Guitar maven Nita Strauss made her Chicago area solo debut this week at The Wire in Berwyn along with guitar shredders Angel Vivaldi & Jacky Vincent - Check out his bad ass photos and review HERE!
Guitar maven Nita Strauss made her Chicago area solo debut Tuesday night at The Wire in Berwyn, IL and she brought her guitar shredding friends with her, Jacky Vincent and Angel Vivaldi for The Guitar Collective 2018 Tour. Jacky Vincent opened up the show with some incredible guitar work and got the crowd amped up.
Nita then appeared on stage with a full band and bassist Christopher Dean to her right. It's a bit odd for me going to a show like this with no vocals, just straight guitar and a myriad of sounds but it was a sight to be seen and an event to hear. Nita is masterful on the 6 string as she slashes around the stage, whipping her long blonde hair as she rocks out. Nita pumped out a ferocious cover of Alice Cooper's (who she plays with) "I'm Eighteen". Her nearly 40 minute set had the masses mesmerized throughout.
Next up was Angel Vivaldi and his impressive fret work. After Angel's set, Nita and Jacky joined him on stage for a power trio finale that was down right mind blowing. The three of them playing in unison and their skillful guitar work was an experience. Check out the photos from Evan J. Thomas below.
We recently talked with Swedish rock band Stew about their new EP HOT, their greatest rock hero and much more! - READ IT HERE
Interview with STEW
Bringing the sounds of classic rock and melding them into a place that completely rocks is what STEW has created. A time when the doors are wide open to create this trio has with their 4-track release 'Hot' and a new album on the way they are unstoppable!
How do you know as a band when a song is complete and ready?
Markus Åsland: I think you´ve got a good feeling when the song is finished. Because you have probably tried it in different shapes back and forth a couple of times. So when the whole band has a good feeling about the song, nothing more to add, that's when the song is finished.
Why did the songs on this EP, 'HOT' make it to the final cut?
Markus Åsland: I remember the first time I heard Jansson play the intro to "If this will be the end". I totally fell for it, had it in my head for so long, thinking this is a song we have to make good and record. All four songs on our EP I think are good rock songs, which we felt from the start. That's why they made it to the studio room.
Where does inspiration come from? Can you talk about the development and structure your music? What is it you listen for?
Markus Åsland: Our inspiration comes from the 60s and 70s rock, blues, and soul. Music that has that genuine raw vibe. Music that feels real. I believe a good song often starts with a good intro, which gets the listener interested.
When playing live, what song of yours seems to get the crowd really involved?
MÅ: We have this song called "Fruits" which has a lot of groove in it. That´s a good one.
What festivals have you played and what festivals would you like to perform at?
Markus Åsland: We haven't played at any festivals yet which we of course really would love to do. Right now any festival would be interesting.
Do you as a band prefer small venues where it is more intimate or huge festivals in wide open spaces?
MÅ: The three of us really like to do small club venues which gets quite in time with the audience.
Each band member talk about the time you have taken to train yourselves on your own personal instruments?
MÅ: I've always been interested in playing the guitar. I think I started to play guitar when I was around 15, learned a couple of chords and then wrote my first songs. Later on, I started to play bass which I thought was so much fun.
Nicklas and Nicklas have played with each other for about 15 years in different bands. Jansson told me he remembers having a guitar hanging on the wall in his parents' house when he was just a kid. One day he took it down and was hooked immediately.
Dahlgren: My parents have told me that when I was very little I used to drum on all couple of things, like pots and stuff in the kitchen etc. When I was 11-12 I started to take drum lessons.
Do you play other instruments too? If so what else do you play?
MÅ: I love to play instruments. Drums and piano are some things I find very stimulating and inspiring to play.
Is there another instrument you would like to learn?
MÅ: Piano is something I would love to play a little bit better. It is a really good tool when you're writing songs.
What else in the music industry would you all like to do or at least understand a bit better?
MÅ: Can't figure something out at the moment.
Greatest rock hero to you each would be?
Nicklas Dahlgren: John Bonham
Nicklas Jansson: Jimi Hendrix
Markus Åsland: Paul Rodgers
Sweden makes some really good music. Do you all have a favorite band from your country?
MÅ: There was a band named November that played in the 70's. They were just awesome!
In each of your opinions best single/music video that came out in 2018?
