For the Love of Rock and Metal is a blog dedicated to music articles, concert reviews, CD reviews, interviews and all other things related to rock and metal. There is an emphasis on local or semi-local music in the Madison, WI area.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Battle of the Radio Station Rock Festivals: JJO Band Camp vs. WIIL Rock Fest

Two weekends in a row, we went to all-day music festivals sponsored by local radio stations. On Saturday, August 17th we made our way to Willow Island in Madison, WI for JJO Band Camp.  The following weekend on Saturday, August 24th we went to Twin Lakes, WI to Shadow Hill Ranch to go to 95.1 WIIL Rock Fest. I will admit I'm a little bit biased because 94.1 WJJO is my home station and I've been going to Band Camp since it's conception 10 years ago, but I think there were great points about both and not-so-great points about them as well.


As far as the venue and setup go, Band Camp has always been on Willow Island, but it keeps getting smaller. Not the island, but the barriers that keep the rockers corralled in. WIIL Rock was at a large ranch in Twin Lakes and it was extremely spacious. I really liked the venue (despite the hill!). In both cases, the setup of booths and tents seems kind of unorganized, but overall Band Camp had a better organizational system to their booths. Shadow Hill Ranch also had a lot of trees that people could sit under when the heat and sun got to them. They also had tents with tables set up where people could hang out, eat and drink beer. One of the trees that was a popular spot was right between two of the stages and right by "back stage" where band members were going in and out.

The food was a no brainer. WIIL Rock had that one down. They had a lot more options, better prices, and even a carnival food booth that had all kinds of deep-fried awesomeness (twinkies, oreos and funnel cakes!). It was affordable and the water and 23oz Arizona teas/juices were less expensive than the soda. The only thing I didn't like was the use of the ticket system, where you had to purchase food and drink tickets at a separate booth before going to one of the many food tents to order. I understand why they do it, but it's just kind of an inconvenience.

I wasn't a huge fan of the lineup at Band Camp this year, but in years past they have blown us away with great bands. WIIL Rock's lineup was similar (though had a few more bands that I really like) this year. Band Camp has 2 stages that they alternate between all day with very little time between bands. WIIL Rock actually had 4 stages. One stage was used only for the 2 opening band and one was the Reverbnation stage that was set so far back that most people didn't even know it was there and featured local bands. The other two were the Jagermeister, which is the equivalent of JJO's second stage, and the main stage. Instead of alternating back and forth, they had a bunch of bands play the Jagermeister stage with about 20 minutes between bands before switching to the main stage with the same lag time between bands. It was good because it gave people the chance to get something to eat or run to the portapotties, but at the same time it seemed wasteful to have so much down time.

One of the things I absolutely hated at WIIL Rock was the tiered tickets. Both shows had a similar price on tickets (Band Camp was cheaper, though), but WIIL Rock had tiered tickets that separated the crowd. They had a gold circle ticket that was more expensive that got you in the area by the stage. The rest of us were in general admission hiding behind fences. It had a bad consequence of creating a huge gap in the middle of the show. I can't tell if the lazy people were lazy due to not enough people in the crowd or because they just suck. We saw about half a mosh pit during one of Nonpoint's songs and not one body surfer. Most of them didn't know the words to any of the songs and I kept hearing people ask if HURT was a new band. Yikes. Sounds like that station isn't doing it's job. In the future, I would recommend they do what JJO does with the Cage tickets where it does not actually put a huge hole in the crowd halfway back from the stage, but provides a "special" area with private portapotties, bleachers, and an autographed guitar.

WIIL Rock allowed chairs and blankets, which farther back in the grass was good but up close was not (see discussion about boring people above). They also had a printable lineup list that also had the times of  live interviews with the bands and meet and greets. I would love to see something like that at JJO Band Camp. I did not like how WIIL Rock gave away the meet and greet passes. They would find someone wearing station logos, which is fine... but later people were plastered in stickers and were being told that they didn't have "enough" WIIL Rock stuff on them. That just seemed kinda shitty. And wasteful.

So, who won the battle of the rock fests? I don't know. I'm partial to Band Camp because I love it and have been to every one. I wish there was more room to wander, better food prices (and options), and more shade. WIIL Rock was fun, but the tiered tickets ruined the vibe (do people say that anymore?) JJO always reminds us that we're family, but WIIL seemed to go out of their way to create a separation. Since it seems to be a draw, I award 100 bonus points to 94.1 WJJO Band Camp because... well, because they are the best radio station in the world. Oh yeah, and because they have Ultimate Arts Tattoo (the best tattoo shop ever!) doing body painting and lot of boobies come out to play because of it.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pantera Tribue Concert - August 23rd, 2013 - High Noon Saloon - Madison, WI

It's been nearly nine years since Dimebag Darrell was killed and it is still a fresh wound for many people. Friday's 2nd Annual Dimebag Darrell birthday celebration and tribute show was a benefit for DryHootch Madison, a vets-helping-vets group. Hopefully they were able to raise a lot of money and awareness for PTSD and their organization.

It was a great show with a 50/50 raffle, raffle tickets to win great prizes including a lot of band memorabilia and Scorpion Shots stuff (We went home with a limited edition Pantera concert poster and Lamb of God signed drum stick). Check out the organization here.

There was a good mix of bands. Some that I enjoyed, some that I didn't enjoy as much. Lying Still from Milwaukee, WI started the night on a good note. Vocalist Justin Netzel rocked the rough vocals and screams and just came out swinging. I will admit his polished look threw me off a little bit, but he did not disappoint. I'm glad I got the chance to see them.

The next two bands didn't quite do it for me. Look, I'm Burning used a lot of really bright lights that honestly just annoyed me. The vocals and instrumentals were good but didn't always seem to mesh together. They are a young up-and-coming band with a refined sound that many people seemed to enjoy.  Wake and Prevail was just not my taste. I'm very much in support of all local bands, whether I enjoy them or not and try not to bash anyone. They all work very hard for what they do and hopefully the passion drives them.

