BAND INTERVIEW: RESOLVE vocalist Anthony Diliberto talks with Stephanie Stevens about the bands new album, how music has impacted his life and much more! - READ IT HERE
BY STEPHANIE STEVENS
Building a solid brand and foundation, learning and growing on your craft and observing the right and wrong ways that a band and its members will work and enhance their sound is all crucial elements to survive as a band.
The band RESOLVE have united all three elements and have made probably one of the best records I have heard in 2021. BETWEEN ME AND THE MACHINE is on the verge of release and it just creates such a cohesive atmosphere of beautiful melodic angles with the most brutal and dense aggressive tones. The sounds on this disc is so expansive and brings you on an artistic musical journey. EMERALD SKIES define the intertwinement of temptation between soundscapes, this song just explodes with brutality but then showcases the angelic vocal ability of Anthony Diliberto.
BEAUTIFUL HELL is one of my favorites of the disc, just with its passionate and animalistic feel. SEASICK SAILOR has more of a melodic radio driven force to it, an upbeat impact but still emotes the heaviness the band is known for. SURRENDER and D.G.G.R.S are not sleepers either both have that equality of fierceness and heaviness but still bleeding with those lighter but impactful tones.
The guys said they came into their “real” sound in 2019 and I feel like they really grew within a few years that this is just a special and beautifully done work of art.
On November 26, 2021 BETWEEN ME AND THE MACHINE comes out and I would urge you to check it out because it’s a very impressive collection of tracks, I had a chance to speak with vocalist Anthony Diliberto, about the putting out this debut record, how music has impacted his life and understand the true passion he has for his band RESOLVE and band mates Robin Mariat (bass) and Nathan Mariat (drummer)
Q: HOW DID RESOLVE BECOME A BAND AND HOW DO YOU
FEEL YOUR BAND HAS ENHANCED YOUR LOCAL
COMMUNITY IN MUSIC?
A: Resolve is born from the ashes of our respective previous bands. We met at a show both bands were playing and it was an instant connection. Robin and I spoke a lot about our common influences. Both bands came to an halt around the same time so I gathered with the guys, we wrote an EP and here we are now.
Q: YOU GUYS ARE GETTING SET TO RELEASE YOUR DEBUT ALBUM BETWEEN ME & THE MACHINE. WHERE DID YOU COME UP WITH THE ALBUM TITLE AND HOW DO YOU THINK THAT INTERTWINES WITH THE SONGS YOU PICKED FOR THE DISC?
A: It took a few months to settle on a final title cause we’re the kind of band that overthink everything. Robin came up with the BMATM, and it really resonated with us all. I was convinced that it was representing the record and what we want to fight for. I have to give Robin the full credit for this idea, I think this is the perfect title for this debut album. Emerald Skies and Between Me and The Machine are the same stories, told from a different point of view. Both songs are really meaningful to us, so that was obvious.
Q: PUTTING OUT A DEBUT RECORD IS A BIG THING, HOW DO YOU GUYS FEEL ABOUT THE WORK YOU PUT INTO THESE SONGS AND DO YOU FEEL AFTER ALL IS SAID N DONE YOU
HAVE GROWN AS MUSICIANS FROM JUST CREATING AND PREPARING FOR THIS RELEASE?
A: Like you say, it’s a really big thing. We spent 3 years on this one.
First, we’re really proud of what we achieved with this record. As
musicians but also as humans. We’re really excited for our audience to finally immerse themselves into a longer release. Secondly, we’re eager to write a second album cause we know we won’t work the same way. It feels like we know where we’re going now, there’s a lot of songs sitting on my hard drive for the next one. Let’s see what happens.
Q: IN 2016 YOU’RE PREVIOUS PROJECTS YOU GUYS WERE DOING ENDED AND YOU FOUND THAT RESOLVE WAS
GOING TO BE A FOREVER BAND. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO PUT ALL YOUR EFFORTS INTO THIS BAND?
A: Well, we’ve learnt a lot from our previous bands but this one feels really special. It’s like we’re soulmates. We want to work as hard aswe can to build something together. We love each other and we trust each other. Everybody looks in the same direction and we pushourselves to be better musicians, better humans. I think that’s it. Resolve is not just a band, that would be my answer.
Q: WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING BAND MEMBERS SHOULD HAVE IN COMMON OR A PASSION FOR TO KEEP A BAND ALIVE WITH THE SAME MEMBERS FOR YEARS?
