Category Archives: Interviews

The Adventures of Dylan Gardner

dylangardner1_1200x900At 18 years old with a massive amount of talent, singer / songwriter Dylan Gardner is ready to take on the world.  His self-released album Adventures In Real Time in pure pop perfection, featuring superbly infectious tunes that will dazzle the senses.  At press time, Dylan just signed the dotted line with Warner Brothers Records – and now an adventure in the music industry is about to commence.  A few weeks prior, we caught up with Dylan just right before a show at the Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena.  Read on as we get to know this exciting new artist on the rise…

What was the name of the first song you wrote, how old were you and what was that song about?
It was called “Rock and Roll Highway” and I was 6-7 years old. It sounded very close to AC/DC’sTNT” and that was the first song and I held onto it for a while. I never did anything with it. I actually demo’d it on the four track I had at home, but I heard my voice for the first time and I was bummed out. I didn’t really try writing songs again for a long time, until around 2010 when I was 14.

dylanlive1Is there any overall story or concept behind the title Adventures in Real Time?
I figured once the album was done, I listened to all the tracks that we had and I thought it sounded adventurous. My first thought was well, somehow the name “adventure” should be involved in here. I had a brainstorming session with my brother, and after an hour of coming up with all these names, we got “Adventures in Real Time” listening to the album is like an “Adventures in Real Time” – you’ve taken in ten different places with the ten different songs. So I love the title, I think it sums it up real well. It also rolls off the tongue, which always helps.

Select any two songs off “Adventures in Real Time” and what inspired the lyrics.
The most interesting story is probably “The Actor.” It’s inspired by Joaquin Phoenix when he stopped acting and grew the beard, the sunglasses and did his own thing. That was how I saw it. He was my favorite actor in the entire universe and he did that thing, I was like wow that’s an interesting story. Another song, “Sing For The Stars” is an interesting one. Those lyrics are inspired by me sitting on my bed at night, looking up at the sky and wondering where do you go from here? Where do your dreams take you? What are you going to do when you grow up? It’s a pretty big song that touches on a lot of my dreams. A lot of the songs on “Adventures in Real Time” are about dreams, the next bigger phase and wanting to get there.

dylanlive2What can one expect from your live show tonight?
An energetic experience. They can expect sing-alongs, some surprises, A lot of chemistry between my brother and I. Anyone who comes is not going to forget who I am and everyone is going to have left having a great time. It’s an audience participation show.

Any strange or scary stories from the road that you can share?
Nothing scary yet, but I’ve played a lot of strange shows. I’ve played the closing sale of a Circuit City way back when. I cut my teeth playing gigs at banks in Illinois. I used to play Oxford Bank. Luckily I haven’t had any scary stories yet, there’s a time and place for everything though.

If you could open for any band either now or from the past, who and why?
If I had to give one answer, it’d probably be the band Fun. They got their start, I feel, in Arizona. They were playing a lot of shows around my house for free. I’d go see them before Some Nights came out. I was obsessed with their first album. I saw and met those guys twice and the last time I met them, the second time, was the day Some Nights came out. They were having a release party at Zia Records in Phoenix. I told them, I’m having talks with labels now and you guys are such a huge inspiration on me, I can’t wait to open for you guys one day. I’ll see you guys at the Grammy’s. They were like, yeah right we’ll never get to the Grammy’s. Next thing you know, they’re the best new artist. That’d be the most sweet thing for me, to open for those guys. Especially since I’ve been very inspired by them. To be with those guys is really a dream.

a0536645580_10Sir Paul McCartney asks you to appear on a Beatles tribute album. You can cover any one of their songs, what song?
I love performing “I Saw Her Standing There,” which I’m performing it tonight. I’d do one that Paul sang out of respect for him asking me to do it. Oh gosh. My answer changes every minute. I like “The Night Before,” let’s go with that. Maybe “Eleanor Rigby.” Let’s go with “The Night Before” – that’s a fun song…

You’ve written over 100 songs, what is the count now?
I have no idea what the count is. By the time – back when I had Rock and Roll Highway, I already had 30 songs then. I still remember how all of them went, I had a voice recorder back then so it’s all there. They were all done, then a long time passed. Then in 2010 I started writing songs again and then from there I wrote about 100 songs. Then I wrote another 30 and out of that 30, became Adventures in Real Time and with “The Actor” plucked out of that batch of 100 and I haven’t stopped since then. I couldnt give you an honest count.

How close are you to recording a new album?
I could start tonight. The second album is done being written, and it’s better than the first album in my opinion. I’m working on the third album right now. The second album is not going to come out any time soon, since the first album just came out but it exists and for anyone that cares, it’s better and I love it. I’m very proud of it. I do this all in my room, it’s fully demo’d just like my album before it. I’m able to have hindsight and listen to it – I’ve been living with it for a while and I love it.

What’s up next for you in the immediate future?
I really want to tour, that’s probably the next big thing. I want to do it all. Tour, put the album out there, meet people but as far as the one most immediate, it’s touring. I haven’t done full fledged out on the road touring and that’s what I want to do.

Do you have any messages for people reading this right now who should check your music out?
Go listen to Adventures in Real Time and let me know what you think, your opinion matters. For anyone who doesn’t listen, I’ll always try to keep giving them fun, energetic music that they’ll all love. We all want to celebrate music here, that’s the greatest thing about music. It’s the greatest thing ever invented.

(Interview and Photos by Ken Morton)

Dylan Gardner on Facebook

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Fallujah: Extreme Artistry on Summer Slaughter

fallujahalex1Fallujah fearlessly mesh elements of progressive metal, blackened death, and a fiery dose of imagination, unveiling an extreme artistry that is wondrous to behold.  The San Francisco-based collective recently completed a trek across the country on the Summer Slaughter Tour, impressing audiences with their epic opening performances.  Toward the beginning of the Summer Slaughter madness, we caught up with vocalist Alex Hofmann at the House Of Blues on the world famous Sunset Strip – just right after they leveled the venue with a thoroughly mesmerizing set.  Read on as we discuss their new album The Flesh Prevails – now available on Unique Leaders Records – life on the road here in the States and abroad, the San Francisco music scene, and other exhilarating topics of intrigue…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Fallujah and how long the band has been together.
I’m Alex, I sing and the band has been around since 2007.

fallujahjl8What’s the metal scene like in San Francisco?
Not a good scene in my opinion. It’s one of those towns where the local shows do OK and the big bands do OK. But it’s really difficult for smaller touring bands to come through, it’s not really self sustaining. Hence why we’re motivated to go out and tour quite early. We started touring when we were 18. San Francisco is our home but as far as these days, it used to be when I was a kid, we had an awesome hardcore scene. Metal took a little bit of a back burner, but things kind of blended after a while. so the metal and hardcore scenes were together, it used to be fucking amazing. Now all the big bands got off on their feet, small bands broke up. The scene is a lot different than is used to be.