Up next was Cast in Fire. They have a great sound, so much energy and fit every possible stereotype of a metal band. Maybe I'm a little biased since I stalk every band Chris Fox is in, but there's a reason for that. I have never been disappointed and neither will you. The next time there's a show, get your ass out there and enjoy the face-melty goodness that is a Madison-based pure metal band. And while you're at it, check out photos below taken by KNS Photography (my own personal photographer) at the show.

The last band up was Northern Trendkill, a Pantera tribute band. I've seen them before and definitely liked them but unfortunately we had an all day music festival to get to Saturday morning, so we were unable to stay to see them. I'm sorry I couldn't see them that night, but I guarantee if you check them out you won't be disappointed (unless of course they started sucking since I last saw them). 

All in all, had a great show and it was an important cause. Please remember that our vets took care of us and we should take care of them. There are an alarming number of homeless vets and many have untreated or undertreated mental illness, specifically PTSD. Next time you see any member of the military - active duty or not, thank them. And if you're able, find a cause like DryHootch that you can support either financially or by donating your time. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

WJJO Band Camp 10 Year Anniversary - Willow Island, Madison - August 17, 2013

Yesterday was the day JJO listeners have been waiting for all year - Band Camp! It was a great time as usual despite the sun that didn't want to go away, the sudden "rule change" regarding purses/small bag (that apparently only existed for the people who were already standing in line but was amended as the day continued), and the lineup that caused a lot of stir.

I won't say much about the lineup. There were bands I loved (Nonpoint, Dope and Mindset Evolution) and some that I didn't care for. I know that the people at JJO put a lot of effort and time into creating this event and for that I'm grateful, but looking back at old lineups, I can see why people weren't as impressed. They have set the bar really high with great bands like Korn, Black Label Society, Damageplan, Five Finger Death Punch and  Godsmack.

Now I'm sitting here exhausted, sore and sunburnt but I would do it all over again. And I will - next year, and every year after that. There is nothing that can keep me from Band Camp. In 2010, I was on a trip to Florida with my mom and best friend, staying at Disney World and I left 2 days early to ensure I would be back in time for Band Camp.

 I am one of the few who can brag that I have been to every single Band Camp,  starting with the first one in 2004.  There weren't nearly as many people or booths, but the lineup was great and the "second stage" was basically a stage that popped out of a trailer and featured some awesome local bands. If there is anything I would suggest, it would be to bring back more local bands. WJJO is great at exposing many local bands to the public. Putting them in lineups with these awesome bands at this great show would be beneficial to the station, the attendees and the bands.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Featured Video: Screaming for Silence - Separate

Check out the official video for "Separate" from Screaming for Silence. We saw these guys last Saturday and definitely thought they were worth a second look.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Featured Video: Murp - Zombie Skin

Photo from Murp's Facebook Page

I watched this because of an article I saw on Loudwire and I just had to share. This is exactly what I want my future child to be like. This is their audition on America's Got Talent and you can check out their Facebook page for more.

Monday, June 24, 2013

MadCity Underground, Bitter Cold Debut and the Amazing Disappearing Vocalist

There was a decent turnout at the MadCity Underground show on Saturday. It's not quite what it should be, but at least people showed up.

I even found a few new bands that I like. Self Driven from Rockford, IL was up early in the night and definitely set the bar high. Vocalist Mike Stanfill has an amazing talent. At first, I wasn't convinced he had a good range, but a few songs in there was definitely more depth to his vocals. He had a great sound that reminded me of Gwar, Pantera and more all at the same time. I'll definitely make a point to see them again.

Autumn Reverie from Madison, WI also surprised me. They weren't overly heavy, but were definitely enjoyable. I wish they had been on the larger stage because their energy was unbeatable and I would have loved to see them with more room.

I really looked forward to seeing AutoChaotic, but had to leave due to unforeseeable circumstances. I'll definitely catch them the next time they play.

Last but not least, Bitter Cold had their debut show. It could have gone better. Not because the band isn't talened (because they are) and not because of a lack of chemistry (because I've never seen better), but because their singer didn't show. Bassist and backup vocalist Mike Ash stepped up to the plate and filled the flaky shoes of the MIA vocalist. He was a little shaky at first (understandably), but fell into it quickly and wrapped up their debut show on a high note. Speaking of... if there is anyone interested in singing with this amazing trio and you have a good scream and a "Killswitch sound" - let me know. I'll forward your information on to the guys. They have another show this Thursday at Club Tavern, so come check them out - with or without a vocalist.

And a special thank you to KNS Photography for getting some good pictures of this unforgettable debut show. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Upcoming: 2013 94.1 WJJO Band Camp

We've waited and waited and waited.... WJJO announced that Band Camp will be on August 17. Current special is 5 tickets for $100. Check it out. What do you think of the lineup this year?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Upcoming: MadCity Underground and the Debut of BITTER COLD

Here's a show that you just can't miss. It is Bitter Cold's debut show, so it is a once in a lifetime experience. You must check them out. There are a bunch of other great bands, including local favorite STUX. I expect to see every one of you there.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Interview with Bitter Cold

I've talked about them, I've shared their page, I've offered to help manage them, I've done everything I can to pimp this band out and now I've interviewed them. Check out the interview with drummer Zakk, guitarist Chris and bassist Mike from the new metal band Bitter Cold

For the Love of Rock and Metal: Tell everyone a little about the band.
Zakk: For several years, Mike A, Chris and I played together in the Madison WI metal band Seven Signs. It was a good experience, but in late 2012, we realized we were ready for something different. We had always worked well together so it was really a no-brainer, at least for me, when we started talking about this new project. We were only missing one element – a great vocalist. We found that greatness (and more!) in Mike L – former vocalist for the band Livid! Our first jam session happened to occur during the coldest part of the winter. We bounced names around for a while and “Bitter Cold” stuck – a fitting name for a band from the icy reaches of Wisconsin – regardless of genre!
Chris: This band is the culmination of four productive minds coming together after struggling with various band dynamics over the years. All four of us have been playing music for a long time, and we feel that Bitter Cold is the sound that we have been trying to achieve all this time.
Mike: Bitter Cold is a band that got together just recently after all getting out of projects and having the same mindset of wanting to get back to fun music that pushes our own limits and hopefully pushes metal music farther in the process. We all knew each other from being in the Madison metal scene for some time and it all just kinda fell into place.

