Waylon Reavis discusses his new band A Killers Confession

Former Mushroomhead vocalist Waylon Reavis has returned with an exciting new band, A Killer’s Confession. Never being afraid to speak his mind or shy away from certain topics Reavis and company come out swinging with their debut release titled “Unbroken”. Media Mikes caught up with the singer recently to discuss the new album prior to the bands performance in Syracuse, NY.

Ryan Albro: How did A Killer’s Confession come together?

Waylon Reavis: Last year, I told everybody I wanted to sing on other band’s albums. What people didn’t realize was is I was actually scouting for talent. I had started working on some things and got to the absolute last track I was going to record from a Dark Lit Sky. It’s called A Killer’s Confession. This is the song Brian “Head” Welch from Korn ended up playing on. I had said to Brian if I could make this into a band would you produce it. Brian said he didn’t have the gift of producing but he’d play on it. In my mind I said, “that’ll work!” That was what told me this was the band. I’ve got the best group possible. I love this band. I’ve known JP since Three Quarters Dead. He was my first bass player. The bass player I have now was my bass player since day one. I can’t love those guys enough.

RA: What inspired you to blend so many styles of music into your own music?

WR: A lot of bad shit has happened to us. A lot of people are trying to stop the band from happening, but I don’t think you can. A.K.C. is doing it’s own thing. We are not really against any band, my former band included. Some people might see it otherwise, but we’re not here to cause drama. We’re here to just be a band. The fans are speaking for themselves. We’re not out here begging for nothing and you either like us or you don’t. People like what we’re doing because we’re bringing back Nu-Metal with elements of new school. We took everything we loved from the 90’s and then everything we love in modern music and put that stuff together. We want to take every genre and put it together to make a brand new sound. Taking aspects of say Math Metal and Thrash Metal and combining it to create a cohesive metal band. I’ve always been a chameleon with my vocal style. Everyone knows what I sound like when I’m singing, but I also can do a lot of other styles. Metal has branched off to so many different sub-genres; it’s time for a band to bring those all together. It’s great to have Korn’s stamp of approval on us, but that’s not enough. We want to go out there and do it like Korn did back in the day and speak our message. We want to speak against social media and inspire people to be more of an individual. We’re going to push all boundaries. We’re not afraid to say what’s on our minds. We’re going to teach people how to be tough. If you lose, you need to learn and come back even stronger. America’s divided right now. We’re a multi-racial band. We’re against anything separating people, race, and gender. We love everyone but we want people to understand that we have message. We want people to be tough Americans again.

RA: What inspires the raw energy in your music?

WR: My songs are reality; they’re what plague me from day to day. For example, the song “1080p” is about my problem with social media. A Killer’s Confession is about me and my other personality. That is the battle of Ying and Yang. That song is about those conversations and battles that you have with yourselves. These issues come to the forefront in my writing. These are real emotions on this album. My mother always told me that strength lies in the dark. If you’re shoved into the dark learn and become stronger from it and that’s what I’ve done for the last year.

RA: What drives you to put on such a great live performance?

WR: I love the fans. I understand what it’s like to go out there and work 9-5 for nothing, just to pay your bills. You give me an hour out of your life to take that away. I owe it to you to take that burden off of you. I have to, you made my dreams come true.

RA: What can we expect coming next from the band?

WR: We have started writing for a new and we have some more tours coming up. You’re going to see a lot of A Killer’s Confession. We’re putting out an album in 2018 and after that, an album a year for the next ten years. We’re going to do ten albums, ending in 2027. We’re also going to have a new live show coming that’s something nobody else has ever done before.

For more info on A Killers Confession head over to www.akillersconfession.com

CD Review: Alestorm “No Grave But the Sea”

“No Grave But The Sea”
Alestorm
Napalm Records
Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Ahoy, mateys! Gather ‘round for Alestorm’s 5th full-length album: “No Grave But The Sea”! An adventure filled to the brim with awesome pirate tales and party tunes from this trusted metal band. The album’s 10 new tracks contain a lot of what we know and love from Alestorm, but with some new added flair. There are plenty of great metal jams throughout, with just as many anthems and catchy choruses. The album embraces more use of harsh vocals on some tracks, blending them together with frontman Captain Chris Bowes’ great piratey vocals he’s known for.