How’s the Summer Slaughter tour been going so far, what are some of the highlights?
Merch sales! That’s been great, food hasn’t been that great since we haven’t gotten any. Good shows, talking to people. We’re only three days in so we haven’t hit a lot of the hot weather or long drives yet. We’re milking that as long we can because it’s about to be fucking brutal by the end of this.

fallujahjl4Let’s talk about the new album. Is there any story or concept behind the CD title, The Flesh Prevails?
Yeah, well, it’s not really a concept album at all, but there’s a recurring theme you could say, that being self-empowerment. Whether it’s emotional empowerment, sexual empowerment, psychological empowerment. A lot of different themes of finding yourself in incredibly volatile and dark places instead of trying to escape them and deal with them head on.

Select two songs that you’ll be doing tonight and what inspired the lyrics.
The song “Sapphire” I wrote around the time I was moving out to San Francisco. That mixed with some looming childhood ideas I’ve had ever since I’ve left Canada, I’m Canadian. This lack of knowing where you’re from and knowing where you should be and being unsatisfied where you find yourself and kind of reminiscing on places you really enjoy and you can never go back to. It was about this insecurity of not really feeling you’re in place and nowhere is really home. Then “Carved from Stone,” I’ll let the listeners read the lyrics and make up their own minds about that song.

fallujahjl5Who did the cover art and how much input did you have on it?
Tomasz Alen Kopera, who’s a Polish artist. I’ve followed him forever. I handle all of our artwork, all of our previous stuff was usually done by me and so we wanted to bring someone in to do the new album cover. We were shopping around for a really long time looking for something that made sense and we kind of had no luck and we came across that and we were like – the artwork kind of represents all of the themes of the album tied up into one. It was my job to do all the photo treatment, texture and color to get that and the whole layout to look cohesive. To look like one general package, which was a lot of fun, actually. I always really enjoy using other people’s artwork in making it my own than actually doing stuff from scratch like I’ve had to do before.  I licensed this artwork, I need to make a layout out of it, I think the whole thing came out exactly how we wanted. We think we have the best cover of any band out right here, we’re really stoked on the artwork.  It’s really elegant and tasteful.

If Fallujah could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why.
The Deftones. They’re my favorite band of all time. We all love The Deftones. We’d love to open for Devin Townsend, he actually tweeted at us last night saying that he loved our new album. We all fan-girled for a second. I’d love to go on tour with a band like Godspeed You Black Emperor. From back in the day, it’s nice to say oh yea going on tour with Pink Floyd would be awesome, but whether or not that’s realistic. I’d love to go on tour with Thrice. They’re my second favorite band of all time. I’d love to eventually evolve to a point where tours with those bands are actually feasible, where the set can be diverse enough to where we could tour with them.  Animals As Leaders got to tour with Thrice, that’d be a dream come true for me. If Thrice hadn’t happened, none of this from Fallujah would have happened, at least for me. I would have never started the band. They started the whole chain of things for me. That’d be a great opportunity.

fallujahjl6How did the European tour with Suffocation go?
It was a learning experience. There are a lot of logistics in going to Europe that you have to tackle head on because the fans are different, there’s a lot of things we’ll do differently next time in terms of merch and traveling. Like, it’s just really expensive in the beginning. You can be doing really great in the states, go over there and no one knows who you are so you’re kind of starting over at a certain point. But it was cool seeing these fans who didn’t even speak a word of English, crazy superfans who are wearing your shirts they ordered for $30 shipping and they live in the Ukraine or Poland or some shit, oh you paid so much money to get that t shirt, wow. We became really good friends with the guys in Cephalic Carnage, really good friends with the guys in Havok. Traveling is why I do this. Playing music and traveling are the two motivations for touring. You have such a long periods of time because the busses show up so early, and you have these late bus calls. You can spend your days traveling, be back by three for soundcheck then after the show is over, you can go find a place to party until 4am when your bus leaves. You dont have to worry about driving. It’s a lot of convenience which of course is very expensive. You pay like €15 for a bag of nectarines and shit in Finland. You have to budget your money appropriately.

What’s up next for you guys after Summer Slaughter is all over?
We have a little west coast headliner coming up, doing all “B” markets with a few bands. Those details will come out later. Then we’re going to Europe with Dying Fetus and Goatwhore, who are both on this tour. We’re doing Europe for five weeks then after that, the album cycle begins really soon, we’re at the beginning of it. The album comes out next Tuesday, so right now once the first week sales come out and these tours wrap up, there’s already talk for early next year.

fallujahjl7What would you like a listener to remember the most after hearing your album for the first time?
How it made you feel and what emotions it made you elicit. We as a band don’t really look for achieving things like brutality and technicality, those come standard in my opinion. It’s what you really do with music is, while we’re writing progressions and melodies and trying to create an aura with a song, we ask: what does this song tell you? What does putting these three notes in this order change the way you feel when you put them in a different order? It can elicit nostalgia, sadness, lust, depression, all kinds of memories about whatever and that’s what I’d like them to really try and harness when they put the album in for the first time. Like, wow, that section of the song, how did it make you feel for the first time and did it make you think of something from your past that’s completely different than what I felt when I was writing it?

Any messages for people reading this that should check your band out?
There’s tons of merch online, you can order anywhere. Local stores, at shows, if you’re going to come to Summer Slaughter, buy at the table. Come say what’s up. Help us get that good first week sales.

