Finn McKenty, The Punk Rock MBA is back again with another video at his popular YouTube channel critiquing musicians and bands. What matters the most? Vocal ability? Good looks? Star power? Specifically, he has a chart to analyze the talents of popular singers and bands such as Hayley Williams (Paramore), Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour), Tom Delonge (Blink-182), Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit), Fronzilla, Andy Black, Phil Anselmo (Pantera/Down), Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Rob Zombie, Oli Sykes, M Shadows, Brendon Urie (Panic At The Disco) Austin Carlile (ex of Mice & Men), Gwen Stefani, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande, Lil Peep, Charli XCX and more! Finnposts new videos every week and just launched a brand new podcast too!
Returning from a nine-year gap in new music, Rock supergroup The Damned Things have returned! Check out their new single and video for ‘Cells’ and get ready for their new album, High Crimes, due April 26 via Nuclear Blast Records. The music video for the track, directed by Brandon Dermer (Panic! At The Disco, Nekrogoblikon), watch the video now! Continue reading
There comes a point, it seems, for a lot of bands where they decide to go in a direction that would seem directly opposed to their core sound, or sound with which they are most associated with. Now, and this will not turn into a witch hunt or anything, but these creative directions often split fan bases and in turn lead to a lot of anger, comment, though in balance, often also acclaim. At one such crossroads are Aussie metalcore band The Amity Affliction, and their sixth album Misery (Roadrunner). Continue reading
Modern rockers Panic! At The Disco will appear on national television tonight in the US as part of NBC’s New Year’s Eve Game Night with Andy Cohen, airing live tonight on NBC at 1 0:00 PM / 9:00 PM CST. The band will perform their new single, ‘Victorious’ live and join a cast of guest stars such as guests John Stamos, Bob Saget, Bob Harper, Chris Parnell, Whitney Cummings, Sasheer Zapata and more for the live telecast. ‘Victorious’ comes off of the new Panic! At The Disco album Death Of A Bachelor (Fueled By Ramen) due out on January 16th. Pre-orders are live at this link. The band has booked three shows around their release in London, New York and Los Angeles. All are sold out.
Panic! At The Disco, special record release shows:
Jan 12: 02 Academy Brixton, London UK
Jan 14: Le Poisson Rogue, New York, NY
Jan 19: The Tower Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
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You’d be forgiven for thinking that Saint[The]Sinner were pulling a fast one by saying their latest EP Masquerades was self-released. With a huge, vibrant sound, the mini-album holds its own with established label backed brethren, as the vivacious guitars cleave the air, and the South Coast entity storm through a raucous set of anthemic, heavy post-hardcore tunes.
“Pash (Stratton – Guitars) is also a producer and engineer, but we put a lot of effort in to these songs and we really wanted the experience of going to a top studio”, begins clean vocalist James Laughton, explaining just how a self-release manages to sound so, well, pro. “And we had the opportunity to work with Romesh (Dodangoda – BFMV, All Time Low, BMTH) and because we knew this was such an important record for us, we didn’t want to put pressure on Pash to do that (produce) too. Added to this was having the opportunity to write and work with Romesh at Long Wave in Cardiff… we wouldn’t have changed how we did it for the world.”
“The sound was really important to us” confirms Laughton as we go on to discuss how having the right production can turn the right set of songs from really good to really good. “We wanted to have a “Big” sound, that sounded live and like it could fill a room. It was one of the things me and Pash talked about before we went to Cardiff, about having songs that would work really well live.” With one eye on how the material would work once they took it out on the road Laughton confirms “We went to a live practice room before recording. We’ve learned a lot from our mistakes in the past, we think we’re learning how to do it properly.”
In a scene drowning in Miss May I copycats (themselves not even the originators, but the middle ground), Saint[The]Sinner not only have a sense of identity in terms of sound, but also a focus lyrically. “One of my favourite lyricists is Brandon Urie of Panic! At The Disco, particularly from their early days” enthuses Laughton, “and he’s always done metaphorical, weird, macabre and twisted lyrics. So I came up with a concept of a vampire woman and tried to apply this metaphorically. Me and Luke (Juan – Harsh vocals) sat down and worked through my ideas and his ideas.”