A: As long as passion, work and love is present between each members, I don’t see any reason for a band to split up. Just be sure you and your team are looking in the same direction. Is it a hobby or a thing you want to push as far as possible, even if it takes a lot of sacrifices? If everyone in the band has the same answer, then it’ll work itself out eventually.
Q: A NEW SONG BEAUTIFUL HELL IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES OFF THE DISC, CAN YOU GIVE US SOME DETAILS ON HOW
THAT SONG CAME TOGETHER AND WHAT YOU HOPE PEOPLE TAKE AWAY FROM THAT TRACK?
A: Well, I wrote the core of the song in a few hours. It was that kind of productive day you have twice a year. Then all the band worked on the structure and fluidity. That’s the way we work cause Robin and Nathan have a different view of what a song should be. It’s like a puzzle we assemble together every time we start a track. We did the vocals together and the first demo wasn’t really good. We were like « should we delete this song? »We called it a day, ate some pizza, had a couple of beers and waited until the next session. In the morning of the next day, everything was there. I think Beautiful Hell has this Resolve vibe. It’s melodic but still really aggressive and groovy.
Q: AN OLDER SONG THAT MADE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR BAND WAS PENDULUM, A MORE MELODIC FEEL TO IT LIKE YOUR NEW SONG SURRENDER! IS IT EASIER WRITING A SONG WITH MORE MELODY OR A MORE HARSHER OR HEAVY TRACK OR DOES IT REALLY VARIES ON SOMETHING ELSE?
A: It’s not really about melody or heaviness. It’s more about what we want to express at the moment we’re writing. Like I said, we don’t work the same way. Robin and Nathan are taking the time to explore every possibility while I am more into writing a full song in a row. The Resolve vibe was born from this mixture. We don’t make any decision before the end of a song. If it’s heavy, that’s cool, if it’s not, that’s cool too. But yeah, we’re all involved in the process. I bring most of the ingredients to the table, but Rob and Nath are the cooks.
Q: YOU GUYS HAVE TOUR DATES FOR 2022 WHICH IS FANTASTIC BUT HAVE YOU DONE ANYTHING IN 2021 AND IF YOU HAVE HOW HAS THE TOURING WORLD CHANGE THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC AFTERMATH?
A: Well, we did a lot for this album in 2021 so we were really busy. We only played a single show in Germany in October which felt really weird and invigorating at the same time, in the best kind of way.
Q: THE 2022 TOUR ARE YOU GUYS HEADLINGING OR YOU GOING OUT WITH SOMEONE? AND DO YOU LIKE THE OPENING SLOTS MORE THAN A HEADLINING TOUR AND WHY?
A: We’re doing a French headline tour in March, then we’re opening for our good brothers in LANDMVRKS all over Europe. At the moment, opening feels good cause we still need to show what we’re capable of. It’s our first album, we have plenty of time to headline in the future. We’ll grow step by step.
Q: HOW HAS MUSIC IMPACTED YOUR LIFE AND DO YOU FEEL IT HAS BEEN A THERAPY FOR YOU THROUGH THE YEARS?
A: Music is a therapy and a poison at the same time. It’s everything to us, we’re 24/7 dedicated to Resolve, which is cool but really hard to handle. But we’re always asking ourselves this question: What else would we do without this band? Life is short, every person needs to focus on something enjoyable. We choose music, we choose Resolve.
Q: WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING A BAND CAN DO TO HELP IN MARKETING AND PROMOTING THEIR BAND IN THIS DAY AND AGE AND WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST
STRUGGLE FOR YOU GUYS THROUGH THE YEARS?
A: You need to stay true to yourself. We struggled a lot with socials and how to communicate in the past few years. Since we’re just posting things we love, without overthinking, the feeling is really different. We put a lot of care into our visuals every time we post something, but sometimes true and raw is the way. Personally, I hate the way I on the screen, but that’s something I’m starting to improve and that’s a good thing. We’re not the best for marketing but from our experience, just be yourself cause at the end of the day, you are who you are.
Q: ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD THAT YOUR DOING WE HAVENT HIT UPON OR ANY WORDS YOU WANT TO GIVE TO
YOUR FANS OR NEW COMERS GETTING TO YOU KNOW YOU THROUGH THIS INTERVIEW?