FLRM: Your Facebook page calls Bitter Cold “honest heavy metal.” What does this mean to you?
Z: Unique, real, relatable, fun and not overly produced music that stays true to us and our fans. 
C: Our brand of metal can't really be categorized. Certainly you can hear my influences in the guitar work and Zakk's in his drumming, but the focal point isn't on fitting into any specific genre, or even a specific area of the metal scene. It's honest metal because both musically and lyrically it speaks to universal truths. I'd like to think that my heavy blues influence has something to do with that as well, but you can decide that. It's honest because it is going to be what it is. We aren't going to dress up the music for anybody. We play because we love it and all have our own demons to expel. If other people feel that too, that is just awesome!
M: "Honest heavy metal" to me is doing it because you truly love the genre and want to be a part of it in any way possible. It means putting your heart into the music and helping share it as well as build a community around it.

FLRM: What is the hardest thing about being a new band?
Z: Finding a band name that hasn’t been used! As you know, new bands face many challenges – solidifying the line-up, putting together a good set list, obtaining quality recording, etc. We really lucked out – it just seemed natural right from the start. Our past experiences helped this project gel quickly and the music was flowing before we knew it.
C: The hardest thing about being a new band is differentiating from our past bands. Other than that, it is the usual band stuff... getting people to listen, getting people to shows, and helping people understand how cool this music is. It's always interesting because people often don't like what they aren't used to, but if you bludgeon them over the head with it, and it IS good, it will stick. We hope to bludgeon the fuck out of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois.
M: Honestly the hardest part of being in a new band for me is controlling the excitement of getting it all up and going. Writing and recording music while getting shirts and other merch made and setting up shows all at the same time! It gets to the point when you have to remember to take a step back and take a breath so you remember to actually bring instruments to the shows!

FLRM: What are you most excited about?
Z: The bottom line is that we have great chemistry! There’s truly nothing better than being on stage, sharing our music, interacting with fans and having the time of our lives. Our first single is almost ready for release and we can’t wait to unleash it on the masses. We have been given a great opportunity – and we will definitely not take it for granted.
C: I'm most excited to finally see some of my riffs that have been sitting on the shelf (due to other band turmoils) finally coming out and getting the full treatment with vox, drums, and bass. Most of the riffs in our tunes are bits and pieces of stuff that has been sitting in the back of my mind or on my 4-track for years.
M: I'm most excited to get back on stage with all the other great bands in the area and putting on some crazy shows! It sounds like a stereotypical response but there truly is no feeling like being up on that stage in front of people and knowing that your music is bringing everyone in that building together on some crazy levels!

FLRM: As someone who has been watching the local music scene for years, I’ve noticed a decline in the number of bands as well as the number of people showing up to shows. What do you think is going on?
Z: I’ve been asking myself the same question. The apparent decrease in the volume of local bands may be related to the economy. Sadly, music is not seen as a priority. Kids can no longer count on exposure to music in their schools due to ever increasing funding cuts. Difficult economic times have also led to unprecedented venue closures. Also, fewer and fewer radio stations nationwide offer opportunities for local bands. In Madison WI, we are so lucky to have WJJO, their Local Stage show, and the many things they do every day to promote local and regional artists!
C: It is hard work to make it on the local scene. People are busy, some are lazy, and like I said before, if people don't recognize your tunes, they often shy away from it. Beyond that, part of it is our current culture. Kids don't foam at the mouth for shows anymore... we've all become kind of complacent with watching YouTube videos and DVDs. It's kind of like trying to get tickets to a Packer game. A lot of people now say, "why would I freeze my ass off to see dots run around on the field when I could get a better seat, cheaper beer, and easy access to the toilet at home?" It's a disconnection from the experience of seeing it live, because it is so easy to access postpartum. That's why I try to always jump off the stage and slam into people. You shouldn't 'watch' a show... you can do that at home, you should 'participate' in a show. It's an experience.
M: There's so many factors that tie into it that its hard to address one specifically to attempt to turn it around. Bands in local scenes all over are dropping like flies because they want that instant gratification. Its completely understandable. We all do. But that's one of the hardest parts of being part of a band on this level. Financially you probably won't get back what you put in. People forget the reasons they started playing in the first place. They gotta keep it fun and leave egos and money problems out of the music side of it all. I've watched it happen countless times that money and egos just eat a band alive. As far as people making it out to shows I know a big part of that is the small amount of time people have nowadays. A lot of people work multiple jobs and most are on 2nd or 3rd shift just trying to get ahead. I'm sure there's tons more reasons but that's something we could talk about forever.

FLRM: What is the best way a fan can support a new local band?
Z: Gather your friends, go to shows, buy a CD or shirt if you can. Also, if you like a band, go spread the word!
C: Support can come a lot of ways. As annoying as it might sound, the best help comes from sharing. Sharing our music, sharing our videos, even passing Facebook links is a huge help. This is of course secondary to showing up at shows. If a fan of local music can do ANYTHING to help, it is showing up and banging their heads with us.
M: Honestly the best way a fan can support locals bands is obviously to get out to shows and have fun with us, but also just talking to us whether it be via social media out at the shows or wherever. The best part is getting to talk to them all and hear the feedback and hear the things they liked the most about the music and the show itself. Helps us write more music and put on better shows and helps network. Its all about building that community!