The vampyric touch also further enhances the Atreyu link that’s prevalent in the bands sound, yet P!ATD don’t just feature as an influence lyrically, but spill over into Laughton’s melodies and hooks. “We never sat down and thought “Let’s be a British heavier version of Panic!”, but we grew up with that music, and the melodies and styles get stuck in your head. I didn’t necessarily realize I was doing something like it, but I’m happy if people say that” he agrees, before going on to talk about sharing the mic stand (albeit not the exact same stand…) with co-vocalist Luke Juan.
“Me and Luke are best mates, and in the studio we go back and forth like ping pong” the singer laughs. “We think of bands like We Came As Romans and The Blackout, who Romesh produced… I remember seeing them with two vocalists and thinking it looked really cool.”
“Look, the hardcore and the anthemic genres are what we’re really into” Laughton continues, considering just where STS fit into the market, being a slight anomaly in the UK scene, a fact that works in their favour, along with their songwriting panache and quality, to differentiate themselves from many of their competition. “We are trying to work those anthemic sounds into our live performances, and we can see in the UK, the response is there.”
Yet if post-hardcore, and the more anthemic side of metalcore, is catered for in the American market, would STS consider doing an Asking Alexandria and upping sticks, and crossing the Pacific?
“Post-hardcore is more of an American thing, and it’s popular over there, but I don’t think we’d do a full on AA, no” Laughton muses. “Though Luke has gone to Warped and Kevin Lyman recognised him and spoke to him. We’ve spoken about going over there to tour.
“We’ve met some great people in the industry who have helped us, so while we’re self-releasing we’re looking to work with a label in the US. But over here, there are loads of unsigned bands hitting up Europe, and we’re looking at going and getting out there. We’ve got a couple more videos coming up, and we can’t wait to take Masquerades out there.”
“It’s the one thing we’ve always wanted; to have a band that is heavy, energetic, yet catchy and uplifting at the same time. We do our best to get that, and it is mainly American bands you go to for that sound. But we write like that, because we write for ourselves.
“It’s then up to us to integrate that American sound to being a band in the UK and being successful with it.”
If Masquerades is any measure, this miscreant sextet have every chance of doing just that.
WORDS BY STEVE TOVEY
Since Kiefer Sutherland’s piercing, well, I was going to say eyes but let’s go with teeth, made rock chicks around the world swoon and crick their necks to be bitten, vampires and rock/metal have been more than bedfellows, with both aesthetics, lyrics, band names and even subgenres and scenes entwined. Cradle of Filth blew up by cleverly playing the vampire game (no, not ‘I Vant To Bite Your Finger’), Atreyu resurrected the spirit of the Old Ones in their ascension, Korn temporarily buried their career by associating themselves with the Queen of the Damned, even the hippest of the underground, Tribulation, danced with the children of the night earlier this year, Manowar penned one of their best songs (‘Each Dawn I Die’) in honour of the sleepless, and let us not forget Aiden, the dumb bastard black (formaldehyde) sheep of the flock…
And so Saint[The]Sinner have exhumed a classic, pale theme for their sprightly, theatrical pop-rock meets post-hardcore, and it’s a cape they wear well as, with a flourish, they swoop down on ‘Theatre Of Broken Dreams’ haunted house intro and sink their incisors into a vibrant, hurtling, fast paced metalcore lead off track to new EP Masquerades (self-released). As twin vocals trade-off, the throatier screams give way to an engaging, welcoming chorus and a pattern is set.
Keeping energy levels up throughout is one boon of Masquerades, a Premier League production is another, allowing the endearing and vigorous song-writing to flourish and (widow’s) peaks to peak. With the clean vocals adding an off-centre Panic! At The Disco feel to their arsenal, particularly on lead single ‘She’s A Vampire’, it’s a welcome addition to the heady mix of AFI, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold and Dommin that is sure to see the band on a steep upward trajectory their burgeoning and bloody talents deserve.
The camp horror theme is a cute touch, but don’t let it detract from the fact that the English South Coast crew have summoned forth a beastly set of strong, gratifying, grin-inducing tunes. Saint[The]Sinner have hit the mix right on the money; whether it’s clean or scream on the vocals, it’s all about being dramatic and leaving those hooks in you, as fangs lock into your flesh and notable melodies are injected like venom into the bloodstream in a way that reminds you that, you know what, sometimes this metal thing is about energy and fun, and each track sounds like it was a (monster’s) ball in the creating.