Alestorm stays fun with jams like “Mexico”, which has a hilarious video, “Pegleg Potion”, and as to be expected their rager “Alestorm,” which is also a great blend of old and new in the band’s sound. Anthems are also present on songs like the title track and one of my new favorite Alestorm songs: “Treasure Island.” The whole albums leads you to an almost 8 minute long epic pirate metal masterpiece that has to be blowing out your speakers this summer.

Fans will love these songs paired with the rest of the band’s back catalog, adding more tales to the metal pirate journey. At some points the pirate tales begin to sound the same, but the band does a great job at really emphasizing on the newer additions. “No Grave But The Sea” is a ton of fun and definitely worth checking out. You can also catch Alestorm on Vans Warped Tour this summer!

Track Listing:
1.) No Grave But The Sea
2.) Mexico
3.) To the End of the World
4.) Alestorm
5.) Bar und Imbiss
6.) Fucked with an Anchor
7.) Pegleg Potion
8.) Man the Pumps
9.) Rage of the Pentahook
10.) Treasure Island

Concert Review: “Mockstrosity Tour” Syracuse, NY

“Mockstrosity Tour”
Mac Sabbath, Metalachi, Okilly Dokilly
Friday, March 24, 2017
The Westcott Theater, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Mac Sabbath frontman, Ronald Osbourne, summed up the Mockstrosity Tour best, shouting “Good luck describing this show to your friends!” A night of heavy music and big laughs was served up by perhaps three of the more unique parody bands in the business today. The classic Westcott Theater in Syracuse, NY was rocked by the likes of Phoenix Arizona’s Ned Flanders themed metalcore act Okilly Dokilly, Metalachi the self proclaimed world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band and rounding out the night’s lineup Los Angeles Mac Sabbath, picture Black Sabbath dosed in radioactive ketchup and mustard from the world’s favorite fast food chain.

Okilly Dokilly ripped through their “Nedal” (Ned-metal) crowd pleasers like “White Wine Spritzer” and “Nothing At All” which paved the way for the bands call to arms of all left-handed neighborinos for the song “All That Is Left”. Each member donned Mr. Flanders signature garb which added to the bands show allowing those in attendance to envision good ol’ Ned bellowing out vicious metal growls like no other in the Springfield zip code. Metalachi garnered a lot of attention with their mariachi flared renditions of classic hard rock and heavy metal jams, donning what can only be described as mariachi meets hair metal attire. The band crushed through classics like “Holy Diver” and “Raining Blood,” but really showed their talents with surprises like “Santeria” and the infamous “More Than Words,” during which the band invited a fan up on the stage to aid in the more romantic, bump and grind, portion of their set while violinista, Queen Kyla Vera stole the show shredding through solo after solo with every bit of intensity as a well-seasoned axe man.

The Mockstrosity would come to an end only after Mac Sabbath had their turn at the crowd of eager fans. The band’s sound was tight and their stage presence hilarious. The lighting and pyrotechnics further accentuated the group’s costumes and props, which were not limited by any means. The members of Sabbath had a good time with their stage banter between songs like “Frying Pan” and “Sweet Beef,” and at one point Ronald Osbourne himself was funneling PBR through a gigantic red, yellow, and white straw. Sabbath played on their strengths well, and did not seem to be too gimmicky, really backing up their act with musical talent and their performance. Overall, the night was a blast, and anyone looking for a great time needs to check out this tour when it rolls into town.

CD Review: Revocation “Great Is Our Sin”

“Great Is Our Sin”
Revocation
Metal Blade Records
Producer: Zeuss

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Great Is Our Sin” is the 6th studio album released by the Boston, MA metal band Revocation. This is the bands second release via Metal Blade records and it features 10 new tracks which were produced by the one and only Zuess. “Great Is Our Sin” is also the first album from the band to feature 3 Inches of Blood drummer Ash Pearson who joined the band in 2015.

