NEW MUSIC Volbeat dropped their newest video for "Last Day Under The Sun" off of their recent album Rewind, Replay, Rebound - WATCH IT HERE
CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY: Evan J. Thomas recently covered Avatar along with Devin Townsend, 68 and Dance With The Dead at House of Blues Chicago -SEE HIS BAD ASS PHOTOS HERE
NEW MUSIC: Bowling Green, KY rock band Kiss Kiss Bang has released their official music video for the lead single off of their debut EP, "Hearts on Fire", out NOW - WATCH IT HERE
INTERVIEW: We recently talked with Florida rock band Hell and Hollar as they discuss their new music video for "Showdown", the emotions of songwriting and much more! READ IT HERE
It's a "Showdown" With Hell & Hollar
with Bob Rogers
Hell & Hollar digs a little deeper as their music reflects much of what they perceive is happening around them, all with a blend of good rock n roll. Their EP 442 reflects this throughout each track.
Bob Rogers: "Showdown" certainly has a strong message lyrically. Was there something in particular that you were noticing that encouraged its writing?
Blake Burns: I was focused mainly on how so many people get stuck on their devices and social media and how it takes away from actually living your life and really doing things.
Bob Rogers: Self-worth seems to be apart of humanity, and always has been. Why do you think social media has become societies outlet to feel? Or are we all just finding another way of expressing ourselves?
Blake Burns: That depends on the person. But I believe there are much better ways to express yourself then social media. Much healthier ones at least. As much as it keeps people connected, it also keeps people apart. Let's just use a band for example. Social media is a big part of getting yourself out there. But it's the getting together, putting the phones away and physically accomplishing things together. That kind of togetherness and connection is lost when you don't need to be with each other to communicate.
Bob Rogers: As society seems to be desensitized to seeing their own image reflected- how do you think music can help?
Blake Burns: By having an overall good underlying message in the music that really gets people to think and shakes things up a bit.
Bob Rogers: Do you find most of your songwriting reflects your overall feelings about where our society is going?
Blake Burns: Definitely. Its something I think about all the time.
Bob Rogers: Expressing your life's observations and emotions by songwriting is a gift. As you listen to the EP 442 what connections do you believe you made to your perceptions?
Blake Burns: Oh man.... A lot. Even down to the cover of it. My father was an Oldsmobile dealer and worked at Old's dealers growing up. The 442 was always my favorite car as a kid and if you look at the license plate on the front bumper. It says DB OLDS for Dan Burns Oldsmobile. His dealership that I grew up in. So I guess you could say I like the music to bleed the same blood I do.
Bob Rogers: How would or can you place the sound of Hell & Hollar in a particular genre?
Blake Burns: We are a rock band. But we don't have any walls. We like the idea of crossing genre's and trying new things. But when we play them it's always got that rock thing that we have. We just like to have fun with it.
Bob Rogers: Have you found your music overall helps you to connect with others?
Blake Burns: I don't think I would say it helps me connect with others. I have always been a happy go lucky sociable type of person. But I will say that it has definitely helped me connect more with myself and to really know who I am. It has brought a certain calmness to me that I have never had.
Bob Rogers: When you perform what do you like to see happen in the audience when they are listening to your music?
Blake Burns: I like to see the crowd move! Dance jump around whatever, it's a rock show! Oh and please put your phones away and be present so we can bring crowd surfing back. Hahahaha! I miss the days of crowd surfing.
Bob Rogers: Finally, what would Hell & Hollar like to ultimately see their music do for others?
Blake Burns: My only hope is that it has a positive effect on whoever listens to it. Whether it makes you happy, makes you think deeper or helps you unwind. It's meant to be enjoyed.
We recently talked with Watertown, NY rock band The NorthmeN as they discuss their new song "Forevermore" as well as the best advice they received from other musicians and MORE! READ IT HERE
Taking the Classic Sounds of Hard Rock/Metal and Bringing it to The NorthmeN
with Bob Rogers
Bob Rogers: Did each of you have a musical mentor? If so, who was it and how did they influence you?
