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Given his tenure as the frontman of post-metal pioneers Isis, Aaron Turner obviously has some weight in the experimental music community. That said, his current band Sumac — a beautiful, bludgeoning sludge outfit that’s easily one of the 50 best American metal bands from the last ten years  — comes off a little stony and metallic to be considered fertile ground for unorthodox, improvisational music. And yet the band’s new album, a meeting of the minds with psychedelic drone musician Keiji Haino, not only shows that Sumac can hang with experimental royalty, but also that their crushing sound might be the perfect backdrop for freeform collaboration.

The album, titled Even For Just The Briefest Moment Keep Charging This “Expiation” Plug In To Making It Slightly Better, is four sprawling tracks of ominous, atmospheric music that ranges from eerily dissonant to noisily disturbing. That it came out of an improvised jam is exciting; that it’s born of Sumac joining forces with one of psychedelic music’s weirder minds is just awesome.

We caught up with Aaron about his work with Haino and what it means for Sumac going forward.

For your collaboration with Keiji Haino, who sought who out? Was it you saying, ‘I want to work with Haino,’ or did he say, ‘I want to work with Sumac’?

It was definitely us approaching him. I had been following his music for a good many years and it hadn’t occurred to me ever to ask him to collaborate until maybe three or four years ago. Initially, it was just sort of a whim — not that I didn’t really take it seriously, but I didn’t expect it to happen. He hasn’t ever, to my knowledge, collaborated with a metal band, and I don’t know him at all, although we have friends in common. So, it was really just a shot in the dark and I was expecting to get turned down, but we proposed a plan, or at least made our intent clear, and after some conversation, we agreed to work together, or at least to give it a try to see what would happen.

Do you feel it was the kind of music Sumac makes that made this project possible, or was it just about finally saying, ‘What if we contact Haino?’

No, it was definitely because of what we do with Sumac. There have certainly been other projects I’ve been involved with that have an open enough format to allow for this kind of collaboration, but Sumac, specifically, has been geared towards incorporating improv and freeplaying into our work from the very beginning. It’s just taken time to figure out how to integrate it more fluidly, to really maximize our potential that way.

Sumac is such a brutal, fearsome band that one might think of their music as highly regimented. But it sounds like working with collaborators and opening Sumac up to experimentation has always been on your mind.

Yeah, definitely. And even on the first record, [2015’s The Deal,] there were passages that were completely open and left to constant reinterpretation. So, even though a lot of the structures that existed around those parts of the songs were, as you put it, very regimented or rigidly structured, there was plenty of room to depart from there and explore more open space, and then return to the architectural and intentional forms.

Do you feel like the album with Haino is Sumac playing a song with Keiji playing over it, or was the process and what you got out of it collaborative the whole time?

It was definitely very collaborative. I think to some extent we deferred to him to lead it, partially because he’s just a more experienced musician. He is definitely more adept in the realm of improvisation than we are, and it was us coming to him. So without reverting to being his backing band, we definitely did allow him to steer the ship. That said, in a recent discussion we had with him in May, when we did another live collaboration with him, he wanted to emphasize the idea that we become a fully integrated unit, neither Sumac nor Haino. I think that’s kind of been the goal all along — finding a middle ground that we can all occupy simultaneously and forge something new as a cohesive unit rather than just trying to graft our respective worlds onto each other.

Was there ever a moment on the album, working with Haino, where you were just blown away at the fact that it was happening, or you heard it later and thought, ‘This is amazing?

In the moment that it was happening, I gotta admit, some of it was riddled with panic — not so much because of who we were playing with, but just because it really was a step into completely unknown territory. And there was a part of me after this record in particular, when the performance had ended and I stopped playing, that felt more bewildered than anything else, and kind of wondered what had happened.

It wasn’t for quite some time after that I actually got around to listening to the recordings, mostly because I wanted to have some removal from the experience and be able to go back to it with a more objective viewpoint rather than just stepping away from it and still occupying that space and anxiety. When I got around to listening to it again, I was very, very pleasantly surprised, because what I heard felt way more fluid than what it had felt like a lot of the time we were playing together.

