Act of Defiance’s Matt Bachand talks about the bands new album “Old Scars, New Wounds”.

Matt Bachand is probably best known for his work with the heavy metal band Shadows Fall however since 2014 he has been a member of the band Act of Defiance which features former Megadeth members Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick along with former Scar the Martyr front man Henry Derek. The band is set to release their second full length album titled “Old Scars, New Wounds” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Matt about the release, his switch to bass guitar and the plans prospective tour plans.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us a little bit about the band’s new album “Old Scars, New Wounds”?

Matt Bachand: Everything was different for us this time around with this record. With the first record Chris and Shawn wrote a majority of the album and they did it pretty quickly. They went from not having a band at all to having a record out in a matter of months. When I came in the material was pretty much done. I did write some bass lines around things which was a bit different from me but it was fun to be doing something different. This time around we had a good chunk of time to work the material and provide input. We all wrote a bunch of stuff for the album and you can definitely tell that this is a band no and not just a project.

AL: Can you talk about the decision to record separately from one another?

MB: That was done more by necessity than anything. We didn’t have a budget that would allow us all to travel and stay in one place while we recorded so we worked on things in each of our own locations. With all of us living in different parts of the country the cost would have been astronomical just for travel not to mention studio time. Once everything was done we sent it to Dave Otero for mixing and after a few tweaks everything was sounding good. Dave was awesome to work with and gave us a great sounding product.

AL: What has the transition from guitar to bass been like for you?

MB: I had known Shawn for a long time going back to when Shadows Fall toured with King Diamond and he was a tech for them. He knew I played bass in a cover band around where I am from and also knew that Shadows Fall was going to be taking a break for awhile so they gave me a call. Even though I had played bass in a cover band I had never really written music from a bass perspective. I think part of the appeal for me in wanting to do this was it was something different from what I had been doing. On that first record I was basically just writing and playing around what had already been written. I was focusing on now being apart of the percussion section as opposed to just riffing. With the bass playing off of what the drums are doing I really wanted to make sure I locked in with Shawn first.

AL: What are the plans for the band to tour behind the release?

MB: We are trying to pull some things together as we speak. We had a few things lined up but unfortunately they have fallen through so we are working as quickly as we can to remedy the situation. In the mean time we are working on some play through videos and things like that to keep things moving and to keep everyone involved with the band.

AL: Has there been any talk of Shadows Fall coming out of hiatus any time soon?

MB: Everyone is super busy right now so we haven’t really talked about it. Jason is playing with Overkill and Jon is with Anthrax and I am doing this project so everyone has a lot going on right now. A couple other guys in the band have families now so we have to figure out the timing. After 20 years of being in a band life eventually gets in the way so everyone has slowed down. Nothing is out of the question for us to play again it just has to be the right time for everyone.

For more info on Act of Defiance visit https://www.facebook.com/actofdefiancemusic/

Tetrarch guitarist Diamond Rowe talks about the bands new album “Freak”

Photo By: Jeremy Saffer

The Atlanta, GA based Nu-Metalcore band Tetrarch are set to release a brand new full-length album on September 29th titled “Freak”. The band is currently out on the road with Devil Driver and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with guitarist Diamond Rowe about the creation of new album, the bands plans for the remainder of 2017 and got her thoughts about being a female guitarist in the heavy metal scene.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the formation of the band?

Diamond Rowe: I started Tetrarch with my best friend while we were still in high school. It took us a little while to hone our sound and really figure out what it was we were going for but things came together and from there we just started touring. Our sound is a mixture of early Nu-Metal with a few modern elements.

AL: Did/Do you ever have any reservations about being a female guitarist in a scene that is predominantly men?

DR: When I started playing guitar and playing in bands I never honestly thought about the fact that I was a female playing metal music. I didn’t see it as anything really different. It wasn’t until people started bringing it to my attention that I noticed this was something different. I was never nervous or hand any reservations as I just did what I could to make the band work and get better at guitar. With they’re not being a lot of females out there playing metal it’s kind of cool to be somewhat influential. We are starting to see a few more females come up in the metal world however there still aren’t a lot of African-American females performing in bands. Being a female metal guitarist I think people might expect you to not be that good (Laughs) so I just go out there and really try to be the best as I can at my instrument.

AL: Can you tell us about the band’s new album “Freak”?

DR: We had never done a full-length release prior to this record. In this day and age it’s not really necessary to release more than one or two songs at a time via an EP. We wanted to do something different this time so we could give people more of who we are. As we were writing I noticed we were getting a lot of influence from more than just metal music and that there were quite a few different music elements present. Lyrically a lot of the subject matter is about weird things and/or embracing differences. We started looking at being weird in a positive way as opposed to negatively. The title “Freak” really came out of that approach.

AL: How did the bands creative process work this time around and, what was it like working with Producer Dave Otera?

DR: Josh Fore and I the predominant writers in the group. We live together so it seems we are always working on something. One of us might start out with a riff and then the other builds on or vice versa. Once we have the basics of a full song will take it to the other guys and they will put their spin on it. Dave actually mixed one of our first EP’s. People had said they really liked the sound so we knew he was someone we wanted to work with again. When it came time to do this record he was someone who came up naturally during the selection process of where to go. Dave is a big name in the death metal scene so working with him certainly brought a new/different perspective to things. Dave was excited to work with the band as we were something a little different for him and things went well. Dave is very easy to work with and made things comfortable.

AL: The band is out until till late September, What do you guys have planned for the rest of the year and going forward in to 2018?

DR: We will be out on this run of shows for a couple more weeks with Devil Driver. After that we return home for a few days and then we head out with Devil Driver for a few west coast dates. We also will be shooting a couple videos in that time as well. The album comes out September 29th and we will be doing a festival show in Texas in November and we might possibly do a short run shows towards the end of November. Once the New Year starts we will be out there in full force pushing this album.

For more info on Tetrarch you can visit their official website at www.Tetrarchmusic.com

M.O.D. Vocalist Billy Milano Talks About the Bands New Album “Busted, Broke & American”

Billy Milano is the outspoken vocalist for the legendary hardcore/thrash band M.O.D. On July 7th the group will release its 10th full-length studio album titled “Busted, Broke & American” via Megaforce Records. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Billy recently about the album which was an extremely personal record Milano as well as his thoughts on the current state of hardcore and the possibility of this being the group’s final album.

Adam Lawton: M.O.D. went through a couple rough patches during the making of the new album which was originally slated to be released a couple years ago. Can you tell us about that?

Billy Milano: I have never been one of those guys that say’s I “have” to do something because of music. A lot of people know me from music but that’s not all of who I am. I did the “Red, White and Screwed” album in 2007 and then toured it for a year and a half. During that time one of the things I realized was that I had been forcing myself into a position I didn’t want to be in. I needed some time for myself as I just didn’t care anymore. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about the band it’s just that I generally do about a two year run with a group of guys and then that’s it. People change and I tend to get angsty unless, they bring something to the table. I don’t agree with people being involved in my life that are all encompassing. I am an adult and want to be able to go and live my life how I want to without any interference. When I came back from California in 2012 after the first sessions for this album there was a myriad of problems. There were guys in the band I was tired off, the producer I was working with wasn’t the right guy for the job and what we ended up with didn’t work for me. I took about a whole year off after this. Also at this time my dog Buster was very sick. To watch him go through what he did was heart breaking and I couldn’t leave him. I started playing guitar again at this time and that’s when this record started to come to life.