A: Just want to say thanks to all of you guys supporting this band. We poured ourselves in this debut album and we hope you’ll enjoy these eleven songs. We don’t want to be another metal band on the radar. We want to be true to ourselves, true to the fans, true to the cause. Can’t wait to play for you all. I love you
STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE BAND
BAND INTERVIEW: Former drummer of Korn, David Silveria is back and as impactful as ever with his new band BREAKING IN A SEQUENCE, check out what he has to say in the bands interview with Stephanie Stevens - READ IT HERE
BY STEPHANIE STEVENS
Former drummer of Korn, David Silveria is back and as impactful as ever with his new band BREAKING IN A SEQUENCE. The band hails from Huntington Beach, CA and has made a bit of noise lately with their newest single TWINE. This is the band’s first new track since their debut EP ACRONYM. With an edgier and harder tone, the guys are delivering a really powerful enhanced sound for themselves.
Their debut EP has been streamed endlessly on Spotify since its release and tracks like HESITATION, PITY and ANYTHING BUT RIGHT had me reliving the songs over and over; But with this latest track in TWINE the guys are really invigorating their creative abilities and I can’t wait to see what is coming next from them
I had a chance to catch up with singer Rich Nguyen who gave me some details into what the band name means, how they approached writing for the new track TWINE, live shows and advice on touring.
STEPHANIE: Tell me the meaning behind the band name and who came up with the name?
Rich Nguyen - The name can really mean whatever you want it to mean. The thought initially in my head was like software code or DNA and when a virus or disease enters a system it breaks the sequence to get in. I thought that was intriguing and liked how it acronyms to BIAS. The other guys felt the same. These days the name (to me) means breaking back into music and changing it up a bit. I feel like rock and metal these days all meshes together because of how it's recorded and presented to the masses. It's all over produced with the same guitar tones, drum samples, perfect gridded drums and super auto tuned vocals. I understand that it's quicker and more cost efficient to do things this way, but it's taking the "soul" out of the music. Every band's aim these days is to be a robot basically. There are certain things that all musicians do differently and that is unique to their own technique, when you over produce and perfect this, you lose the evolution of that and it takes away the stylistic aspect of things. I think people need to start seeing (or hearing) that rock and metal need to be humanized, because it's supposed to evoke emotion when you hear it whether it be sadness, happiness or anger. Robots don't feel emotion; robotic music doesn't inspire emotion.
STEPHANIE: Where did each band member come from and what was the biggest factors were you looking for to make a cohesive unit?
Rich Nguyen - We all know David came from Korn. Chris and Joe have played music together in many projects since they were in high school. Mike was actually Joe's guitar tech in David, Chris and Joe's last project together. I came from left field, as the home studio musician playing and writing music for fun. David, Chris and Joe all were in another project together and they decided to leave that project to start a new one. They put out a worldwide singer search and got a few hundred submissions back from singers all around the world. 3 standouts got a track to sing over and came down to a live rehearsal. Not set on any of the singers they sent the track to me and I took it and changed the arrangement of the song and sent it back with my vocals on it. I guess that made me stand out from the others and they ultimately chose me to be their singer. Mind you, that in the beginning of this band, they were looking for a singer that could sing, not a screamer or anything like that. We started as a "rock" band but naturally started to gravitate to a heavier "hard rock" sound. This in turn made us heavier and started me screaming over certain parts in songs. In the process of tightening up the songs we all decided that we wanted to thicken up the sound a bit with a second guitar. Mike came out of the shadows at that point and asked to try out. He had secretly been sitting there at rehearsals learning the songs, so when he came in he already knew everything and added his own spin to his parts. We all got really lucky, because we all just clicked together musically. It was all random chance that all 5 of us would get together to play music and actually have a "chemistry" together.
STEPHANIE: You guys have written some killer tracks so far, how do you go about writing and getting ideas out, is it a full band job or do certain members tackle certain elements?
Rich Nguyen - Writing process is for us a smidge different from other bands. I live far away from everyone else and only come down to practice once a week. The guys will all get together 2-3 times during the week to rehearse and write. They all write together in a room. It could be a riff that someone brings in or someone starts jamming to a beat David is warming up with, whatever. But they will play together and record the jam in its most basic form. They will send me that jam session and I will listen to it with fresh ears. If it's something that I think can work, I will dice up the arrangement and rebuild it to how I think it should sound. I'll send it back to the guys and they make improvements to their parts and send it back to me. At that point I will start listening to the song over and over again until the vocal melodies just appear in my head. Once they are solidified in my head, I will do syllable counts on every line and start writing the lyrics within those counts. After I have the lyrics, I track the vocals on the song and send it back to the guys. They will then rewrite everything around my vocal parts. It's unorthodox, but it seems to work for us.