Fallujah is:
Alex Hofmann – Vocals
Scott Carstairs – Guitars
Brian James- Guitars
Robert Morey – Bass
Andrew Baird – Drums

(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

Fallujah on Facebook

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Exmortus: Face Melting Thrash Attack at The Whisky

exmortuswhisky1It was night one of the Flotsam and Jetsam West Coast Tour, and opening all of the dates would be none other than Exmortus from Whittier, CA!  Presenting their own face melting brand of thrash metal, Exmortus was ready to shred it all into the stratosphere at the world famous Whisky on the Sunset Strip!  Their magnum opus entitled Slave To The Sword is now available from Prosthetic Records, a slab of sonic devastation that is well worth seeking out!  We caught up with Exmortus in the parking lot behind the Whisky for a high flying interview to find out more the recent album, their take on the Los Angeles music scene, the band’s cover of the Judas Priest classic Painkiller, and other brutal topics of interest…

Introduce yourself and tell me what yo do in Exmortus and what is the most embarrassing song you have on your iPod.
Mario: My name is Mario, I play drums in Exmortus and the most embarrassing song I had on my iPod is Karma Chameleon.
David: My name is David. I play guitar.  I’ve got a lot of embarrassing shit, man. I listen to a lot of fucking disco and a lot of old 70s shit, I dont know…
Conan: I’m Conan, I play guitar and I sing. The most embarrassing song I’ve had on my iPod would be Lady Gaga’sBad Romance.” Guilty pleasure.
Aldo: Hermaldo, I play bass. The most embarrassing song I got is probably for sure, this song by Chromeo called “Bonafide Lovin” but it’s a good song.

exmotus1jlWhat do you think of this local music scene here in Los Angeles and how does Exmortus fit in?
Mario: Do we fit in? I don’t know. That’s a good question, I don’t know. I dont think we fit in too much. I think we can all agree in the band that we’ve never really fit in. We try to have a presence but as far as the scene goes, there are so many bands here. So many different scenes. In reality, what scene are you talking about?

Exactly.
Mario: There are so many. We try to make a name, it’s good to have that variety and cross over if you have that ability which I think we do. It’s pretty good.

What are you guys looking forward to the most about this Flotsam and Jetsam tour that you’re about to embark on?
David: Getting all thrashed out.
Conan: This heat. I’m gonna get naked. Party.
Aldo: The beers I’ll be tasting.
Mario: The weather. The last tour we did was in the winter, so there was a lot of snow and some rain. Blizzards and stuff, too much. Looking forward to the good weather and being on our coast and also just the package is cool.

exmortus2jlWhat can we expect from your live show tonight?
David: Guitar acrobatics, behind the butt guitar playing, shred galore. A lot of stick spinning. Some head banging, and some chicks getting naked.

Well, we hope to see all of that. And Slave to the Sword, is there any concept behind that title?
Conan: Naturally we were coming up with names for songs and Mario mentioned the name, the phrase and I was like that sounds good. We tried to work a project around that name. We just realized, it’s so us. The sword represents, symbolically, our craft. What we do. Our touring life, the music, creating it. We’re slaves to it. We’re not exactly chained up, we’re triumphant like the artwork. The guys just running out with his fucking sword, he’s a slave to it but he’s – with pride, power and honor. That’s us. It’s about us.

exmortus3jlWho did the artwork?
Conan: Phil Lewvere. He did Kreator’s Pleasure to Kill album.  He did some covers for Celtic Frost too.

Select two Exmortus songs and what inspired the lyrics…
Conan: One song I like to sing and play a lot is “Immortality Made Flesh.” It’s an underdog song. You’re oppressed, we’re tired of that shit and we want to overthrow the tyrant kind of thing. There’s that theme in there and I like that rooting for the underdog, fighting tyranny theme. Another one would be, what are we playing? I dont remember.
Mario: “Kneel before the Steel.” Its just so cheesy and awesome. We didn’t play it on the last tour, looking forward to getting to play it again on this run.
David: I’m adding an extra song, “Moonlight Sonata.” I love playing that song. I think it embodies the whole attitude of this band. Shred, classical, the guitars will be singing for that one [laughs]. Put the microphone to the guitar.

How did you did you wind up signing to Prosthetic Records?
Mario: We were planning on recording an album and got in touch with a few labels and Prosthetic was interested in the band. So we went on and recorded, stayed in touch, and once there was movement with the album and us getting ready to be able to hit the road, we worked a deal out with them. I think it was over the course of almost a year of talking. Within that year we were getting ready to write and record, so it all happened within one year. Negotiating, and we ended up signing a deal with them.

exmortus4jlHas Judas Priest ever heard your cover of “Painkiller”?
Conan: Shit I don’t know. That’d be so cool if they did. They’d probably be like, what the fuck? This sounds like shit. [laughs] That’d be great if they did, even if they don’t like it.

If Emortus could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Aldo: I think it’d be cool to open for Manowar, they’re my favorite band. I think they’d appreciate the song “Metal Kings,” because it’s about metal and kings and it’s all they talk about. If that ever happens.
Conan: Judas Priest. We’d be so down to open for those guys. Their attitude and overall presence and songwriting throughout the decades are just great. Even though we weren’t around for all of them. Opening for them would be a dream come true.

Then you could play them your cover.
Conan: They’ll probably be pissed off about that.
David: I think it’d be amazing to do a world tour with Yngwie Malmsteen playing every castle that there is in the world. I think Yngwie and Exmortus would fit well together. Everyone’s faces would be melted by the shred.
Mario: Conan already said Priest, so because I’m wearing a Carcass shirt, Carcass would be be my pick. Their last album Surgical Steel is badass. I’m a fan of a lot of their albums. That’d be a really wicked tour, especially since they made a comeback. It’s a little bit of both, a band I wish I could of, and a band thats kind of a possibility.

What’s up next after this tour?
Mario: We’re hoping to go do another North American tour in the fall. That’s all we have planned. Hopefully as much touring as we can get.  We’re trying to work out some dates for Mexico. That’d be pretty crazy. Go back to the Motherland. Go back to Canada, cover North america again.

Any messages for people who are reading this who should check your band out?
Aldo: Metal is king. That’s all I got.
Conan: Unto the naysayers, death we shall bring.
David: If you like shred, metal, to get down and dirty then you should listen to Slave to the Sword.
Mario: Aldo took mine. Metal is King, times two. [laughs] Check us out, keep an eye out, Kneel before the steel.

Exmortus is:
Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez – Guitar/Vocals
David Rivera -Guitar
Aldo Bibiano – Bass
Mario Moreno- Drums

(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

Exmortus on Facebook

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Youth In Revolt: A Sonic Uprising

youth-in-revolt-1Youth In Revolt is an exhilarating new band signed to Outerloop Records ready to rock your world with their post hardcore anthems. Their debut EP for the label is entitled Love Is A Liar’s Game, and it’s sure to garner the band a good deal of attention.  Currently on tour with Slaves and Myka, Relocate, including a stop at Chain Reaction in Anaheim on August 22nd, Youth In Revolt is spreading their sonic revolution all across America!  Here is a recent interview we conducted with guitarist George Shrouder to find out more about this band on the rise.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, what you do in Youth In Revolt and how long the band has been in existence.
My name is George Shrouder. I play guitar in Youth In Revolt. The band was slowly forming for the last few years but it wasn’t until early 2014 that the current lineup came together, got signed, announced and launched.

Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
The band is based out of Howell, New Jersey. Ironically I live in California, but I know there are a handful of good Howell bands who recently played our CD release show with us. The scene in New Jersey isn’t as strong nor populated as the Orange County scene, but still thriving in its own way. Personally, I know quite a few awesome bands from where I live in Southern California. The first that comes to mind is a band called Redeem/Revive, very hard working dudes with 2 awesome vocalists.

How did you wind up being signed to Outerloop Records?
We started sending demos to Brian Judge, and after we sent him our first version of “There For You” they decided to manage us. They set up recording time for us with Taylor Larson to get a full production version of the single, and as soon as that was recorded they offered us a 1 EP record deal and gave us a month or so to write it. We went back down to record with Taylor Larson again, right around New Years and Love Is A Liar’s Game was the result. The label was impressed with how it came out and presented us with the official offer for a 5 album deal with Outerloop/Fearless Records. Of course we were thrilled and now here we are.

youthinevolt-loveis1Is there any story or concept behind the EP title Love Is A Liar’s Game?
We decided to title the EP after the song Love Is A Liar’s Game first and foremost because it was the single we felt embodied the spirit of both the album and Youth In Revolt in general. But beneath that, the song title/lyrics came from the subject matter that True was covering in that song.

Select two songs from Love Is A Liar’s Game and what inspired the lyrics.
True writes all the lyrics from his personal experiences and views. Most are about things he’s learned in the relationship world or his family life. He writes from the heart and the fans connect.

Never Stay was written about getting into a relationship with someone who you really like, but know that things won’t work out. You are the one really driving the relationship because of your feelings for this other person. But the feelings aren’t mutual and before things even begin, you know that person will never stay.

There For You, was written about family life and living up to your parent’s standards. One of the toughest parts about growing up is finding out who you are while simultaneously living up to who your parental figures want you to be. It’s basically saying, I’ll be the best I can be, if you are willing to forgive me for my mistakes along the way.

Who did the cover art for Love Is A Liar’s Game and how much input did you have on it?
The cover was done by an Artist named Hunter Fitch. He was great to work with because he really took our ideas and materialized them exactly how we envisioned. True emailed him over the concept for a tattooed arm holding a heart and he produced the idea perfectly.

Has Youth In Revolt ever played here in the Los Angeles/OC area or plan to do so in the future?
We will be playing Southern California for the first time on August 22nd at Chain Reaction. It’s one of the final shows on our tour with Slaves, Myka Relocate, Alive Like Me, and Nightmares. California being my home, I’m particular excited!

What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming tour with Slaves?
I’m really looking forward to touring with the EP out. We did a tour in May, but our music was still unreleased at that point so nobody knew much about us. This time around, I’m expecting a great crowd response and for people to really connect with us because they’ll know who we are and what we sound like before we get there. I’m also very excited for the tour because the other bands are full of good friends and awesome music. So it should be a really good time.

What could one expect from a live Youth In Revolt show?
High energy, lots of spins and a polished sound. We practice particularly hard and really emphasize a sound as close to the album as possible. Plus we love to just have fun on stage and really connect with a crowd.

If Youth In Revolt could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Right now I would say our dream tour would be 5 Seconds Of Summer and A Day To Remember. Those 2 bands are iconic in the sound and fan base we relate to, in addition to making fun music we all enjoy.

What is it you like a listener to remember the most after hearing your music for the first time?
We want our listeners to feel like they have us and our music to rely on when they are feeling down. Life, love and everything in between is tough to get through, and having our music to keep you going means everything to us.

Any final words of wisdom?
I would say the words I’ve lived by, that have gotten me where are am are as follows; If you want to make it in the world nowadays, you have to make sure every moment of time is a moment well spent. Don’t waste away with video games, partying your brains out and convincing yourself that you’re on track to success. The only path to success is the path that you believe is too hard to be accomplished. Wake up everyday with a plan of attack and don’t go to sleep until you’ve completed your daily goals. And those daily goals should be stepping stones in the overall scheme of things. Know what you want and don’t let anyone stand in your way. Friends are friends but business is business. Keep your interests in line, balanced with being a good person, and the puzzle pieces will fall in place.

Youth In Revolt is:
True Arahill: Vocals
Kenny Torres: Vocals/Bass
George Shrouder: Guitar
Alex Ramos: Guitar
Devon Bosque: Drums

(Interview by Ken Morton)

Youth In Revolt on Facebook

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Erimha: Unleashing Black Metal at Mayhem Fest

Erimha070514Erimha spent the summer on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, unleashing their own diabolical brand of Black Metal to the headbanging masses all across the country.  Their current release Reign Through Immortality is available through Victory Records – and while one wouldn’t normally associated Victory with Black Metal – the collaboration appears to be working for both band and label tenfold.  We caught up with guitarist Kthien right after their explosive set at Mayhem in San Bernardino to find out more about the mystical entity named Erimha.  Read on…

erimhajl6Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in the band. What are you looking forward to the most about Mayhem this year?
I’m Kthien from Erimha and what we’re looking for the most is the whole experience. The whole crew has been very amazing to all the bands. It doesn’t matter if it’s a guy at a gate, somebody taking care of catering, a security guard – everybody has just been amazing. I don’t know how many thousand people are there and everybody is just screaming for bands. You don’t get that anywhere else, you know?Everybody is having a great time.

Where are you based out of and what’s your metal scene like there?
We’re from Montreal, Quebec, Canada and the metal scene over there is great. It’s working really good. We have Heavy Montreal, which is a huge festival now, that happens every year. There’s so many promoters, so many shows.  When you’re an underground band and you’re trying to make it you could be playing on a night that there’s like five shows going on. Kids are like which show do I go to? So I guess it’s like a good and a bad thing. So that the scene is very healthy but at the same time you gotta to work to try to,stand out.

erimhajl3Is there any story or concept behind your current album, Reign Through Immortality?
The whole album is actually a concept. It’s built around a Sumerian king which was really into – cause we bring a lot of spirituality and magic into the music. And this king was more into that.  If you go back into time – people were not aware of the science that we know now. That there’s so many spiritual ways – how you can be guided by the stars. He was more into that and it scared his people and he just closed himself off and just became a spiritual monster. From there he just came back and made everybody know this was a great power that he could go get, and he just demolished everyone. So, yeah, that’s mostly a short version of the last album.