If you thought you loved Revocation before, you know nothing until you hear this album. The band is on top of their A game in every sense. Standout tracks include, “Arbiters of the Apocalypse”, “Monolithic Ignorance”, “Communion”, and the more melodic “Cleaving Giants of Ice.” As if there wasn’t enough mind-blowing guitar work, the album even features legendary guitarist Marty Friedman guest shredding on “The Exaltation.” The album also brings back producer Zeuss who previously worked with the band on the “Teratogenesis” EP and their last release, 2014’s “Deathless”.

Long time fans won’t be too surprised by the album’s content, but improvements in songwriting and production can still be heard. Newcomers should absolutely check out this album as it has everything. From thick riffs and blistering guitar solos to lightning fast precise drumming which is topped off by front man Dave Davidson’s signature growls. If you had any concerns about original drummer Phil Dubois-Coyne being replaced, do not fret (pun intended), Ash Pearson is a perfect fit for the band as his style further extenuates what Revocation is presenting with this new album. Revocation never disappoint as they seems to only get more fine-tuned (pun also intended) with each release. “Great Is Our Sin” is a staple in Revocation’s catalog and a must listen for any metal head.

Track Listing:
1) Arbiters of the Apocalypse
2) Theatre of Horror
3) Monolithic Ignorance
4) Crumbling Imperium
5) Communion
6) The Exaltation
7) Profanum Vulgus
8) Copernican Heresy
9) Only the Spineless Survive
10) Cleaving Giants of Ice

Be sure to also checkout our exclusive interview with Vocalist/Guitarist Dave Davidson in the interview section of the site.

Revocation’s Dave Davidson talks about “Great Is Our Sin”

Dave Davidson is the guitarist/vocalist for the Boston based death metal band Revocation. The group just released their 6th studio album titled “Great Is Our Sin” via Metal Blade Records and is currently out on the road in support of that release with the Summer Slaughter tour. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Dave recently about the new album, the bands new drummer and the group’s plans for the rest of 2016.

RA: The new album “Great Is Our Sin” is absolutely mind-blowing. How was the writing process different on this album versus previous ones?

DD: To be honest, it wasn’t really that different from what we have done on previous albums. It’s usually the same process every time. We just get better at refining and honing our ideas. For me it always starts with the riffs. I will come up with a series of riffs while we’re in a period of writing. The writing period between albums could start the very next day we’re done recording the whole record. I don’t wait around a month before we’re supposed to go in the studio to start writing things. When the inspiration hits me I record it. That way I have a stockpile of material to pull from when I’m organizing my ideas for the next record. Once I have a bunch of riffs set up from there I’ll go through them and start organizing different sections in my head. That’s the way it’s always been. It starts with this germ of an idea, and then it spreads and multiplies from there. We’ve never been afraid to experiment and I think that experimenting over the years has helped us realize what we want our sound to be.

RA: Do you do any writing while you’re touring?

DD: Sometimes. The verse riff for “Communion” came to me while we were in sound check in Hungary and Ash was filling in for us on that tour. I just started playing something and Ash played a thrash beat along with it. Later on that day we recorded it. Inspiration can hit me whenever.

RA: What has the transition been like for the band now having Ash Pearson on drums?

DD: We have known Ash for awhile and have toured with him in the past so we knew going in what he was capable of. I think that has made things a bit easier for us. The thing that was most different is he lives in Vancouver so we when we get together to practice and work on material we have to make sure to make the most out of that time together. What was happening was Ash would fly out when we were doing weekend warrior touring in Boston and New York so we would work on the set and some new material to get a head start. We would be going back and forth with a number of ideas and Ash would record all of that stuff. He travels with a Go-Pro so he’d set that up and film me playing riffs or him playing along to me playing. Then we could go back and refine things from there. Even though we didn’t have the luxury of getting together multiple times a week, I think it made us more focused because we really had to buckle down to make sure we got everything. We would also do Skype sessions back and forth. He would be in Vancouver, I’d be in Boston and I would play him a riff over the computer and he’d have his practice pad out and we’d talk about riffs that way. Luckily he’s such a great drummer who really understands the ins and outs of rhythm so I could give him feedback. He was able to pick up on all the little cues and the feeling of the music which I thought was kind of cool.

