Riot Fest 2018 approaches next weekend and the bill looks stacked! The lineup features Weezer, Blink-182, Beck, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Run The Jewels, Incubus, Young The Giant, Interpol, Blondie, Alkaline Trio, Father John Misty, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Tickets are on sale now at the link below. Now. Riot Fest takes place September 14th-16th at Douglas Park in Chicago, IL. Continue reading
Love and music go hand in hand like any other perfect pair. A song can be reminiscent of your first kiss, first heartbreak even your love for life. True Love (Vertigo), the five-track EP by Irish trio, Fangclub emphasizes on the theme and delivers for those that miss and love the alternative nostalgia of the nineties.
Belgian rockers Supergenius’s début album Supertired (Hypertension/9000 Records) is awash with Nineties influences, it is chunky melodic rock with a strong vein of Indie and pop-Punk running through it. ‘Charmer’ has a nice, whistleable chorus to add to its strong, radio friendly Foo Fighters vibe. They also share the fuzzy guitar tone and slight sense of melancholy of Weezer, the heavy rhythms of ‘Know Your Knots’ demonstrates this. Edward Godby’s everyman vocal style shares more than a passing resemblance to Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer of aforementioned sweater pulling rockers. Continue reading
“Fortunately Blood Eagle (Napalm Records) was a half-decent album and people really enjoyed it,” chuckles Jon Paul Davis, six stringer and larynx of British flag-bearers of crawling, cavernous, treacle-thick, cavern-sized, continent-heavy Doom Metal, Conan. “So people think we were under pressure to write the next big album, but, to be honest, the only pressure we put on ourselves was to make sure it felt like a ‘new’ Conan album.”
“I could go in the studio now and write songs that sound just like ‘Krull’ (from the band’s 2010 debut EP, Horseback Battle Hammer – Throne Records), and we could do that 10 times over, and it’d be dead easy, and people would be made up. But we ask ourselves is “Is this album different to what we’ve already put out?” And if we can say yes, we can be happy. We hate the idea of repeating ourselves and sticking to tried and tested formulas.”
And Revengeance (Napalm) manages to do just that. And more. With a greater focus and attention to detail in terms of dynamics and the ebb and flow of an album, the band have taken a more cerebral approach to the use of pace and planning. Emerging from a deliberate, slow, beginning, the album slowly unfurls with miasmic patience while building then launch into the fervid, emphatic title track halfway through. Such deliberate album dynamics works with savage effect. Wear them down, smack ‘em in the head, skulk through the fetid, brooding torrent of pained slabs, before bludgeoning again.
“We were going to put the track ‘Revengeance’ first…” muses the effusive Davis. “It was the first song we wrote when Rich joined – it was the first one that we three in the current line-up wrote together, which was one of the reasons we felt it was important to call the album after it. But it seemed like it was a bit too fast to put as the first track, we didn’t want to throw people, so we figured it’d be nice to put it halfway through the album to wake people up a little bit; we thought it’d have a better impact at track four.”
Another development in the Conan sound is Davis’ continued development of how he (ab)uses of his vocal chords. “The vocals are different. I’ve gotten a bit better at “singing”, I suppose. Not that I want to sound like a good singer – I’m still just shouting in tune. It’s great. I love the attention… I’m really good looking so I get all the girls now! I’ll start dressing a bit more smart…” jests the laidback riff-meister. “Ha, no, it’s cool. With myself and Chris… I never class myself as the frontman, though. We are the front “men”. Visually we’re both singing. I do most of the singing, but I like to think me and Chris are just as important in that respect. We’ve started to do a bit more of a vocal back and forth”
“(the vocals) are now not just something that’s happening while the riffs are going on! Compare it to Horseback Battle Hammer, which is just me straining my voice and doing one note – on this album there’s a bit more melody to it. If you look at the song ‘Revengeance’, there’s a part where I’m singing the line “All this is infinite, we rot inside of it” the actual melody for the vocals there is from the track ‘All By Myself’”. That’s where that came from.” (You’ll have to judge that for yourselves…)
“We toured a lot with Blood Eagle (Napalm) and listened to a lot of Weezer and Rainbow… bands with really good vocals. We haven’t tried to deliberately copy them, and we’re miles away from being able to do something like that, but we’ve definitely been able to add more melody into the vocals which has worked really well.”
To the outsider, it definitely seems like Blood Eagle was a career-changer in terms of raising the profile of the band…
“It was, but the profile of the band goes up a notch every time you release something and every time you play decent festivals, your profile improves. Obviously, if you release an album that’s total dogshit, then those increments aren’t too big… But we’ve been lucky enough to get some good reviews on the back of that, we played Hellfest and High on Fire asked us to tour with them, we played Roadburn for the second time, did our first US tour, our first Australian tour.
