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Vans And Metallica Team Up For Custom Shoe Line

In a continuation of Vans’ partnership with Metallica, the California shoe company has just released four new custom shoes, each representing one member of the legendary metal act. To design the shoes, Vans encouraged the band members to take inspiration from music and action sports to create shoes that represented their own individual styles. The results are unique takes on four classic Vans shoes: the Sk8-Hi Deconstruct, Era Laceless, Slip-On, and Escuela.

While these are the first custom shoes designed in partnership with individual members of the band in mind, it’s not the first time the brand and band have collaborated. This past October, marking the 20-year anniversary of the Half Cab Pro, Vans released a Metallica version of that shoe featuring the artwork to the band’s debut album Kill ‘Em All. This February, Vans plans to release two more shoes celebrating the album. Check out James Hetfield’s custom shoe below, and see the rest after the jump.

If you’re a fan of Metallica, check out OurStage members Twelvestep.

James Hetfield’s Sk8-Hi Deconstruct

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Exclusive Q and A: Black Veil Brides Talk Composing, Collaborating, And Classical Music

With their latest release Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, Black Veil Brides take on the toughest of all rock challenges: the concept album. Sweeping in scope, the band’s new album tells the story of a despotic government that aims to destroy science and creativity while turning the youth into drones. Concept albums are notoriously hard to pull off, but the band’s already epic sound seems tailor-made for such an endeavor. We caught up with frontman Andy Biersack to chat about the process of making the album, the accompanying film Legion of the Black, and whether a stage version of the record may be in the future.

OS: The story behind the album is really compelling. Does it also reflect your view of the current state of the world as well as the story of the band?

Andy Biersack: I don’t necessarily think that the current state of the world is indicative of the story that I wrote, but it’s obvious that it wouldn’t be that hard to make the leap. It’s not a politically-charged record “ it’s not meant to be a parallel for exactly what’s going on in politics or religion or anything else. It’s more meant to be a parable for our own lives and taking the characters that have been negative forces in your life and applying more power to them i.e. making them into these political/religious forces. But it wasn’t written as any kind of social commentary, really. (more…)

A Lot Like Birds End "Rock Yourself To Sleep" Tour With Pillow Fight

Last month we held a competition offering OurStage artists a chance to open for multiple dates of the “Rock Yourself To Sleep” tour with Dance Gavin Dance, A Lot Like Birds, I The Mighty, Hail The Sun, and The Orphan, The Poet. Judging from the following video, it looks like the tour was a blast. A Lot Like Birds seem to have taken the theme of the tour pretty seriously, ending their set on the last date with an all out mosh pit pillow fight on stage and in the crowd. Check out the comfy carnage below:

If you like A Lot Like Birds, then you might also like OurStage’s own The Origin Animate.

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Rock Boat Competition Final Chance To Judge And Win Cruise Tickets!

Bathing suit? Check. Suntan lotion? Check. Sunglasses and an iPod filled with your favorite artists? Check, check. If you’re wondering what we’re preparing you for, it’s the “Rock Boat Lucky 13 Competition” grand prize for fans!

This February, The Rock Boat will set sail for Great Stirrup Cay, packed with some major talent from the likes of Sister HazelNEEDTOBREATHERoger Clyne and the Peacemakers and OurStage’s own, Bronze Radio Return. And that’s just the start.

By simply judging your favorite artist in the Rock Boat Lucky 13 Competition by Dec. 14, you’ll be entered to win a five-day cruise for you and a friend aboard the Rock Boat, headed from beautiful Miami to sunny Great Stirrup Cay.

So what are you waiting for? Get judging, and don’t forget those summer items. You just may need them.

 

Lamb Of God Vocalist Randy Blythe Indicted For Manslaughter

Just when we all thought it was over, it turns out Randy Blythe, frontman for the metal band Lamb Of God, is still being indicted on manslaughter charges for the 2010 incident in the Czech Republic, which resulted in the death of a young man at the band’s show. Blythe was originally arrested last summer when the band returned for another tour in the country. He spent over 5 weeks in prison before being let go on bail and returning to the U.S.

However, upon his return, the singer released a public statement saying, “I consider the charge leveled against me ludicrous and without qualification, [but] my opinion makes no difference in this matter. The charge exists, and for the family of this young man, questions remain¦It would be both irresponsible and immoral for me not to return to Prague if I am summoned.”

Now it looks like that time has come, and the family will continue to press charges. Thus, true to his word, Blythe will return to the Czech Republic to go on trial, where, if found guilty, he could face 5-10 years in prison.

If you like Lamb Of God, then you might also like OurStage’s own Neroxx.

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Watch The Full Premiere Of "Warped Roadies"

The Vans Warped Tour is the one of the longest running tours in America, not to mention probably the most challenging. For about 80 days straight, 1,000+ crew members wake up at the crack of dawn every morning and work in non-stop grueling conditions late into the evening. It takes a hell of a lot of manpower and endurance to keep the well oiled Warped machine running, but many people do not realize this. That’s why Fuse decided to document this past summer’s 2012 Warped Tour for their new show Warped Roadies, in which they follow the crew—NOT the rockstars—who work their asses off every day behind the scenes to make it all happen. They are the backbone of the whole machine, without whom none of it could be possible. Click here to watch the full series premiere before it airs this Friday, December 7 at 11/10c.

