Tommy Blardo and Frank Morin of Enemy Remains talk about their new album “No Faith In Humanity”.

Global Music Award-winning heavy metal group Enemy Remains are set to release their second full-length album on January 20th titled “No Faith In Humanity”. After a lengthy hiatus the band which features original Fates Warning drummer Steve Zimmerman along with Tommy Blardo, Frank Morin, Scott Kadish and Jeff Curtis are ready to unveil their latest creation. Media Mikes had the chance recently to speak with Tommy and Frank about the new albums creation and what it was like reforming the band after their extended break.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the work you have put in on the new album “No Faith in Humanity”?

Tommy Blardo: Funny thing about that, when we signed with Skateboard Marketing we didn’t have one track written for the album, zero, not even ideas. We put a single out, “No Faith in Humanity”, and that’s all we had at the time. It was pretty scary but, I think when you set deadlines it motivates you. Everyone worked really hard on this new album. I wanted to take the band in a whole new direction, new line, new sound, new writing style, new everything! We kind of things a facelift and I think we nailed it.

AL: What were the first couple of writing/rehearsal sessions like after getting back together from your hiatus?

TB: Honestly it was weird, with Steve coming from Fates Warning and playing old prog metal stuff, it was a big change for him, but he was willing to adapt to the new modern style we are going for with hooks but still keeping his roots grounded musically with the off time changes. With the addition of new vocalist Frank “Heretic” Morin, the musical transition seemed to work very well. What Frank has brought to the table just takes so much weight off Steve and I and it really enforces the new sound we were going for.”

AL: At what point did new members come into the picture and, how have they further shaped the new direction of the band?

TB: Frank was added first, I knew we needed a vocalist that could really catch the attention of the listeners with that “radio voice” as they call it – to really fit the new style we had in mind. Scott Kadish (guitars) and Bobby Byrk (keyboards) were added a little later, but were totally involved in the whole writing process. I’ve got to say, this is the strongest line up of professionals we’ve ever had. Band practice has become fun again.”

AL: What can you tell us about the two tracks the band has released thus far from the album?

Frank Morin: I can tell you they were a pain in the ass! Tommy and Steve first approached me with the music to “No Faith In Humanity” and I got really pumped! I had been waiting to jump into a rock/metal project of this caliber for a while, so that song kind of wrote itself based on how I was feeling about the world and the people in it. “Trust in No One” was a little more difficult. It was the first time I played with progressive riffs in a 5 count. It took Tommy and I about an hour to write the hook. Both tracks, like the entire album, touch on personal issues from a singular point of view, though we all share the same ideologies on them. Like the rest of the album we wrote all the music based on the concept, and I just started with the lyrics.

AL: Do you have any touring or performance plans in place to support the release?

TB: At this point we have full press and radio campaigns hitting hard the first week of January and the release of the album is on Jan 20th. After that we have plans to tour the east coast, mid-west and extended dates throughout the west coast by summer. After that hopefully we will be jumping on as a support act for a national artist!

For more info on Enemy Remains you can check out www.facebook.com/enemyremainz

Win a Blu-ray for Jake Gyllenhaal’s “Enemy” [ENDED]

To celebrate the Blu-ray release of Jake Gyllenhaal latest film “Enemy”, Media Mikes is excited one (1) copy of the Blu-ray to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Jake Gyllenhaal film. This giveaway will remain open until July 4th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email

Adam Bell (Gyllenhaal) is a glum professor who has grown disinterested by his ordinary life. When Adam discovers a man who appears to be his double, the identical men meet and their lives become bizarrely and hauntingly intertwined. Gyllenhaal is transfixing playing both roles, journeying through a world both familiar and strange. The film’s final and unnerving image will not be soon forgotten by audiences. In the end, only one man can survive.

Film Review “Enemy”

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal and Melanie Laurent
Directed by: Denis Villenueve
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 30 mins
A24

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“Chaos is order left undeciphered.”

These words are taken from a novel titled “The Double,” by Nobel Prize winning author Jose Saramago and they are the first images we see on screen in director Denis Villenueve’s film based on that novel, “Enemy.” And chaos, undeciphered or not, is definitely in the DNA of this film.

College teacher Adam Bell (Gyllenhaal) is living a very boring life. Get up, go to work, lecture a room full of bored faces, go home. The only change in the routine are the times his gal pal (Laurent) stops by for sex. One day a co-worker suggests he has a “movie night” and suggests a title or two. Renting one of them, Adam goes home and puts it in his computer. He suddenly sits upright, noticing that the young actor playing the hotel bellhop looks incredibly like…him. Doing some research on-line, he learns that the actor in question is one Anthony Clair. He tracks down his representative and shows up at the office, hoping to meet him. Of course, the doorman thinks Adam IS Anthony, which begins a story about mixed identities and…spiders?