RA: How was it working Marty Friedman again?

DD: It was great. It was my second time working with him, having worked on his previous record Inferno. I definitely knew then that I wanted to have him on our record. It really blew me away. It’s weird having one of your idols that you grew up listening to be on one of your records.

RA: What type of gear setup did you use this time around for recording?

DD: I’m using my Jackson signature series guitar which has my DiMarzio signature pickups in it. I feel like it really has my sound. Zeus does a great job with the mixing and mastering and he knows the sounds that we’re looking for. The guitar tone on this album I think is my favorite tone we’ve had so far. It sounds really organic, but also razor sharp and super clean.

RA: What’s the band’s upcoming tour plans for the album?

DD: We’re out on Summer Slaughter with Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Suffocation, and some other great death metal bands right now. After that we have a little downtime before our next tour in Europe with Obscura. I think we’re all sharing a bunk together, so it’ll be like the music nerd bandwagon rolling into town every city. I can’t talk about it too much, but after that we’re planning on doing a headliner or co-headliner when we get back to the states.

RA: You guys have recorded a few covers songs in the past. Has there been any talks of possibly doing and entire EP of cover material?

DD: We actually have talked about that before. We have about six cover songs that we’ve done for records. At this point it would be cool to have each member pick a different cover we could do. It’s just a matter of timing and scheduling. We also have to see what the demand for that kind of thing is. We would also have to have two different labels work together to make that happen as some of cover songs were on Relapse and some released on Metal Blade. There are no concrete plans right now, but it would be cool.

Be sure to checkout our album review of “Great Is Our Sin” in the review section of the site.

Old Wounds share their experiences from the 2016 Vans Warped Tour

Old Wounds an up and coming hardcore band from New Jersey are out on the 2016 Vans Warped Tour promoting their newest release “The Suffering Spirit”. Being the bands first time on the tour they are eager to show fans both old and new their unique style of modern hardcore through energetic live performances. Media Mikes had the opportunity to sit down with the band and talk about their experience on the tour and what’s next for the band.

Ryan Albro: What made the band decide to do Warped Tour versus a smaller tour on your own?

Mikey: Our label came to us and offered us a spot on the tour. It’s an incredible opportunity to be given. It’s really a no-brainer. If you bust your ass for nearly 6 years doing this and it comes to a point where somebody is pretty much handing you a slot on Warped Tour, you have to say yes.

RA: Overall how do you like the tour thus far?

Mikey: It’s a lot more fun than I think any of us had anticipated. We had a strong feeling it was going to be good, but it’s been a blast. It’s a very unique time.

Matt: I’m having a great time and I love the food. A lot of us are vegan or don’t eat meat and the catering is really great helping us out with our needs and they make really great food. We made a lot of friends and it’s been a good time for sure.

RA: Who are you excited to see play each day?

Kevin: Every Time I Die and Motionless in White.

Matt: There are two bands that play on the Full Sail Stage with us that I love! two One is called Mother Feather and the other band is called Safe to Say. We’ve made great friends with Like Pacific as well. I usually hang close to our stage so I watch a lot of bands on our stage and those are some of my favorites that play every single day.

RA: Any cool stories from the shows so far?

Mikey: Not so much from this one. It seems every other tour we’ve done though a lot of funny and stupid shit happens.

Matt: One thing that sticks out from this tour is the storm we got in New Orleans. We were loading our stuff out and out of nowhere this crazy monsoon hit. A lot of our stuff got completely soaked. . A lot of our gear was drenched and we had to throw out all the cardboard boxes and stuff for our merch away. Everyone except for Kevin and me was just drenched.

Kevin: I always carry an umbrella around just because I don’t want to get tan.

Matt: That umbrella wouldn’t have done you any good anyway

Mikey: Luckily we didn’t lose anything gear wise. All of our cabs, heads, and guitars were totally fine. We got lucky.