Just out of curiosity, that sort of panic and in-the-moment anxiety — in retrospect, was that a good feeling, cathartic and productive? Or was it truly unpleasant?

No, I don’t really care to revisit that. At the same time, I don’t want to shun the experience — I think that anything that happens through the course of playing is valid and something to be learned from. But, for me, I definitely want to become more relaxed with the process of improvising. I want to get out of my head and more into my body and spirit, because I think that’s where the real rewards from improvising come from. If I’m thinking too much, it takes me away from the present experience and doesn’t allow me to really become telepathically linked with those around me, and I think that’s the ultimate goal. And that is something that happened at points during that session, and it definitely happened to the session prior to the one for this record. I think we, as a band, need to do it more and more, to become more comfortable with the process.

Is there anybody else with whom you’d be willing to go through something like this? Is there anybody else on your mind right now?

Well, I’d like to continue doing this with Haino actually, because I feel like we’re starting to develop a rapport with him. I mentioned we played another show with him a couple months ago, and we had a long meeting before playing the show, reflecting on what we had done previously and what we wanted to do differently, and also just trying to become comfortable with each other as people. I think that that’s the huge factor when it comes to improvising together — to just feel like you’re on a friendly level with everybody involved. So, I think that, for us, this process of playing with Haino has been an absolute learning experience, and I feel like what we did with this most recent show was another step up in terms of quality, in terms of experience, in terms of connection amongst the players.

Beyond that, I would say that we definitely intend to keep the door open with Sumac and write future collaborations with other people. I think that dismantling the idea of what a standard rock band should be or can be is part of our underlying ideology. There’s not any specific sessions or shows at the moment with anybody else, but it is an ongoing interest for us. We played, this past year with another person whose music I’ve enjoyed for many years, Caspar Brötzmann. We played with him in Berlin and then again at Roadburn in Tilburg, and I wouldn’t say that either experience rendered the results that were, you know, us operating at our full potential, but I think that they set a good precedent for the possibility of working together again.

Keiji Haino and Sumac’s new album is available now from Trost Records.

Posted on July 23rd 2019, 7:30pm

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Over the weekend, veteran UK doomers Orange Goblin played Ramblin’ Man Festival in Kent. One fan named Daniel got a little more than he bargained for when he went to give frontman Ben Ward (who is an extremely giant man) a high five — and dislocated his shoulder. Seriously.

In a Facebook post this morning, the band wrote, “This is Daniel. Daniel had never seen us before and decided to check us out last weekend at Ramblin Man festival. You may notice he’s strapped up, this is what happened in his own words…..

‘I was in the pit and head banging in the front row and it was awesome as fuck. Then, the big bastard of a frontman come up and was high fiving everyone. Me, in my shirtless glory and frenzy stuck ouy my arm for a high five. Well, the frontman winds up, cracks the most collosal high five I’ve every felt, and dislocates my shoulder! I have done it before, but fuck me there was some venom in that!’

Anyway, get well soon Daniel, sorry Ben broke you a little bit and glad you enjoyed your first OG experience (‘the paramedics and nurse were hot, I got given a shit ton of drugs and I didn’t want to see Foreigner anyway’)

Check out our gig listings and come and see for yourself although you may want to keep your hands in your pocket if Ben offers you a high five…”

We’re just glad Daniel’s arm won’t suffer any permanent damage from Ben’s exuberance. Rock‘n’roll, baby!

Orange Goblin are heading back to the U.S. for the first time in five years next month:

August

27 - New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre w/ Atomic Bitchwax

29 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall

30 - Cookeville, TN @ Muddy Roots Festival

31 - Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey

September

01 - Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live w/ Black Cobra

02 - Los Angeles, CA @ Regent Theatre w/ Earthless

***

Posted on July 23rd 2019, 6:26pm

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One doesn’t immediately think of Israel when considering the future home of thrash metal, but Shredhead is here to show the world what’s up. The Modi’in-based quintet play the kind of crunchy, all-fists thrash that one would normally expect to find in Queens or Sweden. Then again, the band’s journey hasn’t been an entirely easy one — two of their members served in separate intelligence units of the Israeli army, and they all make loud, brutal music despite pressure from their strict Israeli families. So though they may not come from one of thrash’s hallowed breeding grounds, Shredhead are still dealing with the same trials and tribulations as plenty of other metalheads.