AL: The band is back with Megaforce Records. Can you tell us how that relationship came back together?

BM: I had started working on the record again and it was starting to turn out special. I had a couple labels that were interested at the time and out of nowhere Missy the owner of Megaforce calls me up to talk about doing a 30th anniversary edition for the “U.S.A. for M.O.D.” record. I thought that would be really cool and while we were talking I asked her if she would be interested in hearing the new record. I played it for her and she liked what she heard. From there we decided to work together on this record and also to re-release three M.O.D. records from our back catalog. Megaforce has been very good to us and the packaging has come out amazing.

AL: What are your thoughts on the recent upswing that hardcore music is experiencing right now and, where do you feel M.O.D. fits in with today’s music scene?

BM: A lot of people have always looked at M.O.D. and wondered what is it? If you listen to the records it’s not hardcore, thrash or punk. It’s got a little bit of everything in it. I think it has a hardcore punk attitude which is something I myself have always been, a New York Hardcore Skinhead even as hairy as I am now I still consider myself that. (Laughs) When we would start putting together a tour I would think to myself about bands who we could tour with and it was hard because there was no one else really like M.O.D. We just didn’t fit any one specific category. M.O.D. has a core group of fans and I accept that because that is what I have offered. I have only offered a cursorary involvement with M.O.D. live around the world because I feel there are other things in my life that take precedent. That’s not what musicians who are successful think like. In my case growing up in an Italian family with 11 brothers and sisters with tight nit community around us gave me a different attitude towards things. As to addressing where M.O.D. fits on the tooth of the gear to this day this is something I still can’t answer. I know we have a great record coming out to go along with some of the other great records we have put out in the past. “Busted, Broke & American” is a very memorable record. I think it’s coming to a point where it wasn’t the timing of other things going on that might be good for it as much as it was the timing of where I am at. Things are coexisting together and that’s something you just can’t plan. It just happens. I have always just been Billy Milano. There are a lot of hardcore bands out there doing reunions and playing shows right now and I think a lot of that has to do with the vinyl market. Bands are able to release their back catalogs for the first time on vinyl and getting deals based on that which allows them then to put out new music. The anniversary of “U.S.A For M.O.D” and the history M.O.D. had with Megaforce Records certainly helped me get this new record out and I am grateful for that.

AL: You stated in a press release that “Busted, Broke & American” very well could be M.O.D.’s last album. Is that still the case as we get closer to the July 7 release date?

BM: Yes, Absolutely! Do I think I could write another record like? No. Too much pain went into this record. Watching my dog die while writing this and learning how to play guitar again was just awful. At my age the stress that comes along with doing a record is not something I want to deal with. This was a very personal record to me and I put a lot into it. I mixed this thing seven times because it was so personal. It was Busters record. I don’t think I am doing another record. Will I do a single or an EP? Sure. I think I can write a few great songs every one or two years and put out an EP with somebody. It would be cool to do something with M.O.D. and maybe some unsigned punk bands and put that stuff out and expose people to new music. For me that would be a better legacy than a follow up record. I have always tried to help unsigned people. I have brought in unknown musicians to my records because I wanted to bring people into that pool of the music industry.

AL: Are there any plans to perform the new album live?

BM: I have no live shows planned at this moment. We haven’t even been able to rehearse as we are minus a drummer at this moment. I had a guy lined up but due to some personal things he was not able to keep going with us. We will find a drummer eventually. There are always guys out there that want to get paid to play. Our music isn’t Rush or Dream Theater. Maybe more like “Mystery Science 3000 Theater” but not those other groups. (Laughs) When we are ready will be out there ripping it. In the mean time I am focusing on two books I am writing. The first one is my personal book and the second is a cook book which I am doing for my mom. I have another band I am working with called “Billy Be Damned”. I play rhythm guitar in that band. If I had to describe it, it would be a mixture of The Pogues meets Stiff Little Fingers meets the Clash and Foo Fighters. It’s heavy but it’s not metal.

Be sure to check out our exclusive review of “Busted, Broken & American” here. And for more info on Billy and M.O.D. head over to www.milanomosh.com

CKY Bassist Matt Deis Discuss The Bands New Album “The Phoenix”.

Photo By: Jimmy Hubbard

Matt Deis is the bassist for the recently reformed CKY. The band is set to release a brand new album on June 16th titled “The Phoenix” and will performing on this year’s Warped Tour. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Matt recently to discuss the band getting back together, recording at the legendary Rancho De La Luna studio and what fans can expect from the band during this summer’s tour.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the reformation of CKY?

Matt Deis: A couple of years ago I stepped away from the band. This was around 2009/2010. I was having trouble juggling things at the time and just couldn’t do the band anymore. A couple years went by and during that time Chad and Jess had started working with Daniel Davies on vocals. Matt Janaitis who replaced me in the band wasn’t going to be able to work with the band anymore so the guys who I had never stopped being friends with called and asked if I could fill in on a few shows. We did some shows with Daniel but ultimately he chose to step away but suggested Chad should sing. From there things just kept going I was glad to be working with them again?

AL: Was doing a new album pre-planned or did this evolve over time?

MD: Things kind of evolved out of doing those shows together. We didn’t really have a set plan outside of knowing that we wanted to play again. Music is something I just know and having worked with the guys for so long everything felt very natural and we just went from there.

AL: Being this is the bands first undertaking as a three piece. What was the writing and recording process like?

MD: We got in a room and just starting jamming as a three piece band. When we were a four piece things were kind of very, cut and paste. Ideas were just sort of thrown out and pieced together. For “The Phoenix” we went to into this dirty warehouse with a very minimal amount of gear and wrote songs that fit the three of us. We didn’t try to get too crazy with the layers or anything like that. We just tried to make things sound good as a three piece. That was the real focus throughout recording. Chad had a lot of song structures figured out going in but there were holes that we all helped to fill in. We locked ourselves in the studio we rented for pre-production and just played. Everything was very natural.

AL: What was it like recording at the legendary Rancho De La Luna?

MD: For me personally I was just amazed that we got this opportunity. I had always seen it as this magical place for a select group of musicians so to be able to step foot there was a childhood dream. A lot of albums I grew up listening to were recorded there. Needless to say I was geeking out quite a bit. How it initially came about was Chad had gone out there with some friends and ended up falling in love with the place. When he brought it up about going out there both Jess and I were quick to say yes.

AL: The bands previous album “Carver City” had a unique concept to as it does “The Phoenix”. Can you tell us about that?

MD: The past albums did have a number of lyrical ideas and concepts attached to them. We didn’t do that consciously with “The Phoenix”. The phoenix in its most open interpretation is a mythical creature that rises from its ashes. That was sort of us as a band. We all had some things we needed to work through so there is a lot of re-growth and us individually over coming what we each had going on.

AL: Tell us about the bands first single “Days of Self Destruction”?

MD: We hadn’t intended on that song to be a single of any kind really. After meeting with our record label they felt that would be a good track to give out to fans. There really was no plan to give it the treatment like you would a single however the reception it received was so good that we just went from there. That song definitely has all the classic elements of CKY. It’s probably our most straight forward track off the album as it has big riffs, a big chorus and a big guitar solo at the end. For someone who has never heard CKY before the song is a good primer as it kind of showcases what we are all about.

