A Skylit Drive Announce Tour With For All Those Sleeping, Wolves At The Gate, I The Mighty, Paris

Hot on the heels of news of a new album in the coming months, A Skylit Drive have revealed plans to embark on a major fall headlining tour in just a few short weeks.

Supported by All Those Sleeping, Wolves At The Gate, I The Mighty, and Paris, the first big outing from A Skylit Drive in 2013 is scheduled to kickoff September 24 in New Mexico. Only a handful of dates have been confirmed at this time, with more to come. You can view all known dates below.


9/24 – Albuquerque, NM @ Blackwater Music
9/29 – Newport, KY @ Thompson House
9/30 – Cleveland, OH @ Peabodys
10/02 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
10/08 – Orlando, FL @ The Social

New Phoenix Album To Drop In April 2013

Almost four years after the release of their breakout fourth album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, French indie rockers Phoenix will finally put out a new record. Daniel Glass, of Phoenix’s Glassnote label, announced the news at a recent Spotify event where he casually mentioned that the band had finished tracking at a studio in Paris.  While more details about the highly anticipated upcoming album are unavailable, fans can check out the journal section of the band’s website to try to decipher further information regarding the release. While it seems like a difficult task for the band to surpass the runaway success of tracks like “1901” and “Lisztomania,” which dominated both the blogosphere and the mainstream charts, Glass is confident.  After acknowledging that “It’s very hard to beat Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” Glass added, “but this could be revolutionary.”

Check our OurStage act China Aster if you’re a fan of Phoenix.

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Riffs, Rants & Rumors: Elliott Murphy, Last of the Rock Stars

What do Jane Fonda, Johnny Depp, Gianni Versace, and Elliott Murphy have in common? They’re all among the recipients of France’s Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris, a high cultural honor that’s presented by the mayor of Paris himself. The most recent singer to be awarded the medal was French chanson legend Juliette Greco, but on October 1, New York-born singer/songwriter Murphy became the first American musician to be so honored, in a ceremony overseen by the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoí«. (more…)

Bob Welch, Former Fleetwood Mac Singer And Guitarist, Dead At 65

Bob Welch has died of an apparent suicide at the age of 66.

His wife Wendy reportedly confirmed, via Bart Herbison of the Nashville Songwriters Association, that he had serious health issues and a recent spinal surgery. Speculation is that he did not wish to become a burden to her.

Welch was guitarist and singer for Fleetwood Mac between 1971 and ’74. Though the band did not achieve superstar status until the 1976 release of their smash LP Rumors, they had formed a decade earlier as a blues band around renowned guitarist Peter Green, but with only drummer Mick Fleetwood remaining a constant member through the peak of the band’s career. (Bassist John McVie joined shortly after the formation, and the band name derives from a combination of his and Fleetwood’s names.) Members rotated in and out, but in his autobiography, Mick Fleetwood credits the arrival of Bob Welch as the factor that prevented the dissolution of Fleetwood Mac. The enormity of their later success has unfortunately eclipsed the importance of Welsh’s contributions, but he brought a smooth tunefulness to the group that enabled their transition from English blues to commercial pop. He recorded the Mac albums Future Games, Bare Trees, and Heroes Are Hard To Find.

Welch left the band in 1974 and had some success as a solo artist, with his song “Ebony Eyes” reaching the Billboard Top 20.

Though Welch felt in later years that he had been forgotten even by the band, Stevie Nicks reacted strongly to the news of his passing.

“The death of Bob Welch is devastating … I had many great times with him after Lindsey and I joined Fleetwood Mac. He was an amazing guitar player ” he was funny, sweet ” and he was smart. I am so very sorry for his family and for the family of Fleetwood Mac ” so, so sad …”

Assessing his career in 2003, he told the Nashville Tennessean: “I just wanted to play guitar in a good band. I wanted to make the music I love. I wanted to travel the world and have adventures.”

A success by any fair estimation. RIP Bob Welch.

Exclusive Q&A: A Conversation With Theophilus London About Love, Life and Antarctica

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsWhen you look at the hip-hop scene at it stands now, with artists like OFWGKTA and LMFAO on the rise, you can feel the genre shifting a bit both in terms of music and artistic vision. Taking a more wild and eclectic approach to not only music but fashion sense is becoming a running trend. With that in mind, the up-and-coming rapper Theophilus London is riding the wave with his unique blend of influences, that read off like something from an indie rock band, and his eye-catching sense of style. This has led to widespread success with his debut release Timez Are Weird These Days getting significant buzz and landing high-profile performances like at this past year’s Cannes Film Festival. Taking some time out of his busy tour schedule, this budding rap star sat down to chat with us about topics ranging from his Tumblr to listening to actress Milla Jovovich cover Prince.

OS: In the past, you’ve voiced displeasure about mainstream rap. Do you feel it’s something you still try to stay away from?

TL: In a sense of [it] being played out, maybe. But, there’s a lot of mainstream rap.

OS: How would you describe the difference between your approach and a regular hip hop artist?