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The Dillinger Escape Plan Sign To Sumerian – Teaser Video For New Album

Math-core metal monsters The Dillinger Escape Plan have found a new home. They have recently signed with Sumerian Records whose roster includes other heavy-hitters such as Born of Osiris, Stray From The Path, Asking Alexandria, and more. Dillinger plan to release their newest album in the spring of 2013 under Sumerian along with their imprint, Party Smasher Inc. Check out the teaser video below to remind you just how excited you should be for their next diabolical concoction of visceral mind-numbing carnage.

If you like The Dillinger Escape Plan, then you might also like OurStage’s own Draconic.

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Final Chance To Enter The Rock Boat Competition!

As November draws to a close so does the “Rock Boat Lucky 13″ Competition. This Friday the 30th is the last day to enter for your chance to perform on the The Rock Boat with major acts like Sister Hazel, NEEDTOBREATHE, Rusted Root, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Will Hoge, Tony Lucca, OurStage’s own Bronze Radio Return, and more!

If you think you’ve got what it takes and can see yourself taking the Bahamas by storm with your music, then hurry up and click here to enter now!

Album Review: Deftones – "Koi No Yokan"

After more than 20 years, Deftones are still going strong. In fact, they may be stronger than ever these days. Their newest, highly-anticipated album, Koi No Yokan, is clearly the work of a well-seasoned group that is truly in touch with their sound and who they are as a band. However, something about the album still leaves more to be desired.

First off, if you are a fan of Deftones, then you can rest assured, this is definitely still the band you know and love. They haven’t changed very drastically (not for the worst at least), and when you listen to this album, all of the components that drew you to the band in first place are still there. It is a well-produced, well-written, and meaningful record that has been graciously welcomed by fans and critics into the band’s discography. Still, something about the work as a whole just does not have as lasting an impact as it’s 2010 predecessor Diamond Eyes. It could be considered a close second though.

Right off the bat, Koi No Yokan”a Japanese phrase for the sense that a person feels upon first meeting someone that the two will fall in love”hits the listener hard with the deep Meshuggah-like tones of Stephen Carpenter’s 7-8 string guitar in opener “Swerve City.” This sound sets the stage for most of the album, especially in the tracks “Poltergeist,” “Tempest,” and “Rosemary,” which repeats a dark and brooding riff in the breakdown with surprisingly similar tones of The Acacia Strain. While Carpenter’s guitar is the first distinguished trait in the song, it’s Chi Cheng’s smoothly ascending and descending bass lines that carry the verse of “Swerve City.” Vocalist Chino Moreno leads the track and the album as fluidly as ever, with his signature “soaring-over-the-mountains” reverb and elongated melodic phrases.

The second track, “Romantic Dreams,” follows up this feeling with a pulsing 3/4 groove that alternates to optimistic riff-laden sections in 4/4. “Leathers” ups the intensity with dissonant sections of chugging and screaming, while still interlaced with emotively grandiose and flowing choruses. As mentioned before, “Poltergeist” utilizes the lower and grittier qualities of the guitars, which accompany an intense 7/8 polyrhythmic intro held down by drummer Abe Cunningham”with handclaps that are sure to make this song an interactive crowd favorite.

“Entombed” is a nice change of pace for the album. The feeling of this track can largely be accredited to Frank Delgado’s synth work, which provides a harmonically rich and ambient foundation for an overall uplifting song. When combined with droning delayed guitars and Moreno’s expansive vocals (“Shapes and colors are all I see/Shades of colors are all I feel“), this spacious and electronically grounded track sounds like it could easily be on a Team Sleep album (Moreno’s side project).

The variations between the first half of the album are more or less reflected throughout the second half as well, making for an overall pleasant yet somewhat unmoving experience. The song “Rosemary” contains an interesting dynamic balance between dark intensity and soaring ambience, but the closing track, “What Happened To You?” is the only song on the album that seems to stand out slightly more than the others due to upbeat rhythms by Cunningham and a sort of “bouncy” bassline by Cheng. If Deftones want an honest answer to the question posed by the title of this final track, I would have to say,”nothing.” Nothing happened to me. I enjoyed the album for what it was, but no part of it stuck with me afterward.

Despite some dynamic variations, the whole experience of Koi No Yokan felt very one dimensional. One could argue that, since their formation, Deftones have only gotten better with each album, but this one leads me to believe that they may have finally plateaued. That being said, Koi No Yokan isn’t a bad place to level out. There is nothing overtly groundbreaking about it, but it is still better than a lot of other music coming out these days. I just feel like whatever edge that Diamond Eyes may have had seems to be missing from Koi No Yokan.

If you like Deftones, check out OurStage artist Moving Atlas.

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The Editorialist: Band Names – What Came First, The Ocean Or The Ghost?

Anyone who has ever started a band knows how difficult it can be to come up with an original name. And the more bands that pop up every day, the harder it gets. You would hope that this would encourage artists to push themselves to really think outside the box and come up with something truly unique, but we all know that’s not the case. The result is an over-saturation of bands whose names all incorporate the same words, themes, ideas, and imagery to the point where they almost become indistinguishable from one another. Some words and terms, in particular, are used in excess just because they sound cool or familiar. I’ve found”and I’m sure many of you may have noticed this same trend”that two of the most commonly overused concepts in the indie/rock and punk/hardcore scenes are the words “ocean” (or water-related imagery) and “ghost.” Don’t know what I mean? Allow me to provide you with a list or examples. From small local bands you’ve never heard of to huge international acts with devoted fans, the following are just a few of the many bands who either didn’t know or didn’t care how many other bands used similar monikers incorporating these terms: (more…)