Take Two guitarist Adam Lawton talks about the bands latest release “We Aren’t Big”

Take Two have been performing in and around the Tri-State area since the groups formation in 2012. The four piece band who lists Corning, NY as their home-base bring a unique mix of sounds and styles to the pop-punk genre which they associate themselves with. The group’s latest release “We Aren’t Big” is set for release on March 13th and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with bands guitarist Adam Lawton about the band, the new release and making the transition to a heavier sound.     

Ryan Albro: What can you tell us about Take Two?

Adam Lawton: The band is made up of Josh Cavaluzzi, AJ Kish, Nick Murray and I. The original line up of the band formed in 2012 while some the guys were going to college together in Upstate New York. After a short time they were looking for new guitarist and that’s when I joined the band. We put out our self-titled debut shortly after.  Around that same time we got hooked up with the Cold Cock Whiskey artist program which allowed us to connect with a bunch of other bands and play some new places around NY, NJ and PA. After a couple more lineup changes including Josh moving from drums to vocals and downsizing to a four piece we released two EP’s (Weekend Warriors and Natures Chicken) Through the release of those and connections we made we joined the Dirtbag Clothing Artist program and also started working with ACE Products Group both of which have been amazing! Because of them we were able attend our first winter and summer NAMM shows which took us to Los Angeles and Nashville. Now on March 13th we are set to release a brand new album titled “We Aren’t Big”   

RA: Can you give us some background on the new album We Aren’t Big?

AL: “We Aren’t Big” is the bands 4th studio release. It consists of 9 tracks four of which are brand new. The other five come from two previously released EP’s (Weekend Warriors and Natures Chicken). We re-recorded those with the current lineup of the band

RA: What was the inspiration for the album’s title?

AL: (Laughs) that started out as a joke between the guys in the band. We were on our way to a show one day and we stopped for some food. A couple of us had already ordered when the cashier asked our singer Josh if we were in a band. He replied “Yes, but we aren’t big”. Of course we all lost it and we were like “what do you mean we aren’t big!?” We are huge in our own minds. (Laughs) So since that day we all would joke with each other about being a band but it’s not big. When it came time to decide on an album name that one liner came up and it instantly stuck.

RA: Which songs are you most proud of from We Aren’t Big?

AL: We worked hard on all the songs so to pick just one or two is kind of tough. When you are putting these things together you get really attached to certain parts as you spend a lot of time playing them over and over to get them just right. For instance the breakdown in “Fall”, the verses of “Burner” and the solo of “Lock Up” are ones that stick out for me and fun to play.   

RA: What were your inspirations to blend metal and punk on the album?

AL: That was something that happened organically over time. Each time there was a lineup change we tweaked our sound a little bit. We have had this same line up now for quite some time and we are all into various forms of heavy music along with punk. One of the first new songs we had was “Burner” and being that song is fairly aggressive we figured that the other new songs we were going to include with it should follow suit.

RA: What are your thoughts on current influences in the punk genre?

AL: I think if you look at punk over the years it’s a genre that is always evolving and expanding. “Punk” is such a broad term now and there are just so many sub-genres of punk like Folk-Punk, Afro-Punk, Celtic-Punk you name it. I think punk is more of an idea or thought process in that you are doing something different than what is considered the “norm” at that time. You can be “punk” without looking or sounding any one specific way and that’s really cool.   

RA: What are Take Two’s upcoming touring plans and what’s next for the band?

AL: Coming up on March 14th we will be playing in Buffalo, NY with a bunch of great acts from up there. Being it’s the day after the record comes out we have decided to stream our set via facebook.com/official.taketwo starting at 8:30pme EST. We thought that would be cool way for more people to be able to check out the show and hear the new music in a live setting. From there we will be appearing at this year’s Launch Music Conference in Lancaster, PA. We will be making the rounds that weekend and promoting a song of ours that is featured on the Conference compilation record which they put out each year. Another cool thing we have coming out is we got hooked up with Phameless Records from Philadelphia and have a song appearing on a compilation they have put together so that’s going to be really cool as well. Aside from all of that we have shows booked through the fall around NY and PA and are always looking to add more whenever we can.

For more information on TAKE TWO and to get a copy of “We Aren’t Big” visit the bands official web page at www.officialtaketwo.com

CD Review: TAKE TWO “We Aren’t Big”

“We Aren’t Big”

Take Two

Tracks: 9

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Punk rockers from upstate New York, Take Two have unleashed a brand new album “We Aren’t Big” upon the world. The album (the band’s 4th release) stampedes onto the scene like a mohawk clad rhinoceros whose metallic punk riffs run you over while the catchy choruses bring you back for another beating. From the vintage comic book cover art, to the New Found Glory and Descendents influences, “We Aren’t Big” screams PUNK ROCK! directly in your face.

