Hopeless Records‘ nonprofit subsidiary, Sub City Records (get it?) is working with New Directions For Youth in Los Angeles, to build Sub City Studios. The nonprofit will educate teens about various instruments, as well as teaching them the ins and outs of recording, producing, and marketing. Besides the nice feeling you’ll get from helping out a great cause, the label is offering a ton of great rewards including signed and rare merch from Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday, and Bayside, to a writing session with Bert McCracken of The Used, and meet and greets with All Time Low and Silverstein. Check out the campaign’s video below, and pledge here. (more…)
Hitting the net via social media yesterday afternoon and confirmed by the bands shortly after, the autumn outing from Bayside and Motion City Soundtrack will be the first time the two have performed together on tour in years. Support for the run will come from What’s Eating Gilbert and State Champs. Not all the dates have been revealed yet, but you can view the first five confirmed stops below.
10/5 @ Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
10/6 @ New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
10/9 @ Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live
10/14 @ Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
10/16 @ Iowa City, IA – The Blue Moose Tap
Breaking around 11pm (EST) last night, May 15, Riot Fest’s initial lineup announcement includes headline performances by Blink-182 and Fall Out Boy. An additional headliner will be revealed in the weeks ahead, but as far as additional confirmed acts go, you can count on seeing The Violent Femmes, Motorhead, Sublime With Rome, Rancid, AFI, Blondie, Public Enemy, Brand New, Flag, Taking Back Sunday, Rocket From The Crypt, Bad Religion, Atmosphere, The Dismemberment Plan, Dinosaur Jr, X, Devotchka, Yellowcard, Screeching Weasel, Pennywise, The Broadways, Against Me!, Bob Mould, Gwar, The Lillingtons, Best Coast, The Lawrence Arms, Say Anything, Bad Brains, Quicksand, The Selecter, Bad Books, Mission Of Burma, The Devil Wears Prada, Saves The Day, Glassjaw, Bayside, Stars, Toots and the Maytals, Peter Hook (performing a Joy Division set!), Smoking Popes, Reggie and the Full Effect, Attack Attack!, The Dear Hunter, Maps and Atlases, Surfer Blood, Chuck Ragan, Dessa, Saul Williams, Empires, Memphiskapheles, Kitten, Peelander-Z, Touche Amore, Masked Intruder, Deal’s Gone Bad, Twin Peaks, Flatfoot 56, and White Mystery.
Venture Guitars is an independent custom guitar company based out of Pawtucket, RI. It was founded in 2009 by four friends, including Travis Alexander of the band Ghost Thrower (formerly of Therefore I Am). They have handmade high quality 100% custom guitars for major artists including Steve Klein of New Found Glory, Dallas Green of City and olour (ex-Alexisonfire), Bryan Donahue of Early Morning Blues (ex-Boys Like Girls), and more. Now they are hoping to push their business to the next level by entering their first original design into the professional guitar market, but they need your help! The guitar is called the Anna-Lee, and through Kickstarter, they are hoping to raise at least $15,000 to afford new parts and equipment to expand their business and build more of this model. If you would like to help fund this project and support an ambitious, independent, all American-made company, click here to learn more, donate, and receive some cool pledge rewards!
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With a steady decline in CD sales caused by an even more exponentially consistent incline in downloading, it’s becoming more and more difficult for artists to justify selling their music within physical mediums. The upside, however, is that many indie and DIY bands are using this as inspiration to get more creative, putting the extra effort into their physical products and making something even more unique and valuable for their fans. A classic example is the split release concept. With the recent resurgence of vinyl and reinforced motivation to create a valuable physical product, many bands have teamed up on interesting limited edition projects. Here are some notable split releases from this year and the past few years that are sure to be valuable collectors items: (more…)
Any fan of early 2000’s pop punk knows that Taking Back Sunday‘s Tell All Your Friends is the go-to warm weather record. Ten years after the album’s release, TBS is still one of the biggest bands in the modern rock scene, so it’s no surprise that they’ve been drawing the biggest crowds at Warped Tour all summer. We met up with drummer Mark O’Connell and guitarist John Nolan at the Mansfield date to chat about having icon status on Warped, writing new material and the rumored 10th anniversary tour for their classic debut record.