MÅ: Mitch Rivers - "Easy Way Out"
Nicklas Dahlgren: Rival Sons - "Do Your Worst"
Nicklas Jansson: I need to say Mitch Rivers as well love his new album and the song "Silver Lining" is really good!
2019 is almost here- what can the fans of STEW expect to be coming?
MÅ: In 2019 we will record our debut album, release it and take as many gigs as possible. That's pretty much our goals for now.
Markus Åsland - Bass/Vocals
Nicklas Jansson - Guitar
Nicklas Dahlgren - Drums
Pennsylvania hard rock band Small Town Titans and their cover of "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is becoming a staple of the Holiday Season - WATCH IT HERE
Devildriver made their way to Route 20 in Wisconsin recently with JinJer, Raven Black and local metal band Repentance, check out Evan's photos and review HERE!
Route 20 in Milwaukee Wisconsin was jam packed on a bitter cold Monday night outside, but inside the venue the four bands on the bill brought the heat! Repentance, Raven Black, JinJer and DevilDriver were ready to bring it.
First up was local support from newly formed metal band Repentance. Hailing from Northern Illinois these guys kicked off the night with some face melting tracks including their recent released "Enter The Gallows" single. The band whipped about the stage with passion and energy while lubing the crowd up for the next three acts.
Raven Black was next up and that was my first time checking them out. Raven Black is like a dark metal carnival with full makeup and carnival type sounds in their music.
Hailing from the Ukraine, JinJer emerged on the stage as sultry lead singer Tatiana belted out the new single "Ape" along with "Just Another" and "Sit Stay Roll Over". Her intermix of brutal vocals and stylized singing makes for an incredible experience.
Headliners DevilDriver came out next and this was my third time seeing Dez Fafara and the boys and they didn't disappoint. Dez at one point told the security guards to let the pit happen when they tried to stop it. The crowd went nuts and the pit was one of the best i've seen in a while. DevilDriver's cover of "Sail" was a highlight for me and their rendition is bad ass. Other favorites like "I Could Care Less" and The Mountain" were staples of the evening. Everyone in attendance got the show they expected to see.
Evan recently covered Doyle W. Von Frankenstein at The Forge, check out his incredible photos and his review of the show HERE
ChHalloween night at The Forge in Joliet, IL was the place to be! The iconic Doyle W. Von Frankenstein headlining a bad ass lineup that included locals Sinister Fate, Blood People, Secrets Of Skeletons and The Illogical.
The four opening acts were dressed in their best Halloween costumes as they took the stage. Each one of them rocking out in front of the also mostly dressed up crowd that turned out to be one big costume party with some killer music.
Doyle appeared on the stage and strutted around thrashing out and pounding on his guitar to get those deep tones. His stage presence is intense as he's shirtless with his massive physique that is chiselled to the core. His guitar playing is masterful and entertaining to say the least and gives the masses an entertaining show.
Check out the photos below!
Finnish Electro-Metal Band BLACK LIGHT DISCIPLINE has released the official music video for their inspired cover of Alan Walker's Platinum hit single "Faded,” the fourth single off of their upcoming LP, TBA.
Black Light Discipline (BLD) is a genre-breaking band combining electro, metal, and dance elements, creating their own unique yet raw sound. This Finnish band is known for their energetic live-shows which bring people from different musical genres together for a party. In the band’s lifespan, BLD has developed their novel sound while combining lyrical stories about world-wide issues. BLD pushes the envelope wih every live performance. The sky is not the limit
We recently interviewed New Jersey metal band City Of Tyrants as we discussed their new album Revelations and MORE!
By Raquel LeTeph
City of Tyrants has taken on a unique challenge as they have created an album, 'Revelations' to tell an epic tale. 'Revelations' is a concept album that tells the story of a god-like figure chosen to fulfill a prophecy. He is faced with several challenges that will eventually break him down causing him to become the evil which he sought to destroy. The first single off the album "Astral Projection" opens COT's new album to take your musical ear on a journey.
RL: What is the music scene like in the New Jersey area? Does the local sound influence you as a band?
Kevin Michael: The music scene in New Jersey is interesting. It's very eclectic but there's always been a strong metal scene. We didn't look to the local sound so much for influence. For us, it was about taking what we did on our last EP and figuring out how to take that to a whole new level on 'Revelations'.
RL: What got each of you interested in playing an instrument? Do you still play the same one that you began with?