“It’s cool. That album helped improve our standing if you want to be competitive about it, but it did just as much for us as the previous ones did in comparison, but over time you rise towards the top of the pond you’re in. If you look at how much it progressed us, probably the same amount as Monos (Burning World) did… Monos took us from Level 1 to 2, Blood Eagle took us to level 3.”
And it stands to reason ReVengeance will continue the bands ascent from the heaving depths, particularly when wedded to the increasingly affirmative reports of Conan’s burgeoning live reputation?
“Something that’s really started to become apparent is that when you record more work and get a bigger pool to choose from live, we’ll play certain songs live now, and if we stay clear of the slower tracks then we tend to get a much better response live, people get more into it.”
“So, as a result of that, it has changed the type of set that we play. ‘Foehammer’, ‘Gravity Chasm’, and ‘Revengeance’ have a few points like that. We think it’ll be a lot more fun to watch us live on this tour as we’re not just playing crawling songs anymore”
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“No all of it. The whole thing. You have to get the whole thing in there. It’s good for your stomach. Especially if you have a sour stomach, which is weird if you think it would make it more sour. Eat the whole slice – rind and all,” yells bassist and lead vocalist Kelly Ogden of LA pop punkers The Dollyrots, to her drummer for the evening Rikki Styxx (also of LA based The Two Tens), over a discussion about how to drink water.
“Whenever it’s in my water – you’ve gotta get your Vitamin C or [you’ll get] scurvy! We’re rock pirates but we won’t go that far!,” she says, with a smile.
The band has been successfully supporting their latest album titled Pregnant and Barefoot, where they had just completed a national tour supporting Bowling For Soup this past summer, and previously doing a West Coast run with Black Flag and a UK run with the Buzzcocks.
This was all done following the birth of Ogden and guitarist Luis Cabezas’ son River, and balancing their home life with promoting their new album in 2013.
“I love it! In so many ways it’s easier and some weird ways it’s harder. People are like ‘how do you bring a baby on tour?’ That’s the easiest part. I think my enemy is boredom. The kid is super smart and so aware of everything. We want him to have the best childhood ever. After childhood, everything is downhill. He might as well live it up and have the best experience possible. We’ll put on our happy faces no matter what. Just have the best life he could have,” said Ogden, about becoming a punk rock mother and raising their son within a rock n roll environment.
Would she do it again? “I might do it again if the cards align someday soon. We’ll see. Not right now,” she says, with a smile.
Styxx became the latest drummer to perform with the Dollyrots, and since the band’s start in 2000 back in their home state of Florida, they have encountered a Spinal Tap esque situation with drummers (except without the explosions).
With a little help with Cabezas, Ogden named off the alumni of drummers who had fulfilled their tour of duty with them.
“I totally remember all of their names. It started with Mike Benbow, then Frank Beasley, Josh Valenti, Amy Wood…Joaquin was in there for a week…one show,” she said.
“Chris Black, Rick Welta, Alicia Warrington, James Carman, Aixa Vilar, Reed Crier…,” said Cabezas.
“There’s one time we played in Massachusetts and we had 12 different drummers because Chris had to fly home for a wedding. Every kid in that city learned a song. It was cool in theory but it was the most excruciating show I’ve ever played in my life,” she then said.
“These weird yetis would show up and they looked like punk rocker drummers. We thought ‘oh they’re going to be awesome!’ and then you’d have these dorky high school kids come and they’d kill it!,” he said.
“I guess we don’t know all of their names for that one show,” she added. “Oh…there’s Mel. Fink. Mel Funk. I always mix up that.”
Since 2011, the band chose to release their own music without the help of a record label and handle their own affairs. Their self titled album was the first release on their own and through the help of crowdfunding via PledgeMusic, they found the help of their longtime fans to get their music out to the world.
“I mean it’s based on the fact that we’ve put out enough records to have really awesome fans. So once you tour enough and put out enough music, then there’s people that will love you band no matter what you do. So the way we do it now through crowd sourcing, we feel like we really owe it to our fans to give them a really good album,” she explains.
Ogden elaborates further about how being a DIY artist has changed their approach at how they reach fans without the help of a record label or a marketing company.
“We push ourselves even harder than when we were on a record label. We’re really lucky to have [these fans]. The thing is, we’d be making a record in little bubbles and we wouldn’t have a lot of feedback except from the labels. We wanted them to like it. It wasn’t for so much for our fans. It was kind of weird because we make music for the people who listen to your music.”