RA: You guys are approaching the end of “The Suffering Spirit” tour cycle, what’s next for the band?

Mikey: We do have a tour about a month and a half after this ends. I can’t say what it is just yet though. We’re in the middle of writing a new album right now so that’s going to take priority. We toured a lot on this record and we really want to get the next record out.

RA: What can you tell us about the new material you’re working on?

Mikey: We have actually been playing one of the new songs in our set each day so we’ll be playing that on the remainder of Warped Tour. That’ll give everyone a taste of what’s to come.

Zak: Now that we have Matt as our second guitar player, the dynamics are definitely a little different. There are more harmonious guitar riffs. It’s definitely a combination of everything we’ve been doing. It’s heavy where it should be and there are melodies where they should be. There’s more of a metal influence for sure.

Kevin: It not going to be something where when you hear it you think “Oh that doesn’t sound like Old Wounds.”

Binary Code’s Jesse Zuretti discusses the bands latest release “Moonsblood”

Jesse Zuretti is the founding member of the New Jersey based progressive metal band Binary Code. The group recently released their four full-length album titled “Moonsblood” in May of this year and are set to begin touring in support of the release in July. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Jesse recently about the new album, his new found writing freedom and about the groups upcoming summer tour.

Ryan Albro: It seems a lot has changed in the band over the last 7 years since your first album was released, most notably, line-up changes. How much would you say the band has changed over that period of time?

Jesse Zuretti: That time period was mostly due to the writing process. This is the first release we have done where I was in control of writing the entire thing. I would say that because it was put into a position of songs get written when they get written instead of forcing them out it took a little bit of time. The end result was songs truer to the mindset that I was in each time they were written. Since nothing was forced it kind of allowed the songs to come at a natural pace, which is for me, in hindsight, a better way for the music to come about in the natural process. My drummer and I at the time used to jam a lot and write songs very quickly because we both had one another to hash things out with. This new stuff comes from me sitting down and very methodically coming up with the songs and being able to emphasize more of a song structure behind it. In my opinion as much as I like the contribution from the whole band it was definitely easier for me to come up with the songs in those moments. In the future there’s going to be a lot more involvement from the guys that are in the band right now. It will be more of a fusion. I think it’s for the best.

RA: What was the recording and writing process like this time around versus your previous releases?

JZ: The last two releases that we did were a combination of DYI mixed with help from a friend of ours who was manning the studio. It was very hands on for me in the recording process the last time. This time it was 100% we had a producer there. He would very uniformly tell me when things were right and wrong. The input from having an outside prospective on the music really helped with getting the best out of the music. It’s always really good to have a second set of ears on something. Having Eyal Levi involved with his music background thrown into the mix with guys who aren’t super musically schooled really made me a better musician at the end because the amount of preparation that goes into recording with Eyal is unbelievable. You go into it and you come out a better musician. In the past we would write a song and then show up to the studio. This time I would write the song and have it pre-produced. That would give me the option of look back at the songs and adding or changing things that I wish I could have done before. I just really got to have my influences shine through a little bit more because it was kind of like a representation of the song writing that I do.

RA: That album art is killer, what can you tell us about that?

JZ: The artist who did it, his name is Acid Toad, he’s an artist from Bangalore. I was blown away when I first saw his artwork. He does everything with paper and ink. I just feel like the market in the progressive metal scene right now in terms of art is very homogenous. There’s a constant flow of similarities between the bands, like everyone is drawing influence from another band. This guy’s artwork is so otherworldly that I thought he would be the guy. We had a lot of amazing guys do art for us and we noticed a lot of it was similar to the style of other bands and we didn’t want to do that. He was awesome, he’s going to do stuff for us in the future without a doubt. I really want to have a relationship with an artist. The influence behind that was the relationship H.R. Giger had with the band Triptykon and their history together. I really wanted to do the same thing with this guy.

RA: What made you to decide to release the album yourselves?