Their latest video for their track Unmarked shows off this relatable side of the band (well, as relatable as touring Japan in support of Devildriver can be). Sure, much of the footage featured therein shows the dudes destroying Japanese stages night after night, but it also shows them playing insane arcade games and smiling goofily while meeting their fans. It’s a humanizing look into the band’s collective life, coupled with music and performances that sound and feel like a building being leveled.

Describing the band’s Japanese outing, frontman Aharon Ragoza says, “[Japan] was a trip right out of a feverish dream. A powerful experience with a powerful audience that made me want to go above and beyond what I knew possible. With great hospitality and a professional crew, this tour poured fuel into our engine and with it we are powerful as ever.”

“Japanese people are just amazing,” adds drummer Roee Kahana. “Everyone was so kind and they were an excellent audience! I walked the streets of each city so happy to be there, Japan is really far from anything I’ve ever seen! The whole tour was filled with amazing bands and crew and I really couldn’t ask for anything more for first time in Japan!”

Check out our exclusive stream of Shredhead’s video for Unmarked below:

SHREDHEAD - Unmarked [OFFICIAL VIDEO] - YouTube

Shredhead’s latest, Live Unholy, is available now from Legend Recordings. The band will throw an album release show on 7/27 at the Barby Club in Tel Avi, if you’re in the area and want to lose your shit.

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Posted on July 23rd 2019, 5:00pm

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For most rock fans, Woodstock ’99 is remembered within the frames of breaking MTV News updates, interrupting episodes of Daria with terrifying images of an apocalyptic hellscape in flames. But for a relative few, Woodstock’s third incarnation will forever live as a series of gnarly, grody, jarring experiences that they can feel as much as see in their memories.

I know – I was there. While Woodstock ’99 was a cautionary tale for a lot of rockers, it was three days of total madness for me. And looking back on it, what’s even more troubling than how gross it all got (the greed and lack of foresight of its promoters; the subsequent sexual misconduct, arson, and theft of its frustrated attendees), is that it was also the most fun I’d ever had in my life.

I was 17 years old, and five of my high school friends and I had piled into a festival-owned bus (included in our ticket price) that departed from New York City for the five-hour drive to Rome, New York. When we arrived, we were in total awe of the massive former Griffiss Air Force Base, which had been transformed into a musical wonderland for adults and adolescents.

From the first band we’d caught (Lit, whose summer hit My Own Worst Enemy had just taken the States by storm) to the last set of Friday night (Bush, whose shirtless frontman Gavin Rossdale even got this straight dude questioning his sexuality), we were having formative experiences that would keep us devoted to rock for our lives. Seeing an act like Korn or The Offspring for the first time would have been thrilling in itself – but to see literally dozens of marquee acts back to back was enough to blow our little teenage minds. (For the record – and maybe this was the weed talking, but – I remember thinking that even Sheryl Crow sounded fucking sick, crushing tunes like If It Makes You Happy and a cover of Sweet Child O’ Mine.)

But with the oppressive heat, a scarcity of free drinking water, and insane prices for food and beverages slowly chipping away at our pockets and patience, the vibe had taken a darker turn by Saturday. Overheard conversations began veering to the negative; more sinister drugs had surfaced; the mosh pits became more violent. Overflowing port-o-potties only exacerbated the problems exponentially. The steaming portable toilets were so putrid – each hole in the ground quite literally piled waist-high with human feces – that proper hygiene was simply impossible.

I didn’t shit for three days.

I recall distinctly when the levee broke (the crowd’s sanity, not my bowels): around 8:30pm on Saturday night, when Limp Bizkit were on stage. During the band’s performance of Break Stuff, frontman Fred Durst began inciting the audience to do just that. The exhausted, filthy mob were much obliged, taking their anger out on anything they could get their hands on: trash, light fixtures, wooden booth panels, other people. It was ugly, and I remember feeling – for the first time at a rock show – unsafe. As if anything could happen to me, and no one – not my friends or the police – could help.