AL: Can you tell us about the plans for the bands run on this year’s Warped Tour?

MD: I am really excited as I think this is one of the only remaining traveling tours of this size still happening. I remember being in High School and trying to see CKY on their first Warped Tour run in 1999. Things came full circle as Kevin Lyman the tours founder brought it up as he wanted to bring back bands from years past. We were in the early stages of recording at that point but the opportunity was too good to pass up. We figured everything was going to line up with the album release so we said yes immediately. The tour starts in Seattle so we are going to do a run through Canada before hand and just work our way over. We have such great Canadian fans so it should be a lot of fun. Coming off such a great UK run where 12 of the 13 shows sold out we really can’t wait to get out there here in the States. I think there are going to be a lot of people who get to see that maybe up until now only knew of us from an older sibling. Warped Tour tends to be a younger crowd and we aren’t sure who likes us these days (laughs) so this is going to be a great opportunity for us to meet a lot of new fans.

For more info on CKY head over to www.facebook.com/ckyalliance

Heath Fields of Shallow Side talks about the bands new EP “One”

Sarah Carmody Photography

Voted by Loudwire.com as “Best New Artist of the Year” Alabama rockers Shallow Side have just released a brand new six track EP titled “One”. The release not only showcases the group’s unique blend of high energy modern rock but is laying the ground work for the bands full-length release later this year. MediaMikes.com had the chance to talk with drummer Heath Fields about the release, the bands upcoming tour and their connection to rock legends STYX.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background info on the band such as how the band came together and its members?

Heath Fields: Shallow Side formed in November of 2010. Seth, Eric and I went to school together in a small town outside of Cullman, Alabama. Cody was introduced to the trio at a local rock show and the four of us began writing and touring nationally almost immediately. We still have yet to slow down.

AL: Tell us about the decision to release an EP ahead of your full length release which is slated for later this year?

HF: The writing process is a very tedious one. Coming out of the studio we had a very mixed bag of songs. Ultimately we decided it would be a better to release that material in our EP format for our future endeavors.

AL: Will the tracks which make up the EP also be included on the full length or will that feature a different group of songs?

HF: The full length release will be totally new material separate from the EP “ONE”. We are excited about our freshly released EP, but as you can imagine, we are also looking forward to getting back to the studio in the near future to prep for new material.

AL: How did the bands connection with Styx frontman Tommy Shaw come about?

HF: It started from our respect and appreciation for the band, and the decision to cover one of their classic smash hits, “Renegade”. Through mutual friends and cyber handshakes, we were privileged to introduce our cover of the song to Tommy, and the rest of the band. It is an honor for the guys to have given us the thumbs up and stamp of approval, as it is a band we have always taken inspiration from.

AL: What can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour in Feb and are there any plans to tour past these announced dates?

HF: We will be hitting the road with our friends in Seasons After and Guns Out At Sundown for the “Rebels & Renegades” tour which starts February 1st. We basically live on the road and consider it a luxury when we are home for short periods of time. We are going to be touring for the majority of 2017. All dates and future tour announcements can be found at www.shallowside.net

Save Ferris front-woman Monique Powell talks about the bands reformation and upcoming EP “New Sound”

    (photo by Piper Ferguson)

Monique Powell is the lead singer of the Orange County ska-punk band Save Ferris. After a 15 year break the band is set to release a new EP in February titled “New Sound” and embark on a US tour also starting in February. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Monique recently about the bands return, their pledge music campaign and about working with producer John Avila.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background info on the reformation of the group in 2013 and leading up to where the group is now in 2016?

Monique Powell: In 2012, I was diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition that had caused irreparable spinal cord damage in my neck. I was told by doctors that, without emergency surgery I could eventually lose my ability to walk. The catch was that, the surgery I needed was typically performed from the front of the neck, an issue that would have prevented me from ever singing again. I had one doctor say to me “Do you want to sing or do you want to walk?”. At that point, I became determined to find a doctor that could perform the surgery I needed through the back of my neck, a procedure considered far more dangerous, painful, and with far more required rehabilitation. The minute before I went under anesthesia for the difficult surgery, I decided I was going to bring Save Ferris back if I woke up from the procedure with my ability to walk and my voice intact. This is what led to the reincarnation of Save Ferris in 2013. I had to relearn how to hold my head up, how to do simple tasks with my arms, and through it all, I had Save Ferris and the fans to aim for. The response to the shows in 2013 was so positive, I decided to bring us back for good!

AL: What was it like heading back into the studio after being away from that process for so long?

MP: At first, scary. I didn’t eat for days prior due to nerves but then something happened and the magic of John Avila filled the studio, and, I settled in beautifully. It was as if a day hadn’t gone by.

AL: How did the relationship with producer John Avila come together?

MP: John produced the first Reel Big Fish album which was the first album I ever sang on when I was about 19 years old. We had a great time recording “She Has a Girlfriend Now” for Reel Big Fish and I never forget John’s kindness and calm demeanor. When I was shopping for producers for my new stuff, John’s name came up, and I thought, “how crazy would it be if this all came around full circle”. So I scheduled a meeting and here we are.

AL: Can you tell us about the pledge music campaign that is happening around the new EP?

MP: Well, being a band that was virtually inactive for so long, I had no idea how I would finance a new album. Thanks to Pledge and our fans, this new album has been made possible. It has been really fun, we had a studio party with our fans that donated to be on the record it was an epic night for all of us.

AL: Can you tell us about the upcoming tour and what other plans you and the band have for 2017?

MP: The band and I are all so excited to be finally touring together. It really is a dream come true for us, and I cannot believe it is actually happening. I’ve worked so hard for 3 years to make this possible. As for 2017, after we release the EP early in the year, and the 6 week Fall tour of North America, we will continue working on a full length album. If all goes as planned, we will release the full length prior to our 2017 summer tour so fingers crossed!

For more info on Save Ferris and a complete list of tour dates visit http://www.saveferrisofficial.com/

Charred Walls of the Damned’s Richard Christy talks about the bands latest album “Creatures Watching Over the Dead”

Richard Christy may be best known for his work on the Howard Stern radio show however long before his antics made him a regular fixture on the long running show Richard was a heavy metal drummer for bands like Death and Iced Earth. In 2009 Richard formed his latest group Charred Walls of the Damned. The group’s current lineup which along with Christy features Jason Suecof, Steve DiGiorgio and former Judas Priest front man Tim “Ripper” Owens are set to release their fourth studio album titled “Creatures Watching Over the Dead” on September 23rd. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Richard recently about the new album and its creation, possible tour plans and this year’s hot Halloween trends.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the new album?

Richard Christy: The new album is called “Creatures Watching Over the Dead”. It has nine songs on it and it’s been five years since the bands second album. I took quite a bit more time with the writing on this one than the previous two. A lot of that has to do with Brian Slagel from Metal Blade Records who is real cool about letting us take our time when getting an album out. He really understands our schedules and knows how busy we are all. Aside from the schedules I wanted to take the extra time because with song writing there is always a learning process. Just like with anything else the more time you spend doing it the better you start to get at it. I went through each song to make it the best I possibly could. I initially ended up writing 24 songs between the last album and this one. I had always heard about bands writing a bunch of material and then picking the best from that and with this album we were able to do that as well. I always do pre-production for the albums so during that time Jason Suecof and I picked what we thought were the best 9 tracks and those are what took in to record. It took about a year to get everything recorded from there.