FLRM: If you could share the stage with any band (current or past), who would it be?
Z: It’s hard to select just one! In my opinion, Sevendust is undeservedly one of the more under-rated bands out there today. For the life of me, I can’t understand why they don’t have a bigger following considering the caliber of their performances. In addition, I am a huge fan of Morgan Rose. He is an awesome showman, not to mention a phenomenal drummer! But, after all, isn’t the drummer the heart and soul of every band! 
C: Pantera. No doubt in my mind.
M: Can I share it with Michael Jackson? A moonwalk guitar solo could be a great thing to see! Really thought I would love to share a stage with Pantera! The feeling of being a part of a show of that caliber would be indescribable.

FLRM: Anything else you want to share with people?
Z: Pancakes! “For the Love of Rock and Metal” has made a genuine impact on the metal scene, and it is an honor to have this opportunity to share a little bit about Bitter Cold. I would also like to take a moment to thank Paul Schluter and Megatone Studios for supporting Bitter Cold and helping us create a top notch product for our first release. Stay tuned!
C: Help us spread the Bitter Cold. Metal is a community based in this awesome music, help the community grow by doing any small thing surrounding the bands... like our page, share our posts, and if you do nothing else... show up and represent the family.
M: I just want to make sure everyone is watching for our new music that's going to be hitting here very soon! Check us out at our Facebook and drop us a message. We love talking to people and making new friends! You'll be seeing us on stages everywhere soon. Starting on the 22nd out at the RSR in Madison!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mosh Pit Etiquette

Friday's Lamb of God show (amazing, by the way) reminded me that maybe some people - especially those who are not exactly seasoned veterans in the mosh pit world - need a quick reminder about proper mosh pit etiquette. It's sad that people need to be told, but apparently they do.

Mosh pits are awesome. If you have never experienced one, then you should. Yes, there are sometimes broken bones and blood but it's all part of the fun. You can hit and run into people and just have a good time, but there are some basic rules that should be followed.

1) If someone falls, PICK THEM UP. Seriously, pick them up. Don't let them get stomped on and trampled. That's how people die.

2) Hitting is ok. Really, it is. But if you actually hurt someone, it's nice to check to see if they're ok and maybe shake hands or do a clap on the back or if you're into it, give them a metal hug. It's all in the name of family and brother(and sister)hood.

3) Girls have tits. I know! It's crazy, right?! But if there's a girl in or near the pit (or anywhere in the crowd) it's not ok to cop a feel. Just because I have titties and play with the big boys does not mean it's ok for you to squeeze them. Accidental contact is fine. Hell, I don't even care about the slight "brush-up" even when on purpose, but if you actually grab them like some asshole, I will hit you in the face.

4) Speaking of girls, they're allowed in the pit. Don't try to push them out or lead them away just because you're afraid they're getting hurt. I'm a big girl and I can take care of myself. I've been hurt many, many times in the pit just like a lot of the guys. They are my war stories and my battle wounds and I proudly claim them. I don't need to be protected. Seriously, it's sweet but if I tell you I'm fine, then I'm fine. Leave me alone or kick my ass a little.

5) If someone is trying to get out of the pit and is having trouble, help them. Even if you have to push through the crowd with them in front of you or behind you, help them out. Sometimes if they are injured and it is a really large crowd, the quickest way to get them to safety is body surfing (I know, sounds crazy). Make sure they're ok with it before you lift them up!

6) If someone is on the edge of the pit but not joining in, they are there for a reason. If they wanted to be inside of it, they would be. Don't drag people in that don't want to go in. Especially don't do this if you're going to stand on the edge and push people in without ever joining in. Don't be that dick.

7) Don't let a crowd surfer fall in the pit.

8) Just use common sense. Have fun, get brutal, but keep everyone safe.

If anyone else has any ideas about mosh pit etiquette, let me know!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Welcome Back Silence Is Broken

About a year ago, Silence Is Broken (Rockford, IL) announced that they were no longer together. They decided to pursue other things, including another band called Driven Under, separately and let 7 years of SiB be enough. Last week, they posted a note on their Facebook saying that instead of continuing with Driven Under, they would be reuniting and making a second SiB album and will be playing shows again.

I am a huge fan of this band and I hated that they were no longer going to be playing, so of course I was thrilled to see this. I put off writing a "Local Bands We Miss" article, hoping for this news. To celebrate, check out this video of my favorite Silence Is Broken Song. I can't wait for their new album "Elevate" to be available and of course to see them live again. Much love to this great band that has put a lot of hard work, love, sweat, tears and blood into their music.

The full text of the Facebook announcement is available here.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Featured Video: Born & Razed - Bruised But Not Broken

Check out today's featured video - Born & Razed by Bruised But Not Broken. Then get over to my interview with vocalist Hudson Hower. They're just kids, but they're brutal.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Interview with Bruised But Not Broken's Vocalist Hudson Hower

I was approached by Standby Records with the opportunity to listen to a debut 5 song EP called Just(Defied). The band is Bruised But Not Broken from Charlotte, NC and they just signed with the label. Don't let the bands looks fool you. They may be young (like just getting out of high school kind of young), but they have a brutal sound. They are a metalcore band that incorporates some techno-like sounds into some of their song.

 I had the chance to do an interview with vocalist Hudson Hower via email. You can check them out on Facebook for a link to buy their EP. And I must say, the answer to the second question in this interview is by far my absolute favorite answer I've ever received from a band. Such amazing insight from someone so young. Kudos to you Hudson, not only for your talent, but for your appreciation of what music is really about.