Victory Records seems like an unusual choice for you, what made you sign there?
That’s like the question that comes back the most, you know?  We actually got to showcase for them. And they offered us a deal and we decided to take it. This band is only four years old. There’s a lot of bands out there, a lot of bands worked their ass off and we’re one of those bands. So, once we got to meet everyone at the label and the team that they had – I was like, you know, we’ve never been people to put a label on anything. So, I was like, listen, they want a band like us? They’re a fucking hard working team, so, I’m like, why not go? I mean, we’re super happy with our decision. They’re awesome people, they work their asses off, it’s just a win-win situation for both parties.

erimhajl5Your album has been out for almost a year now. How close are you to recording new stuff?
We’re not giving any dates on anything because, since things are picking up for us on the road, there’s a lot of touring opportunities that are coming up. At the same time, we’re going to need to write a new album, which we are. But I would tell you it’s into the thirty/forty percent range, you know? We’re taking out time to have something solid come out. We would like to go before winter but it really all depends how much we’re going to be on the road.

If your band could open up for anyone, either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Wow, that’s crazy! That’s a good question. Maybe hard to tell. Because the guys aren’t going to like me if I say this, but I would love to have opened for Led Zeppelin. We got to be on a bill with Deicide. And that was pretty amazing. Jack Owen now proudly wears our shirt on stage - that was one of the big ones because our singer was a huge Deicide fan. So I think we’ve already done it. You know from here on in, if it keeps going and we get to open for bands that we’ve looked up to when we were younger,I mean… I’m playing with Korn tonight and that was one of the first bands when I was, like, ten years old that I was into.There are so many different bands that we would open up for.

erimhajl4What was it like working with Allisa from Arch Enemy on your first album? Have you kept in touch?
Yeah, we kept in touch with her a bit after but we’re both in touring bands, it was hard to keep up. Now with her being in Arch Enemy, that’s awesome. That’s a great opportunity for her. She’s one of by far, one of the hardest vocalist. She works her ass off like there’s no tomorrow. We’re happy she’s there. She was nice enough to have her amazing fucking voice on the album.

Has she ever performed live with you?
No. We came close once, they were playing that festival with Deicide but on the other day. We had thought about it. I think it’s one of those songs that’s going to be kept that way and we’re most likely never going to be playing it live. It was just that we thought she was such an amazing vocalist that we actually wanted her voice for that part on the album.

erimhajl1Do you have any messages for anyone reading this right now that should check out your band?
Anybody that’s into metal, but at the same time I think anyone who is searching for something in life should maybe try to look into this band. I’ll leave it at that. People who are questioning themselves or what they’re doing in life and what they would like to do with their life. I think more and more these types of people should get it into Erimha.

Erimha is:
Gore // Vocals
Kthien // Guitar
Leather King// Bass, Backing Vocals
Ksaos // Drums

(Interview and candid photo by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)

Erimha on Facebook

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In The Moment with Watsky at Vans Warped Tour

Watsky062014_1200x900Meet George Watsky – rapper, writer and performer from San Francisco, who has just spent an entire summer touring across the country on this year’s edition of the Van’s Warped Tour. Performing on the Beatport Stage to thoroughly enraptured crowds, Watsky and his band presented an exhilarating, wildly unpredictable set.  A new album entitled All You Can Do is about to be released through Steel Wool Records, and it’s sure to cement Watsky’s reputation as one of the most gifted rappers out on the scene today.  Here is an interview we conducted with George Watsky at the Pomona date of the Van’s Warped Tour

How’s Warped Tour going? What have been some of the highlights for you?
Warped Tour has been going great. We’ve been drawing good crowds everywhere we’ve been. It was really hot in Texas. This is actually, even if its in the 90s, is cool compared to where we were. I just love meeting all the bands, even six days in I’ve already made a lot of friends. I can only imagine we’re going to meet more people. I feel like we’re going to leave with a whole network of friends from all over the country, different musical artists. I’ve been really enjoying socializing and meeting the other musicians.

watskyjl2What’s it’s been like being the odd person / band out on Warped Tour?
We have a cool fraternity on the Beatport Stage, which is all the stuff that doesn’t fit on the other stage’s stage. I’ve made a lot of friends with those acts. Within our stage, I don’t feel like the odd one out. Wax, K Flay, MC Chris – we’re all Hip Hop and DJ sets so it’s been good. I think people have really open minds here. I’ve never at one moment felt like this audience isn’t interested in hearing what I have to say or these are hardcore kids and they’re not listening. They just don’t want to hear Hip Hop. I also happen to play with a live band so I think there’s already a reference point to what we’re doing. I’m not playing a DJ set, there’s a lot of musicality to what we do and a lot of styles. So, it hasn’t felt like I don’t belong here at any point.

What’s the title of the new album?
It’s called All You Can Do, it’s coming August 12th.

Is there a story behind the title?
It’s the first track of the album.  I’ve had a great year, but I’ve also had a challenging year. I feel like I’ve dealt with the toughest things that I have in my whole life. I’ve also had some of the most satisfying successes I’ve had in 2014. The chorus of that song, it goes “all you can do is all you can do is all you can do.”  It just repeats, so that’s one of the visual motifs of the album is a circle with “all you can do” just repeating around the edge of the album. It’s kind of a mantra I’ve adopted about living in the present moment and not worrying about anything that’s outside of your control. You take a deep breath and you move on.

watskyjl3Select any two songs from the new album, what inspired the lyrics?
We have a song with Stephen Stills from Crosby Stills and Nash called “Cannonball,” which was originally inspired by a bus driver of mine called Paul Hamer who is a large man who went crowd surfing at our Madison, WI show and the chorus is about seeing a field of daisies hold a cannonball above them. It was about this really large guy being held up by all these young kids, then it became ironic in the past year, we decided to include it on the album because we thought it had a nice self-awareness to it. “Canonball” is the last track on the album. Another song – “Let’s Get High and Watch Planet Earth,” which the chord progression and melody sounds like a Beatles song but it’s specifically inspired by the fact that I love the nature documentary Planet Earth. I like getting high and watching it. It’s a love song. That show really makes me reflect on my own mortality because you’ll see a Gazelle get chased down by a mountain lion, then you start rooting for the mountain lion because it’s been going hungry for two weeks. Then you start rooting for the gazelle because you don’t want to see it get hurt or injured. But it’s a song that, even know it’s a silly concept, it’s about reflecting on the circle of life and our own mortality. I’m proud of that song because I think it reflects my own quirkiness but also it is at its core, a serious message.