AL: What type of process did you have for selecting the 9 songs that make the album?

RC: That’s what the great thing is about having Jason as our guitarist and producer. When he hears these songs fresh for the first time he is able to pick the ones pretty quickly that catch his ear. For me it’s hard to choose as I wrote them and am a little too close to the song to be objective. Jason has a great ear for songs and melody. He is also a really great song writer. I told him the ones that catch his ear right away are the ones we should go with and that is kind of how we did it. When we finally got together for pre-production we started tweaking the nine songs a little further so we had them exactly the way we wanted them on the album. By the time we get in the studio we are pretty much set to go which allows things to flow pretty smoothly.

AL: With you doing a majority of the songwriting where do the other members fit in during the creative process for a new album?

RC: The other guys in the band have total creative freedom. I basically give them the blue print and then have them add to it or make changes if they need/want to. I am not a good bass player or singer. I can do enough to get what I am hearing in my head out but with Steve Digiorgio and Tim “Ripper” Owens those guys are great and can just go crazy. When we go in to record the guitars and drums are already done so I tell those guys just go as nuts as you want to go. I love when Steve matches stuff up to my drum fills. When we do the vocals we are generally all there and we work together with Tim. Jason is great with vocal patterns and melodies so usually what happens is if we can’t come up with something better than what I put down on the demo or everyone really likes what I did on the demo we will go with that but, I like to get Tim and Jason’s ideas for the vocals first and then we just pick the best of those ideas.

AL: The album has sort of a dark title however a majority of the vocals are rather positive. Was this something that happened consciously or did those themes develop more naturally over the course of writing?

RC: I guess it’s sort of a conscious thing. I am a pretty positive person. I have tried to write lyrics about more brutal subjects or what’s going on in the news. When I was in Burning Inside I would write about horror movies and things like that but with getting older these days I like to think about things that make me happy. It’s not that these lyrics are about it being a nice sunny day but I try and make the lyrics about stuff I have experienced and also about things that inspire me. I write about a lot of stuff I see just living in New York City and walking the streets there. I find it’s easier for me to write and things flow better when I am writing about something that means a lot to mean. I do try and write things in a way that doesn’t make them sound too happy or cheerful. I want things to sound cool but at the same mean something to me and to other people.

AL: Can you tell us a little about the album art?

RC: Being a huge fan of Halloween I came across this really great photographer by the name of Pumpkin Rot. He has a website called www.pumpkinrot.com where he showcases his photos of these scenes he sets up where he lives in Pennsylvania. One day I saw a cool picture of his and I decided to just email him and ask if we could use that picture for the album art. He was totally cool about it and with the name of the band and that photo I thought it fit very well together. The title of the album actually comes from me staring at that picture trying to come up with a title for it. I also wanted to come up with something that started with the letters CWOTD to fit in with the theme of our previous album titles. I have been asked if there was some sort of deep meaning to the cover but really it’s just a picture that I liked which I came up with a cool sounding title for. (Laughs)

AL: A lot can happen when a band takes an extended amount of time between albums. Were you ever worry about the effects that it could have not only on the band but also your fans?

RC: I don’t think there was anything that difficult for us as we are all a little bit older as are our fans. I also don’t think the extended time between albums is as much of an issue with metal fans in general. For me once you’re a metal head you are always going to be a metal head. If a band that was around in the early eighties comes out with a new album today I would still be in to checking it out. I am very open minded as a metal head. The culture as well as social media has changed a lot since our last record but we are not really a trendy band. We are a band that has aspects of having a modern metal sound but we also have a very classic metal sound to us as well. We try to blend all that together. Because of all that I don’t think we as affected by changes and trends going on. In fact I think it may have helped us. A lot of people weren’t sure if we were still going to be together but I think people are pleasantly surprised that there is a new album coming out. I think also because all the guys in the band myself included have other projects that keep us busy people may have thought we would do just one album and be done but, we are now on our third album with the same line up and people are seeing this is a legitimate thing. I think those five years as helped us. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

AL: What does touring look like for this release?

RC: It is something that really depends on our schedule. I am excited because have been asking me a lot about if and when we are going to be playing. It shows me people do want to see us and it’s something that I really want to do. Hopefully it is something we will get to do. Festivals would seem to be the best option for us because of all our different schedules. We played Orion Fest with Metallica for our last album and that was amazing! We did a two week tour run for the first album which was awesome as well. We can’t promise anything just yet as we don’t have anything booked but it’s something we definitely want to do. I am really hoping we get to do some stuff. With all of us living in different places we have to make sure all of the logistics will work for everyone so something can happen.

AL: Knowing that you’re a big fan of Halloween and with the day just around the corner what do you think will be some of this year’s hot trends?

RC: Definitely anything having to do with the show “Stranger Things”. I have watched that series twice now all the way through and can’t stop listening to the soundtrack as well. I have been listening to it since August when it first came out. I think anything having to do with that show is going to be big. Also with this being an election year I think there is going to be a lot of Donald’s and Hillary’s. I have heard that the sales of masks determines the election. I want to say that the last few elections have in fact been determined by who sold the most masks. Pumpkin Beers are going to be big again this year as well as haunted houses. I think you will start to see more of the “extreme” haunted houses where you have to sign a waiver to go in because the actors can touch you and stuff. People seem to always be looking to take things to the next level. Me personally I will just stick to the ones where people jump out at you and that’s it. I don’t need people’s hands in my mouth or something like that. (Laughs)

For more info on Richard Christy and Charred Walls of the Damned be sure to check out www.richardchristy.com

Jag 13 of Eat The Turnbuckle discusses the bands latest EP “The Great American Bash Your Head In”

Eat The Turnbuckle is a heavy metal band hailing from Philadelphia, PA. Despite being from “The City of Brotherly Love” the groups sound and stage show which features elements of extreme wrestling couldn’t be further from the cities well know moniker. The band recently released a new EP titled “The Great American Head Bash In” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with the bands vocalist Jag 13 to discuss the new EP, the group’s intense stage shows and their plans for the remainder of 2016.

Adam Lawton: Is Eat the Turnbuckle a band who wrestles or, wrestler that play in a band?

Jag 13: It’s kind of both honestly. Some of the older guys in the band used to wrestle and Shlak one of our guitarists wrestles now for CZW. For me personally I have always been into both wrestling and music. Philadelphia has always been a great town for wrestling and when I was younger I remember the WWF coming through a lot. I got to see the whole ECW thing come into play as well. With music I think that’s something almost everyone gets in to at a young age so I have been in to both for as long as I can remember.

AL: What can you tell us about the bands most recent EP?

Jag 13: We did “The Great American Bash Your Head In” for our most recent tour. We try and have new material out each time we go on the road. If we know we are going to be heading out at a certain time we start writing and putting things together. This EP has 5 new songs which have been going over really well so far. We only did one show here in the states on this run with the rest of the dates being over in Europe. We did about 22 shows over there and wrapped things up with our performance at this year’s Gwar B-Q inn Virginia. We were actually supposed to do one other show however we had to cancel due to our drummer having a broken ankle. He actually broke it the second day of tour and finally went to the hospital on the fourth day of the tour. He had a cast on but didn’t miss one show. Like a dummy he took the cast off when we got back home and things got messed up even worse.(Laughs)

AL: Speaking of the Gwar B-Q. This was the second time you guys have been asked to play. How did this year’s event differ from the previous year you performed?