Featuring nine raging tracks with a little something for everyone, I found “Hearts Will Remain” to be the stand out hit on the album. Its a classic pop punk track with a chorus capable of getting stuck in your head for eons. 90’s and early 2000’s fans of the genre will definitely approve. Going a little deeper thought provoking tracks like “Shots & Scars”, as well as “Red Eye”, are also solid stand outs as both recount tales of the road and the determination of a band never willing to give up. Now if you’re more in the mood for lights out, fist pumping mosh pits, look no further than “Burner” as nonstop head-banging will certainly ensue as the track closes out with a mega mosh riff which beckons a bloodbath of furious spinning back kicks and seismic circle pit activity measurable by the Fujita scale.

Take Two’s influences certainly shine through, making for a familiar listen However, the new territory the group covers brightens up an otherwise usual punk-fare. The metal riffs and intricate drum fills are a welcome flourish not to mention the heavier vocals and powerful choruses. Much of the album will inspire car ride sing along’s, as well as the previously stated mosh pits and neck cramps. Listening I couldn’t help but reminisce of said trips, beers with friends, and the girl at the rock show.

If you’re a fan of old school pop punk sing along’s, but also smashing beer cans on your forehead before jumpin’ in the pit, “We Aren’t Big” is a must for you! Every track brings something different to the table by mixing what you already love about punk with something new and fresh. The sky is the limit for the ambitious Take Two and I’m eager to see what they come up with next.

Track Listing:

1.) Lock Up

2.) Delf

3.) Shots and Scars

4.) Day Dreaming

5.) Red Eye

6.) Fall

7.) Hearts Will Remain

8.) Nothing to Lose

9.) Burner

Head over to Officialtaketwo.com for links to download “We Aren’t Big”

CD Review: Gatecreeper “Deserted”

“Deserted”
Gatecreeper
Relapse Records
Tracks: 11

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

It’s October and what better time of year to unleash a crusty death metal album upon the world? After three long years and numerous splits and EPs later, Arizona death metal band Gatecreeper return with possibly the best death metal album of 2019. Deserted, released October 4th on Relapse Records is a shear force of nature. Upon listening, the album summons desert twisters of sand and sidewinders it’s so heavy.

There should be no worry of a sophomore slump here. These guys take their art seriously and have only honed in on what makes them so great. The musicianship and songwriting has elevated to new heights on this album. Every riff soaked song is seeping with what you love about Gatecreeper, with some new elements thrown in. Songs like “Puncture Wounds” will be a welcomed breath of fresh air for those growing tired of the early-90’s era death metal revival. While tracks “Everlasting” and “Sweltering Madness” may be the best material the best has ever released. Three minutes into the former and any self-respecting metalhead is telling their friends to “shut-up and listen to this part.”

They stick to their guns on this one and stay true to the Gatecreeper formula. Yet they still manage to bring something new out of the coffin and continue to impress. All of the bands influences are on display here, granting some nostalgia to old school death metal fans. Chase Mason’s vocals are as low as ever, while his blood-curdling metal shrieks have really tightened up compared to earlier releases. Guitar riffoholics Jack Maniacky and Eric Wagner have improved their skills and completely plastered this album in thick, heavy riffs. While the rhythm section, bassist Sean Mears and drummer Matt Arrebollo, have impressively made every song on the album engaging and great for head-banging. Let’s not forget about the amazing as always Godcity mixing done by the legendary Kurt Ballou.

This album should be listened to at high volumes and while you’re punching someone in the face. It’s heavy, grimy, and sometimes slightly melodic and creepy. Everything you need in a death metal album. If you’re sleeping on this band you need to get to the nearest record store or on the internet and become the next biggest Gatecreeper fan. Death metal and the metal scene at large needs bands like this to keep putting out quality music and make us all proud to be fans of this often overlooked genre. Check out “Deserted” today and be sure to catch Gatecreeper on tour with Exhumed throughout the end of 2019

Track Listing:
1. Deserted
2. Puncture Wounds
3. From the Ashes
4. Ruthless
5. Everlasting
6. Barbaric Pleasures
7. Sweltering Madness
8. Boiled Over
9. In Chains
10. Absence of Light
11. Anxiety (Bonus Track)

Gatecreeper’s Chase Mason Discusses the Bands New Album “Deserted”

Media Mikes had the chance to sit down with Chase Mason of the metal band Gatecreeper to talk about the band’s sophomore album “Deserted”, out now. Chase also shared with us info on the groups upcoming tour, his approach to standing out in death metal, and his friendship with fellow artist Post Malone.