OS: You haven’t been on the Warped Tour for many, many years. What’s it like to be headlining the whole thing this year?
JN: I think the weirdest thing is that this band has a status, I think, at this point, amongst the other bands. The younger bands kind of look at us like something. You know, like we’re these elder statesmen or something like that, which was not the case, obviously, in 2004. But yeah, it’s definitely interesting to be on this tour and to be in this kind of position like that, where bands look at you a certain way, and even the audience, too. But it definitely feels like we’re reintroducing ourselves to a lot of people at the same time, which is cool. I mean it’s been a good thing all around, I think.
OS: You’ve never done Warped Tour with the lineup you have now. What’s it like to have two new people out this time?
MO: Well he is one of the new people. [points at Nolan]
JN: He gets to talk shit about one of the new guys [laughs].
MO: And he’s a new-old guy, the old-new…whatever. But, I can say that it’s definitely more fun with John and Shaun [Cooper]. The original lineup.
JN: I personally think the band is much better with Shaun Cooper and John Nolan in it. I mean just, a completely unbiased position, I mean, it’s just better. Just better. [laughs] Everything is better.
OS: There are a lot of veterans out with you guys this year, like New Found Glory, Bayside, and Senses Fail. Is it nice to have bands that broke out around the same time you did on Warped Tour?
MO: Yeah. You know, we’re always right next to Bayside and New Found Glory, so they’re good dudes, we’ve known them for a long time, so it makes it nice to, you know, be able to wake up and see people that you know. Friendly faces, smiles, good friends. Good times.
Bayside have always been more lyrically-driven than many of their power-pop contemporaries, and the tracks on their latest release Killing Time are no exception. On songs like “Mona Lisa” and “Sinking and Swimming on Long Island,” the band consistently delves into weighty themes while their chunky hooks keep the album interesting. But nowhere do frontman Anthony Raneri’s words shine like they do during On Love, On Life, a lyrical and musical standout on the album.
With a title like On Love, On Life, you might expect the track to be a hard-hitting manifesto”sharp, dark, featuring Bayside’s usual hammering rhythms and heavy guitar licks. Instead, On Love is more in the vein of Don’t Call Me Peanut or Moceanu, alternating between acoustic guitar and plucky piano, even featuring a string section.
The track begins with Raneri “writing words” as he considers past missteps. I contemplate mistakes that we all made/The start and the ending of errors, he sings during the track’s opening verse. The listener immediately gets the sense that this will be a song of reflection on his past, and it isn’t long until Raneri explores old loves. So I sit here carving words into theï»¿ walls, words that remind me of just how I was/I never felt as old and lonely as I felt when I was young and in love.” Oh, Anthony, how right you are there. Why is it that young love can feel so draining when it should be blissful? It’s a subject Bayside has touched upon often in their earlier work; listen to “A Synonym For Acquiesce” or “Montauk” to hear it for yourself. As Killing Time is the band’s fifth LP, they can use tracks like this to reflect on the themes they explored earlier with a slightly more level-headed approach.
(That’s not to say the group doesn’t continue looking into failed romances. The recently-divorced Raneri certainly had anger to draw from, and as evidenced by the aggressive “Sick, Sick, Sick,” not every song on the album has an optimistic flare.)
Of course, “On Love” isn’t the most optimistic track either. We should bite our tongues/ We should bite our tongues, Raneri repeatedly croons throughout the song. Because afterï»¿ all, it’s only our lives anyway. His backhanded sarcasm is fitting”and he expands on it with the request in the song’s chorus: Can’t let it bother me/If fact and faith just can’t agree/On love, on life/Can we stop taking ourselves too seriously? His plea is a simple, thought-provoking one, and is infinitely more affecting when complimented by the track’s elegant melody. As the eighth song on a ten-track album, On Love offers a leisurely paced but lyrically biting reflection before Killing Time returns to its usual adrenaline-pumping melodic rock.
Check out the “On Love, On Life” and the rest of Killing Time on iTunes.