Jag 13: The first time we played they had us going on pretty early. Something happened with the doors and we ended up playing to a small group as a lot of people were stuck at the gates. I think the reception from those who saw was really good and the fact that a lot of people who wanted to see us couldn’t helped with us getting asked back this year. This year was off the hook! We played the Slutman Pavilion which was a lot of fun. I think I would prefer playing that stage over one of the bigger stages. We have sort of gotten used to playing on smaller stages but even if we were on the bigger stage things would have definitely spilled over. (Laughs) A bigger stage means we have to do bigger gimmicks!

AL: With your show incorporating extreme/hardcore wrestling elements and references what was the European reception like being that type of wrestling isn’t as common there?

Jag 13: I think those things were why we have caught on so well over there. They don’t have the hardcore and extreme matches in their wrestling shows so this is something new for them. We had people coming up to us after the shows who weren’t fans of the music but they came out to check out the wrestling. We played a lot of smaller countries over there and those people just ate it up. They loved watching the shows. We did a festival in the Czech Republic where they actually got a wring for us. Shlak ended up wrestling the Champ from the league there in a death match. It was in front of about five thousand people and it was just crazy. Both the guys needed to get stitched up afterwards.

AL: What type of planning goes into one of your shows being that not only are you performing musically but you are also including wrestling elements as well?

Jag 13: We argue a lot. (Laughs) Right before the show we sort of get the lay of the land and plan out what we are going to do. At the same time we have work with the venue to make sure we know what we can and can’t do. Like when we did the Gwar B-Q you can’t have any glass. Every show is a little different so we have to just go with the flow. People have been really accommodating. We have all been in bands that have crazy stage shows. That’s how we all came together. Philadelphia has a history of violent shows so we sort of just fit in to that. When things started to get a little more PC within the scene myself and Shlak started gathering guys who still wanted something crazy.

AL: Do you ever feel that the graphic nature of your shows limits your audience?

Jag 13: We have had shows cancelled due to people finding out about our shows and in turn not wanting anything to do with it. At this point I have become so used to that type of thing that it doesn’t bother me. If they don’t want us, they don’t want us. We have a pretty good booking agent who lets all the places know what type of show we put on. Some of the show we have done in the past we just showed up and started going at it. (Laughs) That tended not to work out real well for any one.

AL: With your drumming being laid up with an injury does that end the year for you or do you still have things plans?

Jag 13: We don’t have anything planned until October then after that we don’t anything planned until spring time of next year. We have some bids in on tours that we think will work well for us here in the states so we have our fingers crossed.

For more info on Eat The Turnbuckle be sure to check out the bands official website at www.facebook.com/eattheturnbuckle

Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French talks about the bands new live DVD/CD and upcoming farewell shows.

Jay Jay French is the guitarist/founding member of the heavy metal group Twisted Sister. The band which is gearing up for a run of farewell shows in the summer/fall of this year is set to release a new live CD/DVD release titled “Twisted Sister: Metal Meltdown Live at the Hard Rock Casino Las Vegas- A Concert to Honor A.J. Pero” on July 22nd. Media Mikes spoke with Jay Jay recently about the upcoming release, the group’s final shows and what he will miss most about being on the road.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us an overview of the new CD/DVD Twisted Sister has coming out on July 22nd?

Jay Jay French: The whole focus of “Twisted Sister: Metal Meltdown Live” was to celebrate our drummer A.J. Pero who had recently passed away. This show was the bands first show after A.J.’s death and so much of his life and death was around that show that it made things very important to us. Subsequently this was also our first performance with Mike Portnoy on drums. The sound was produced by our bass player Mark Mendoza and the video was done by Barry Summers. Barry’s first exposure to the band was when he was a kid and saw play in a bar. I think because of that experience Barry brought sort of a fan boy type desire and approach to this project. I think Barry definitely tried to transfer his love of rock and roll over to people through this film.

AL: What was it like for the band going into this show knowing it was being filmed along with the fact that is was also going to be the bands first live performance with Mike on drums?

JJF: What band in their right fucking mind would have a new drummer come on and then have their first performance record for television? (Laughs) Mike is such a pro and a really great guy. I don’t know if we could have done this with any other person. This was a very hard and emotional thing. In the film there is a drum solo that is just A.J. That wasn’t a production trick or anything like that. That was actually up on the screen during the show. We did every show like that last year. Mike is so respectful of A.J. that he was up for whatever we wanted/needed.

AL: How does this film differ from that of the recently released “We Are Twisted F****** Sister” documentary?

JJF: We have a very unusual story. Every other story ends after being told about the ups and downs the band went through to make it. This story ends before we end up getting a record deal. “We Are Twisted F****** Sister” shows the struggle we went through to make it. We were basically just the focal point of that film. We didn’t know where the production was going or what portion of our career it was going to actually cover. It was interesting to see the director’s final interpretation of it. “Metal Meltdown Featuring: Twisted Sister” we were more involved in and I see it acting almost like a book end. The first film shows the beginning of the band and the new film shows the ending. The contrast between the two films is amazing. I think the coda being the Vegas show proves that not every band in their 60’s has to suck. We have a lot of pride in what we do and I think this DVD shows that not only are we still good but we are actually better.

AL: Was the Las Vegas show one you guys picked to film or was it sort of predetermined by the production company?

JFF: We had booked that to be filmed prior to A.J.’s passing. The big question was what we were going to do. The producers of the film as well as all of the promoters we worked with that summer were really great. They all told us that if we wanted to pull out of the events we could and that they would totally understand. We asked for a couple weeks away in order to be able to digest what all had happened. We had planned to end the band that year and I had actually talked with A.J. the day before his passing about the discussion I had with Dee related to this being it. During that conversation A.J. mentioned that he was going to need to drop off his current tour with Adrenalin Mob because he was in need of some rehab on his shoulders. He didn’t want me to be alarmed so he was letting me know ahead of time. That ended up being the heart attack. I guess he had actually had a heart attack three days prior also. I didn’t think anything of it as drummers tend to have aches and pains. I wished him well and that was it. That next morning I got the phone call that had passed. Shortly after I got a call asking if I would come out to the Adrenalin Mob show at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey to do a song dedicated to A.J. I gladly accepted and that’s when Mike Portnoy came up to me and told me had always been a fan of the band and if we needed any help he would be glad to jump on board. I initially thought that after the funeral we would all sit down and that would be the end of things however after talking we decided to honor all of our commitments for 2015 and then wrap things up in 2016.

AL: What can you tell us about the bands remaining shows and, what are your plans once the band is done?

JJF: Our last show will be on Oct. 1st in New Jersey. We will be doing a bunch of well known festivals leading up to that. Due to all of our personal schedules the band can only play 10 or 15 shows a year as we just don’t all have the time. Outside of the band I write for Ink magazine and also write a business column for their online site. I am doing motivational speaking engagements and I am writing a book as well. I also like to do business advice for people. Those things are really my focus these days.

AL: Is there any part of you that will miss being on the road and in the band?

JJF: I don’t think I am going to miss any part of being on the road. I have done over 9,000 shows which is like being in the heavy metal version of “Cats” accept because were Jewish it’s spelled Katz. (Laughs) Those shows were all fun and everything and I loved being up there but I’m ready for it to be over.

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.