I had the great fortune to interview director Villenueve last year when his film, “Prisoners,” was released. During our conversation he referenced “Enemy” which was his original opportunity to work with Jake Gyllenhaal. He called the film “an art house experiment” and he wasn’t kidding. The film is full of odd and unusual visuals and often plays like a film directed by Villenueve’s fellow Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg. Actually “odd and unusual” are among the many words that could be used to describe this film. I’ll admit here that when it ended, with one of biggest “what the hell was that” scenes ever featured in a major film release, that I actually sought out a fellow critic…one who had actually gone to college to study the art…and asked him what it was that I just saw. I was happy to see that I wasn’t the only critic looking at him with wide eyes and blank faces.

If I have to sum up the film I’d say it was a mixed bag of intense acting (Gyllenhaal does a fine job in both roles) and creepy visual suggestions. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. I also didn’t get it. It doesn’t help that Villenueve has managed to make Toronto look like Beijing, China with the fog hanging heavy in gray skies and resembling smog. That manages to set the atmosphere for awhile. Unfortunately, someone involved with the film has obviously seen “The Shining” one too many times because that atmosphere is often broken with loud “booms” of the musical soundtrack.

Our Last Enemy talks about their new album “Pariah”

On March 11th 2014, Australian industrial metal band Our Last Enemy released their newest album titled “Pariah” via Eclipse Records. Produced by Christian Olde Wolbers the album is a perfect melding of all things metal. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with the band recently about the album’s release and the bands plans for coming to the United States.

Adam Lawton: How did Our Last Enemy originally come together?
Matt Heywood: The band formed in 2006 in Sydney, Australia. Myself, Oli and Jeff’s previous bands had all broken up and we all ended up meeting through a mutual friend. Bizz joined the band in 2010 after leaving the Genitorturers and relocating to Australia. We had heard through friends that Bizz was looking for a band to jam with. Zot joined the band in 2013. He had actually played with Oli in another band.
Oliver Fogwell: The Australian music scene is just one big family so you eventually end up working with everyone.

AL: How would you describe the bands sounds to someone unfamiliar with the group?
MH: We use the term “Industrial Metal” to describe ourselves when we only have time for a short answer or when we know someone doesn’t have a long attention span. (Laughs) Maybe “Metal Industrial” would be better suited? When we have time for a longer description we like to say it’s a kick in the nuts with a brick on our collective shoe! Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. We like to blend genres with metal being the first and then mixing in electronic, punk, gothic and hardcore, etc.
Bizz Bernius: I would describe our sound as a horror movie soundtrack on steroids.

AL: What can you tell us about the band’s new album?
MH: Our debut North American album is titled “Pariah” It was released on March 11th via Eclipse Records. Christian Olde Wolders who used to be in Fear Factory produced the record along with some bonus remixes by Travis Neal (Divine Heresy), Angel (Dope) and Mortiis. The foundation of the album is “Industrial Metal”. We try to make each song have a particular feel, and throw in all kinds of different styles to achieve that. The album has everything from high level triplets and double kicks to slow brooding grooves. We want people to make up their own minds after hearing it and take from it what they want.
OF: Every review thus far has found something different in “Pariah” which is great. That’s what the album is. It’s a blend of heavy genres that we like to listen to.

AL: Are there plans to tour in support of the release?
MH: Yes! We hope to tour in North America as soon as we can. We want to get out there and play for as many people as possible. We are planning a tour but as right now we can’t yet announce the specifics.
BB: Absofuckinglutely! I can’t wait to tour my home country now that I am in an Australian band. How strange is that? (Laughs)

AL:  Coming from Australia, what do you feel is the hardest part about getting your music heard in different countries other than your own (for example the united States)?
MH: With so much of what a band does now being online, it makes the world a smaller place. Getting our music out on the radio, TV, YouTube or online in general is just as easy for us as it would be for any other band foreign or not. The hardest part for us is getting to play live in other countries and giving people the opportunity to hear our songs in their raw form. We pride ourselves on our live shows. That distance between North America, Australia or Europe is the hardest thing. It costs a lot more money for us to get places so it’s an uphill battle in those terms but, we like it that way.
BB: The expense of touring outside Australia is very high. Flights alone are just ridiculous! (Laughs)

Blu-ray Review “Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics (Little Caesar / The Public Enemy / The Petrified Forest / White Heat)”

Starring: James Cagney, Leslie Howard, Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, Virginia Mayo, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Directors: Archie Mayo, William A. Wellman, Mervyn LeRoy, Raoul Walsh
Distributed by: Warner Bros
Release Date: May 21, 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 357 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of stars

Who can help but not love the classic B&W gangster films. The following films make up this “Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics” – “Little Caesar (1931)”, “The Public Enemy (1931)”, “The Petrified Forest (1936)”, “White Heat (1949)”.  These are all great films that I have seen many times and never grow tired watching.  Whenever I think “The Public Enemy”, I am transported to the Disney’s Hollywood Studios on The Great Movie Ride, one of my favorites.  These films are what made gangster films popular and paved the way for today’s films. If you are a looking for a great place to be transported to the origin of the gangster film then look no further than this Blu-ray release.

