On August 4th, 2014, I had a chance to see The Kooks play Toronto's Danforth Music Hall. I haven't listened to this band since they released their album Junk of the Heart in 2011, but figured it would be a good night to get out with some old friends, have a few beers, and watch live music. Little did I know I would end up watching one of the best shows I have ever attended.
On Tuesday April 8th, Toronto's Kool Haus was swept with a wave of nostalgia with The Used and Taking Back Sunday's co-headlining tour taking the stage. The show was sold out; leaving room for only diehard fans that aged and grew with songs from both iconic bands since the early 2000s. The openers were former Underoath singer Spencer Chamberlain's new band Sleepwave and Australian five piece pop-punk band Tonight Alive. Both openers killed it.
Finland's rock legends HIM are back with their eighth studio album Tears on Tape. This is the band's first release since their departure from their long-term record label Sire Records. The single "All Lips Go Blue" demonstrates HIM going back to their signature "love metal" sound that was so prominently displayed on earlier efforts.
Toronto-based alternative/industrial rock band The Rabid Whole have been going strong since 2007. Comprised of five solid local musicians including Andreas Weiss (vocals, guitars), Chalsey Noelle (keys, backing vocals), George Radutu (guitar), Oscar Anesetti (bass), and JJ Tartaglia (drums), The Rabid Whole have crept into the local scene and grabbed hold of 1000s of fans. With an entertaining live show and solid music to boot, it's no wonder this band keeps amassing more positive press. Here's what front man Andreas Weiss had to say about the newest album Refuge.
The Vans Warped tour brings together many musicians from different genres at times leading to unexpected collaborations between the artists. One such collaboration that was born out of Warped Tour is between post-hardcore band Sleeping With Sirens and critically acclaimed rapper Machine Gun Kelly. On May 20th, Sleeping with Sirens released their song "Alone" featuring the Cleveland rapper. The song was recorded for their newest release, Feel, and is a perfect example of how Sleeping With Sirens are expanding their musical sound and evolving as a band.
Gojira is a band from Bayonne, France that is bringing fast-paced, jolting metal to North America. After releasing many albums on smaller labels, they recently joined Roadrunner Records to distribute their newest molten release, L'enfant Sauvage.
Vampires Everywhere are a five-piece from California aiming to bring the sex, drugs and rock & roll aesthetics back into the metal scene. On June 19, 2012 the band released Hellbound and Heartless, a collection of songs heavily influenced by the discographies of Marilyn Manson, mixing 90s industrial rock with elements of modern metalcore. After the replacement of their bassist Philip Kross, a stint this Summer on the Vans Warped Tour, and the release of their newest music video "Drug Of Choice", the band shows no signs of slowing down. In a world where shock rock is dead, Vampires Everywhere's goal is to remind us of the badass, whisky-inspired rock & roll that we’ve seem to forgotten. I got a chance to talk to Michael Vampire about surviving the Warped Tour, their new album and the state of rock music today.
On July 15th, the Warped Tour stopped by Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. The venue was filled with tons of kids eager to see and meet their favorite bands. One of the most popular sets of the night was Sleeping With Sirens, who played the Kia Soul main stage at 8:40 pm. Before the set, I got a chance to talk to guitarist Jesse Lawson about playing the Warped Tour, their recently released acoustic EP, his favourite rappers and his reaction to the Tupac hologram performance.
Secrets are an up-and-coming band that have recently been signed to Velocity records. Since forming in 2011, the group has already gained a dedicated fan following and have toured with popular acts such as Attack Attack, Sleeping With Sirens, Escape the Fate and The Word Alive. When the guys recently stopped by Toronto, ON, I got a chance to talk to vocalist Xander Bourgeois and drummer Joe English about the "This World Is Ours Tour", their debut release and what the future has in store for Secrets.
On May 30, Thrice’s "The Farewell Tour" stopped by Toronto where the band would play for the final time. I was lucky to catch this show; I’ve never seen Thrice live before and this would literally be my last chance. Unfortunately openers Animals as Leaders were unable to make the concert, leaving O’Brother to play a double set. This set back included, that night the Kool Haus venue seemed to be filled with a bittersweet atmosphere - entire room was filled with Thrice fans excited to watch one of their favorite bands live, the same fans who were sad this would be the last time the group graced the stage.
I first listened to La Dispute’s Wildlife on a cold, rainy night at 1 am. I was a fan of their previous songs, and looked forward to finally getting a chance to hear the latest album. What I love about La Dispute’s sound is the feeling that is conveyed through vocalist Jordan Dreyer’s voice. Each word that he sings is pronounced with such a strong sense of emotion that it hits the listener full force.
The Summer Set is one of today’s catchiest pop-punk acts. Hailing from Scottsdale, Arizona, the band have released two full-length albums since their formation in 2007 and are enjoying their first co- headlining tour with The Cab. When they played at The Mod Club on February 4th, the dynamic of the room changed instantly into one big sing-along dance party when they hit the stage. Before their high-energy set I got a chance to chat with lead singer Brian Dales about their tour, their latest album Everything's Fine and pop music.
"Let's open up this pit!" This line is the claim to fame to eight year old Juliet's YouTube success. Having over 21 millions hits, Juliet's hardcore song kicks more ass than some of the bands out there now. Singing about her dog Robert and her stinky fishes, she comes across as the most bad-ass kid in the playground. Enjoy the song and get your two step on!
A Primitive Evolution undeniably made their mark in the Toronto alternative music scene. Their music has a grungy, true rock and roll spirit that is a reminiscent to the bands that dominated the 1990s music era.
The Birthday Massacre have one of the most unique and recognizable sounds to come out of the Canadian music scene. For the past 12 years, the band has released eight albums that took their new-wave and industrial fused sound successfully into the international masses. When the band stopped by in Toronto, I got a chance to speak with lead singer Chibi about the longevity of the band's career.
On August 23, 2011, Black Tide released their long awaited sophomore album Post Mortem.
I See Stars are a band that are barely legal in their hometown of Warren, Michigan, but have two full-length studio albums, a deal with Sumerian Records and a collaboration with Bone Thugs N' Harmony's Bizzy Bone under their belt. Pretty impressive, right? I got a chance to talk to lead guitarist Brent Allen and bassist Jeff Valentine about their latest release End Of The World Party and what the band is currently up to.
Hey Sugar are a Montreal-based band that bring back that old-school rock n' roll, but with a mix of modern hardcore. The first time I heard the group I instantly fell in love with their classic rock n' roll soul and spirit as it's something that most current, popular bands are lacking. The band recently finished recording their Matt Ray and Oli Jean-produced debut album and have filmed their first music video for the track "All That I Need." I got a chance to talk to bassist Marc Astolfi about what the band, what it was like shooting their first music video and what 2011 has in store for the guys.
It was a Tuesday night in downtown Toronto, and I met up with the guys from Toronto via Calgary-based band Inner City Elegance at a Tim Hortons to conduct my first interview. We thought that the Timmies would be too loud to host the interview, so we relocated into their tour van. I was a little nervous and didn't know what to expect, but the guys were super-nice and hilarious. I was excited to learn about who Inner City Elegance really is and what they're all about.
All Time Low’s major label debut, Dirty Work, may just be the one that pushes the band onto mainstream radio. The record is filled with catchy pop-punk choruses that will stay in your head for days. The first single "I Feel Like Dancing", which was co-written by Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, is undoubtedly a summer party anthem that will make you want to get on your feet and start moving.