Kevin Michael: We all have different backgrounds as far as this question goes. I started on drums and have remained on drums, Charlie likes to play guitar but his focus has always been vocals, Ching and Ed both tried out different instruments in HighSchool but stuck primarily with guitar and I believe Josh was primarily a guitarist before becoming the full-time bassist in the band. We all had that one band when we were young who we heard and instantly knew that we were meant to pick up an instrument.
RL: You took on a different approach to this album, where did the idea come from for this album?
Kevin Michael: Charlie and I developed the concept early on in the writing process. We wanted to do something challenging that we hadn't tried before. While writing it we thought of it more like writing a script for a movie. We had to pay very close attention to every little detail to ensure the whole story was cohesive. Instrumentally, we also threw in a few recurring themes to tie the album together. It was a great experience that helped us evolve as a band and individually.
RL: How did the writing process work?
Kevin Michael: Our writing process is interesting. The songs sometimes started out as simple as a melody played on guitar, piano or an interesting synth. Other times, Ching and Ed would write a great guitar riff that we were able to build off of. For example the electronic intro to the song 'NARAKA' was written a couple months before the guys ever laid down a guitar track for it. When we find a strong theme or "global melody" if you will, we like to run with it and just do what feels natural. Once the instruments were all tracked we wrote and tracked the vocals which were probably the most exciting part of the whole process.
RL: Was everyone on board to create an album that became a whole story?
Kevin Michael: Once Charlie had the concept worked out lyrically, he presented it to everyone and we were all on board. Since it was new, it seemed like it would be a lot more fun than writing a random collection of songs.
RL: Discuss the structure of the album and how musically it flows... did you find doing an album this way to be easy or difficult?
Kevin Michael: I wouldn't say it was easy, but we had a very well thought out plan. Structurally, the album is very cohesive. Every song is a progression of the main character who's questioning his own ideology and fighting his urges to become the opposite of what he set out to be at the beginning of the story. For the sake of keeping this short I'll say that thematically, its actually pretty dark and every song builds towards the character's demise.
RL: Would you create an album this way again or is it one and done?
Kevin Michael: I think we would do a concept album again in the future but we don't have any plans for it. We'd like to try something a little different on every record.
RL: Since you are a relatively new band, what’s the best advice you have ever gotten from another musician or band?
Kevin Michael: We worked with Lukas Magyar of Veil Of Maya on this album who co-wrote some of the vocals. He gave a lot of great advice along the way but something that resonated with me was when he told us "no matter what, keep doing what you're doing". As simple as that sounds, it's important to build self-confidence, keep moving forward and to be proud of the music you create.
RL: What advice would you pass along to another band starting out?
City of Tyrants: Never limit yourself! Always try to keep an open mind and let your sound evolve.
Sonic Temple Festival has announced it's inaugural lineup for 2019 and it is jam packed with some heavy hitters like Foo Fighters, System Of A Down, Disturbed and MORE! - READ IT HERE
Foo Fighters, System of a Down and Disturbed have been announced as headliners for the inaugural Sonic Temple Art and Music Festival. The three-day event, which serves as the replacement for Rock on the Range, will also feature Bring Me the Horizon, the Prodigy, Ghost, Halestorm, Lamb of God, Chevelle, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the Cult and many others. You can see the full lineup below
Foo Fighters, System Of A Down, Disturbed, Bring Me the Horizon, The Prodigy, Ghost, Halestorm, Lamb of God, Chevelle, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The Cult, In This Moment, The Hives, Gojira, The Distillers, Meshuggah, Action Bronson, The Struts, Refused, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, Black Label Society, Beartooth, Scars On Broadway, Architects, Tom Morello, Avatar, Pussy Riot, Bad Wolves, Fever 333, Mark Lanegan Band, Badflower, The Glorious Sons, Issues, Yungblud, H09909, Black Pistol Fire, Scarlxrd, Zeal & Ardor, Basement, The Black Dahlia Murder, Don Broco, Wage War, Hands Like Houses, While She Sleeps, Palaye Royale, Movements, Amigo the Devil, The Plot In You, Boston Manor, COUNTERFEIT., Demob Happy, Teenage Wrist, The Pretty Vicious, Black Coffee, Shvpes, Dirty Honey, No1Cares, The Jacks.
The fest will take place at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, May 17, Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 of next year. Initial ticket prices for Sonic Temple, which will go on sale this coming Friday, Nov. 30, at noon EST, are as follows:
- Weekend VIP: $379.50 plus fees
- Pillar Premium VIP Package: $1,949.50 plus fees (accommodations for 2)
- Weekend Field General Admission: $199.50 plus fees
- Weekend Stadium General Admission: $99.50 plus fees
- RV Camping: $250.00.