JZ: It came down to whether or not we wanted to continue waiting for a business opportunity to come along to help with the release. We had just been waiting so long. We all decided it was time we did this on our own and it ended up being really exciting for us. I expected to be devastated be the idea of doing this on our own after all this time and it actually was a very exciting thing for us. We’re really happy to be doing it this way. There’s definitely a possibility of it in the future, just at this point we had to make a move.

RA: What are your plans to tour the highly anticipated new material?

JZ: We have a tour that’s being worked out for the end of July into August. We decided instead of wearing ourselves thin with a one month long tour we’re going to have a little space in-between and change it up with different bands. That will be hitting most of the U.S. After that we have something we’re working on with a band from Norway. We’re not really at a point where we can really say who it is, but they’re a band that we’ve played with before. We’re hoping that works out and the line-up for that tour’s killer and if that goes through that will be September. We’re definitely going to be a very busy band over the summer. We put so much work into the music and we waited so long and have been so patient, so the best thing for us is to go out and work as hard as we can.

Hardcore legend Harley Flanagan talks about his debut solo album “Cro-Mags”

Punk mainstay Harley Flanagan is often recognized as one of the most influential members of the NY hardcore/punk scene of the early 1980’s. His band the Cro-Mags set the early standard for hardcore which is still followed and recognized to this day. Harley recently released his first solo album titled “Cro-Mags” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with him recently about the album, his trials and tribulations with his former band and also about his upcoming book.

Ryan Albro: At what moment did you decided it was time to release your first solo album?

Harley Flanagan: I had some ideas in my head that I had been working on and at one point I was fortunate enough to have some studio time made available to me so I decided that I was going to use that time to start laying down some demos. From there one thing led to another and it wound up turning into this album.

RA: What was the writing process like working on a solo album versus previous albums?

HF: It was really the same process as I am the guy who came up with riffs. Back in the old days, I would have be recording them on a cassette player or when I was living with Squatch I used to call up Parris’s house and tell him not to pick up the phone so I could hum riffs on his answering machine. He’d learn the riffs and then we’d meet up later and we’d play them together. Now I sit around the house and record them on my phone. Whenever a riff comes I put it down and I work with it. I had a ton of riffs on my phone and when the studio time became available I went in and just waded through everything and picked out a bunch that I thought had an old school type of feel. I wanted to write a bunch of short songs that just come in, punch you in the face and walk right over you. I actually wrote everything believe it or not on an acoustic. I am actually thinking about releasing an acoustic version online just for fun because that’s how this whole album was originally recorded

RA: What made you decide to name the album Cro-Mags, considering the issues you have with the band?

HF: I basically felt like it was time for me to reclaim something that is rightfully mine. All bullshit aside, my hand has always been extended to those guys and even after all the shit went down at Webster Hall and along with everything else, my hand is still extended. The fact of the matter is that so called band is just John and occasionally Matthew. There’s nobody playing in that so-called band that has ever written a Cro-mags song and the Cro-mags have not written a song since I haven’t been involved. They are like a tribute band doing songs and other covers. This new record sounds more like Cro-Mags than anything anybody’s done since. I’m taking back the name. That magic is never going to be recaptured without everyone being involved. I believe that and I know that and that’s why I’m the sentimental fool that’s always fucking extending my hand to these guys, but obviously it doesn’t mean as much to those guys as it does to me. The good that game out of it far outweighs the bad, but unfortunately there has been a lot of bad. For me that whole interruption in 2012 and then putting out this album and really venting my feelings about that moment has been a real positive thing for me because it has helped me exorcise a lot of those demons.

RA: You also have a book coming out can you tell us about that?

