Stephanie talks with MESSER about their upcoming album Make This Life due out 4/20 as well as what makes a good rock band and their go to stage wear among other topics - Read it HERE!
MESSER is letting everyone know that Dallas, Texas is thriving with musicians who can put together a kick ass rock song as you can see on the bands self-titled debut album (on Maddpants Records). The album is gritty, melody driven, layered and smoldering with radio active hits from start to finish. Some of my favorites are EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL, STILL BETTER OFF, WHISKEY and THROW IT AWAY
The band consists of Dereak Messer, Lead Vocals, Donnie Deville, Guitar/Vocals, Javier Contreras, Guitar/Vocals, Kenn Youngar, Drums/Vocals and Maddox Messer, Bass/ Vocals, all seasoned musicians and together are able to bring the cutting edge modern rock music that the scene is missing. The band’s first single MAKE THIS LIFE is already climbing the active rock radio charts and pushing through the sea of video outlets worldwide. April 20th can’t come soon enough for the band so they can let the fans and the new comers hear the full length album they put a lot of time, blood sweat and tears into; but a band with ambition and dedication doesn’t sit around waiting the guys in MESSER have jumped on the Unstoppable Screams Tour with Red, Lacey Sturm and Righteous Vendetta for now and then soon after a tour with the band Shallowside.
For now, I was able to chat with bass player Maddox Messer about how the band formed, writing the record, singles and how they stay healthy on the road.
Seems like all the band members of MESSER had a good resume in the music scene before you guys got together. Who was the founding member(s) and how did you choose the other guys in the band?
Dereak and Javier had started jamming with Kenny and then I (Maddox) had a chance meeting with Dereak. We later added Donnie to round out the rhythm section. We had all come from other Dallas area bands that had a modicum of success, but when we all first got together it was instant connection and we knew we had something special as a group.
How long did it take for you guys to write and record your debut album MESSER?
We co-wrote the album with our producer and great friend Chad Gendason over a period of about roughly 5 years. We knew we wanted to create a masterpiece in hopes of making an impact on not just music fans, but on the music business as a whole. We feel the time and effort paid off and that we have created a debut album that will stand the test of time and we can rest knowing we did the very best job we could with no regrets.
You are doing a pledge campaign for the album. For people just getting to know you guys or for fans that haven’t heard about this yet, what are you bringing to the table for the pledge campaign?
We have some really cool packages and items. You will find exclusive shirts, bandannas, stickers, signed drum heads and more! But what we are most excited about is the Vinyl Record. We have done vinyl before, and we're psyched to release this album on both 140gm and even a limited number of 180gm vinyl for those true audiophiles. If you have never heard Modern Rock on vinyl you’re in for a real treat! I should also mention that in the “Diamond” package not only do you get the 180gm record, but it's going to come in a custom-made box that will play a ringtone we created when you open it up. We wanted to make the unboxing a true MESSER experience! https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/messerband
Your first single and video release MAKE THIS LIFE is getting some good attention from radio and video outlets. What was the reason for taking that particular song to showcase the band and the debut disc?
We do everything by committee - so a ton of thought and process went into deciding which song to lead with. We had originally picked a different track and had already began making the videos for that song when we decided to switch to "MAKE THIS LIFE". We felt it was the right song to introduce MESSER to the world at a time when we are “Sick Of It All”. It seemed to fit the sentiment of the times we are living in. Our hope was to empower the listeners with a positive message and encourage them to Make Their Own Lives Worth Fighting for!
In these days what do you feel makes a good rock band?
I think a good rock band or any band in general is one where all the members are selflessly serving the song. You can always tell when someone is playing for their own ego versus an honest performance. For us, there is so much intention behind every note played. It's an incredible feeling to take what we feel inside and transfer that energy thru our individual instruments, then have it all come together thru speakers with the precision of a surgical scalpel… Ultimately cutting to the core of the listener in a visceral way.
Songwriting wise what do you guys bring to the table vs. other bands that are in the same genre as you? From this debut album what song are you most proud of lyrically and why?