The Blind Boys of Alabama’s Jimmy Carter talks about new album “Talkin’ Christmas!” and the band’s 70th Anniversary

Jimmy Carter is one of The Blind Boys of Alabama, the five-time Grammy Award winning gospel group. This year marks the band’s 70th Anniversary together and Jimmy is a founding member and has been there since the beginning. The band has collaborated with musicians like Ben Harper, Tom Waits and has performed for numerous Presidents over the year. Jimmy took out some time to chat wiht Media Mikes about their new album “Talkin’ Christmas!” and about the band’s 70th anniversary.

Mike Gencarelli: “Talkin’ Christmas!” is your second Christmas album after 2003’s “Go Tell it On the Mountain”; how did this come about and teaming up with Taj Mahal?
Jimmy Carter: Taj Mahal has been fans of The Blind Boys for a long time and we have been a fan of his as well. When we approached him, he was ready and eager to do it! Then we all got together went into the studio and did our thing [laughs].

MG: I listen to a lot of Christmas albums and if you are lucky an artist includes one new song in their album. You guys have given us seven brand-new holiday songs – six of which you written yourselves with this new album; what made you decide to that this route?
JC: That’s right. It is mostly all original stuff on this album. We all got together and wrote some great songs. I think that is what makes it a good album. The first Christmas that we did was mostly traditional songs but this one we wanted the material to be new. I hope it goes over good. We are trying to remind people what Christmas really is about. Christmas had gotten very commercial, so we are trying to put Christ back into Christmas.

MG: Since this is a holiday themed album, I am curious when was it recorded?
JC: We recorded this one in March, if I remember correctly. With the songs that we had it put us in the Christmas mood. So it wasn’t hard at all to record after the holidays and ended up being quite fun.

MG: 2014 is your 70th anniversary of The Blind Boys of Alabama, what is it like to be performing together all these years?
JC: It still feels good. Every year you get a little older but when you still enjoy and love what you do it keeps you going. Everyone is still in pretty good shape, so I foresee us being around for at least a little bit longer [laughs].

MG: If you were asked to pick the first highlight that comes to your head over the many years together, what would that be?
JC: A few come up actually. We had the privilege to singing to three Presidents. Even got to meet former President Jimmy Carter twice [laughs]. That was really cool. Then we got our first Grammy in 2002 and that was an amazing moment. Those are the two that come up the top of my head right now.

MG: You have teamed up with songwriters such as Ben Harper, Eric Clapton and Prince in the past; any more team ups planned next?
JC: I especially enjoyed working with Ben Harper. He is a great writer, a great singer and a great musician. He brought a lot to the table man. I really enjoyed working with him. I think Ben wants to do something else with us. We have to sit down and talk about it but I think he is ready…so we will see.

MG: Any tour dates planned for this album this Fall?
JC: Yes! We are going to start our Christmas tour on November 28th. We are starting that Friday night in Fredrick, MD and we will end up December 23rd in San Diego, CA.

CCE Presents DeLand Rock & Metal Festival set for November 7-9th – 3 Days – 50 Bands!

The DeLand Rock & Metal Festival has just finished booking its 5th installment of it’s ever growing Rock and Heavy Metal event. This Fall, The Deland Rock & Metal Festival will host it’s first multi-day, with camping event. The festival will feature bands from all over the east coast, one from Puerto Rico and also DeLand’s very own, Seven Kingdoms. Tickets are on sale, and it is expected to draw 800-1000 over the weekend at OBs in North Deland. This year will also include local business vendors ranging from Vapor products, beef jerky, chocolates and jewelry all the way to CD and Merch tents.

Visit the event page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/468548056578993

The Deland Rock & Metal Festival is BACK for its FALL edition!!!

This FALL FESTIVAL will be a MULTI-DAY Event!

NOV 7 – PREPARTY
NOV 8 – FESTIVAL – DAY 1
NOV 9 – FESTIVAL – DAY 2

Camping will be available overnight on festival grounds!

TICKETS ONSALE SCHEDULE:

-ALL INCLUSIVE BADGE (VIP and Camping)
ON-SALE-NOW – $95
http://ccepresents.bigcartel.com/product/deland-rock-metal-festival-all-inclusive-pass-vip-camping

VIP PASS only: ON SALE NOW – $65
http://ccepresents.bigcartel.com/product/deland-rock-metal-festival-vip-pass-only

CAMPING PASS only ON SALE NOW – $30
http://ccepresents.bigcartel.com/product/deland-rock-metal-festival-camping-pass-only

General Admission prices:
Preparty – $12
Saturday Festival – $25
Sunday Festival – $15

**VIP BADGE** – $65
– VIP FOIL LAMINATE
– EVENT T-SHIRT
– EVENT POSTER
– Masters Of Metal Productions Sampler CD
– **FREE ADMISSION** to the PreParty
– ENTRY TO SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
– 22oz SOUVENIR DR&MF BEER MUG
– EXCLUSIVE DRAFT BEER / CIDER OUTSIDE WITH BEER MUG ONLY
– VIP BAR and PATIO LOUNGE ACCESS
– ONLY **100** AVAILABLE

CAMPING INFO:
Camping will be PER PERSON – $30
– CAMPING STICKER CREDENTIAL
– Camping Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights
– HOT DELUXE BREAKFAST Saturday and Sunday Mornings
– ONLY **100* CAMPING STICKERS AVAILABLE
**we will be in touch with all our campers to see who is sharing tents – paid per person because we are including breakfast for campers**

More info, Bands, Lineups to be announced! 50 bands!

FRIDAY – NOVEMBER 7th **PREPARTY**
-OB’s MAINSTAGE-
1|6:15-6:45 – Stand Well Among Giants – Post Hardcore from Orlando
2|7:00-7:30 – Almost Winter – Metalcore from Orlando
3|7:45-8:15 – Unsung Hero – Metal/Hard Rock from Tampa
4|8:30-9:00 – Cover The Sun – Rock/Metal from Orlando
5|9:15-9:45 – ShadowStrike – Power Metal from NY
6|10:00-10:45 – Judicator – Power Metal from Tuscon, AZ
7|11:00-11:30 – Project: Roenwolfe – Power Metal from AZ/FL
8| 11:45-12:30 – Fathom’s Pass – Prog/Power from Tampa

SATURDAY – NOVEMBER 8th
-FESTIVAL STAGE-
1|12:00-12:30 – Koffity – Metal from Panama City
3|1:00-1:30 – Sinister Circle – Metal from Tampa
5|2:00-2:30 – All Hell – Death Metal from Longwood
7|3:00-3:30 – Atlas – Metal from Melbourne, FL
9|4:00-4:30 – Darkness Rising – Metal from Deltona
11|5:00-5:30 – Sarcophagi – Deathcore from Pensacola
13|6:00-6:30 – The Bride Wore Blood – Deathcore from Orlando
15|7:00-7:30 – Orbweaver – Experimental Metal from Miami
17|8:00-8:30 – Promethean Horde – Death Metal from Tampa
19|9:00-9:30 – Ovid’s Withering – Death Metal from Tampa
21|10:15-11:00 – Warforged – Death Metal from Chicago