Panic! At The Disco released their new video today for the song ‘Hallelujah’. You can watch the video at this link or below:
The video stars front man Brendon Urie and is a take off of the Monument Valley video game, complete with impressive effects. Panic! At The Disco is currently working on an as-yet to be titled new album for release.
US Alternative rockers Dommin will be releasing their second album titled Rise, on June 21, 2015 via DNRecords, and are streaming their first lyric video for the title track below. The album was produced by Matt Squire (Panic! At The Disco, The Used, HIM) and mixed by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool). They have launched a PledgeMusic campaign to pre-order the album plus plenty of rare and unique items. Check it out here.
Enigmatic frontman and guitarist Kristofer Dommin reveals, “Rise is a musical evolution. I don’t enjoy repeating myself creatively so this album offers fans another face of the band. The songs are more empowering, maybe a bit more pissed-off, and definitely a lot more tongue-in-cheek.” Dommin’s keyboardist, Konstantine, sums it up with one word, “swagger.”
Panic! At The Disco drummer Spencer Smith has opted to leave the band following his well documented struggles with drug addiction. He has officially announced he is leaving the band and has issued a statement:
To our fans…After 10 years of being a part of this unbelievable journey it saddens me to say that I will be leaving Panic. This was not an easy decision to come to, but after a lot of thinking it became clear that this is what’s right for me and the band. I love this band with all my heart, and getting to see it grow from 4 kids in my parents garage to what it is now has been incredible. I loved it all. But, at a certain point, I realized that I wasn’t able to be there for the band the way I wanted to be, and more importantly, the way they needed me to be.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have been surrounded by the people I have been all these years. They truly are my best friends. A few years ago, when my addiction grabbed hold, and wouldn’t let go, they could have easily kicked me out, and never looked back, but they didn’t. Instead, they encouraged me to seek treatment, and gave me the time I needed to get my life back in order. They helped me through those rough times, and now, on the other side, with two years sobriety from prescription medication, and working on a year sobriety from alcohol, I am nothing but grateful for all they have done. It’s things like that that always made this band feel more like a family to me than anything else. When we were together in the studio or on stage I wasn’t with co workers at a job, I felt at home with my brothers.
Looking back over the past decade I still have to pinch myself to believe it was all real. I still remember waiting all day to get out of school so we could go write songs, and record demos on a drum machine and a 30 dollar keyboard. I remember being so nervous when Pete came to town to watch us play the only 3 songs we had, and then going to Del Taco where he treated us to a well deserved meal (as any self respecting AnR guy should). I remember pulling all night triple shifts driving around the country in a conversion van with a single axle trailer on our first tour. Im going to miss it all. Staying up all night writing songs, and recording them over and over until my hands would bleed. Catching red eye flights to get to a photo shoot or video shoot, and being so delirious on set we never thought we’d stop laughing. Explaining to our manager that I wanted to perform on top of a ten foot tall carousel and have a caged tiger on stage, and being surprised when that didn’t seem “totally reasonable” to everyone else.
I’m going to miss the good interviews, the bad interviews, and the interview in Germany when we were asked “your new album doesn’t seem to be as good as your last…why?”. Or being in rural China where I’m almost positive we were served horse, but we ate it anyway so we wouldn’t offend the women who spent all day cooking for us, and you know what, it was pretty good. Or the time we were stranded in a Russian airport for 20 hours, and the only thing that kept us sane were the funny pictures or videos of encouragement you would send us. All of those moments that made me want to say, “I’ve had enough, this is crazy, I quit!” those are some of my favorite memories now.
But what will stick with me the most is showing up in city after city and finding more and more of you who had learned the lyrics to all our songs, or had made home made t-shirts with our faces surrounded in puff paint, or baked us cookies from your grandmas secret recipe and put a single hair in each one (ok, that one was a little creepy…creepy, but delicious). For me, that’s what made it all so surreal.
Yes, getting to travel around the world with my friends was no doubt some of the best memories of my life, but it was what happened during that hour and a half on stage each night that was truly magic. And none of it was possible without you. Whether it was in front of 15 people at Brendon’s church social or 15,000 people in a field somewhere in England. What we created, the four of us onstage, and you in the audience, that was something special. It was on those nights I’d say to myself “If I could be anywhere in the world tonight, with anyone I wanted, it would be right here with you”. It’s what I’ll miss the most. So, thank you. I truly cannot wait to see what’s next for Panic, whatever it is, it’s going to be great. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for giving me the life I only dreamed of 10 short years ago.