By Sunday night, the chaos had come to a head during Red Hot Chili Peppers’ energetic set, as they performed the festival closer: a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Fire. The song inspired guests to use candles – distributed earlier by an anti-gun violence organization – to light bonfires, plastic bottles, and plywood from the security fences. My friends and I had run into some other kids from our high school – not exactly upstanding citizens back home, either – who bragged about looting a snack booth, their arms filled with pretzels and soft drinks. The whole scene looked like something from Lord Of The Flies.

Tragically, following the festival, there were also reportedly allegations of rape. And while I didn’t personally witness anything as serious as those accusations, I don’t find them at all hard to believe, given the tenor of the event by the end of the weekend. You couldn’t go more than five minutes without seeing a topless woman being fondled by a random stranger.

With all of that said, even after hell had broken loose, there were still some beautiful moments during the concert’s last day. I recall my jaw dropping upon seeing thousands of plastic bottles thrown into the air during Sevendust’s heavy set. What likely started out as an angry act of defiance quickly morphed into a triumphant poor man’s laser light show, with the crowd rejoicing and dancing as empty vessels for Pepsi and Poland Spring rained down from the sky.

Looking back on it today, Woodstock ’99 was one of the greatest experiences of my life. And yet, I’ve always been fully aware of how deeply flawed the event was. I’m sure many of the other 400,000 attendees are just as conflicted about it, too – with a smaller percentage having had an unquestionably awful time.

If anything, Woodstock taught me that nothing in this world is black and white; the capacity for both love and greed exist to some degree in all of us. The highest highs can come with the lowest lows; beauty can be corrupted. But mention “Woodstock ’99” to me, and my initial feelings aren’t of guilt or disgust. They’re of joy, nostalgia, and the thrill of being able to utter the phrase, “Dude… I was there.”

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Posted on July 23rd 2019, 4:30pm

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“I might not still be alive if it wasn’t for Avail!” exclaims Iron Reagan frontman Tony Foresta. They are opening the first night of Avail’s weekend of reunion shows at The National in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia. He launches back into another scorching blast of crossover thrash, whipping the crowd into a joyous frenzy. On its face, it appears an almost hyperbolic notion that a band could be responsible for anyone’s salvation but it’s a story many know quite well.

Avail are one of those special punk bands — never quite being pigeonholed into one scene or another. In the 1990s they were the ultimate unifying band: They were a source of inspiration and fun in an era where bands were more likely to be met by a sea of crossed-armed, judgmental fun-vampires than stage-divers and smiling singalongs. Through years of tireless touring, they built up a reputation for being a ferocious, high energy live band. They were the band everyone in the heavy-music community loved and you were as likely to see an Avail patch on the pristine backpack of a baggy pants wearing straight-edger as you were to see it holding together the pants of a black-clad, dreadlocked crust-punk.

Friday night starts with a steamroller of face-melting crust, courtesy of Richmond’s Asylum. Their searing blast of brooding, Discharge-influenced hardcore that sets up the aforementioned thrash heroes Iron Reagan, who proceed to pummel the audience at a blistering clip inspiring every knee to skank and every head to bang. Interspersing their relentless onslaught with Tony’s heartfelt words about not only Avail’s importance on his life but also their impact on a city with a vital and thriving underground music scene.

It is here where one begins to feel the anticipation building as the realization that after a 12-year absence, Avail is about to return. The lights go down, a giant backdrop is unfurled with the artwork from their 1998 album Over The James and suddenly they explode into the blistering South Bound 95 from their 1994 album Dixie, a paean to the misery of life on the road and the joy of the return home. And what a homecoming it is as they proceed to tear through 25 tracks in around an hour spanning their career—dominated by songs from Over The James but hitting even their second EP Attempt To Regress from 1993. As they conclude the set with Simple Song from their third LP 4AM Friday there is a sense of unbridled joy in the room not only in what has just been witnessed but also in the realization that everyone is gets to do it again tomorrow.