I think our approach was to write songs for the listener. Our Producer and co-writer Chad also has a fabulous ear for melody. I think our soulful r&b-esque melodies with well thought lyrics are what make these songs so addictive. We are just everyday guys and we wrote songs that everyone can easily relate to because they were written from our lives. As songs go I personally think “STILL BETTER OFF” is my favorite because the chorus is so catchy and fun to sing and perform.
For me after hearing the disc, I have to say that EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL is my favorite track off the album. Any fun stories or studio antics that came from recording this song?
Actually, that was going to be our first single originally - LOL. We plan to release it as a radio single next. As for studio antics we have plenty… ;o) It's a great song and the one we open our set with every night. My favorite part is the whale call solo in the bridge. We didn’t use a lot of traditional guitar solos on this album intentionally. We wanted to convey the seriousness and give an intimate look into our lives and the bridge in that song is a vulnerable moment that tells the story that everyone can relate to.
Your making your mark already with some good tours with RED, and then Shallowside. How has the current tour been going and what are you looking forward to for the next leg of touring with the Shallowside boys?
The Unstoppable Screams Tour is going Great!! Almost all the shows are SOLD OUT. The crowds have been overwhelmingly receptive and we have been pre-selling CDS faster than we hoped. We have been receiving a truly humbling number of messages and posts on social media. All of this is extremely gratifying and exactly what we had dreamed of! We are super stoked to get out there with the Men of Shallowside and showcase our full headline set complete with our amazing light show. You won't want to miss this show if we come thru your town – come check us out and say HI!
Red / Lacey Sturm / Righteous Vendetta/MESSER Tour Dates
March 20 - Sacramento, Calif. @ Ace of Spades
March 22 - San Francisco, Calif. @ The Fillmore
March 25 - Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Regent
March 30 - Tempe, Ariz. @ Marquee Theatre
March 31 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre
April 3 - Lubbock, Texas @ Jake's Backroom
April 4 - San Antonio, Texas @ The Rock Box
April 6 - Houston, Texas @ The Scout Bar
April 7 - Dallas, Texas @ Canton Hall
April 10 - Oklahoma City, Okla. @ Tower Theatre
April 12 - Sauget, Ill. @ Pop's
April 13 - Memphis, Tenn. @ New Daisy Theatre
April 14 - Nashville, Tenn. @ Top Golf
April 15 - Atlanta, GA. @ The Masquerade
Dates with Shallow Side
Wednesday - 4/18/2018 - Jacks Bar and Grill San Antonio
Thursday - 4/19/2018 - Sidewinder Austin TX
Friday - 4/20/2018 - Trees Dallas TX
Saturday - 4/21/2018 - Satellite Bar – Austin, TX
Sunday - 4/22/2018 - Olde Towne Tavern – Slidell, TX
Wednesday - 4/25/2018 - Ashley Street Station - Valdosta GA
Thursday - 4/26/2018 - The Warrior – Tallahassee, FL
Friday - 4/27/2018 - Working - Tampa, FL
Saturday - 4/28/2018 - Southside - Naples, FL
Sunday - 4/29/2018 – On Hold - Orlando FL
Wednesday - 5/2/2018 - Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
Thursday - 5/3/2018 - Sidetracks Music Hall – Huntsville, AL
Friday - 5/4/2018 - The Warehouse – Clarksville, TN
Saturday - 5/5/2018 – Steel Horse Rally – Fort Smith, AK
Wednesday - 5/9/2018 - The Bourbon Hall - Louisville KY
Thursday - 5/10/2018 - Amici's – Concord, NC
Friday - 5/11/2018 - The Vault – Hickory, NC
Saturday - 5/12/2018 – GroundZero - Spartanburg SC
Saturday - 5/19/2018 - Pit Stop Bar and Grill - North Richland Hills,
What does a MESSER show bring out in your fans or new comers that never heard of you before?
We seem to get a lot of new fans telling us how great our sound was in contrast to other live shows. We have taken a great deal of time and put a lot of detail into our live performance to insure the sound is incredibly clear and pleasant to listen to. After all, what good is our message if its lost in translation. If you have never experienced our live show know that when you do you can expect to enjoy the sound, feel and look of everything we do. Plan to be comforted and held in a blanket of sound waves that will leave you addicted and hopefully wanting more!
Have you guys put in any thoughts about which song will be the second single and any time frame for when it will be out?
“EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL” will likely be our second single, but for now "MAKE THIS LIFE" is showing no signs of slowing down - so we are gonna ride this out till it's time to unleash the next. But expect to be hearing MESSER on your radio for a long time to come!
Your back in your hometown of Dallas for your record release on Friday, April 20th. What does it mean to you to have that night to give back to the locals that supported you from day one? Any surprises you can hint to us that will be happening that night?
Yeeeessss!! We worked hard to coordinate that show date. It was important to us to be at home that day because there is no way we could be here without the support of our hometown, families and friends who have tirelessly stuck by us thru this arduous process. As for the 4/20 well…. new music comes out on Fridays now and that happened to be 4/20 this year. Also Record Store Day Is 4/21 and since we are simultaneously releasing the CD and the Vinyl record what better day is there??? There is also the Legendary Trees club owned by the amazing Clint and Whitney Barlow who have been huge supporters of not just to us, but to the entire Deep Ellum music community.
Fashion tip: What’s your go to stage wear; and any advice on what not to wear to newcomers starting out?
My go to stage where is typically whatever I have on, HA! I used to get all dressed up in my “Stage Clothes” (Air Quotes) but I always felt like I was getting dressed up to pretend… At some point I realized I was that guy on stage and I worked to be me all the time. I am always ready to rock the stage anytime, anywhere! My advice to anyone starting out: Wear your confidence and positive attitude. It goes with everything! Trust me I am a hairdresser, LOL!
Fitness tip, how do you guys stay healthy and fit on the road?
We all have our own routines for fitness and diet because its super important to stay healthy. For me I have a jump rope and every time we stop for fuel, I jump 200 times. I do push-ups every day, and lots of yoga too!
Any last comments?
Thanks so much for the great questions - I enjoyed answering them for you. We hope to see you at one of our live shows. We love to meet and hear from new MESSER fans so please message us and tell us what you think! Dream big and Never Give Up! – Maddox
Connect with Messer:
Pledge Music Campaign: https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/messerband
Official website: https://www.messerband.com
iTunes Pre-order: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/messer/1348892084
Google Play Pre-order: https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Messer_Messer?id=Bwgg2vbrw53gkx3q3prnxdhhqua&hl=en
Stephanie talked with Seattle, WA rockers Avoid as she discussed the bands name change, how the scene is in Seattle and much more! - Read it HERE
I don't want to say I found the band of the year for me in 2018 already because it is very early in the year but the Seattle band Avoid have put a permanent smile on my face after hearing some of tracks off the bands debut album ALONE on Revival Recordings. The band blend and create a new and exciting sound to fans of rock, metal and anything in between.
Once know as Avoid The Void, the guys graduated and matured from those days and now grace us with some prominent powerful and diverse songs. Then when you look deeper into songs you find reality driven lyrics like in the third single entitled HATE (ME).
Music that will twist your head around and then calmly soothe your soul until the next trip down the heavy and dark road of excellence; as you can hear in END OF AN ERA.
BY MYSELF has a lot of fun guitar tones and sounds throughout the track but still is driving and heavy with a melody driven chorus. What stood out for me is the different layers of vocal approaches which drives the song ino the next dimension.
Then the last song I was able to get my hands on was a little track called 28 DAYS; this song sold me on this band is the reason why I am saying I could have found my 2018 breakout band of the year.
Mixing metal attributes, clear as day melodic tones, vocals that will haunt you and instill love in your sould, guitar work that will leave you breathless; and just purely driving forces of chaos mixed with beauty sums up this song favorite.
Before the guy's head out on the road in April with Dead Crown I was able to ask what, each member brings to the table to create the music for Avoid, along with the debut disc ALONE will be out. Song meanings and what tour life entails for them.
Stay in contact with AVOID:
YOU GUYS WERE NAMED AVOID THE VOID PRIOR TO THIS NEW CHAPTER OF JUST AVOID. WHY THE NAME CHANGES AND HOW HAVE YOU GUYS GROWN AS A BAND SINCE THE NAME CHANGE?
There were many little reasons that came into play when changing the name, but at the end of the day it comes down to we weren't Avoid The Void anymore. Under the 5 years we were ATV, our sound had evolved a lot, we had gone through a couple members, and we just weren't where we wanted to be. AVOID was our way of being a brand new entity in the music scene, with staying true to our roots.
