John Stanier (Battles, Helmet) are back with a new disc on the horizon and a handful of tour dates on tap. It’s been a few years since Tomahawk recorded new

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