Download 2019 Books Stone Temple Pilots, Halestorm, Clutch, Behemoth and more

Download 2019 has mad a major announcement today as forty-three new bands have been added! Among the new bands added are Stone Temple Pilots, Halestorm, Clutch, Behemoth,  Beartooth, Alcest, Animals As Leaders, At The Gates, Bad Wolves, Three Days Grace, Twelve Foot Ninja and more. Slipknot, Tool, and Def Leppard are the headliners for the annual rock extravaganza. The three-day festival takes place on 14-16 June 2019 at the spiritual home of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire. Kerrang! Radio have also launched a talent search for a chance to open the Avalanche Stage at the festival. Continue reading

Download Madrid Adds Amon Amarth, Architects, Taking Back Sunday, Fever 333 And More

Download Madrid, which had already announced Slipknot and Tool for 2019, has added more bands to the bill! Amon Amarth, Architects, Taking Back Sunday, Fever 333, Turnstile, As It Is and more bands coming soon. The companion to the Download festival franchise takes place over the 28th to the 30th of June 2019. You can buy tickets at the link below.

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Warped Tour 2018 – The Final Run

It’s the final cross-country voyage of the Vans Warped Tour. Since 1995, the unofficial punk rock summer camp has introduced us all to iconic acts from Bad Religion to Katy Perry. Continue reading

Devin Townsend, Max and Igor Cavalera, Orange Goblin, Sick Puppies Added To Download Festival 2017

Already featuring a massive lineup of bands, Download 2017 has added 20 more names to the roster with Devin Townsend Project, Code Orange, Max & Iggor Cavalera playing their ‘Return To Roots’ show, Sick Puppies, rapper Machine Gun Kelly, Sikth, Suicide Silence, Ty Bryant And the Shakedown, Krokodil and many more announced. Continue reading

Alive and On The Road Again: Shane Told of Silverstein

Silverstein. Photo Credit: Anna Lee

Silverstein. Photo Credit: Anna Lee

For the members of Canadian post-hardcore outfit Silverstein, they are spending their summer once again in a familiar place, known as the Vans Warped Tour. They are promoting their latest album I Am Alive in Everything I Touch and are taking part on their sixth time around on this well documented tour.

Vocalist Shane Told shares his thoughts on the tour. “We did it two years ago. It’s a hard tour. It’s very, very hot and it’s a lot of dust and dirt and moving stuff around. Very far distances between things and you have to push gear and walk and everything, so it’s very grueling. It’s amazing we are able to do it every day and they move the entire festival, every single part of it setting it up and it’s always on time. It’s amazing they’re able to do that.

Their trip out west to the first date in Pomona, CA from their homebase of Toronto, ON went quite smoothly. Being veterans of the road, they understood what they were encountering. “It was good,” he said, about their journey. “We took our time. We did two shows on the way out in Des Moines, IA and Omaha, NE, and we had a couple of days off in Denver and Las Vegas just to relax a little bit. We know what we’re getting into.

silverstein i am alive in everything i touch

Silverstein has celebrated 15 years of existence, which is a milestone within itself. After releasing their eighth full length recording, four EPs and one live album, Told talked about what makes their band work internally and externally.

None of us have kids or anything, so I guess that helps. We don’t know how other bands work. This is the band we’re in, but we know we treat each other with respect and genuinely like each other and like each other’s company. We know how to stay out each other’s way when people aren’t in the best moods. We’ve always done that and musically, we have a lot of diversity within our music so that helps. We don’t get bored of what we do musically. We all have the same kinds of goals, so it helps.

He also shared his thoughts on 15 years of memories within his time with the band. “It’s all a blur. It’s funny too because now at 15 years and there’s certain times when stuff feels like it just happened. Then I’ll think back and go ‘whoa that was eight or nine years ago!’ Then some stuff that happened just the other day, and I won’t remember. It’s really weird the way you remember things are sometimes different than how they were. That’s always an interesting part of it. We have so many great memories and we made so many great friends. We’re really proud we’ve done it this long and enjoyed it this long. We’re not going through the motions like you see some bands just totally jaded. We still genuinely love music, Warped Tour, festivals and love hanging out. It really feels good.