Ryan Albro: What would you tell people about Gatecreeper that have never heard of them before?

Chase Mason: Gatecreeper is a death metal band from Phoenix, Arizona. We play a catchy, mid-tempo style mixed with old school death metal. Even if you don’t like death metal you will like Gatecreeper.

RA: What would you tell eager returning fans about the new album, Deserted?

CM: If you liked the last record, Sonoran Depravation, you’re going to like this one. It shows a natural progression for the band and is a better, more concise, version of what we’ve already been doing. We’re not trying to experiment or be progressive here. It’s overall better than the last record.

RA: Gatecreeper has been gaining a lot of popularity as of late. How do you maintain relevance in today’s music scene so well?

CM: It’s important to use all the tools that you have to your advantage. I’ve seen a lot of bands that think they’re too cool to use social media or don’t play shows with bands they don’t think are cool. It’s better not to turn your nose up at certain things. It’s about being comfortable and staying true to who you are. As far as standing out in a sea of a million bands and artists, I think it’s really important to provide a full package. I try to pay attention to every aspect of the band. You have to have good songs to start out with, but the visuals are important as well. There are a lot of bands with really good songs that may not get noticed because they’re lacking in other areas. The music first, then your art, whether it’s album art, tour flyers or tour merch. I’ve tried with Gatecreeper to have a full package and have everything flow together and be distinct so that we stand out. There are new bands putting out records every day, there are a million shows that come into your town a year, so if you want to stick out, you’ve got to pay attention to all the little details.

RA: What can you tell us about the Brad Moore album artwork?

CM: It’s crazy. Anybody who sees it will think it’s crazy, in a good way. It’s important to me to have cool art. If someone’s at the record store or they’re online and they see that album cover it will grab their attention. Even if they don’t know who we are, they will listen to the record.

RA: Which tracks from “Deserted” are you most looking forward to performing live?

CM: Puncture Wounds is a very fast, up-tempo song for Gatecreeper. That song will be a great circle pit song. The end of the song Ruthless was written with playing the song live in mind. There’s a part in the song that as soon as it hits you’ll know it’s time for a circle pit. Since we toured so much on the last record, we learned what works well live. Deserted was the first record, while we were writing, where we knew a part would sound cool on the record, as well as live.

RA: What are the band’s touring plans for the album?

CM: We’re going to do two record release shows, one in LA, the other in Phoenix. Phoenix will be our hometown record release show. Starting on Halloween, we’re co-headlining a tour with Exhumed, with Necrot and Judiciary until December. After that we play the Decibel Metal & Beer Fest in LA. That’s what we have lined up for the rest of the year after the record comes out. We’re still finding out what we’re going to do, but next year we’re going to be doing some more touring for sure.

RA: When can we expect the Gatecreeper / Post Malone collaboration?

CM: I think you’ll be waiting forever [laughs]. I like Post Malone’s music, I like him as a person. I like rap and a lot of things that aren’t metal, but I don’t feel the need, nor do I ever want to combine them. I would play a show with Post Malone for sure. Will we ever do a song with him? Probably not. I think there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

Concert Review: Styx, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Tesla. Syracuse, NY

Styx, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Tesla
Thursday, June 28th, 2018
St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Legends of Rock Styx, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and special guests Tesla made their stop in Syracuse, NY on June 28th at the beautiful (newly renamed) St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview. The venue was packed with fans from all walks of life, eager to hear their favorite hit songs. The beautiful summer night was the perfect background for a concert such as this.

Tesla opened with outstanding energy starting things off with the more recent track “I Wanna Live” however, It wasn’t long before vocalist Jeff Keith led sing-alongs to hits like “What You Give” and “Signs” Guitarists Frank Hannon and Dave Rude expertly wowed the audience later on in the set with the always pleasing “Love Song.” The band which is celebrating 30 years together are performing at the top of their game adding a nice shine to their already legendary status. Joan Jett and her band The Blackhearts would take the stage next where they performed a fairly stock set of Jett standards including “Bad Reputation”, “Cherry Bomb” and of course “I Love Rock n Roll”. Though the founding Runaways members set mostly consisted of older more well known tracks it was nice to see her the band include the song “Soulmates to Strangers” from Jett’s most recent album “Unvarnished”

The true dominating force on the night was hands down Styx as their set was nothing short of captivating. All eyes were glued to the veteran performers as they played hit after hit including the return of “Mr. Roboto” a song which had been missing from the Styx live show for sometime. As the band performed song after song each member brought their own signature flair to the nights performance. From scene-stealer, Lawrence Gowan’s spinning and dancing to James Young’s soaring guitars solos not to mention the always captivating Tommy Shaw and thunderous bass sound of Ricky Phillips. All this performance power combined in one band made for a very memorable evening.