In a lot of ways, Saturday was the “locals-only” show, as tickets were available only to those willing to stand in line for hours to purchase from the box office. It kicks off with part of the new wave of Richmond hardcore, Nosebleed. A ripping start to the night—with vocalist Valentina stalking the stage, spitting lyrics with venom soaked lyrics layered over quick blasts of hardcore punk they manage to dominate a huge room in the same manner they take over a cramped basement. No stranger to a big room, Down To Nothing hits next tearing through a set of melodic and stomping hardcore crunch starting with the homage to their hometown, Life on the James and going on paying tribute to hometown heroes Gwar and Four Walls Falling (via a melody of their songs Sick of You and Culture Shock) as well as rattling off a list of important and inspiring Richmond bands (Inquisition, Fun Size, Strike Anywhere, Algebra One, Government Warning, etc).

It is a love fest filled with sincerity and affection for a scene and a town, which sets the table for Avail to take the stage a second time causing the crowd to explode at a seismic level. Leading off with the song Deepwood which starts their album Over The James they again scorch through another twenty-five song set, swapping out tracks from Dixie for 4AM Friday, but retaining many of the barn burning, sing-alongs from the prior night. There is a overarching sense of just how special and meaningful this all is for both those in the pit as well as those on the stage that permeates the room. When vocalist Tim Barry tosses the mic into crowd as the band goes into the chorus of Connection, the room feels like its about to explode as it swells into thousands of people screaming along.

This reunion show was a testament to the unique power that music has to affect, inspire, and genuinely move people. Avail have long tapped into that simply by just being sincere, playing the music they love despite trends, and doing it for the joy alone. The question is: Does this mean Avail are back for good? Hopefully the answer is yes.

***

Posted on July 23rd 2019, 4:30pm

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You might know punk rock icon and empowerment activist Shiragirl from when she pulled up to Warped Tour in a pink RV and put on a show that was so memorable that she was bestowed her own stage, the Shiragirl Stage, on which Paramore and Joan Jett would later blast their influential anthems. Now, it’s been over a decade, and Shiragirl is giving listeners a taste of something new with her EP Andi Underground, which centers around a narrative as intriguing as her own.

Within the six songs on Andi Ungerground lies an entire extravagant, unruly musical punk rock musical. Andi is a little miscreant with a family that is determined to ‘fix’ her. Resistant and even more determined, she quite literally digs deeper into the outcast hole, following a magic rabbit to an underground world of colorful counterculture (sound familiar?). The story goes on to explore the edgy side to youth, those parts that draw teenagers to rebellion, drugs, and escape. Co-written with Tim Armstrong (Rancid) and mixed by Cameron Webb (Motörhead, Kelly Clarkson, Zebrahead), it is a fast-paced punk adventure that will sweep any listener into Andi’s controversial, revolutionary realm.

“Andi Underground is a dystopian punk rock musical, inspired by the classic story of Alice,” explains Shiragirl. “One night, Tim [Armstrong] and I were brainstorming ideas for a concept record. We both love musicals, and I was always inspired by the story of Alice in Wonderland. (We also watched the movie The Creepy Line, which explores the power that Google and technology have over our lives.) Together we organically built the storyline around a girl who wanted to run away from an apocalyptic digital dystopia to an underground world, and the narrative just slowly grew from there.”

Are you ready to be launched into this crazy world? If so, listen to our exclusive stream of Shiragirl’s Andi Underground EP below:

If you’re into Andi Underground, catch Shiragirl at one of the following tour dates:

July 2019

14 - Surf Rodeo Festival - Ventura, CA
19 - Punk Rock & Painbrushes - San Francisco, CA (DJ set)
21- Warped 25th Fest, Shoreline Amphitheatre - Mountain View, CA

August 2019

06 - 710 Beach Club - San Diego CA
07 – Satellite – Los Angeles, CA

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Posted on July 23rd 2019, 4:00pm

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Las Vegas metal behemoths Five Finger Death Punch have announced a U.S. headline tour.