For the Love of Rock and Metal: Tell me a little about yourself and the creation and background of Bruised but Not Broken
Hudson Hower: My name is Hudson, and I do vocals for the band. I guess a little bit of background… I suppose we got started how any other band gets started. I had some friends that were musicians and we all thought it would be fun to start playing some music. We all initially came from different backgrounds in music. For instance, our guitarist was primarily a classical player, while Matt (drums) was very jazz oriented. I was a huge country fan, and I guess once you add all of that together, you create an interest and mutual enjoyment of hardcore music! We started this band our 8th grade year, so… 2009? Then it turned into a dream, and we’re still going at it.

FLRM: What is the hardest thing about trying to succeed in the music world, but metal in particular?
HH: I think a lot of people blow the idea that metal is “underground” or “neglected” out of proportion. In saying that, we’re limiting the vast potential of the genre itself, as well as its possibility for growth. I think that this genre has some of the most diverse and wonderful people you will ever find within it. To be honest, the hardest part of succeeding in the music world is probably defining the word success. Personally, if you define “success” with a dollar sign, I think you’re doing it wrong. While it’s possible to achieve that within the music industry, you’re limiting yourself if you overlook the hearts and minds of the people around you. Succeed in fellowship, not a bank account.

FLRM: How does it feel to be signed to Standby Records? 
HH: It’s a blessing and an honor. It’s funny, I feel like few people understand how much of a powerhouse Standby is and is going to become. It’s honestly a team game, and everyone over at Standby are some of the hardest workers you will ever meet, so being a part of such a diligent and driven group is super humbling. Both Neil (owner of Standby) and Shawn (manager) follow baseball religiously, so I guess that’s where their teamwork skills come from. It is really cool; they’re trying to make every band on the Standby roster a starting player with nobody stuck in the dugout. We’re very excited about what the future is going to look like.

FLRM: Who are your (either personally or as a band) biggest influences?
HH: Oh man, as a band and as individuals it goes everywhere, and changes consistently. I know that mutually we are all big fans of Underoath, My Epic and Ascend The Hill, but it’s able to range from Maroon 5 and Panic! At The Disco. I’m actually listening to Brian McKnight as I’m typing this, so I don’t know any straight answer to give you!

FLRM: If you could describe the band in one word, what would it be?
HH: Brothership.

FLRM: Why did you choose the mix of metal and techno?
HH: The techno thing went into effect a while ago. We haven’t dabbled much into it in the recent years, but have used our original interest in it to expand our ideas of what to combine musically, whether it be arpeggiaters or different synths or different guitar effects. We really just used it to see what else we could make happen.

FLRM: Some critics say “metalcore” isn’t real metal and shouldn’t be considered in the same league. What do you think?
HH: Haha man, I’m not that picky. If someone is saying that “real metal” is Guns N’ Roses, Black Sabbath, or Pantera, I don’t really take it that much to heart. If someone is adamant on bands of that sort being the only “metal” in existence, that’s totally okay with me. If metalcore is a separate genre, then I’ll say I’m in a metalcore band rather than a metal band. If someone is heavily advocating for “metal-equality,” I think that they should probably find a more important issue to be passionate about.

FLRM: What kind of musical training have each of the members had (self-taught, in school, privately, etc)?
HH: Matt’s father is a fantastic drummer and began teaching Matt when he was young, so he was a fantastic musician within no time. Other than that, we’re all for the most part self-taught. The interest in music theory and the desire to achieve mastery of our instruments has really been the forerunner for our knowledge in music. Not to brag or anything, but I do sing baritone in my high-school chorus class.

FLRM: If you could play any band or person – living or dead – who would it be?
HH: We’ve always set the dream bar of playing with The Devil Wears Prada. Either them or Justin Timberlake. Seriously, I dare you to tell me he isn’t awesome. (Matt just told me he would play for JT in a heartbeat. Just saying.)

FLRM: What are your main goals as a band?
HH: I guess our goal is to make music, be able to make this our source of living, meet everyone that we can and build relationships along the way. We’re so excited to finally start travelling and just meet people. I suppose our goal is to go until we can’t anymore. Well, scratch that – our goal is to go so that we never have to stop.

FLRM: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
HH: Lots I would like to share. That will all wait until another time, though. Can’t wait for the future. This is just The Beginning. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tim Lambesis Arraignment Video Surfaces

The arraignment video of Tim Lambesis has surfaced with the reading of the criminal complaint. As a man who has been known as a man of faith (although As I Lay Dying refuses to label the band as "Christian") allegedly emailed his wife and told her he no longer loved her, no longer believed in God and wanted a divorce. The prosecution alleges that Lambesis approached a fellow gym member and asked if they knew someone who would kill his wife. Watch the short video below.

View more videos at:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tim Lambesis (As I Lay Dying) Arrested

In case you live under a rock and didn't know, Tim Lambesis, frontman of As I Lay Dying, was arrested yesterday for attempting to hire someone to murder his estranged wife.  Unfortunately for him (but fortunately for his wife), the person he solicited as a hitman was an undercover detective.

Not much information has been released, but we do know that he is being held in the Vista Detention Center and he will be arraigned on May 9th, 2013 at 1:30 pm. No bail is currently set on his charges of Solicit to Commit Murder and Conspiracy to Commit a Crime. More information can be found on the San Diego Sheriff's Office website.

More information is available on this YouTube video:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May Mayhem at the Regent Street Retreat - May 4, 2013 - Madison, WI

Last night was May Mayhem at the Regent Street Retreat (formerly The Annex) in Madison. The Annex used to be one of the premier places to see bands of all levels, but has dropped off in recent years. May Mayhem was an all night show with 2 stages and 12 local and regional metal band.

It would be nearly impossible (and a really long post) if I reviewed every single band at this show, so I'll just highlight some of the ones I liked. I have seen some of the bands before, but a few were ones I haven't seen.

One I have never seen is The Mended Dead, a four-piece from Madison, WI. The vocalist had amazing versatility as far as singing and rough vocals, but did not incorporate the typical low growls often heard in metal. They all had great stage presence without being overwhelming or obnoxious. The drummer was good and had a beautiful sounding snare that cut through the music. The entire band had a different look individually and as a group. They embody everything metal is - acceptance, passion, brutality and damn good music. I will definitely be seeing them again. Check them out on Facebook.