STEPHANIE: Your newest single TWINE, you and Dave came in with new flavors to your sound was that something you guys talked about prior and how easy was it to incorporate the new elements?
Rich Nguyen - As we started playing together more and more, David started to come back into his own. He started hitting harder and really feeling the music again. I think that at rehearsal one day he just decided to use his electronic kit for the intro and bridge of TWINE. We loved how it added another atmosphere to the song and it stuck. I really started following David's lead as he started hitting harder and feeling it again, I started singing harder and took new approaches to my vocals. I wanted my vocals on the song to be kind of like "well I wasn't expecting that type of vocal line over this music" type a deal. It was all very organic and definitely wasn't forced.
STEPHANIE: You guys are working on a EP which you tried getting out in 2021, what’s going on with it and do you feel in these days that singles and EP is the way to go now instead of full lengths?Rich Nguyen - We were trying to get the 2nd EP out in OCT 2021, it just didn't work out. There were a lot of logistics that we just couldn't get lined up in time for a proper release. We decided that since it couldn't be done, we'd release "Twine" for the fans to have something before the end of the year. We are looking at an early 2022 release now. Well in my eyes, these days’ singles and EPs are the way to go, especially when you are an unknown like us. I think established bands can put out full lengths and not waste songs, but in the current landscape, a single, EP or LP only has the lifespan of about 90 days, then it's considered old. So us putting out all of material in one shot would have really worked against us in 2020, since COVID really destroyed any momentum that we may have had. People really haven't heard us, since we couldn't play to support the first EP. Depending upon how things end up, we will hopefully be able to go out and support EP2 properly and then maybe release a full length as the follow up record.
STEPHANIE: HESITATION is one of my favorite tracks from you, can you tell me your thoughts on the track and listening to it now would u change anything about the song since it’s been a bit since you wrote it and I’m sure you have grown as musicians?
Rich Nguyen - Thanks! Hesitation was actually the first track that they sent to me for my audition. That song started it all for us! It's really evolved in the way we perform it now live now. We've evolved a lot as a band and if we were to write it today, it would be less radio friendly and slightly edgier. We started as a rock band, and have progressed into more of an experimental, hard rock band. I feel that Hesitation was very straight forward in its approach (by design), but I still think it's a great song and enjoy performing it live.
STEPHANIE: Making a brand for yourselves in a new band and also wanting to experiment at a early age in your career, is there certain rules you follow or do you believe trying new things help your growth as people and musicians?
Rich Nguyen - There are really no rules or boundaries that we've imposed upon ourselves. We just go with the flow most of the time, if something comes up, we work thru it, if not, we always try to have a short term goal to work towards. It's all baby steps, but the milestones and achievements add up after a while and they are very good for self-confidence and drive to push on.
STEPHANIE: How important to you is a live show and what do you feel your band does that differs from other bands in your genre?
Rich Nguyen - I think live show is very important. It's a chance to show your art to an audience and get live feedback on their perception in that moment in time. I feel like we haven't really played enough yet (thanks COVID!) to really come into our own to offer a different experience live. But going back to what I was talking about earlier about new bands recordings being robotic, live is where the humanity and style comes back into the music. All of the subtle human nuances, mistakes, etc... add to that humanity and soul of the music when it’s live.
STEPHANIE: Who is the biggest inspiration to your craft and have you ever been able to meet that person? If you have what was the one thing you remember about the conversation?
Rich Nguyen - I don't think I have just one inspiration, but I do get to write and play music with one of the biggest icons of yesteryear, from one of my favorite bands ever. One thing that really stands out to me is the passion and love of music. Even after accomplishing and experiencing what maybe only a small percentage of bands get to achieve in their career, David is still playing and not because he has to, but because he loves to. It's an honor to be in a band with him.
STEPHANIE: If you could cover one song in a different genre, then you play what would you cover and why?
Rich Nguyen - I cover songs all the time from different genres, just to learn new techniques and different note progressions. I generally pick songs that challenge me to learn something from them. Thru 2020, I did post a few covers on FB / IG that I did for fun.