“It feels so much clearer now. It’s like we’re making music for these people and we’re going to put it in an envelope and send it to them ourselves. It feels the way it should be. It’s cool because we get to be close to them and they get to see a lot more of our life and we get to be back during the writing process. It just seems…for our band at least – the whole growing up in the 90s was like…aww…you get to be in a band and we get to be mysterious. Nobody really knows things about you. That’s just not how our band works, which is a little surprising. Listen, I probably seem very outgoing but to be honest if we were to go to your house for a barbecue on a Sunday afternoon, I would have diarrhea because I would be so nervous about having to interact with people. We’re actually socially awkward. It’s funny but within the band thing it works. It’s cool doing this with our fans.”
Aside from the crowdfunding and touring, the Dollyrots have constantly promoted their music through social media and kept their name out in the public. They have regularly released free songs (usually cover songs and holiday related tunes), and have used StageIt to attract their fans to watch their show streamed online.
Ogden talked about how much work went into running their crowdfunding campaign.
“The bands that do PledgeMusic now – we were just talking about it – Sum 41 just did their new record. Weezer did one. Freakin’ Smashing Pumpkins did one….Soul Asylum….it just makes so much more sense now.”
“But those bands – I don’t know if they do it the way we do it with lots of personal stuff, which makes it a lot more fun for us. They do a preorder and then they have a merch company ship everybody their stuff.”
“Sum 41’s not sitting there personalizing all 40,000 CDs! Once you go over a certain quantity it’s not feasible,” says Cabezas, cutting into the conversation.
“I didn’t bake cookies this time but I’ve been feeling the guilt working in. I’m considering making the cookies a super prime item. I’ll send you a dozen cookies…but it’s going to cost like $80 because last time I had to make 37 dozen cookies….in a one bedroom apartment with one oven and one rack! It took me four days. It was kind of awful. The thing is…it’s that many days of my life that I can’t do anything but bake the cookies,” added Ogden, about one of her ideas that became a bit challenging.
Through the PledgeMusic campaign, they reached fans from all over the globe. She shared some of the more unusual spots they received pledges from. “Obviously we have a lot of fans in the UK. There’s this island…some part of France…Revere Islands and it was some French island and the post office couldn’t even figure it out. It’s some weird French island the US owns.”
Then she talked about the biggest challenges behind doing the pledge campaigns. Being that the Dollyrots have to run their own campaigns, the work involved is not always for everyone, but the band still chose to tackle the challenge head first.
“Fulfillment. I think some people that are new to the method don’t understand that if they get a song and if 25 other people get a song that’s written for them, it may take us a year. We’ve honestly I would say 99 percent of the time people have been really cool about it. But I feel like there may be other people that are disappointed that we don’t hear from, and that sucks when it’s just the band. We don’t hire a merch company. It takes up our lives until we do it again and then it takes up our whole lives.”
“I know the ins and outs of the US Postal System. I have my own postal scale. We do every single bit of it. It’s kind of crazy. We get a discount in doing it online.”
“The Koreatown post office – the Dosan Ahn Chang on 6th Street is the one that me and Luis would take everything to before we got our own scale. They would see the two of us walk in and I would be holding the baby…I think we started before he was born. We started shipping before he was born. We would see us walk in with these huge boxes and they would all shake their heads and look down. People in line behind us – I would feel this stabby stab in my back when I’m at the window. It would take us about three hours at the window.”
“We’re there so long. We know their names. We know where they go on vacation and where they grew up. It was really funny. After a few times, they would be funny when they’d get us because we can just hang out and chat for a while. The managers at the post office were not happy.”
While they are still promoting Barefoot and Pregnant, they have proceeded with working on their Family Vacation: Live In Los Angeles CD and DVD, recorded and filmed on tour this past summer. Ogden explained the story behind the release.
“So we just finished and got the mastered audio back. So the audio part is done. The live video we filmed stuff all along the last couple of tours, starting in June until now. So we did the East Coast, Texas and the West Coast. So we did a lot of tour diaries.”
“The main shows, because hiring a camera crew is real expensive, so we only really filmed New York and LA, and we used LA pretty much for the show. It’s just a live show experience because it’s different touring for us now. We only do a week and a half because we have to fly in. We have a baby and a nanny and the three of us. It’s complicated and with the economy the way it is, it doesn’t make sense for us to be on tour for eight weeks at a time. So we find the places where we can afford to go and then book short little tours around that. It’s awesome.”
[Teaser] A few more seconds of our upcoming live DVD!! #TheDollyrotsFamilyVacationPre-order: http://bit.ly/DRpledgeLIVE
Posted by The Dollyrots on Saturday, November 21, 2015
The new single is the first new music from the band since 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright In the End (Republic). They played the track twice last week at the iHeart Radio event in Los Angeles, CA. More details about a new album from the band for 2016 are forthcoming.