TL: I work off of references. I idolize producers and try to sit down and work with producers on brand new sound. We talk about favorite artists first and foremost and develop a brand new sound. I really can’t say I’m different from other rappers because I’m not in the studio with them or in their creative process.

OS: You announced on Tumblr today that you got Michael Jackson to DJ some of your shows. How did you find him?

TL: I found him in New Orleans. He was hanging out a window. I asked him if he wanted to tour and he said yes. Really glad he came out to tour with us.


Metal Monday: The Bridal Procession

Deathcore, as previously mentioned in the Metal Monday column, has been a hot-button genre in recent years, garnering a lot of heat for being boring or overly stereotypical. The lable “deathcore”, for many bands, is something like a scarlet letter, and does not adequately describe a band’s sound. Bands such as Born of Osiris or All Shall Perish immediately come to mind. Up-and-coming Paris-based monsters The Bridal Procession are sure to be the next band on this list. With a sound as heavy as any band out there, they’re looking to impose their will on any ear within sonic range.

Most of the Bridal Procession’s songs balance on a very thin line between death metal, progressive death metal and deathcore. Earlier in the band’s existence, deathcore was more of an integral part of the band’s sound, but they’ve since developed a sound that’s more closely related to death metal with constant driving rhythms, etherial guitar licks and roaring vocals” something similar to that of newer material by The Faceless. Still, The Bridal Procession’s music really breaks free of most sub-genre restrictions (even if in only the most subtle of ways).

Something that sets The Bridal Procession apart from most bands is their songwriting. Because the band doesn’t rely on breakdowns, solos or riffs to make their songs great, they have the freedom to add them where ever they sound best”and more often than not, they’re placed in interesting and unique places. In addition to good songwriting, the band’s latest material also features some of the best production found in heavy music. On par with the epic works of Dimmu Borgir, the orchestral parts fit perfectly in their tracks. The band also takes a page from the legendary Necrophagist‘s book for their lead guitar tones during their solos, truly showcasing the band’s musical talent outside of technical prowess.

The band’s new album Astronomical Dimensions” released December 27th worldwide via Siege of Amida

Records and iTunes, with physical copies due in stores in Febraury”poises the band to join the ranks of today’s metal elite. If these words don’t inspire you to immediate fork over the dough for the record, try a nice audio sample below.  Then you’ll have no excuse.

Scene & Heard: Paris, France

Almost a full year ago, our resident metal head Munson the Destroyer decided to delve into the passionate hardcore scene of Paris, France. He conducted an interview with OurStage hardcore rock act Danforth. While they mentioned that the Parisian hardcore scene in particular is rather small, we decided we’d get back in touch with them to dig a little deeper and find out about Paris’s music scene as a whole. This also happens to be the last stop in our multi-city, multi-country, transcontinental trip on Scene & Heard. This week, we are glad to bring you the music of Paris, France.

In terms of the arts, Paris is one of the most influential cities in history. French music has been characteristic and respected in every era of artistic revolution ” in the Renaissance,  Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, all the way through to today. Concert and art music have evolved through many forms in the city, seeing the pioneering of the electronic art music of the 1900s called musique concrí¨te. The Paris Conservatory of Music remains one of the top international schools for composition and performance.

Of course today the popular music realm in Paris is just as relevant as any other major market. French artists seem to identify pretty passionately with their music scenes and tend to opt for promotion/performance within France rather than abroad. Artists like Gojira, Phoenix and Daft Punk hail from Paris itself. In terms of venues, Paris has an abundance of performance spaces to offer. Elysée Montmartre hosts international acts like Jason Derulo, Broken Social Scene and Spoon as well as French acts like Collectif Métissé. For huge arena shows, head to Bercy to the Palais Omnisports. This sporting arena also hosts musical acts like Shakira, Guns N’ Roses and Ozzy Osbourne.

Danforth Live

Of course, to get a closer look, we’ll turn again to a local OurStage band. Danforth has some interesting perspectives on the scene. For a band . . . it is better to catch regular organizers [of shows] and plan early, they advise. For a visitor . . . head to the Oberkampf and Pigalle areas where there are many venues and bars. In general, the band seems to constantly reiterate how dense a scene it really is. It’s crowded, full of mixed genres, all in a small radius. In terms of Paris hardcore, they say, It’s a small scene if you look at other countries like Germany or Belgium, but it’s very rich and full of life and energy! The band reiterates the Elysée Montmarte as one of their favorite venues as well.

Danforth is in-your-face driving hardcore with a heavy dose of street hXc as the band puts it. They describe their own influences as a mixture of metal, hardcore and French hip-hop ” truly supporting the eclectic nature of the scene in which they began. The band have shared the stage with Hatebreed, Agnostic Front, Walls of Jericho and Skarhead. With groovy breakdowns, fist-clenching shouts and a touch of hip-hop, it’s not surprise that they’ve also been featured on French and German television and short movies from around the world.