“I am so proud of what we accomplished with Rock on the Range, and with the debut of Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival, we’re excited to bring our devoted rock fans and the city of Columbus a one-of-a-kind, world-class event that expands on the festival experience," comments Danny Wimmer, founder of Danny Wimmer Presents. "The idea behind Sonic Temple is walking into something bigger than yourself, where YOU belong, or where you were always meant to be. The crowd is unparalleled, and the energy is electrifying, like going to a place of worship. We want this festival to be a temple of rock n’ roll. We want this to be the ultimate rock experience for the true fans who love the genre as much as we do.”
System Of A Down’s Shavo Odadjian says, “Although in its inaugural year, Sonic Temple’s pedigree is proven, and its roots are strong; it made total sense for us to be involved. One could argue that it was a long time coming. We’ll see you all in Columbus this May.”
Disturbed's David Draiman adds, "We are honored to share the stage with all of our amazingly talented friends and colleagues at the upcoming Sonic Temple Festival in Columbus, Ohio. Are You Ready?!?!”
For more info on Sonic Temple, head on over to the event website.
Chicago based and metal band StitchedApart has released their Official Music Video for "Off The Cuff" - WATCH IT HERE
Contributor Rema LaTorre recently talked with Joe Settinery about his new song "Batman Cries" and much more! Read it HERE
By: Rema LaTorre
Rich vocals might be the best way to describe the music Joe Settineri brings. His latest single and music video "Batman Cries" takes that power and reaches out to all who struggle to overcome times of doubt and sorrow with the hope that they can overcome.
Do you feel that you are a latecomer to the music scene or does pop and adult contemporary have a wider window on their timeline of being an artist?
JPS: Yep. I’ve actually been at this for quite a while, but I do feel a little like a latecomer at times – but only for a short hot minute, and then I move on to creating my own journey.
Have you always written and performed this type of work?
JPS: Yes, I would say so -- I have always written similar types of songs with a similar emotive subjective matter, but I would say my sound has definitely progressed and changed over the years. I finally feel like my sound is my sound if that makes sense.
Your voice carries a strong vocal presence, were you involved in the stage singing as well?
JPS: Ha! Yes. Guilty as charged – here and there.
Can you share with us all the various people and their contributing talents to this song?
JPS: It was small but mighty crew and I love them all! Mike Krompass produced the song and also brings his crazy guitar skills to the picture. Scott Westervelt plays on it as well and he’s quite possibly the best piano player I’ve ever worked with. Ashley Clark added his trademark strings to the song at the end, and the whole thing just came alive.
"Batman Cries" is a song that many can identify with.
Did you write this particular song, and what drew you to the character Batman?
JPS: Yes – I wrote it. The song concept was perfect for Batman once I got started. The concept was about the strongest among us falling and trying to get back up. Of all the superheroes out there, I just felt like Batman had the toughest exterior emotionally and would be the least likely to crumble. What if he broke down? Let the debating begin.
Has the pop culture world resonated with this well?
JPS: It’s definitely been a mixed reaction across the board, but all in all I would say yes. It has sparked a conversation amongst lots of passionate people and I love that. I have also gotten a lot of messages from people everywhere who really connected with this song and that makes it all worth it.
Obviously, your song is doing well on streaming, your numbers are strong. That must feel pretty satisfying.
JPS: Thanks. Yes, It does feel good. I’m super happy that people are listening.
Previously this year you had released "Hello Goodbye" and now "Batman Cries" with each release what is your drive towards your ultimate goals for your music Joe?
JPS: My main goal is to create music that people want to hear and that people can connect with. We have another song (Oxygen) coming out in early 2019 and I’m excited to let people hear a different side of me. I’m just trying to keep the ball moving forward – musically.
As both of your releases seem to deal with things we all identify with, how can the public use this particular song "Batman Cries" to maybe help themselves or another person?
JPS: This song is all about examining our feelings when the strongest people in our lives (ourselves included) are down and out. Even the strongest people need a hand to get back up sometimes. It’s ok to need help. So, I think keeping that in mind while we observe the world around us … and within us … is really important. What if we simply lowered our expectations of those around us? And even more importantly, maybe we should lower our expectations of ourselves – just a little bit.
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