Murdercore is one I've seen before. They are a two piece from Poynette, WI with a female vocalist and I love them. There is only one thing to say about Murdercore: Face-Melting. Check them out here.

I have seen Divyded at least once before, but last night they really made an impression on me. The vocalist far exceeded my expectations and had a great singing voice as well as rought vocals. The music was heavy without being overpowering with clear and talented guitars. If I have any complaint, it's that Kelly (vocalist) uses sex to sell, but she doesn't need it. She has amazing talent and hopefully will go far. I highly recommend that you go see them at the next available opportunity. You can check them out on Facebook also.

Another band I haven't seen is Stux. They had no theatrics, no fluff but pure metal. There is so much I could say about them, but I think I'll stick to a very simple statement that my not-so-better half made:
"This is what a metal band should look like." I totally agree.

Two other bands who I have seen before and definitely enjoyed the other times as well as last night were Breech, who did a Slayer cover as well as a toast to fallen metal family member Jeff Hanneman and Ultrea, who was the main reason for me to be there.

Of course, there were other bands that I enjoyed and even a few that I'm not really a fan of, but I think you get the idea. I am so happy to see that the metal community is getting out to shows and hopefully the metal scene will make a comeback in a major way to the Madison area. Check out all the bands and when you see them playing a show, check them out for yourselves.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

In The News: Slayer's Jeff Hanneman Dies of Liver Failure

I have been MIA again. Lots of ideas, but even more writer’s block. When I saw the news today, I knew I had to get my ass in gear and inform the For the Love of Rock and Metal family of a great loss.

Earlier today, Slayer founding member and guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed away. He was suffering from liver failure and was at a local hospital at the time of his death. Hanneman was 49 years old and will always be remembered for the part he played in bringing Slayer to the forefront of metal. He and fellow guitarist Kerry King, singer-bassist Tom Araya and drummer Dave Lombardo started tearing up stages in the early 1980s.

Lately, Hanneman has not been touring regularly with the band. He contracted necrotizing fasciitis following a spider bite in 2011 which has kept him plagued with many health problems since then. Recently, there has been talk that he had been out of touch with the band. Other news outlets are reporting that the liver failure was likely caused by alcohol and not the spider bite and necrotizing fasciitis; however, nothing has been confirmed and either way, it is not a time to speculate. The truth is that metal has lost one of its own and that is all that matters. No need for blame, finger pointing or hate. The only reason I address it at all is because I know there will be questions.

Slayer posted this heart breaking status update on Facebook to notify the fans. Feel free to go to their page and show some love.

"Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.

Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 - 2013)"

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Featured Video: As We Are - What Do You Believe In

Checkout today's featured video from Evansville, IN band As We Are. And stay tuned for an interview with the band.


Feel free to check them out on Facebook.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Device Releases New Songs

You might remember my article about a new "Super-Band" being formed by Disturbed's David Draiman. He has an allstar lineup for recording and for touring. A few songs have been released and played on our local station 94.1 WJJO. The songs are good (as was expected), but some sound a lot like Disturbed, which I suppose is to be expected with frontman Draiman leading the pack. You can pre-order the CD on iTunes or in a CD bundle for $16.99 on this site.

Check out this video of "Close My Eyes Forever," which actually isn't all that reminiscent of Disturbed. It has a unique sound and features Lzzy Hale from Halestorm. I think the best part about this whole band is being able to hear some big names collaborate together to create a new, yet familiar, sound. It is not as heavy as Disturbed, but has some of the trademark growls and grunts from Draiman. 

What do you think of the new band and the new songs? Check out Device's official website where you can hear more songs, pre-order the CD, and learn more about the band. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Upcoming Show: Lamb of God at The Orpheum

In case people haven't noticed, the concert scene in Madison has been a little sad the last few months. Sure, it's not festival season, but usually there are some decent shows throughout the winter. This winter has been a disappointment. Hopefully spring and summer will be better and this is an excellent start. I've got my tickets already - did you get yours? Come throw down with Randy Blythe and the boys in Lamb of God as well as Decapitated and Terror. Get your tickets now!

When: Friday June 7th
Time: Doors at 6:30pm, show starts at 7:45pm
Where: Orpheum Theater in Madison, WI
Cost: $25 in advance

Friday, March 29, 2013

Robert Zildjian Dies at 89

The following was posted on Sabian's website sometime Thursday afternoon (3-28-2013). The battle between Sabian and Zildjian cymbals is a typical sibling rivalry story, but today everyone is mourning over the death of the founder of Sabian.

"It is with deep, deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Robert "RZ" Zildjian, our beloved founder and leader. A tireless and dynamic force within the drum industry, he inspired each one of us in the Sabian family to work harder, to reach farther, to make a difference - and he led us by example.
His professional story is well known. Having been dealt a major career setback at an age where most men would have opted for retirement, RZ instead chose to re-invent the cymbal business with his own hand-crafted brand, a brand that would forever change the face and sound of popular music. With his bare hands he shaped the Sabian cymbal brand into his life's story - and by extension we became his family.
We mourn his passing, and he will be forever in our hearts. But we are better people for having known RZ, and we are richer for having worked alongside him. We draw comfort from the knowledge that his spirit will live on in the music made by drummers the world over.
Rest in peace, RZ."