If you could open up for any band, either now or in the past, who would it be and why?
I’d like to just list off my favorite artists but because of the quirkiness nature of our music, I don’t think we belong opening up for Paul McCartney or some of the acts I love. I think we’d be a monstrosity at the beginning of their show so I’ll pick a hip hop act. I’d love to open for Eminem or some of my favorite rap acts, Outkast. That’d be a dream.

jackluewatsky4What was the name of the very first song you wrote? How old were you and what was it about?
I wrote a terrible song when I was 15 called “Nosey Clowns.” It was awful, I think I was a freshman in highschool. It’s got these fruity loops which was a beat making program from that era, these terrible stock beat sounds. Little synthetic sitars and stuff. It wasn’t about anything. When I was writing songs at that age, I couldn’t have told you the concept or premise for any of that material. I was just writing nonsensical bars that switch between self-deprecating personal stories or political diatribes from one bar to the next. It wasn’t about anything terrible, though. It’s on my soundcloud if you want to listen to it.

What did you do in Arrested Development?
I had a little bit role, they brought the series back to Netflix and they had different story lines of each of the characters of Gob, Will Arnett’s character. He had a storyline where he became an entourage member of a teenage Bieber type pop singer and I was – it was an actual parody of the show Entourage and I was one of those entourage members.

Is acting in your future?
I did study acting in school but while we’ve got momentum with music, i’m really trying to focus on music. It’s hard, if you’re touring as much as we do, you can’t really be back in LA for auditions all the time, so my focus in on music right now. I’d love to do some acting down the line.

What’s up next after Warped Tour?
We’re going right on the road doing a club tour. All You Can Do comes out August 12th, I’m playing Outside Lands in San Francisco on August 10th. The album comes out two days later then about three weeks after that we hit the road for about three months starting in Europe then to the US in October and November and we’ll be touring through 2015. Then I’ll figure out what’s next…

(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)

Watsky on Facebook

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The Unstoppable Suicide Silence at Mayhem Fest

SuicideSilence070514Suicide Silence spent the summer at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, enrapturing crowds all across the nation with their live show and super intensive songs.  Their latest album You Can’t Stop Me has been issued through Nuclear Blast Records, certainly the true sounds of perseverance, both inspiring and devastating to behold.  We caught up with Eddie Hermida to discuss the new album, the passing of Mitch Lucker, the apprehensions of being the new Suicide Silence vocalist, touring on Mayhem, and other unstoppable topics of interest.  Read on…

suicidesiljl1Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Suicide Silence.
How you doing? This is Eddie Hermida from Suicide Silence, and I’m the vocalist.

What can one expect from your live performance at Mayhem?
Oh man it’s gonna be brutality at it’s best. Absolutely man, we’re a crushing live band and we expect to see a lot of mosh-pitting.

Describe your very first performance with Suicide Silence and what was going through your head at the time?
We were in Brisbane Australia and it was a very nerve wracking day for me, it was a huge festival. It was called Soundwave Festival out there, and for me, it was my first performance with the band and you know with the passing of our previous singer it’s kind of a really big deal to a lot of the fans so there were a lot of people watching, there were a lot of eyes on me including the internet and yeah, it was a really, really really crazy day. I was really nervous.

suicidesil3But you got through it.
Oh I know, it was an amazing show.

Did you know Mitch at all prior to joining Suicide Silence?
Yeah we were friends for a very long time, he and I had matching tattoos on our feet, we did a tour in 2006 together. It was 56 times in 60 days.

So you really got to know him then.
Yeah – we played every day. I got to watch him, I got to, you know, sit with him in his van and you know, party out and have a good time, you know be friends. You become brothers on tour, so you know it’s one of those deals where he was my brother. It was really brutal to lose him.

suicidesil4How apprehensive were you about leaving All Shall Perish and do you still keep in touch with those guys?
I was very apprehensive. I didn’t want to leave All Shall Perish at all, I wanted to stay in the band, but they felt that it was a better move to keep going without me, they wanted more of a full time member and that’s where we are at today. I stay in contact with most of them.

How will You Can’t Stop Me compare to the previous Suicide Silence releases?
I think it’s the next progression for the band and it’s a very important record. We did our best on it.

suicidesil5Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title?
Well Mitch left behind a set of lyrics that we found and wanted to pay homage and put on the record, and it just so happened that he was writing about the title, You Can’t Stop Me, and we thought it was perfect, you know? A good album title, you can’t stop us, we’re Suicide Silence, you can’t stop Mitch even in death, and we’re just gonna keep going. That’s the biggest thing in life; Not letting things stop you. That you can go and do whatever you want.

Select any other song off the new album, and what inspired the lyrics?
There’s a song called “Monster Within” which has Greg from Dillinger Escape Plan, the singer, and that’s song’s about that moment and what’s going through your mind right before you get into a fight. When your face to face with somebody, your nose is pressed up against this other person’s nose and you’re yelling at each other and that’s where the song’s comes from – about not letting that monster within unleash come out and do wrong…

suicidesil6What was it like working with Corpsegrinder on the song Control, and are you going to do it live with him here at Mayhem?
No, we’re not gonna do that song on this tour, I mean, we’re both busy at this point. You know, they play right after us, and they have to get ready. I’m not gonna ask the guy to have to warm up an hour earlier to just come on stage for one song, you know what I mean? It’s one of those deals.  We’re trying to keep it very low key. We only have like 30 minutes and it’s one of those things where we’d rather showcase the songs we want to play on this record, you know? It’d be fun to bring him on stage but we don’t want to bother the guy either. We’d rather party with him later. For the most part working with him, it wasn’t like we were in the same studio. He sent us a clip of him recording the song at his studio out in Florida, and we loved it. It’s Corpsegrinder man, he’s such a big influence on me, he’s a big influence on our band.

Do you have any messages for your fans reading this?
We love all of you. That goes without saying, but I always have to say it. Without them, we are nothing. Thank you for taking your time to read my bullshit answers and I appreciate all of you. Can’t wait to meet you all!