HF: As far back as I can remember people have been telling me I should write a book, at least going back to like the 80’s but, I never really wanted to. Despite being told I have some really great stories it’s just never been something I had the desire to do. When I was going through some particularly tough times in my life I started thinking that in case anything happens I do want my side of the story to get out. I already knew that hardcore had made enough of an impact culturally where there would inevitably be books written and bullshit said and bullshit told. I was like I’m going to get my side of this out and I’m going to tell my story, the actual story. If I don’t I’m going to wind up with some asshole telling my life story the way they perceived it or the way they want it told to serve their purpose. I started writing everything down that I could remember going back as far as I could to my early childhood. Over the years of working on it I kept going back and fact checking and, double checking and, confirming facts with my family members. My mom was helpful with that before she passed away. I did a lot or research on everything. I wrote this book with the intention of it being something that people would want to read and them to see what it was like living in that time period through the eyes of a child, through the eyes of someone that was there growing up in it. There has been a lot of books about punk rock but there haven’t been any written by someone who was 10 years old when this happened. It goes through my whole life. It starts off with the day that Webster Hall went down and then right when that started to erupt it goes back to my early childhood and it retraces everything through as much as I could. Obviously I had to cut a lot of shit out or it would have been like a 10,000 page book but I wound up getting an editor and after everything was written and really narrowed down to the most powerful stuff. People can get a taste of what will be in the book if they check out www.harleyflanagan.com

RA: Lastly, What are your plans for touring in support of the new album?

HF: I have looked into doing some shows and some touring but so far the right show hasn’t come up. I work 6 days a week, I love my job, I love the people I work with and I love being home with my wife and spending as much time with my kids as I can. For me to get out there and tour it has to be the right shows. When the book comes out I will definitely be doing a book tour and, the idea is I would like to try and book shows that coincide with that so I can perhaps do a book thing during the day and maybe a show that same evening in the same city. That way you can kill two birds with one stone while having fun.

Bella D. talks about her new album titled “The Crystal Ceiling”

Bella D. pushes the boundaries of artistic hard rock with a unique signature blend of operatic vocals and intricate steampunk themed storytelling. This blend of interesting styles can be heard on Bella D’s new album titled “The Crystal Ceiling” which will be released on May 13th. Media Mikes had the pleasure of speaking with Bella D. recently about the albums creation, her partnership with drummer Charlie Zeleny and her plans for upcoming live performances.

Ryan Albro: How did you and Charlie Zeleny come together to work on this project?

Bella D.: Charlie went to high School together but we didn’t really know each other. We just saw each other in the hallway kind of thing. We actually met in college as we had a class together and that’s where our friendship started. I did a lot of theater at the time and I got him a lot of jobs as a theater music and stuff. He and I worked in together a lot and then we parted ways for a little while his career went 1 way and my career went another way. When I got the wild hair to finally do this album I knew I really needed a partner to help me with it. It was one of these things where the album became so big that there was no way I was going to be able to do this by myself. After talking with Charlie he asked me to do a video with him which got us back in touch with each other. I told him the idea about the album and he said he might be interested, Charlie wanted to see if we could write a song together before we invested a lot of time in the project so that’s what we did first. We sat down and wrote one song which went very quickly. From there we tried another and so on. All of a sudden things just exploded and the album literally started to take on a life of its own.

RA: Where did the idea for the dystopian, steampunk theme come from?

BD: It came from me. Charlie’s alter ego is very cyberpunk but I have always been very theatrical and I have always been in love with the Victorian age. I wound up discovering steampunk and fell in love with the idea of a very modern world, with modern objects that are all run by clockwork, steam power. There is something very romantic and badass about it at the same time. Steampunk started off as kind of very small niche and now you are starting to see it a lot more.

RA: The majority of great song lyrics generally can be traced back to writers telling very personal stories in the form of song. What was it like for you to tell not only your own incredible story, but to shape it into a hard rock, steampunk fueled album?

BD: Charlie and I worked very closely together on this album. The album is made up of a lot of my experiences which at times was very emotional for me. We all go through these moments where we feel like we’re beaten up, either by life or just by every day conflict. We are all beaten up and we are all fighting against something and the album sort of reflects that battle. It is one of these things that you have to go into full force and swing that sword, shoot the gun, whatever genre you’re fighting whether its fantasy or steampunk or modern cyberpunk. That is the general feel of it. I have gone through a couple really rough patches in life and I really drew from that. That’s where the story came from.

RA: How did you going about selecting the musicians who appeared on the album?