-OB’s MAINSTAGE-
2|12:30-1:00 – Slow Motion Suicide – Metal from Jacksonville
4|1:30-2:00 – Denied Til Death – Death Metal from Jacksonville
6|2:30-3:00 – Martyr’s Asylum – HardRock from Orlando
8|3:30-4:00 – Psykotribe – Metal from Tampa
10|4:30-5:00 – Impurity – Death Metal from Gainesville
12|5:30-6:00 – Death Before Dying – Death Metal from Panama City
14|6:30-7:00 – City Of Stages – Metalcore from Orlando
16|7:30-8:00 – Zafakon – Death/Thrash from Puerto Rico
18|8:30-9:00 – Thrash Or Die – Thrash from Miami
20|9:30-10:15 – Abdomen Canvas -Death Metal from Orlando
22|11:00-11:45 – Visceral Disgorge – Slam Death from Baltimore
23|12:00-1:00 – Massacre – Death Metal from Florida

SUNDAY – NOVEMBER 9th
-FESTIVAL STAGE-
1|12:00-12:30 – Primitive Hard Drive – Rock from Jacksonville
3|1:00-1:30 – Jack Mantra – Rock from Brandon
5|2:00-2:30 – Armor Of God – Power Metal from Orlando
7|3:00-3:30 – Slikk Wikked – Metal from Tampa
9|4:00-4:30 – Chernobyl – Heavy Metal from Orlando
11|5:00-5:30 – Archangel – Thrash/Heavy Metal from Tampa
13|6:00-6:30 – Maverick Hunter – Heavy Metal from Tampa
15|7:00-7:30 – Everthrone – Epic, Symphonic Metal from SC
17|8:05-8:50 – Draekon – Symphonic Metal from Indiana
19|9:35-10:20 – Widow – Traditional Metal from NC

-OB’s MAINSTAGE-
2|12:30-1:00 – The Hanging Chads – Hard Rock from Tampa
4|1:30-2:00 – Embrace The Envy – Metal from Orlando
6|2:30-3:00 – Absolon – Goth/Power Metal from Orlando
8|3:30-4:00 – Frostfang – Thrash Metal from St. Pete
10|4:30-5:00 – Skyliner – Power Metal from Jacksonville
12|5:30-6:00 – Sons Of Ragnar – Viking Metal from Longwood
14|6:30-7:00 – Arcsin – Prog/Power from Miami
16|7:30-8:05 – MindMaze – Female Fronted Power Metal from PA
18|8:50-9:35 – A Sound of Thunder – Female Fronted Power Metal from DC
20|10:20-11:20 – Seven Kingdoms – Power Metal from DeLand

MISC INFO:
Your EXCLUSIVE draft beer and cider will be Yuengling and Angry Orchard. VIPs you will be the only people allowed to even have draft beer at the festival, all others are bottles/mixdrinks. Fillups will range (depending) from $4-$6 for whichever one you want and 22oz of it! you will get 10 tickets per day, which you will need to use each time you pay for a fill up. Its super exclusive draft just for you! IF YOU DON’T WANT BEER, there will be bottled water and Soda fillups for $1. PLEASE REMEMBER you will not be able to get the special draft, if you BUY THE CUP ALA CARTE at the fest, YOU MUST be a VIP holder! CAMPING BREAKFAST will be open each fest morning from 8AM-10AM. We will have Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Biscuits & Gravy, Toast, Coffee and Orange Juice. Breakfast will be open for TWO HOURS. Breakfast will also go on sale, ala carte for those that didnt camp, that are Hungry, however we are only guaranteeing enough breakfast/per day for presold camping passes, so get your camping and breakfast passes!

The Revenant’s Trevor Jackson talks about band’s self-titled debut album

Trevor Jackson is the guitarist for the punk rock band The Revenant. The band which also includes former Unwritten Law members Derik Envy and Kevin Besignano along with Lit drummer Nathan Walker has just released their self titled debut album to rave reviews. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Trevor recently about the album, what it was like balancing multiple projects and the bands upcoming tour plans.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us what led to you guys forming the band?
Trevor Jackson: We had all known each other from touring and we all had a common ground in that we wanted to do something that was our own. We have all had some great opportunities in the past but at the end of the day we wanted to see what could happen if we got together and wrote some songs. Derik and Kevin knew each other from playing together in Unwritten Law and I had toured with Nate so it really was probably the easiest way a band could come together. We never really did any auditioning or things like that just started writing music together. Things just worked.

AL: How did you go about deciding which direction to take the band in stylistically?
TJ: We all came from playing in other people’s band so we weren’t too sure which direction to go. When you get together with 4 new guys you have no idea what things will sound like. We pretty much went in completely open. We just started writing together and let things develop throughout the pre-production process. We all come from different music backgrounds and everybody in the band has a specific strong point. Writing wise we would all sit down together and work through the different ideas. No one really had any egos. An idea would get thrown out and we would all just start working on it together. A lot of times Kevin or Derik would come in with a song and we could hammer it out in 45 minutes or so. We all just worked really well together.

AL: Was it hard for you guys to balance your time between multiple projects?
TJ: Making the transition from one project to another came with some difficulty however it was something that we all really wanted to do. We really believed in what we were doing so anytime we had down time we went right in to the garage to demo songs or rehearse.

AL: Can you tell us about the first 4 songs you guys released?
TJ: The full album came out June 17th but to get people familiar with who we are prior to that we decided to release 4 songs from the album. These were songs that we really liked but it was a little weird only picking the 4. Our whole record is 10 songs that run just over 20 minutes. Those first few songs sort of showcase the albums variety.

AL: Have you guys started discussing tour plans yet?
TJ: That’s all we talk about. (Laughs) We have been putting the word out and talking about some different things but I think the biggest thing we wanted to do first was to get the record out. We want fans of music and punk rock to get the album and decide for themselves what they think of it. If we get a phone call today I am sure we would have the van packed and be on the road but right now we are shooting for towards the end of summer to back out on the road. This project was something that we have been pretty quiet about thus far. We wanted to get everything recorded and done before we really started telling anyone about it. This is something we are having great time doing it and we can’t wait for people to hear the album.

Psychostick’s Rawrb talks about the band’s summer tour, “The ‘Merica F*ck Yeah Tour”

Psychostick is probably best known for their song “BEER!!”, the heavy metal anthem to irresponsible drinkers everywhere that made the rounds on the Internet back in the early 2000’s and popped up frequently on active rock stations across the country. They’ve had their tongue firmly planted in their cheek for nearly a decade and a half and now they’re about to enter a new chapter in their band history. After a successful Indiegogo campaign, Psychostick was able to raise the funds to build their very own studio in their home. That means they’ll be able to put out more music and content to their rabid comedy-metal fans. Media Mikes had a chance to catch up with the lead singer, Rawrb, about what kind of plans they got in the works and their upcoming summer tour with Dog Fashion Disco and The Bunny The Bear.

Jeremy Werner: I know the first thing people will wanna know is everything and anything about the new album you’re working on. So, is there anything new about the album you’d like to share with us that people might not already know about?
Rawrb: The only thing that’s been released about the new album has been “Obey the Beard”. The actual title and track listing hasn’t been announced yet because we’re still going back and forth on a lot of that stuff. We’ve recorded a lot of songs and it’s coming together. Once everything really starts to get finalized. We’ll really start releasing more info.

Jeremy: Do you guys have an estimated release date?
Rawrb: Hopefully early fall…I’m guessing.