Legend has said for the bands being on the Vans Warped Tour is hard work under extreme weather conditions on various stops along the way. But Told and the Silverstein guys knew from past experience what to expect and were able to dive in head first without any real surprises.

It’s nice because you know what to expect going in. One of the amazing things is how little the tour has changed. Literally the first time we did it in 2004, it’s all the same people, a lot of same venues and the way they run it, the set times being you don’t know what time you’re playing until the morning…plus it’s the same it’s always been. The familiarity is really nice coming in to it, but at the same time we sort of know how we’re going to feel halfway through. The sun’s beating down and we’re like ‘oh man…we still have three more weeks of this!’ There’s always that…I don’t want to say breaking point but there’s always that moment where it’s like ‘oh man we know what we’re getting into’ that could make it harder too.

Told shares who he is looking forward to seeing while he’s on the tour. “We have so many friends on this tour. Walking around yesterday, it’s the first day, it’s like ‘hey man! Hey man…hey man…’ everywhere you go. Some of our friends like Beartooth and there’s this new band called As It Is from the UK. They’re a really good new band and we’ve done some shows with them recently. Those are some newer band we should go check out.

A 20 year anniversary for Silverstein is around the corner and another milestone for them. While Told denies ever thinking about it, some ideas began floating about.

We have not thought about it. I know it’s going to come up fast. It’s amazing how fast these things go by.

We’ll get a cake. We love cake so much that any excuse we have to buy one…we’ll buy one – anyone’s birthday, our guitar tech gets a girlfriend [and] we’ll buy them a cake. We did one for our millionth Facebook Like! We’re ridiculous but…

Ironically, no songs about cake were ever written, but another one about food belonging to another band member did get mentioned.

We did write a song about stealing Bill’s [Hamilton, bass] food from the bus once, because he’s got the best food. It’s called “See Ya Bill” [on 2012’s Short Songs]. It’s about seven seconds long. It might be about a vegan cake. I’m not sure specifically about the food items but he does have some good cake kicking around once in a while. Check it out. It’s on Spotify.

By Rei Nishimoto

Vans Warped Tour 2015 – Pomona Fairgrounds and Seaside Park at Ventura Fairgrounds

Warped-2015-lineup

Another year has arrived for the Vans Warped Tour full of anticipation and excitement to hit the summertime across North America. This year’s edition maintains their tradition of youth oriented angst filled music (or whatever the kids call it these days) and carving a path for the next batch of rising stars on the scene. Thanks to photographer Kevin Estrada for shooting these two dates of Warped tour for Ghost Cult!

The main stages (Shark and Unicorn) showcased the main attractions on the tour, ranging from the pop punk acts (The Wonder Years) to the screamo/emo (Pierce The Veil, Blessthefall) to the crossover half melodic and half aggro (We Came As Romans) to the harder sounding (August Burns Red) managed to keep the kids bouncing around in the crowd and rarely laying low.

August Burns Red,   photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

August Burns Red, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Tour veterans Motion City Soundtrack made their brief California run appearance, showing the crowd how things are done on this tour. Metro Station (featuring Trace Cyrus, son of country performer Billy Ray Cyrus), melodic punk act Man Overboard, and hardcore outfit Fit For A King all set the pace for the day with their respective sounds while keeping the crowd engaged.

Atilla, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Atilla, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

The main acts on these stages won over the crowd throughout the day. Memphis May Fire got the crowd into a high with their half heavy yet melodic styling that struck a nerve with them; Attila, led by their enigmatic frontman Chris “Fronz” Fronzak and his guitar crunching yet Eninem-esque “meth” suit bouncing along with the crowd; Black Veil Brides and their legions of die hard fan base singing along to every word; and Miss May I and their modern metallic sound that got the crowd worked up later on in the day.