BD: That all comes down to Charlie. I always joke that he has got this little black book, not of women, but of every musician he has ever worked with. I think it rivals the New York City phonebook. He has had a fantastic career and is really amazing at what he does so because of that he has been able to build up some great connections with all of these artists. Charlie reached out to everyone with the idea of what we were doing and they were like that’s insane, I want in. That’s basically all that happened and the even crazier thing is that none of these artists were in the same room with each other at any time. This was all done digitally. Charlie would plug the performances into pro-tools and tweak little things here and there to make everything sound fantastic.

RA: What can you share about the comic book series that’s coming out with the album?

BD: Basically the music and the story coincide with one other. When we wrote the concept album I wrote the lyrics with a story in mind but not in such a way that you’re going to sit down a listen to a recording of a musical. This is a concept album and each song stands on its own 100% but, if somebody really wanted to sit down and listen and actually enjoy the whole concept of it they could. I really wanted to be able to tell my vision with this album. Being a huge comic book fan and knowing how popular comics are right now it made perfect sense to make this something that if people want to know what was going on story wise in the music they could follow along in the book. I worked with a really great artist who I think captured the first portion of the story quite well.

RA: What do you want listeners to take away from the album and your story?

BD: I think the biggest lesson I’d love people to take away from this is an understanding that we all have been there, we all have been that person who’s been struggling and feeling like the world is literally falling apart around them. The biggest message is that you can make it through, but you have to work at it, you have to pick yourself up, you have to have those moments of “yeah this stuff is horrible” but I’m still going, I’m still alive, I’m still breathing and today I’m going to kick its ass.

RA: What are some of the plans you have for live performances of the material?

BD: We are doing a release party at Carroll Place in New York City on May 19th. As far as live performances past that we don’t have anything locked in yet. I am working on getting into Comic Con as I would love to perform there, especially since I am releasing a comic along with the album. We also have two lyrics videos being released online soon and also a full production video of another song. That’s all in the can ready to go, it looks fantastic, we’re just waiting for the release date.

Concert Review: Bermuda’s “Marcho Man Tour Part II”

“The Marcho Man Tour Part II”
Bermuda, Demolisher, Aminals
Date: March 7, 2016
Venue: The Warehouse, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

The metal band Bermuda made a stop in Syracuse, NY on March 7th as part of their “Marcho Man Tour”. Also on the bill for the evening were Demolisher from Chicago and the Boston thrash band Aminals. Despite it being a rather cold night in Syracuse the bands and a handful of dedicated fans filled the small multi use venue for a night of metal musings.

After brief sets from a handful of local bands Aminals would take the stage where the proceeded to absolutely crush their set! The band demanded the attention of the crowd and made sure everyone was aware of their absolutely jaw-dropping showmanship. You would have never guessed that this was their drummer’s first show with the group as the bands set progressed without incident and leaving the crowd wanting more. Next up was Demolisher, bringing almost a completely different style of metal and hardcore than the previous act. The band seemed right at home and embracing their surroundings which included skateboard ramps and a few unused motorcycles and a car. Yes a car. Demolisher turned the dusty DIY venue into an all-out brawl as clouds of dust arose from buildings industrialized floor

Tour Headliners Bermuda would close out the night and much like the acts before them took to setting up on the floor as opposed to the small confining stage. From the first snare hit, the crushing weight of this band’s brutal riff-age leveled the small crowd. The bands furious sound fueled an intense mosh pit that quickly overtook the area in-front of the band. The bands front man smoldered with steam as the mixture of sweat and cold air provided an eerie effect that fit the night’s mood perfectly. Definitely be on the lookout for when these guys come to town as you won’t want to miss it.

Aminals Setlist:
1.) Bitchcraft
2.) War Widows
3.) Ew, She Smells Like Brooklyn
4.) If You Hear Them Sing in a Hospital
5.) Population Controls
6.) Dirty Habits
7.) Rope
8.) Something Secular

Bermuda Setlist:
1.) Kuma
2.) Vertebroken
3.) Crown Crusher
4.) Grave Dancers
5.) The Wandering
6.) The Human Herd
7.) Parasitic
8.) The Recluse
9.) Intuitions
10.) Process of Drowning
11.) The Cancer Speaks