The band – who are currently on the road with In This Moment – will be hitting their home country hard over the fall, joining forces with Three Days Grace, Bad Wolves and Fire From The Gods for the 28-date run. Check out the dates below, and grab your tickets from Friday, July 26. A portion from every ticket will go to the Gary Sinise Foundation, benefitting America’s defenders, veterans, first responders and their families.

Catch Five Finger Death Punch, Three Days Grace, Bad Wolves and Fire From The Gods at the following:

November

1 Las Vegas NV @ The Joint @ Hard Rock
2 Las Vegas NV @ The Joint @ Hard Rock
5 Tucson AZ @ Tucson Arena
7 El Paso TX @ Don Haskins Arena
9 Corpus Christi TX @ American Bank Center
10 Beaumont TX @ Ford Park Center
12 Baton Rouge LA @ Raising Cane’s River Center Arena
13 Huntsville AL @ Von Braun Center Arena
15 Pensacola FL @ Pensacola Bay Center
16 Ft. Meyer FL @ Hertz Arena
18 Jacksonville FL @ Vystar Veterans Arena
20 Columbia SC @ Colonial Life Arena
22 Greensboro NC @ Greensboro Coliseum Arena
23 Chattanooga TN @ McKenzie Arena
26 Columbus OH @ Nationwide Arena
27 Youngstown OH @ Covelli Centre
29 Knoxville TN @ Thompson-Boling Arena
30 Charleston SC @ North Charleston Coliseum

December

2 Norfolk VA @ Norfolk Scope Arena
3 Allentown PA @ PPL Center
5 Toledo OH @ The Huntington Arena
6 Lexington KY @ Rupp Arena
8 Peoria IL @ Peoria Civic Center
9 Fort Wayne IN @ Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
11 Madison WI @ Alliant Energy Center
12 Duluth MN @ Amsoil Arena
14 Omaha NE @ CHI Health Center
15 Des Moines IA @ Wells Fargo Arena

FALL 2019 U.S. ARENA HEADLINING TOUR ANNOUNCED! 👊 Special guests @threedaysgrace , @badwolves and @firefromthegods… https://t.co/6p9WsNpCq0

— Five Finger Death Punch (@FFDP) Tue Jul 23 14:00:53 +0000 2019

Speaking to Kerrang! about their latest album And Justice For None and how far they can go as a band, guitarist Zoltan Bathory said, “It’s about determination. When you have that will to be successful, it’s in your core. Starting out as a kid, I didn’t even have a guitar. I couldn’t afford one. I was living in Hungary where people make $100 a month – so I made one from a coffee table and some old broken guitar parts.

“When you become that person who’s pushed and shoved and learned how to get ahead, you don’t want to stop. We worked for years and years just to get on the racecourse. Now that we’re here, we don’t want to take our foot off the gas pedal; we want to floor it.

“We want to write the soundtrack to your life. We want to write those songs that 10 or 15 years down the line you hear on the radio and say, ‘Oh, man, I remember that summer!’ Our stage show is already pretty massive, yeah. But we want to go out there like Rammstein.”

Posted on July 23rd 2019, 3:55pm

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For any star, fame is an intangible thing that can’t easily be quantified. For Frank Iero, a down-to-earth musician who was never all that hungry for the spotlight, it’s an almost alien concept. Even as the guitarist for emo-punk megastars My Chemical Romance, Frank saw himself as a musician first and foremost, relishing his ability to give up the frontman role of his previous band and just focus on playing killer riffs.

“I always wanted to be in a band, and I always wanted to write songs, but I didn’t necessarily want to be in the face of it,” Frank said when he sat down with us for our latest In Conversation event. “I wanted to be in the background somewhere and just thrash around the stage and have a good time. So when My Chem came around, I was like, ‘This is perfect! I can just smoke cigarettes and do this? This is great!’”

Photo by Nathaniel Shannon.

That said, even Frank began to notice that his band was doing better than your average crew of swoop-haired kids from New Jersey. But that fact didn’t come to him with the band’s first platinum record, or their first onscreen appearance, or the millions of adoring fans who began attending My Chem’s shows. It was a call from grandpa that sealed the deal.