(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)

Suicide Silence is:
Eddie Hermida: Vocals
Chris Garza: Guitar
Mark Heylmun: Guitar
Alex Lopez: Drums
Dan Kenny: Bass

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Defining Adage

adageband1Presenting their own spiraling creation of ,edgy modern rock, Adage is sure to leave a lasting impression of all who venture out to give a listen.  Based out of the Winston-Salem, NC music scene, it won’t be long until Adage break out in a big and wondrous way – especially of their Define EP is indicative of greater glories ahead.  Now available from Pavement Entertainment, the Define EP by Adage is a terrific introduction to a collective ready to rock you blissfully into the stratosphere.  Here is a recent interview we conducted with one of the Adage members to find out more about this dynamic band on the rise.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Adage and how long the band has been together.
My name is Justin Doyle, and I am the Singer/Lead guitarist. Adage started up in the summer of 2013.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
Adage is based out of Pinnacle North Carolina which just outside of Winston Salem.  The rock scene around here has been very warm and inviting to us. It’s not thriving. But it’s not dead. Hopefully we are breathing some life into the rock scene!

Are there any local bands you could recommend?
There are a lot of good female fronted bands in this area. Dreamkiller, and A Light Divided to name a couple.

How did you wind up signing with Pavement Entertainment?
It was on a whim. I asked Pavement if they would receive professionally recorded demos. Luckily Mark Nawara the CEO of Pavement said yes. After a few minutes he emailed me the start up plans and discussions went from there.

definedepIs there any overall story or concept behind Defined EP title?
We came up with the “Defined” E.P. title because everyone was always asking what does Adage mean?? We constantly had to define the word Adage, so we thought it would be fitting to call the E.P Defined.

Select two songs from the new EP and what inspired the
lyrics.
Best Of
I wrote this song during a time in my life where I had a moment of clarity. I was sick and tired of being so negative towards certain situations in my life I thought it was time for a better outlook and to really accept that I can in fact appreciate all those tiny moments that affect you more than you know.

Hold On”
I wrote this song one afternoon when I realized that all the mistakes I had made led me to be with the girl of my dreams and had changed me slowly overtime into a much better person. And I appreciated her patience, so I wanted to explain to her my thought process during our rough times. And I think this could be applied to many relationships.

Who did the cover art for Defined and how much input did you
have on it?
Isaiah Bowling did the artwork for the album, with relentless help from all of us.  He’s worth a Google.

What could one expect from a live Adage show?
A good, energetic and fun show.

If Adage could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Wow, it’s too hard to choose just one.  Breaking Benjamin would be at the top of my list for the new.  As far as the old. Nirvana.

Has Adage even played in the Los Angeles area or plan to do so in future days?
We have never played in L.A, but would love to!

Any strange or scary happenings at a live show or on the road?
None so far.

What’s up next for Adage?
The album will be released on Aug 19th, and possibly some touring shortly after its release.  We will be featured in Revolver Magazine and hopefully things will be taking off for us shortly!  Currently we are working on a video for “Hold On” and will be out around the E.P. release date.

Any messages for those reading this interview now who should
check your band out?
Thanks, first off, for taking the time to learn about Adage. We really appreciate all our fans and we hope to see you at one of our shows soon!

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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Into The Stratosphere with My Cardboard Rocket

mycardboardint1All aboard!  The sonic commander behind My Cardboard Rocket is A.J. Garces, a massively talented, highly charismatic performer who is really beginning to make a name for himself.  A.J. toured all across the country last year as the guitarist for Keep It Cute, opening for the likes of We The Kings and The Ready Set.  A new EP entitled The Positive & The Negative has been launched, featuring tremendously infectious songs such as First Shot. Last Dance and Gold Watch.  In this interview, we chat with A.J. Garces about the memorable songs and heartfelt lyrics fueling My Cardboard Rocket, the band’s very first rather unforgettable show, touring with Keep It Cute on the Summerfest 2013 Tour, and other stratospheric topics of interest.  Let’s lift off and explore the vast and glorious sounds of My Cardboard Rocket

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in My Cardboard Rocket and how long the project has been in existence.
I am A.J., I am the singer and the creative mind behind My Cardboard Rocket. I started this project in November of 2013.

What was the name of the very first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was the song about?
The first song I ever wrote, hmmm. I can’t place a title but it had to be when I was 9-10 and had something to do with hating school. I had been really into Green Day and it was hard times for a 5th grader so you know how that goes.

Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
I am based out of San Antonio, TX. The music scene is primarily heavy metal so I do my best to take my pop music where it can really flourish.

How did your very first show as My Cardboard Rocket go and what were some of the highlights?
My first show as “My Cardboard Rocket” was absolutely nuts. I split my head open mid set after doing a back flip off of my drummer’s kit. I had a nostalgic Brendan Urie moment and knocked the top of my head on the edge of the bass drum. It still looked amazing though. So after the incident I just finished my set with my head dripping blood all over my face and clothes. The audience got a bit freaked out but that’s just rock ‘n roll!

mycardboardep2Is there any overall story or concept behind The Positive & Negative EP title?
The concept behind my new record “The Positive & Negative EP” is just an overview off everything I have been through in music. The negative being everything I had to cope with in and out of bands for years, then the positive which is all the success of My Cardboard Rocket. I couldn’t have one without the other.

One of the best tracks on the new EP is Last Dance. What inspired the lyrics for that one?
Last Dance is a fun one. It is actually a concept song I wrote about an underground drug deal gone wrong in an 80′s night club. I had watched Miami Vice the night before I wrote it, the imagery was intense.

Select any other song from the new EP and what inspired the lyrics.
One that holds a lot of sentiment to me is Gold Watch ft. Nathan Ryan. Everyone I know is like oh it’s about getting money and girls. False. Gold Watch is actually about achieving success in the face of poverty. I had sold everything I owned (TV, games, books, clothes, shoes, music equipment etc.) just to record this one song and in the studio is where I found mgmt. and my career ultimately took off from that point. Gold Watch was my last chance at doing music as a career; it was the building blocks for the whole record.

mycardboardint2What was the experience like performing with Keep It Cute and being on the Summerfest 2013 Tour?
Performing with Keep It Cute on the Summerfest Tour was hands down the most amazing experience of my life to date. Getting to share the stage with bands I loved every day for a whole summer was unreal. I met too many amazing people and built a lot of strong friendships on the road.

If My Cardboard Rocket could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
If I could open up for Panic At The Disco - that would be rad! I really admire what Brendan Urie has done with PATD over the years. I would also love to share the stage with Foxy Shazam, Eric Nally is my favorite performer of all time and I would hope to pick up a thing or two from him.

What kind of touring do you plan on doing with My Cardboard Rocket?
My Cardboard Rocket is currently geared up to tour with Jonny Good & Nathan Ryan in August, but we are already looking to jump on a tour in the fall as well.

Any messages for fans or others curious about your music who are reading this now…
Thanks for all the support and sticking with me for so long! My fans are seriously the best.