WHO IS IN THE BAND AND WHAT DOES EACH MEMBER BRING INTO THE BAND ON A PROFESSIONAL LEVEL?
The band consists of me (Benny Scholl) the singer, our guitarists Nick Olson and Brandon Parker, our bass player Jason Daggett and our drummer David Dusseault. Everyone brings so much to the table in their own way. Nick is our primary song writer, and great with anything technology. He is one of the hardest working people i've ever met. His playing/ writing abilities are always evolving due to how much time he spends at it and it's incredible getting to work with him. Brandon is an outstanding guitar player, and very well rounded on his knowledge. He is great to bounce ideas off of and build plans with. David is such a solid drummer and overall musician. He actually used to teach high school drum line, and currently teaches drums on the side. He's great with writing and his experience really helps us grow. Jason is like the glue that holds everything together. I've never met someone so easy to work with. He's great with looking at all situations without a bias so everyone's opinions and thoughts are heard. He also has an audio degree from the Art Institute and is one of the main reasons why we're able to self produce/ record everything we do. Personally, I handle most of the business side of things and a lot of the merch/ social media/ things on the front end. I work as our tour manager on the road and try to constantly push the limits of what we can do next on all ends. It's a very cool dynamic so have so many driving members and we're very proud of what we're creating.
YOU JUST RELEASED A THIRD SINGLE IN HATE (ME) BEFORE WE LOOK INTO THAT SONG, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ALBUM IT'S COMING FROM: WHEN DOES IT LOOK LIKE YOU WILL BE RELEASING THAT AND WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE BIGGEST GROWTH IN THE BAND THAT FANS WILL HEAR FROM THIS ALBUM?
We're hard at work to finish the last few songs on our upcoming album ALONE. I can't speak much about an exact release date, but I can say you will see an album from AVOID in 2018.
HATE (ME) WAS QUOTED AS BEING YOUR MOST EMOTIONAL LYRICS TO DATE. WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO UNLEASH THE EMOTION AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE GET OUT OF THIS SONG?
We really wanted to show all sides of us on this record. Every song that we're going to put out is going to be a little different in its own way. The big thing with "HATE (ME)", I wanted to show in the lyrics was honesty and vulnerability. The overal theme of this song is all of the "bad thoughts" you tell yourself while dealing with mental illness. We really just hope this song makes you feel something, and hopefully you can relate to it in one way or another.
YOU JUST SIGNED WITH REVIVAL RECORDINGS. HOW DID THAT ALL COME ABOUT AND WHAT DID THEY BRING TO THE TABLE THAT MADE YOU WANT TO TAKE A CHANCE WITH THEM?
We're so excited for our future with Revival. I actually met Shawn (President/ owner of Revival) and Aaryn (A&R at Revival) on tour with Alesana last February. Soon after that run, Aaryn started managing us and a couple months later we were in talks with Shawn about signing a deal. We love that Revival really cares about their artists. They have outstanding connections in the industry and we truly felt like they would have our best interests in mind, and to this day we feel the same way. We've seen so much growth in our little time on the label, I can't say a bad word about them.
I HEARD THE SONG "BY MYSELF" AND THAT WAS THE SONG THAT REALLY DREW ME TO YOUR BAND. CAN YOU GIVE US A LITTLE INSIGHT ON THAT TRACK AND YOUR FEELINGS OF THE FINISHED PRODUCT?
I'm so glad you enjoyed that one! That is definitely a band favorite, and personally I think my favorite song off the upcoming album. That track is supposed to be a song you turn up with your friends and have a good sing along. I'm really proud of the finished product and have high hopes that it will be a fan favorite.
BEING FROM SEATTLE AND THE MUSIC SCENE THERE HOW DID THAT INFLUENCE YOU GUYS AND WHAT AVOID BRINGS TO THE TABLE?
There is so much talent in the Seattle music scene it's insane. The big thing it did and still does is make us want to get better. With so many good bands doing their own thing, it made us not want to be like anyone else, so we're constantly perfecting the songs and stepping up our live show so we can keep up with everyone else from here thats killing it.