STEPHANIE: How is the tour world for you guys for the rest of 2021 into 2022?
Rich Nguyen - We just did a short stint at the end of OCT. It was fun. We are hoping to get onto some bigger tours in 2022 as an opener for the more established bands out there.
STEPHANIE: Best advice for a touring band?
Rich Nguyen - Get Apple Airtags for your trailer and gear (if you are in the apple ecosystem) or some sort of tracker for your gear. There are too many stories of bands getting their gear stolen on the road. You can track the Apple Airtags anywhere as they use low power Bluetooth of ANY Apple device to triangulate their location. Also, you will get notified on your phone if something gets left behind!
STEPHANIE: Anything else you want to add that we didn't hit upon or that you’re up to you want fans and new comers to your band to know?
Rich Nguyen - Please follow us on all socials and streaming platforms; strength in numbers!
@biasbandoc - Breaking In A Sequence
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to listen to our music, came to our shows and have supported us! The best is yet to come! Stay tuned!
BAND INTERVIEW: Stephanie Stevens talks with South Carolina rock band EMPTY about their latest release Made of Fire, the new music, the diversity of their sound and MORE! - READ IT HERE
BY STEPHANIE STEVENS
The South Carolina Alt-Rock band EMPTY is making a impact with their latest release MADE OF FIRE on Solid State Records. Full of genre-bending antics and emotionally honest. The band blends the tones of pop, screams, 00s rock and metal core and comes out with some passionate and compelling songs. Tracks like I SHOULD HATE YOU, LETTING GO and title track MADE OF FIRE made me a instant fan of the band and I was able to chat with vocalist Gary about the new album, what it takes to write a good song and found out what other passions these guys are
STEPHANIE: Let’s jump into the new album MADE OF FIRE, how do you guys feel you have grown in songwriting with this new disc and what new elements did you try out to make it a unique writing process?
GARY: we’ve definitely become better songwriters over the last couple years. I think these songs have far better structure and flow than anything we’ve put out previously. For this album we implemented a lot of different genre and style influences from a wide range of music that we all like, and tried to make something unique out of it. The sound we established last album is still there, but with more mid 2000s rock and modern hip hop sounds.
STEPHANIE: Now the band name very basic, EMPTY but also makes you think why choose this word and what does it mean to you and the band’s music?
GARY: Truthfully, we picked the name solely because we thought it sounded cool, however, most of the music that we write (especially this album) revolves around themes of hopelessness, anxiety, depression, and the general feeling of being alone (or empty).
STEPHANIE: Introduce the band members to readers who may not be familiar with you guys and give us one fun fact about each of them?
Gary- vocalist. Loves anime and magic the gathering
Ian- drums. Really into riding motorcycles
Kolby- guitar. REALLY good at Smash Bros
STEPHANIE: Off the new disc the song I SHOULD HATE YOU is a track I fell in love with at first listen, tell me about the start of writing this song and what you hope people get out of the song lyrically?
GARY: So this was the first song I wrote after a really bad breakup. I kinda stepped away from writing for a couple of months because of it, and this track kinda encapsulates my feelings and anger towards the entire situation. I hope people can really relate to this song and at the end of the day feel peace that that person who screwed you over just isn’t worth your time and obviously wasn’t the right one.
STEPHANIE: When creating music how important are lyrical content vs. the music and what are two pieces of advice you would give a band starting out and writing music and also creating lyrics?
GARY: So in my opinion, instrumentally you want to create something identifiable and create something people can groove to. However, the lyrics and melody are the #1 most important aspect of the song. That’s what people will latch on to, remember, and relate to. The instruments can be as simple or complex as you like, but if you don’t have a strong melody and lyrics, the song will fall flat.
STEPHANIE: You guys have a diversity of soundscapes on this album; where does your influences in music lie and do you feel in this day and age it’s good to have a broad spectrum of styles in a band so you can grow and experiment
GARY: We all listen to so many different kinds of music-
I am super into pop and alt rock
Ian is really into classic rock
Kolby is really into prog rock/metal
And we’re all into artists like nothing, nowhere. And ghostemane
I think in this day and age genres are irrelevant and you should take all your influences and making something cool and unique, because so many artists are making the same exact thing. You open yourself up to some really cool ideas by not limiting yourself to the confines of 1 singular genre or style.