All three bands gave top-notch performances on this beautiful night by the lake with plenty of singing and swaying making for great concert experience. This is definitely a show I will be talking about for some time and I highly recommend checking out these veterans when they come to your town.

Tesla Set List:
1.) I Wanna Live
2.) Hang Tough
3.) Heavens Trail (No Way Out)
4.) What You Give
5.) Signs
6.) Love Song
7.) Little Suzi
8.) Modern Day Cowboy

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Set List:
1.) Bad Reputation
2.) Cherry Bomb
3.) Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)
4.) Victim of Circumstance
5.) Soulmates To Strangers
6.) You Drive Me Wild
7.) Light of Day
8.) Fake Friends
9.) Love Is Pain
10.) A Hundred Feet Away
11.) Fresh Start
12.) Love Is All Around
13.) I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll
14.) Crimson and Clover
15.) I Hate Myself For Loving You
16.) Everyday People

Styx Set List:
1.) Overture
2.) Gone Gone Gone
3.) Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
4.) The Grand Illusion
5.) Lady
6.) Ms. America
7.) Radio Silence
8.) Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
9.) Too Much Time On My Hands
10.) Khedive
11.) Bohemian Rhapsody
12.) Come Sail Away
13.) Mr. Roboto
14.) Renegade

Concert Review: The Black Dahlia Murder & Whitechapel “Nightbringers/This is Exile” Tour

“Nightbringers / This Is Exile Tour 2018”
Whitechapel, The Black Dahlia Murder, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Aversions Crown, Shadow of Intent
Wednesday, June 13th, 2018
Montage Music Hall, Rochester, NY

Our score: 5 out of 5 stars

Death Metal staples The Black Dahlia Murder and Whitechapel made a stop in Rochester, NY with special guests Shadow of Intent, Aversions Crown, and Fleshgod Apocalypse as part of a co-headlining tour which has the tours headliners each performing a selected album in full from start to finish

With the rarity of both headliners playing each of these albums (Nightbringers/This Is Exhile) in their entirety it was well before the first notes rang out that those in attendance knew they were in for a treat. Shadow of Intent opened up the evening with a brief yet ferocious set which was the perfect catalyst the evening ahead. Aversions Crown would follow performing tracks from their new album including the song “The Breeding Process.” Standout Italian metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse were a welcomed breath of fresh air which helped diversify the bill. Drummer David Falchitto was an absolute show stealer throughout the set especially on the song “The Violation.” If you have never checked out this band before defiantly give them a listen.

The Black Dahlia Murder would hit the stage next where they proceeded to rip through their latest album “Nightbringers”. Highlighting the set were songs such as “Catacomb Hecatomb” and “The Lonely Deceased”. Longtime fans worry not, as the band did sprinkle in a few classic ragers including “Everything Went Black” and “Deathmask Divine.” The Black Dahlia Murder continues to execute their live sets masterfully earning them status as a modern death metal powerhouse. Whitechapel would close out the night with a full performance of their second album “This Is Exile”. The universe imploded when vocalist Phil Bozeman and crew unleashed the crushing “Possession” which fueled the bands momentum as they continued on through the night. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical upon first hearing the band was performing this album in whole. However, it transitioned very well live and the band delivered on all levels.

This tour is an absolute must see for fans of Whitechapel and The Black Dahlia Murder. Fans of modern death metal, metal-core, and slam will not be disappointed as the package has a little something for everyone so if the tour is in your town I highly suggest you check it out!