Having been a constant presence in the modern rock scene for nearly a decade, post-hardcore band Senses Fail have refused to conform to current trends on and off the stage. Their fifth studio record, The Fire, a testament to the bands evolution and experiences grappling with self-doubt, anger and forgiveness, was released on Tuesday. We got the chance to speak with frontman Buddy Nielsen about the new record, the first-ever Senses Fail DVD and being on tour with Bayside.
OS: Senses Fail recently returned from touring Australia. How did the crowds there react to seeing you live for the first time in four years?
BN: It was awesome! I had a great time. Everything went really well and I thought the shows went great. I can’t wait to go back. Australia is really my favorite place to go.
OS: The Fire is the first Senses Fail record with Zack Roach on guitar. How has the lineup change affected the band and the writing of the record?
BN: Zack didn’t really do a ton of writing, it was mostly the three of us. Heath (Saraceno, former guitarist) had a lot to do with the writing, but he was kind of a guy who came in after the fact and added to it, he didn’t really write the bulk of the stuff. Not a lot has really changed, as far as the writing process. Garrett (Zablocki, guitarist) usually wrote the bulk of it and he and Dan (Trapp, drummer) arranged it, then I would come up with the melodies and lyrics and help arrange it. I think people would expect that there would be a change, but there really wasn’t.
OS: Senses Fail’s music seems to get heavier with each release. Is this a conscious decision or has it happened naturally?
BN: It just happens. It’s hard to explore different avenues, going a poppier route. It’s very linear, what you can do with something that’s catchy, as opposed to taking a different vibe and taking a different feeling and taking a heavier route. We try to write songs that we would like to play, ultimately…stuff that isn’t too out of the box for us. I think a lot of bands tend to jump the shark sometimes in trying to be experimental. Sometimes it works but I really think most times it doesn’t.
OS: There’s a way to progress without going too far.
BN: Yeah. You’ve got to know who you are as a band and who your fans are, too. You can’t just abandon what made you popular. You can’t get ahead of yourself and what you think are.
OS: That’s something you show on The Fire. You guys have definitely come a long way but you still sound like Senses Fail.
BN: Oh, awesome, thanks! That would be what I want to hear. I don’t like when my favorite bands decide to do something stupid and change their thing. It’s like, “Why? You just ruined it. I liked you for this reason but you decided to mess up what was good about it.” I think bands that have been around for a long time feel a sense of urgency to keep up with what’s going on or out-do what’s going on to stay relevant. It’s hard not to go, “This is what’s popular, should we do this? Do we need to have all these breakdowns and then a techno part? I hope it’s not what we need to do.”
OS: Tell us about the title track of the new record.
BN: “The Fire”… that song, to me, just opens up the record to what the record’s going to be. “The Fire” is about going through a process of change in your life with uncertainty, but ultimately telling yourself that you’re at the right place at the right time and that everything’s pretty much happening for the right reasons. It’s kind of a bipolar song where part of it’s positive and then at the breakdown it goes back to reflecting on ways that I have chosen to deal with things and ultimately want to change. Walking through the fire; walking through a time of hardship leaves you stronger and better off.
OS: Your lyrics have have always been extremely personal, but varied, in terms of their themes. What would you say are the lyrical themes of The Fire?
BN: Self-exploration and working up a lot of self-doubt and anger…definitely anger towards relationships that I’ve had within my family and coming to terms with them. I think forgiveness is definitely a theme on the record…and just trying to figure out what to do when you’re 26 and in a band. The same things that everyone else is trying to figure out.
OS: You’re releasing a live DVD with the first pressing of The Fire. What was the concert shoot like?
BN: We did it last Halloween in New Jersey and it came out great, I’m happy with it. It was our first time that we did a live DVD and it’s a pain in the ass (laughs). The whole process is just kind of a pain in the ass. But it came out really good, I’m psyched. People have been asking for it. We’re not the kind of band that’s going to put on a Nine Inch Nails kind of a show where it’s very visual and stuff, it’s more the kind of show that you need to go to, you know? It’s just a band playing music and it’s kind of hard to sell that on its own, nowadays, with people not buying records and people just not buying things, period. I think it’s better off that it comes with the record, because it’s an added bonus, like, “Hey, here’s a live show, if you’ve never seen us.” You can’t ever really get what it’s like to be at a show, unless you’re there…or unless you’re watching a Muse DVD and it’s just hundreds of thousands of people and a crazy stage show and lights. That’s visually entertaining and you can sit there and watch.