STEPHANIE: LETTING GO is another track that stood out, the vocals made me fall in love and it’s just really melody driven, any fun facts about the writing of this song and how do you guys rate this track out of everything else on the album?
GARY: This song is also about that same relationship I talked about previously, but this is more of an internal reflection about where I fell short and my frustration with myself for never being able to accept change and let things or people go. I think a lot of people can relate to that and personally this is my favorite song on the album so personally this is #1 for me but as a group collectively it’s probably more like #2 or 3.
STEPHANIE: PUT MYSELF THROUGH HELL spoke to me on so many levels it was ridiculous, it was like you were in my head. How do you feel when you write a song that really resonates with someone and moves them in emotion and to make changes in their lives?
GARY: That’s exactly the kind of reaction that is my goal whenever I write a song. I put a lot of my own insecurities and the way I very often feel about myself on this track, and it’s really therapeutic just to put my thoughts and feelings down, but it’s all the more rewarding to see that so many people feel or have felt exactly the same way.
STEPHANIE: Other than music do you guys have a passion for anything else, if so what is it and how do you find time to explore this passion with doing the band thing full time?
GARY: So we’re all really nerdy to a degree, we all love video games and we get together to play DnD once a week.
We of course have separate hobbies, but we spend a lot of time together even outside of touring. Spending time with family and friends is super important, but you really have to make the time to do it between work and band. It’s not easy but it’s very possible.
STEPHANIE: How has it been being a Solid State Records band and what drew you to that label in the first place?
GARY: It’s been a super rad experience that’s opened a lot of doors for us. All of our favorite bands that we grew up on or were just super bigs fans of we’re all on SS so naturally it’s where we wanted to go.
STEPHANIE:Being from South Carolina how do you feel the scene for music has flourished in the last few years there and if you guys could help or enhance something to help the music community there what would you want to do?
GARY: In Myrtle Beach specifically there isn’t much of a scene anymore. Really just a lack of bands in the area. Columbia has some really cool bands and a really awesome venue. I would like to try to do something to get more people interested in or involved in the local live music, because I think if more people knew about all these awesome bands that are local to them, there’d be a much bigger audience.
STEPHANIE: Will you guys be touring for this album for the rest of 2021? If so can you give us some details on that and in 3 words define an EMPTY live show?
GARY: We’re currently on tour with Earth Groans right now, and have a 3 day weekend run in December!
Empty shows are- intimate, chaotic, and unpredictable
STEPHANIE: I’ve heard you like to swing from rafters at shows; can you entertain the readers with one wild story from touring past? And would change anything about the story if you did it again?
GARY: I’ve definitely broken a light or 2 and once I climved from the stage to the 2nd floor of a venue then jumped up to the rafters (which was kinda dangerously high) and the owners/promoter were not happy about it all. Now I almost always ask permission before doing that kinda stuff, so if I could go back I’d probably do that, because we’ve definitely been banned from a couple spots, because of those stunts.
STEPHANIE: A lot of people don’t go after their passions because they fear failure. Can you give us some advice on going after a passion?
GARY: Personally we believe you have to fail at least 100 times before you succeed once. It’s really hard to keep a job and tour the way we do. We’ve definitely lost jobs to go on tours that weren’t that great for us, but all of that is part of the sacrifice that pays off later. Even today we’re still a very new/small band and we experience things that are disappointing or discouraging, but you just have to keep pushing through and learn from the mistakes and failures.
STEPHANIE: Anything else you want to add the band is working on or anything you want to tell fans or new comers just getting to know you
GARY: Right now the plan is to go back to doing what we love, putting on wild shows and touring across the country. We’re also already working on the next thing musically, so now that live shows are back and the scene is readjusting, we’re coming back full force.