Currently the band is promoting the recent video for their song “Predator.” When we last left off, they had only posted a teaser online. Well, we are pleased to present you with some true Paris hardcore flavor; here is Danforth’s full 3D video:

Danforth are gearing up for more touring through the end of 201o and plan to release a new album in 2011. Keep an eye out for that. As for Scene & Heard, it’s been a long ride and we’ve seen a lot of great cities, passionate artists and signature vibes. We hope we’ve inspired you to step outside the comfort box that is your hometown and see what the rest of the world has to offer.

Metal Monday: What Makes It Metal?

In the metal community, the word “brutal” gets thrown around a whole lot these days. From the newest and most brutal breakdown from this deathcore band to the most garbled and brutal lyrics from that death metal band, the word is starting to lose its meaning. Then there’s Adult Swim’s cartoon series Metalocalypse, which really takes the idea of brutal to a hilariously extreme degree. In the first episode a large number of people at Dethklok’s concert were scalded to death by giant vats of coffee”certainly brutal, but mostly just laughable. Here are five things that really examplify essence of metal, and can truly express what brutal means in a serious way.

The Oakland Raiders – First off, before we discuss the aggressive and brutal nature of American football, let’s talk about what a Raider actually is. Dictionary.com describes a raider/raids as “a commando, ranger, or the like, specially trained to participate in military raids (a sudden assault or attack, as upon something to be seized or suppressed).” Loosely, this could describe metal musicians and their aural assault on listeners. Beyond what a raider is, the team dresses in all black and silver, as do their fans”again, much like metal musicians. It’s really a perfect match made in hell.

They're looking hungry for your brains.

Zombies – Although zombies are quite popular in mainstream cultures, no one has quite embraced the idea of zombies quite like modern thrash metal. Take the band Lich King, for example, and their album Toxic Zombie Onslaught. The idea and image of zombies are all over the metal scene, used by bands such as Iron Maiden with their mascot Eddie, Municipal Waste‘s album covers, or Death‘s song “Zombie Ritual”.  The list goes on. Metal has unofficially adopted zombies as its mascot. We all know what zombies are, but let me reiterate: it was alive, now it’s dead (sort of). Dead, decaying flesh that wants to eat your brains from your living skull.

Igor Stravisnky’s Rite of Spring – Musically, Rite of Spring was one of the most heavy, erratic, and chaotic pieces of its time and continues to be so today. What really takes this comparison over the top, however, was the situation that arose when the piece was premiered in Paris on May 29, 1913. Due to the nature of the choreography and music, the audience became agitated and as the music escalated so did the audience’s mood”eventually erupting into a full-blown riot in the seats. The riot got so out of hand that the Paris police had to arrive to settle down the audience. Further explanation is likely unnecessary, as your brain has probably already made the comparison of rioting at a concert to a mosh pit” certainly a logical step.

Now THIS is a fire made for grilling animals.

Barbecues – Step one: find a dead animal (more metal if you killed it yourself, even better if it was with your bare hands). Step two: make a fire, the bigger the better. Step three: let the animal carcass roast on that fire for a while. Step four: you eat it, and depending on the meat, you do so with your bare hands. Though grilling animals is a bit more sophisticated than it was in medieval times when vikings roamed northern Europe, the general principle still applies. Dead things, fire, and dead things on fire are all pretty cliché topics for metal at this point, and barbecues certainly fit that bill.

Slaying dragons – If you’ve heard more than three power metal songs in your entire life, there’s a fair chance you’ve heard a song involving the slaying of a dragon or other evil and mystical creature. The idea of a knight in shining armor saving a fair maiden from a dragon is noble and all, but that is not a fair fight, nor would it be very pretty. It’s a fair assumption that the dragon would breathe fire (since that’s what dragons do, breathe fire and capture maidens), and the knight probably only has a sword, armor and a horse; advantage: dragon. Either way, one of these parties is dying, and in a pretty brutal way (scorched to death by fire or mutilated with a big honkin’ sword). Power metal’s not so much for wussies now, is it?

So, the next time you and your friends are hanging out and someone says “Oh man, that was brutal” or “That’s so metal””think for a second. Was it really that metal?

Metal Monday: Danforth in 3D!

With movies such as Avatar and Clash of the Titans hitting theaters cross the country, the movie industry has been all about the 3D movies as of late. But what about the music industry? Isn’t it time the music biz hopped on board the 3D train? Well, that’s just what the long time OurStage French hardcore band Danforth are looking to do.


Metal Monday: Reinventing the Paris hardcore scene with Danforth (Q&A)

OSBlog02_MetalMondays_MASTERThough the appearance and sound of hardcore music and hip hop music have very striking differences, they share some common ground. Stemming from political frustrations, these genres were born and raised in the underground music scene. Paris-based Danforth are looking to close this style gap even more with their destructive hardcore sound mixed with their distinctly hip hop-styled vocals. The band is on a mission to make it to the top, leveling crowds and venues in their wake of brutality and destruction.

Check out our conversation with Danforth after the jump…