WHO ARE YOU MOST INFLUENCED BY MUSICALLY AS A BAND OR A PERFORMER AND IF YOU COULD MEET THOSE PEOPLE OR PERSON WHAT WOULD BE THE ONE QUESTION YOU WOULD WANT MOST ANSWERED TO HELP YOU IN YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS?
Oh boy... that's a loaded question, haha. I only say that because we're inspired by so much it's really hard to pin point where it all stems from. If I had to break down our top 5 inspirations I'd say Slipknot, Foo Fighters, Papa Roach, Periphery, and Underoath. I think we'd ask them about their writing process, and how they've managed to stay relevant in their long careers.
YOU'RE HEADING OUT ON THE ROAD WITH DEAD CROWN IN APRIL. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO ON THIS TOUR AND HAVE YOU GUYS TALKED ABOUT YOUR SET LIST AND WHAT CAN FANS LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING OR SEEING?
We can't wait for this run. We've actually toured with Dead Crown before back when we were ATV and had an absolute blast with them. They're some of our best friends in the world so we're just really looking forward to the quality hangs. We'll definitely be playing all of the singles at these shows, and maybe a couple new ones, so you'll have to come and see for yourself ;)
HOW IMPORTANT TO YOU IS A SOLID LIVE SHOW AND WHAT IS YOUR GO TO STAGE WEAR ON TOURS?
The live show is everything to this band. We are 100% a live band. We want people to leave our shows entertained, even if you don't like heavy music. We try and bring a very high energy and inviting performance so there's a little something for everyone. Go to stage wear for me would be black jeans, white shoes, and some random pop star shirt like Usher or Prince or NASCAR related shirts, something ridiculous, haha.
I ALWAYS ASK THIS QUESTION DUE TO THE FACT I'M A FITNESS BUFF BUT I JUST WANTED TO KNOW HOW YOU GUYS STAY FIT AND HEALTHY ON THE ROAD?
We try and live fairly healthy on the road. We haven't gotten into the routine of working out when we're on tour, but we definitely use Planet Fitness for the showers haha. We just try and not eat too much fast food, and instead of just sitting around waiting to load in and what not we like to bring footballs and soccer balls so we can play catch and little scrimmage matches.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO ADD SO FANS OR NEW COMERS CAN GET TO KNOW YOU A LITTLE BETTER?
We're the most approachable people in the world, and we love meeting new people! Shoot us a message if you want to get to know us. And if you like the music or anything, you can pick up all of our merch at Avoid.MerchNew.com and be on the lookout for lots of touring!
Stephanie attended and covered the Kissing Candice show at Fete Ballroom in Providence, RI, Check out what she had to say about the show HERE
The last time that KISSING CANDICE made an appearance in Rhode Island was around this time last year with A Killers Confession. This time around they come with friends I Set My Friends On Fire and played a sold out room this night. I was eager to see the NY band again because last time I was just learning and indulging in the visual and musical adventures these guys have to offer. So, this time around I was already familiar with the band and have had BLIND UNTIL WE BURN and the newest EP, SAFE WORD on nonstop rotation, so I was ready to get a dose of live show debauchery.
So, the stage got set and the progression of the bands masks were unleashed and the band got up onstage and just had the energy, the drive and the heaviness that we have all come to admire. Everything about this band has evolved, visually, musical wise they brought a tightness and more gelled appeal to this set this time around. The movement on stage hyped up the crowd and Joey sounded deliciously on point. The new songs (DE) GENERATION, HIT THE ROOF and TILT were probably my favorite of the night because of the driving heaviness and just felt like the songs were written for the stage..
I was curious to see how the crowd of this tour package would take the band and people were so into it and reckless with love that it showed that the members of KISSING CANDICE can win over anything put in front of them. Although some people might not get the band and the visual aspects they give you but look beyond that point and really get to know what the guys are speaking about in lyrics, we can all relate to them and to anyone thinking they are a gimmick band you are so far in left field. This band has talent, they have musical integrity and put on one hell of a fun show. If you can check out a show on the rest of the tour go for it; I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed. Pick up some merch too because they have some killers stuff out on the road with them. Here is a little snippet of my point of view of a night with the mighty KISSING CANDICE. Thank you guys for the music!!!!