Keep in touch with the band:
CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY: Evan J. Thomas recently photographed Blacktop Mojo at RocHaus in West Dundee, IL... Check out his bad ass photos! - SEE IT HERE
BAND INTERVIEW: Stephanie Stevens talks with Johnny Skulls and Dax Dabs of the band Above Snake as they talk about the new single "Nothing To Lose", growing up in Boston, ego's in L.A. and MORE! - READ IT HERE
By Stephanie Stevens
Hollywood taught Johnny Skulls and Dax Dabs lessons and made them see how they value their own creativity and point of view. The west coast helped them get music out and had them growing as musicians but in 2019 Johnny-vocals and Dax-guitar came home to Boston, Massachusetts and put together a new project named ABOVE SNAKES. Music that glistens with nu metal rock/rap elements, to the melodic radio rock flair and sensuality. One listen to new single NOTHING TO LOSE you will hear the anthem like inspiration of doing things on their own terms and showcases the music they grew up with and shaped them into the musicians they are today. The track that got me inspired is the band’s first single ADRENALINE with its feisty edgy rock sas!! It’s uplifting, vibrant and gets you moving. Every single they have produced so far has had so much diversity that it makes for a good listen and your always anticipating what new sound or curve ball the band is going to do next. I FEEL BAD bleed with a balladesque rock sensation and NEVER ALONE send out the driving melodic rock flair that radio stations would eat up. All in all ABOVE SNAKES is doing things that they love; they have the passion for great fun music and can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for them
I had a chance to chat with the guys about working with Zach Williams of Dead Eyes, the meaning behind new single NOTHING TO LOSE, the unique band name and much more
Before we get into your band tell me what did music do for you that made you want to pursue a career in this industry?
DAX: Honestly just growing up in the local Boston music scene playing in bands since we were 13, growing up with MTV/TRL in the early 2000s when they would feature bands like Limp Bizkit, and Korn, Seeing the larger than life rockstars on TV and in person at festivals like Ozzfest, it instantly became a dream, especially when we started touring early in our career, we found being on the road is where we needed to be full time! Nothing like waking up in a new city every day!
You guys were Hollywood artists for some time then you moved back to Boston in 2019. This two part questions is when you moved west were all your expectations met being in the area where “music comes alive”?
Johnny: I moved out to Hollywood thinking it was still like it was in the 80s on the sunset strip, but that was definitely not the case! However, going to places like the rainbow room, the Roxy and the viper still had that nostalgic feeling so I'm glad I got to live that for a bit!
And part two, what kind of culture shock was it moving back to Boston and how has the transition been?
DAX: Coming back to to the cold weather and snow was a big change, But were so used to it we embraced it with open arms, and it was good to be back in Boston away from the egos LA had!
ABOVE SNAKES is a unique name for a band how did that come about?
DAX: Speaking of the Egos in LA, We got tired of playing for other people and doing it their way, these types we refer to as snakes, and we rise above that shit! It also has a double meaning, with a snake also meaning something you're going through like Cancer, or dealing with a bully at school.
I read also you both woke up one day deciding that you were going to do music on your terms and your new single NOTHING TO LOSE kind of releases the anthem of being unapologetically yourself and living your life your way. Do you feel people these days are missing that aspect with the social media platforms and feeling they need to compare themselves to others?
DAX: We've seen that type of stuff on social media for sure, and its pretty dumb honestly! Everyone trying to be like someone else or compare themselves. Be YOU! Be unique and fuck what other people think! like the lyrics say in “NOTHING TO LOSE” - “You can hate me, think your gonna change me, but I've got nothing to lose”
On NOTHING TO LOSE you guys kick it back to the old school rap style, a little different from your other songs that I have heard. What prompted you to even play with this idea and how fun was it to get that vibe going again?
Johnny: We grew up on that nu-metal / rap rock sound! Bands like Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, and Linkin Park really influenced our childhood and to this day, still are bands we love bumping!! With each song, we try to do something new each time, staying the same is just plain boring!! We don't play it safe, and we do it our way!
You co-wrote the song with singer Zach Williams of DEAD EYES. How did that friendship happen and what did he bring into the song you guys were missing or you’re learnt or helped in your creativity of songwriting?
DAX: Zach is a super rad dude! We met him when we went back into the studio with Producer Kile Odell who also co-wrote,produced and mixed the track in Nashville! Both super creative people! We look forward to working with them again!
You guys have a high energy musicality to you, which also shows in your live shows in this day and age what do you think is the biggest thing a band needs when looking into branding themselves and once you do have that signature sound or “thing” about you how do you keep it authentic through the years?
DAX: We love bringing that high energy 24/7, positive vibes all around while having no ego! As We've mentioned a few times in this interview, just be yourself while also standing out from the crowd, thats how you stay authentic through the years!
I usually pick one of my favorite tracks to ask you about but all the singles I have heard from you I can’t pick one to ask you about, so I want to know what song are you most proud of writing (excluding the newest single) at this point either NEVER ALONE, I FEEL BAD or ADRENALINE and why that song?