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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The Dark and Sonic Intrigues of Nightmares

nightmares1_1200x900One of the most exciting new bands to emerge from the Rise Records roster of talent is Nightmares from Atlanta, GA. Featuring a compelling mixture of hard rock and metalcore along with a penchant for naming their tracks after infamous horror movies of the past, Nightmares is more than ready to fuel your thoughts with their vibrantly intensive songs.  We recently caught up with two of the band members while opening up on The Dead Rabbitts Tour at White Oak Music in Vans Nuys, CA.  Read on as we discuss their dynamic new album Suspiria, their captivating live shows, explosive lyrical content, and other topics of intrigue…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Nightmares and what your favorite horror movie is.
Carter: I’m Carter Hardin I do all the vocals. I’d say right now is Psycho.  I’ve been watching that show Bates Motel – it’s like a prequel. It’s gotten me re-amped about it.
Smit: I’m Smit, I play guitar and do backup vocals. Definitely In the Mouth of Madness, actually.

IMG_6948How is the tour with The Dead Rabbitts been going so far, and what have been some of the highlights?
Carter: It just started yesterday, but it’s been cool so far. Everyone has been really nice. So far the highlights have been the turnouts so far. It wasn’t crazy because we had to compete with Warped Tour yesterday, but it was still a fun crowd and everyone got into it. The last tour we were on was the Rise Records tour, so it was kind of short. I’d say, crowd participation has been pretty cool.
MS: Last night everybody hung out and broke the ice. Literally, everyone was hanging out with each other. It was so much fun.

Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Suspiria?
Carter: The whole idea was to have the 1950s through 1980s horror soundtrack feel. When it came about, we named every song after a horror film so when it came to deciding a name for the record we kind of chose the song that brought all the elements we had for the whole sound we were trying to go for. So we felt that Suspiria was the perfect option for it. It had a lot of clean parts, and when the dark parts happen it was still pretty good and punched through. It was also kind of easier to say than some of the long ones we had. It just felt good, that’s why we chose Suspiria.

IMG_6940Select two songs from Suspiria and tell me what inspired the lyrics.
Carter: “Cujo” is a good one, I grew up when I was 15-16. I’m from GA, the whole south so religion is a pretty big thing. “Cujo” is about this private school I went to. I’m one of those dudes, I asked a lot of questions all the time – trying to branch out there and know everything. It was one of those schools, if I had anything that wasn’t textbook what they believed, I got shit for it.  It was a neighboring community, and with a church that was involved with everything, and they kind of knew about everything about everybody. They knew I was the dude that was a dickhead and was wanting a lot of answers. It was a very bitter time.  They acted as if they cared about you and then once I left the school they didn’t give a shit about what happened to me.
Another one would have to be “Enter the Void.” There’s a movie on Netflix and it’s a point of view movie and after ten minutes in it, the guy dies.
Smit: Spoiler.
Carter: It’s ten minutes in! So you kind of know. The rest of the movie is just viewing his life after death and seeing what people are without him.  So, I thought it was a cool idea and I wrote it if I passed away or anything. First verse was about people that – anyone in general, where you put so much effort into trying to impress people or try to get them to be on your side to where after they dont give a fuck about you, so it’s just like, great. The second verse is about your parents or about people you knew loved you but you just didn’t put time or effort – you just see it, and feel it. It’s like one of those life lessons, where you always should put more time and effort into people you love instead of people that dont give a shit about you. Those two songs are pretty powerful.
Smit: More so, a point of view as to where its like your family always comes first. You can never really judge who your real friends are. That was basically another aspect of the song I really liked. There are so many friends you can meet that really at the end of the day do not give a shit about you. I know it sounds harsh, but family always comes first.
Carter: What I’ve learned, you can go out of your way to make a million friends but it doesn’t matter. Family is just a huge deal, never lose sight of that. Always stand by them.

IMG_6911What can one expect from your live show tonight?
Smit: Energy.
Carter: There’s a lot of energy.  Right when the darker songs start coming on towards the end you kind of feel what we’re going through. It’s not fake.  It’s just a genuine experience. Especially for anyone that watches us and you can feel like what we’re going through and what we meant when we wrote the songs.

If you could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Carter: Letlive or Beartooth, I’ve been jamming the Beartooth record like crazy. Good stuff.
Smit: Those are our two most played bands, LetLive and Beartooth. The reason I would say Letlive or Beartooth is because both of those bands are absolutely insane. Mainly their frontmen, Jason and Caleb. Both of them are incredible at displaying their emotions and putting their emotion in their music.
Carter: I’m excited about bands that have great song structure. When it’s catchy. Also when their stuff where there’s meaning behind it and substance. Those two bands definitely have that, I’m drawn to it.

What was it like working with Tyler of Issues, have you performed the song In The Mouth Of Madness live with him yet?
Carter: It was pretty easy. We’ve known him for a good bit, we’re all from the same area. So when Issues started, we’ve been buddies. Turner, our bassist, is really good friends with them so when we wrote the songs – he heard it and wanted to jump on it. We had a show back in the day where he played on but he didn’t perform but hopefully he’ll come out to a show soon.
Smit: Hopefully we can do something together soon where we can make that happen.

IMG_6896What do you think Nightmares stand out from the many other, post-hardcore whatever bands today?
Carter: Because it’s genuine. I know a lot of bands, a lot of people just want songs to have songs and put out records to do sales. We want to sell records too, I get it, you have to have record sales to go out on tour and stuff, but I just feel like there’s something genuine about it. We wrote it for about a year and a half, almost two years. All the shit we were all going through together, it’s one of those records whenever we’re going through any of that shit again we just kind of listen to it and it helps us out.
Smit: At the end of the day, we ultimately wrote this record based on what we loved and putting all of our emotions into and the music we loved versus what would sell. That’s the biggest part of it, it turned out what we loved is actually doing OK now. It’s awesome. It’s incredible to see, actually. The reaction on “Carnival of Souls” was absolutely insane because that was such a big song on the record to us, it meant so much to us. So seeing kids reactions on that was just, wow. This isn’t like anything out right now, it’s not like any other band, and seeing kids react like this too – it is insane.

Do you have any messages for people who are reading this who might want to check out your music?
Carter: If you want something different for once.
Smit: For once! [laughs]
Carter: Take that back, that was lofty to say. If you want to listen to something that will actually make you feel something, check us out. If you want to listen to something that actually has substance to it, check us out. If you have an open heart and you have an open mind to new music, I feel like you might like this. Check us out.
Smit: If you want to know what we’ve gone through then just check us out.

(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Edward Brandon)

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