All of these films are appearing on Blu-ray for the first time ever, as part of Warner Bros. 90th Anniversary celebration.  Each of these films will also be available on May 21st individually on Blu-ray. But this box set collection is quite a think a beauty.  All the film comes in a nice slipcase and includes an additional 32-page book with images and facts about each of the film. The 1080p transfers are very impressive for these classic films the latest dating back to almost 80 years ago. They are all presented with an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The audio tracks included are also DTS-HD Master Audio Mono for each film, which work very well. The dialogues are clear and just are held up so well.

“Little Caesar (1931)” Official Premise: The ambitious criminal Rico moves from the country to the big city in the east and joins Sam Vettori’s gang with his friend Joe Massara. Sooner he becomes the leader of the gangsters and known as Little Caesar, and gets closer to the great mobster Pete Montana. In a robbery of a night-club, he kills the Crime Commissioner Alvin McClure and his pal Joe witnesses the murder. When Rico orders Joe to leave his mistress Olga Strassoff, she takes a serious decision.

“The Public Enemy (1931)” Official Premise: Tom Powers and Matt Doyle are best friends and fellow gangsters, their lives frowned upon by Tom’s straight laced brother, Mike, and Matt’s straight laced sister, Molly. From their teen-aged years into young adulthood, Tom and Matt have an increasingly lucrative life, bootlegging during the Prohibition era. But Tom in particular becomes more and more brazen in what he is willing to do, and becomes more obstinate and violent against those who either disagree with him or cross him. When one of their colleagues dies in a freak accident, a rival bootlegging faction senses weakness among Tom and Matt’s gang, which is led by Paddy Ryan. A gang war ensues, resulting in Paddy suggesting that Tom and Matt lay low. But because of Tom’s basic nature, he decides instead to take matters into his own hands.

“The Petrified Forest (1936)” Official Premise: Gabby lives and works at her dads small diner out in the desert. She can’t stand it and wants to go and live with her mother in France. Along comes Alan, a broke man with no will to live, who is traveling to see the pacific, and maybe to drown in it. Meanwhile Duke Mantee a notorious killer and his gang is heading towards the diner where Mantee plan on meeting up with his girl.

“White Heat (1949)” Official Premise: Cody Jarrett is the sadistic leader of a ruthless gang of thieves. Afflicted by terrible headaches and fiercely devoted to his ‘Ma,’ Cody is a volatile, violent, and eccentric leader. Cody’s top henchman wants to lead the gang and attempts to have an ‘accident’ happen to Cody, while he is running the gang from in jail. But Cody is saved by an undercover cop, who thereby befriends him and infiltrates the gang. Finally, the stage is set for Cody’s ultimate betrayal and downfall, during a big heist at a chemical plant.

These “Classics” each come with their own set of extras.  “Little Caesar (1931)” comes with a commentary by film historian Robert Sklar. Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1931 with Newsreel, Spencer Tracy Short The Hard Guy, Cartoon Lady Play Your Mandolin and Theatrical Trailers. There is also a featurette “Little Caesar: End of Rico, Beginning of the Antihero” included. “The Public Enemy (1931)” includes a commentary by film historian Richard B. Jewell. Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1931 with Newsreel, Comedy Short The Eyes Have It, Cartoon Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! and Theatrical Trailers.  There is also a featurette “Beer and Blood: Enemies of the Public” included.

“The Petrified Forest (1936)” includes a commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax. Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1936 with Newsreel, Musical Short Rhythmitis, Cartoon The Coo Coo Nut Grove and Theatrical Trailers. There is also a featurette “The Petrified Forest: Menace in the Desert” included and an Audio-Only Bonus: 1/7/1940 Gulf Screen Theater Broadcast. Lastly “White Heat (1949)” includes a commentary by Film Historian Drew Casper. Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1949 with Newsreel, Comedy Short So You Think You’re Not Guilty, Cartoon Homeless Hare and Theatrical Trailers.  There is also a featurette “White Heat: Top of the World” included.

If all that is not enough there is still more.  There is a bonus DVD included with yet another feature-length documentary called “The Public Enemies: The Golden Age of The Gangster Film”.  Even though this is just on DVD, it is still a must-watch if you are a fan of this genre and only makes this release worth every penny.

The “Ultimate Gangster Collection: Classics” and “Ultimate Gangster Collection: Contemporary” are available on Blu-ray 5/21