The Amity Affliction, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

The Amity Affliction, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

While the main stage had their moments going on, there were a number of side stage acts making noise of their own. The Monster Stage housed their own brand of chaos throughout the day, as Senses Fail, Being As An Ocean, Beartooth, Mallory Knox and The Amity Affliction all got the pit crew throwing down alongside each band and rarely letting down. The harder driving acts such as hardcore outfit Hundredth had the pit kids going in effect, while veteran Canadian post hardcore act Silverstein had their mix of longtime fans as well as newbies who both showed their appreciation for the band. Australian metallic hardcore outfit I Killed The Prom Queen appeared to be bass player less, but that didn’t stop them from bringing out their At The Gates meets hardcore stomp to these fans. British metalcore act While She Sleeps briefly were down a singer (ie visa problems kept frontman Lawrence Taylor making a late start on the tour) but friends pitched in to lend a helping hand and fans didn’t even notice. Plus Escape The Fate closed out the evening with their eclectic brand of punk meets screamo meets modern metal that got the late comers their last bit of a sweat.

Neck Deep, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Neck Deep, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

On the other stages, indie hip hop acts MC Lars gave a lesson in nerdcore with rhymes about video games and Game of Thrones (ie his latest single “Dragon Blood), while Kosha Dillz brought out his East Coast blend of Spanish, English and Hebrew rhymes; and electro-DJ-performance duo mystery men Drama Club put on an interesting performance that combined part Blue Man Group-esque percussive moments with part electronica meets EDM moments and spontaneous bursts of energy that kept the interested crowd on its feet.

Pvrvis, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Pvris, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

The Journeys Stages found Juliette Sims and Night Riots wowing the crowd with their high energy sets, while hotly tipped electro pop outfit PVRIS became one of the much talked about acts on the tour and their set did not disappoint. Hip hop act Riff Raff put on quite the entertaining show on this stage, with his colorful summertime dress and animated raps to get the crowd bouncing along.

New York alternative rockers The Karma Killers stood out amongst the vast number of acts performing on the Ernie Ball Stage, with their fresh take on classic pop-punk, rock, and alternative rock with an energetic stage show. While they are newly signed to Island/Def Jam and new to the scene, they showed that they could one day end up on one of the larger stages in the new future.

The Acoustic Basement easily became an area largely for shade against the sun, but while most of the acts attracted stragglers throughout the day, Canadian singer-songwriter Saywecanfly and Brian Marquis were two of the acts who attracted a decent sized crowd throughout the day. Saywecanfly attracted a packed tent and entertained the audience with his emotion filled lyrics that got his largely female audience awaiting with anticipation.

Overall, this year’s edition featured a good mix of repeat acts moving up to larger stages, as well as a number of fresh faces to the scene. It is a positive sign to see new acts on the rise at a time when the music industry is struggling to attract new acts to the public. Hopefully someone is paying attention to this tour to see that there is a new generation of artists on the rise.

Set it Off,  photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Set it Off, photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

 

 

 

Tat,  photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Tat, photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

We Came As Romans,  photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

We Came As Romans, photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Miss May I,  photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Miss May I, photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

 

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WORDS BY REI NISHIMOTO

PHOTOS BY KEVIN ESTRADA 

Skindred, Cancer Bats, etc Confirmed For Hit The Deck Festival

hit the deck 2015

Hit The Deck Festival has confirmed its lineup for the 2015 edition, which is happening in Bristol (UK) on April 25, 2015 and Nottingham (UK) on April 26, 2015.

Skindred
While She Sleeps
Cancer Bats
A Great Big Pile Of Leaves
Allusondrugs
Ashes
As It Is
Bad Sign
Black Peaks
Brawlers
Calabrese
City Of Ships
Dead!
Dead Harts
Decade
Devil Sold His Soul
The Early November
Frnkiero AndThe Cellabration
Hacktivist
Hundredth
Idiom
John Coffey
JPNSGRLS
Junius
MC Lars
Oathbreaker
Oceans Ate Alaska
Rolo Tomassi
The Swellers
Tellison
Thomas Nicholas Band
Tim Vantol
When We Were Wolves
The Xcerts
You Blew It!
Zoax

hit the deck fest 2015