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Band Coming Soon to Madison

A new band will be hitting the Madison area soon. With former members of Seven Signs and Livid, there is no way this band can be bad. Keep an eye on the blog and on Facebook for when this new project hits. We always need new bands on the scene, especially with artists so dedicated to the music and making it accessible. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Robb Flynn Discusses Split with Bassist Adam Duce

You may or may not have heard that after 21 years in Machine Head, bassist Adam Duce has left the band. They call it an amicable split, but after reading Robb Flynn's journal entry about it, I'm not so sure. There seems to be a lot of hurt there and he calls it "civil," which in my mind is different than amicable. Flynn is now the only remaining original member of the band. It's the nature of the beast. Bands grow and then grow apart. Sometimes they split up, sometimes members leave, sometimes members are asked to leave. It seems like a glamorous job (and I'm sure sometimes it is) but it is a constant give and take, a lot of pressure, and has the need for everyone to be on the same page.

Here is the text from Flynn's journal on the Machine Head website:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Randy Blythe's Trial Delayed

Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe's trial for manslaughter in the Czech Republic started earlier this week. It was expected to be finished by the end of the week; however, some unforeseen circumstances have caused the trial to be delayed. Blythe's defense team asked to push the trial back due to one of their witnesses being ill as well as two other key witnesses being unable to attend the trial this week. After the last of the testimony today, Blythe is expected to return to the United States until the trial resumes on March 4, 2013.

The only person to testify today before the trial is delayed for another month was Lukas Havlena, who contacted Blythe's defense after hearing some of the witness accounts of Blythe being "aggressive" at the show on the night in question that ultimately led to Daniel Nosek's death. Havlena told the court that Blythe was not aggressive and anything that could be construed that way was just part of the show. Additionally, he said that Blythe and his security personnel made it clear that fans were not allowed on stage.

When the trial resumes next month, some of Havlena's friends as well as security personnel are expected to testify. Blythe maintains that he will once again return to the Czech Republic in order to stand trial. Blythe maintains his innocence and reminds people that this case is very sad and that it is not the fault of the Czech Republic, who many of his fans have been raging against. He issued a statement on Instagram today that read as follows:

"I have read a few news reports of the progress of my case, and trust me- many things are incorrect. But this is the Internet, and of course things are half-baked anyway. Keep in mind that translation is difficult, and many things can be lost, for Czech is a VERY DIFFICULT language. So wait and see, as I am. It is all I can do, except be honest & fight for my freedom in my own way.

I also have heard of some people (not on here) talking smack about the Czech Republic, saying "Fuck the Czech Republic", etc. This not how it should be. This is a very sad case, not something to rage at people you do not know over.

I am not angry with the Czechs at all. A fan of my band is dead- what do I have to be angry about? I am an INNOCENT man, but I am also a very sad man right now. To not be sad in this instance would be inhuman. But mad at the Czech people? Why would I be mad at them?

Here, look at this picture- a mother watches her baby. The child reaches out for something new, laughing and chasing a pretty picture in the air. It is the same here as everywhere else. Do you see?!?!?

Life is beautiful. I hope to see y'all soon."

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Interview with The Everyday Losers

I did a review of The Everyday Losers' new EP last week and had a chance to ask Tyler and Dylan Seidel of the band a few questions. Check it out below and check out the original review here.

Photo from band's Facebook

For The Love of Rock and Metal: Tell me about how the band formed and a little about each member.

The Everyday Losers: Well Dylan and I are brothers so we have been playing music together for like seven years and been writing almost as long. Dylan and I went to school with Danny. I always knew he played guitar, but it didn't click with me to ask him to join as a bassist until we had been looking for one for a good while and he suggested it. It was a great transition for the band and he is a good fit.

FLRM: There is no drummer listed on your website or Facebook. Do you have a regular drummer or are you using touring/studio drummers?

TEL: We did use a studio drummer for half the tracks on the EP because at the time Dylan and I were the only members. I was still in high school when we got in contact with Phil Taylor. We headed down to new Orleans and tracked three songs in two days because we were on a low budget. About a year after that we found a drummer and got a few more songs recorded and this time John Lecompt was in on it from the beginning. We had that drummer a little over a year but we are currently still looking.

FLRM:  I’ve had some positive and negative reactions to your music and to a review I did. What do you want the people who have good things to say about you to know? How about those who had negative things to say?

TEL:  I don't think that the album does us justice. We had a hard time getting the earlier tracks on the record to be acceptable. We only had two sessions - a two day session and a five day session for the entire recording of the EP. We were still developing our sound in the middle of it. I look at it as our first EP because it has three tracks from the first as well as the three new ones. John is very precise in recording and mixing. He likes to remove all flaws in the music and some people may hear it and feel the personal quality removed. I think he is great at what he does, but for the next album we are planning on going for a more raw feel. We just did what we could with what was available to us and if you like it that's great. If you don't, that is okay too. We have more to offer than that EP.

FLRM:  Why alternative rock/grunge?

TEL:  We've been classified under that genre before. We aren't trying to imitate any of those bands in any way. We have always said nirvana and Silverchair are the greatest inspirations for our style, but we have developed a different style from them.  Dylan and I  both were attracted to the aggression of grunge. It felt real to us because it had passion.

FLRM:  What is your favorite thing about playing live?

TEL:  Being able to share music that my brother and I create.

FLRM:  What is the local scene like in your area? Have you noticed a change over the last few years (ie: the quality of bands, the number of people attending local shows, etc)?

TEL: We live in a small town. There is not really much of a music scene here. A few larger cities not too far from us have one and it's primarily death metal and power pop punk. It seems as though bands are falling away from the core of rock.

FLRM:  What is your songwriting process? Is it just one person or is it collaborative?

TEL:  Dylan and I write the songs. Dylan writes most of the music and I do most lyrics. We both write the melodies.

FLRM:  If you could sing for any band (current or past) other than your own, which one would it be and why?

TEL: (Dylan) I think Seether would be cool. I've always felt a connection with Shaun's lyrics.

FLRM:  What do you think it takes to put on a really good show?

TEL: We are a tight band live. We feed off the crowd, as well as each other. I do everything I can to be as entertaining as possible. I don't think I have played a show where I didn't end up on the ground or running as fast as I can on the stage. Crowd interaction is key as well. We always try our best to get the crowd into the music.