JW: Now I know during the Indiegogo campaign, one of your stretch goals, if you raised the money, was to release a covers album. Sadly you guys didn’t reach that goal, but is a cover album still in the cards?
Rawrb: We talked about it, but we still might do it eventually. We were gonna do it sooner than later if we hit the stretch goal but we definitely want to. It’ll just be longer before we can.

JW: So you’re about to hit the road with Dog Fashion Disco and The Bunny The Bear…can fans heading out to the shows expect a new song on this upcoming tour?
Rawrb: We’re going back and forth on that one too. There’s one in particular we wanna play, but I’m not sure if we’re gonna have time. We’re a little bit short on the set for us, but I think we’re gonna try and squeeze another new one in there. We’ll see.

JW: A short set-list? It’s not a co-headlining tour with Dog Fashion Disco?
Rawrb: No, probably not, it’s pretty much their tour. They invited us out and we were very ecstatic to do that because .they still have a huge fanbase. I don’t know if you saw their Indiegogo, but they just blew it out of the water.

JW: Oh yeah. It was really impressive. It’s good to see both of you guys hitting your initial goals without a problem.
Rawrb: Yeah, so honestly, it’s not a co-headlining tour. We’re the opening act for them the whole tour.

JW: Now I saw they’re heading overseas for the first time to play three nights in England…so is that a sign that maybe you guys are heading overseas for the first time?
Rawrb: We’re trying. We’ve made a few new contacts and it’s the closest it’s ever been so I’m pretty optimistic. I think it will happen, maybe this year or maybe next year, hopefully. I’m hoping that it will happen later this year because we’ve been overdue for this for a long time. We have a pretty good following overseas and we’ve just never had an opportunity jump over there because of…silly reasons like money (laughs).

JW: So going back to the new studio you guys were able to build…what exactly does it mean for the future of Psychostick?
Rawrb: We’ll be able to produce music more frequently. One of the biggest challenges and why it’s been so long since we’ve had a new album, is that we tour so much and don’t have the resources to sit down and just crank out another album on a more frequent basis, but now we’ll be able to do that. I’m hoping we’ll release more music, more frequently. Instead of waiting three years, it’ll be a year and a half or less. We live in our studio too, so we can wake up and write a song and record it then and there. It’s really nice to be able to do that. A lot of the obstacles have been removed so we can get a lot more done and there will be a lot more stuff coming.

JW: What musical direction will you go with now that you have this studio? Will you be focusing on cranking out more albums or maybe a couple EP’s here and there or will it be like the video posted a while back…your cover of “Reading Rainbow”?
Rawrb: We put out the “Reading Rainbow” cover a couple weeks ago and that was just us testing out the studio. We just wanted to see how it was gonna work. It happened really fast and we were super excited. We’re gonna do full length albums and little tidbits like “Reading Rainbow” We’re gonna try and do more covers too because we have a great idea and we can’t sell it because it’s owned by somebody else. So since it’s a cover, we can just go crazy with it. There’s no limits to this now, except for time…(laughs)…we’re excited.

JW: Now that you have your own studio, are you guys thinking about dropping from your label and creating your own?
Rawrb: We haven’t really thought about it. We’re very happy with Rock Ridge. We handle all of our own production, they don’t have any say in that and that’s part of the reason why we love them is because we can do what we want. We built the studio so we can crank out whatever we want and when we want.

JW: Is there anything else you want your fans to know?
Rawrb: We’re working on new stuff and there’s gonna be a lot more content like videos and gags and things like that, that we got planned. When it hits, you’ll know. It’s gonna be non-stop and there’s gonna be more music from us now that we have a studio. So we’re excited about all these things and I think our fans will be really happy with what we come out with because we are. And that’s the first step, we have to like it, before we let it out…(laughs)…it’ll be good.

You can check out Psychostick on their summer tour, ‘The Merica F*ck Yeah Tour’, playing alongside Dog Fashion Disco and The Bunny The Bear, at the following dates:
May 29th: Amityville, NY
May 30th: Albany, NY
May 31st: Pennellville, NY
June 1st: Watkins Glen, NY
June 2nd: Trenton, NJ
June 3rd: Providence, RI
June 5th: Westland, MI
June 6th: Cleveland, OH
June 7th: Cherry Valley, IL
June 8th: Joliet, IL
June 9th: Minneapolis, MN
June 10th: Merriam, KS
June 11th: Waterloo, IA
June 12th: Des Moines, IA
June 13th: Lincoln, NE
June 14th: Denver, CO
June 16th: Salt Lake City, UT
June 17th: Sacramento, CA
June 18th: West Hollywood, CA
June 19th: Las Vegas, NV
June 20th: Tuscon, AZ
June 21st: Scottsdale, AZ
June 23rd: San Antonio, TX
June 24th: Houston, TX
June 25th: Fort Worth, TX
June 26th: Oklahoma City, OK
June 27th: St. Louis, MO
June 28th: Indianapolis, IN
June 29th: Columbus, OH

Goo Goo Dolls’ Robby Takac talks about the band’s acoustic tour

Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler

Robby Takac is the bassist and a founding member of the rock band the Goo Goo Dolls. In June of 2013 the group released their tenth studio album titled “Magnetic” to rave reviews. The group is currently out on the road performing acoustically and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Robby about the special run of shows and this summer’s upcoming tour with “American Idol” alum Chris Daughtry.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the current acoustic tour you guys are out on?
Robby Takac: That was something John has been talking about doing for awhile now. Occasionally we get asked to do one off acoustic shows and they end up being a lot of fun and something we wanted to do more of. We just finished a Canadian tour run and have a little bit of time before our next tour starts to go out and do this acoustic run. It’s a great opportunity for us to go back out and do some shows that are a little different. There’s times during these shows where we have 11 people up there performing.

AL: With the acoustic element aside what do you find to be the biggest difference between these shows and the band’s traditional shows?
RT: When we are doing an electric show there are a lot more bells and whistles. We bust out all the stops when we are performing electrically. With the acoustic shows we are playing in much more intimate venues. I think the largest room we have booked on this tour is maybe 400 seats.  There is a different form of communication happening between the band and the listeners in this smaller setting. The shows are going great and I have a feeling that we will be more of them in the future.

AL: How does song selection play out from night to night?
RT: After putting out a number of acoustic songs we have a good catalog to choose from. We also do a bunch of our hit songs that we have reworked. A lot of the songs have been orchestrated so doing those on our own without that backing has been a little different. We thought about having things laid out ahead of time but it ended up working better when we just go off the cuff. We go out tell some stories and play some songs and it’s just a great time.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands recent video for the song “Come to Me”?
RT: I think when you do a video you are looking for something that accompanies the song. We tend to do videos that go along with the songs as the song is the most important thing. We shot the newest video up in the hills outside of Los Angeles and we feel it goes great with the song.

AL: What are the plans for the band after the acoustic tour run?
RT: We have a summer tour coming up with Daughtry that is going to be amazing. I think he has done a really great thing being able to change from what he did on “American Idol” and transforming it to what he is doing now. He had the ears and eyes of American during the time he was on that show and he has managed to keep them. We are going to have a great time this summer with Daughtry and Plain White T’s who will also be part of the tour.

AL: Can you tell us a little bit about the record label you have been working on?
RT: Good Charamel Records is the name of the label and we put out a lot of 7 inch Japanese punk rock albums.  Bands like Shonen Knife and Pinky Doodle Poodle are on our label. My wife and I actually manage Shonen Knife who has a great new album coming out soon.