Ruin Your Weekend Track listing:
02: Ruin Your Weekend
03: She’s Alone
04: One Eye
The band will taking part at Free Press Summer Festival in Houston, TX on June 6 and 7, 2015, alongside other artists such as Mastodon, Skrillex and Weezer.
Brian Marquis is streaming his I Miss the 90s EP, out now via Equal Vision Records. The EP is comprised of five covers of 90s favorites and features guest vocals by Vinnie Caruana (The Movielife, I Am the Avalanche), Will Noon (fun., Straylight Run) on drums, Julio Tavarez (The Black and The White, As Tall As Lions) on bass, and Doug Grean (ex-Scott Weiland, The Terpsichords) on piano/keyboards.
01: Say It Ain’t So (originally by Weezer)
02: Rooster (originally by Alice in Chains)
03: Shadowboxer (originally by Fiona Apple)
04: High and Dry (originally by Radiohead)
05: Something in the Way (originally by Nirvana)
This Summer, Marquis will perform daily and run production on the Acoustic Basement Stage on the 2015 Vans Warped Tour for the fourth consecutive year – a stage that he founded in 2011 under the guidance of Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman.
Level and The Square w/Brian Marquis
May 27: Viper Room – Hollywood, CA (EP RELEASE SHOW)
2015 Warped Tour Dates
Jun 19: Pomona Fairplex – Pomona, CA
Jun 20: Shoreline Amphitheatre – San Francisco, CA
Jun 21: Seaside Park at Ventura County Fairgrounds – Ventura, CA
Jun 23: Quail Run Park – Mesa AZ
Jun 24: Isleta Amphitheater – Albuquerque, NM
Jun 25: Remington Park – Oklahoma City, OK
Jun 26: NRG Park Main St. Yellow Lot – Houston, TX
Jun 27: Gexa Energy Pavilion – Dallas, TX
Jun 28: AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX
Jul 01: Tennessee State Fairgrounds – Nashville, TN
Jul 02: Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood – Atlanta, GA
Jul 03: Vinoy Park – St.Petersburg, FL
Jul 04: Coral Sky Amphitheatre – South Florida Fairgrounds – Miami, FL
Jul 05: Tinker Field – Orlando, FL
Jul 06: Morocco Shrine Auditorium And Grounds – Jacksonville, FL
Jul 07: PNC Music Pavilion – Charlotte, NC
Jul 08: Farm Bureau Live – Virginia Beach, VA
Jul 09: First Niagara Pavilion – Pittsburgh, PA
Jul 10: Susquehanna Bank Center – Philadelphia, PA
Jul 11: Nikon at Jones Beach Amphitheatre – New York, NY
Jul 12: Xfinity Theatre – Hartford, CT
Jul 14: Xfinity Center – Boston, MA
Jul 15: Darien Lake PAC – Buffalo, NY
Jul 16: Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati, OH
Jul 17: Molson Canadian Amphitheatre – Toronto, ON
Jul 18: Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD
Jul 19: PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ
Jul 21: The Pavilion at Montage Mountain – Scranton, PA
Jul 23: Blossom Music Center – Cleveland, OH
Jul 24: The Palace of Auburn Hills Parking Lot – Detroit, MI
Jul 25: First Midwest Bank Amphitheater – Chicago, IL
Jul 26: Canterbury Park – Minneapolis, MN
Jul 27: Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis, MO
Jul 28: Marcus Amphitheatre – Milwaukee, WI
Jul 29: Klipsch Music Center – Indianapolis, IN
Jul 30: Cricket Wireless Amphitheater – Kansas City, KS
Aug 01: Utah State Fairpark – Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 02: Pepsi Center Parking Lot – Denver, CO
Aug 05: Qualcomm Stadium Parking Lot – San Diego, CA
Aug 07: Portland Expo Center – Portland, OR
Aug 08: White River Amphitheater – Seattle, WA
Loudwire Music Festival will be throwing their inaugural three day, multi stage rock festival on Friday, June 26- Sunday, June 28, 2015 at Jam Ranch (near Grand Junction, CO). Artists confirmed for the event include:
A Day To Remember
Theory of a Deadman
In This Moment
All That Remains
One – The Only Tribute to Metallica
3 Pill Morning
Scarlet & The Harlots
Loudwire Music Festival will be holding their inaugural three day, multi-stage rock festival on June 26-28, 2015, at Jam Ranch in Grand Junction, CO, with Rob Zombie and Weezer as festival headliners. They join previously announced headliner Linkin Park, as well as A Day To Remember, Halestorm and Hinder to perform. A full lineup will be announced in the coming weeks.