DAX: I would say Adrenaline since it was the first release for the band. We worked super hard for years getting this band together so once we finally had a single debut, it was such a great feeling!
Have you guys been working on a full length or you just content with singles being released?
Johnny: We have been working on an EP, which we plan to drop early next year. But I can definitely tell you we have another single coming and were super excited for it! We've already shot the video for it and it looks insane!
If you are working on a full length album how much more diversity are you creating for the album and will you be recording it in Nashville like you did with the latest single?
DAX: 100% will be back in Nashville! No one beats Kile Odell’s mixes!!! He just mixed and produced The new Nita Strauss Record with the single featuring David Draiman of Disturbed and it BUMPS!!!
Your artwork for the singles also are very artsy and interesting are you guys a part of that and who has done the work on them and do you hope people make a connection from the songs to the artwork?
DAX: Yes we are very much so a part of all the art. Everything you see is our vision down to every little detail, and all drawings were done by an Artist in Indonesia. With our music videos, we also design and build all the sets and clothing, along with co-directing and writing the treatment. We try to be as involved as possible with everything we do, another reason this band would be on our terms, not taking orders and not listening to anyone else, we never settle!
Do you guys have anymore shows coming up throughout the rest of 2021
Johnny: While we are actually planning a lot for 2022, we currently don't have anything booked for the rest of the year, but you can expect more new music from us around the corner!
3 unique facts about the band or the band members?
1. Previous to this band I was always a drummer.
2. I design and make custom clothing and my company is called Black Label Kin.
3. Dax & I own and run a huge recording studio complex in Reading Ma called The Warehouse Recording Studios! We do everything from recording, production, mixing, photography, music videos, and lessons! www.thewarehouserecordingstudios.com check it!!
Any last comments or anything you want to tell your fans or newcomers reading this?
Thanks to everyone who has been bumping our newest single “Nothing To Lose” online and on radio stations across the country! We are super grateful and beyond stoked for almost 50,000 views on youtube in under a month! If you've never heard of us, check us out! Were loud, obnoxious and don't play it safe!
Stay in contact with the band!
NEW MUSIC: Slipknot unleashes a blistering new visualizer single for"The Chapeltown Rag" - LISTEN TO IT HERE
NEW MUSIC: Limp Bizkit unveils their second single, "Dirty Rotten Bizkit" off of their new album Still Sucks which dropped on Halloween - LISTEN TO IT HERE
CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY: Evan J. Thomas recently covered Black Label Society at the House of Blues in Chicago, IL - Check out his bad ass photos - CHECK IT OUT HERE
CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY & REVIEW: Mongolian metal band The Hu recently played the Park West Theater in Chicago, IL and Evan J. Thomas was there to capture the spectacle - SEE IT ALL HERE
Another highly anticipated show for me in 2021 was here and this time it was the buzz around the Mongolian metal band The Hu. Using traditional Mongolian instrumentation including the Morin khuur, the Tovshuur and Mongolian throat singing the band calls their style of music "hunnu rock", hu inspired by the Hunnu, an ancient Mongol/Turkic empire, known as Xiongnu in Mongolia. Some of the band's lyrics include old Mongolian war cries and poetry. Thank you Wikipedia for that info!
With a band like The Hu and their eclectic sound, it was only fitting for the crowd to be as diverse in nature for as many shows I have been to in recent years. Now lets talk about the show. Unfortunately I wasn't able to photograph the show from the photo pit since there apparently wasn't one so I had to photograph from the crowd so I wandered around the Park West trying to get the best angle as i'm rocking out to the bands set. The Hu moved the masses kicking off the show with "Shoog shoog", and bringing us their cross over favorites "Yuve Yuve Yu" and my personal favorite "Wolf Totem". The Hu finished their set and walked off the stage to thundering applause for an encore and the band didn't hesitate to come back and go all out with their rendition of the Metallica classic "Sad But True".
I love the whole aura of what the band brings, I think they have 9 members in the band including 2 drummers. The various traditional Mongolian instruments and the throat singing is something I have never experienced before and it was a bad ass change of pace. Great band, great energy! Rock On!
CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY: Evan J. Thomas recently covered guitarist Bobby Keller and his band New Dilemma, check out his bad ass photos! - SEE IT HERE
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