OS: You’re touring with your friends in Bayside. What are you most looking forward to while on the road with them?
BN: I’m just excited to finally be on tour with a bunch of bands that I don’t think suck. We tried, with the last record, to bring along bands that were doing well and that didn’t work. We’ve been a band for nine years now and a lot of our fans are a little older and they go to the bar…they don’t want to see some of the shit that’s going down now. We made some decisions in underestimating how much our audience has grown and what they would like to see. I think that they would probably like to see stuff more along the lines of what we’d like, which is great. I think this tour is going to do really well. I don’t know how much the crossover is between Bayside fans and Senses Fail fans, but I definitely know that Senses Fail fans do like Bayside as well.
OS: And the other two bands…you were saying on Twitter that people should definitely listen to them. What are they like?
BN: Oh yeah, they’re great bands. Title Fight is punk rock, hardcore band. Like Good Riddance, kind of. Balance and Composure sounds like a mid-90s Midwestern emo band. They’re very spacey but heavy, not in a breakdown way…like Deep Elm Records kind of stuff, which is really cool. There are times when they sound like older Recover. They’re doing very well so it should be fun.
OS: In addition to providing vocals for Senses Fail, you also front a punk band called Bayonet. Are there any recording our touring plans in the works for 2011?
BN: We have a bunch of stuff recorded and we have a bunch of stuff we’re still writing, it’s just in between having to write this whole record and then record it, I haven’t really had any time to do anything with that. But I think our full-length will come out next year on Vagrant.
Check out Senses Fail on tour with Bayside at these upcoming tour dates:
10/28 “ Omaha, NE at The Waiting Room
10/29 “ Denver, CO at The Summit Music Hall
10/30 “ Salt Lake City, UT at In The Venue
11/01 “ Seattle, WA at El Corazon
11/02 “ Portland, OR at Wonder Ballroom
11/04 “ San Francisco, CA at The Regency Ballroom
11/05 “ West Hollywood, CA at Troubadour
11/06 “ Anaheim, CA at House of Blues
11/07 “ San Diego, CA at House of Blues
11/09 “ Mesa, AZ at The Nile
11/10 “ Albuquerque, NM at Sunshine Theatre
11/12 “ Dallas, TX at The Door
11/13 “ Austin, TX at Emo’s
11/14 “ Houston, TX at Warehouse Live
11/16 “ Jacksonville Beach, FL at Freebird Live
11/17 “ St. Petersburg, FL at State Theatre
11/18 “ Lake Buena Vista, FL at House of Blues
11/19 “ Atlanta, GA at The Masquerade
11/20 “ Charleston, SC at The Music Farm
11/21 “ Greensboro, NC at Greene Street
11/23 “ Towson, MD at The Recher Theatre
11/24 “ Sayreville, NJ at Starland Ballroom
11/27 “ Philadelphia, PA at Electric Factory
When some people think of Reno, Nevada, the popular Comedy Central show Reno 911 comes to mind. Others envision a city that sits in a high desert valley at the foot of the Sierras. Now the city has a new distinction. Reno’s pop-punk group Wayward shines brighter than the lights on the Vegas strip. As noted by Anthony Raneri from Bayside and Kelvin Cruz of A Thorn For Every Heart, Wayward produces vocal melodies that will catch anyone’s ear, as well as strong guitar riffs (not to mention great solos) and driving beats and bass. This is a band that everyone should definitely keep an eye on. With their new album in the works through Justin Powell Productions, the Nevada scene will definitely benefit from having such a hard working (not to mention close-knit) band. Be sure to check out their music at www.myspace.com/waywardmusic and leave them some love. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
Without further ado, iRock is proud to feature WAYWARD as the “Artist of the Week”. Check out the Q&A with Chris of Wayward below.