FLRM:  If you weren’t a musician, what would your number one profession choice be?

TEL: I'm a graphic designer as well, so I'll go with that.

FLRM:  Is there anything else you’d like to add?

TEL:  Hopefully our future recordings will show a sense of passion through the music. We are passionate and would like people to feel connected to the songs.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Music: The Everyday Losers EP "Social Paradise"

Photo from Band's Reverbnation

I got an email about a band called The Everyday Losers and decided to review their second EP called "Social Paradise." I have been sitting here trying to decide how I feel about this band. Here's the thing... I don't dislike them. They are reminiscent of the grunge era and resemble bands like Nirvana, Fuel and Bush. I like those bands and I really enjoy grunge and alternative rock. But this is where my dilemma comes in - they are a throwback band to a time when these grunge bands were just breaking through. Some stood out, some faded into the background never to be seen again. I like The Everyday Losers because they sound like these bands, but at the same time, they do sound like every other band.

The EP starts with the song Hate You. This song sounds like early Puddle of Mudd from the instrumentals all the way to the vocals. It is followed by Queen of the World and Pins, which are the same melodic sound. My favorite of the EP is Here We Are Now, which reminds of Bush and Nirvana rolled into one. The CD is rounded out with Farrah 22 and Let Me Die. If I had to sum up this EP in one word, it would be "accessible."  It is prime for radio play because it is not at either end of any extreme and it echos already well-known music. Some may call it a boring sound, but I think it is the kind of music that anyone can listen to easily. That's good because it can draw a larger fan base, but bad because people like me listen to music for the passion. I like metal because it is pure and raw emotion, but I also like grunge and alternative because it is easy to listen to and The Everyday Losers fit right into that mold. I'm not saying the guys from this band aren't passionate. I'm sure they are, but I'm having a hard time pulling that passion from this EP. Alternative rock often does not exude great amounts of passion and that's okay. 

The Everyday Losers is a band from Washington, Indiana and is made up of two brothers, Dylan and Tyler Seidel and Danny Norton. There is no drummer listed on their Facebook or website. They have played at Rockapalooza and have had radio play in their home state of Indiana as well as on Milwaukee, Wisconsin radio station. Check back soon for an interview with the band. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New "Super-Band" Lineup Announced

Photo from Buzznet

As many of you may know, David Draiman has put together a new industrial band called Device. If you do the whole Twitter thing, you can follow them here. We've been waiting to find out who is going to be on the album and who might be making an appearance in any live shows, but the wait is finally over.

On Device's debut album, there will be an all-star lineup. Bassist Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), singer and bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) and frontman M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) will all be heard on the new album. Singer Serj Tankian (System of a Down), guitarist Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) will all also be appearing. As you can see, this creates quite the "super-band." Many people know how I feel about super-bands, but in case you didn't know - I don't usually enjoy them. Sometimes it turns out great, sometimes the mixture of styles (and egos) can be problematic. None of them are a permanent member of the band, so maybe this will work out.

As far as live shows go, the drummer from Evanescence and Dark New Day, Will Hunt, will be involved as well as the Dope and Eve to Adam guitarist Virus, who happens to be one of my favorite guitarists. Geno Lenardo, former guitarist for Filter, is also in the live lineup and is the only other permanent member.
Photo from Guitar Quest
The first single, "Villify," is expected to hit the radio on February 19th and a music video for the song was recorded yesterday. The full album should be released April 9th, 2013.

So, what do you think? Are you surprised by the lineup and special appearances? And what do you think of super-bands made up of established musicians from a variety of bands?

Find more info on Loudwire and Bloody Disturbing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Three Days Grace Singer Leaves the Band

Ethan Miller, Getty Images / Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Just a few weeks before their tour starts, Three Days Grace announces that vocalist Adam Gontier is leaving the band due to a non-life-threatening health issue. The band knew in December that Gontier was leaving, but that he wanted to the band to go on without him.

My Darkest Days lead singer Matt Walst (brother of bassist Brad Walst) will be filling in for Gontier in their upcoming tour. The band's future is still seemingly uncertain, but if it goes well with Matt Walst, maybe it will be a permanent move. This possibility leaves My Darkest Days on shaky grounds in the future as well, especially after the loss of their guitarist, Sal Costa last week.

Three Days Grace's tour will be starting on February 1st and is scheduled to go through the end of March with Brad Walst on vocals for the entire tour. The band has released the following statement regarding Gontier's departure on their website:

"We appreciate everyone’s concern about Three Days Grace. We found out on December 21st that Adam wished to resign from the band. In a letter to us Adam indicated that he was resigning from the band due to a non life threatening health issue and wanted the band to continue moving forward without him. We were as shocked as many of you were to hear the news. Three Days Grace has always been and will continue to be not only our job but our passion. Instead of cancelling the tour, we felt an obligation to you, the fans, to forge ahead and put on the best show we can. Brad recently reached out to his brother Matt Walst, lead singer for ‘My Darkest Days’ to fill in for the tour dates already announced. We’ve been hanging out and rehearsing with Matt and look forward to rocking the stage in a few weeks! As of right now, Matt’s role is temporary and as far as the future and beyond this tour, we are taking it one day at a time. – 3DG"

The band posted a few tracks of Walst practicing with the band as lead singer. I'm going to be completely honest... I don't really like it. Maybe I need to have a little time to adjust to it and maybe I need to hear it live and after more practice. Below is one of their new songs "Chalk Outline," which I think is the best of the three they posted. The first one I listened to was "Riot" and it just doesn't sound like the same band. Of course, I don't expect it to be the same band because it is a different singer, but I guess I just don't like change. I hope this isn't the end of Three Days Grace because I do enjoy them as far as rock bands go. So, listen to the one below and if you're interested check out the other two here and let me know what you think of this lineup change.