The Black Dahlia Set List:

1.) Widowmaker
2.) Of God and Serpent, Of Spectre and Snake
3.) Matriarch
4.) Nightbringers
5.) Jars
6.) Kings of the Nightworld
7.) Catacomb/Hecatomb
8.) As Good As Dead
9.) The Lonely Deceased

Whitechapel Set List

1.) Father of Lies
2.) This Is Exile
3.) Possession
4.) To All That Are Dead
5.) Exalt
6.) Somatically Incorrect
7.) Death Becomes Him
8.) Daemon (The Procreated)
9.) Eternal Refuge
10.) Of Legions
11.) Messiahabolical

Concert Review: Ghost “Rats! on the Road”, Syracuse, NY

“Rats! on the Road”
Ghost
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
Crouse-Hinds Theater, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Grammy award winners Ghost brought their love of theatrics and Lucifer to the city of Syracuse, NY on May 16th as part of their current “Rats! on the Road” tour. The tour which features Ghost with no opening act is an intimate fan pleasing experience that needs to be seen in-person to truly understand the bands power of performance.

The evening was filled with spectacular moments featuring several new songs from the bands upcoming release “Prequelle” including “Rats”, “Spirit “and, “Dance Macabre”. Fan favorite Papa Nihil made an appearance on the song “Miasma” providing a smooth saxophone solo that would have brought Kenny G to tears. The nameless ghouls shined throughout the night, each interacting with one another for some great moments including a stellar and a good ole fashion acoustic sing along to “Jigolo Har Megiddo”. All of the hits were present in the extended 24 song set which was nicely split into two acts complete with an intermission.

Despite all of the drama that unfolded within the band last year, Ghost is still steamrolling forward and staying very true to themselves. The band continues to up their game each time they embark on. If “Rats! On the Road” comes to your town we suggest clearing your schedule and grabbing some tickets.

 

Set List:
1.) Ashes
2.) Rats
3.) Absolution
4.) Ritual
5.) Con Clavi Con Dio
6.) Per Aspera ad Inferi
7.) Devil Church
8.) Cirice
9.) Stand by Him
10.) Miasma
11.) Jigolo Har Megiddo
12.) Pro Memoria
13.) Dues in Absentia
14.) Spirit
15.) From the Pinnacle to the Pit
16.) Faith
17.) Year Zero
18.) He Is
19.) Prime Mover
20.) Mummy Dust
21.) If You Have Ghosts
22.) Dance Macabre
23.) Square Hammer
24.) Monstrance Clock

 

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Concert Review: John 5 and The Creatures “It’s Alive” Tour 2018

“It’s Alive” Tour 2018
John 5 and The Creatures

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Lovers and the broken hearted gathered in Syracuse, NY for an unforgettable night of haunting guitar tones and blistering solos courtesy of guitarist John 5 and his band The Creatures. The Rob Zombie guitarist is currently out on the road in support of his latest solo release “It’s Alive”. Only a true virtuoso such as John 5 could turn a quiet love filled Valentine’s Day into the loudest Halloween themed shred-fest the month of February had ever seen.

As the final notes of the opening act rang out the inflatable Halloween decorations rose up from the depths of the intimate Lost Horizon stage. Shortly thereafter master of ceremonies John 5 appeared with a colored flashing LED grin flanked by his band misfits. The trio kicked of the show with “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” which set a face melting pace for the evening. The makeup adorned 5 danced around the stage with various incarnations of his trusted telecaster which only further mesmerized the slack jawed onlookers. Creatures, bass player Ian Ross and drummer Rodger Carter, kept pace as the band followed up with rippers like “This Is My Rifle,” “Season of the Witch,” and “Guitars Tits and Monsters.” As the night wore on the charismatic leader John 5 even dedicated “Behind the Nut Love” to the Valentine’s Day crowd and even offered free lap dances to all in attendance. Easily the most captivating moment of the night was when 5 donned his laser guitar for a medley of hard rock and heavy metal classics which included snippets of “Enter Sandman” and “Thunder kiss 65” to name just a few.

Just when the place was about to burst at the seams, John 5 and Company closed out the night with an encore performance of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” The crowd was overjoyed and as the guitarist took his final bow of the evening and appeared confident that he had made the traditionally lovey-dovey holiday into his very own spooktacular shredathon. The “It’s Alive” Tour runs through April so I highly recommend checking it out.

Waylon Reavis discusses his new band A Killers Confession

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

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

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

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

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

RA: What inspires the raw energy in your music?

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

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

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

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

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

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

CD Review: Alestorm “No Grave But the Sea”

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

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

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

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

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

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

Concert Review: “Mockstrosity Tour” Syracuse, NY

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

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

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

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

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

CD Review: Revocation “Great Is Our Sin”

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

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RA: How was it working Marty Friedman again?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Old Wounds share their experiences from the 2016 Vans Warped Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin: Every Time I Die and Motionless in White.

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

RA: Any cool stories from the shows so far?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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