Matthew Gregory: We all have music background in our families. We all taught ourselves with no lessons. Alix has influence from his uncle but mostly taught himself. Brendan first learned from his grandfather but then taught himself. I had some influence from my father And sister but Jeremy mainly show me the art of metal. Jeremy's mother bought him his first guitar and he taught himself at a young age. When we all met Jeremy in our teens we were just blown away by how far ahead of us he was. So I naturally wanted to learn all the things Jeremy could teach.
Bob Rogers: Where do you draw inspiration from when writing?
The NorthmeN: Whatever really comes to mind. The brain works in mysterious ways. At any given time you could feel something or hear something in your head.
Bob Rogers: Is there a time/place that you all find the best writing comes from?
The NorthmeN: There isn’t a best time or place but when we are all together we come up with a lot of ideas. Sometimes the smallest riff could turn into a whole song.
Bob Rogers: What is the story behind the song "Forevermore"?
Jeremy Lawlor: "Forevermore" is really the genesis of our prominent writing process. It was kind of the first time we discovered our identity as songwriters. With other songs before- it was kind of like feeling our way in the dark. We had riffs. We had some really vague and general concepts. We experimented with different techniques for completing half-written songs- but this was the first time we really broke it down to what it is today. It was like, we had the main rhythm and our own signature style of riffing all ready to go, and we just took a moment and thought about how we could make it the best version of itself. We didn’t want to ruin it or over complicate it. It was the first time that we really put a song through the gauntlet of criticism. The crucible.
The band is also a “pseudo-council”, and every idea gets tried and tested, and then judged accordingly - “is it best for the song as a whole???” Whatever the answer- it goes from there. "Forevermore" had the potential to be a wild array of colorful melodies, dueling guitar solos, and just an outright overindulgent outro. But, in the end, we knew we didn’t want all the colors to mix together to be brown. We thought we had a deeply, emotionally melodic song that could grab any audience while upholding the integrity of our style simultaneously.
Bob Rogers: As the band created the structure of the song what components went into the song that made you all feel this is strong?
The NorthmeN: Jeremy’s lyrics were naturally strong for the song. It had a catchy chorus and we wanted to finish the song strong. We love our guitar harmonies. The end of the song has a beautiful dual guitar lead break that has a ton of emotion.
Bob Rogers: Is that kick to classic rock/metal something The Northmen naturally feel when creating music?
The NorthmeN: We play whatever we feel. Yes, we naturally have a classic rock/metal feel but that’s not all we create. It’s a feeling you get. Sometimes we all write completely different styles but find a way to work it into a NorthmeN sound.
Bob Rogers: What’s the best advice you have ever gotten from another musician?
The NorthmeN: Staying humble and work as hard as you possibly can. Network with as many people as you can.
Bob Rogers: What has been your biggest struggle so far?
The NorthmeN: Juggling full-time jobs with constant practice and playing. We have a good routine down now but it took a bit of communication and altering our own personal time.
Bob Rogers: What has been your biggest success?
The NorthmeN: Our biggest success has to be our fans
CHICAGO OPEN AIR REVIEW - PHOTOS: Evan J. Thomas covered Chicago Open Air 2019 for Go Venue Magazine and was at there for the bands on Sunday that included Fever 333, In This Moment, Gojira, The Cult and Tool. Check out his Review and photos HERE
NEW MUSIC: Florida rock band Hell and Hollar dropped their official music video for "Showoff", off of their debut EP, 442 - WATCH IT HERE
NEW MUSIC: Rammstein have unveiled their new video for "Auslander" off of their newest album WATCH IT HERE
NEW MUSIC: Canadian alternative rock band Autopilot has released their official music video for their single "Undisguised", off of their latest album Afterglow - WATCH IT HERE
FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENT: RIOT FEST 2019!! See Slayer's "Final" Chicago & Milwaukee show, Blink-182, Rise Against, Rancid, Jawbreaker, The Struts and dozens more! SEE THE FULL LINEUP HERE