“I don’t remember a definitive time in my mind, but I do remember getting a call from my grandfather,” said Frank with a laugh. “This was like — we had gotten a platinum record, and we had been on TV, and we had done all these things. And then he called me one day and was like, ‘Oh my God, you’re in The Trentonian,’ which is the local Trenton, New Jersey, paper! And The Trentonian had said, ‘Famous Birthdays,’ and they had listed my name.

“He was like, ‘Frankie… you made it.’”

If you want to try and get your copy of The Trentonian signed, make sure to catch Frank at one of the dates on his UK tour:

August

26 Glasgow St Lukes
27 Edinburgh Liquid Room
28 Manchester Academy 2
29 London Scala
30 Bristol Academy
31 Birmingham O2 Institute2

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Posted on July 23rd 2019, 3:30pm

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This weekend marked two years since the passing of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington and it was the final ever instalment of the iconic Warped Tour after a quarter-century.

Now it looks like those worlds are colliding as Warped bossman Kevin Lyman is teaming up with Chester’s wife Talinda on a new project.

Tweeting yesterday morning, Kevin said that after a vacation he will be announcing the 320 Project – “a collaboration with Talinda Bennington in honour of her late husband Chester, to promote mental health awareness and resources.”

After a needed vacation we will be announcing the 320 Project a collaboration with Talinda Bennington in honor of h… https://t.co/g8lpoDFNqp

— KevinLyman (@KevinLyman) Mon Jul 22 15:58:08 +0000 2019

Talinda is the co-founder of 320 Changes Direction, an organisation set-up following Chester’s death that aims to educate and help friends and family members of those who are suffering with their mental health.

“The idea for 320 was born out of my personal experience and the recognition that we can do better to address the needs of those who are suffering with mental health concerns and addiction,” reads Talinda’s statement on the 320 Changes Direction website. “For 13 years I watched my husband Chester struggle with depression and substance use. I often felt scared and alone. I was uneducated about the challenges he faced and I wanted information – but finding answers to my questions and available help for our family was very difficult.

“After my husband lost his battle with depression and addiction, I knew I had to make a change to the mental health landscape.”

We’ll have to wait and see what the new 320 Project has in store, but making sure those who need help with their mental health receive the care they need can only be a good thing.

Posted on July 23rd 2019, 3:00pm

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It’s been four months since Biffy Clyro revealed that they were in the studio working on album number eight, and while it sounds like progress is going well, we won’t be hearing new music until next year.

Speaking to NME about the Scottish trio’s work out in Los Angeles with Rich Costey (who produced previous album Ellipsis, as well as records by Muse, Deftones and this year’s brilliant Berkeley’s On Fire by SWMRS), drummer Ben Johnston says that, “It will definitely be next year, man. It takes a while when you’re working with Rich Costey.”

Of the actual music itself, he continues: “It’s a work in progress and quite an overyielding beast at the moment, but we’ll get it into shape over the next few months. I mean, to be honest, [recent soundtrack album Balance, Not Symmetry] ended up being not particularly cinematic. To me, it was more like an album made by a bunch of different bands. There’s a lot of rock songs, verses and choruses on there. It’s probably the least soundtrack-y soundtrack album that has ever been made.

“But, it’s definitely a lot more rocking on this album. It’s definitely a lot more rocking than Ellipsis was.”

Speaking to Kerrang! about the 17-song Balance, Not Symmetry soundtrack, frontman Simon Neil explained, “Unfortunately, timing-wise this has impacted our Ellipsis companion record, because there aren’t enough days in the year! The film will be named after the record and will share some dialogue and lyrics. The record will influence the film and then feed back to the music. It’s an unusual way to make a record, and that’s why I’m buzzing about it – it’s a different way to feel inspired.”

2019 also marks the 10-year anniversary of Biffy’s classic Only Revolutions album – one of the singles of which, Bubbles, features a guitar solo from Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme. “He came to the studio and listened to the song,” Simon told Kerrang! in New York during the mixing sessions, “and two minutes later, he was playing the best guitar solo you’ve ever heard.”

Posted on July 23rd 2019, 2:52pm

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